Author Topic: Buck and the Boulder A Memoir.(Working title 'Tales from the Pits') 1172 words.  (Read 3450 times)

Offline Shortcross

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I'd love to crit a poem. I've read loads on the two poetry sections, but it's an alien world to me. Some of the crits on there are mind-blowing. One day, I'll build up the confidence to write one and I'm sure the crit will tell me more about it than I knew myself :)

Shorty

P.s Update:  In that crit - I was saying you weren't pretentious! :-) (So - is that a valid use of the 'p' word?)

...

Offline bri h

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Ha ha. Yes. But still lock it away out of sight. Only to be used at the direst of needs.  ;D
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

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I'll comment as I read through.

Others have already commented on your random capitalisation - maybe look it up on Google. Otherwise it's an added distraction that does you no favours.

We hit water on one of the Coal-faces.
It was an Advancer I have no idea what this is, or whether the word 'it' refers to the coal face or the surge of water and 'and' suggests the two statements are connected in some way the roadway sloped up about a ¼ gradient I see no connection here—A bit like our very own Everest, rather desperate humour since it bears no resemblance to the actual mountain but without the Sherpa’s no apostrophe needed - but you already knew that.
Even without the added water, you were still soaking when you got inbye . . . with sweat.
In this particular Tailgate there was a swalley. You managed to lose me again here.
Swalley’s no apostrophe - it's a plural not a possessive are anything from a few mere tautology inches, to swimming pool size in depth. The depth of this swalley watta why the weird spelling all of a sudden? was almost over ya same question wellies.
What you had to do was walk inchy-pinchy on the tram-way, while feeling the rail under the water wi’ yuh You're not even being consistent - 'ya' or 'yuh'? boots.
Balance was maintained by holding onto the armoured cable strung up on the girders adjacent to the Tram-rail.


I'm already floundering. There's a lot of water - presumably some kind of flood caused when the underground watershed being breached when you cut into the coal face. But you labour the point until it's closer to gobbledygook than straightforward narrative. You also need to decide whether you're going to consistently write in standard English or vernacular (you already know my opinion on the second option). There's also a fundamental problem regarding the plot arc since the flood is placed on the back-boiler while you introduce Buck, etc. It might make more sense to start with him then introduce the swalley.
   
The Face-Overman on this particular face was a feller called John 'Buck' Rogers.
I assume I'm supposed to know what this term means. But I don't.
The rest of what follows is again you driving home the simple point that you didn’t get on but kept a respectful distance from each other.
 
I was just kinda removed from the general populace of the Face-Teams. I was on Refuge Holes no matter who manned the faces up. I had my own Gaffer, Billy 'Dima' Diamond. So I only had fleeting conversations with Buck. Sometimes 'Dima' would lend me to Buck if there was no one else available, but these occasions were few and far between.
Phew! This is such hard going. Face-Teams - Refuge-Holes. I realise you're writing these tales for a niche audience - ex-colliers presumably, but excluding the general reader through over-use of jargon (often for no obvious reason) again does you no favours.

I'd came out to the Deputies-kist WTF? for some gear I’d ordered.
As I drew near, I heard Buck dishing weekend overtime out. Obviously, there was none for me for I wasn't one of his ‘blue-eyed-boys’. Plus, if I wanted to work the weekends, I just came in.  So why does it matter what Buck was doing?
But when I saw Buck dishing the overtime out to his lads, for some reason I can't explain? I saw red. I still can’t remember why this rankled so much on that particular day?
It just did. I know. You've already told me - twice so far.
I burned with an inner temper that wouldn’t be assuaged. Unless . . . ?
And just like that an idea had struck me.
It was a do-er, alright, but it would take some planning.


Presumably there's some point behind this slo-mo build-up - the dramatic climax to the tale.  But not quite yet. . .

Well, I ask you? Gaffers aren’t supposed to show favouritism. Are they?
Well he did!
In spades.
And I wanted to knack him.
I must say now, I didn’t want to hurt Buck.
I just wanted a bit payback.
'Payback'? I say it now, and I can't fathom what the hell I thought I needed payback for? It's crazy. It's also a rather uninteresting ramble now. Get to the point.

I knew I was goin’ back up the tailgate to where I was working, while all the others were goin’ outbye to catch the Manset No comment - except that it's neither here nor there where the others were going as far as the plot is concerned.


I'll stop there. It's baffling why you take so many words to get from A to B. I'm also curious why almost every sentence is written as a separate paragraph.

You obviously intend writing this using the language you spoke when working down the mines - which is fine. But you go on far too long, repeating yourself or over-elaborating when most readers would rather hear the story. Unfortunately, it's all build-up and very little else. When the denouement arrives it's a damp squib. You decided to drop a stone next to a foreman who'd been treating you unfairly so that he'd get splashed in some water. Seriously? It's hardly 'Germinal is it?

Whinge over -  ;) - and welcome back.

H3K
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 10:01:59 AM by hillwalker3000 »

Offline bri h

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Thank you Phil for the insightful critique. Much appreciated.

Word to the wise. Don't open any pm's over the next few days. I may have accidentally 'tampered' with it.  ;D

You know I always look forward to your critiques. So you also know the above was written with tongue firmly in cheek. We've come a long way you and I. Thanks for your continued interest in my work. Bri.
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

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The message I was trying to get across is this - always consider your readers ahead of yourself. If you're writing this purely for your own pleasure that's not important. You can take all the time in the world to get from start to finish, commenting on anything and everything that takes your fancy along the way. But if you aim to share this with others you need to appreciate that every word has to earn its keep. Few readers will have the patience to humour an author's internalised dialogues when they start to interrupt the story or hammer home a point when there's no need. In my opinion you could cut out almost 600 words and we'd be no less the wiser nor would your style of writing be compromised. Story trumps all.

H3K
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 10:04:02 AM by hillwalker3000 »

Offline bri h

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Is this BOGOF Day or summat?  TWO crits? ha ha.

Thanks again Phill.

Another re-write I think? See you in a few weeks, or longer?
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

hillwalker3000

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I"m simply spreading the love.

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Offline Shortcross

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Well, I liked it. :)

(although - it was a bit mental)

Offline bri h

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Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline bri h

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Well, I liked it. :)

(although - it was a bit mental)


That's fine pet. So do I.  ;D
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx