The Riddle (Ready for Grading)- Comments Welcome

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  1. #1
    Perpetually Moneyless Timpeni's Avatar
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    Default The Riddle (Ready for Grading)- Comments Welcome

    "The killer of now up to forty-nine has struck again. But this time, there is new hope. Two witnesses, Katherine Enright and John Desmond have survived the attack of the killer. More updates will come as the investigation goes on now. This is Ted Johnson, signing out."

    *

    The man with spiky, blonde hair strode around the mostly empty brown room with his long detective cloak, as black as a crow against the cloudy night sky. His right arm was missing, leaving a long and flat sleeve hanging from the cloak. The inspector looked at the man with hazel eyes, his pitch black hair cut to the roots. Both men and a woman seated themselves at a brown table, the fan above them whirring madly.

    "I've looked at your records. Yes, you are definitely a detective. In which case, since you insisted, I'll let you question Katherine, the maid of the household. I don't think you murdered them, but just so you know, I have a pistol. This room is also surveyed by a security camera." Inspector Clive said. The woman looked at him with a blank expression, her neat fringe parted to the side, thanks to two white hair clips. Her collar nearly reached the end of her blonde hair. Her black eyes were colder than most, sending chills down Clive's spine.

    "I suppose you suspect me then." Katherine put her hand in the pocket of her dress, which was placed high up since the end of the uniform was so wide. White frills decorated the end, just revealing her small black shoes. John walked up to Katherine, his blue eyes facing hers. The atmosphere was tense.

    "First things first, Inspector. I'll tell you what happened now. I was invited to my friend's house, a beautiful house built over a lake. All the other victims were there." John continued, his footsteps seeming unnaturally loud.

    "That friend was Eric Desmond, my brother. During the party, he decided to go to his room and have a drink in private for a while. Why would he do that? As you know, Inspector, when you performed the autopsy, it was found he died of poisoning. We were at his house all day, and ate all he ate. He couldn't have eaten it before the party. The poison was the poison if the Bushmaster Snake. He wouldn't have lived through the party. So it was the wine that was poisoned." John faced Katherine, and smiled at her.

    "You would know, Katherine. You are his servant. You served him the wine. You saw it happen."

    "So, Katherine is t-" Clive was cut off by John, continuing in front of him.

    "Not so fast, Inspector. Where did she get the poison? And that's not all. I know Eric. He was suffering from cancer. Being such a rich man, he could easily get the poison. Maybe he just wanted to see us again before he committed suicide." John said.

    "Just moments after, a bomb shattered the foundations of the house, sending the floor into the lake below- along with the guests. Their expensive clothing brought then to their doom. None knew how to swim very well, and the jewel-covered clothes laced with gold and silver sank faster than they could swim. Only me and Katherine were wearing simple clothing, and survived. How did she get the bomb? It is impossible for her." What John said simply sent Clive into an instant blur. He was known for his unique intellect and very unique way of conversing, but this was out of the world.

    "What?! Then who is the killer?! I'm losing my patience with all your suspense and gobbledygook! Tell me who did it!" Clive yelled at the top of his lungs. A twisted grin stretched over John's face, destroying both his image of intelligence and wit. Clive immediately stumbled back, surprised by the sudden reaction from John, a reaction which severely disturbed him.

    "Oh, Katherine can tell you that!" John said. Katherine's face turned a clean sheet of pale white as John laughed. "Say the name of the person, Katherine! Who is the culprit? You know it, because it happened in front of your eyes! If you don't, I'll answer the question for you! Say the name of the person in front of you!" In that moment, Clive pulled out his pistol in defense.

    "Say my name!"

    *

    "I told him that I was going to do the killing. But his face changed color and he insisted on having the role of the detective."

    "He did pretty good, didn't he?"

    "Yeah. I guess it was because his head was so stuck into it. He said he needed to 'atone for his sins'..."

    "In that case, send him and this Florine girl to our next target. Make Florine the maidservant of this next household. Saves me the trouble of looking through all the members we have to look for one. Go and prepare the disguises. Here are the two people that I want you to kill and steal their identities. Now I need to arrange the next mission for L-"

    "But one more thing, sir..."

