Fish in a Can

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  1. #1
    Sometimes Quiet Joltik's Avatar
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    Default Fish in a Can



    It was a rainy day down by the docks. Most days were rainy at this time of year, it being storm season and all. The docks were crowded by large gray buildings, and the cement docks reached out into the ocean, like fingers trying to poke the waves that beat against them. A small speck of red moves across the gray landscape, closer exclamation reveals it to be a boy wearing a red coat. The coat covers most of him, as it is far too big. He wears blue jeans with a few holes, and sneakers that were once white but have been stained with mud. He walks with a slight hunch; his black hair slightly covers his blue eyes. A backpack is weighing down his back, and he stops to pull his hood over his spiky hair. His name is Mike.


    He walked along the docks heading for home. He makes this walk twice a day, Monday to Friday. He stopped and looked up, having heard a commotion. He saw a large boy, a few months older than him, and a smaller boy, about his age stood a near an oil can. Mike flinched, he knows who they are. The large one is a feared bully at school; the smaller one is his lackey. The large one is holding something in his hands the smaller one is looking into the oil can. Mike quickly ducked behind a nearly warehouse.


    “Are you sure about this,” the short one said “We could get in trouble!”


    “Are you scared?” The large one said, with an edge to his voice.


    “No sir,” He said “Can we just get this over with?”


    “Settle down, it’s not like we’re killing it or anything.”


    “We may as well be”


    A splashing noise is heard.


    “See” The large man said “All done”


    Mike stayed in his hiding spot for a few more seconds, and then he peaked out to look. He saw that the two are gone, and he keeps on walking. As he nears the oil can, he hears a splashing noise, and walked over to the can. Looking in, he saw a strange sight; a fish looks back at him. Unlike most fish that can be found in the ocean, this fish is large, and a bright red. It has two yellow “fins” poking out from its top and its bottom, the top one has three points and looks like a little crown. The bottom one has four spikes, and while it still looks a little crown like, it is not as crown like as the top one. It has two eyes, with a small black dot for a pupil. It had pink lips, and two long yellow tendrils came down from around its mouth. Red scales cover it, and its fins and tail was white. It was a Magikarp.


    The fish bobbled up and down in side the barrel. It let out a few bubbles, and then splashed around. It seemed to be very unhappy with its predicament. Mike realized that the Magikarp will die if it stays in there, it has no food. It would have been fine in the ocean, which is few paces away.


    Why couldn’t they have put the fish in the ocean? he thought. The poor thing doesn’t deserve this He puts his shoulder to the oil can, and pushes. His plan is to push the can over to the ocean, then knock the fish out of the can and into the ocean. The can however, seems to have different plans. Mike pushed it, and the can tips over. Water and fish went everywhere. The Magikarp slashing around like mad, Mike runs over to it and graves its tail. He then drags it over to the ocean then tossed it in. The fish floats in the water, and then goes under. Mike sighed, and then he continues one his way home, feeling like he has done something good.


    A few weeks pass, and Mike is waking bye the docks again, this time on his way to school. He has walked part of the way, only to stop. The bully from before is walking his way. It is too late for him to hide. The bully graved his shirt and pulled him towards the ocean.


    “I just got expelled,” The bully said “And I need a vent. Would you like a swim?”


    “No,” Mike said, as he tried to kick the large boy, only to miss. “Really don’t want to!”
    “Sucks to be you,” The bully said as he tossed Mike into the ocean. Instead of hitting water, he was pushed up by something hard, just barley being able to grave onto it. The boy was pulled up ten feet into the air. He was sitting on a long segmented serpent; it was blue, with a cream colored underbelly. Large white fins can out from its back, in cropping of three and four. It also had cream makings going down its side. Its tail was blue and white. It had a three pronged cress on its head, with red eyes right below it. Two small fins came out from the sides, and blue whiskers came down by its yellow lips. It was the evolved form of Magikarp, a Gyarados.


    Mike was clinging onto one of spikes that came from its back. The large water flying type looked at the bully, a look of anger in its eyes. The Gyarados then let out a roar that terrified both mike and the bully. The bully fell to the ground. He then screamed like a little girl and ran away. The Gyarados lowered its head down to the docks, allowing for Mike to jump off.


    “Thanks,” Mike said “I guess you are the Magikarp that I pushed into the ocean?”


    The Gyarados nodded, and then waved its tail as a way of saying good buy. He then turned to the open sea and swan away. Mike waved back too it, and then when on his way to school.
    Last edited by Joltik; 9th August 2012 at 02:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Head of Stories Princess Crow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fish in a Can

    I'll claim this! The grade should be up as soon as possible.

  3. #3
    Head of Stories Princess Crow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fish in a Can

    Introduction: Quite frankly, your introduction accomplished its goal; it gave us an insight to the characters, the setting, and even an introduction to the plot. It made the rest of the story much more fluid and easy to understand. As usual, I’ll dive right into my typical introduction grading scale of the four W’s.

    What: At its core, we’re faced with a kid, Mike, who is bullied, yet he has compassion for others. It sounds pretty simple, and quite frankly, it is, but it makes for a very interesting read. It’s not something that I was necessarily expecting either. Typically, a story of this length consists of a trainer attempting to capture a pokemon, rather than a trainer releasing one. It was something fresh that I really liked.

    Who: The main character is Mike, though there are several other important characters as well (the bully, the Magikarp/Gyarados, etc.) You did a marvelous job describing the key characters, so it was very easy to visualize the entire story. I felt that I really knew them, which is something that I really like to see.

