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DreamersRiddle
14th February 2012, 3:03 AM
Okay, hopefully I have all the grammar errors fixed. If you see anything that needs editing, feel free to drop a critique in the reply box. ^_^


Chapter One

The house was quiet today. Nothing but the steady patter of rain on the roof was heard. A yawn sounded through the quietness of the house from a girl in bed. This girl went over to the mirror to check out how she looked this morning. She groaned as she looked into the mirror. What she saw was a skinny, sort of gangly, slightly awkward teenage girl of fourteen, with mousey brown hair all in a mess.

“Bedhead,” she murmured. She sat in front of the mirror as she contemplated herself. She acted young for her age, she knew that. She had almost sworn to herself she would never grow up. She had tried acting like the other people her age, but had found the comforts of childhood to be much more entertaining. The adventures, dreams, and fantasies were still all so exciting! She felt that many people her age had given that up. And, in addition, found the make-up, the fancy clothes, and the fascination with boys all to be completely boring. She was never going to be feminine either, she had decided. She was going to be a tomboy for as long as she could.

“Raizel,” she whispered her name to herself. A small smile came to her face. “What will you be doing today?”

"Nyaaa..." Raizel was watching the rain fall from a chair she had brought up right next to the window. The raindrops fell one by one on it, forming small rivers that trickled down and pooled at the bottom. Rain was beautiful. On some days, she saw it like the sky was crying. She interpreted that the sky had moods, just like everyone else. For this reason, Raizel had a somewhat irrational dislike of weathermen. It seemed a little frustrating that the sky's moods could be predicted easier than everyone else's. Things like that were meant to be held sacred, in her opinion.

She went back to sighing. "Nyaaaaa..." She picked up an umbrella and went outside. As she opened the door, she yelled over her shoulder, "Mom, I'm going for a walk!"

"Alright dear, just be home by eight!" her mom called back from the living room. Raizel just smiled, and yelled back a "'Kay!" before walking out into the rain.

She began walking in the rain, while it fell all over her shoulders and soaked her hair. She only bothered to bring her umbrella to please her mom. Her mom was always fretting about her catching a cold in the rain. Raizel reasoned, 'Hey, I've never caught a cold in the rain before. Why would it happen now?" Pokemon and their trainers walked by, some Pokemon splashing in the puddles, getting their trainers all wet, while others made sure to stay as dry as possible. Raizel had always wanted a Pokemon.

She had spent her time daydreaming, a lot, that she was going to have her first Pokemon someday. It seemed that everyone had one. Her parents had their own Politoed. Of course, it helped around the house, and played with her when she was bored. But it was still their Pokemon. She liked it, but she wanted one of her own. She knew she was going to end up having a very special bond with hers. Would it be small? Big? Annoying? … Annoying didn't sound very appealing, she reasoned. It was going to be the champ of champs. She was going to beat everybody with it, in every way she was capable of. She would enter in contests, in battles. Gym battles, even! But no matter how much she dreamed about it, it's not like the Pokemon would step out of her dreams and come greet her. She sat down on a wet bench, and watched the trainers play with their Pokemon for the next few hours.

"Mom, I'm home!" Raizel put the unused umbrella by the door, and snuck off to her bedroom to change into dry clothes before her mom could see her soaking wet.

"Nya." Raizel played with the various Pokemon plushies around the room. "Go, Scyther, use Slash!" The toy Scyther came in for the kill. "Oh no Pikachu, look out!" In her mind, the Pikachu looked visibly off guard and terrified by the coming onslaught. "Pika Pika!" Raizel cried in pretend horror as the Scyther easily won the battle. "And Scyther is the winner! Yeaaaah! Yeaaaah! And the crowd cheers!" She cupped her hands around her mouth and made the cheers for the other stuffed plushies. "That was a good battle, Mr. Pika, wasn't it?" The toy Pikachu reluctantly nodded, then perked up and shook the toy Scyther's hand. She stopped playing for a minute, and looked around at all the Pokemon stuff she had in her room. She had always loved Pokemon, even as a little girl. There were stuffed Eevee in various places around the room, a stuffed Espeon (she had tried really hard to get that one. Those plushies were rare), a squishy rubber Solosis, and plastic model Lucario, among the others. After a while, Pokemon thoughts were replaced by Pokemon dreams as she dozed off, hunched over the bed.

