Thread: Chasing Rotom
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:58 PM
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Elrond Offline
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Default Re: Chasing Rotom (WIP)

Exposition:

The Exposition is, to be precise, the point at which each of three main components of the story are exposed (hence the term). These components are Main Characters, Setting, and Plot.

Main Characters: There are basically two main characters, both of whom are introduced in some way during the beginning of the story. The first, and the one that I’m gonna concentrate on here, is Taylor. Obviously, he’s the protagonist of the story, so it’s fitting that he should be described here early on. However, there are a few things that were missing, or weren’t quite up to par. You took the space of a paragraph to describe his appearance, though it was kind of bland. You also gave me very little information to go on as to his personality. It’s also important to remember to create a personality for your characters early on, so that later in the story, the reader will understand why he or she does certain things or makes certain decisions. I’ll go into this more a little later on.

Setting: Again, you described the original setting with quite a few adjectives, but they were rather mundane. I think I counted the word ‘brown’ three times in the second sentence. Instead of saying ‘brown, almost beige,’ or ‘dark brown,’ try to think of more descriptive ways to describe the shade. ‘Dark brown’ could be ‘chocolate-colored‘, ‘sienna‘, ‘the color of coffee grounds.’ Similarly, you used ‘elegant red and gold’ to describe the color of both the rugs on the floor and the blanket on the bed. Repetition may be a useful device in poetry, but in a story, it’s much more advantageous to mix it up a little more. On top of all that, I never actually found out where the house was until much later (I assume it’s in Pearl City).

Intro to Conflict: I’ll be perfectly honest; the introduction to your plot felt really, really hackneyed. Taylor’s father is dying, and suddenly he reveals his deepest, darkest secret that Taylor actually has a brother… Given the plot of the story, this fits well enough, but in my personal opinion it just didn’t seem that original. And I also found it strange that the excuse for giving up Joshua was that Taylor’s parents didn’t have enough money to support two kids when the intro made it seem like Taylor’s dad was the freaking Godfather… or they at least were very, very well off and came from a well-to-do family. But maybe I just misinterpreted the beginning.

Plot:

As I’ve mentioned, I really didn’t like the way you introduced the plot. However, I’ve already talked that to death, so I’m going to focus on the real meat of the plot here. The introduction aside, I thought this was a very strong storyline, and quite original. My problem is that you didn’t really develop it much. I mean, after Taylor meets his little brother, the whole thing is basically Taylor chasing after Joshua as little Joshy destroys everything in his path. Not only was the pace a bit too fast, but there really weren’t any curveballs in there. It seemed like Taylor knew exactly where he was going every step of the way, and there was little to no suspense. I mean, the second you mentioned that Joshua talked to the TV a lot, I put two-and-two together with the title and knew exactly what was going on. Part of this has to do with your description, which I’m going to go into in a minute.

Character(s):

Obviously, there are two main characters here, Taylor and Joshua. The one I’m going to focus on more is Taylor because there are some important things to be said about him. My problem with the way you portrayed Taylor is that you gave him very little personality, if any at all. A character’s personality is generally revealed through the way they feel about different situations they’re put in. One part I marked specifically for myself was the point right before Sister Rose opens the door to Joshua’s room and Taylor is about to see his little brother for the very first time. And yet, you showed me no emotion whatsoever on Taylor’s part. How did he feel? Nervous? Scared? I mean, he’s already been given big hints that there’s something sinister going on with his brother, so those two emotions would be perfect for the situation, yet he feels nothing, as far as I can tell from what you wrote. In fact, the only time that Taylor really shows any emotion was at the very end when he confronts Rotom.

Another point I would like to make here had to do with two characters in particular: Jamie and the security guard that helps Taylor towards the end. These two characters have incredibly minor parts in the story that really wouldn’t have been missed if they had been left out. When you bring a character to the forefront, you need to make sure they have an important purpose and a background that you can develop as the story moves on. Otherwise, the characters stick out like sore thumbs. Believe me, I’ve done it myself on occasion, and it doesn’t help the story much.

