I made it through alive...
But anyway, I hope you folks enjoy this GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS that I've made. IT'S FOR YOUR FREAKING BENEFIT, Y'KNOW, SO DON'T GET ALL APPREHENSIVE 'R SOME CRUD. 'Cuz, y'know, despite all my yelling, I actually do care about how well you folks are doing. If you ever have any questions about your grading, then freaking come find me on AIM 'r something. I PROMISE NOT TO YELL TOO MUCH.
And for your references, wages are determined by the system described here.
Elrond 2.0: $26,500
$6,000 Moderate - Lunch in a Cave You mentioned that the story was just over 10k characters, but it was actually almost 15k. I’m assuming you didn’t count spaces. So make sure to COUNT THE FREAKING SPACES.
$5,500 Moderate - Alaska heats up!
$5,500 Moderate - Rude awakenings… Huh. I understand that you wanted to encourage the author to use more interesting description, but… in your enthusiasm, you suggested that “creaked open” is a good way to further describe “eyes.” And eyes don’t make creaking noises. Maybe the word you were looking for was “cracked,” but either way, watch this sorta thing. Examples aren’t so helpful when they’re inaccurate, eh? Also, for future reference, “some graders hold the battle as the most important part of the story…” is no longer true. I don’t put up with that crap anymore.
$5,000 Moderate - Soaked by a Buizel! The Kris Chronicles Part 1 Thorough, but a little harsh. ‘slike you were in a bad mood ‘r something. Also, the thing about youtube links… ‘skinda borderline. Listening to music while reading can make for a much more immersive experience, if it’s the right music. There’s no harm in suggesting the reader listen to something, especially ‘cuz the reader can always choose not to. Though, in this case, it was pretty sloppy to just throw the links into the middle of the story without anything to set them apart from the text.
$5,000 Moderate - There is Something About the First Capture You keep mentioning “plot twists” in the Plot-section of your grades, and I get the feeling that you’re a bit misinformed about their importance. A plot twist is simply when the author suddenly changes the direction of the story. And that’s it. A great story doesn’t have change directions; it can, but it doesn’t have to. It’s true that plot twists can make for very cool storytelling when they’re done well, you can still write a freaking spectacular story without one. And in fact, trying to force a big twist into your plot could do a lot of harm to your story, if you’re not careful. So just be a little more cautious when you encourage people to include plot twists.
$5,500 Moderate - A Five-Star Egg! Wow. You actually told the author that they had too much description, that description shouldn’t be thought of as some kind of end-all-be-all to storywriting. I… I… I’m so happy that someone finally said that in a grade… That’s fantastic. And also, EWWW, YOU USED TONGUE SMILIES. WEIRDO.
$6,000 Moderate - The Honor of Fighting
$5,500 Moderate - A day in the forest
$5,500 Moderate - A New Beginning and Hungry Friends Y’know, it’d probably be better if you used the Quote-function of the forum, rather than just italics. It’s generally more distinctive and easier to read, whereas italics are often used for other reasons, too.
$2,000 Basic - Dewford Follies: A Capture in 3 Acts, Act 1
$2,000 Basic - Rocky’s Adventure Chapter 1: Fire vs Water
$2,000 Basic - Zane’s Stories, Part I – The Blur In The Treetops
Jack of Clovers: $15,500
$5,500 Moderate - Stormy’s Capture Haha, spoiler tags. Interesting. In fact, you played around with the entire structure of the grade. Very cool. Also, you mentioned His dad smirked, “good luck with that.” in the grammar because ‘g’ was supposed to be capitalized, which was correct on your part, but you didn’t mention that the comma before “good” was incorrect, because the word “smirked” is not a word that acts on the spoken dialogue. If it had been His dad said, “Good luck with that.”, then yes, you would’ve been right. ‘skind of a tricky rule, so I understand missing it, but yeah. Watch out for it.
$5,000 Moderate - Empolea’s Sea Breeze
$5,000 Moderate - The Boy, The Ant, and The Dunce.
$6,500 Moderate - The Legend of Tailford Mansion
Lord Celebi: $11,400
$2,200 Basic - Shellos Shocked!
$2,000 Basic - A Smashing Success
$2,000 Basic - Fishcakes
$2,000 Basic - On a Wing and a Prayer!
