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Xan Shaw
June 3rd, 2007, 11:33 PM
Well, taking the plunge and asking more people what they think of Lockdown so far. There are 22 stories up of it at the moment and only dieties know how many more in my back pockets. If anyone has any opinions, let me know.

Should I have provided a link?

James Carmack
June 4th, 2007, 12:10 AM
Yes, you shuld have.

June 4th, 2007, 01:51 AM
Yes, indeed. Also, maybe some more description of what it is? A collection of shorts? A bunch of chapters? I'm curious, though.

Xan Shaw
June 5th, 2007, 12:16 PM
One link, as requested:


As for a brief description, Lockdown is a single narrative. It's the story of several guys in a tough situation and how they cope. There's a lot of jumping around from differant time periods in the story, trying to get an almost 'Lost' like perspective on the characters' pasts. I've had a few people commenting that it's awkward to read, although that's just my particular style.

So far, there are 22 chapters and the Intro up, the link is for the Intro. If anyone has any veiws, thoughts, comments or anything, let me know. Ta.

James Carmack
June 6th, 2007, 01:49 AM
A fine little bit of story you got here. Good premise, colorful narration, scads of political intrigue. Just from first impressions, I'd say you've got a winner here. (And since you've already posted tons of chapters, I guess there's nothing to stop me from going forward.) Good job.

*puts on lab coat and looks at clipboard*

I've got some bad news, though. The lab results have come in and you may not like what you're about to hear. Your narrative is a touch anemic. It suffers from comma-poor prose, you see. Your question mark count is low, too. I'm going to fill you out a prescription for a punctuation supplement and schedule an appointment with an editorial specialist. You'll have to make some lifestyle changes, but if you put out the effort, you'll be able to enjoy a decent quality of life. Now, go talk to the nurse out front so you can settle your bill.

Now for the quibbles...

Page 1
"Recitation" is an awkward choice for a narrator so earthy. Try something a little more common, like "story" or "deal" (the latter fitting in best with the refund bit).

"sponsored [...] over the dead world of Dee'Vak" Does this not sound a little odd to you?

"Space Station" is a generic term and shouldn't be capitalized unless it's part of a proper name. You don't capitalize "airport" when it's by itself, but you do when it's, say, "Heathrow Airport".

Page 2
As "No Man's Land" is not hyhenated, neither should "No Man's Space". Note the apostrophe, too.

Page 3
"Equal numeracy". What do you think that means? Disregarding the fact that "numeracy" seems to be well outside the vocabulary of our narrator, it doesn't make any sense. Although "numeracy" can be a noun form of the verb "numerate", we've already got a noun that performs that function. It's called "number". That being said, in usage "numeracy" is a buzzword for "numerical literacy", i.e. math skills. I'm glad that we don't have one embassy in Algebra III while the other is in Calculus II. I mean, once an embassy masters integrals, diplomacy goes out the door. As I'm guessing you meant "number", I then must ask why. Why would you need multiple embassies in one location? You might have an expansive compound, but not multiple ones. Consulates are another story, but a space station like Neutral 3 is too small for that as well.

Page 4
When talking about a bilateral war, you use a hyphen, not a slash. It'd be the "Lorst-Ragnor War". Note the capitalization of "war". For a real-world example, consider the Russo-Japanese War.

You wouldn't capitalize "eighteenth" unless you said "the Eighteenth Lorst-Ragnor War".

"The Fresh Declaration of Hostility". That's one for the history books, I'm sure. Drop the caps.

"Capital ship" shouldn't be capitalized. Ironic, I know. Same goes for "war cruiser".

You can back-engineer, but no one says "backwards manufacture".

And there you have it.

Xan Shaw
June 6th, 2007, 11:42 AM
Thanks for your input, dude. As you say, I've got twenty or so chapters up already, and I think I've got about thirty or so stored away somewhere. Lockdown is due for a huge overhaul, I just thought I'd gather some opinions first.

