An Unlikely Advocate (Ready for Grading)

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  1. #1
    Beast Mode!!! WebMaster's Avatar
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    Default An Unlikely Advocate (Ready for Grading)

    Target Pokemon: Magikarp
    Story Level: Easiest
    Characters: Minimum 3000
    Actual character count: 7,181 (5,889 w/o spaces)
    Comment: I know I went a little overboard on character count, but I just started writing and got lost in it. This is my first story, so I'm just hoping for the best.



    "Can I borrow it please? I really want a water Pokemon."

    Stephen was sitting at the breakfast table across from his Uncle Jim. Upon hearing the question, his uncle sat there silently for a second looking like he was very deep in thought.

    "I don't know Stephen. Are you sure you know how to use my boat?"

    "Yes, I went fishing with my father all the time," Stephen replied.

    "I still don't know. What do you think Carrie?"

    "I think he's trustworthy enough to use it," replied Aunt Carrie.

    Uncle Jim sat there for about 8 seconds in pure silence. After much contemplation, he got the boat key out of his pocket and slid it toward Stephen. Stephen immediately snatched the key off the table and said in an appreciative voice, "Thanks, Uncle Jim!" Stephen dashed upstairs to his room and grabbed his bag and his belt with some Pokeballs on it. When he had everything, he said, "Come on, Serperior! We're off!" Serperior quickly uncoiled himself and raced Stephen down the stairs beating Stephen to the bottom.

    "Bye! Thanks again!" he shouted to his Aunt and Uncle while rushing out the door. Stephen could hardly wait to get to the lake to catch his first water Pokemon.

    Stephen, 18 years old, started his Pokemon journey not long ago. He was born and raised in Nuvema town in the Unova region. It was there that he received his starter Pokemon when he was 10 years old, a Snivy his father had caught off of Route 1. That Snivy grew up with Stephen throughout his life. In his early years, Stephen never ventured far from his hometown going only as far as Nacrene City. It was not until he was 18 that he decided to start his journey around the whole Pokemon world. Stephen finally left the Unova region in pursuit of greater horizons. Recently, he had stopped by his aunt and uncle's house in Twinleaf Town when he was in the area. He needed a water Pokemon to add to his team, so he figured that Lake Verity would be an excellent place to look.

    Stephen arrived at Verity Lakefront and found his uncle's fishing boat beached on the shore. Serperior slithered into the boat while Stephen pushed it out into the water. The clamor of the starting engine sent a rush of adrenaline through Stephen. He could not wait to get out on the water. Stephen found a nice spot on the far side of the lake and shut the motor off. He reached into his bag and pulled out a Super Rod his father gave him before Stephen left Unova. With a brief grunt, he cast it a good distance from the boat. "Here we go," he said to himself and Serperior. Serperior coiled himself up watched the line expectantly. They both sat there and waited for a Pokemon to bite the hook.

    About 15 minutes later, Stephen felt a slight tug on the rod. It wasn't even a quarter of a second before he seized it and started reeling frantically. A Magikarp surfaced; however, Stephen was disappointed upon seeing his first catch of the day. "Oh, it's just a Magikarp," he said while taking it off the hook and casting it into the water. Strangely, the Magikarp just stayed there with its face partially out of the water staring at Stephen.

    "What? What do you want?" Stephen asked.

    The Magikarp remained motionless.

    "Do you want me to take you or something?"

    The Magikarp began splashing around excitedly.

    "No, go home. I don't think you would be useful to me," Stephen judged.

    The Magikarp was saddened upon hearing this statement because this one had always wanted a trainer. Desperately wanting Stephen to be its trainer, it jumped out of the water and into the fishing boat. Stephen knocked it back into the water shouting "No, go away!" But it was to unwilling to pass up an opportunity to have a trainer. It repeatedly leaped back into the boat until Stephen eventually had enough and said "Serperior, take care of this." Serperior swung its tail with a small leaf blade on the end of it. It cut the Magikarp near its face while striking it back into the water. The Magikarp looked down in disappointment, sank back into the water, and swam away from view.

    Over the course of the next hour, Stephen had not caught any more Pokemon. Believing that the spot he picked was bad, he started the motor again and zoomed off toward the north side of the lake. The water suddenly became rougher as if a large Pokemon was moving below him. Little did Stephen know, the roar of the motor from the boat had disturbed a Gyardos that was sleeping. Suddenly, the Gyarados emerged and gave a loud roar that penetrated Stephen's ears. Stephen sat there in fear trying to decide what to do. Before he could make any move, the Gyarados lifted its tail out of the water and smashed the boat in half with it. Stephen was on one half; Serperior was on the other. The Gyarados roared at Stephen again; this time in Stephen's face. The piercing red eyes struck fear into every nerve in Stephen's body. Without any means of escape, Stephen had no choice but to fight it.

    "Serperior! Use Leaf Storm!" He shouted.

