||This is quite a long article, so I think I'm going to go for my original-style section by section breakdown. Then I'll give you my overall opinion of the humour. From just glancing through it looks interesting. Anyway, let's get started...|
Insomnia: This section, which seems to serve as an opening paragraph, is very clever. It seems to set up a well written, funny article. The paragraph itself, while quite funny, is not hilarious. Whether you want to try and make this section hilarious is down to you. Sometimes it can be funnier not to have a startlingly funny opening, because if you do, the rest of the article can seem unfunny and boring. Of course if you want to make really laugh-out-loud-funny, and think you can maintain that level of comedy throughout, then, by all means, do so. I apologise, I'm using too many commas. If you wanted to, I'm sure you could find a way of slipping one or two one-liners in with Boris the sheep's life story. Also I like the subtle Boris Johnson sheep joke that you slung in there, with "Borris " linking to the said blonde politician. It's a strong opening, good work.
When A late Night Becomes Insomnia: This is another very strong sections. I can hardly, see that many mistakes in it, actually. The writing is rich and flowing (and reminds me of some of the better UnProvises). Bits here make you smile, like "I’m sitting on my de-clothed bed, putting antiseptic cream on the hole and preparing the Band-Aids. “No. Wait. What the fuck am I doing?” ". This mislink from "TV B-movie " to "The Descent" looks good, but I'm ashamed to say I've never even heard of said film, so I'm not sure if the mislink is a cleverly crafted expert piece of satire, or not. Anyway, another good two paragraphs, here. Maybe not hilarious, but funny. I think you could add just one or two more stages in there, to add to the insomniac's woes. By "stages" I mean another problem arises, like when he's looking under the sink he could accidently create a leak in the piping and get soaked... Just a thought. A few more one-liners in this section definetely wouldn't do any harm, though.
Now I’m Not Tired Anymore!: This whole saga with the computer is well thought out and quite funny, to boot. "I stand up. And leave the computer area. That never happened. It didn’t. I tell myself. It’ll be fine in the morning. " I liked this (although maybe a ... would be more correct than the . after "up") and I liked the description of the computer failing. When the computer does crash you could maybe make it a bit more dramatic, with sparks and a little bang and maybe smoke? With "“Aww.” I coo “What are we going to call you, then?” " I was expecting that a few actual names would be offered up. What about something like this: "Aww." I cooed "What are we going to call you, then?" I pondered for a moment... "What about...ben...dorris...lorris..borris?" I suddenly remembered the name-changing, head honchoing, avenging sheep, number four-hundred-and-twenty-three and shudder. "Maybe not borris". ...or something along those lines. I just want to mayber, er "kcik some ideas around" here. Obviously if you do want to use that, don't copy it word for word!
Cash Call!!!: This section is maybe the funniest so far, even if this parody of a quiz show came completely out of the blue, and is slightly different to the rest of the article. It's very good though, and I'd say you should keep it. Maybe the title of the section should be "Two AM..." though? You clearly are depicting a really stupid (and as you put it) "inane" show (I liked the link to ITV!). When I first read it I thought you used a few words - including "inane" - a bit too much. But now that I've read it a third time, you don't seem to have used them much, at all. Bits of this section really do peak at 9/10, though. I particularly liked "for god’s sake Gwen-from-Cardiff are you deaf and welsh!? ". This is a strong penpenpenultimate section.
Back to Reality, Sorta: This is quite a long chunk of text here, but it's a funny long chunk of text. The image fits in well and it's an amusing little side-track that you go off on (which is ironic, considering the title!)... The various remarks that are made in this are, at times, very funny. "These walls are green.” I realise. “I hate green.” This gives me an idea " is not only quite funny (for some reason) but also, beautifully wets your appetite for paintjob insomniac Steven is planning. I liked the description of his pink 'n' blue decorating, as well, which matched the picture almost perfectly. There's not much I can suggest for this section: to me it's funny, rounded and quite the little gem. However, there may be one or two things that you personally want to change. The section could benefit from a couple of read throughs on your part. Every time you read through it, force yourself to improve the section, somehow (this is a useful technique I stumbled across). Well done though (again), this is a good little (long, actually) section.
