YWC2013-1 Entry 05: 2013 and me

Author: Sun_2010’s Son
Age at 1 Jan 2013:  8 years old
Word count: 747
 
Overall score: 4.90
 

It was time for a family vacation. The destination was a surprise. Dad said we are going to a very, very special place. Looking at the winter clothes we had packed I bet it is extremely cold there. We left for a special airport. There a strange vehicle was waiting for us.

“That a flying sledge,” my dad explained. As we boarded this strange machine, dad announced dramatically, “We are going to North Pole!”

North pole!! For real? I couldn’t believe it – it was my ultimate dream!
As the flying sledge took us to North Pole, Dad explained to me how to operate it. Soon we arrived. I was so excited. We saw a weird looking factory. We decided to check it out. Inside thousands of elves appeared to be making toys. 

“This is Santa’s factory,” Dad commented. 
“Wow! This is so cool,” I exclaimed. ”Hey look! There is Santa.”

Santa waved and walked towards us.

“There are so many elves, so many toys, ” I muttered.

“Yes , they are working really hard to finish up before Christmas. Your gift will be ready soon.” Santa laughingly said, as he reached us. “Welcome Delson! Ho ho ho! Welcome to North Pole. ” 

He led us to some small, cosy rooms. 

“Are we staying here?” my sister asked excitedly.

“On one good condition,” Santa replied. “You have to help the elves make gifts.”

“Awesome!” I cheered. 

We walked past a heavy iron door with a big lock. I wondered what was inside. Reading my mind, Santa explained, ”That room has a magical box. If anyone opened it , and made a wish, it will come true. But there is a catch. Whoever opens it, an evil spirit will take over their mind and make them fight until they close it. One wicked man, Lasoon, wants to get the box so that he can wish for the destruction of Christmas forever. The only way to destroy the box is to throw it in hot lava.” 

I was horrified. I can’t imagine life without Christmas. 

Next morning I woke up and got ready quickly. Then I raced to the factory. I saw Santa walking and raced to wish him.

“Good Morn…”

The sound of shattering glass interrupted me. A strange object was thrown towards the gifts. It exploded destroying some gifts and the iron door. An evil looking man entered. 

“Lasoon!” Santa screamed. “You will never get the box.”

“We will see , haha !Soilders! Attack! “ Lasoon ordered.

A hundred soldiers entered and started to fire. But they missed us. Santa used a steel table as a shield to protect us. I turned and saw that by now Lasoon had managed to get the special box. 

Oh No! I thought. 

I pulled out my catapult, and shot at him. He tripped and fell. The box slipped out of his hand. I pounced on the box and ran with it. Lasoon started chasing me. What should I do? On my left I noticed the special flying sledge. I leapt on it and pulled the start handle. I heard Santa scream “Destroy the Box, Sef!”

Yes, I had to destroy it. Or Lasoon would destroy Christmas. But where will I find lava? In Mauna Loa – the biggest volcano? Or in Mt.Etna – the Oldest volcano? Or Mt.Batur – the only volcano I visited before? Then I remembered. I needed to find a volcano that is still erupting. And the chance of that happening was at Kilauea, Hawaii. So I directed the flying sledge to go to Hawaii. 

Soon I began to feel very hot. Woolen clothes were not comfortable in Hawaii but there was no time to change. As we neared I lowered the flying sledge and once I was right above the crater I flung the box right at the centre. The box exploded with a bang, spewing lava all around. 

Yes! I had done it. Thank God!

I sat down as this strange machine took me back to North Pole. When I landed , Santa welcomed me with a big crushing hug. 

He declared,” You saved Christmas, Sef! I dedicate the 2013 Christmas Celebration to you.“

“Sef! Sef! Sef!” the elves cheered. I was beaming.

The cheering grew louder and louder and louder.

Suddenly I heard my sister’s sing song voice, “Sef! Sef! Are you Deaf?”

Then I heard my mom’s voice, “Wake up !Wake up! It’s 2013!”

Oh well! 2013 and me – it’s going to be interesting.

Judge Score Comments
Duncan Rose 6

I wanted to give this a higher score but it relied upon the clichéd ending of “I woke up and it was all a dream”. It was well-written in places. However, the plot was notably fantastic and it contains several typos. I didn’t feel it had the level of descriptive language that would raise it to a 7 or 8. Descriptive words, in particular adjectives and adverbs are notable by their absence.
 

Esmonde Luo Jianwen 3 Vocabulary:  1/3
Grammar:  1/3
Content:  1/4
Total:  3/10
Comments: A brave attempt to break away from the norm and do a narrative essay instead of the typical expository sort. Unfortunately, the execution leaves much to be desired. Insufficient description lead to the narrative struggling to maintain the reader’s interest, while glaring grammatical errors present themselves as stumbling blocks littered throughout the essay. The ‘Oh I woke up and it was just a dream’ conclusion provides the final knife-to-the-gut. 
This can be improved in several ways: One way is to observe and possibly mimic the writing style of successful writers. This is useful, especially with anyone starting out writing. Through mimesis, one gains a greater appreciation regarding how and why things are done. 
Other tips and tricks are generally technical. Vary your sentence structure; do not keep starting with a noun. Start with an ‘ing’ verb or an ‘ed’ adjective, or use some sound effects. I am loathe to mention the cliche, but show me, don’t tell me. Also, watch the tenses. Good grammar makes up for a lot.
Link to detailed comments
 
Neo Yi Qun 5.5

Content: 2.5
Refreshing approach to the topic but it treads on the line of being out of point. Majority of the writing focuses on a fairy-tale like Christmas adventure instead of 2013. For PSLE compositions, it is a taboo to mention that whatever happened was just a dream/product of imagination/ hallucination etc.

Language: 3
Punctuational, spelling and grammatical mistakes spotted. Example:

‘It exploded destroying some gifts and the iron door.’ vs ‘It exploded, destroying some gifts and the iron door.’(correct)
‘Soilders!’ vs ‘Soldiers!’ (correct)
‘Suddenly I heard my sister’s sing song voice, “Sef! Sef! Are you Deaf?’ vs ‘Suddenly, I heard the singing voice of my sister.’ (correct)
‘The destination was a surprise. Dad said we are going to a very, very special place.’ vs ‘The destination was a surprise. Dad said that we were going to a very special place.’ (correct)
Too much dialogue that does nothing to enhance the story flow. This narrative account is mostly conveyed through telling rather than showing.
 

R. Miskam 3

Strengths:
Suspense and dialogue advance the plot, give insight on the characters and keep the readers entertained.

Weakness:
Completely digressed from given topic
No clear controlling idea and/or theme/purpose
Little or no supporting information to support thesis
Body and conclusion needs major revision
 

David Squires 7

I liked the student’s attempt at an imaginative interpretation and this was the most creative of the five stories.  The idea of going to see Santa Claus is something that everybody who grew up believing in him can relate to.  I liked the writer’s reaction to finding out where they were going (North pole!! For real? I couldn’t believe it). This clearly shows he was feeling excited rather than just telling and it would have been nice to see more of these kinds of reactions particularly when the writer saw Santa. This would have been a very dramatic part and needs to include some reactions to show the drama. I liked some of the descriptions used (e.g. We walked past a heavy iron door with a big lock) and the reactions (I wondered what was inside). The writing has a lot of ideas some of which are inplausible. Although, some stories clearly are fantasy, examiners may not be able to identify with the characters if if the ideas are not realistic. In the exams the student would do better if they were able to show a clearer link to the topic. For example, they could make it clear that the story was about Christmas in 2013.

 

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