$2,000 Basic - Vs. Magikarp by Sennyo
$600 Weak - Hoppyfred’s Grand Adventure! 'Saying that the Poke was caught' is no reason to fail a story. It’s not even a reason to mark the story down. At most, you should just mention it to the author for next time. Overall, you should try to be more specific in your grades, ‘cuz you’re mostly just giving lots of vague, generic advice, which is fine for simpler stories, but not so great for stories that really need more detailed feedback.
$600 Weak - A Shellos A Fun. “Unsettling,” not “dissettling.” Near had a lot of strange sentence structures that you didn’t really address, and you praised him for things that didn’t really deserve it, like the plot. Also, I’m not usually one to care about the Battle section very much at all, but coming from you, Rusty, I would’ve expected more insight on that front.
$8,000 Moderate - Escaping Authority (J.E.1.) You made a good point here about the Climax being equivalent to the Battle section of a grade, but there's also a bit of a minor difference between them. "Battle" is a bit more flexible in its definition. It can pertain to the climax, as you suggested, or it can just deal with any kind of "action sequence(s)" that the story may have. Because, really, the climax of a story could be addressed under the Plot section of a grade. So, I understand what you were getting at, but it doesn't make a whole lotta difference, either way. Just depends on your personal preference, I guess.
$7,000 Moderate - Encounter with Rex
$6,500 Moderate - An Eternal Partnership (vs. Poliwag)
$6,000 Moderate - Catching Pichu
$6,000 Moderate - The Lost Pearl
$6,000 Moderate - Traing Days: Abra
$5,500 Moderate - A New Beginning
$5,500 Moderate - Zubat’s Quest
$5,500 Moderate Stories from the Lakeside
$5,000 Moderate - A Knight’s Adventure
$5,000 Moderate - First Capture! Poliwag!
$5,000 Moderate - Torrent and Static
$2,400 Basic - Magne-Might!
$2,400 Basic - Mission Almost-Impossible
$2,200 Basic - Lost Below Mossdeep Isle (vs. Pineco)
$2,200 Basic - Psychics for Science!
$2,200 Basic - Vrikrar Episode 1
$2,000 Basic - A Bad Wish
$2,000 Basic - From Sinnoh to Hoenn
$2,000 Basic - The Magical Magikarp WHAT A MESSY GRADE. GAH. You've since fixed this in your other grades. BUT GAH.
$500 Weak - Silent Forest
Overall, you're doing just fine. Some of your grades are kinda messy 'n hard to read, so I'd ask that you put a space between all of your paragraphs, rather than all of your grade categories. As for more writing-specific feedback, I'd like it if you tried to be a bit more specific on a regular basis. For most of the stories you graded, Basic is just fine. I don't really have any problems with it, personally, but if you want Moderate pay, then you'll have to give me more work to look at. And I know, for a few stories, you did go more in-depth, so I know you have it in you. Basic-rank grades are less tedious a lotta the time, so I understand. It's really your decision. Just keep your grades above Weak-rank, 'n I'm happy.
$13,000 Moderate - Something to Prove: Chapter 2 You keep mentioning “hooks” as something that people should strive for, and while that’s all well and good, I think you’re overemphasizing their importance a little. It’s true that, in theory, you should always want to immediately draw your readers in with some kind of hook, but the thing is, what constitutes a good hook is largely a matter of opinion. What draws you in may not draw me in. That’s just how it goes. Even your own words imply this: “For many readers, these details will, in fact, draw them in; however, when some people skim over a story, a lot of detail right at the beginning may come across to them as a tedious read.” And then you go on to advise the author to “bait the readers with a bit of action in the beginning,” but the you make no mention of the fact that some other readers won’t necessarily care for that “bit of action” (or whatever vague idea you wanted to impart). As with all things literary, the “hook” is a matter of opinion. And I’ll tell you another thing: for stories that are very long, it may be more desirable to begin with a slow, detailed introduction, in order to kind of ‘ease’ the reader into your world. And then, of course, you are left to consider what a “very long” story would be, which is where your judgment comes in again. I just want you to understand that an introductory “hook” is a nice idea, but not a necessary one, so you should be a bit more cautious in encouraging people to use them. Instead, think of the introduction in terms of what works best for each, individual story.
$11,000 Complex - What Have I Done? I found it odd that you decided to re-write the author’s introduction but changed it to first-person perspective, which made your intended point more difficult to understand. Presumably, using a re-write as an example of what to do is meant to provide the author with something very clear to look at, but changing the perspective throws a bit of a wrench into that whole idea, so you’re kind of defeating the entire purpose of doing the re-write in the first place. And it sorta implies to the author that first-person narrative is superior to third-person, though you probably didn’t mean it that way. ‘CUZ THAT’D BE SILLY.
