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I really like your writing on this! You have a nice fluid style and the descriptions were good. However I don't think you quite captured what you were aiming for here. Ok, you were looking to compare the sacrifices of the youthful soldiers of the past, in comparison to today's youth - it's been done before but you were trying a new tack i guess. I didn't think you pulled it off in the end. The war scens go on for too long. Great visuals thoguh and easily imagined. I think this could be more effective cut to perhaps 8 pages, maybe ten. There's a lot of action lines in the flashback(unsure if you should label those scenes thus - the super may suffice) and at times, not much is happening. The end is sort of predictable because its needed to show the neglect of the past, I guess. and where are the two boys from the intro? Look, i'll see what others think and get back to you. Is this the one you started the INT/EXT thread about?! Man, the boys turned that into an interesting read!!
a couple of points: the bushes in the second line should 'line' the footpath - it sounds better. Also Bosh is spelled 'Boche'. and the wooden aldder should perhaps 'lean agaainst the muddy walls'. There's a spelling error on page 11 - 'trusts' should be 'thrusts'. By the way, i love that next line - 'the german soldier hangs on the bayonet, screaming his agony'.. good imagery there.
I gave this a read. Interesting little tale. Your super works here but I had to go back and read it twice. I probably would have went with a flashback sequence. A few minor things, not enough to interupt the flow.
Is this the one you started the INT/EXT thread about?!
Indeed it is.
Stevie, gladlad you thought the imagery was good and I can't believe I spelt Boche wrong. I think I'm gonna get a reputation around here as the worst speller, I guess I should have listen in school and not just bummed about lol. Sorry you thought it was too ong though, I added the first and last scene last actually.
Ghostwriter, thanks for the read and positive feedback.
Craig, cheers buddy, glad you enjoyed it.
Again, thanks for the review guys.
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
Solid piece here, man. Very powerful and really well written. Naturally I don't have first hand experience of something as horrible as trench warfare so I can't proclaim this was on the money but on the basis of film and documentary one gets a fair idea of what it was like. You succeeded admirably in capturing the over-crowded, filthy, blind, terrifying, claustrophobic squalor that were the trenches/mass graves for those unfortunate soldiers during the major battles of the war.
Just a point on the dialogue; I counted 4 times in a row on page 10 where Henry says Jack's name every time he addresses him. I dunno, to me it sounded a little odd since they were only two of them present, would you always say the person's name like that when in the company of that individual and no one else?
Other then that I found the unsure, jittery exchanges between the men (except the swaggering George) to be very realistic and fitting for such a setting.
Although its a nice sentiment having Jack stare at the photo its a bit of a cliche by now (albeit its likely something that all soldiers do if they have someone waiting for them back home) I think Jack taking it out while in no-mans land was leaning a bit too much to the dramatic side (the image of the lone hero pausing for a moment of reflection) and to do there and then seemed very unlikely and very stupid. I mean he wasn't out of the woods yet, so to speak, I thought he was going to get popped off at this point, and to be fair if he did he would have had no one but himself to blame.
The bookending of contemporary scenes, the opening one showing blissful ignorance, the other displaying both ignorance and downright disrespect was an effective device. You conveyed perfectly how our generation simply don’t realise the struggles, efforts and sheer bravery displayed by their ancestors in affording them their freedom and quality of life in today’s world. Sadly, the more years that pass the greater this apathy will become, such being the trend of history.
A friend of mine actually wrote a similar themed script set in WWI in the trenches where an Irish soldier fighting for the crown goes AWOL. I might send him on this for a read to see what he thinks, with your permission of course. If you're interested I could send you his one, its very good script also. It takes a different direction to yours by moving away from the trenches for the most part but that subject of mistaken cowardice for bravery and vice-versa which you touched upon at the end in this piece is a major theme of my mates script too.
Anyway I enjoyed this, very authentic writing, well paced action with a worthy message to boot without being too preachy. Good job
Damn, this was a nasty tale. I loved how you seamlessly weaved the two timelines together with scenes that rally added a lot of context to the core story. Very well done.
Like Col though, I was a bit annoyed with how they kept referring to each other by name cos' that doesn't feel right. Yeah, the picture is cliché but I think it could work if it wasn't a picture of - what I guess is - his mom. Maybe a picture of his home, hell, maybe even a picture of himself.
I thought the writing was fine in general but there were a couple of passages that could work much better, example:
Quoted from The Playing Fields pg. 3
A loud pop is heard, followed by more. Huge explosions are heard, deafening the silence. The trench shakes, dirt is displaced from the walls. Boom after boom, the bombardment is relentless.
The above is actually very poorly written if I may be so frank. It's a high tension scene with zero or little tension. The main reason is that it's as passive as you can get. This passage should really jump off the page because it's the first real introduction to the war (action wise) and it needs to set a tone for what's about to hit these poor guys.
Also, when you get into the action bits (storming the trench) try cutting back on the amount of words you use per sentence, say what you need to say but do it with as few words as possible. That way you speed everything up in those scene. Then, in the more emotional laden scenes, you use longer sentences. It's a cheap trick really, but when used correctly, it really pays off.
All in all, I think the story is exellent but the writing needs a little attention.
Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
Alffy there was much of this I liked. Your descriptions of trench warfare were graphic and believable. You got down the absolute futility of the Great War, just fine. This was a well written piece and very easy on the eye.
There were a few spelling mistakes here and there - all easy fixes.
The big question here, is did you achieve what you set out to? I'm not sure.
The youth of today...
It may be that your action scenes really did give the real picture, in that the futility of the sittuation detracts from the bravery of the young boys who died for little more than the ideal of patriotism, particularly as one is shot for cowardice.
Kind of makes the S.O.B's drinking on the war memorial look like the smart ones.