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Stories Write a story to catch Pokemon. A Grader will then decide if it catches or not.

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:09 AM
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Default Dead People

Why are people afraid of dead people? And graveyards. Or mausoleums, why are people afraid of mausoleums? And crypts. People are afraid of tombs too. Then there are catacombs, people are afraid of those. Are people afraid of natural history museums? There are a bunch of dead things in there. Old bones, skinned and stuffed animals, frozen Neanderthals; hell, there are more dead things in “The Pharaoh’s Natural History Museum” in Cairo, than any mausoleum or crypt or catacomb on the planet. If I buried a chicken bone in the sand would people be scared of it?

I don’t know the answer to that. (That’s why I was asking you…) I am not afraid of graves. Or graveyards or mausoleums or crypts or tombs or catacombs or “The Pharaoh’s Natural History Museum” in Cairo, or a chicken bone I buried in the sand. It’s kind of difficult to do work as archaeologist when you are afraid of dead things. I am an archaeologist. Well not really. You have to go to school to become an archaeologist. More like a tomb raider. Real life Lara Croft. Except I’m Egyptian, not British. And she was an actually archaeologist. And older than seventeen.

Yup, I’m seventeen, Egyptian, female and a ‘tomb raider’ (doesn’t that sound cooler than archaeologist?). Not something you see every day. Long story short: I like adventure, my dad runs the museum, mom and dad don't have money, and they don't really care about my safety. So I run around to these obscure places pick up some artifacts and dad puts them on display. I'm pretty good at it. I haven't got into any real trouble, and I don't go really far. I've been stayed in the Middle East for the most part. And as I'm writing this junk down (I don't know why. Maybe I'll publish it), I'm in some dingy old town called Aswan, out in the desert. All I have to do is pick up something shiny. Maybe I should get on with the story. This back-story crap must be boring you.

The ruins of old Aswan were now just a bunch old tan sandstone arches all lined up in a row, the ceiling that connected them was removed by time. This 'building' was the only one that still stood. Dad said that it used to be a town. Not really anymore. The stone floor was worn and filled with sand. I walked underneath them all, through a bunch of narrow rooms. Holes had been blown through the walls forming new doorways, but the original doors only led deeper into the ruins. That was where I wanted to go. If there was anything valuable they would have stuck it far at the end of these corridors. I still glanced around the sand, just in case something was sticking out.

The little things were what I like. The stuff that I could carry back. Those little sword hilts that nobody noticed, or mosaic tiles. Something that could fit in the brown cloth pack I carried on my back.

I stepped into a chamber that still had part of an old domed ceiling left on it. The hot desert sun stopped beating down on my bare shoulders. The chamber was large and round, and the remnants of the ceiling formed a little shady covering. A quick glance around showed only one other doorway, and the rest of the room seemed to be empty.

"Hey!" yelled out a voice. It was shrill and high pitched. Startled, I whipped my head around, flinging my long black hair in my face, and tensed up getting ready to run if I had to. Did I mention that what I did was illegal in Egypt, and most other countries? Well, now you know.

"Hey!" came the voice again. I spat hair out of my mouth, and moved it away from my face. I relaxed as I saw the girl who had spoken. She looked to be about my age, with long straight brown hair, very pale skin, and bright green eyes. A foreigner. Everyone in Egypt looked more like me, with a caramel skin tone, wavy black hair and dark brown eyes. Her clothes just added to that notion. She wore some absurd cloth hat that was black, and a black t-shirt with large white letters on it with some grotesque picture of something on it. I didn't know what it said, I can't read English. She wore tight fitting dark blue jean that tore at the knee revealing more pasty white skin, and a pair of green sandals that looked very impractical and uncomfortable. She had to squeeze them with her feet. The fact that she looked so different was not why she didn't seem threatening. Most of the time the people I met on these adventures were always dangerous. But this girl was different. She was short, weak, pretty and completely out of place, striding under the overhead stone slab from where I had just come from.

She walked up closer to me, her thin eyebrows arched, suspicion etched on her face. She wasn't intimidating, but she looked determined. The top of her silly hat only would make it up to my ear. "Oh, you're a local," she said, this time lower and less shrill voice. She had an British accent when she spoke. Great. "You probably don't understand what I am saying," she began again, speaking in here normal voice. Then she lowered it and spoke slowly, "You are not allowed here."

I rolled my eyes, turned around and began to get a closer look at the room. I noticed a couple of stones sitting on the ground, round and smooth, out in the sunny portion of the room. The tiny British girl walked around me and blocked me. "You are not allowed here!" she said, quicker and more forcefully than the last time.

