Re: The Smokeless Fire [SWC]
Sorry for the wait, but I didn't see that this story was ungraded. Nonetheless, the grade should be up as soon as possible!
Re: The Smokeless Fire [SWC]
Introduction: You gave us a very unique introduction that I actually liked a lot. It was sort of rushed, but that’s part of the reason why I liked it so much; the abruptness of it really gave a sense of urgency that made it a thrill to read. As usual, I’ll go into deeper examination of it by giving you the four W’s that I usually use.
What: The very, very basis of your story is this; two people are running away through a forest from both their pursuers and their past. It already sounds interesting and not something that you would typically find in only an 11,000 character story. However, you definitely made this work, but I’ll go more indepth with that later on in the story. You made it very clear as to what was going on from the beginning, which, again, is very helpful for your story as we get a good feel from the get-go.
Who: The story follows a girl, Aaliyah, as well as her ‘friend’, Aiden. The way you portrayed these characters was phenomenal; the description that you gave us really made it easy to visualize the characters, which is always nice and adds a layer of depth to your story. They weren’t just simple, one-dimensional characters either, which are often found in stories of this length. You gave them personalities, histories, and more important characterizations that truly made your characters a marvelous aspect of your story.
Where: A dark forest which is presumably by an institute where humans perform inhumane experiments on those who are different. Again, you chose a wonderful setting to work with. You did a nice job describing this as well, which made visualization of your story even easier. It seemed to fit with your story too, so I commend you for that.
When: Very rarely does this apply to any stories whatsoever. It didn’t really apply to you, so I won’t grade you on it. Of course, there is nothing wrong with stating the time period in which this took place. If anything, it adds another layer of realism to say that this took place in the future, as something like this could be completely possible and plausible.
Plot: Continuing my praise from above, you created a very interesting plot that was lots of fun to read about. While it was somewhat short, you definitely expanded it better than most people could.
The description, like I mentioned above, really made an effective impact on your story. What could have easily been a poorly described story and probably still could have passed became something better and memorable. It made a vast difference, trust me.
I liked that you didn’t really elaborate on what the experiments were. You said that they were supposed to make the characters human, but you kind of left it at that, which I actually liked. It gave my imagination some space to wander while I was reading your story, which is something I like a lot.
One thing that I was a little confused about was the reasoning behind the title of the story. Not all fire has to have smoke; technically, the fire itself is smokeless. It would only smoke if it was burning something that would produce smoke, like a bush or something. Of course, a fire that wasn’t be smoking in the middle of a forest is enough to arouse the suspicion of the two, but I just thought I would point that out.
While we’re on the topic, does fire produce enough of a smell to wake up Aaliyah if it isn’t producing smoke?
(I didn’t do research on this above statement, so, if I’m wrong, forget it please!)
Intense, filled with emotion, and a resolution to the story’s problems. Exactly what I was looking for in this story. Though I first thought you had struggled with this part the most, I thought about it again
and re-read it when it wasn’t 2 AM and me being cranky, and I soon saw the true beauty of the way you wrote this.
After I first read your story, I actually disliked the way you ended it. There were many unanswered questions that I had and was craving to find out how you planned on answering it. When these questions weren’t answered and weren’t even acknowledged at all, I was a little bit frustrated, which caused your grade to drop a little in my perspective.
However, after reading through it again, I’m actually very glad that you didn’t answer all the questions. I dropped my frustration after I realized that the reasoning behind my frustration itself was idiotic; in a story of this length, not all the questions are able to be answered due to the length.
Even after realizing this, I began to appreciate the ending of your story even more. The way that you left some questions unanswered made your story more memorable. It told me that you were writing for writing, not for just a pokemon, which is something I love. It also gave an entire new layer of depth to your story, which made it feel more universal.
Grammar/Conventions: Overall, you were pretty good with this. You obviously proofread before you submitted your story, which is something that I endorse greatly. It makes your writing so much better and creates a better reading experience for all that read it. You had very few spelling errors, and some of them might just be regional (I’m not positive on what all the differences are).