As to your question about my questionable use of the word 'numeracy', it in fact referred to to number of people stationed at each Embassy, not implying that there are multiple embassies (as you said, what would be the point?) It was an odd way round of saying it, I agree, but if you read on yo'll notice I have an odd way round of saying a lot of things. However, if people don't get what I'm on about, I guess I really should change it.

As for the rest, well, I live by the philosophy of 'If in doubt, Capitalise'. Thanks again.

James Carmack
June 6th, 2007, 09:04 PM
Like I said, "numeracy" is most widely used as a buzzword for "numerical literacy", even if it is mostly limited to mathematical circle, and I strongly advise against it. I didn't conclude that "numeracy" was supposed to mean the number of personnel and I doubt too many others will either.

"When in doubt, capitalize," eh? Well, I suppose there are worse rules to live by. As the people in my neck of the woods don't know to capitalize all the words in a proper noun, the universe has to balance out somehow. Personally, I thought the Germans were doing enough. :P

June 9th, 2007, 12:29 PM
I typically hate first person, but I like it here. There is enough character in the phrasing that I actually like it here.

"I don't know what they looked like or if this isn't some pile of shite I'm about to spill for no reason other than you asked me too." - I think in the second sentence you're implying that he's not sure if it actually happened? Might want to add something to clarify it...I didn't quite get that at first and had to think about it.

It all started at Neutral 3. Well, no, actually it started before that, but I'll tell you about 3 first. - again, good use of first person.... when people recall something, they very rarely start at the beginning, even when they intend to. I did that just this morning in trying to talk about a dream I had XD

"Found me a Space Station. I'm keeping it. Need one of those Neutral Declaration thingies."

Just like that, brazen as can be. And before anyone can sit back and say, hang on... FOUND a Space Station? Like it fell out the back of someone's jeans? - That cracked me up XD

Then picture a pencil. Take said pencil and ram it up and through the cock of the shuttlecock. Hehe, I said cock. - XDDDDDDDDDDDDD again, great characterization here. I can totally see having a conversation with this guy in the bar. I'd delete the "nevermind" though...in a stream of conversation people will throw out a 'hehe I said X' and then just continue on. Most people don't say 'and now back to the story' unless it's a long digression. I'd also say "That's Neutral 3" rather than "that's what it looked like"... stronger that way.

Good job at describing the place while still remaining realistically in first person.

I'm reading Korsneakian as Kor-sneaky-in...which sounds kinda silly ^_^;

Lets face it, - Let's

all their stuff. - even though it's casual first person, I'd pick a stronger word than "stuff," stuff also makes me think of a kid saying "hey, you took my stuff!!"

What's that? Oh no, this was a while before the Arc showed up on the scene. - I like that, showing he's in conversation with another person. The 'you didn't know?' part right before that comes off a little too much like 'I realize the audience has no idea about this world, here's an excuse to explain it,' not natural enough. Not that I have any better ideas for it -_- that's a tough thing to work around.

At this point it's getting really impersonal. I'd like to know more of what the narrator was involved with during this time--did he know the guy that owned the spacestation? Was he one of the people that fled to it? What's his stake in all of this? Why does he care enough about it to be telling someone at the bar? You had me really hooked in at the beginning but as it went on I got lost in the impersonal details.

Xan Shaw
June 9th, 2007, 08:03 PM
Well, the thing with the narrator is that I didn't want to delve too deeply into his personal self, as he wouldn't be appearing in the story and from the end of the introduction it reverts to third person for the rest. If you were wondering, his name is Byron (if you read part 32 you'll see his only cameo appearance in the story).

The impersonal details are very impersonal, but I felt they needed to be known. I have to fill in the good readers on this little galaxy of mine somehow, right?

Korsneakian was originally supposed to be pronounced Kor-snee-AK-eyan, but when a friend of mine pointed out the 'sneaky' sound in the middle (I guess I just hadn't realised) I decided to leave it like that for a less 'typical sci-fi' feel to it. And it meant I didn't have to change it on all my documents.

Thanks for your input! Please, continue to read the rest if you should so feel bored enough to do so.