"I understood the first time," I said quickly, as the other girl opened her mouth to say something. She stopped, and closed her mouth slowly before I shoved her out of the way to glance around the room again. The other girl stumbled back a couple feet tripped on her stupid sandals and fell into the sand. I stepped forward to look at the smooth stones. They formed a simple ring in the floor. I kneeled down next to one as the other girl shrieked angrily. I didn't pay attention. She would be gone soon, anyways. Find someone with power, and maybe come back. I would be gone by the time she did came back.

Instead I looked at the stones. It was odd for all of them to form a ring like in the center of this room. Maybe there was some sort ancient ritual thing that they did back when people actually lived in Aswan. It might be useful, or important, so I picked up the rock. I expected it to be cemented in the ground, and difficult to get up, or really heavy, but it was neither, The entire stone, that was the size of a large grapefruit weighed no more than a pound and seemed to be only set on top the sand. Which confused me more. Why was the rock still here? Wouldn't someone have come a picked it up already?

I put the stone down back where I had got it, so I could open my bag. The stone began to scream, a high-pitched blood curling scream of pure terror, that echoed through the chamber. I stood up quickly, and stepped back from the stone, bumping into the British girl. She stumbled over her sandals again and grabbed the back of my shirt, dragging me down with her. We both hit the ground yelling in shock. The British girl landed on her back, while got a face full of sand. I rolled over and sat up quickly spitting my unruly hair and sand out of my mouth. The screaming from the rock had ended as both of us hit the floor. I thought I heard a chuckle to replace it, but the British girl wouldn't shut up to let me hear properly.

"What the hell was that?! What did you do?! The rock was screaming! Was it the rock?" The girl was terrified, and that was expected from a stupid Britisher who shows up thinking they own my country. I'll admit that it scared me too; my heart was pounding. Rocks don't scream. (Usually they don't, this one did) I took a few deep breaths and stood up, and wiped the sand off of my white sleeveless t shirt and the baggy cloth pants.

"What did you do?!" yelled the other girl. She had stood up too, and was glaring at me.

"Nothing. Go home," I replied calmly.

"You go! You're not even supposed to be here!" she yelled.

"Go." I walked over to the rock.

"Don't touch it again," yelled the British girl. I didn't respond to here, but listened to what she said. Well, I didn't plan on touching it again anyways. I took a step closer to the rock, just to look at it. A flash of purple streaked past me, and burrowed under the sands next to me. The sand rippled like it was water, and I had just thrown a rock at it.

It was quiet for couple seconds, before she spoke again. "What was that?" she said slowly from somewhere behind me .

"A monster," I replied coolly. As far as I know that could have been exactly right. There was some rustling and a flash of bright white from behind me. I whirled around, my heart thumping, but hopeful. Maybe something bad had happened to the British. At first I thought I was right.

There was a short little beast standing next to her. I hadn't seen anything like it. It looked like a cat, except the top of its long, rabbit like ears reached the other girl's waist. Much bigger than any cat I had ever seen. And the cat had a bunch of fluffy yellow fur that sat on top of its head, and around its neck. The same fluff made up its massive tail, that was the size of the rest of its body. Which was red. It wasn't scary, until two tiny embers flew out of its nostrils.

The other girl, though, didn't look scared that the fire-breathing cat had just randomly appeared next to her. In fact she looked hardly acknowledged it, and instead was staring at the spot that the purple light had hit the sand.

"What's that?" I asked slowly

"My Flareon," replied the girl. That made no sense to me. I ignored it. Probably some rich pet that was in the last room. That didn't explain the light, but I had more important things to pay attention to.

The purple blur came back, shooting out of the dirt, barely missing my nose. I stumbled backwards, and tripped over one of the stones, falling into the sand on my butt. The firecat yelped and began to spit a stream of flames into the air, trying to hit the flash as it zoomed through the sky. The light circled around in midair and dived at the 'Flareon.' (What kind of stupid name is that?)

The purple blur shot back at a hundred kilometers an hour, rushed towards the cat, spiraling around the column of flames it spat into the air, crossed its face with a sickening squelching sound, and streaked away, tailed by a plume of smoke. A gash appeared across its dark eye. The animal growled in pain, and the girl screamed in horror. Drops of blood fell into the sand. The blur of purple slowed, a veered around, coming to a stop two meters or so away from the British girl and her cat.

The blur took shape. It looked somewhat like a bat crossed with a scorpion, with large purple claws on its from legs and a long tail, with a curved spine. Its head was large, almost completely covered with two large eyes and pointed ears. It had a long wing on each armpit, that allowed it to remain airborne. It stared at the cat, its singed tail, with its curved pincer poised to strike.

The British girl yelled again, and the cat leapt into action, shooting forward and rapping its head into the scorpions stomach. The scorpion quickly responded by jabbing its tail into the cat's wounded eye. The cat growled, as the scorpion flipped in midair. The cat landed on the ground, keeping its wounded eye shut, yelped and growled for a few seconds, before blasting out another stream of fire from its mouth. The scorpion swerved around flames and rushed at the red feline, its claw outstretched ready to slash at the animal's eye.

