One Scary Day (first grade done/editing/open for comments and ideas for continuation)

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Thread: One Scary Day (first grade done/editing/open for comments and ideas for continuation)

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    Insane Particle Collider Pman's Avatar
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    Default One Scary Day (first grade done/editing/open for comments and ideas for continuation)

    Target Pokémon: Machop
    Characters: 5009
    Submitted for grading: 13/12/2010

    I crouched down, hidden in the long green grass. The pink of my front horn was just visible above it if an especially astute observer were to glance my way. My green head did well at camouflaging and there were some patches of pink flowers around. I was quite well hidden. I was only forty-two centimetres high at the time, tall for my species but it still meant that I could hide insanely well.

    One of my favourite pastimes was sitting there, in that grass watching the clothed two legs. I’d found that they were hateful, spiteful and downright repulsive creatures. I was sure that the only reason that I was both alive and free was my careful, studied avoidance of being seen by them. Occasionally one almost worth meeting would wander by, but only rarely and always with those we had deemed “the undesirables.”

    The greatest shame that could come upon one of my species was to be caught by an undesirable. That is the reason that so few of us can be seen with trainers, we don’t like them. Many species have a dislike for those of the clothed two legs race, most are just too stupid to avoid being caught. Only the weakest and least intelligent of my species could be caught by a human, or so I foolishly believed. Of course, you already know all this.

    That was before the day of the incident, now my opinion of clothed two legs is even worse than it was then. That fateful day that I shall remember for the rest of my life, the day I was first seen by one of the clothed two legs, started out a day much like any other. It was a little warm for that time of year and the air was heavy with pollen. I’ve never coped well with pollen; it has always made me drowsy.

    On that day, it was the pollen that almost cost me everything. I was sitting in the grass, well out of the way half asleep when I sensed rather than heard an undesirable nearby. He was close, too close; I couldn’t afford to make a sound now. I heard his footsteps just metres away. He was large and he had a Machop following him. I could have defeated most Machop in a matter of minutes; the only reason I wasn’t already a Gallade of high standing within our community is that as the chieftain’s youngest son, I was forbidden to evolve.

    This tradition, stretching back into the realms of legend served to prevent the younger offspring from rising up and challenging our elder brothers for positions of power with our community. If we were still only Ralts, how could we hope to contend with them? It was a harsh rule but it was there for a reason and protected our tribe from harm.

    Because of that rule, the undesirable’s Machop posed a significant threat to me. Yes, I was old, but not as old as the Machop, It looked like it would be quite a bit stronger than me and this would not bode well if the undesirable found me. That was when I sneezed. A reflex that I had no control over looked like costing me my freedom.

    The clothed two legs turned, he’d seen me, and he attacked. The Machop came flying towards me, his hand in front of him. He was trying for a Dynamic Punch. I knew that if this hit, I would be slightly concussed and less likely to escape. Unfortunately for me, I was rooted in place. It appeared that this Machamp had No-Guard, meaning he could never miss.

    I focused my will on using Confusion, sweat pouring down my smooth white cheek as I tried to fight the after-effects of the Dynamic Punch. I successfully confused the beefy Machamp, now it might hurt itself.

    Its grey skin bulging with muscle, the Machop tried to throw another Dynamic Punch, it looked triumphant as it started to hit me before it fell over from the confusion it was quite obviously feeling. I once again focused my mind, this time on using Psychic. If I could get through the confusion, I had the potential to do massive damage to him. Sadly, I failed and ended up flat on my face with no idea as to how I had gotten there. As I looked up, I saw a massive fist filling my vision before it connected and sent me flying, this guy sure did like Dynamic Punch.

    I pulled myself to my feet as I sent off a Psychic attack. It hit for massive damage and lowered his special defence, which would make my job much easier. The Machop hit himself again giving me a chance to escape.

    I quickly hid behind the move protect as yet another one of the Machamp’s Dynamic Punch’s came flying my way. My confusion had cleared and seemingly, so had his. The Machop had been slightly battle weary when he first attacked and it seemed that he was out of those annoying punches, I’d survived them.

    The problem was, Mach Punch is fast, very fast and this Machamp’s was no exception. I threw off a Psychic before feeling something hard hit me on the head. I found myself in a small enclosed space, it wasn’t that uncomfortable but I could barely move. I struggled; I saw a crack of light which only made me struggle harder. All of a sudden, I was back in that long familiar grass, unfortunately the Machamp was still there. One more Psychic changed all that though.


