Re: A Taste Of Reality .:Ready For Grade:.
Oh well, guess I'll have to grade this
Characterisation: I usually don't put this in grades, because I'm not too confident about my judgement on characters. However, as you've used Light in more than a story, I feel like I wouldn't be doing my job, if I didn't tell you this.
Light is too perfect, and that's boring.
I mean, c'mon, a super genius kid, that is the best at his school even if he's lazy, with two loyal friends that have elected him leader of their crew, and on top of that, he can walk away from ridiculously sharp grass blades without even feeling a little bad?
Do you know what a Mary Sue/Gary Stu is? Because Light is definitely one.
A Gary Stu is a male character that has too many good points to be credible, and if he has any flaw, it doesn't prove an hindrance to his being the coolest hero ever existed. Suffices to say, only the author will see it as that.
These characters are often, inaccurately, called "author avatar", because they'll be the picture of everything the author wishes he/she was.
They are the main characters, because the story revolves around them; they're not a piece of the bigger picture of fate, they're the reason this picture exists at all. Everything seems to happen to them, to the point you can't move the plot forward if you change characters.
Now, Mary Sues (and Gary Stus) are incredibly annoying characters for a reader to deal with. They're not realistic, to the point they alienate, not letting the reader feel the story as its own.
On the other hand, however, Skyler and Will are flat. Their sole purpose in the story is to be Light's lapdogs, doing whatever Light feels like doing, and whine. Seriously. They don't have any redeeming quality. As soon as Light tells them to shut up, they do, and when he says to go to the swamp, Skyler doesn't act like a girl and refuses on some girlish pretense ground. If she was a tomboy, it'd make sense, but you never gave me any reason to think she's not a typical girl, keen on her clothes. Heck, she wanted to go to the mall. So why would she want to visit a damp and muddy swamp, that would ruin her school uniform?
Overall, in this section the story was a serious disappointment. Your characters need a lot more work and background.
First, if I may suggest, tone down Light a little. If you still want to keep him as the genius he currently is, you need to add realistic detracting points to him. For example, a guy that passes every test with flying colours without even trying isn't going to be liked by students and teachers alike. He'll most likely be the subject of their envy, and maybe of some pranks; this treatment would likely cause arrogance in Light- of the kind "they resort to this because they can't compare to my intelligence- especially when faced with older people but not restricted to that. Or he could just suck it up and debate inside as to why they don't accept him. Just saying "he didn't like to be picked on" isn't enough.
I have no advice for Skyler and Will though- they're flat as a cardboard. I'd think that such a close group of friends would date back to their childhood, but it may not be like that as well. However, I want to see a little more about those two, whether it is some background story or a show of their inner will- they're only human, it's unlikely they won't question or outright refuse to follow Light.
Story: These three guys go to the swamps, go back as soon as they arrive, then Light has to do a demostration agaisnt a Shellos.
It didn't make sense. There were many parts that contradicted each other. For example, where is exactly placed the school? It can't be too far from the city, since the trio went to the mall the day before, during freetime, yet apparently it's "off the road" which doesn't make it easy for them to go to the mall at all. Plus, why would the want to go to a swamp?
All in all, the whole swamp thing doesn't make sense as well. They travel through a path filled with, sorry for the mocking terms, GRASS BLADES OF DEATH covered in DEW DROPS OF DOOM... what? How exactly is the grass any sharper than normal grass? And what is that liquid? It can't be dew, because dew is condensed water. I'd assume it is a liquid secreted by the plant itself, which brings back to the point: why the plants are so aggressive? In nature, every useless trait is automatically discarded, and an overly aggressive defense isn't exactly useful if there isn't anything to menace it.
And as soon as they arrive in the swamps- and meet Shellos- they have to go back. One would think they planned better than that, seeing how it looks like they do those kind of things often.
Here as well, the plot was fine for a Simple Pokemon, but it's still a no-no. Mainly due to the swamp scene, which was really forced and whose only purpose was to make Shellos appear.
Detail/Description: It's no good. First, there were small details that were exaggerated and over-the-top... which weren't good, though. For example, the extra-sharp grass, and the pine-smelling YEW school, and the fact that, even if the school isn't very rich, they play trumpets for an assembly. TRUMPETS! What are them, a castle during a joust?
And there's as well the fact that while they were all whiney during the first go in the cutting grass, there was no visible efftect
These exaggerate descriptions really didn't help the realism.
Also, the physical description of your character was boring. You use too many periods. They disrupt the flow. Like I'm doing here on purpose. You forced the reader to see your characters the way ou wanted to, but it's not good, as nothing forced is. To see better effects, the description should be a little more subtle, mixed up with actions matching the part you're describing (hair swaying in the wind, someone playing with said hair, eyes staring at something and so on), while with clothes, just drop the "he/she was wearing", and just say "his/her t-shirt/jeans/skirt/whatever", which works better.
Grammar/Spellchecking: not too many problems with spelling, but there are some grammar issues.
For example, you use the name of the characters too much. Seeing Light, Will, Skyler, Shellos, Lucario being repeated over and over isn't nice to see. There are various ways to effectively substitute a noun, for example by using a different noun (boy, girl, Pokemon and so on) paired with an adjective that fits the character (genius boy, sporty girl, Aura Pokemon, Water Pokemon and so on).
Battle: Unbelievable. Not in a good way, though. The thing I don't like about big, evolved Pokemon Vs small, frail Pokemon is that the small ones always look over-the-top, to keep up with the bigger opponent. The feats Shellos managed to pull off are ridicule, exaggerate like the rest of the story. How can a tiny seaslug, with no legs to boost itself off the ground, leap up high in the air?
Also, despite what you said, Lucario didn't seem to know very well what to do with a Mud Bomb attack, as he unwittingly made the bubble explode on himself.
Plus, how could the Steel Pokemon avoid recoil? The recoil isn't something physical, it's an effect of ramming into something. If you punch a wall of rubber, your punch gets thrown back. That's the recoil. And how comes he has no problems using Sky Uppercut when you said that the mud wasn't helping him navigate the stage?
You have to remember whenever you do a battle, to never forget the surrounding, else you'll lose part of the excitement a battle gives the reader.
I'd also suggest you to work on an original description for your attacks- both Bulk Up and Brine were blatantly copied from their in-game animation. This is secondary, but it is important nonetheless.
Outcome: meh, Shellos not captured. There was no visible improvement from Water Works, which you wrote a while ago, but instead, if possible, there was a slight decline in the quality. The plot made even less sense than Light visiting an abandoned factory/amusement park/I never got what it was, and simply, it wasn't good. I'm not expecting you to fix all the problems, but I need to see a very good work if you want this story to pass.
MeowthMistress1: the alimighty ranger station
MeowthMistress1: we serve to protect you, just don't require us to spell or use proper grammar.
Last edited by DarkGardevoir; 06-24-2009 at 09:50 AM.