An excerpt from my script review for Mosul which will be available 12/07/20:

3.) Quality of Characters


A hard as nails father figure to a band of vengeful soldiers in Iraq.

He’s tough. Mostly fair. And understands he can’t go back to his old life, nor does he care to.

The important point to take away from this is that he’s true to his character throughout the entire story.

Sure every once in a while he softens to his men when the fighting takes its toll on him, but he’s clearly defined.

That’s important for a reader and strengthens your story.


Then on the opposite end you have the “rookie” who reluctantly joins the force and questions the group’s motives, and understandably so.

This causes friction with Jasem, and the men who look up to him.

Friction is good, moves the plot along, and then gives your main character an arc that’s believable come fade out.

The other mentionable point here is the political hints sprinkled in that make characters feel “real”.

First, while under sniper fire, some of the SWAT members continue their afternoon prayers. It’s only a few, and they’re not preachy or judgmental to the others, but it makes for a moment arguing what they’re fighting for.

Second, when attacking the Daesh base they run into a group headed through the same kitchen. A fight then ensues.

One of the enemy soldiers is named Overweight, but has a British accent, exclaiming he’s from England and should stand trial there.

He never gets the chance…

Going back to my earlier point in the plot, it begs the question of just “who” was fighting on the Daesh side.

According to the story, the SWAT group is from this side of Mosul, so they’re fighting to retake their homes, even in the literal sense.

But were the opposition?

The final note is a word of caution on some of the generic character names.

Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely keep things generic for minor roles, but here some of the shit was very close and Carnahan seemed to run out of creative ways to deal with it.

Right from the get go we’re presented with DAESH FIGHTER #1 who’s chatting with a previously mentioned DAESH CAPTIVE #1.

At first I missed they were different people, assuming it was a typo, but upon rereading it made sense.

The issue is I had to reread it and other portions, something we’ll cover in the next section.

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