Thread: Autumn - ready
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:20 AM
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Phantom Kat Offline
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Default Re: Autumn - ready

The forum lagged. D:

Introduction: The first sentences of the story set the mood quite well. With the rain coming down like a monsoon and both trainer and Pokémon miserable, trying to keep themselves dry, it tells me this story won’t be so upbeat. Aside from the situation, you give us some nice description such as the sound their footsteps make against the mud. However, as for the description of the main character, it could have been spread out further. When one has so much physical description of the character within one or two sentences it detracts from other things you want to describe, such as the characters’ discomfort. I’ll touch more about description later on in this grade.

Plot: There’s something amusing about the whole story being one battle. Normally, it would be quite boring, but Shaun’s constant bout of luck, from getting half-eaten by a Magikarp to practically ruining his Poké Ball with mud and water, provided some amusement. It was humorous and made me chuckle from time to time. Shaun’s inability to catch one small Pokémon ties in with his sour mood at the very beginning. When it came to tying in the rest of the story with the introduction you did a rather good job.

There are some things that distracted from the story. For one, we were never told why Gothita decided to attack Shaun with Confusion in the first place. Since many Pokémon are based off real animals in our world it’s basically a rule of thumb that Pokémon don’t attack without being provoked. There are animals and Pokémon that attack simply because they can, but Gothita doesn’t seem to be this type of creature. Since you mentioned at one point that it laughed at Shaun we might say that she was doing this just for the fun of it. Then again, it’s only a guess because the reason was never stated.

So basically, the Pokémon needs to have a reason for being there and doing what it’s doing in the story. It’s one of the key things graders look at when trying to figure out how the Pokémon is incorporated into the story.

As I said before, the whole story is one big battle, but it begs the question as to why there was a battle in the first place. Sure Gothita attacked Shaun, but she later tried to run away without causing any more damage. Then there’s the case that Shaun actually wants to catch her, and I don’t exactly know why. Revenge? He thinks Gothita is a rare Pokémon? Personally, I would think a person’s fist instinct when attacked in the woods is to get out as soon as possible. As the battle drags on and his Pokémon get more beat up, I would have thought he would have called it quits. It just seems he’s letting his Pokémon get hurt without a real reason.

Grammar/Spelling: For the most part, grammar was alright, but before getting into the nitty-gritty let me just point out that having all of the story’s paragraphs scrunched up together makes it hard to read without highlighting. Instead of hitting the Enter key once, do it twice so you have one full line of space between paragraphs. Remember that you should start a new a paragraph when a new person speaks or you’re switching ideas.

Moving on, the grammar wasn’t bad, but there were still reoccurring mistakes here and there that were distracting. First of all, make sure you proofread your story more than once. There were a handful of spelling mistakes that could have been fixed with some careful reading. When you have a short story such as this one, the mistakes seem worse then they actually are.

Second, let me clarify it’s and its. It’s is the contracted for of “it is”. You can only use it’s if you’re using it in the exact manner as “it is”. For example:

It’s/It is hot in here.

It’s/It is horrible that the bridge collapsed.

Its is the possessive form of “it”. THIS is the one you should be using when you’re talking about an animal or Pokémon. For example:

Its legs catapulted him right into Mudkip’s stomach.

Its tail wagged, and the trainer smiled.

While we’re on the subject of “it” when it came to the Pokémon you switched from calling them “it” to “he/she”. Consistency is important, so pick one pronoun and stick with it. There are certain cases when you can switch, such as when the Pokémon stops being an unknown shadow in the bushes (“it”) to a Pokémon they can all see (“he/she”.)

There was a mistake or two in there concerning dialogue tags, so take a second look at those.

Length: When it comes to quantity, you had just enough. However, when it came to quality, it actually seemed longer than what it was, but not in a good way. The thing with having the whole story revolve around a battle is that it all seems like one big scene rather than a story with an introduction, climax, and ending. In the future I suggest you don’t make your stories one big battle. There are other ways you can incorporate a humorous battle. All you need to do is have a solid plot to back it up.

Description/Detail: I mentioned before that in the introduction the description detracted from the other things you wanted to mention, such as how Shaun felt about the rain. Description is better when you spread it out and let the reader soak it up slowly. Think of it as when your mother gives you chores to do. If she mentions all five chores at once, you’re bound to forget either a chore or the instructions that came along with them. However, if she gives you a chore then five minutes later gives you the second one, you’ll remember them better because you have this space that separates Chore #1 and Chore #2. The same goes for description and detail. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm the reader.

As for how well you did with the description, more could have been done. While you described Shaun quite well you left the surroundings up to our imagination. Since the story centers around a battle that is moving from one place to another the surroundings should be described well enough for the reader to follow. You have the Pokémon jumping from one place to another, so details describing the river, the marsh, and so on will make the battle easier to follow.

Also, it’s a good rule of thumb to describe the Pokémon despite this being a Pokémon forum. Since there are upwards of 500 Pokémon now, a brief description would refresh people’s memories. There are also readers who are not familiar with some generations (I’m practically a stranger to the latest generation, actually. With that in mind, I couldn’t really picture Gothita as much as Mudkip. )

One last thing: what happened to the rain from the beginning? Since there isn’t much description after those first sentences it seemed the rain just disappeared and did not affect the entire battle.

Battle: Well, what can I say? It was the whole story. Like I said, not always a bad thing. It had its funny moments, and the Pokémon actually moved around a lot as opposed to sticking to one small area like in the video games.

Description plays a big role in battles. For example, by the end, you mentioned both Pokémon were really hurt. This came as a surprise because throughout the whole battle you hadn’t mentioned what injuries they had gotten. Description should be gradual and not only for when you’re describing your characters but when you’re describing your battles. It adds a touch of realism and allows the reader to be more involved in the battle.

For such a long battle there weren’t many moves used. You have Water Gun from Mudkip and Confusion from Gothita, but other than that it just seems like they’re tackling and slapping each other away. While Pokémon are perfectly capable of battling like this special attacks are what make each battle unique. A well-timed Solarbeam or Quick Attack can completely change the course of a battle. In URPG stories, Pokémon are not limited to only four moves or the moves they know at a certain level. With natural moves, Tms, and Hms, a Pokémon can do quite a lot. When you have a battle as long as this, some well-described special moves can turn it from dull to exciting. I’m afraid that right now, the battle is somewhat tedious and long-winded.

Outcome: It was borderline, but I’m going to have to say, Gothita not captured! If you fix up the formatting and just iron out the grammar and spelling mistakes throughout I’ll happily give you your Pokémon.

- Kat

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