    "What?"

    "Osborne lost his right arm."

    Florine was sitting on a grand chair with red cushions, at a long table with all the members of the organization. She was seated where Osborne was supposed to be. She was the odd one out of the whole group, having not possess that one thing that made all the others be called 'Freaks'. The only reason why she was sitting on the chair was because Osborne has saved her. The only survivor of the assault, and to be yet again- but the next time was to be a bluff. The large man roared, his two extra arms nearly grabbing out to strangle the messenger, but stopped himself before that. The man screeched with much sound, the volume of a jet-plane, before he noticed his boss has stopped. His small eyes were more suited to underground living, since he was a Whismur hybrid.

    "So, you are Florine." The man in a ripped black suit said. His muscles were far too much for a human body, but luckily, he didn't have a pure human body. It seemed that the only thing that separated him from being classified as a Machamp is the fact that he is capable of both human speech and delicate work, a feat impossible for a normal Machamp, for his lower arms are of a normal human size. His whole body was covered in gray skin, and he possessed three gold-colored ovals that were attached on his flat head, and thick eyebrows stared at the only normal human.

    "It seems that our best actor has taken a liking to you. I'm making you take a mission with him. Just be happy that he saved your miserable life, human."

    It was then that a man walked into the large room, the huge door creaking to a close as he let go. A white tail was held in his remaining hand. A tail with the end looking exactly like the end of a paintbrush.

    "Don't talk to her like that." Osborne said. His short ocean blue hair was combed down, much unlike the disguise he would take later on. Florine remembered him as the man who dressed as a slightly old and plump manservant, who worked alongside her. It was him who set fire to the mansion. It was him who pulled her out of the fire and caused his arm to be crushed by the flaming debris...

    The over sized tuxedo hung from his skinny body, the tuxedo which he stole from the manservant as he murdered him. "Ah, just in time, Osborne. We need you to make disguises for two more."

    "Which house are we going now?" Osborne asked.

    "Over to the Desmond household. Listen, in a week's time there will be a party. Our intelligence gatherers will get more information soon. For now, kill these two people," The man showed Florine and Osborne two pictures. "The woman is called Katherine Enright and the other John Desmond, Eric Desmond's brother."

    *

    We weren't supposed to live.

    Or at least, the disguises we took.

    But they arrived too fast for us to escape.

    They deemed us as witnesses.

    Now, only one of us could escape.

    And it would be me.

    But would I escape...?

    Why do you insist on getting hurt?

    Do you think you can really protect me like that?

    When we murdered the first man...

    It was you who blindfolded me and knocked me out, right?

    There were two wine glasses weren't there. You simply switched them.

    Even if he didn't die by your poison...

    He would have eventually died by my knife.

    Let me solve the riddle in your place.

    Let me undo the rusted curse put upon the real culprit.

    I can only think that... everything you said to me was a lie.

    After all...

    If you said that you were tired of living, what's making you so anxious?

    You had the ability to kill them one by one.

    But you aren't the real culprit.

    When I was spying on you...

    In the house where you fell in love with me

    And where I fell when you detonated the bomb

    A hole forming in the floor.

    You stretched out your arm and saved me.

    The arm was used to play piano.

    Had I known that, would I have not taken it...?

    I will gently whisper into your ear

    The real culprit's name.

    The culprit is...

    Me.

    *

    Osborne's body fell to the floor as Clive fired his pistol multiple times. Florine slowly walked up and tore off the disguise, revealing the real person inside, when she could have teleported. Clive looked at the woman fiercely.

    "Why didn't you do that earlier? I sent you to spy on those horrid Pokemon hybrids. I thought there was actually one of you that wasn't corrupted," Clive said, reloading his pistol. "Take off your disguise. You aren't worthy of it."

    Florine slowly took off the expertly made costume, revealing what Osborne thought was the real her. She tore at herself again.

    A green hood covered her flashing red eyes, and a red, glowing horn stuck out of the green hood. Unlike a Ralts, she had legs, and a trailing mound of excess skin that looked like a dress. Her delicate white skin was untouched by the sun for many days, having the disguises on for so long.

