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  #1    
Old October 6th, 2012, 08:39 PM
The Shiny Umbreon in the Corner's Avatar
The Shiny Umbreon in the Corner
☁Blown Away
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sunny Shore City
Gender: Male
Nature: Relaxed

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It felt like a normal Friday night on a normal week in a normal life. I even listened to Rebecca Black’s “Friday Night” and how it odd fully cheers me up, well that and my most precious Tepig. First off, let me tell you a little bit about me. I was born and raised here in Nuvema Town for all of my 13 years; it’sa pretty good life here except all the Plasma grunts that come every now and then. I’m a pretty outgoing person, I love nature, and heck I can’t get enough of it! I’m going to fast forward to this morning. I went through my normal routine, I went through my normal routine: waking up at 7:00 am and trying to get dressed and eat breakfast as fast as possible to play with my buddy Tepig. I’ve known my Tepig since I was 7 and it is the best thing that has ever happened to me! I remember the day I got her; it was a beautiful Winter day (December 5th to be exact) I knew it would be a great day that day but never thought I’d get her! Anyway I played with my Tepig and then it was off to trainer school (god I hate trainer school it’s so boring). I get good grades and blah blah... Oh, how rude am I? My name is Eric, sorry about that.
After I was done with Trainer School I could make my way home and play with my Tepig! We were playing that same old game where she tries to chase me around my room. Then I saw those beautiful eyes of her’s that golden brown glow, in her luscious eyes and those beautiful eyes turned to the scared, innocent eyes, her golden brown glow was now dark brown a color of fear I have never saw in her. I could see the Plasma grunt’s reflection that was behind me in her eyes. I admit I was scared of what was happening I yelled “Mom what’s going on?” I got no response from her all I got was “That old hag?” the Plasma Grunt said. “She’s been long gone we took her away.” “And you willtell us how to get the legendary pokemon Zekrom or else.” “No never” I shouted. “Then we’ll just take you with us” that is when I jumped out of my room window with Teping cradled in my arm. How would I get away from these freaks I thought to myself? I ran as fast as I could I managed to get to get to Nacrene City and I hid in an old, abandoned warehouse that had ivy covered all over it.
I hid in there for 3 hours just to be on the safe side, but it felt like a whole day. This is the part where I start my journey to find mom and this “famous secret” that put’s my life in danger. I went to the local gym and beat Lenora with my Tepig, Lenora was a kind woman and even offered her assistance in Pinwheel Forest. That was a great help. I battled gym leader, after gym leader until I got to Elsea, I beat Elsea and she offered to help our mom. That’s right our mom (It turns out we are siblings!) “Can you believe it she said I didn’t know I had a little brother!” “I didn’t know I had an awesome sister!” I said “Do you know anything about this secret and why the Plasma Grunts are after me?” “We are special, we hold a very powerful secret and I think it is about time to tell you about it” Elsea said. Just then we were interrupted by those stupid Plasma Grunts. Elsea grabbed me with a strong, firm grip and jerked me. We had to run what would we do if they got us? We ran for a long time I didn’t even know where we were I think we were at the abandoned warehouse. “Have you ever met our father?” Elsea said. “No why” “He is the reason we are in this kind of trouble our father A” “Oh gosh not the grunts again…”
“Oh we are back and we plan to get you now we need your assistance Eric” the Plasma grunt said. “How do you even know my name you freaks” I said quickly. “Don’t hurt him he dosen’t even know the secret he is innocent” Elsea said.

I was getting dizzy and I even felt ransacked I saw the Plasma grunt holding a butcher knife in his hand. I planned on getting Elsea and my Tepig to safety. Just then I thought where is Tepig I thought to myself? Then I made the connection. Plasma grunt holding a butcher knife, me feeling ransacked, not knowing where Tepig is. “Noooo” I shouted.
“You wouldn’t” I shouted once again. “I would” said the Plasma Grunt with a smirk on his face. “Anything but that” “Eric don’t move” Elsea said I forgot she was even there. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just automatically lunged out at the grunt. I managed to swipe my Tepigs pokeball, I also managed to get a butcher knife in me. It felt like a jabbing that wouldn’t stop every time I moved I felt like it was getting deeper and deeper. I threw the pokeball at Elsea. “Run” I said “Call the police” I shouted, “No Eric” Elsea shouted back. “Go Zebstrika” Elsea flipped out her phone and dialed 911 Shouting out orders at Zebstrika and talking to the police at the same time. “Hyper Beam and then Thunder Shock” she shouted.
The next thing I knew I was in the hospital. “It appears you were stabbed three times” Nurse Joy said. I knew I was slowly dying. Dyeing without knowing who your father is. Dyeing without knowing if your mother is okay. Great Life I thought to myself….
“No” Elsea shouted. “No no… no… no… no…” my only brother. “You must know who our father is, our father is… A–” I was dead now what I thought to myself. I thought that would be my last thought but it wasn’t.............