But, instead the cat exploded. Flames and smoke poured out of the animal in every direction. The feline flashed bright white as the flames engulfed the flying scorpion. It was scorched and instantly dropped out of the sky, blackened and burnt. The British girl threw something red at it as it hit the ground. It turned red and vaporized and was sucked into the small object.

All this happened while I sat on the sand on my butt, propped up by my arms, very confused and very scared. To add to all that, just the sand underneath us exploded, shooting up like a geyser all around us. The stone began to scream again and the sand blocked out the sun.

Its a Gligar. 12,084 characters I don't really like this. I'll continue it tho.

Done: 8680

I don't ref forum battles/1v1s. Don't PM me to ref, IM me instead.
I need to have basic battles.

I grade week old stories that are Hard rank or lower. :)

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Old 09-30-2010, 01:27 AM
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Scourge of Amaranth Offline
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Default Re: Dead People

Introduction: This really caught my attention, conceptually. The idea was interesting, and drew me in, which is definitely what you want in an introduction. However, you also want the tone of an introduction to suit the subsequent story, especially if it’s told in first person. It seemed that the level of introspection present in these ideas didn’t carry through to the rest of the character’s thought processes. While, yes, there are places where that sort of pondering isn’t going to suit the story, it is something that shouldn’t completely disappear. Matters like this that have to do with worldview, especially, are something that should linger beneath the surface of the character’s observations.

Bringing up a theme so early is also going to alert the readers to it early, which means they’ll be looking for it. It seemed to phase out, a bit, and I would say that from the writing passage alone, your subject doesn’t seem like it’ll be “death” so much as “Pokémon.” If it’s going to be both, you should be more careful to merge the two right off the bat—even in something that’ll be continued, you can’t let it disappear much.

So, rundown: borderline pass, because while you introduced the character and setting, and did it in an interesting way, the rest of the piece seemed to lack the consistency of these ideas. Introductions shouldn’t be thrown away.

Plot: This is more a “premise” than a full plot, at this point, so I’ll deal with it as such. I like the idea, on a superficial. You left a lot of holes in a lot of places—not just plotwise, but character-wise. While, yes, this is a prologue and not everything needs to be explained, this is first person past. The character knows what’s happening, now, so you should try to give us a little more leverage. It almost seems that you should have gone past the capture and concluded the piece, just to clarify some of the things that needed explanation. That, or perhaps the British chick’s role in the plot could have been hinted at, instead of left completely ambiguous—perhaps she could have made more insightful comments about the odd paradox of Pokémon in the real world, or made some aside about why she’s there. Point being, though, I don’t really feel like this prologue gave enough information to properly launch the plot. Some mystery is good, but there has to be enough substance to actually prove to the readers that we have a complete, well-thought-out story on our hands. You left too many questions and not enough coherence.

So, as this is a prologue, some of the questions you’ll need to be careful to answer are:
1. Why are Pokémon suddenly in this girl’s life?
2. What is this girl’s name?
3. What is the other girl’s name?
4. Pokémon-tomb raiding connection. WHERE IS IT.
5. Foreigner in an obscure Egyptian ruin that archaeologists probably don’t visit that much, much less tourists. Why?
6. What are the political factors that allow the protagonist to do her “tomb raiding” thing without being interrupted by police?

You probably have answers to most of these. Answering two, five, and six right off the bat could help things out. Hinting at four is definitely prudent. One and three, you should just have a plan for. I assume you do, but I shouldn’t have to assume—I should know, from how you phrase things, what you describe, little hints you drop. To make a mystery tantalizing, we have to know a little something about it.

All that said, you have yourself a pretty nice premise, here.

Grammar: Youuuuu have minor grammar errors. Mainly just comma and sentence construction stuff. It’s less grievous, but it’s harder to correct. You tend to omit necessary commas and, alternately, use commas when a greater degree of clause separation is necessary.

Why are people afraid of dead people? And graveyards. Or mausoleums, why are people afraid of mausoleums? And crypts. People are afraid of tombs too. Then there are catacombs, people are afraid of those. Are people afraid of natural history museums? There are a bunch of dead things in there. Old bones, skinned and stuffed animals, frozen Neanderthals; hell, there are more dead things in “The Pharaoh’s Natural History Museum” in Cairo, than any mausoleum or crypt or catacomb on the planet. If I buried a chicken bone in the sand would people be scared of it?
In this paragraph, you have three missing commas and two clauses linked by commas that need to be replaced by em-dashes… or rearranged for semi-colon/colon/period incorporation.

Missing commas. As a general rule, if some element of the sentence is unnecessary to the main clause, it’s offset by commas. (Adverbs and adjectives are a logical exception to this rule.) So, “tombs, too” “‘Museum,’ in Cairo,”… These are interruptions to the sentence flow, so you need commas. Look out for little things like this—you forget to comma them a lot.