However, the one thing that you struggled with throughout the entire story was correct comma usage and placement. Many people struggle with this, so you’re not alone in this aspect. However, correct comma usage can make a vast difference in a story’s flow. At some points, you used them correctly, and, at others, you used them incorrectly.
I’ll remind you of the general rules of when you should use a comma: when connecting two independent clauses with a conjuncting FANBOY (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet); when separating objects in a list; and when you’re using an unnecessary phrase (A phrase that is unnecessary for the sentence to be complete). Of course, there are always exceptions, but these ones generally are the most common uses.
I’ll point out some examples of what I’m trying to convey:
In this paragraph alone, there are several mistakes buried in it. First of all, there should be a comma between ‘forest’ and ‘but’, as ‘but’ is a coordinating conjunction that’s connecting two independent sentences (sentences that can stand on their own and be grammatically correct.) Also, the comma between ‘place’ and ‘all’ should not be there, seeing as the two clauses can both be independent sentences. You can place a semicolon, a period, or a FANBOY after the comma to connect the two clauses and make a grammatically correct sentence. You can do the exact same thing just a sentence later, between ‘ears’ and ‘we’. There should be a comma between ‘run’ and ‘thorns’, seeing as ‘As we run’ is a non-essential phrase and should be set off from the rest of the sentence. Another comma should be placed between ‘feet’ and ‘leaving’ for the same reasons as the most recent mistake. The next sentence is correct, but the one right after it is not, as a comma should be placed between ‘me’ and ‘and’ because they are two independent clauses that need to be connected.
We’re running through a forest but I don’t know where we’re going. I don’t recognise this place, all I know is that we have to put enough distance between ourselves and them. Their voices still call out behind us, but they fall on deaf ears, we will never trust them again. As we run thorns leap out of the overgrowth, tearing at my naked body and cutting deep wounds into my dusky flesh. Scarlet blood leaks from my torn feet leaving a macabre trail of red that glistens in the silver moonlight over the leafy forest floor. The pain is insufferable, but I cannot stop running. He glances at me and the look in his steely eyes only confirms this.
Obviously, I’m nitpicking. However, my point still stands; there were many punctuational errors in this paragraph alone. Think of how many more there could be throughout the rest of the story? While it might feel somewhat ridiculous to have seemingly dozens of commas in a single paragraph, it really helps with the flow of your story.
Here is the correct paragraph, for your reference:
Other than the comma issue, you did a nice job with the grammatical side of your story. Your capitalization was pretty much spot on, except in places where the commas affected your capitalization directly. You split up your paragraphs nicely as well, which makes reading your story even easier on the eyes. You occasionally had a mistyped word too, but it didn’t really have a jarring result in your story, so there’s nothing to worry about.
We’re running through a forest, but I don’t know where we’re going. I don’t recognise this place, but all I know is that we have to put enough distance between ourselves and them. Their voices still call out behind us, but they fall on deaf ears; we will never trust them again. As we run, thorns leap out of the overgrowth, tearing at my naked body and cutting deep wounds into my dusky flesh. Scarlet blood leaks from my torn feet, leaving a macabre trail of red that glistens in the silver moonlight over the leafy forest floor. The pain is insufferable, but I cannot stop running. He glances at me, and the look in his steely eyes only confirms this.
Length: The minimum character requirement for a Vulpix is 10,000 characters. You place above it at about 11,000. For a pokemon of this ranking, going about 1,000 characters above the minimum requirement isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, as you get into more complex writing, getting just above the minimum character requirement can cost you and can even deduct from your grade.
Results: There were some flaws in this story, but there were also many successes, so I’ll have to conclude that Vulpix is captured! The way that you wrote this was commendable; the amount of your description made the story very easy to imagine, even with some jarring grammatical errors. However, the one thing that won me over was your conclusion to the story. You definitely deserve this pokemon, so I hope you enjoy it as well!