    AUTHORS NOTE: (not part of graded story)
    This was originally going to be a story to capture the ralts involved but its been sitting, half written on my computer fro about 6 months now so I've decided to modify it slightly and go for a machop. The first step was to get rid of the machamp and change him into a machop, then I had to cut of the stub of the 2nd half of the story, a political forum where my ralts (now a Gallade) was trying to persuade his tribe that is was sensible to allow the younger siblings of the tribes leaders to evolve. I thought I'd leave some of that in to show a hint of the politcal structure of the ralts tribe. Obviously this is set in a heavily modified pokemon universe. I hope everyone enjoys what I believe is a fairly original story from an original perspective.
    Last edited by Pman; 28th January 2011 at 02:35 AM.
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  2. #2
    Angry about Outer Heavens ChainReaction01's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Scary Day (Ready For Grading)

    I'mma claim this for my first grade ever :D
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    Angry about Outer Heavens ChainReaction01's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Scary Day (Ready For Grading)



    Introduction

    Wow, congratulations. Your introduction to this story is excellent. You give a nice, clear description of the protagonist without going overboard on the details. You also give us a look into the protagonist’s mindset – humans are stupid, repellent things that are to be avoided at all costs.

    You also mention a little bit of history, and about how as the leader’s youngest son you’re not allowed to evolve lest you challenge his leadership. Right then and there I began to hope for a kind of political drama in which the fighting isn’t merely physical – struggles are held between groups with different ideals and the protagonist will have to balance his deals and promises to achieve victory.

    Your introduction is almost half of your entire story, which is a little too big, but I enjoyed it so much I don’t care. Brava.

    Plot

    Unfortunately, your overall story is rather disappointing considering how it starts. My visions of an epic political struggle faded from my eyes, and instead I was greeted with a much more mundane “Trainer goes for a walk and finds a Pokemon” story. There’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself, after all this is only a Simple Pokemon you’re trying to catch, and you don’t need to write an epic to do that, but I mourn the loss of the story’s potential, and such a grand setup has the story fall flat if it is not as grand. Think of it like this: when you're writing the introduction of the story, you're kinda making promises about what it will be like, and then if those promises are broken the story seems like a random throwaway as opposed to something special. If you don’t use Ralts tribe political thing soon, though, I might steal it :P

    The plot itself is summed up quite simply. A Ralts is hiding in a field, watching humans pass. He accidentally sneezes, and a Trainer sees him. A battle ensues, but the Ralts manages to break free of the Poke Ball. This is interesting in and of itself – it’s like a traditional Simple story, except from the Pokemon’s point of view. Enjoyably different in theory, but your climax lets it down. I’ll explain that later on.

    Dialogue

    Your story didn’t have any external speaking, but you had a nice internal monologue going from inside the Ralts. You talked about both important things and throwaway things, which was good to see. There wasn’t much, but what was there was good, and that’s what is important.

    Grammar

    Your grammar was quite good. There were just a few issues that I have:

    The pink of my front horn was just visible above it if an especially astute observer were to glance my way.
    That’s a little bit awkward as a sentence. A better way to say it would be “The pink of my front horn would only have been visible above the high grass to an especially astute observer”.

    it still meant that I could hide insanely well.
    This isn’t really a problem, more of a strange choice. “Insanely” doesn’t seem to be the kind of adverb that should be applied to a defensive action like hiding. This doesn’t particularly matter though, it just seems odd to me personally.

    A reflex that I had no control over looked like costing me my freedom.
    Again, this is a little bit awkward. It could be reworded like so: “A reflex that I had no control over could be costing me my freedom”.

    Towards the end of your story, you refer to the Machop as a Machamp a few times. While it makes sense in context of your note, it breaks the immersion of the story and so needs to be fixed.

    Lastly, your tense jumps around all over the place. Some times, you speak like this has already happened and we’re looking through a framing device. Other times, you speak like this is only just happening to the protagonist. You should decide what’s happening in the timeline, and then pick a point to tell the story from. The easiest tense is usually past, and that’s what most of your story was in, but I was fairly sure you were throwing in some foreshadowing in your introduction, and that never led anywhere.

    Detail

    Your description of your protagonist was great – enough details to paint an accurate picture, but you didn’t overdo it. I also liked how you described the field the Ralts was sitting in, and you painted an accurate picture of the world the Ralts lived in – humans are to be disliked and perhaps even feared.

