The Weekly Review - Edition 26
Hello! Welcome to the Christmas Edition of the Weekly Review! As Will11’s on holidays, it will be taken over by the site favorite, Steve24833. Yes, everyone loves me. Anyhow, enjoy!
A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
An Article on some word stuff or grammar or whatever by Bucky
A Review of Dragon Ages by socialspider, reviewed by Seto.
The Christmas Poem the Hangover by Steve24833
A Special Section on Why You Didn’t Find Any Presents Under Your Tree by Steve24833
- In Newbie Central, Plelb shows up.
- In the Lounge, idiots argue about Muslims and Star Wars and the long site career of Patar comes to a close with his banning.
- In News and Updates, Bucky’s contest comes to a close, with Pugpup1 taking the win, BradinDvorak taking second, Mizal taking third and fourth going to Romulus, with special mention to several people who weren’t good enough to win and aren’t good enough to be mentioned here.
- In the Parlour Room, rapist Jeff makes his voice heard.
- In the Forum Games section, presumably people waste their time being idiots.
- In the Writing Workshop, EndMaster’s Christmas ANGZT trilogy is posted to the joy of all.
- In the Reading Corner, Dante’s Inferno is mentioned.
- In the Advanced Editor Forum, Mizal asks a question about variables for a game she’ll never complete.
- In the Feature Wishing Well, people bitch about items.
-In Bugs and Problems section a Warrior Cat emerges, having not only survived, but never even learning of the purge.
Featured Article – Word Bullshit by Bucky
Precise word choice can turn a dull piece of generic drivel into a beautiful portrait of vivid imagery. Think of each sentence as a snapshot of what’s happening in your story at that particular moment in time. We want to convey a clear image that our readers can formulate in their minds. Consider the following sentence.
The dog attacked the girl.
This is a very basic sentence, and it doesn’t tell us very much. We have no detail. This is the kind of sentence we would expect very young children – probably kindergarteners – to write.
If we ask five different people what mental picture they form from this sentence, we will likely receive five divergent images. Now let’s enhance the imagery.
The big dog attacked the little girl.
In this sentence, we added adjectives, which modify the nouns. This is still a basic sentence, but it shows a little more detail. This is the next level of writing young children reach, probably in the early grades of elementary school. Let’s continue to enhance the imagery.
The big dog viciously attacked the little girl.
In this sentence, we added an adverb, which modifies the verb. Again, this is a basic sentence, despite adding a little extra detail. We cannot form a universal mental picture from this sentence. This is still elementary school level writing. Let’s enhance the imagery even more.
The big dog viciously attacked the little girl, and she fell down into the mud.
In this sentence, we added a conjunction, which extends the picture. But does it really improve the imagery? We could just as easily convey this extra information in its own sentence. It serves to provide an extra snapshot, but it doesn’t reveal anything new regarding the dog or the girl. This is probably a late elementary or middle school caliber sentence.
We tried adjectives, adverbs and conjunctions, but none of them really brought about a strong singular mental image. So how do paint a clearer picture?
The German Shepherd leapt into the toddler’s arms, tongue lapping at her face, as they tumbled into the mud.
All right, I admit, I did you dirty, intentionally misleading you. But that’s the problem with relying on adjectives and adverbs to convey an image, if the nouns and verbs they modify are weak to begin with, they won’t do you much good. You can be “viciously attacked” in both a playful and a violent manner.
The German Shepherd launched into the toddler, teeth lashing at her face, as they tumbled into the mud.
A few deft word changes and we have a brand new, horrifying image.
Nouns and verbs are the heart and cornerstone of sentence structure in the English language. You want to choose the strongest nouns and verbs possible to convey the specific image you have in mind. “Attack” is generic. Don’t do generic. Be specific. If you use strong nouns and verbs, you can eliminate the vast majority of adjectives and adverbs from your writing, as they can become superfluous and add little to nothing of import to the imagery. In fact, they can detract.
The German Shepherd quickly leapt into the toddler’s arms, wet tongue lapping at her face, as they tumbled into the dirty mud.
Wow, we just butchered a great sentence by adding unnecessary clutter and meaningless words.
Can you really leap “slowly”? Probably not. “Leapt” already implies a certain aspect of speed, so we don’t need to modify that any further. Don’t treat your readers like morons. They’ll know a dog’s tongue is wet. We don’t have to spell that out for them. Dirty mud? Care to show me mud that isn’t dirty?
