Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/HowTo:Be a Brave Protagonist

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edit HowTo:Be a Brave Protagonist

Let me know what you think of my take on protagonists. Scofield 13:51, December 27, 2010 (UTC)

Ok, give me a couple o' hours. --Black Flamingo 19:26, January 7, 2011 (UTC)
Humour: 6 What you have here is a decently written article that is unfortunately just lacking a little in the funny department. It also suffers slightly from its obvious similarity to another article, but I'll get to that later. First of all let's take a look at your humour.

The main issue with the article's humour, in my opinion at least, is that it doesn't quite go far enough. You have a lot of unreached potential for jokes in here, and for large portions of the text you don't even make any. Starting from the top, consider this example from The beginning, where you talk about examples of heroes who didn't realise they were heroes. You start with Harry Potter, which isn't a bad part; it's got a little humour in there largely caused by the tone, but then the second example you give is Neo from the Matrix, and you don't go any further with it. You just basically give another example in the same style without really saying anything funny, or adding to it. If you're going to give multiple examples like this, I recommend you go a little further each time, get a little madder and more unexpected, maybe make a joke about the Matrix. For instance; "Then there's Neo, who didn't realise he was the Chosen One until the end of the movie, and then of course by the second one he'd changed his mind and had to realise it all over again." While this isn't hilarious, I hope you can see what I mean. My joke mocks the banal and repetitive nature of storytelling by implying that all the Matrix films basically have the same plot (which is a style of humour you're already hinting at here, by deconstructing the nature of the protagonist as you do). So have a think about what's funny about the subject, and try to work that into the article. The second two paragraphs in The beginning have the same problems, and are probably even a little weaker still. It was hard to know what you meant to be honest. Like when you said "there are some exceptions, such as Harry Potter." Exceptions to what, exactly? What I think you're getting at is that protagonists never know what their mission is, so if this is the case I suggest you explain that properly. Again, it could also do with a bit more funny. On close inspection there aren't really any jokes, just an overanylitical text on storytelling, written in a rather colloquial tone. This doesn't eqaul humour, you needs twists and turns in the writing, which is essentially what a joke is. Since you seem to like Harry Potter so much, let's use this example: "The Harry Potter books are so far-fetched. I mean, a ginger has two friends." That's funny, because the reader thinks you're going one way and then you go somewhere completely different, but it still makes sense. As for jokes in your article, I really enjoyed the one about what the characters say during the fight, that was funny. It's just so clichéd and cheesy - I love it. It would be great to see more like this. That's exactly the kind of thing you need to be doing when you write comedy. It's all very well saying "the protagonist always does this, and the protagonist always does that", and people will probably say "oh yeah, that's a fair observation", but without a joke it won't make them laugh. Perhaps try exploring the absurdities of the conventions. This is one of my favourite Uncyc articles on such a subject, and basically does this really well, so give that a looksee, it should help.

Concept: 5 Ok, there are a couple of things here too. The main one being the article's similarity to Protagonist, which (I'm guessing) inspired you to write it. The problem is that in many places it's a bit too similar. The issue is that it turns out looking like a companion piece instead of an article in its own right. And a lot of the jokes are repeated too, which is also a shame. The intro is odd too, the way you make references to Protagonist as if we all know what you're talking about. Obviously I have read it, and so I know what you're talking about, but a lot of people won't have. I suppose it's verging on being an in-joke. Articles that have to rely upon the concepts of other articles to work really limit your audience, and even those who do understand will probably just dismiss it as a rip-off. I suggest you take a look at both the articles and try to get yours as different to the original as you can. Make this article your own, don't copy others. Ironically, the article resembles the very movie sequels you deride in the way that it leeches off the success and merit of the original.