    However, from there, your excellent descriptions petered out. You didn’t describe the Trainer that tries to capture the Ralts, and you only made one throwaway remark about the Machops’ “grey skin bulging with muscle”. You also didn’t really describe any attacks, other than the Machop’s initial Dynamicpunch, and you talk about “throwing off” and “sending off” Psychic attacks, but think about this. It’s pretty well established in the Pokemon universe that Psychic / Confusion are actually telekinetic attacks, and if you’re throwing the Machop around it can’t really be attacking you physically. Even if you’re using it in a way that’s just a glowing orb or something, it’d be nice if you let your readers know this so they can picture it.

    Lastly, you describe the battle a lot like actual URPG battling. This isn’t a huge problem, but without descriptions to back it up, your readers lose immersion. For example:

    The Machop came flying towards me, his hand in front of him. He was trying for a Dynamic Punch. I knew that if this hit, I would be slightly concussed and less likely to escape. Unfortunately for me, I was rooted in place. It appeared that this Machamp had No-Guard, meaning he could never miss.
    You don’t explain any mechanics behind No Guard. Seeing as Machop is a physical fighter with next to no special powers, how can it stop the Ralts from dodging or fleeing? And to a lesser extent, how does Ralts know about the secondary effect of Dynamicpunch? I admit, knowledge like this could be passed down by the tribe, but it’s never touched on in the introduction.

    I pulled myself to my feet as I sent off a Psychic attack. It hit for massive damage and lowered his special defence, which would make my job much easier.
    How exactly does Ralts know that the Special Defense stat drop happened? You could use some details about how his thoughts were easier to read, or his eyes became glazed, but you give no reasons, and the question of how Ralts knows this jolts the reader out of your story.

    All in all, your descriptions and details were close to perfect for the first half of your story, but the quality drained as the story continued. You should be aware of writer’s fatigue, if that’s what happened – when writing becomes a chore as opposed to an activity, take a break.

    Length

    I count 5,009 characters in your story, which is just barely over the minimum required for a Simple Pokemon. It feels like you cut your story short, but you have the amount required so I can’t fault you for anything here.

    Climax

    Unfortunately, this is where your story fell flat. Among problems I’ve already mentioned, like calling the Machop a Machamp and not really describing any of the attacks, there are a couple other issues, one minor and one major.

    The minor problem is that the two Pokemon battling never really showcase much of their abilities. Even though Machop’s Ability is referenced, it only uses Dynamicpunch and Mach Punch (and by the way, Machop can’t use Mach Punch), and Ralts only uses Confusion and Psychic, which is basically the same move anyway. Granted, you can’t do much with the Machop, but Ralts could have tried Charm to weaken the Machop’s resolve. It could have used Magical Leaf as a distraction or attempted a Hypnosis + Dream Eater combo. Hell, you could have even done some cool stuff with Teleport. Despite the missed opportunities, the battle was about Simple level, excepting perhaps the mistake with Mach Punch.

    The major problem is that your ending is not good. I’m sorry, that’s about the best way I can phrase it. It literally ends in the middle of the battle. We don’t know whether Ralts escapes, or even if the Machop is knocked out. It sounds like it was, but I’m not sure. The reader is left hanging – we don’t know whether Ralts escapes from the Trainer or not, and that’s a pretty important part of the story to leave out. It kinda feels like you just couldn’t be bothered ending it.

    Overall

    Your story starts with much promise and great imagery. I was fully expecting a great story that was very different from the usual Simple crowd. Unfortunately, I did not get that, although the story that was provided was fine for a Simple Pokemon. The major problem is that the quality of your writing dwindled, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was the lack of a satisfying conclusion, alongside the fact that you only barely hit the minimum number of characters required.

    Machop Not Captured…

    In the end, your introduction made promises your story didn't keep, but the main reason behind the failed capture is the lack of a real ending. You should keep the great writing quality you displayed at the beginning of your story all the way through to the end, and you need to write a proper ending, like whether the Ralts is captured or escapes. Even at Simple level, where just a decent battle is enough to pass you, it is important to conclude that battle for the sake of a whole plot. If you fully fleshed this out like you were originally going to, there is no doubt in my mind you'd get both the Ralts and the Machop. When you're finished editing. PM/VM/IM me for a regrade.

    Last edited by ChainReaction01; 26th January 2011 at 01:17 PM.
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  4. #4
    Insane Particle Collider Pman's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Scary Day (Ready For Grading)

    It was originally going to have that political conflict but it was also going to be for a ralts...the last sentance does kinda say that the machaop was defeated...I'll flesh it out and post back then
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