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"Is Johnny drunk?"
-Mark4




#1 [166827]
dblt-74-209-36-19.gtcom.net
Approved! Now to read.
#2 [166828]
dblt-74-209-36-19.gtcom.net
Set the mineral nodes on fire? rofl.

There were some aspects I thought detracted from the report, but mattz will probably hit those. If not, I'll elaborate later. For now, I'll just say I enjoyed it.

Gave it an eight.
#3 mattzarella[166832]
c-71-195-89-107.hsd1.pa.comcast.net
Read it, but I'm on vacation so I don't really have the time to leave my usual essay-esque comments. I'll leave it up to Maar to critique for now and I promise I'll rate/comment in depth when I get home. :-)
#4 Threefold[166833]
ool-457a7589.dyn.optonline.net
Thanks for the 8 Maar :D, and yes Mattz I'm looking forward to your term paper.
#5 mattzarella[166839]
245.165.8.67.cfl.res.rr.com
I loved your "Becoming a Better Zergling" report, so I was really excited to read this. I'll start with the negative.

Some of this was tantalizingly close to frat house humor. I understand that your firebat narrator is a good ol' boy with a dirty mouth, but too much "fuck" this and "shit" that and a report really starts to read like a hazing ritual at Alpha Omega Delta. I think you can afford to tone down the language - not because it's offensive, but because it starts to have less impact the more you do it. I don't know if you've seen much theatre, but I think an appropriate analogy is a poor actor who tries to play an angry character. They assume that since the character is angry, they have to deliver every line as if they're going to explode with rage. They'll yell and throw things and generally ruin the character because the lines where their real anger should come out are lost in the midst of the shouting. I think you can tell your stories and keep it subtle until you really want to knock the readers out with either some vulgarity or some humor.

I felt that the report also lacked a sense of direction. Great reports, just like great novels and movies, have all the basics right. They have a beginning, middle, and end; even if it's convoluted, the reader always understands what the conflict is and when the story is coming to a climax. I think your report lacked those elements which make a story really compelling. I don't think you executed the stories improperly, because they each had definite beginnings and ends, but as a whole the report really didn't go anywhere. Again, I think this isn't so much an error or mistake as it is just a poor choice of report formatting. Telling 5 stories, one after another, that are at best tangentially related does not really make for an exciting read, no matter how well put together those stories are. Which brings me to my next point...

Your stories were desperately trying to make us laugh. This is another problem with the report's format. There is a lot of pressure on you to write hilarious material, because that's all the report is - just a bunch of funny stories. You have to be funny, or this report will have no appeal. There isn't a battle between two players to fall back on if your humor fails, there isn't a cool new game that we can ooh and aah at if you land a couple of jokes flat. It has to be unadulterated humor, and that's probably why your stories felt so forced. When I was on the plane yesterday, there was a guy who was really, desperately trying to make people laugh because our flight had been delayed. You know people like this, I'm sure. They just end up being awkward and make everyone uncomfortable. Again, this is not necessarily a technical fault on you but an overall poor choice of format.

Now, the positive. . .

I LOVE your pictures. The ones from Zergling are great as well. I think if you spent a lot of time on them, it shows, and if you didn't, good for you - you're a whiz.

HTML was nice. White on black never gets old. Well, never say never, but it hasn't yet. Nice and clean.

Your commitment to the southern dialect was impressive.

Overall, I liked your Zergling story more. I felt that it was funnier and not nearly as forced. I think if you consider where you want your stories to go and maybe give them a little bit more of a backstory, an overall cohesion, they'll become much more involved reads. Don't be afraid to make an actual work of fiction out of your reports instead of a grab bag of entertaining stories. Remember that when your report relies on one aspect of your writing, such as humor, there's a very good chance that it can fall on its face even if you are a talented writer. Be careful about putting your eggs in one basket, and all that jazz.

7
#6 [166848]
user-142o1pd.cable.mindspring.com
hey this is quality, nice pics, reports like this give me motivation to finish the new site!
#7 [166850]
user-142o1pd.cable.mindspring.com
Posted news about this report.
#8 Threefold[166851]
client199-135.wireless.newpaltz.edu
Thanks Maareek, Mattz, and Johnny for the positive feedback & front page post :)

Mattz - I really enjoyed your criticism. It was very thorough and it touched upon many of the issues I was concerned about as I was writing this "report." I certainly agree with your critique on the cussing - it was definitely excessive, which didn't allow for any singular "BANG" for the reader. Instead, as you noted, the story did feel a bit forced and even frat-like at times. In honesty, I did not plan out or draft this report at all. It was essentially an improv session in which I tried to get as many cheap laughs as possible. I actually focused more on the pictures than on the text, wherein I would photoshop a scene prior to composing the corresponding story.

Next time, I will certainly keep your advice in mind, regardless of weather it's a comedy or a more serious project. Again, thank you very much for the criticism. I really appreciated it.



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