|Introduction to your reviewer
I like to tell my reviewees about myself so you'll know how unqualified I am. I won RotM for last month, so some people think I don't totally suck. As for Colin Meloy and the Decemberists, virtually all I know about him/them I read on Wikipedia, so I may be missing some of the references (that's why I waited to review this to give someone who knew more a chance, but as it hasn't been done you're stuck with me). I have been involved in music for a long time, and have written poetry and songs, so maybe that sort of redeems me.
|Prose and Formatting:
||I put most or all Humour comments in with Prose and Formatting so I don't repeat myself unnecessarily.
The parts I liked best I would definitely rate higher. But other bits bring the score down a bit, which I'll explain below.
- You give the idea of your "writer" right away, and the writer's extra skinny jeans (by the way, I just read a report that said they're on the edge of going out for the season). I like the intent of "I put on my scarf in the middle of summer" to lead into saying the writer doesn't wear impractical clothing, but think it was a bit obvious--you might want to have your writer justify wearing the scarf in summer. I would put something very early on that clearly identifies your writer as male.
What to write about?--the question mark isn't needed here and in How to write them?, and personally I'd cut it. If all your main sections had question marks maybe, but they don't.
- Setting and Storyline
- I like the way you use your "period" words together, using rake in the Lay section, then both in Consumption, etc. As for Laudanum, should this be "everyone needs
these (this)" with this instead of these? Also I think it would be funny if you could tie this in as well, like "something you take to deal with the discomfort of syphilis you got from lying with a rake."
- Love Songs
- I like the "sound like a total gentleman" when you get arrested bit.
- Current Issues
- I'd like it a little better if your writer showed intolerance while saying how tolerant he/she is. The article does this with "liberals are more educated, tolerant and open-minded" which I like, but maybe you could a subtle intolerant bit to how tolerant your writer is toward the Republican, something like "...Republican friend, even though many of my friend's views are (something subtly insulting), it shows how tolerant...."
- I like the war songs bit.
- Writing the chorus
- I found this section OK.
How to write them?
- Be Subtle--ironically, this is advice I frequently give to writers at Uncyclopedia.
- "...Shakespeare in your English literature class? No? Well, Colin Meloy’s lyrics are sort of like that."--like this. I can't resist telling a story about myself. I was tutoring in a high school English class, and the students were split into small groups as they studied one of Shakespeare's plays; I don't remember which one, maybe Romeo and Juliet. I went from group to group. I was at one group while the teacher was out of the room. The group seemed bored with the section they were reading. Then I said, "this whole section is all about sex." I expected to get that group's attention, but suddenly the entire classroom got quiet. Then it got noisy again, and the students seemed much more interested in the play. All right, back to my review.
- "middle(-)aged man"--add -.
- "A shape(-)shifting man"--I'm not sure where shape-shifting came from.
- Be Cheerful
- "This has more to do with the music than the lyrics...."--thanks for this; I was about to say what does this have to do with writing lyrics? But you explained it.
- Be Introspective
- I’m slowly stroking my beard as I write this--until this, I assumed your "writer" was a woman. You might want to give some indication of the sex early on. I do like your references to "Akira Kurosawa" and "frame wipe" and the like.
- "palanquin, pachyderm and phalanx, will instantly make you sound more intelligent, and yes they are real, actual words that I did not just made up."--I like this, as it shows the writer isn't very familiar with the words--and I got that impression before you verified the ignorance with your foot note. Nice.
- " ok should be OK; I know, I'm nitpicking.
- "I think I just got a boner from all that vocabulary"--I'd prefer more subtlety here, as this doesn't seem to fit the tone of your pretentious writer.
- “you whore, what bastard knocked you up?”--here, I think the lack of subtlety is good, as it fits the writer's intent.
- "Ah, yes, you are still looking at my impressive dictionary?"--I didn't get this paragraph. Is the idea that the reader isn't actually reading, but is physically with the writer so the writer's dictionary can be seen? I didn't get that from the previous parts of the article, so would change this.
- I like the IKB (blue) part with the thesaurus. But here, you say the reader is looking at the writer, with again implies this is a conversation, not an article. But in the very beginning, it says "This guide tells you how" which means it is a written document. I'd recommend working on making this consistent.
- I like this bit, and the pregnancy example. But as above, I'd like the "boner" reference to be something more subtle, maybe a symbolic way of saying it, like "this brings my manhood to attention" or some such.
- Rhyme and Meter
- "Unlike many other talentless musicians, Colin Meloy’s lyrics...."--I don't know if you intended this, but this would literally mean Colin Meloy is talentless. Maybe "unlike many other musicians," or "unlike many talentless musicians." I like the RnB insult (although would it be written RnB?)
worse (worst) thing you can do(semicolon) so is using...."
- "Atrocious. I am now adjusting my Ray Bans in disbelief...."--this implies this is a guide, not an in-person conversation. (All right; I'll stop making that point--if I can resist).
Putting it all Together
- "Now that we have
learnt (learned) all the lessons....couplet, or (comma) if you are feeling...."
- "Thou lovely lady...We are reticent with celerity."--love this. I rarely literally lol when I'm reviewing (or reading in general), but I did here.
- "What’s with that look on your face?....Pabst Blue Ribbon."--now it's not a guide, we're seeing each other in person--oh, sorry, wasn't going to mention that sort of thing again. Sorry. "...type of scarf and vintage shirt...."--I'd like more subtlety here, something like "it helps you get in the proper mood with the right type of scarf and a vintage shirt." Also I don't get the "Pabst Blue Ribbon" reference, but I suspect that's just my ignorance. Is it considered a suitable beer for the snootiness of your writer, or is this a joke that it's not at all impressive and the writer doesn't get it? (When it comes to beer, I'm one of those "if it comes in a can, it doesn't come in my mouth" kind of guys).
A Final Note
- "The most important lesson I hope you take away from here is that it doesn’t really matter what you say, you just have to say it in the fanciest way conceivable."--right now I want to kick your writer, which is good. (But again, I see guide vs. personal conversation conflict).
- I really like footnotes 2 (I'm a huge Pink Floyd fan), 3, 4, 5. The others I think are fine, though.