The First Page. [Chapter one.]

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    noble roar Buoy's Avatar
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    Default The First Page. [Chapter one.]

    The First Page.
    Pokémon being captured: Minccino.
    Required amount of characters: 10k - 20k.
    Actual amount of characters: 15,302.

    Read if you want small explanation-y rambly things:


    ---------------------------------------------------

    Chapter One - Chillarmy.

    “Okay, everyone, settle down.” Our teacher tapped her desk with her ruler a few times to emphasise that she had spoken, and obediently, the class fell to silence - apart from a few, but you know how some kids are. Never shut up. At any rate, this was going to be our first English class of the year - we were all about fourteen or fifteen at the moment, and, truth be told, our English teacher was fit (bear in mind that I‘m in an all-boys school). That was apparent even to me. I don’t often use that word, maybe out of respect for girls; I don’t know. To put it in a more artistic, descriptive way (seeing as this is a piece of English writing, after all), she was quite beautiful - her jet-black, perfectly straight hair was cropped neatly, but it still fell down to her shoulders. She had strikingly bright blue eyes - even if you were at the back of the classroom and she was at the front, you could clearly see how blue they were. Her skin was smooth, sensual, her lips lusciously red beneath her button nose.

    Being a more polite person, I shouldn’t go into detail about her more womanly features that so attract the other students in my class. The short and short of it was that she was very pretty, and in a class of teenagers, that could come in very handy for making them obey. She often held all the class spellbound (to put it in a… cleaner way). She was a new figure to me, of course - she had never taught me before, and now that I was part of a new form class (due to the way the timetables had to be arranged), it seemed that our new teacher was to be this woman who I barely knew. She smiled at us all and our obedience. Then, giving a small sigh, she sat on an empty desk, looking around the room, no-one daring to make a sound. They had obviously all heard the stereotype that had been encouraged by movies and the like - that the more beautiful women were the ones that were assholes.

    “Okay, I’d prefer it if you all had a desk to your own. Maybe in time I can let you sit in twos, but only the ones I find to be trustworthy… and hard workers.” Still sitting on the desk, she crossed her legs (which was just as well, since she was wearing a skirt), and leant backwards, retrieving a notebook and pen from her desk. Flicking it open, she tapped down the page. It was obviously a list of all our names. I wondered if she was going to arrange us in alphabetical order - in that case, I would be last, as I knew already that my name was last to come up on the register. Shifting my blazer a little uncomfortably, I looked towards her notebook, although all I could see was the bright purple hardback cover.

    “All right, then. Anthony Clarke,” she called out, her voice soft, and Anthony - or Tony, as he preferred to be called, apparently - almost wet himself. I knew that he had a kind of nervous disposition, from tales I’d heard from friends, and obviously if you mix his natural nervousness in with a beautiful woman that fuelled his sexual frustration and a new set of classmates, you get one pretty nervous person. Tony scrambled to grab his bag, books and pencil case, and he sat at an empty desk at the front of the classroom, towards the left side. There were about twenty-three in the class, so this was going to take a while, what with people having to stand up and swap desks and the like.

    I could be patient, although it would waste a lot of valuable class time - not ‘valuable’, but valuable. I enjoyed learning, no matter who was the teacher - beautiful or not, it wasn’t going to make a difference. I could wait.

    “Finally… Mr. Wattley,” she called. I stood up patiently, my bags and books already gathered into my arms. My name is Frederick Wattley, although my friends - hah, friends, I’m making myself sound like I’m popular - call me Fred. I like being called Fred: it’s a plain, simple name. Plain and simple is good with me. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you looked at it, there was only one desk available, with the rules that you had to be on a desk on your own. Yep, you guessed it, the available desk was the one she was sitting on. She hopped off quickly, and I smiled awkwardly, feeling my face go slightly red. I was going to be sitting directly in front of her desk. I just hoped that she’d find I wasn’t as much as a troublemaker as my appearance suggested.

    I was the tallest and oldest person in the class, and although I wasn‘t the smartest, I was near the top. Many people thought I looked relatively handsome, yet I had never agreed. It seemed to others that I was focusing more on looks than books, but I enjoy reading far more than I enjoy spending time on my appearance - to be frank, I’ve never spent more than five minutes on my appearance at any given time. Also, people automatically assumed I tried to make trouble - apparently I had a certain “glint” in my eyes, and along with a bunch of freckles and a slightly hooked nose, I suppose that does make the package of a stereotypical troublemaker.

