Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/The Tempest (resubmit)
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Okay, so it's time for another review on teh tempest. It's a parody of the original play, and nothing more.
Let me just point out that I really want to get this article onto VFH. Not to make it sounding like I'm whining, but I really want some of my work to be credited at least once. Then I can stop fretting over my life.
I've submitted The Tempest before, and it failed miserably. I got Cajek to work with me on it for a bit, but I have no idea what else to do with it, and neither does he (either that or he got bored from killing off all of the quotes). It seems fine to me, and I can think of no improvements to be made. So, rather than submit it again to VFH and watch it crash and burn, I'll stick it here for someone to mull over and give feedback.
So give a good hard look at this article, and come back with some big problems, so that I can fix 'em and improve it big-time.
Garionepsilon 14:01, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
|Humour:||5||There is some humor, but see endnotes.|
|Concept:||8||Good idea. All of the Bard's ideas are good ones, with the exception of Titus Andronicus.|
|Prose and formatting:||7||The writing is competent, grammatical, and clear. But see endnotes.|
|Images:||6||Better pictures should be found or created.|
|Miscellaneous:||7||I hope this works out.|
|Reviewer:||----OEJ 14:48, 9 May 2008 (UTC)|
Reviewing a hard-fought piece which is important to a writer is often a sad business. I've mentioned this before: what a writer imagines as he reads a piece he's written can never be what a reader imagines -- the writer "sees" all sorts of details as he creatively imagines a story. And so the writer, re-reading his work, finds many associations and images. The reader, however, only "sees" what the bare words call up -- the reader does not have the advantage of all the creative imagining that the writer keeps inside his head. It is a sad fact of life. An honest reviewer can only say: "This is what I found in the article. Nothing more."
First, writing. The prose is well-written but somehow it does not take wing. It needs variety, I think.
1. Exercise: How many sentences in the article are between 10 and 20 words long and consist of two or more clauses separated by a comma? How many are less than 5 words long? If most sentences in a piece have the same general length and structure, then the piece often feels dull. Very short sentences can be a delightful seasoning in prose, and short sentences are often strong. They have impact.
2. Be as specific as possible. "An island somewhere in the sea" may be all the info Shakespeare gave, but "A tropical atoll 150 kilometers southwest of Antigua" makes it sound like a real island. "king of some part of Italy" could be "King of the principality of Lasagna, a foul swampy little kingdom on the Italian mainland near Venice." The crucial thing to remember is that specific descriptions tend to stimulate interesting images in the readers mind; generalities don't.
3. Dialogue is another way of being specific, and an especially good way of demonstrating character and conflict. It is very hard to write like Shakespeare if you haven't praciticed...there are rules governing archaic language, and many cliche pitfalls to avoid. But if you can, report the characters' actual words in a few crucial scenes. If you were writing Romeo and Juliet:
- Romeo sneaks into some rosebushes underneath Juliet's balcony. Juliet appears, wearing only a bustier and 20-centimeter stiletto heels.
- Romeo: What light through yonder window breaks? 'Tis the east, and Juliet's way hot! Hubba!
- Juliet: What wind in yonder rosebush breaks? 'Tis a gasworks, and Romeo's sprung a leak.
- Romeo: Fair Juliet! Aphrodite of Amherst! Why spurnest thou my selfless love?
- Juliet: Unfair Romeo, if thy body odor were half as pungent still would it gag a hog.
- After several hours of this verbal sparring the Nurse appears and empties a chamberpot on Romeo's head. He wanders off with toilet paper in his hair, convinced that Juliet loves him.
4. Jokes. Sorry, but it needs more jokes. Most of them should "fit", that is, they should conform thematically to the piece so that they don't seem random. Maybe this is a little bit like composing jazz: you take the theme and make variations on it, elaborate on it, add surprising twists and flights of fancy, but everything stays in the same key and is linked and supported by the main theme. In an article like this there is room for anachronistic humor, slapstick, sexual slapstick, and wordplay. Look at the opening paragraphs of Precopius' Democrazy for an example of packing a lot of jokes into a short space.
On telling jokes: watch the rhythm. Even a short joke has a setup and a punchline. Rewrite the jokes until they work: setup should be clear and complete, and the punchline should be short and surprising. Rewrite the jokes; rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
5. Images. Find some good colorful ones online, and if you find a really funny one then find a way to weave it firmly into the logic of the piece. Search under "gay parade" and you'll find some really funny people in costume. Photoshop some into an island setting, label them "Ariel lures Ferdinand to Prospero's lair in The Pittsburgh Community Lavatory production of The Tempest" and you're home free.
Anyway. I know this is not the enthusiastic applause you were hoping for. It is only my personal reaction -- this is to say, the silly opinion of a silly, silly man. ----OEJ 14:48, 9 May 2008 (UTC)