"Mom! I'm going out!" The standard call rang out, responded to with the standard reply.

"Okay! Just be home by eight!"

Today was a beautiful day. The rain had cleared the skies. There were puddles of water everywhere, but the sunshine was bright and the air was crisp and everything smelled clean.

"The rain gave the world a bath!" she chirped. She wondered for a moment, if the Earth was like a baby, and the skies were like a mother. Then what would the ocean be? Perhaps the pools of water could be like the eyes of the world. She saw in a painting once where the Earth looked like a woman, and pools of water reflected the sky. She briefly wondered why the Earth and the Water Makers didn't get along. But either way, they were inseparable, if conflicting forces. And the Sky Mediator always settled quarrels between the two. So much for that theory. Her mind lingered on that idea, however, as she hoisted the sketchbook she held.

Today, would be a day for sketching wild Pokemon. Of course, it was dangerous. And frustrating. You never knew if they were going to run away before you could finish sketching, or attack. In the beginning, she had often startled the Pokemon, so she had many unfinished sketches in her book. As she got better, she got stealthier. She had several sketches of common Pokemon in the area. She had a few of Zigzagoon, eating berries, digging holes, or picking up random items, with their ability, Pickup. One of her favorites was of a Lotad, which fell asleep on the surface of the river. It looked so cute and derpy at the same time! There were a few of Poochyena, a Ralts (oooh, rare!) and some foreign Pokemon with Trainers.

As she flipped through her sketchbook, she found herself at the edge of town.

"Nya. Time to get sketching," she murmured happily. She wandered a bit into the local forest. "Hmmmm. Lots of grass Pokemon out today. I bet they enjoy the fresh water and sun! But--" She looked at a few Pokemon. "Which one to sketch?" She decided against sketching the Pokemon she currently saw. They moved around too much, and kept running away, leaving her with only a few lines on paper. “They must be very excited today...” she thought.

Something ran across her path, almost too quick to see. The only evidence of it was the moving of the bushes, and the dust kicked up. Something about this excited her. Curiosity bubbled over, as she tried to discern which way it had went. She went running through the bushes, abandoning all regard for stealthiness. Suddenly, when jumping through a bush, she came face-to-face with a Scyther.

"Yaaaah!" she cried out, nearly falling over in her surprise. She attempted to catch her balance. "A... a... Scyther?", she stuttered. The Scyther didn't seem fazed at all that a teenage girl came leaping out at it from the bushes. It even seemed sort of cocky. Most Pokemon would run scuttling, but this Pokemon remained calm, and undisturbed by the presence of a human. Raizel was nervous. First, this Pokemon was never seen around these parts. Second, Scyther was incredibly powerful. When she had read about it, in school, she had learned that it could hack a tree in half with one slice of its scythes. She stayed frozen. The Scyther just stared at her for a while, and then turned its back on her to eat some Cheri Berries on a bush.

For several minutes, Raizel remained frozen, but the Scyther seemed incredibly unconcerned with her. Then, a tiny idea came creeping into her mind. Maybe... Maybe it would let me sketch it? Hope crept into her mind. She wanted to capture such an amazing creature. Its powerful build struck her with awe. She slowly, and carefully, began to creep around to its side to attempt sketch a picture from its profile while it ate. It glanced at her, not unaware of her shifting, but it didn't seem to care. A big grin slowly came over her face. One of unrestrained glee. "Stay still Scyther. Let me sketch you," she whispered, as she began her sketch.

