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Old 04-29-2012, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Astoria: Pop Goes the Buizel (Ready for Grading)

Plot/Intro

Let’s start with the introduction. As a writer you should strive for your story to meet a few criteria. Firstly, you want it to draw the reader in, and secondly, you want it to be a prelude to the rest of the story. Obviously I’m simplifying it, but you get my point. However, because this is a low ranked Pokemon not requiring much in the way of length, only a page, you really don’t need that much of an introduction. You’re introduction is basically the opening paragraph.

You decided to go with a more actionable result, and thereby revealing all the main characters. It was a good start for a Pokemon of this rank. It’s a short story so you don’t need to worry about the attention-span so much, but you do want to make it at least interesting. You’ve done that here by starting things off with a battle. It’s a simple but effective approach, one many writers use.

While you did introduce the characters in the opening you have to remember that a name is only a piece. You need physical description, otherwise the reader only has a blank picture of what the people look like. You as the writer might know, but we do not, and that information is important.

Onto the plot section. Once again, very simple here, which for Buizel is fine. You have the cliched story of randomly meeting a Pokemon and capturing. Many graders despise this type of story because it has no meat to it, and because it’s just plan boring. That doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Graders like myself usually frown upon these sort of stories, but because you are only attempting a lower ranked mon this type of writing will work.

This set up will work for the simplest and easy ranks, but once you get to medium and above you’ll need to vary it up a bit with extra details and make it more exciting to read. What you also need to keep in mind is that a Pokemon doesn’t have to be battled in the story to get captured, and you don’t have to say in the story that the trainer waited for the Pokeball to stop wiggling. You did that here, which is fine, just be aware that there are other methods out there.

Grammar

You did pretty well, I only have a few things to comment on. Firstly, always run a story through a spellcheck reader, then you proofread it yourself. There was a couple of places where the words were spelled correctly, but you had the wrong word there.

Quote:
Pawniard slashed the Buizel, who fell back several feet. Pawniard went again for a second swipe, but Astoria's voice rang high and clear over the [seen].
The word at the end is spelled correctly, but you have ‘seen’ when it should be ‘scene’. These type of errors can only be fixed by going back and rereading your story once you’re done with it. It can be a tedious process, but it had to be done. Next time, go ahead and try it.

My second point is that you made a couple of generic errors that you’ll need to correct for future attempts.

Quote:
"Enough Pawniard." [s]he smiled, and Pawniard stopped, looking back at her master in confusion.
You are not using a dialogue tag here, you are starting a new sentence. This means that the word after the dialogue has to be capitalized.

Quote:
"It's Aqua Jet, Pawniard[,] brace yourself!" the girl shouted, but it was too late.
Simple mistake here also. You need commas surrounding a name if that name is the person being addressed.

That’s pretty much it here, just watch out for those errors and you’ll be good to go.

Description

As a low ranked mon, I don’t expect much from any writer. Whatever the case, I always point out things I as a grader look for. Character detail, Pokemon detail, Pokemon attacks, physical surroundings, environment, and senses are all the things you should strive for as a writer. The higher Pokemon you aim for the more of these you need, and the better your execution will need to be.

In this story you have the Pokemon detail and Pokemon attacks. Two out of six isn’t bad for starting out. For all stories though I prefer it that writers have the first three of the things I listed above. As such, I’m going to concentrate on those three and leave the rest for some other time.

Character detail

Character detail is basically what all the people in your story look like. This means clothing and physical attributes. For the more involved main character the more the reader should know about the person, that delves into the range of personality and tendencies. We’re going to stick to the clothing and physical stuff, though.

Quote:
Astoria smiled at Lucas, revealing a perfect row of sharp white teeth. “Aren’t you glad to be out here today fishing?” She turned her head back to watch her line. Her long hair, pulled back into a ponytail, swished around as she moved her head around. It was a bright sunny day, with a small breeze blowing across the landscape. She had chosen to wear a pink skirt and a white t-shirt today, while Lucas opted for his standard blue jeans and tank top.
^ Above I have what Astoria would have looked like in my mind. I spaced the details along a couple of paragraph as that’s my style, but you can do it however you please. Try adding physical detail into your next story.

Pokemon

This is basically the Pokemon equivalent of what humans look like. You did well in this area.

Quote:
In a large splash, a large orange weasel jumped out of the water, slightly out of breath from pulling.
A low ranked story doesn’t need much, so this is fine. However, when you get higher up the ranked list you’ll need to add a few things. Basically, you gave us body shape and color with the above quoted section, but as you grow you’ll want to add unique character details. For Buizel this will mean things like the markings on its body, or its tail. Do these things and you’ll be fine.

Pokemon Attacks

Easily your best detail. When explaining detail to new writers I like to say: “show, don’t tell.” This means that telling me what attack the Pokemon is using isn’t enough, I want to know how the Pokemon did the attack. People view some attacks differently or they don’t know what the Pokemon look like, that means you as the writer need to tell us how you are seeing the attack. This not only provide context, but it’s exciting and sets the flow of the battle.

Quote:
A large sphere of water began forming around the Buizel, and the orange Pokemon kicked his feet up, flying through the air, water zooming around him.
Can’t really ask for much else as a grader for this above sentence. It was done really well, good job. Keep doing this for all your attacks and you’ll be fine as a writer.

Length

This only matters to me if you’re below the count.

Overall

You still have things to work on, but I don’t demand perfection for anybody but myself. Buizel Captured. Well done, just remember all my advice and you’ll do fine.
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