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Old 01-02-2011, 05:10 PM
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Elrond Offline
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Default Re: The Trio of a Deserted Playground

Introduction:

The prologue didn’t contain any information or events that were essential to the story. I know it seems like this was a dramatic way to start off the story: “this is where Pyros and Turab first met, and this is where they started it all!”… but at best it just comes off as cheesy. Prologues should contain something important to the plot, often foreshadowing future events. They should also be no less action-oriented than the rest of the story. For example, you could have cut out everything from the prologue except the flashback, which at the very least showed something happening.

Now, I’d like to talk about that flashback itself. Am I correct in assuming that the hurricane in the flashback is the same one that destroyed Winestrap Village? If so, that’s really the only part of the flashback that is at all relevant to the story. The way Turab rescued Growlithe doesn’t really matter in the context of the story because you don’t show it having an effect on their relationship or the events that occur in the story. One way to rectify this might be showing a more graphic description of how Turab rescued the Growlithe originally. For example, maybe Growlithe was trapped under a fallen log and Turab, despite being young and weak, exhausted himself in order to push the log off. Then, in the story itself, you could reverse the situation, with Growlithe using every ounce of energy, almost to the point of death, to return the favor.

That’s one example of how you could draw a connection between the prologue and the events of the story.

Now, for the future, keep in mind that you should begin your story by jumping right into the events. Then, lace information about the character and the setting into the action.

Story/Plot:

Well, it was alright, but based on this:

Quote:
NOTE: An attempt to Capture Zubat, which is a side Capture, I am aiming for the Trio (Elekid, Magby and Smoochum) So don't use the entire Character Count just for a Zubat please and thank you.
…I think you know that you’ve left off quite a bit of the story. The problem is, you never showed Turab going back to finish what he started with the elemental trio. This wouldn’t be a problem at all if you were attempting to capture the Zubat alone, and planned to continue the story in another installment which aimed for the three others. However, because you’re aiming for the trio along with Zubat, I have to be a little harsher and say that this story simply isn’t finished. Turab never overcame his main obstacle, the trio, so there’s a significant hole in the plot.

Because this is your first story, I’m not looking for a deep, suspenseful plot, but I do need to see that the story has a beginning, middle, and end that makes sense, and this story doesn’t have the ending that it needs.

Description/Detail:

I’ve just got a few things I’d like to discuss.

Quote:
"This good for nothing boy… all he ever do is dream of being an adventurer and a Pokemon Trainer! Him and that stupid puppy of his… he thinks that adventuring will bring him money and make him as reliable as he is now, not that he is anyway!" Mr. Stiffins said to him self as he was looking at Turab downloading the boxes from the truck into the storage-room.
There are two main problems with this paragraph. It’s true that you can use a character’s thoughts as a form of characterization, and this paragraph does show Mr. Stiffins’ personality. However, as the story is told from a limited third-person point of view—Turab’s point of view—it makes no sense for the reader to see Mr. Stiffins’ thoughts. Furthermore, the thoughts themselves are a bit unrealistic. I suppose I don’t speak for everyone, but I know that my thoughts aren’t constructed quite so neatly. Finally, seeing this part of Mr. Stiffins’ character is unnecessary to the story. He’s a very minor character, and all the reader really needs to know is that he’s Turab’s mean boss. The few times he yells establish that fact very well; Mr. Stiffins’ deeper opinions about Turab don’t move the story in any way.

Quote:
The apartment was kind of messy, there was food on the table, books on the sofa, soda on the television and clothes on his messy bed.
The first part of the sentence is unnecessary, because it’s vague. “Messy” could mean any number of things. Instead of telling the reader that the apartment was “messy,” it’s better to describe the mess itself. You did that shortly after, but the descriptors you used were not very vivid. You overused the word “was” here. “Was” is a form of the verb “to be,” which is often vague and can be replaced to create better images. I’ll rewrite this sentence without the first part, and without using the word “was” at all:

Quote:
Turab had to plug his nose as he walked through the apartment thanks to a foul odor wafting from the half-eaten sandwich on his dining room table. The already-cramped apartment seemed even smaller because Turab had covered every inch with clutter: The stack of books he had left on his sofa had collapsed, a soda can lay on top of the television in a small pool of sticky liquid, and Turab didn’t know if the pile of clothes laying on his bed had been washed yet.
Try thinking of other ways you could describe the mess in Turab’s apartment without simply saying, “There were...” or “There was…” Eliminating forms of the verb “to be” where they’re unnecessary, and replacing them with more descriptive verbs, can really help your story come alive.