$10,000 Moderate - Healing Aura Overall, this is a strong grade. I can tell you spent quite a bit of time on it, even prior to the actual grading, but what prevents it from being a higher-ranked grade is the fact that it is largely comprised of a plot summary, 'over-explanations,' and just praise. A plot summary is no use to the person who wrote the plot, and by over-explanations, I mean you often took a long time to get the point of what you were trying to say, which makes the grade needlessly longer. I don't mean that you have be perfectly concise all the time, because being a bit ramble-y sometimes might be helpful, but this is something that you do in a lot of your other grades, too. Also, you mentioned the question "Why should I make it realistic?" and your answer was basically, "to please graders," which is a pretty lame reason, to be honest. The proper reason, as far as I'm concerned, is to please oneself. Writers must write for themselves, and while it's true that critical acclaim is a wonderful ideal to strive for, it is not what makes truly great writing.
$7,500 Moderate - A Dreary Day
$7,5000 Moderate - Left Behind: Part 3
$6,500 Moderate - The Shellos Tells Us
$6,000 Moderate - Caterpie Rivalry
$6,000 Moderate - Fate and Dreams
$6,000 Moderate - Haunted Cabin
$6,000 Moderate - Malevolent Magnemite!
$6,000 Moderate - The Story of a Blacksmith’s Son
$6,000 Moderate - The Wish
$5,500 Moderate - A Lover's Quarrel It's not really necessary for you to summarize the story's plot. I mean, you can do it if you want, but it's by no means helpful to the author, 'cuz the author freaking wrote the story you're summarizing. I won't count it as part of the effort you put into your grade, but if you find it helpful anyway, then be my guest. BAHAHA. Also, the author said that the story was 7,229 characters, but I don't think they were counting spaces, 'cuz I counted over 8k. And that little difference means you get another $500 for your troubles.
$5,500 Moderate - Andy on the run
$5,500 Moderate - A New Generation
$5,500 Moderate - Big adventure
$5,500 Moderate - Deep Mud
$5,500 Moderate - Diglett Team Alpha: The Discovery of El Dug-ado
$5,500 Moderate - Drive! vs. Sneasel
$5,500 Moderate - Left Behind: Part 2
$5,500 Moderate - The Magby Who Sailed The World! Part One!
$5,000 Moderate – A Beginner’s Adventure
$5,000 Moderate - A Boy and his Growlithe
$5,000 Moderate - A Fishing Shock
$5,000 Moderate - A Waterbottle
$5,000 Moderate - Endless Shellos
$5,000 Moderate - One Magical Magikar
$5,000 Moderate - Picture Perfect
$5,000 Moderate - Sleeping with the fishes!
$5,000 Moderate - The First Capture Next To The Waters First of all, this is totally overkill. And that might seem like a small complaint, but it really isn’t. Overkill is not okay for tiny stories like this, because unless the author is a very hopeful, attentive writer at heart, that giant wall of text of yours will probably discourage the hell out of them. So, freaking watch it. Your goal is to help the writer, not satisfy your own pathological need to critique every damn thing about a story, YA GET ME? Trust me. I’ve been there, too. And secondly, you brought up the author's Garchomp, which kind of implied to me that you're under the false assumption that you can only write about the Pokemon you have in your stats. SO STOP THAT.
$5,000 Moderate - The Stark Magikarp
$5,000 Moderate - Utter Heaven (Part 2)
$5,000 Moderate - “What a Hoot…Hoot!”
Phantom Kat: $19,500
$7,000 Moderate – The Hunt for the Abra Food Thief You mentioned that the length was 22k, but I counted 22.7k. I know that seems like an insignificant difference, but consider: when we’re doing wages 22k is rounded down to 20k, and 22.5k is rounded up to 25k. So you almost screwed yourself out of an extra $500. GOOD THING I’M SUCH AN UNTRUSTING BASTARD, HUH?
$6,500 Moderate - A Boy and His Wailmer
$6,000 Moderate - A Big Misunderstanding!