    Serperior jumped up in the air and started spinning. Leaves began appearing in the twister made from its fast-moving body. All at once the leaves came flying toward the Gyarados at high speed. But it was no good; the leaves barely scathed the bulky Gyarados. The attack only infuriated the Gyarados; one could tell from the look on its face that it was now out for blood. A light began forming in the Gyarados's gaping mouth. Stephen instantly knew that it was a Hyper Beam. Reacting quickly, he pulled out one of his Pokeballs and shouted "Serperior, return!" A red light came from the button of the Pokeball and engulfed Serperior. The light then returned Serperior back to the Pokeball. Stephen was not willing to watch his friend suffer. Realizing that there was nothing he could do, he braced for impact.

    Suddenly, a small fishlike figure leaped out of the water. It had jumped so high that it managed to cross the Gyarados's line of sight. Immediately, the light in Gyarados's mouth vanished, and Gyarados's focus was turned toward the figure. When it hit the water, Stephen saw it was a Magikarp; but upon taking a closer look, he saw the cut near its face and realized that it was the one he saw earlier. He was shocked to see it again, but he remained motionless to avoid provoking the Gyarados. The two Pokemon began conversing. Stephen wondered what was going on; but little did he know that the Gyarados and the Magikarp were father and son. After about one and a half minutes of talking, the Gyarados sinked into the water and left. The Magikarp then swam toward Stephen until it was in the water directly in front of him.

    "I don't know what I did to deserve that but thanks," Stephen said gratefully.

    The Magikarp flopped twice in response.

    The two swam together back to shore. Stephen got out of the water, looked back at the Magikarp, and said, "You could be useful to me after all." Stephen pulled a Pokeball out of his belt and expanded it. He then said, "The question is: are you still willing to join me?" Stephen tossed the Pokeball at Magikarp. The ball opened, and Magikarp was engulfed in a red light and taken inside.

    The ball shook. "Once…," Stephen said
    The ball shook again. "Twice…"
    The ball shook once more. "Thrice..."
    Last edited by WebMaster; 18th May 2011 at 11:57 PM.
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  2. #2
    the vibration pokemon Nitro's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Unlikely Advocate (Ready for Grading)

    Plot: Though there were some twists, a lot of this plot still revolved around somebody going somewhere to look for a Pokemon. You can't possibly have any idea how many times this plot is overused, although this plot is used many times by new writers. I remember my first story being similiar, although I say that your plot was just a little more creative with the Magikarp and Gyarados involved.

    Despite that, this plot is still a bit boring. You want to think of a creative and interesting plot because readers typically read stories to enjoy a creative plot. Reading something that has been overused many times will have a reader know what is coming, and s/he will not be excited if they so much as think they know what is next. Instead, you want them to be hooked into a story to learn more about your creative, interesting, and original plot.

    However, I won't criticize you too much for using this plot for your first story. It seems almost symbolic to write about somebody starting their journey as a Pokemon trainer when you are starting your own journey into writing URPG stories.

    Just don't ever use this plot again from here on out, and you're good. ^_^

    Length: Eh, I don't think 7000 is overboard. It certainly is much higher than is expected and needed for a Magikarp story, but the longer you make a story, typically the better it will be.

    So yeah, you're looking good here. Matter of fact, you're looking great.

    Grammar: As you're a new writer, I don't want to overload you with information. So for now, I'll tackle what I think are the most important things.

    "Can I borrow it please? I really want a water Pokemon."
    You must capitalize 'water', as it is the name of the Pokemon's type, thus making it a proper noun. Proper nouns, if you are unaware, are names of people/places/objects/etc. Essentially, any sort of name/title.

    I don't know Stephen.

    What do you think Carrie?
    You made variations of this mistake multiple times in your story. You need a comma between 'know'/'think' (in these examples) and 'Stephen'/'Carrie'. Why?

    "Serperior! Use Leaf Storm!" He shouted.
    "He" should not be capitalized. I'm not too worried about this mistake since you got in every other similar scenario. I just want to let you know that stuff like 'he shouted', 'he said', 'she screamed', etc. should not be capitalized when inserted after a quotation.

    More importantly than all of the above, however, is something that was blatantly obvious as I read your story. You need, absolutely NEED, to space out your paragraphs more. If you look back at your story, you should be able to easily pick out a couple paragraphs, if not more, that could be spaced out. Some of those big ones that are like 6+ lines long are a detriment to your story. Longer paragraphs don't encourage readers to read a story, whereas shorter paragraphs make things more appealing to read.

