(1) You got it, (2) You're welcome, (3) hi! Le Cejak•<Apr 27, 2008 [17:28]>
Hey, I figured I would average all the sections, just for shits and giggles. NOTE: This review is long, but badly organized.
Intro <8>: Funny +1. However, you mispelled "drover" (=FIXED=). And what's a "Chelsea fan"? An exotic dancer who waves a fern at me? I'm American, and so I only got 90% of the funniness. Advice: I would definitely break up that block of text. Find a good separation point. May I suggest right before "You settle down..."?
1 Step 1: Study the controls <8>: "Extracting blood from your morning rituals" = huh? Too fancy. Hurts my brain. "Try trial and error" actually is a funny grammatical goof on your part. As far as the funniness goes, it was almost above average. Oh hell, I'll give you an 8 here too. Good so far!
2 Step 2: Learn the route <7>: FUNNY-HAHA: "looking in each and every little compartment, including those on the deceased driver". However, it wasn't above average. I learned that people who are funny on their talk-pages are funny in articles, btw. ...that had nothing to do with this article. I think you spent a little too much time fiddling around with what you were trying to say. Trim and then add some more relevant stuff to the section. Change "hell" and "an alternate universe" to some other, funnier places. You already used an alternate universe, and Hell isn't as interesting as you make it out to be. I recommend trimming the following sentences down: "Finally, after much painful searching, you find a cloth, which has what seems to be directions to places on" and the part of the sentence that goes "You spend the next ten minutes (amazingly, the train still hasn't crashed!) trying to find out where you reckon New Street is on the "map", and after finding it,". I think you'll see what I mean: it doesn't push the "story" along, and it wastes the reader's time. Fix these problems, and this section could really shine.
3 Step 3: Push buttons <7>: FUNNY-HEHE: "one of the trains metal wheels has, frankly, blown up". In America, it would read one of the train APOSTROPHE s metal wheels has, frankly, blown the hell up, which might be funnier. Cussing is always hilarious. Your humor is very similar to Under user's in that it is laid back and calm in the midst of weirdness, although UU has since stopped being so British about everything. You misspelled "fianlly". "Should you press the big red button, in the hope it will slow you down somewhat, or will it blow up the train?" You don't need to say "or will it blow up the train." In cases like this, let the reader's mind wonder what the hell would happen if you pressed that red button: Explaining things to readers is okay sometimes, but not here. FUNNY: "Or should you do nothing, and hope for a miracle to occur, or will this prove you were that spineless coward that your friends always told you were?" I would strongly suggest rewriting "Should you move that lever up in case it applies friction to the wheels, in theory slowing you down, or will it rocket you up to five million miles per hour, crushing the bones of the people in the carriages?". Remember what SysRq has told me many, many times: the rule of three is key. Three things have a rhythm, so good job. Rewrite "You feel massively idiotic for a second for not realising this before realising that New Street is coming into view." 'tis an awkward sentence. I give you an adequate because this section, while potentially an 8 or 9, is slightly messed up.
4 Step 4: Stop the train at the station <7>: Rewrite "Then you see the station, with a train already stopped at the platform intended for your train." Not clear to me what's going on. I had to reread it a few times to understand that you are about to smash into another train!! HILARITY: "Horrible visions of death, destruction, prosecution and prostitution cross your mind, and you decide it is finally time to properly spring into action." Except, you should remove that last bit there. The reader already knows that it's time to spring into action, so, like I said about letting the reader fill in the gaps? When in doubt about whether something is funny, consider if the reader could have made that connection themselves. "forcing everybody in the train's immediate vicinity's Defence down greatly." Pokemon reference: nice. Sentence: needs to be rewritten. REWRITE: "You ignore this, somehow, and keep jamming the lever until, in a most undeserved piece of luck, it breaks and falls down again." what breaks? the train or the brick? Does the pokemon break? Where did that brick come from, even though it was funny?
5 Conclusion <7>: You misspelled "atrain". REWRITE: "hundreds of other people". Of course they're "other people"! Your sentences are too long and filled with adjectives and whatnot. It's a snappy, short conclusion, and it basically works. Le Cejak•<Apr 27, 2008 [18:20]>
I like the 2nd-person viewpoint the article takes. Rarely does that work, but here its good. Your explanation of what is happening around me is so good that I can actually imagine myself in an England train station, even though I would never be caught DEAD there (see Cajek's Will, paragraph 9). =Additional ideas:=
Why is driving a train so damn complicated? It can only go forward, for Chrissakes!
Why did I think driving a train would be so damn easy? I'm so stupid!
Prose and formatting:
Some problems which I think you will fix up.
Captions are okay. Pictures are somewhat boring, but they are what's expected. Your writing is so good that we don't even need pictures.
Rewriting is probably all this article needs, and then maybe, if you seek the glory of VFH, I shall nom it when it is ready. You need to make it more accessible to people outside of Britain, like yours truly! I live in the desert, and have never ridden on a train. What's a "carriage"? What's "flash" (see second picture)? What is New Street? Make it seem like this could be anywhere. You can do it.
Great article! Call me if you want me to look at it again!