With strong nouns and verbs carrying the weight, most adjectives and adverbs don’t serve a purpose. Use them sparingly, and only where they create a clearer image. Don’t just throw them onto the page to bolster you word count or in a vain attempt to be fancy and flowery. The proper adjective in just the right spot can really pull a scene together, and if it’s the only adjective on the page, the image will stand out even more.
I strongly recommend throwing out all adverbs that end in “ly” from your stories. They work fine in dialogue and in non-story writing, but they rarely add anything to exposition or action. Often, people use them as a crutch to try to prop up weak verbs.
The man walked slowly down the street.
The man hobbled down the street.
In writing, less is often more. Paint your picture in as few words as possible with strong nouns and verbs.
Featured Review: Dragon Ages, a Fantasy story written by socialspider, reviewed by Seto
This story is exceptionally short at its length of 1/8 and while it is possible to make a short story with a unique, meaningful, and well-written, this is not one of those short stories. The "you are a newly hatched dragon" plot is not as overdone and played out as the "you are a kit in a warrior cats story" plot, but it still feels completely routine and dull.
There are occasional spelling errors and some of the choices are fake. Even the ones that are real just aren't very interesting. Characterization here is also basically non-existent. There have been lots of fascinating dragon characters in fantasy, but these are more like the ones you'd meet on the road in an RPG, with no name or backstory, and dispatch speedily before moving onto the next town.
Mind you, it isn't nearly as bad as about 98% of all Warrior Cats games this site has seen, with its 3/8 rating, but "choose your own boredom" is sadly rather accurate. It is, quite simply, not a good game. The only endings are short and rather uninteresting and always conclude with "you are dead." Fitting, I suppose, for a story that just doesn't feel very lively in the first place. For a first game, however, this was a decent attempt.
Sadly, as this story was published in 2011 and the author has failed to create any further works, I can only conclude that they didn't make any attempts to improve beyond this.
Overall, I agree with the 3/8 rating. Not awful, but still rather boring.
Featured Short Story – Hangover by Steve24833
To celebrate Bucky’s gay ballad and christmas, I have decided to have a Christmas Poem to celebrate the season. It is, by the broadest terms, a story.
It was a bright and early Christmas Day,
I had just woken up in my bed.
I had tried drinking my sorrows away,
So there was a miserable pounding in my head.
My brother’s atop me, yelling about some thing.
What a dumb, dopey, annoying little brat.
I’m not a big fan of my house being broken in,
Especially by a man old and fat.
My family is making a noise.
They scream out, loud and high pitch.
They laugh and they play with their toys.
Couldn’t they shut up, those sons of a bitch?
I’m hungover, I’m tired, I’m broken, half-dead.
I just want a small moment of peace.
I try desperately to crawl straight back in my bed.
I just want this damn nonsense to cease.
I didn’t even drink much I could’a drunk more, I could.
Though from three separate pubs I was barred.
I try roll over but am stopped by my wakening morning wood.
Oh look, I’m apparently hard.
God, I feel like shit, I’m dreadfully tired.
Because of girls I fucked more than my portion.
I’m going to deal with the dozen few kids I had sired.
I wonder if bleach can replace an abortion?
I try tell my family to shut it, but I can’t even mumble.
God, do my sheets smell of shit?
I try to stand up, but I trip and I fumble.
And in the fall it’s my hard on I hit.
I scream out in pain, but I manage to rise,
Now crying, tears streaming my face.
It hurts so much thanks to its hefy great size.
I’d be less teary if I’d be hit with mace.
I walk to the lounge to grab my what I got,
Hoping for money and Thieves,
My dad was sure bountiful in life with his lot,
I’m sure he’d a great gift up his sleeves.
I push open the doors, look around with a smile,
Spotting a bunch of presents with glee.
Yes, this is perfect, more than I’ve got in a while.
Fuck, what’d you mean it’s not for me?
You cunt, you douche, you dumb little faggot,
I need more gifts than this shit!
You assholes, you pricks, you gas-ass flesh maggots!
I’m soon to be throwing a fit!
I have two single fits, for my dad is an arsehole.
It looks like I got Jack and Shit.
I take out the other, a bland little parcel.
And they’re all lauging at me ‘cause I’m lacking my kit.
I tear through the gifts, one box revealing a rag.
I try yell but I only wheeze out a cough.
Probably thanks to the cigarettes that I’d drag
If I fuckin’ wore that I’d feel like a Toff.
The other box I open, thanks to the shape I can tell.
I already know the shit gifted to me.
My family’s trying to tell me they think that I smell.
Because they’ve given me some dumb toiletry.