Grammar/Style:

I noticed a lot of little grammar issues in this story, but there is one main one that I need to talk about first: tense. Most stories are written in the past tense; that is, the narrator is telling the story after it’s already happened. Some stories are written in the present tense, where the narrator is telling the story as it happens. The problem with your story is that you slip freely between the two. While I didn’t find myself confused at what was going on here, mixing the past and present tense in a story the way you did is grammatically incorrect and just looks sloppy. Here’s one example of where you did this:

Quote:
Turab has so many questions in his head as he went back to his lousy small studio-apartment on top of the store's roof.
Notice the two bolded words. “Has” describes something that is happening in the present, while “went” describes something that happened in the past. Based on context, both actions should be happening in the same time period, so which is it? Past or present? Once you pick whether your story is going to be in the past or the present, you need to make absolutely sure you stick with that choice. So, here’s the same sentence rewritten correctly twice, in either present or past tense:

Quote:
Present – “Turab has so many questions in his head as he goes back to his lousy small studio-apartment on top of the store’s roof.”

Past – “Turab had so many questions in his head as he went back to his lousy small studio-apartment on top of the store’s roof.”
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I also want to point out some smaller issues or places where you could improve your writing style. Don’t get too caught up in these, but do try to take them into account.

Quote:
On that boulder lied down a young man, he was in his early twenties.
The past tense of “lie” is “lay,” not “lied.” Also, I believe Turab was already laying on the rock when the narrator told about him, so the “down” is unnecessary.

Because “he was in his early twenties” could function as a sentence on its own, you also need a semicolon instead of that comma.

Quote:
“On that boulder lay a young man; he was in his early twenties.” – correctly written
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Quote:
Turab looked at her, and smiled, "Don't worry ma'am, I am so sorry to remind you both of that incident." The young Pokemon trainer said as he walked outside, towards the City Hall.
You put a comma after “smiled,” as if the quote was a continuation of that sentence, but that’s incorrect. Actually, the quote is the beginning of the next sentence, where you wrote that “the young Pokemon trainer said…” Therefore:

Quote:
Turab looked at her and smiled. “Don’t worry ma’am, I am so sorry to remind you both of that incident,’ the young Pokemon trainer said as he walked outside, towards the City Hall. – correctly written.
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Quote:
A huge beam was shot right straight at him.
This isn’t a grammatical error, it’s a problem with your writing style. This sentence is written in the passive voice, which means that the subject of the sentence, in this case “a huge beam,” is not the thing carrying out the action of the sentence, in this case “was shot.” I know you did this to keep the shooter a secret, but there are other ways to write the sentence that don’t reveal the shooter. Change the verb into something the beam can do. For example:

Quote:
A huge beam flew straight at him.
Now the subject (the beam) is doing the action (flying), so the sentence is in the active voice, which sounds much better.

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The last thing I’d like to point out are even smaller. First of all, you used the word “commenced” incorrectly quite a few times. “Commence” means “to begin or start,” but you used it in sentences such as “Growlithe commenced a Flamethrower attack,” where “commence” is supposed to mean “used.” Just stick with “Growlithe used a Flamethrower attack,” and leave out the word “commenced” from now on.

Finally, I think you need to proofread a little more. I saw one point where you used “play grown” to mean “playground,” then used “playground” correctly a sentence later. This is something you should have easily caught if you read through your story again.

Also, the way you colored every quote orange was really distracting.

Length:

32278 characters. More than enough for all four.

Battle:

The battle with Zubat seemed a little bit short, but I suppose you could make the case that it was already injured by the first Flamethrower Growlithe used while training. What I’m more concerned about is the battle with the trio – you know, the nonexistent one at the very end. I already mentioned in the plot section of this grade that you didn’t finish the story. Well, the reason we encourage a battle at the end of every story is to show that the character has overcome his main obstacle and put in some effort to catch the Pokemon he’s going after. But you never actually showed Turab overcoming that obstacle and rebattling the trio. There’s a whole lot of buildup, where Turab trains, and then… nothing.

Outcome:

Zubat captured, but if you want the trio, you need to finish the story and show Turab battling them. I can’t just allow you to leave such a hole in the plot. The entire plot leads up to the final battle, but that final battle isn’t there. You can PM me anytime for a regrade.
__________________

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. :/

Last edited by Elrond; 01-05-2011 at 09:16 PM. Reason: I was perusing the last grader wages and noticed that you wanted us to add an exact character count. So, yeah...
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