Detail/Description:

As I’ve already mentioned, I think, your description throughout was lacking in quality rather than quantity. For this story, what you really lacked were adjectives that would contribute to a specific mood. In the introduction, for example, you should have chosen words that would give the bedroom a terribly miserable atmosphere. I hate to suggest that you do a complete renovation of the room, but consider this: Which would you find more fitting for a death scene; a room with red and gold carpets and drapes, that clearly belongs to a wealthy man who probably lived a pretty happy life, or a really dimly lit bedroom with black drapes, dust on every picture, and peeling grey wallpaper? Then, you could add in a few women crying silently into a handkerchief, and a couple of men standing around the bed, looking as if they’re about to tear up themselves. Again, characters’ emotions factor very heavily into the mood of a story, but you largely left Taylor’s emotions out of his talk with his father… you didn’t even mention him crying until the very end of the scene. This whole tirade about creating a mood goes for the scene where Taylor is running through the burnt building, which I imagine would have been quite scary, like a horror movie where you know the killer is about to pop out from around a corner, you just don’t know which corner he’s behind.

Also, you need to think about scenes where you should add in masses of description to really drag them out. One that you succeeded well with was the one where Joshua uses his powers to push Taylor up against a wall and torture him. However, another place where I think you should have really put everything into slow motion was when Taylor loses control of his car and drives off a cliff. That’s the kind of thing that could easily take up a page on its own if you really drag it out, which is what you should do with intense scenes like that.

Grammar:

Given that this was going for a Demanding Pokemon, I feel no guilt at getting a little nitpicky. I’m not going to grade you too harshly on this grammar stuff, it’s mostly just to help improve the way you write.

Quote:
Taylor’s father had been diagnosed with an extremely deadly tumor and was about to pass on, everybody was taking turns saying their final goodbyes to him.
This sentence is actually two independent clauses smooshed together. An independent clause is basically something that could work on its own as a sentence. In this case, you could’ve turned the comma after “pass on” into a period and capitalized “everybody” and you’d have two different sentences. When you join independent clauses like that, you should either use a semi-colon (in place of the comma you used), or put a conjunction (in this case, ‘and’ would work best) after the comma.

Quote:
“It’s nice to meet you sister rose,” he said…
You did the same thing earlier on, too, I just didn’t mark it. First of all, Sister Rose should be capitalized, secondly, whenever a character addresses another, you always put a comma before and after the name of the person they’re addressing, if applicable. In this case, you should have put a comma at the end of ‘you.’ Had the sentence read “‘Sister Rose, it’s nice to meet you,’ he said…” then as you can see you would’ve put a comma at the end of the name.

Also, remember that the names of items (like Potion and Pokeball) and attacks (like Giga Impact) should always be capitalized. I noticed more than a few places where they weren’t.

However, your grammar was fine on the whole.

Length:

This was fine for the requirement, but if you had really developed the plot, it would’ve been much longer. :o

Battle:

I thought the battle was alright. I won’t go into too much detail here, since there isn’t a lot to say. However, I expected this battle to be a lot longer. 5k for a Demanding Pokemon that has been described as so incredibly powerful throughout the story seems quite short; it should‘ve been at least 10k characters, to be honest. . All of Taylor’s Pokemon are fully evolved, and really should’ve lasted a lot longer, as should Rotom. To make it brief, you need to use more attacks and describe in more vivid detail. There isn’t much else to say.

Outcome:

Overall, the story just wasn’t strong enough, so I have to say Rotom not captured. If you want to catch the little bugger, I would suggest that you go back and change some of your descriptions, or add some, so that they become more lifelike, give Taylor more emotions, and definitely lengthen the battle. (Fixing the grammar mistakes I found and looking for similar ones helps too). Put any additions or changes in bold so that I can see what you did. Your story was fairly well done, but just not good enough. If you work at it, I know you can improve. I look forward to your PM asking for a regrade. :)
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Quote:
SotaOMG (10:05:46 PM): i think stunky is sexy
iamnotyou11 (10:05:54 PM): Soda stop being gay
supermonkey07@cox.net (10:06:03 PM): ironic statement?
<URPG>
I can probably take some grading requests now. But don't all rush me at once. :/
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