She stayed there for the next half hour, sketching it. She had the basic outline, and the figure began to emerge from the lines she drew. As she started on the face, she was aware that the Scyther had finished its meal, but was staying in the same position, watching her out of the corner of its eye. She stared at it, for a moment. Their eyes met. And then it turned away suddenly, and bounced away. "Wait!" she cried out. "I'm not done yet!" She would have followed it, but it ran away too fast for her too keep up with. She probably never would have caught up with it in the first place, if it hadn't stopped to eat. She sat there for a while, staring at the unfinished face. She had drawn the eyes. The eyes were striking. They had a fighting spirit in them, and her unfinished drawing managed to capture a ghost of that spirit.

Raizel slowly walked out of the forest, stunned by the recent events. The burning desire to draw that Scyther was foremost in her mind. As she walked home, she kept peeking at the drawing, and comparing it to the other drawings of Pokemon. Her eyes fell on one of a happy Eevee with its trainer. She remembered, her skill level was not high enough at the time to really catch the full bond between the trainer and Pokemon. She had taken a shortcut, and simply drawn little hearts all around them. It still caught at her heart strings. After the drawing was done, the trainer took a look at the drawing, and was happy with the way she had captured them. She had seen them as best friends enjoying all the minute moments between each other. And that was exactly what she drew.

Again, little pangs of longing floated to the top of her heart. Her mind wandered for a bit into the past.

She remembered back to when she was a small child at the age of five. She was playing pretend in the park with her friends, when a Pokemon popped up. Its trainer was not far behind it, laughing at the game of tag. The Pokemon had walked up to them, and began playing with them. Not long after, everyone was happily playing with the Pokemon for the rest of the day. She recalled how sad she was to see it go. She had wanted her own Pokemon to play tag with.

Soon after, she had begun drawing Pokemon. First, the Pokemon she had played with, in a childish scrawl. And then all the other Pokemon she had met, she had drawn them too. Over time, she had become a good artist. She attempted to capture their personalities in her drawings, to keep them close whenever she wanted to look at Pokemon.

“I suppose...” she mumbled, “I was so busy drawing other people's Pokemon that I never bothered to get my own.” Then a sudden conviction rose. She was GOING to have a Pokemon soon. People started getting their Pokemon at ten. There was no reason that she couldn't have one too. That though put a smile on her face all the way home, as she daydreamed of her perfect Pokemon.

The next morning woke her up with delicate rays of light on her face. "Nyaaaa... ", she groaned. She had fallen asleep, hunched over the desk, her head resting on her sketchpad. She stared at the Scyther for a while. It was so unfair that the Scyther couldn't have stayed long enough to get its drawing made. She supposed that it was longer than most Pokemon would have stood still. Then, she had an idea.

"Mom! Can I use the kitchen?" she yelled into her mom's room.

"Agh, it's seven am. Use your indoor voice, hon," her mom moaned.

"Oops, sorry." Raizel blushed. Most of their conversations were shouted halfway across the house, so she didn't need to shout at seven am when she was right next to her mom. "Can I please use the kitchen?" she whispered shyly.

"Yes, yes. Just clean up when you're done," her mom mumbled from somewhere in her pillow.

"YES!" Raizel cried.

"Indoor voice," her mom reminded her.

"Sorry," Raizel said meekly. She rushed out into the kitchen as fast as possible.

Raizel walked out the door, with a backpack laden with baked goods, soda, lemonade, and other snacks. She intended to find that Scyther. She WAS going to draw it. And these snacks would help her do it.

She found herself at the forest again, sketchbook in hand, and a backpack full of goodies. She hoped that it wouldn't attract bug Pokemon like Wurmple. Sometimes, if you didn't seal your backpack or picnic right, they would crawl all over your hard earned meal. Once, she had found a hole in her backpack, and bug Pokemon flocked to her like....bugs. She double checked her backpack and tupperware to make sure no bug Pokemon could possibly get in there. She figured repel wouldn't be useful right now, because she wanted to ATTRACT this Scyther, not repel it.