    I tried, tried and tried some more to keep myself from trouble constantly, as people sought to make my life hell. I never retaliated to bullying - I’m stupid, vain. Even teachers made stupid remarks in the past - I hadn’t done my homework because maybe I was trying to look pretty, my excuses were false and without a note they didn’t ever believe me. Maybe they were all jealous; maybe I’m just a target for bullying. Either way, I was going to start fresh this year. Only God could help me if I stepped a single toe out of line. Perhaps this year, things would be different. I was certainly going to try my best to make sure that teachers and students alike didn’t have any reason to pick on me.

    I sat down.

    “Well, everyone, now that we’re all sorted, we can begin our lesson,” she stated. I could hear some groans myself - they had just had two months’ break, and they were complaining at the first notion of work in over two months? Obviously some of them had to step up their game a little, but I wasn’t going to pass judgement. Not like I ever did. “Okay, so basically, this year in English, since you’re starting your GCSEs, we’re going to be focusing on trying to help you meet the standard expected of you at GCSE level. Your first full module, which you will be completing next May or June, will be a task where you are given 45 minutes to write whatever you have to. The task will be a piece of creative writing, although you don’t know what about.
    “Does anyone know what kind of style you’d use for a piece of creative writing?”

    Being a confident writer - I often wrote short stories myself - I raised my hand, as did several others. I thought that I was probably the only student to actually know the correct answer, but she skipped over me, instead choosing one of the snottier kids in the class. Literally. This boy did nothing but sniff, sneeze, cough violently and blow his nose into torn tissues.

    “Well, uh, miss, uh, is it… metaphors?”

    “In a way, those can be included, but it’s not really what I’m looking for. How about… yes, you… uhm…”

    “It’s Connor,” the boy said. “Is it similes?”

    “Look, metaphors and similes are not styles…” She sighed a little more, and looked at her nails. Brushing down her skirt, she launched into an explanation, and I understood all of it, and knew the answers to all of the questions she asked, because creative writing was actually something I was good at and liked. It was why I had taken English Literature on for GCSE as well - I could analyse pieces of writing. Where did I learn this, you ask? I picked up my skills from a forum on the internet, and my creative writing had been heavily influenced by a single forum - BMG. I can’t exactly remember what it stands for. Something like Bulbasaur’s Mysterious Garden. I had never looked into it much. Oh, and yes, I do enjoy Pokémon, but I’m not like those competitive battler nerds who can strategise a battle and know what Pokémon are the best to use on Sun Teams or Rain Teams or whatever.

    But how would a Pokémon Forum let me have good writing skills, and how would I know how to analyse a piece of writing? I often hung around at the Role-Playing sections, and wrote there quite confidently (role-playing, in case you didn’t know, is a kind of game where you take on the role of someone who is not you, and you kind of jointly write a story with other “characters”). Additionally, there was URPG, complete with a Story section. I was interested in writing stories, and so I joined up to the URPG. There was a role-playing section there, too, named the National Park - the people who ran it were called Rangers. I completed a quiz after reading the National Park Encyclopedia, got my results back and I had passed. After a quick test, I was instated as URPG’s newest Ranger.

    The Story section was harder to get into, and so I wrote and wrote and wrote until I felt my heart could burst, and I tried my very hardest to take the Grader’s (the person who analyses the story and tells you your faults and strengths, then tells you if the Pokémon you aimed for in the story was captured) advice on board. Stories were a fundamental part of the URPG, as they offered all Pokémon for capture. Capturing Pokémon was necessary in the URPG for battles, contests, trading and even for capturing other Pokémon, but I enjoyed collecting them. I wrote many stories, and eventually increased in skill, until I took a Grader Test and became a Grader myself.

    It was then that my career in writing boomed - on the internet, at least. I learned how to analyse stories, and from their mistakes I learned even more. I found out about prose and how to structure sentences properly, how to tell a riveting tale and how to make unbreakable plots. I learned, in time, that people appreciated my writing, but only on the internet. I became popular in the Fan Fiction section of the forums, and won a few, unimportant awards, although I wasn’t exactly mature. It was only around the age of thirteen or fourteen that I started to become a better thinker, and my stories were better as a result.

    I hoped that something in English class this year (previous teachers had never really focused on creative writing at all, just skimmed over it) would let me prove my writing brilliance to real-life people. Maybe one day, I could become a professional author. It’s not like I had specific skills in any other subject, after all.