Although you do a good job of analysing the conventions you talk about, I feel there's still a lot more you could investigate in this way. So have a think; what other things always happen in hero stories? Perhaps you should take a look at this. A theorist called Joseph Cambell wrote a famous book many years ago which essentially does the same thing your article does; it identifies and explores the common tropes surrounding archetypal heroes in stories, or "the monomyth" as he calls it. If you feel like doing a bit of research, it may help you a lot when it comes to determining and mocking those clichés yourself.

Another weird (and fairly minor) little problem is that the piece seems biased towards film/games characters. But of course, all of this stuff originated in literature (and I guess before that it was folk tales), so the fact that there's no mention of this leaves the article with quite a noticeable gap, and makes it appear non-committal on the author's part. I mean, you realise Harry Potter is a literary character first and foremost (at least in my mind he is, but that might be due to the shitness of the films). It may be something you want to address when you come to edit the article.

And finally for concept; the article doesn't read too much like a HowTo, it's more like a description of what protagonists are, rather than a guide on how to be one. Remember, they tend to be set out as step-by-step instruction manuals, although this isn't a rule or anything. Take a look at some featured HowTos if you need clarification of their general format.

Prose and formatting: 6 At times your tone is a bit unprofessional and could probably do with a bit of polishing. Look at this: "However, it has come to my notice that a lot of people actually want to become heroes rather than just listen to tales about them." It's the phrase "come to my notice" that sounds sloppy. So is "because I am going to teach you How To Become a Brave Protagonist". It's all a bit... robotic. You need to let it flow more. I really, really recommend you try reading it out loud, because this should give you a better idea of how awkward it sounds, and hopefully give you ideas on how to smooth it out. Instead of the first sentence I quoted there, try something like "Alright, so you all have heard the story of the Protagonist before, but how many of you actually want to be heroes rather than just hear tales about them?"" Also adding to this untidiness is the way you continuously use extraneous commas, constantly starting sentences with "so," and "well," and sticking an unnecessary comma in there. My guess is you're trying to set a rhythm similar to the way people speak, which is an error I make myself a lot. To be honest though, written down it just kind of looks weird, so have another look at the prose and get rid of anything like this.

Just a few other little pointers:

  • In the Taking charge section - "Supporting protagonists"? I'm not sure that makes sense. Perhaps you should say "supporting characters"?
  • Also, a lot of this section feels a bit redundant, probably because you're repeating yourself. You list the reasons the antagonist will be back, then you expand into a larger section where you basically say the same thing but in more detail. It's not a huge issue, but I would suggest you get rid of the list as it is by far the weaker part.
  • Also, generally speaking, you overuse the word "intense". I lost count of how many times I read that.
Images: 5 The first four images (from Harry to Agent Smith) are all decent enough, the captions are actually some of the funniest parts of the article so well done there. From then on however (FFXIII battle to what looks like Ozzy Osbourne's mugshot), they're much weaker. I'll be honest, with these last three I kind of felt like there was something I was missing. For instance, I didn't know what you were talking about in the FXIII battle one. What do you mean we "ain't seen nothing yet"? What have we seen so far? And what's coming? With the Christopher Walken one I was really lost, and am guessing it's something to with a film that I probably haven't seen. I would probably recommend you replace these with better ones. More images that take the piss out of narratives would be good, very much like the first few. Also, you need a main image at the top because it looks really blank and ugly. Something big and general that establishes the mood, theme and subject matter of your article. Again, look at our best of if you need an idea of how to do this.
Miscellaneous: 6 By the way, I agree that Lightning is hot, I developed a bit of an obsessive crush on her when I played FFXIII. Shame the game was a load of wank.
Final Score: 28 So to sum up, the two main things you should work on are getting a few more jokes in there and lessening the similarities to Lyrithya's article, if possible. But please consider the other things I've mentioned too, and I reckon you'll have a much better article in no time at all. Generally speaking though, good work, I hope to see it continue. If there's anything I've said here that you want me to explain better, or if you want my opinion on anything I might have missed, please let me know and I'll try to help. I hope the review is ok.
Reviewer: --Black Flamingo 22:45, January 7, 2011 (UTC)
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