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11 December 2012 @ 06:36 pm
Beta Request  
Before I venture out in the big scary world of The Rest of Livejournal, I thought I might inquire here to see if anyone was willing to beta/britpick or knew of a person who might be willing to beta/britpick a Sherlock story.

Story details below the cut.

Story Length: 16 chapters, approximately 3,000-4,500 words per chapter. About 55,000 words in total. Yeah. It's a big job.
Spoilers: Everything up to and including Baskerville. The story is presented as an alternate ending to series 2, as I couldn't work it in to the timeline and it felt extremely cruel to have it set in the future, after everything is well again. There are nods to Reichenbach in the character beats and some dialogue, but the events of it don't happen in this verse. This happens first and prevents it.
Story Outline: Sherlock is assaulted during an investigation, while John is away at a medical conference. The assault leaves him with a severe head injury. While his intellect and personality are intact, he's lost the use of his right side limbs (hemiparesis) and the ability to speak freely and coherently (expressive aphasia). The story revolves around his recovery, with the background element of the search for his assailant. My friend pointed out that this is basically John's story, and it is. It's his reactions and feelings as he tries to help Sherlock and deal with the Holmes family's 'help' and not go insane.
Triggers/Warnings: The story has an R rating, solely for swearing. There is some discussion of blood, injuries, trauma, depression etc. There is mention of past drug use. There is discussion, but no instances of, Do Not Resuscitate orders and removal of life support. Plus, some people may find the concept of being unable to move or speak freely upsetting.
Pairings: This is pure Gen, there are no pairings at all, with the exception of implied past-and-now-friends John/Sarah and canon one-sided Molly/Sherlock. Otherwise, it is friendship and epic bromance.
What I need: I'm pretty confident with plot and characters and the medical stuff involved, so what I really need is a quick read through for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. And probably the bigger job of britpicking and making sure I haven't used any crude Canadianisms or anything like that.

There is an excerpt of the story here, if you'd like to know what you're getting yourself in for.

I'd be happy to write a story or make graphics or build a small shrine to anyone who volunteers. Even a few people taking a chunk of chapters would work.

So if you are someone or know of someone who is or might be willing to help, please let me know. You can comment here or PM me, or send up the Writer Signal. Whatever.
aelfgyfu_mead: Sherlock and Johnaelfgyfu_mead on December 12th, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
If you're desperate, I could read it. I'm very good at grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but I'm a USian, so I'm not much use at Britpicking (though I do catch some things).

I also might not be terribly fast, as it's the end of term and I have a pile of grading that threatens to topple over and injure me (metaphorically, at least). Beta-reading would be a welcome break from grading, however, so I wouldn't put it off forever!

I must admit that I'm partly volunteering for selfish reasons: I read the excerpt you linked, and I want MORE MORE MORE!

Let me know if you want me. I won't be hurt if you don't; you'd be best off with an actual Englishwoman (or -man), I'm sure.
The Writer They Call Tay: MISC: Adam Hillsawanderingbard on December 12th, 2012 03:42 am (UTC)
Lemme see what sort of response I get. If the grammar and such is all done up, it might make less work for a Britpicker and be usefull all around, so your offer is very warmly received. There is no rush. I had originally hoped for getting it posted by Christmas, as the epilogue is Christmas based, but there was a delay withi writer's block and I think it's very unlikely now. So there's no deadline at all. I will let you know forthwith!
The other Weird Alaeron_lanart on December 16th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
I can Brit pick at least some of it (all of it as long as I don't get it in one go), and can also offer an opinion on medical stuff as it relates to the UK (seeing as I'm a nurse). One note that I would make from your summary is that I've always come across expressive dysphasia being used rather than expressive aphasia but then I don't work in that speciality (I'm in cardiology).

I'll be wanting to read it anyway so I might as well make myself useful. :)
The Writer They Call Tay: SHERLOCK: Mrs Hudson hugglesawanderingbard on December 16th, 2012 03:59 am (UTC)
Oh, that would be very cool! I have someone doing grammar for me now, so if you'd be willing to look over the chapters when she's done, I'd be very grateful. You can do it in chunks or I can send the parts that I think need it the most, or whatever.

My impression from my reading on it that dysphasia is a subset of aphasia, aphasia meaning the inability to speak and dysphasia meaning the inability to use the correct words. But just doing a quick Google brings up a BBC health site that seems to be using dysphasia for both things, so you're probably right. My mum is a nurse too, so most of my medical stuff comes from her.

Anyway, if you want to help that would be very cool. I'd feel much more comfortable if an actual British person read it before I posted and gave it the all clear.
The other Weird Alaeron_lanart on December 16th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
Very much willing to help. In chunks after the spag check would be fine.

Dysphasia is kind of used as a blanket term, often someone will progress from aphasia to dyphasia. What makes it very frustrating is the person knowing what they want to say but their brain not providing the words. Sometimes there is an element of physical dysfunction too due to inhibited muscle control of the face/tongue.
The Writer They Call Tay: SHERLOCK: Mrs Hudson hugglesawanderingbard on December 16th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
Great! I'll let you know when I have them back. :-)

Oh, I see. Yeah, I will change it in my fic then. I suppose it makes sense etymology-wise phasia=speech and a=lack of, where as dys=impaired. So aphasia is speechlessness and dyspahsia is improper speech. Wiki reroutes dysphasia directly to the aphasia page, so that might be what confused me. And now that I think about it, I remember my mum correcting an episode of House where they were using aphasia and she said it should be dysphasia. And I've just asked her now and she agrees. Nurses of the World for the win!

While I have you here, I was trying to find out if British hospitals have a code system for the PA/Tannoys to alert people of dangers? Like Code Blue for cardiac arrest or Code Red for fire? At my mum's hospital, they have Code Whites for patients who are out of control and require security to subdue them, but I couldn't find on Google if there was any similar system or what the equivalent might be.
The other Weird Alaeron_lanart on December 17th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
We don't have code colours and very rarely tannoy announcements, in UK hospitals, though most have a system of flashing lights and alarms within the ward at least, and sometimes outside the ward, activated by emergency pull-bells. We do have a standardised emergency number in most hospitals which is 2222, that you use to call the hospital switchboard and then specify whether the emergency is fire or medical.

Also in most hospitals in the UK is a system of scoring a patient's vital signs giving you a MEWS (Modified early warning score) in my hospital a trigger score means we make a call to our Medical Emergency Team (MET)in an effort to prevent full cardiac arrest (in the UK most people who have an in-hospital cardiac arrest die because they arrest with a non-shockable heart rhythm). We no longer have a separate 'crash' team in my hospital as the MET team have been so successful (32% reduction in cardiac arrests 18 months after implementation of MET calls).

Most hospitals still have a 'crash' team and don't have a MET set up, though I think more hospitals are looking into it.

Hope that helps!
The Writer They Call Tay: DH: Coming Alongawanderingbard on December 17th, 2012 04:52 am (UTC)
That is both useful and does not go against anything I've already written, so I am pleased. :-p

My dad used to be on the crash team. He's an RRT. When my mum was giving birth to me, he'd been on call and slept through almost the whole labour except for when they called a Code 99 (old code for cardiac arrest) and he woke up and tried to respond to it.

Also, both my parents used to inhale their dinners, even at home, because they were so used to being called back for an emergency during their dinner break.

Edit: I was just talking to my mum about the MEWS system and MET team and she hadn't heard of the former, but she says the MET team sound like the RACE team at the hospital she works at. Random fact for you there, :-)

Edited at 2012-12-18 05:23 am (UTC)