Wumple, Shroomish, Wurmple, Silcoon, Wurmple, Wurmple, Wurmple... She mumbled irately. All the normal Pokemon in here. And lots of Wurmple. One had fallen out of a tree and caught her right on the face. To say the least, she wasn't pleased. Most weren't a problem, but every now and then, she'd dodge a String Shot, or a Tackle.

"Gah! Is it anywhere?!" she cried out of frustration. She had left the house at nine am, and spent three hours searching for the Scyther. All she found were the usual Pokemon. She decided to make her way back to the Cheri Berry bush to rest. "Well, if Scyther's not going to be here, I guess I can eat this pie," she mumbled. She started munching on some lemon pie, one of her favorites. There was a rustle in the bushes. "Oh snap," she mumbled and defensively hid her lemon pie. A single scythe emerged.

"Oh... my... god..." she mouthed. Could it be? A very wary Scyther emerged from the bushes. Then she realized--it was the exact same time as she had seen it yesterday. This Scyther must be a creature of habit. Or at least have a schedule. This was dangerous. Not like it wasn't the first time. Slowly, making no sudden movements, she offered it a piece of her lemon pie. It made no movement to go after it. She lightly tossed a piece in its direction. Scyther watched it fall on the forest floor at its feet. The Scyther bent to it, keeping its eyes on her, and slowly ate it. It seemed to be considering the flavor. It finished the piece, and looked at her. It seemed to be demanding more with its eyes. She threw another piece of the pie towards it. Closer, this time. Scyther seemed to have caught onto her scheme.

It staunchly refused to get any closer to her.

"I'm not going to hurt you..." she whispered to it. Scyther gave her a look, as if to say, 'It's not me that has to worry about that. You don't even have any claws.' She smiled at the Scyther's proud attitude. "Okay, fine, don't get any closer. Just let me draw you..." she whispered in the same calming tone. She threw the rest of the pie at it to keep it busy while she drew.

An hour later, the snacks were almost gone, and the sketch was completed. She could nearly squeal with joy. She was going to keep this sketch until the end of time. She would show it to her kids and grandkids. She dumped the rest of the snacks out of her backpack, and smiled at the Scyther.

"Bye... Scyther." She began her slow walk to the entrance, looking lovingly at her new drawing.

The Scyther walked to the place she had sat and scrutinized the snacks left as a small offering. It picked up the remaining snacks, and began to follow her.

haitianzero
14th February 2012, 5:41 PM
Well, this one is a nice surprise. The events sound so real, even when you didn't go heavy on the details of the scenery. Your writing style is very fluid and your characterization skills are good. The only gripe I have is your formatting here. There are too many blocks of text. You need to break up these blocks into separate paragraphs, especially when you write dialogue.

I'm definiely going to keep my eye on this fic. It's one of the most realistic pokemon fics that I've read so far.

DreamersRiddle
14th February 2012, 6:14 PM
Thank you very much! I'll take your critique and put it into practice! ^_^ And, YAY fans! I feel so flattered! Thank you~ ^_^

3D992
14th February 2012, 7:34 PM
I dont like it being in Hoenn (not my favorite region) but your talent is so amazing that it doesnt really matter! Great job!

DreamersRiddle
14th February 2012, 8:54 PM
AMG, thanks! xD I'm so glad you like it! xD

JX Valentine
14th February 2012, 10:30 PM
I'm really sorry, but I'm going to have to be blunt. It's extremely difficult to read. The reason why is because it looks like a block of text. Whenever you start a new paragraph, you really should hit the enter key twice instead of once, and you should remember that whenever you change speakers or whenever you go from a line of dialogue to a line of action, you should start a new paragraph. This makes it easier for most readers to get through your text; a lot of readers (which is why this hasn't gotten that many reviews except from a couple of people dishing out one-liners) tend to have difficulties focusing on a massive blob of text on a computer screen. Their eyes wander, or they immediately write it off as badfic.