-Pichu Boy-: $15,500
$5,500 Moderate - Left Behind: Part 1
$5,000 Moderate - First Capture: VS Elekid! Eh, third-person perspective isn’t really “easier” than first-person, or vice versa. They’re just different. Maybe you’re more accustomed to seeing/using one of them, but that doesn’t mean the other is more of an accomplishment on the author’s part. But if you were just giving brownie points ‘r something, then… YES, I AM STOMPING ALL OVER YOUR BROWNIES. <-- *is considering making this his new catchphrase*
$5,000 Moderate - The Grand Awakening
Scourge of Amaranth: $46,500
$36,000 Extensive - A Time For Change This one, unlike some your others, wasn’t overkill. The story was appropriately beefy, so this grade is very strong and thorough, rather than SMOTHERING. Though, sometimes, it was still kinda confusing, such as when you talked about the beads of sweat and perfect/simple past tense. I hesitate to suggest adding more examples, since you already had so damn many, but you might coulda clarified the difference between perfect and simple tenses, ‘cuz a lotta folks are unfamiliar with those terms, I think. But anyway, excellently done.
$5,500 Moderate - Positively Poliwag! QUIT IT WITH THE FREAKING OVERKILL, ALREADY. This story was a for a dang Poliwag, and you’re going off on stylistic nuances of description, WHICH DON’T FREAKING MATTER AT THIS LEVEL. In the end, you’re still telling them to add more description, except you’re using about three times the amount of text needed to say it. What’s more, you failed the capture, so even though the author only needs to focus on fixing grammar, you’ve thrown all this other crud in their face and made it seem way more difficult than it really is. I understand that a lot of this stuff is probably meant more for your own benefit than for the author’s, but before you go ‘n do this crap again, consider how to impart your thoughts in a less obtuse fashion. ‘CUZ YER PISSING ME OFF.
$5,000 Moderate - Maya Takes Flight You said, “Normally, the whole trainer-woods-Pokémon thing is the greatest no-no a writer can make in URPG.” I can think of much greater no-no’s. EVEN UNDER “NORMAL” CIRCUMSTANCES, YES.
$5,000 Moderate - New Country, New Beginning, New Pokemon
$2,600 Basic - Lesson One: Maturity You mentioned that your example in the Introduction-section sucks. And you're right, 'cuz it does. So why did you decide to use it? Examples are meant to be clear and helpful, y'know. As you almost said, stories that start off with lots of action can put off potential readers.
$2,000 Basic - An Electrical Surprise! “Paralysed” and “defenceless” are British spellings. They’re not incorrect. Watch out for these things. I’ve told you this before, you dingleberry. Also, where you said, “you have to pretend readers don’t know what Pokemon are” is kinda… meh. I think it’s safe to assume that readers will know what a damn Pogeyman is, if nothing else. That knowledge is a part of the “target audience,” which is an important factor for any writer.
$9,500 Moderate - Something to Prevent: Chapter 1
$9,500 Moderate - Something to Prove: Chapter 1
$8,000 Moderate - Tracking Entei: Blazing Trails
$8,000 Moderate - Zane’s stories, Part II - The Spring Of Rebirth
$7,000 Moderate - Three Meetings Hmm. A story that blew ST away… Maybe I should give this money to the author. Ah, and I know, buddy. It’s tough to find stuff to critique, sometimes, but in this case… I mean, honestly, it was for a freaking Rattatta. Not much that needed to be said in the first place. So this was a perfectly fine grade, as far as I’m concerned.
$6,000 Moderate - Refusal
Overall, nicely done. You took on some pretty lengthy ones 'n gave strong feedback to boot. I'M SO PROUD.
$2,000 Basic - A Pine Full of Pineco
It should be noted that, as a rule, I won't give above Moderate pay to grades that are for stories under 25k in length. Complex- and Extensive-rank grades can only be given to complex and extensive stories, GOT IT?
Also, excuse me if I don't go through and find all my little typos 'n crud in this damn list, but if I missed a grade 'r miscalculated something, then just let me know, 'n I'll fix it. Of course, I'm totally perfect in all ways, so there's no way I screwed anything up, but oh well. MUST KEEP UP THE ILLUSION OF IMPERFECTION. BAHAHA. *sigh*
And y’know what else? You guys're awesome. I'm proud of you all. You're doing excellent, especially you two nublets over there. That's definitely a new record for Grader Wages earned, Guest.
Oh, and uh... Kat. I'm sure the thought it terribly appealing right about now, but you probably shouldn't do these by yourself next month, so let's plan on doing 'em together...
Fun fact: on PE2K, I woulda needed two posts for this.
*yawns and sits down*