    "Tell me everything you know," Clive scowled. He handed her a paper and pen. "Don't speak. You Pokemon don't have the right to use our language."

    Slowly, the pen lifted and wrote on the paper. The whereabouts of the hideout was soon sketched out. The plans were neatly arranged. As soon as the pen cap was put on again, Clive fired his pistol. Florine took a step back as a gaping hole appeared on her chest.

    "I don't need you anymore."

    Florine immediately started to sing. The sparking light enveloped her, before both her and Osborne disappeared. Where the two teleported, nobody knows.

    *

    "The killer is found to be a secret organization led by the wrecked Pokemon hybrids. All have been captured, but one escaped. Please be on a lookout for this person."

    A picture of Osborne flashed on the screen.
    Last edited by Timpeni; 2nd February 2011 at 09:51 PM.
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  2. #2
    Perpetually Moneyless Timpeni's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Riddle (W.I.P.)

    AND I'm done.

    Pokemon being Captured: Ralts
    Suggested Length: 10,000 - 20,000
    Actual Length: 10,355 (Ugh.)

    Author's Notes
    URPG Stats
    Rangering: Closed currently
    Story Deals: Closed for now (Open to bribes)

    P.S. My story deal load is a lot, so if you bribe me now you have to wait pretty long.

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    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Riddle (Ready for Grading)- Comments Welcome

    Claiming this, per request.
    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
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    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Riddle (Ready for Grading)- Comments Welcome

    Riddle me this, riddle me that.

    Intro: After an interesting television news report, we're taken into a room where what seems an interrogation is taking place. I like how the beginning is set up, and you do a good job of describing the boring room they're in. It reminds me of a lot of film noir, and since you had a similar darkerish theme, it really fit.

    There was only one thing that jarred me about the introduction, and I'll get to that in the description portion of the grade.


    Plot: Your plot was pretty interesting. Basically, there's a hybrid group that is disguising themselves as different people and killing others off. I find the use of hybrids fascinating. This story wasn't revolved around the organization really, but I do wish you had expanded a little on what the group is trying to accomplish. Since Florine was supposed to be a spy, that would've been a good opportunity to sneak in a little hint or something. You do say in your notes that this is an ongoing fic, but some foreshadowing can add a lot to individual chapters by keeping some of the mystery up. Since I don't know what the overall plot is going to be, I can't give specific examples of this, but you could possibly use certain objects or actions as a symbol representing a theme. I'm not sure if you've read The Great Gatsby, but the green light at the end of the dock was used as a theme symbol.

    I do like the way it ends though. It leaves everything open for speculation and also gives you room to continue on with the story.


    Dialogue: Your dialogue was pretty good. I do want to mention dialogue tags however, as the weren't done quite right. It's an easy fix.
    security camera." Inspector Clive said.
    Dialogue tags are mostly used to clarify who is doing the speaking. They are attached to the speech by a comma inside the quotation marks (unless the speaking ends with a '!' or '?'), and the tag itself isn't capitalized unless it's a proper noun. What you have above should really look like this:
    security camera,” Inspector Clive said.
    There were a few instances of this, but like I said, it's pretty simple to fix.

    One thing I might suggest for when you write for higher tiered mons is allowing for reaction from your dialogue. While there's nothing wrong with the dialogue itself, a lot of character depth and detail is added when you put reactions to it. For example, when Clive says “I don't need you anymore.” at the end, is there a malicious smile on his face? Does Florine gasp in shock? Even little mentions of some type of action add more to your characters, and I know that will come in handy if you pursue longer, more complicated stories. This is especially true for places where you have longer paragraphs of dialogue.

    Also,
    "What?! Then who is the killer?! I'm losing my patience with all your suspense and gobbledygook! Tell me who did it!"
    XD Gobbledygook.