Additionally, don't write your work in the post new thread/post reply box. (As in, don't write your story directly on the site.) Instead, write it in a word processor like Microsoft Word, Open Office, or Google Docs. This avoids making your work feel like it's being rushed (because you're limiting how much time you give yourself to write) while at the same time giving you the tools you'll need to proofread.

As for the rest, let me take this fic apart and go over a few points with you.


"Nyaaa....."

An ellipse has only three dots (four if you're adding period at the end), not five.

Also, who's speaking? Who's "she"? Remember, not every reader will automatically go searching for your Fizzy Bubbles account (especially as you gain more posts throughout the board, burying said posts), so when you introduce your character, you have to introduce your character. This includes describing what they look like, who they are, why they should matter to us, and so forth. If you just have a "nyaaa" and references to a "she" as if we should already know who this character is, we'll actually be put in the dark. As in, it'll feel like we've missed something.


Rain was beautiful. On some days, she saw it like the sky was crying.

I'm a little bit iffy about this line. It sounds like it's trying to be flowery – like it's a line from extremely simple poetry. Not to offend you or anything, but it just doesn't really hit me that well and make me feel any sort of emotion towards the rain.

If you want to make a serious impact on the reader, the one thing you'll want to do is make sure you show instead of tell. What that means is you'll want to be as descriptive as possible. Don't just say, "The rain was beautiful, and this is the character's opinion of it." Say something like, "Droplets sparkled as they ran down the window. She pressed her face against the cold glass and closed her eyes, all while taking in the slow, rhythmic pattering of water against the pane. To Raizel, the whistle of the wind outside sounded like sobs, and the droplets that fell from the gray clouds reminded her of tears." The more descriptive you are in that manner (as opposed to just leaving it to "rain was beautiful"), the easier it is for a reader to picture what's going on. If we combine that with the way Raizel interacts with the weather – closing her eyes, taking in the sounds, leaning against the window, and so forth – we can almost see the expression on her face, and if we can do that, then we'll be more inclined to feel what she feels.


"Nyaaaaa....."

It's also really difficult to take her seriously when she sounds a lot like a cartoon cat.

Also, to illustrate what I mean about paragraphing, take a look at this quote:


As she opened the door, she yelled over her shoulder, "Mom, I'm going for a walk!"

Her mother replied, "All right, dear! Just be home by eight!"

Raizel just smiled, and yelled back a "'kay" before walking out into the rain.

I'll go over the minor details in a second, but notice how there's a new paragraph every time the speaker changes. That's the kind of thing you want to aim for. It's cleaner, and it avoids creating potential confusion. (The more dialogue you stick into a single paragraph, the more likely a reader will accidentally mentally assign a quote to the wrong speaker.)

Also, I did mention that there are minor edits here. These include:

1. "The reply came" isn't actually a dialogue tag. It's an action sentence. (The difference is that the only thing a dialogue tag does is tell us who's speaking and how. There's no speaker in "the reply came," and "came" doesn't describe how the quote is being said.) Meanwhile, it's also an awkward sentence on its own, so it's best to simply replace it with a dialogue tag.

2. Her mother's quote is actually a run-on sentence. Notice how you end up with two complete thoughts once it's split? That's your signal that you're dealing with two separate sentences, so you can't just merge them together with a comma.

3. "All right" is two words. ("Alright" is actually slang. To be fair, most people don't know this.)

4. You'll want a comma before a direct address (an instance when one character is showing that they're talking to someone specific by using their name or a word or phrase that stands in for their name.)

5. Write out all numbers from zero to ten. (People will debate with you concerning whether or not you should write out all numbers from ten to ninety-nine as well, but it's generally accepted that zero to ten should be in words. Unless you're dealing with addresses, ordinals, or times like 6:05.)

6. Putting dialogue in the middle of a sentence tends to be an iffy subject, but generally, you'll want to treat it like you would a word in the middle of a sentence. Surround it with quotes but don't capitalize it or punctuate it like a complete quote.


