Alright. You guys can claim your grades that were posted on or before the 21st.
A few things, in the meantime.
1. You guys are passing Hard level + captures waaaaaay too easily. Once you get to Hard, there needs to be a solid plot and solid detail level. And once you get above that, if the plot and detail aren't put together amazingly well--to somewhere close to the "best" the fic can be on its own terms--you need to sit back and consider failing the author. The majority of the Complex/Demanding/Merciless captures I saw should've been partially failing the first time through--especially the multi-captures. These are tough. Everything's gotta be put together.
2. Make sure that the Pokémon you're capturing is involved in the story some way. It doesn't have to be the main character, or even a main plot point--but it has to be present, in some form or another (even egg/corpse/poster/Pokéball) and relevant. If you can take the Pokémon's presence out without detracting from a story in some way, there's not adequate involvement. All of that said, the Pokémon doesn't have to be physically present, and isn't constrained by the whole battle-capture layout. The relative un-involvement of a Pokémon should also not be a focal failure point. It should be a periphery consideration. (I'm also writing up some sets of clarifications on points like this, because there seems to be a lot of confusion.)
Alaskapigeon: $39,200 (28.9k until Auction's over)
$8,500 Moderate – Hands Off Those Eggs! We talked about this. Use examples tailored to the writer, not examples taken from other things. As a grader, it’s your job to show them what to do and explain how to do it.
$6,500 Moderate – The Kane Family Garden
$5,000 Moderate – Horror Chronicles Appropriate analysis level to the writer based on the story tier.
$3,800 Basic – Confessions of a Champion This could easily have been the best grade of the batch, if you had actually expanded on the writing-based points you made instead of snarking at the writer. As-is, the usefulness sections of the grade were overshadowed by the other bits. I’m fairly certain the writer learned nothing from it. Would’ve been Moderate.
$2,200 Basic – Braving the Summit You gotta be a lot more encouraging. Saying, “You could be really good, but you have all these problems with your story” can really discourage a writer. Here, you definitely needed to take some time to say, “You have a really awesome plot. Look at all these elements. Here’s what you could’ve done with them to take full advantage of it. You’ve definitely got the talent to make this awesome.” While you do say this in a roundabout way, when you’re “teaching” someone, you’ve gotta be pretty straightforward about it, or they’re just going to take away the bad. You also have to give some more solid examples of what you mean, and explain how they reflect what you’re saying, or your grade means nothing to the writer. Especially on the detail section. “Describe them as if you’re talking to someone who hasn’t seen them before.” Okay, good. But what does that mean? Color, shape, structure, function, metaphor? Should you pay more attention to certain things for a specific effect? Et cetera. Give them something specific to hold on to.
$2,200 Basic – A New Year, a New Life What are a few of these metric buttloads of places the writer could take the story? How might he use the character’s arrogance as a flaw? How does he already do so?
$2,200 Basic – Plenty More Fish in the Sea
$2,200 Basic – I didn’t Sign Up For This Careful with the caps-locking. :<
$2,200 Basic – When You Try Hid ‘er, Expect a Spider
$2,000 Basic – Salvation? Talk less about the summary of the story, and more about how the parts worked, why the parts worked, and, if pertinent, how they might have worked differently or better. Also spend a bit more time talking about, again, how you can describe things—offer methods, focuses, affects, et cetera. That’ll get you up to a Moderate.
$2,000 Basic – First Time Please, never put “Write me some more rape” at the bottom of a grade. Ever again.
Ataro (NO YOU DO NOT GET TO BE RUSTY): $72,000 (48k temporarily)
$48,000 Extensive – The Story of Koma
$24,000 Extensive – A Netherworld Crisis
$6,000 Moderate – A Psycho Bee and its Psychic Friend For the most part, a fairly solid grade. You could’ve offered more insight on the description end, particularly with the recommendations about Derek’s appearance. You want your description to tell the reader a bit about the main character. So how do you do that? What sorts of features (clothing types, hair cuts, face) give what sorts of impressions, and how do you get those impressions out of a description? (If you don’t know the answer to these questions, ask me about it sometime. XD)
$3,600 Basic – Emanation
$3,600 Basic – The Death of Two Worlds
$2,000 Basic – Sable Eyes
$7,500 Moderate – Falling in Balance “This has a lot of flaws but you pass because I liked it” isn’t really kosher when you get into Complex captures. If there are problems, and they are problematic, prevent the story from being “the best it can be,” and contradict Complex standards, don’t give it a capture. While, yes, personal feeling does play a role in giving a capture, it’s not even a secondary thing—it’s more of a quaternary thing. At lower levels, an “you had some issues, but I really liked it, so you’re good to go” is fine. But captures that are Complex and above—and even some Hard captures—need to be dealt with in pretty strict terms. At the higher levels, the story has to be put together to its utmost—just in varying degrees of complexity and awesomness (which, from your grade, I didn’t get the impression you thought this was). SO WATCH THAT.
$5,500 Moderate – Cherish the Moment
$5,500 Moderate – Encounters at the Beach
$5,000 Moderate – Burn Out
$6,000 Moderate – Haunted Almost missed the Moderate mark, here—mainly because you brought up important questions about the plot, but didn’t really take the next step in explaining what sort of questions those are. Ie, whether or not the questions needed to be answered for the sake of the story (as opposed to being alright to leave as mysterious loose ends for the next chapter), and how those things that needed to be tied up could’ve been tied up with the resources at hand. The description section picked up the slack, though, and you did ask the questions. Just make sure you do the next bit of thought provocation in the writer, if there are massive loose ends in the story that don’t seem quite right.
$6,000 Moderate – Cat Attack
Scourge of Nemo: $24,000
$24,000 Complex – Escape Should probably pay myself for this.
$2,800 Basic – Why Can’t I Walk? Plot, description, and how they work together to make a story are the most important parts of the grade. Not sure what you were counting as the two most important (plot and battle?), but eh. Anyway, for a Medium capture, if they have an original plot, have put effort into the detail, and don’t have too many grammatical errors, they should be good to go, generally. There should be a significant difference between how you grade a Medium ‘mon and how you grade a Hard ‘mon, because it’s at Hard that the expectations move from “original plot concept with okay execution and decent detail” to “everything in its right place.” (I know the tiering issue messed with the grading process, but keep that in mind for the future.)
$2,600 Basic – Rehabilitation Solid analysis on the plot section. When you talk about description, try to explain what makes words less “dull,” and point out where, why, and how you use words to create imagery. Also, start to mention the five senses as tools of description, and point out what (and where) other senses than sight could’ve been utilized. It’s good basic advice for every writer.
$2,200 Basic – The Lost Cubone You need to give more concrete examples of how the author can improve things—especially if you’ve failed their story. Don’t just tell them to get better. Give a thorough explanation of what they could do to describe the background, characters, Pokémon, et cetera. Show them where they should describe things. Point out moments where their description was stronger than in the rest of the fic, and show them how to pattern more of the writing after those parts. Give them some more direction in what to do to patch up their mistakes.
You’re starting out well. Keep it up. :)
$5,500 Moderate – The Power of Sinnoh Strong grade, all-around. The only thing that caught my attention for fixing: one strong adjective may be better than two weak adjectives, but a strong noun is better than any adjective, and a strong verb is better than all of ‘em.
$5,000 Moderate – Burmy Cloak
$5,000 Moderate – A Bunch of Stories
$14,000 Complex – Dragonskin