    Grammar: There were a couple of grammar issues, but a careful combing through can fix these. One of these things were unneeded commas, like here:
    John faced Katherine, and smiled at her.
    and
    Only me and Katherine were wearing simple clothing, and survived.
    Both of these commas should be removed. Remember, you only need a comma with a conjunction when it's joining two independent sentences together. Also keep in mind that if you do join two sentences and they both have a noun and a verb, there does need to be a comma.
    "I told him that I was going to do the killing. But his face changed color and he insisted on having the role of the detective."
    These two sentences should probably be one. It's generally not a good idea to start a sentence out with a conjunction (but, so, and, etc) unless it's making a purposeful statement about something. This is dialogue, so that doesn't exactly apply, but if you were connecting them, it should look like this:
    ”I told him that I was going to do the killing, but his face changed color and he insisted on having the role of the detective.”
    Another thing to watch for is separating paragraphs that contain different ideas. It makes some things less confusing, and I think that would've helped a lot in some places. An example of where is when Florine is sitting at the table were Osborne was supposed to be. You go into stuff about her, and then into what the angry man is doing in the same paragraph. If they had a relation to one another that would be fine, but I think it would be more clear that someone else is doing an action if it was separated into its own paragraph.

    Another thing to watch out for is your word tenses. They should agree. Example:
    before he noticed his boss has stopped.
    Since your story is past tense, this should read 'his boss stopped'. There were a couple places where this happened, so be sure to read carefully.

    I think most of these issues can be caught with just a careful proofreading. It's tempting to post something right after it's finished, but waiting a day or so to give it another look over can be really beneficial. It's hard to train your eyes to look for certain errors because your brain knows what it's supposed to say. You could also ask someone to read it (like perhaps the person that you're doing the story deal for ^^). A different pair of eyes catch different things.

    Detail/Description: Overall your detail is pretty good. I know you've written a bunch of stories, so that's probably helped. Keep that up. Like I said earlier, I like your description of the room they start out in, and the characters are also very well described.

    There were times when it wasn't clear exactly who you were describing though, and this was mostly in the beginning. It was a little confusing when you had Inspector Clive and then said detective, and I'm still not sure if this meant Osborne/John was playing as a detective or if it was just a typo. Also, when you described the missing arm, I wasn't sure which man it was talking about. Upon reading further in the story, I would assume it's Osborne/John, but at first I couldn't tell. I think maybe splitting up the actions of the three people and pointing out who/what they are would make it more clear.

    I do find the way you portrayed Osborne interesting though. It seemed, if I'm reading his character correctly, like he wanted to die, and themes like that are always interesting because I like to know the 'why' behind it. The thoughts of Florine are also cool for this reason too. Hold onto this. It shows character depth, and that is very important in stories.


    Length: Ralts is a Medium mon with a range of 10-20k. You hit 10,207 by my count and 10,355 by yours, which is good either way.


    Reality/Miscellaneous: I like Vocaloids ^^

    This is probably a personal preference thing, but I found the centering of the whole story a little jarring to read. The inner thought part near the end is fine, but it was a little distracting when you go to jump to the next paragraph and it doesn't start in the same place as the last one did. Normally, if I had a selection of fics to choose from and some of them look hard to read (weird spacing, walls of text, etc), those are the ones I'm more likely to pass over. It's just something to keep in mind as far as your readers are concerned.

    Not considering the hybrids (which is a pretty cool theme to use), there was only one thing I really had an issue with as far as realism goes. I find it hard to believe that Florine could immediately start singing and teleport the two of them away right after being shot, especially in the chest. She took a step back, but other than that, there's no real reaction to it. I think that someone would at least stagger a bit or not be able to move or act while they somewhat recover, providing a bullet in the chest doesn't kill them straight off. Sort of a nitpicky thing, but it seemed a little odd.

    Also, I wanted to specifically point out the area near the end that seems like an internal thought section. I was going to point out that some of it has add tenses and incomplete thoughts, but then I realized what they were. I am aware these are modified lyrics. In the future, I would maybe avoid this, as the translated lyrics are pretty close to what you have. The song is a base for the story, and you did give credit to that, but the format and how it was done seems a little out of place. Inserting lyrics into a story is usually something frowned upon. Since it was the inspiration of the story this time and it wasn't anything too bad, I will call it okay. Be careful not to abuse this method. It seems like it's there for getting free characters. I think it could've been worked into the story a little smoother, like perhaps some of her thoughts while she's going through the rest of the story.


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    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
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