    To make your paragraphs shorter, read your paragraphs over after you write the story. If you have one that you think is too long, then split the paragraph into multiple paragraphs by inserting spaces (you do not need to erase sentences unless you think they are redundant, though bear in mind that descriptions are rarely, if ever at all, redundant though they may seem so). It also helps if you put quotations as a line by themselves, perhaps with some supporting details as well. For example:

    Stephen, 18 years old, started his Pokemon journey not long ago. He was born and raised in Nuvema town in the Unova region. It was there that he received his starter Pokemon when he was 10 years old, a Snivy his father had caught off of Route 1. That Snivy grew up with Stephen throughout his life. In his early years, Stephen never ventured far from his hometown going only as far as Nacrene City. It was not until he was 18 that he decided to start his journey around the whole Pokemon world. Stephen finally left the Unova region in pursuit of greater horizons. Recently, he had stopped by his aunt and uncle's house in Twinleaf Town when he was in the area. He needed a water Pokemon to add to his team, so he figured that Lake Verity would be an excellent place to look.
    That paragraph is looooong. Cutting it could be done like this:

    Stephen, 18 years old, started his Pokemon journey not long ago. He was born and raised in Nuvema town in the Unova region.

    It was there that he received his starter Pokemon when he was 10 years old, a Snivy his father had caught off of Route 1. That Snivy grew up with Stephen throughout his life.

    In his early years, Stephen never ventured far from his hometown going only as far as Nacrene City. It was not until he was 18 that he decided to start his journey around the whole Pokemon world.

    Stephen finally left the Unova region in pursuit of greater horizons. Recently, he had stopped by his aunt and uncle's house in Twinleaf Town when he was in the area. He needed a water Pokemon to add to his team, so he figured that Lake Verity would be an excellent place to look.
    There are many different ways to space out paragraphs; this was just one way to do it. Personally, I understand how to space out my paragraphs as I'm writing. If you can manage this, it naturally makes things easier. However, you always want to aim for shorter paragraphs, so if you have to, do it after you write the story.

    For the most part, your grammar was pretty good. Far from perfect, but well above what I typically expect from first-time writers and easily good enough for a Magikarp story.

    However, no matter what Pokemon you're writing for, it always helps to have good grammar. Pay attention to the things I pointed out here - especially regarding paragraph spacing - because grammar is always something that Graders expect a lot out of. Try and make improvements from here on out regarding what I talked about. There were other points I could've covered, but I'll let your future Graders handle those because I do not want to overload you with too much information.

    But yeah, you're looking good for Magikarp.

    Description: This part is something that hurt you a lot. You had very few descriptions, almost to the point of no descriptions whatsoever.

    It's vital to describe as much as is possible. A popular way to do this is to imagine the scene going on in your mind, and take in every single detail whether it's something visual, or something that affects the other senses.

    For your next story, this task may seem difficult and maybe even awkward as well. However, you want to get across to your reader everything your main character experiences to make the reading experience seem more realistic. It's not simply about telling the story, it's more about getting the reader into the story. (One day, that'll become a cliche.)

    I suggest starting off by focusing on visual descriptions for your next story. Describe what your main character looks like, describe the settings, and describe what other things (e.g. other people, objects, Pokemon, etc.) look like as well. Then, you can expand to stuff like stuff the protagonist smells, what s/he hears, and even emotions as well.

    Really, descriptions, though a staple of writing stories, are usually subpar from beginning writers. I'm not too concerned about this yet, but if you want to get anywhere with your future stories, describing is an absolute MUST.

    Battle/Climax: Well, there wasn't a true battle. Although you did have a climax, I think this story would've been much better if you included some sort of battle given the nature of its storyline. Battling either Gyarados or Magikarp would've been a nice way to end this story, especially considering that Serperior was on hand.

    To me, this climax seems just a bit anticlimatic. It wasn't particularly exciting, and the Magikarp volunteering itself over to Stephen was a boring way to close out the story. Even though a Magikarp/Serperior battle doesn't sound fair, it's always better to have some sort of battle. The fact that this is taking place in a lake may make it even more interesting, since Magikarp can freely swim around whereas Serperior has to remain in the boat.

    Regardless, I suppose I could be happy about the Gyarados climax. It is a pleasant and creative twist to the usual "someone-runs-into-location-and-finds-and-then-battles-and-then-captures-Pokemon" storyline.

    Eh, this was alright. To end a story, you want to end it with something that is exciting and, well, climatic. This wasn't super good. Climaxes need to close out stories well, and they can't afford to be anticlimatic. Involving legitimate Pokemon battles is always nice, mind.

    Outcome: Though I saw a lot of things that need to be patched up, I also see a lot of potential. I imagine that, with some effort, you could make a very good writer one day.

    Anyways, Magikarp Captured!!! It takes a horrible story for me to fail a "first story", and this was far from horrible.

    Next time, you definitely want to keep in mind everything I said here. Ideally, you would fix everything. However, I want you to focus on at least spacing out your paragraphs, whipping up a creative and exciting storyline, and describing things. Those three things, to me, seem like the three things you need to do most right now.

    Anyways, enjoy Magikarp, and you keep writing!

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