TO BE CONTUINED
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  #2    
Old October 8th, 2012, 03:03 PM
icomeanon6's Avatar
icomeanon6
It's "I Come Anon"
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Age: 21
Gender: Male
As promised, here are my quick thoughts on your entry:

There's a pretty fundamental issue that prevented your entry from getting a higher score, which is that the scope of your story is way bigger than it should be for a short story, much less a particularly short one. Big warning flags for this include sentences like "I battled gym leader, after gym leader..." Flying through events mid-paragraph like this really throw the reader for a loop, and it prevents them from getting sucked in. It reads more like a heavy abridgment than a proper story. Ending a short story with "to be continued" is also a big no-no. As it said in the rules, we were looking for completed one-shots, not chapters.

Aside from how abridged the whole thing is, there's also a matter of the exposition being too dense. The opening paragraph in particular contains a lot of information, most of which it would be much better to reveal gradually, if at all. The old axiom is "show, don't tell." For example, the main character tells us out of the blue that he and the gym leader are siblings, when it would be much more effective to have the knowledge revealed to the reader through events that are fully depicted in the narrative, such as a heartfelt conversation, or a letter found in a desk or something.

For the matter of relevance, while your story is certainly about a secret or two involving Zekrom and Eric's dad, it doesn't make much of an impact on the reader due to the things I've already discussed. It's introduced too abruptly, and nothing really gets done with it from there. There's no space for the reader to be intrigued by the secret because it all comes too much, too fast, and in too little detail.

My advice going forward is mainly for you to slow down with the pace of the story and the story-writing process. I understand that for the contest you were pressed for time, but this is still important. You want the narration to be less distanced from what is happening in the story: take things one event at a time, narrate them in full, and always keep in mind the logical progression between events. Also important is to proofread, especially to do so out loud and after taking a break following initial writing.

Those are my thoughts. Thank you for entering the contest, and I hope to see you participate next year. And remember, practice makes perfect, so keep writing!

P.S. There should be a new paragraph for each line of dialogue, and on forums you want paragraphs to be separated by a blank line for readability.
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My chapter fics:
Kanto: The Disputed Frontier - 14 chapters, indefinite hiatus. Gary Stu's Unpredictable Adventure - 8 chapters, completed. Digimon Campaign - 7 chapters, ongoing

One-shots:
There's Always Tomorrow (SWC 2009), A Matter of Stubbornness (SWC 2010), Left by the Roadside
(SWC 2011 1st place),
Giovanni Destroys the World and Everything in It (2012), By What Right? (SWC 2013 1st place), Back in the Day (SWC 2014 1st place) (New!)


Family (kind of?): Strange person who calls me strange names

If the pen is mightier than the sword, the keyboard is mightier than the ICBM.
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  #3    
Old October 9th, 2012, 06:41 PM
Astinus's Avatar
Astinus
Remember NovEnder
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut, USA
Age: 27
Gender: Male
First off, I'm not really sure if you understand what a short story, or “one-shot”, is. It's a self-contained story. It has the beginning, middle, and end all rolled into one piece without any “To Be Continued” at the ends or any need for prequels to get information. So your ending falls completely flat because you shouldn't have ended it with a cliff-hanger like that. The story isn't finished.

That's the main problem with this. It's very rushed. The scene where Eric and Elesa find one another should have had a lot more detail to it. The feelings that Eric has about finding the sister he never knew he had. How he might feel betrayed by his mother for never telling him, or relief that he's not alone in this world. Same with the battle against the Plasma grunts. How Eric was so focused on getting Tepig back that he didn't feel three stab wounds, or his anger that he can't find out the secret his long-lost sister has been needing to tell him.

Personally, I would have cut the first few scenes where Eric's mother was taken (killed?) by Plasma and reveal those in flashback. Start the story in Nimbasa City, telling a little of Eric's backstory so that the readers know why he's on this quest. End the story with Eric learning what the secret means and what he has to do now against Plasma.

On the mechanics side of the story, if you had the time to do so, I would have suggested a beta reader. You're missing the punctuation for dialogue, and you never started a paragraph when dialogue began. This also could have used a read-over before you submitted it. Sentences ran on when they could have been cut into two or three separate sentences. There were a few weird wordings that I had to think about what you could have meant by it. A great tip is to read your story out-loud. This way, you can hear how sentences sound when read and catch any possible mix-ups.
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