All in all, I'm pleased. KEEP IT UP, SPUDS.
$3,200 Basic - The Moral Highground: Part Three
$0,500 Weak - Amnesia Town in the Sea JUST BECAUSE IT’S A MAGIKARP DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN SLACK. D:<
$15,000 Complex - Darker than Black One thing you should do: phase out some of the “stories in general” talk and focus more on “this story.” You talk a lot about “what is generally expected” from an introduction. What would be more useful to the writer is more about how their story relates to those expectations—you got the more than the basics down, which is good, but you could move into “how this introduction could be more interesting,” “this sort of technique seems like it could fit your style—maybe try it some time,” et cetera. Also, you should consider devoting more time to plot. There were a lot of holes in this particular story, iirc, and a lot of places where subject matter wasn’t handled very effectively, writing-wise. Talk about that—when something doesn’t work, the writer needs to know. (Although you may not necessarily agree with my appraisal of the plot, xD. But point being, you should start being a bit more [consistently] critical about plot set-ups. It’ll help people out.)
$11,000 Complex - A Rivet-ing Tale You’re edging into Complex level grades mostly at the right time—with longer stories and more experienced writers (pretty much everyone who’s in SWC is at the stage where Complex grades do them some good). So good, there. The grade was certainly suitable to this author. You should be careful, though, about length. Generally, Complex grades should be saved for stories at least 25k in length. This was close enough that it worked, especially (again) because the author knows what he’s doing and needs a bit more solid feedback. But be careful that you don’t do a grade this length for a newbie writer or a slightly shorter story.
$11,000 Complex - Godsblood
$6,500 Moderate - Dark Yesterdays. Brighter Tomorrows!
$6,000 Moderate - Shattered Brief, but concise. You dealt with a lot of pertinent issues that helped the writer get a handle on what they were doing. One thing: When you have a writer with massive grammar issues like this, spend a bit more time giving them quick trick tools to figuring out where commas and dashes go.
$5,500 Moderate - The Start of Lou’s Journey Careful when advising people about adjectives. Sometimes they go crazy and start describing things like THE BIG BLUE SEMI-UGLY SEQUINED FLUFFY DRESS WAS HAZARDOUS. A nice key concept that I like to have on hand: verbs → nouns → adjectives → adverbs = word strengths, from strongest to weakest. Explain to writers that adjectives, when used correctly, make things awesome. But also explain that if you pick a boring adjective or an unfitting adjective, the prose can get yucky. Especially if they use a whole bunch of them.
$5,500 Moderate - Wrath of the Gods
$2,400 Basic - The Story of Leo
$2,200 Basic - Battles and Confusions Explain phrases like “said-bookisms” and why most people think they’re problematic… a lot of people don’t know. The writer can’t think about and decide what to do with that stylistic function if they don’t know they’re doing it.
$7,200 Basic - Judgment
$4,400 Basic - Profile
$3,000 Basic - The Boy in the Scyther When you say, “It could have been better,” explain why and how. When you say, “It’s fantastic,” explain why and how. Also work on clarifying why grammar impacts the rest of the story the way it does. And show how/what made the story feel rushed. Otherwise, good. This almost made it up to Moderate because of the issues you hit—just work on clarifying why they’re important, and you’ll be in an awesome place.
Your grades were a lot more comprehensible, this time around—good job. Work on moving away from abstract words of quality and into specifics of where that quality comes from. Specific is important—you want your grades to be specific enough that if I tried to switch them with a grade from another story, things would feel out of place. As-is, a lot of your grades are interchangeable. I’m going to give you a task. Remove every single adverb from your future grades. If it ends with “ly,” take it out. Also, very and quite. ERADICATE THEM ALL. And replace ‘em with substantive words.
$6,500 Moderate - The Trainer Life: Detour This is almost, but not quite, the definition of overkill. Maybe a synonym? Anyway. This is… about a Magikarp story’s-worth shorter than your average Extensive grade for a ~80k story. It is about a Magikarp story’s-worth longer than your average Complex grade for a ~45k story. Here, you had an unnecessarily long Moderate grade. That doesn’t do much good to the vast majority of authors.
A lot of the information you included was helpful, but was lost amongst the sheer volume of specificity. While, yes, specifics do help, for a grade to be useful, there has to be a degree of broader application. “See trend A? Do ___ with it. Now, apply this to this, this, and this.” Here, you spent a lot of time talking about things that the author did once, likely on accident, and will never do again. Plot summarizing, a list of small grammatical errors that only occurred once, and three paragraphs about an introduction aren’t at all useful to the average writer of a Moderate level story—especially if they’re a newbie, like (I think?) you said this one was. Save your efforts for stories where they’ll make a large impact, and organize your efforts so that they’ll better do so.
AND ANOTHER THING. I read maybe three positive sentences in the entire grade. Try to put a positive spin on things. “You do this well—you could use that talent to make this better.” Or, “I like this. But because you have this problem with it here, I can’t see it in its full awesomeness. Try this to mop it up a bit.” Being all down and negative doesn’t get anybody anywhere—especially writers. [/she says, while lambasting your grade]
$2,000 Basic - I think I’ll name it Zwig!
Taras Bulba: $18,000
$10,500 Moderate - Profile
$7,500 Moderate - The Joy of a Child So. What you have here is good analysis, but with little application for the writer. If you’d done the second half of the job, this’d’ve been an easy Complex grade. But, as-is, you have a lot of good “this is what happened,” but no “this is what you do with it,” except for the “make it longer.” In situations like this, talk about not just what should be longer and why it should be longer, but how to make it longer, and what should be present. Some authors might take that to mean “add three sentences of description to each current sentence.” Offer example suggestions of what sort of development could clarify the character’s emotions. Talk about how details of thought process could clarify the story. Give examples of thought processes, and questions to ask about them. Whatever you think it takes. This is especially important when you fail a capture, ‘cause the writer often needs some direction for their changes. It also applies to your Profile grade, though--strong analysis, lacking in application.