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Our "great" Adventure


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(Hey guys, here's something I wrote that I am rather proud of, I thought I'd share it with you all and hopefully get some feedback.)


As I walk along the battlefield, delivering a message to my captain, I scan the ground around me. There are massacred and mutilated bodies, some burned to blackened heaps by flamethrowers. Skulls crushed on the ground, and bodies with faces contorted in sickening pain. They are all dirty and wrecked, some I can hardly distinguish from the decimated landscape around them. These, these are the young men who smiled at the thought of the adventure of war, who cheerfully waved to their mothers goodbye, confidently promising to be home before Christmas. These bodies I find, never more than seven feet apart, are what is left of those lively young men. I have watched horrors beyond imagining. Today, on this very field, we were charging from a trench. My friend leaped out of the trench, only to be beat brutally by a German soldier. He shot and killed the soldier, and was immediately torched by a flamethrower. I think his body is over there, by that bloodstained rock with the deformed body lying over it. This war is worse than any nightmare I could ever conjure up. About a week ago, the Germans used mustard gas, I stood, shocked, horrified beyond belief, as some of our troops, unable to retrieve masks in time, tripped and stumbled, gasping and hacking, choking for a breath of something other than the terrible poison that had been released upon us. As I watched this, there was suddenly gunfire, as the Germans, equipped with gas masks, approached, killing those of us lucky enough to survive the gas. Then they started the flamethrowers, and the thick air, which was difficult to see through, was brightened for us, so that we could see those who were still choking on the gas, and watch more of our own being torched and shot. Of course we fought back, but they had the advantage, and we lost that trench, only to gain it back today. This is not what we signed up for, we all joined this horrific war for the adventure of our lives, not to have imprinted into our minds the freakish and inhuman torture inflicted upon those on the battlefield. I know what this message I am delivering holds. I of course did not read it, as I am not supposed to, but the one who gave it to me to deliver to my captain stated as he handed it to me, “Here, deliver to your captain the good news that all is going well on your front.” Now, as I think back on those words, I wonder how he could say that all is going well. Perhaps we are pushing the Germans back more than they are pushing us, but let him spend a day on the fronts that hold these horrific inhuman tortures, and he will see that, no matter the outcome of this war, nothing went well. The truth is, this war is ######, and none of us will make it out alive.

Edited by Jowm

http://www.bzpower.c...?showtopic=5700 - My new epic revealing the life of the interesting character we all wish we could have known better before he left us, Karzahni.


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  • 1 year later...

Official SSCC Charity Review


Before I get into details, let's talk basic mechanics. You're young, and I understand that you're probably just getting into the really technical aspects writing, but it's very good to understand these because they give you a step up in high school writing.


I mainly want to discuss paragraph breaks. Upon first glance, a wall of text seems very intimidating and might deter readers. The best way to take care of this problem is to break it up into individual thoughts through the use of paragraph breaks. Here is a list of suggested paragraph breaks:


  • After "lively young men" and again after "horrors beyond imagining."
  • After "I could ever conjure up," thought the transition itself is a bit awkward.
  • After "to gain it back today."
  • After "'all is well on our front.'"


Now on to more content-based critique. One of the first things I noticed was that the narrator has time to stroll leisurely over the battlefield. I am assuming that this is World War I, based on the use of mustard gas and Germans. Trench warfare, in my knowledge, does not allow for such leisurely strolls out onto battlefields, because that it typically asking to get shot.


Secondly, captain in most armies is a fairly low rank and I would be surprised if he wasn't in the trench with the narrator. Whoever was asking him this message was likewise stuck in the trenches and probably knows what it feels like to be in the middle of the battle.


I see what you're trying to do here. War is a terrible, terrible thing, but the fact is that people talk about that all the time. I found it hard to really get into this story when the details were so vague. War tends to reduce people to lists of casualties, and I fear that is what happened in this story. I can't really grasp the horror of the main character's situation if they don't feel like a real person to me. What was his friend's name? Where did he come from? Does he have family back home, or perhaps a sweetheart? What does he sound like when he talks?


Secondly, I felt you limited yourself by restricting yourself to the visual medium. The scene presented in this narrative is should be felt across all senses, especially smell. Photographs can only portray so much, and that's where prose can fill in the gaps.


Lastly, historical fiction pieces really require that you do some research, even if it's just of the skimming variety. As I pointed out before, these can determine the details of the story, and details are what give a story life and flavor (though of course, too many of them can be cloying). I hope all my critique hasn't discouraged you and you will take this as an opportunity to improve your writing. Keep going, as always. ^^

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