    The lesson was drawing to an end. “All right, then,” our English teacher called. “Homework. I know it’s only your first day back into proper lessons, but I want to see what level you’re at as far as description goes. Since you’re youthful, I bet you’re all into you’re technology and your video games and the like. What I want you to do is take a character from your favourite video game or franchise and describe them physically. We’ll see what standard this class is at then. I’m looking forward to it. Goodbye.”

    The bell rang, and I packed my things, swiftly moving to my next class.

    ***

    Logging on to AIM, where most members of the URPG talked in real-time together, I clicked my mouse, the arrow pointed over the [URPG] chat. Up came a new window, and I clicked inside the textbox, typing in a simple message - ‘hi’. Almost immediately, others replied.

    ”fox” vulpifors1:
    16:27 | hi
    16:27 | sup?

    ”build a turtle fence” chillarmy:
    16:28 | Nothing really, just dunno what to write about for my homework.

    ”B E A R” rekodick:
    16:28 | lol rly
    16:28 | a) no one cares about ur hw problems really
    16:28 | b) do you really think a bunch of poké nerds can help you?

    ”build a turtle fence” chillarmy:
    16:29 | knew that was coming.
    16:29 | are you still mad about what I said about your girlfriend?

    ”B E A R” rekodick:
    16:29 | no
    16:29 | im just sayin

    ”build a turtle fence” chillarmy:
    16:29 | i’m sure you are js.
    16:29 | but u rly mad bro.

    ”B E A R” rekodick:
    16:30 | smd army

    ”build a turtle fence” chillarmy:
    16:29 | anyway, our English teacher told us to describe a character from our favourite video game or franchise. She’s really fit ‘n’ stuff, so if I write about Pokémon she might think I’m a nerd or something.

    ”fox” vulpifors1:
    16:30 | lol, if everyone’s writing about their favourite video game character, they’re all going to sound like nerds, tbh.
    16:30 | just write about a pokemon, she won’t care.
    16:30 | plus, if she’s a teacher, she’s too old for you.

    ”build a turtle fence” chillarmy:
    16:36 | lol.
    16:36 | may as well write about some pokemon, but idk which one to pick

    ”sarah palin” birdshit94:
    16:37 | your username provides the obvious response, hillarmycay.

    ”build a turtle fence” chillarmy:
    16:37 | lol, i guess.

    So I supposed it was settled. Changing my status to “Away”, I quickly flipped open the crisp, dark blue exercise book that I was going to use for English, and began to write. I was rushed for time as I had cross-country training in an hour or so, and also some other homework to get done, so it wasn’t great quality.

    “Minccino, or, as it is known in Japan, Chillarmy, is a very small, pale grey creature. It has a large, fluffy tail, often supposed to be used as a feather duster, although one cannot imagine any human trying to use a creature as a feather duster. It is a rather cute and small creature, resembling a chinchilla in appearance. They are often found to be the pets of richer families that live in Unova, a region in a world that shadows our own, far off in another galaxy. Creatures such as Minccino are known as Pocket Monsters, as they can be captured with strange, spherical devices that swallow up a creature like this and store it in their pocket. Each Monster has powers and unique attributes. Some are plain, some are wondrous. I prefer the plainer ones, but they are also quite powerful at the same time, Minccino is an example of this.

    No-one can help but imagine, from any kind of description, how they couldn’t want this kind of creature as a pet themselves. Their fur is always soft and silky, no matter what happens to it, as dirt and water don’t stick, miraculously enough - that’s why they’re so good at cleaning, and are rather famous in Unova for being “neat freaks”. However, when they’re not cleaning, they do enjoy snuggling up near a fire, perhaps with a human companion, and falling asleep to the sounds of a television nearby, the crackling of fire and the bumble of human speech, which intrigues them. They are almost the perfect hugging partners, and have an extremely patient temperament for an irresistibly beautiful, yet unappreciated Pocket Monster.”


    I went on to describe about the various moves and strategies they could utilise in “battle” - yes, I did explain about battles, and I suppose I don’t care if I sounded like a nerd. Everyone was in their own little way, and if I was to be hunted down for something I enjoyed, then so it would be. I didn’t, unlike Minccino, have such a patient temperament. Placing down my pen on my computer desk, I slammed my book shut and packed it away into a drawer.

    I knew it wasn’t one of my best works - indeed, it seemed rather bad, but as I said, I was in a rush.