She began walking in the rain, it falling all over her shoulders and soaking her hair.

This sentence feels a little awkward. Do me a favor and read it aloud. Doesn't it sound like it's trying to be two complete sentences? I would suggest treating it as one. Place a period where the comma is and switch out "falling" and "soaking" for "fell" and "soaked," respectively. Honestly, if your dependent clause is deviating that much from the subject of the sentence, you might as well make it a standalone.

It also helps you dodge the awkwardness of starting two consecutive sentences with the same word.


Her mom was always fretting about her catching a cold in the rain.

I'm not sure how to phrase this without having it sound more biting than I actually mean it, but it would have been a good idea to bring that up whenever her mom was speaking. It goes with the "show, don't tell" tip I mentioned earlier in this review. Rather than just tell us that her mom was always fretting about Raizel catching a cold, you'll want to actually show her fretting about her catching a cold. To be more specific in this instance, you have Raizel announce that she's going outside. Her mother is in a completely different room (apparently, considering she was never shown or mentioned beyond her line of dialogue), and all she has to say is the equivalent of "okay have fun." That would have been a perfect opportunity to show her mother come out and ask Raizel if she had a coat, her umbrella, galoshes, a warm sweater, and pretty much everything else a fretting mother would want to make sure their kid was wearing. Sure, maybe her mother trusted her, but then that wouldn't be a fretting mother.

In general, never ever mention that a character has a certain trait without showing us those traits in action. You'll end up implying that there's a character contradiction, which in turn causes a reader to take your work a little less seriously. That and it also causes you to miss opportunities for characterization, so your characters end up sounding flatter than you want them to be.


Raizel reasoned, 'Hey, I've never caught a cold in the rain before. Why would it happen now?"

If you meant to have Raizel speaking aloud, make sure that both quotation marks are double-quotes. Don't lead the line with a single quotation mark like you have here. (Alternatively, if she's thinking, then you'll want to be consistent with how you punctuate thought – meaning single quotes all around.)


Pokemon and their trainers walked by, some Pokemon splashing in the puddles, getting their trainers all wet, while others made sure to stay as dry as possible.

Again, this feels a bit too wordy. If you end up having a subject (such as "some Pokémon") in a dependent clause, then you might as well start a new sentence.


Raizel had always wanted a Pokemon.

…Then why doesn't she?

Here lies a problem with not properly introducing your main character. We have no idea why she doesn't have her own Pokémon because you don't drop hints as to why. You never mention her age, so we don't know if she's just too young for it. You don't mention her life at home or her relationship with her parents (beyond the fact that her mother worries she'll catch a cold in the rain, which doesn't tell us much), so we don't know if it's just because her parents are overprotective. You don't even go into the world all that much, so we don't know if it actually has something to do with her society. This statement just comes out of left field and doesn't really help us to figure out why she's in this kind of situation.


Her parents had their own Politoed.

It would've probably been a good idea to mention it earlier. You could have had some interesting character development by showing us how Raizel interacts with Pokémon, which would then give us a clue as to how she would act with her own (or even better, why she doesn't have one).


Of course, it helped around the house, and played with her when she was bored.

This sentence is not actually a compound. Try this trick: replace the comma and conjunction ("and" in this case) with a period. Notice how you don't end up with two separate thoughts? That's your signal that you actually have a dependent clause on your hand, meaning you can't separate it from the main clause with a comma.

Meanwhile, you could move the comma to where the period is now and combine the sentence directly after this one with it to form a compound. There's really no reason why it should be a standalone sentence anyway.


She knew she was going to end up having a very special bond with hers.

It's just that we're not really given any prior hints that would enable us to figure out whether or not this would be true or why she would think so. Does she love Pokémon, or does she just want one because everyone has one? How does she treat Pokémon? Can she make friends with them easily, or does she just think she can?


