[4Play] [WWC] Into the Deep
#1
Aiming for Dracovish (Complex ->Hard)
Warning: Horror, gore, a few swear words
CC: 16,683
Also, going to apply a Boosted Story Pass to this!

Abras are so cute!
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#2
The good:

Other than a few bits I mention below, the flow of the story was good. You don’t have common errors like having people reacting before the stimuli happens, for example. Spelling and grammar are fine and your story answers the question it raises at the beginning, well done there.

The reveal at the end of the Mother and the clutch was well done; especially in a story you may come back to, revealing the threat not yet ended – or more dire than realized – can be a great way to incite interest in the reader. It can veer into cliché territory though, which I don’t feel yours did.

Honest motivations – while the characters don’t get much development here, you show some consistent and believable drives in the various characters (until they get eaten). There’s a tendency in secondary characters especially to fluctuate with the situation, but you have characters diving into trouble in very human ways and the same ways each time.

Room for improvement:

Most of your paragraphs are overly long; try to vary the length a bit more, especially when it comes to dialogue. Most of the spoken lines can be a single sentence in the paragraph, and you should always start a new paragraph when the speaker changes. This also manifests in a high count of commas and semicolons. I’m also prone to lots of commas, and I will usually make a specific edit pass where I try and remove as many as possible.

Overly specific time bit – “Joshua sat by Rain, whimpering, for 10 minutes before Leye put a hand on his shoulder.” Two parts – using a number in the middle of the text will jar the reader out of the flow, and as such it’s usually better to write out ‘a few’ or ‘a dozen’ unless the exact time matters. As a second part, if this monster just sprang from a grate and ate two-thirds of their friend, it seems unlikely the rest of the group would give it ten minutes to attack again while he grieved.

Contact – The scene where Josh first illuminates the beast and it attacks them needs to be reworked a bit for realism. When the monster ate Rain, he lasted long enough for them to empty their mags and things to settle, then had a few words left, but Daygan is killed immediately here and then devoured in one gulp. The bullets are described as ‘dropping off’ its hide, but in this case I think ricochets and the attendant noises works better for the mood you’re trying to set.

The grenade seems really subdued; it’s ‘set off’ and just has a loud boom, try describing the physical force of the roar and the pressure wave it sets off in the water. Emphasizing the risk with having shrapnel bury itself in the concrete tunnel wall next to him, or tearing a slash across his upper arm, shows that it was a dangerous tactic of last resort. Finally, the “path of disturbed water” doesn’t make a lot of sense as it would all be disturbed after the grenade. You are better off calling out tracks in the disgusting sediment along the side of the tunnel.

The final fight too could use some revision. Mostly in two areas – it’s all one paragraph, which makes it harder to stay in the flow of the story as all these events are happening. Josh also seems to just be a bystander for the most part, watching as his friends are devoured (watch your repeat use of this word, try synonyms) until the very end when he kills the thing by main strength. Discharge was a clever tactic, so I’d keep that – but make him more active in the fight, maybe he tries to help Machamp before getting swatted by a swinging tail or arm.

The verdict:
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