I’ve gotten no gifts but a mouldy grey scarf
And a bottle of axe body spray.
The vodka’s coming back I so much want to barf.
This is really a fairly shit Christmas Day.
Special Section – Why You Didn’t Find Any Presents Under Your Tree
So, it turns out you found nothing under your tree. Ooh, sucks to be you. But why? What happened? Well, could be a lot of reasons. I’m going to take the time to go through why this could have occurred, as well as what you can do to deal with it.
You were naughy
The Occam’s Razor of potential answers. You were just too much of a dick to deserve presents. To solve this, you should try being nicer. Alternatively, steal others’ presents, because some fat prick with a beard doesn’t own you.
You were nice, but poor
Ooh, sorry about this one, bud. You were nice, I get that, but you’re too poor to get gifts. Look at your parents. Are they lazy bums or in a Capitalist system? If so, you’re poor. Solutions include win the lottery, work harder, or once again steal someone else’s gift.
You didn’t accept Jesus
What? You thought Christmas was secularist? It has Christ in the name! Shit, it’s Saint Nick who gives the gifts. Hell, in some cultures it’s literal Jesus or the Three Wise Men doing it. Convert to Christianity, or if you want some sick shit, sell your soul to Satan.
You’re in a culture without Christmas
Unfo… hang on, do you get this bit at all? How the fuck do you have internet access in a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas? Does such a place even exist? I doubt it.
You were robbed
It seems you’ve been robbed. Is the window broken? Is your family cryinging? Has one or more of your family members been killed or raped? If so, this may have been a home invasion. Probably from one of the first few people I advised.
You’re blind, so you can’t see the gifts under the tree
I AM THE VOICE THAT READS YOUR TEXT! HUMANITY IS WEAK! I AM STRONG!
The Grinch took your gifts
Ah, you’ve been Seuss’d. Pretty easy to solve, actually. Head up to the dark, cold mountain, find the horrible green corpse that went into brutal cardiac arrest and get back your gifts. Probably as well as someone else’s.
You’re actually outside under a random tree
You’ve actually wandered outside, got lost in a snowstorm and found a random tree dotting the forest. It’s too late to go home. Frostbite has taken you. Sleep. It will be over soon.
Well, you’re straight out of luck. Take a train in Germany and have a shower, my man.
Your parents just don’t love you enough
If there’s nothing there and your parents are neither surprised, poor or caring for your well being, too bad. Start campaigning for abortion rights. It won’t solve your issue, but it’ll mean other children won’t have to be born to parents who don’t love them. If abortion’s legal in your area, jesus, your parents must’ve wanted a child, but you were so awful you got them to hate you against all natural instinct. Fucking hell you’re shit.
You actually did receive gifts
There doesn’t seem to be a problem here.
Idea by Jaystarcat, Idea done better by Will11, article by Bucky, review by Seto, special section and short story done by Steve24833
Finally thank you everyone except Ford for taking the time to read this Review.
Other than the issues where I was interviewed, this is the greatest Weekly Review ever.
Fortunately, my family isn't cryinging about any stolen presents this year.
A rather different review than usual, but still an enjoyable read nonetheless.
There are other blind people on here?
There have been a few others in the past, but Mayana's the only one that really counts right now since she's been active on the forums lately.
Oh, I see. That's pretty interesting, and Mayana seems to be pretty cool so far. ^-^
And, you're welcome.
This is the kind of bitter, alcoholic cynicism that the Weekly Review needs more of.
What if I got Chanukah gifts? Do I still have to take a train to Germany and take a shower?
Ooh, I'm sorry, I don't speak Wrong, so I don't know what you're saying. Are you trying to say Christmas? Do you not understand how to spell Christmas? If you didn't get gifts for Christmas, yes, take a train to Germany and take a shower.
Well I mean, I also got Christmas gifts so maybe I don't have to take a shower? Please? I'll pay you in chocolate.
Woah! It's like a normal weekly review, but with more hatred! It's wonderful!
Just noticed that. Lol.
'In the Forum Games section, presumably people waste their time being idiots.'
Love you too, Steve.
He doesn't even know for sure.
Daaaaaaannnng *grabs popcorn*
Don't forget the soda.
I know, that surprised me too!
Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic :D It's really nice to finally be able to read the Review and not already know what is in it :D This is just the kind of new energy andhumour mingled with alcohol-induced rage and frustration bordering on the diagnosable at life's intricacies that the Review needs, really great job Bucky, Seto and Steve - it was hilarious. Gonna return to holiday mode for another week now :D