    Getting my cross-country gear ready, I quickly headed out of the door.
    Last edited by Buoy; 20th October 2011 at 01:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Dance in the ashes Dragoness's Avatar
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    Default Re: The First Page. [Chapter one.]

    You've waited about long enough - and you're going to have to wait longer still! :cackle:

    Seriously, it'll be a few days before I actually pop a grade out. BUT IT'S CLAIMED NOW, kk?
    Faith
    ...
    Siggie by Dragoness, aka me | Married 2 Noble One

  3. #3
    Dance in the ashes Dragoness's Avatar
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    Default Re: The First Page. [Chapter one.]

    Notes About Narratives:

    To start off with, so we are both on the same page, I want to define your story as a narrative. A narrative tells of a story, usually a personal story and usually in the personal pronoun. I say “usually” because this is not always true. Narratives can be of a non-personal story in the past tense in the third person, or even in the second person, and so on and so forth.

    Narratives have a few different elements. I do not want to box you in and say “Narratives must have…” but generally speaking narratives should contain these certain things. One of the elements is tension. Some kind of tension between the character(s), the setting, the ideas, etc. is usually “required”. Another element is something akin to an epiphany—some kind of revelation the reader can grasp and put the story feeling they had just read something bigger than just a complication of events.

    This story is well written. You had some touches of tension smoothly slipped into the character’s personal thoughts of the world around him. For example, his tension between friends and his teachers. But those tensions are not really cruxes on which the story stands. Nor am I sure exactly what the bigger picture is behind these events. And that is okay! For a URPG story, it’s okay. But I can see you are a good, developing writer, so I want you to think of these things as you continue to write.

    Grammar/Punctuation:

    ...the class fell to silence...
    "The class fell to" or "The class fell silent"? In this case being direct and to the point by getting rid of the infinitive "to" would have been more effective.

    I wondered if she was going to arrange us in alphabetical order - in that case, I would be last, as I knew already that my name was last to come up on the register
    It is repetitive and awkward. If the name is going to be last, don't say it is b/c you know it will be last, but say why---or show why. "My surname started with the last alphabet, ZZ-Top" or something along those lines.

    I saw throughout your story that you used a couple fragments. For example, you wrote:

    …but you know how some kids are. Never shut up.
    “Never shut up” is the fragment. It does not stand on its own as a sentence. It is dependent on the previous sentence. So if you want to turn it from a fragment and into a true sentence, it must be connected in some way to that sentence or reworded.

    For this story, it was stylistically appropriate. For other stories, depending on the content and structure, you may want to cut back on the fragments. To reiterate, they were not a problem in this story, I simply want to make sure you are aware that you are using fragments and while they have an appropriate place, they can also be used inappropriate. If you want examples of good/bad use of frags, VM me and I'll see if I can
    dig up a few.

    Lest I forget, let me say congratulations on inserting the AIM conversation into the story so neatly. It did not interrupt the flow and by centering the IMs, it was aesthetically pleasing.

    One last note: please remember to define jargon or specific terms, like abbreviations. I
    do not know what GSCE is. Jargon should be explained as it comes up in the story.

    Plot:

    My biggest concern with this story is that the plot is too simple. This gets back to what I was saying in the very first paragraphs of the grade. This can essentially be boiled down to "Boy does homework assignment" - and you did not even go in depth on the homework, which is the main aspect of the plot. If you had shown Fred researching more or even revealed more of his completed homework assignment, than you could have turned that into a more captivating and developed plot.

    I mean, plot is not everything, not by a long shot. You can take a simple plot, but bring to the story some incredibly interesting characters, themes and ideas. And you did do that through bringing out some of Fred's personality, his life and also briefly analyzing the URPG sections. It was good, is what I am trying to say, but was shy of being great, y'know?

    And yes, I appreciate the reference to BMG :P

    Conclusion:

    For a Medium Pokemon, the plot is shaky, but acceptable. In combination with the other elements of the story, which you did quite well on, this story is passable. But obviously you have talent, so why settle for passable? Next time you write, shoot for the stars.
    Have fun with the plot, the writing, the characters, etc. :) And I expect you to write more stories.
    Passed.

    BTW: Did I not say it might be Thanksgiving before I got this grade done?! xD I am ahead by a few days! Yay.
    Faith
    ...
    Siggie by Dragoness, aka me | Married 2 Noble One

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