A Conversation for The Alternative Writing Workshop

A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 1

Tibley Bobley

Entry: The Plague of Locusts - A48948709
Author: Tibley Bobley - U170471

As dmitri's already bagged the bomb, I've decided to abandon my first stretch (the Bikini Atoll bombing) and try something else.

I reckon The Plague of Locusts is a famous event. Everyone's heard of it, haven't they? If not, I'll find myself in the excellent company of the very respectable LLWaz and David B - because this is the one I'm submitting.

smiley - smiley


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 2

Array

I see no reason why you shouldn't write about a plague of locusts. Everyone's heard of them - from the Bible onwards.

This is certainly dramatic - there is a lot happening in your picture. And the idea of having locusts land in your hair is horrifying. smiley - yikes

However, I don't get one clear image from this, but a number of small images. If you think of the piece as a picture, to what is your eye drawn? In your last piece it was the mushroom cloud. Maybe you should reshape this a bit, so that the huge cloud of locusts descending on the village is clearly the centre of attention.


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

Locust plagues are certainly famous and recurrent. One I can think of in modern times is the attack at the Great Salt Lake after the Mormon arrival.

I have personal experience with the horrible things.

The ones I know have green bodies and huge, red eyes. They were obviously planted by hostile extraterrestrials. They give me the creeps. I was stuck for a weekend once in a cabin in the woods during the 17-year-locust plague. Not fun.

This is vivid.

I thought I would never say this to you, but could you consider removing the scientific word 'biomass' from the description? I think it detracts from the effect of the moment, which is the personal reaction of people who don't think about things like biomass.

Just a thought, anyway.


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 4

Danny B

I don't think you need to worry on the 'famous enough' score (or on the writing score, for that matter!) smiley - smiley

The word biomass didn't strike me as as odd, but then I am a New Scientist subscriber, and they talk about it all the time..! I did, however, think 'laser-blue' was a little odd. I know blue lasers now exist (hence Blu-Ray DVD), but when I think of lasers I think of red.

smiley - cheers


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 5

AlexAshman


This is good and covers the human element of the picture well. I'd say keep the biomass, but lose the laser (they come in lots of colours) smiley - smiley


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 6

Tibley Bobley

Thank you mVpoet, dmitri, Danny and Alexsmiley - smiley

I've done a few edits. Hope it's a bit sharper now.

Those insects they call "17 year locusts" aren't locusts at all dmitri. They're cicadas. They don't belong to the same order as locusts (locusts belong to the order 'orthoptera' and cicadas are 'hemiptera'). They call them locusts because they form massive swarms. But they don't even swarm like locusts. They live below ground for 17 years, sucking on roots, then emerge just long enough to mate and deposit eggs. Then they all die without having munched so much as a single blade of grass. They do make a helluva racket thoughsmiley - laugh

The locusts in my picture started off green, when they were just solitary grasshoppers then, when they became gregarious, they changed to yellow and black hoppers, and then they changed colour again when they matured to become fliers. They must look like any farmer's worst nightmare when they're swarming all over the fields, eating every bit of herbage in sight. Swarms can number several billion individuals and cover half the continent of Africa. They're a scourge. But viewed in isolation from the destruction they cause, they're actually very beautiful and completely fascinating.

smiley - smiley


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 7

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

Ah. I knew those 17-year locusts didn't eat anything, but I didn't know they weren't locusts.

That explains my terror, though: I am phobic in regard to cicadas and grasshoppers. *shudder*

It's still a good description.smiley - smiley


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 8

frenchbean

smiley - ok I love the airforce image: the enormity of it suddenly hit home when I read that one word. Great stuff smiley - smiley


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 9

Tibley Bobley

smiley - cheers

smiley - smiley


A48948709 - The Plague of Locusts

Post 10

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

Those of you who have bothered by the 17-year locusts or cicadas might be interested in seeing this:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-brood-x-us-cicada-infestation-coming-in-2021/

And, yes, there are differences between locusts and cicadas, though they can occasionaly be confused one for the other.


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