    Where: Apparently, it’s a fishing town, complete with docks, rainy weather, and an overall dreary gloom of the city. This is probably the part of the story that I liked the most. Like I said above, you did a great job with describing things, which particularly rang through in your setting. The way you really made it so bleak and grey was, again, something fresh and new. It really set the tone for the story as well. It made us kind of feel bleak as we read the story too, and it started out as sort of a depressing story, so I actually thought it really benefited the rest of the story as well.

    When: During the rainy season of the year. The time in which the story takes place generally does not affect the story, and it didn’t really affect yours, so you won’t be graded on it. Nonetheless, I like how you did give us a little tip as to what time of the year it was. It didn’t really have that much significance in the story, but it still was a nice addition that made us feel somewhat more comfortable in the story that you had created.

    Plot: Short, sweet, and simple are the three words I would use to describe this story’s plot. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a plot like this; in fact, I actually like stories with a plot this simple, especially for a pokemon like a Magikarp. It makes things not too complicated for such a small length, which makes the story much more understandable.

    I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but I really liked the symbolism in this story. At first, I didn’t really catch on when Mike tossed the Magikarp back into the ocean. However, as soon as I read that the bully was intending on throwing Mike into the ocean, it rang through to me instantly. I was visualizing Mike as the Magikarp that the bully pulled out of the ocean. I’m having a hard time explaining what I mean, but I really liked this aspect. You can say I liked it so much that I was speechless!

    Another symbol that I found in this story that I really liked I probably only noticed it from the book I’m reading at the moment, Catcher in the Rye: Rejection. The Magikarp symbolized rejection very well in this story, and, with Mike saving the Magikarp, it showed what the Magikarp really could do by becoming a Gyarados. This story reminds me a lot of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ as well, as the ugliest duckling eventually becomes the prettiest and best swan of them all. The short story itself reminds me of the Magikarp evolutionary line, so I think for a story with this kind of plot, the symbolism in it really rang through. Whether or not you intended to do this, I still enjoyed it!

    Climax: Continuing on from some of what I said above, it was short and sweet, though this gave us a quick swipe at justice as well. Definitely a solid conclusion that answered most questions I had, it was a nice way to end such the story that you created.

    The justice at the end of this story was another one of my favorite parts. The way that Mike’s small and fairly easy task really made an impact on his future was very interesting to read. I think it was a nice touch, however, that sort of gave us an insight into how we should behave as human beings. If we behave like Mike did, even the tiniest things can make an impact that can really affect you in the end.

    I liked how Mike didn’t try to capture the Gyarados. Typically, most stories of this length end with a pokemon capture, but I think a pokemon capture would have made the conclusion feel less like a key part in the story. The main moral of this story is to go out of your way to do something nice for someone/something with your only reason being to be a good person. If Mike had attempted to capture the pokemon, it would have implied that he only cared about the pokemon, rather than the fact that Mike had done what he did solely out of compassion.

    Grammar/Conventions: I’m fairly certain you know this is the part that you struggled with the most. While the content of your story was very creative and fun to read, the way it was physically portrayed to us really changed how the story was told. If you story has grammatical flaws, it automatically messes up the flow of your story, which would have been very nice if it was fluid throughout the whole story. However, the errors that you did make were errors that subtracted from the reading experience. I’ll go into further explanation below:

    One thing that I found fairly often throughout your that I think you could improve on is ending speech. This is something that many authors struggle with, so you’re not alone in this boat at all. If what comes directly after the speech is still a form of continuation of the speech (he said, she said, etc.) the speech tags should have a comma before they close out. However, if the clause that comes right after the speech ends can stand alone as a full sentence (he smiled, he looked down at his shoes, etc.) there should be a period before the speech tags close. It’s a little confusing to say, so I’ll give some examples to prove what I mean.

    “See” The large man said “All done”
    If I were to follow the guidelines that I said above, the sentence might end up looking a little different.

    “See?” the large man said. “All done.”
    (Even though the question mark typically marks the end of the sentence and should be treated like a period, in this circumstance, the question mark acts as a comma)

    One thing that I found that could easily be corrected is tense changes. There’s nothing wrong with writing a story in the present tense, but, if you are aiming to do so, you need to stay constant with it. Most writers tend to write in the past tense, and I could tell that you were struggling to fight that instinct to stick to past tense. However, it can make the reading experience difficult if you’re switching back and forth, so just keep that in mind. I really don’t mind which tense you choose, just stay constant with it throughout the entire story and you should be good. I’ll point out an example so you can see what I’m talking about.

    He saw that the two are gone, and he keeps on walking.
    The word that messes up this sentence is the word, saw. Saw is the past tense form of to see, so it doesn’t match up with the rest of the tenses in the rest of the sentence. It’s not that big of a deal, but it can keep the flow of your story, well, flowing. Just for reference, here is what the correct statement

    He sees that the two are gone, and he keeps on walking.
    Other than that, I would just say look out for some common errors, such as homophones, spelling errors, etc. I don’t think that these errors are something that I need to acknowledge and spend a lot of time on, I would just say to read back through your work a little more closely before you submit it.

    Length: The minimum character requirement for a Magikarp is 3,000 characters. The guideline cuts off at 5,000 characters, but you exceeded the expectations and went above and beyond, ending up with about 100 characters over 5,000. You’re definitely fine in this regard, and going over the minimum really suggests that you are writing the story for writing, rather than getting a pokemon.

    Results: Magikarp is captured! You’re probably sick of me saying this, but your story was short and sweet. It was a very nice read, and it definitely deserves a pokemon of this ranking. While there were some flaws, you’re not expected to be perfect for a Magikarp story, and the strong points in your story were really strong and definitely outclassed the flaws. Have fun, enjoy your new Magikarp, and keep writing stories!
    Last edited by Princess Crow; 23rd September 2012 at 03:50 PM.

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