Going to Work on no Sleep = Terrifying: *sighs* Few...the penultimate section. This is quite a hefty read, but it's a good one and a funny one. As soon as the section starts I'm plunged into slightly-less-subtle-than-the-rest-of-the-article-but-a-very-funny-example-of-random-humour jokes - "An old lady beat me up for my drugs " being the obvious example. Again this is a little deviation from the actual insomnia topic (slightly) but it works. The same applies to this section as to the last one! I liked it and it was all good. Apart from the very random change from first person to third person and then back to first person, it was pretty well written, too. "all the interest of a menopausal housewife watching daytime TV " is a good metaphor, that's been thrown in there, accurately and expertly. ""Are you sure, it’s just you urinated in the bin and started shouting about guns when Sophie was preparing those papers. I’m just worried.” He sounded like a nursery teacher all condescending. I hated him. I hated him a lot " was excellent, more random humour. This section's comedy-style is different to the rest of the article, and it makes quite a nice refreshing break. You don't overdo the randomness and keep it all still quite sublte-without-being-subtle...that's the best way I can put it. "it hit me. He was real. I wasn’t dreaming " is another great quote from this section, like "I could only be nice to him for so long without causing myself physical pain ". There's so many great one liners in here... More good work.
And Back to Bed: Oh wow...what a mammoth of an article. But we're approaching the end. (Since I didn't right this in order, I've almost finished the review, here...) Anyway we've not got a very short section, which stands in stark contrast to the other hugeeeeeeeeeee sections. This section rounds off the whole article, perfectly (the giant Zs are a nice touch, too). In fact, just reading this makes me feel a bit sleepy (maybe because I got very little sleep last night, maybe because the writing is outstanding, maybe both). This was a nice way to round things off...
Overall: Well this is a very English piece. The humour is quite subtle and not over-the-top-random-humour. I think quite a lot of people may not enjoy this article or find it funny (if this ever goes on VFH, which it definitely should, you're likely to face quite a bit of opposition), but I did like it (and I reckon quite a lot of people will enjoy it). It's long, and so people who come across it probably will dip in, get hooked and read on. On the advice front: there's not much to say, you've almost his this for six (avoiding baseball terminology, in favour of something more British). This definitely is among your better articles (I think it's better than this, for example). I've made a few suggestions somewhere in that sea of text above, I hope you'll find them useful. Also... How dare you write something so funny?
|Prose and formatting:
||A question about the number one heading "Insomnia". I presume, if you move this to the mainspace you're going to lose that heading and just make that section the opening paragraph? I think that would be best, formatting wise, it's a little neater like that. One thing you should watch, though, are your tenses. I just spotted one little tense change, which is slightly distracting from the article (for grammar nazis, anyway): "I looked under the sink, though why I’d have scissors there I couldn’t quite figure out. Cursing as I bash my head ". There may be a few other places where this happens, as well...|
One quite big problem, I just spotted...one third of the way through "Going to Work on no Sleep = Terrifying" it changes from first person to third person - all "Steven" and "he". This really was quite a blunder, which needs sorting out. The article does switch back to first person, quite quickly. I'm not sure if you intended to do this for "effect", but I'd correct it...It's just confusing to the reader and makes you think that it's a mistake.
Another thing, which I think I mentioned to you on your talkpage (which is only a very minor quibble), is the lack of capitalisation at the beginning of sentences in the image caption: "four-hundred-and-twenty-two, he may look innocent but underneath that wool lies a real bastard. ". Also I tend not to put fullstops in captions, but that's just personal preference. There are a few other grammatical errors strewn about, and places where wording could be improved. For example, in "it roars at me with a metallic crunching noise, imagine toasters chewing tinfoil, then the monitor started screaming ", instead of commas surrounding the clause "imagine toasters chewing tinfoil" it should be enclosed in brackets. However apart from the few mistakes, the prose in this article is very good, very well written and very rounded. I noted that the quality of the writing deteriorates very slightly towards the end, with more mistakes and weird wording creeping in (maybe because of your "sleep deprived state"?). I'm used to reviewing average-ish writing, in fact the quality of writing is something that often gets neglected. I've seen articles with great concepts, and what I think is great humour, it's just all hidden behind bad writing. Here, that isn't a problem. I like the detail you go into, and the very slight tangents you go off on, occasionally. The very involved description, and the "I'm aware of popular culture and modern life" style all add to the humour.
"I turn on my TV and prepare myself for whatever delights two am has for me " - just another little mistake I noticed (sorry to be just constantly picking on little mistakes). Apart from the tense changing (from past to present), "am" should be in capitals, so as to distinguish it from "I am going to the shops". Now apart from these few mistakes the overall formatting is good. You've put the text in sizeable chunks, but not too sizeable. These chunks are the paragraph equivalent of the swimming-pool-world's warm, bubbling, inviting Jacuzzi. They invite you take a dip and start reading. Generally the formatting seems to be pretty varied and neat. Considering this is about insomnia, the length of the article and the sections, are fine. I would give this 8 or 8.5 for the good writing and varied formatting, but the small scattering of mistakes brings this down to a 7.5, I'm sorry to say. Good work, with not much effort I'm pretty sure you can push this score up to 8 or 8.5