The third comma… “If I buried a chicken bone in the sand, would people be scared of it?” This is a less sensible rule. In a non-if-question-y form, this sentence is two independent clauses. You’d normally have to link it with a semi-colon. The “if” makes the first clause dependent, though. However, it is a separate clause, so it needs a comma to pull the whole thing together.

“Or mausoleums, why are people afraid of mausoleums? And crypts. People are afraid of tombs, too. Then there are catacombs, people are afraid of those.”

The “or mausoleums” and “catacombs” sentences can’t be grammatically correct with ust a comma. It’s not a full-on comma splice, because “or mausoleums” isn’t a complete clause… but at the same time, the opening phrases lead in a different thought direction than the closing pieces. There needs to be a higher level of grammatical separation between them. You could put a period after the “then there are catacombs” bit; that’d seem a bit chopped off, to me. An em-dash is the way to go (it can be used to connect two independent or two dependent clauses, and various combinations, into a complete, grammatically correct sentence), for me. You might also like a colon after catacombs. Colons are used for cause-effect, increasing complexity, and the introduction of lists, generally. You could employ the second mode, there. There’s also the ellipsis (…), although that tends to be weaker writing.

The ruins of old Aswan were now just a bunch old tan sandstone arches all lined up in a row, the ceiling that connected them was removed by time.
This sentence is another example of the same thing, although it’s a blatant comma splice. Two independent clauses like this must have a “stronger” degree of grammatical connection.

Point being, when you have a sentence that changes grammatical idea and direction, or is a simple conglomeration of independent clauses, use the em-dash, or the semi-colon/colon (the last two, only when appropriate).

Detail: You did work to incorporate basic images—the ruins of Aswan, the anatomy of the Pokémon—but you didn’t really make the details matter. The purpose of imagery is to build atmosphere and imbue sights and occurrences with meaning, not just to show readers pictures. The only place you really gave a feel to your descriptions was when you described the Pokémon.

The blur took shape. It looked somewhat like a bat crossed with a scorpion, with large purple claws on its from legs and a long tail, with a curved spine. Its head was large, almost completely covered with two large eyes and pointed ears. It had a long wing on each armpit, that allowed it to remain airborne. It stared at the cat, its singed tail, with its curved pincer poised to strike.
Most of that is kinda “oh, cool. Yup.” The last sentence, though, makes the Gliscor scary. You should work on adding this “idea” to the rest of the imagery. A bat and a scorpion—creepy in concept, but not in presentation. Is the stinger dripping with poison? Do its wings flutter with that hollow, kindof disturbing leathery sound? Are its eyes glinting, hungry? You should probably go for something less cheesy, :P, but the principle remains. You want this thing to be odd and frightening, it seems, from how your protagonist talks about it. But at the same time, if she feels that way, it’s because she’s noticed certain things about it that freak her out. Show me not what those things are, but why they scare her—without saying, “ITS BIG SCARY PINCER DRIPPED AND IT REALLY FREAKED ME OUT” ‘r something.

Similar concept should be applied to your scenery. Don’t just show me the crumbling columns. Talk about the dust blown on the wind, whipped up into miniature sandstorms—or the heated, windless air that makes the protagonist’s skin feel too tight. Give some sort of impression about the setting, not just the specifics of the setting itself.

Because you didn’t really give relevance to your details, a lot of them felt like they broke up the flow of the story without contributing anything. SO WATCH OUT FOR THAT.

Battle: Not too shabby. The reactions of the Pokémon to their wounds added a nice dimension of “description” to it. The action was more or less interesting, although you kindof killed the climax with the last paragraph—even with the disturbing last sentence. I feel like you should have taken more advantage of the protagonist’s emotions throughout the battle, and not just at the conclusion. I mean, it must look weeeeiiirrdddd. Some more insight on that front could have “made” the battle.

Length: Two posts. You’re good.

Verdict: I sounded a bit down on this, but not because I didn't like it. It just kinda happened in the course of the grade. I’m actually going to give you Gliscor Captured. The plot was at a perfect level of complexity for a Medium Mon, and you did indeed have details. If this were a Hard capture, I probably would have made you build up the plot consistency a bit more—but it’s not. You should definitely consider what I’ve said for future pieces, as the reason I said it in the first place was because it is, indeed, relevant.

EmBreon is the maple syrup to my slightly undercooked crepe
{URPG Stats}--{ASB Stats}--{Fanfiction}
khajmer = biffle
yoface = broham

thegalleonman: (8:37:28 PM) How sad.
thegalleonman: (8:37:37 PM) I'm amused.

Last edited by Scourge of Amaranth; 10-01-2010 at 05:15 AM.
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