Friday, 25 October 2013

Comments on Hopeful Traveller's version of "Hidden Underground"

Comments on hopeful traveller's version of the story at this site.

Title page: Is "On the Run" meant as a subtitle?  The plot summary doesn't say an awful lot and is a bit incoherent - it might be better omitted.

Copyright notice: I'm not a legal expert, but is there any legal entity called "The Tube Challenge Forum" to which copyright can be assigned?  As I understand it, copyright automatically lies with the original authors.  They need to be listed somewhere - I've got a list of screen names but we should get everyone's actual name.

p. 2/3: You've included both my introductions in full so some of the information is duplicated.  We don't need to say twice that the story includes all 270 Tube stations.

p. 4: "new innovations": remove "new" as an innovation is new by definition.
"next up on the BBC Radio Kent": remove "the".
"the show drew in thousands of complaints": why?  Perhaps Gillingham had just been knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal.

p. 5: "the government went as far as to nationalise the birds": I'm not sure why you've added this.  I suppose there's an issue over who the birds originally belonged to, since Wes must have stolen them from someone.  I'd vaguely assumed it was a Royal Park and they were the Queen's property but we do need to think about this.  Maybe he could steal them from a zoo?

p. 6: Trains don't go from St Pancras to Oxfordshire (this is a flaw in the original rather than your adaptation). 
Might be neater to name Colin as soon as he's introduced.

p. 8: "walking up and down Oxford": they were in rural Oxfordshire, not the city of Oxford.
"the doll": RobbieM has pointed out to me that it might be better to capitalize this and perhaps put it in quotes (it's presumably the name of a pub).
"their car came to a sudden halt, finding themselves...": this is ungrammatical.  Change to "...and they found themselves..."

p. 9: "Colin and Stan managed to convince him to go through with it": go through with what?

p. 12: "The women of the chorus" (etc.): difficult to get the phrasing right here.  How about "the women of the chorus only sold handbags with nice curves, letting the men of the chorus sell square ones"?

p. 13: "After we finished playing hoopla" (etc.): those words are presumably spoken by Don, not Colin.

p. 14: "Handily, an orange tree was growing right beside them": again a problem with the original rather than your version, but oranges don't grow in Norwich.  Maybe change to apples?

p. 15: "the coats malfunctions": should be "malfunctioned".

p. 16: "as the scout leader's car was a two-seater": why do we need this?  He'd taken Mrs White home to Norbiton - he wouldn't have taken the boy scouts there as well.

p. 18: "John replied in Lancastrian tones": should be on the same line as "I come from Chorley".

p. 20: why start a new chapter in the middle of a conversation?

p. 22: "the police turned": shouldn't this be "the police turned up"?

p. 23: "Then Don, central to the plot, was in prison": this doesn't really make sense.  I think the original was "then Don, central to the plot, made a surprise reappearance", which seems better to me.

p. 25: "There he got into the getaway car": where?  Perhaps better to start "Outside the prison, he got into..."
Again, maybe better to name Ken as soon as he appears?

p. 27: "the searing British heat".  In Manchester????  I'm not entirely sure why you've removed my original reference to "the qualifying heat", which would seem to fit the context better.
"interrupted the Dutch jury": what, all of them at once?

p. 28: "Suddenly he realised why Don might have these feelings for him. They were trying to rehearse...": the way you've written it makes it looks as though these two statements are connected.  New paragraph required at "they were", I think.

p. 29: I think it would be better to have Richard watching the final than the semi-final.  I suggest you move this paragraph to after "as they were led away", and rewrite (e.g. "the day had come for the final.  Back in London, Richard was avidly watching on television as Ava...")

p. 35: "John was so happy": not sure why you've repunctuated.  I originally wrote "John was so happy he wanted to clap: 'Ham'.  Northerners like him were used to plain food".

p. 36: "road worthy as any car": should be "roadworthy" (an error of mine that crept in, sorry).
"They then decided to go an a grand tour of the country.  It took them months": as I said on the forum, this is a bit silly.  Either rewrite the story so that Walt turns up a few months later, or (better I think) change the dialogue near the end so that they're looking forward to Ava's holiday in September.

p. 37: Title is misspelt - should be "The Monastery".

p. 38: "Roadworks on the M5" (etc.): again, you've altered my punctuation for no good reason that I can see.  Dr Foster's comments don't make any sense the way you've punctuated them - they're two separate remarks.

p. 44: Chapter ten is very short and could perhaps be combined with chapter nine (which is also short).  The title for chapter ten makes no sense anyway since it doesn't mention scouts, parking or prison!
"they had been going for months": omit as I said earlier.
"I don't think I know your surname, Ava, and do you prefer...": these were two separate sentences in the original.  I think it flows better without the "and".
"What's the date?": change to "When are you next on holiday?"
"...this time of year" will need to change to "...that time of year".


Rhys Benjamin said...

p5 - Nationalisation is possibly the best thing to say here (and I'd never thought I'd say that).

p6 - Can't really change that to be honest. I think it's better from a storytelling point of view to keep Colin's intro as it is.

p12 - It's super-important not to edit out Russell Square here. But I think the women selling the better handbags should stay. Actually, scratch that, your version will have to be put in, as I can't keep "chorus sell square" without it not making sense.

p16 - It was the only thing I could think of for the scouts being there. Now, I have it as they're waiting to be picked up by their parents (otherwise we lose Pimlico, Charing Cross, Victoria, and Perivale).

p20 - The subject of the conversation changes, and "I think you'll understand why" is a good place to end a chapter in my view.

p23 - The original was 'made a surprise appearance', which just seemed too cheesy to me. We have to keep in Hendon Central - Why not '[...] central to the plot, surprisingly turned up in prison.'?

p25 - Again, better to keep it for narrative effect.

p27 - Well, in Manchester, anything comes. I wanted to make the Eurovision scene a lot more accurate - so there's no such thing as a 'qualifying heat'. I think mine is better from an accuracy point of view.

p28 - I've taken the whole thing about Ken's revelation until between the British and German rehearsals. The original had in two paragraphs about the same topic (which I don't like), so the rehearsal was fused into one with 'then a startling [...]' moved until after 'the taxi driver from earlier on'.

p29 - I've not included Richard's house's location as I always assumed it was in Norwich!

New version:

Guy Barry said...

Some comments on your comments:

p5 - I don't understand how you can nationalize birds. Who did they belong to in the first place? I agree that the whole premise of "theft" needs to be sorted out though.
p6 - The St Pancras/Oxfordshire thing has bugged me for some time, but I think I've got a way of dealing with it.
p6 again - Actually I think you've improved things by making Colin an unknown character rather than Wes's friend. Keep this.
p20 - That conversation does ramble on rather a lot. I think I'll add some material to the start of chapter five to split it up.
p23 - Your idea seems good - I just didn't like "then Don was in prison".
p27 - If you can take licence with the weather in Manchester then I think I can take licence with the Eurovision rules! And until recently there were "qualifying heats" (A Song for Europe/Your Country Needs You or whatever it's called now). I may rewrite that section.
p29 - I thought Richard lived in London, somewhere near Norbiton, since that's where he meets Mrs White. I certainly wrote the rest of the story as though he was in London. We need to clarify this somewhere.

Good work - keep it up!