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Old 03-02-2011, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Christmas Time is Near {WWC Entry}

The Good

This is a simple 'go out and catch' story. I do like the twist that this is during Christmas Eve and the dad has to catch a Pokemon before Christmas.
Loved the joke about finding Wishmur all the time.

Your other grades mentioned spreading details throughout the story rather than all at once. I see good improvement with that here.

You also do a great job setting up the rest of the family. Having the twins hugging the Pokemon they are to receive gives the reader something to be emotionally attached to, and to hope that they both get what they want.

Effort for Pokemon:

Improve Upon

And now, a lesson on using Pronouns vs Proper Nouns. A Proper Noun represents a specific noun, such as your name. A Pronoun is used to replace a Proper Noun to avoid repetition, such as he, she, they, etc.

You start well by listing the names of each character. But then you get into a conversation between Mr/Mrs. Anders. When only two people are talking to each other, you don't need to repeat their name (Mr. Anders said…. Mrs. Anders said…). A simple he said-she said is all you need since the reader knows whom is talking to whom.

Shortly after, you introduce River to the conversation. Now it's two guys and one girl. It gets a bit trickier but easily manageable.
Use the dialogue to show who is talking without saying it. When Mr. Anders says 'Honey', we know River would never say that. We know Mrs. Anders says 'Ralph' and Mr. Anders says 'Sue' because a child would not call their parents by first name. When Mom asks River a question, the reader should be able to figure out that River is the ones answering directly after. However, in that case, using 'River' is fine in order to emphasize his name once more.

“River! What on earth are you doing up?” Mom growled, turning to her fifteen year old son. {'Turn on' is not a direction}

“It’s a good idea, Mom,” the teen pointed out. “I mean, think about it. I know where they hang out, usually. Me and my Pokémon can catch one.”

“He has a point, Sue,” the husband said in agreement. {Eliminate the first sentence and tack on the rest at the end.}

“Ralph, I thought we talked about this. He is grounded. That means no leaving the house. There is absolutely no chance that he is going out there. And at night, for goodness sake’s Ralph, how can you agree with him?” she said rapidly, flinging her arms in the air as she turned from her husband to her oldest child and back to her husband angrily.

“Honey, calm down,” he said quietly. “I think that River and I should go out and look for a Skitty for Zoey. If it makes you feel any better, we can have one of the Poochyena go with him.”

“Why not just ask my Mightyena to keep me in line? She listens to you, mom,” the teen said, extracting a black and gray Pokeball from his pocket and tossing it up. His green eyes glistened with waywardness.

The parents glared at each other, showing the same stubbornness. Mr. Anders looked between the two awkwardly, unsure as to what to do. A good minute later, Susan sighed. “Alright, fine. But Mightyena will make sure you come straight here by midnight, you got that?”

River nodded. “Fine,” he said, tossing the black and gray Pokeball into the air to release the first Pokémon he ever obtained, Mightyena.

Oh, but we aren't done yet. When dad and son go out to find Skitty, they split up. Now we have River, a male, alone with Mightyena, a female. Skitty is an it during this battle. For battling purposes, using personal nouns are perfectly fine since it can get confusing with all the action. However, you need to cut back using 'River' so much and replace him with more pronouns.

His Mightyena, a majestic black and gray Pokémon who had been the fifteen-year-old’s partner since he was ten years old, yawned as well. This time, however, River shot a warning glance.

“Not until we find a Skitty,” he told his Mightyena.
It took me a while to figure out River was telling Mightyena that she can't sleep until they find Skitty. But it's not clearly written why he made that warning glance. Now, if he says something like "Oh no, not you too. I need you awake until we find a Skitty" then it works a lot better and it's easily understandable.

Very predictable. Now, if you made finding Skitty more difficult or even time consuming (say, after midnight), it would have been more exciting during the search.

No faults with this particular story, just some thoughts that popped into my head. There's something about River that makes him a mysterious character. Why was he grounded? Why wasn't he with the family when mom read the story? What kind of experience does he have as a Trainer? Why does Mightyena listen to Mom more?

There's also not a lot of description of the surroundings around Rustboro Cave. What kind of landscape is it? Trees? Grassy? Mountainous?

Effort for Pokemon:

I felt the battle was very weak and lackluster. Skitty gets off one good attack, and granted it's super effective, you don't describe the use of the attack well enough to give Skitty much of a chance at fighting back.

And I will agree with your statement in the intro: the part where River searched for Skitty feels very rushed. Imagine searching at night, in the darkness, where you can't hardly see anything. Finding a Pokemon won't be easy. Maybe Raichu can stay out and use Flash? Maybe Skitty gets away the first time and you find it again later.

Personal Review and Tips

I'm not hurting you on anything except the search for Skitty. It felt at this point you just wanted to get right to finding Skitty and catch it. Hardly any effort is shown in searching. It was kinda like an experience in game rather than in the imaginative world of Pokemon.
Mightyena has the strength and night advantage over Skitty in battle. If you want to do a short battle, that's fine. But the search effort to get to that battle needs to be stronger.
Or. Leave a weak effort to find it and have a stronger battle.
OR. Equally buff both parts up.

Bottom line- The end was bland and uneventful. You built up the importance of catching Skitty high enough that the reader will expect the end to be exciting. If this was for anything higher than Simple, it would fail. Though, even in a Simple story, you can do a better job with the Effort to catch the Pokemon.

Writing Tip: Never rush a story. I know you wanted to enter this in the Writing Competition, but a rushed story is hard-pressed to get very far. To be a better writer you have to take your time, even if it means missing the competition. This way, you will be more focused on the story rather than the competition. You'll improve your writing faster by posting something you are satisfied with, rather than something half-assed. Not to mention, you'll receive better feedback based on your full ability.


Outcome- Skitty Captured!

If you need more feedback about this story or have questions about my grade input, please ask and I will be happy to assist.

Thanks PE2K for all the memories.

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Last edited by Jack of Clovers; 03-02-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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