But any way she dreamed about it, it's not like the Pokemon would step out of her dreams and come greet her.

I had to read this sentence a few times because it just sounded incredibly awkward. As in, that feeling of "this should be two sentences but isn't really completing one of its thoughts" resurfaced. Then I figured out that you meant to say, "But no matter how much she dreamed about it."


She sat down on a wet bench, and watched the trainers play with their Pokemon for the next few hours.

Again, not a compound. Try the period trick I mentioned not too long ago with any sentence where you're tempted to add in a comma before a conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so).

From here on out, I'm going to glaze over the grammatical bits. I get the feeling you get the idea, and the point is that no matter what you're writing, you'll always want to proofread before posting. Read your work aloud to listen to how each sentence sounds. If something sounds awkward, chances are it actually is. Not to mention reading your work aloud slows your eyes down and enables you to fix minor errors you wouldn't normally catch if you're reading silently.


"Nya."

No, really, it's difficult to take her seriously when she does that.


"Go, Scyther, use Slash!"

Although I said I'd go easy on the grammar, I'd like to point out another comma splice to help you figure out what I mean. Basically, cover up the comma. Notice how you end up with two complete thoughts? Sure, they don't have subjects by themselves (not counting the direct address), but they're two separate commands. So, you'll want to treat them as two separate sentences.


The toy Scyther came in for the kill.

It would be nice if you described her room and her toys before you went into this battle. Right now, it feels like the Scyther and Pikachu dolls came out of absolutely nowhere because we don't imagine them existing before you have Raizel order them around. Again, it's a matter of showing instead of telling. Always describe as much as possible so the reader can get a good mental picture of what's going on. For example, instead of having Raizel just go to her toys in a single sentence, have her approach a shelf full of dolls, take one long look at them, and pluck a Scyther and a Pikachu one from the group. Maybe even set them up for battle. That allows us to imagine the Scyther and the Pikachu one before the battle begins, so her orders feel a lot less awkward.


"Pika Pika!",

Because you punctuate the quote with an exclamation point, you do not need a comma at the end. Even if you did, you should never put the comma outside of the quotation marks. Commas go inside because they function as the period of the quoted sentence.


The toy Pikachu reluctantly nodded, then perked up and shook the toy Scyther's hand.

Unless Pikachu is actually moving on its own, you'll want to phrase it so that Raizel is making them move. Otherwise, you create an unintentionally surreal moment.


a squeezy, or whatever they were called,

If you have no idea what they're called, then the audience wouldn't know either. In this case, I literally have no idea what a squeezy is, so I have no idea what this toy looks like. Is it a squeeze toy? A rubber Solosis? A small figurine? A plush doll that makes a noise when you squeeze it? Don't be vague with your terms, and if at all possible, don't use terms that you'd find in the hardcore collecting community. (For an example I do know, you wouldn't want to call a toy a "kid" because this doesn't mean anything to most readers. Instead, you'd call it a "miniature figurine." That's something they can understand.)


and Lucario,

Was Lucario a squeezy too? If so, then that means I seriously have no idea what a squeezy is because I can't really imagine Lucario as one.


After a while, Pokemon thoughts were replaced by Pokemon dreams as she dozed off.

Right where she stood? Because you don't really mention that she got into bed or anything. (I'm just bringing this up to give you an example of why it's always a good idea to describe action as much as possible. Don't assume that your readers will automatically move your characters to a normal sleeping position when they doze off. Sure, that's simple enough to figure out, but to a reader, not including that detail – not showing that your character is lying down and closing her eyes to sleep – makes the narration feel like it's missing something.)


The standard call rang out, responded to with the standard reply. "Okay! Just be home by eight!"

By now, your reader is starting to feel as if her mom actually isn't as fussy as you had mentioned in the first chapter. She doesn't bother to go to her daughter and interact. She just remains off-screen, and she responds with a generic one-liner that even the narrator notes is standard. That's not really being fussy; that's just dealing out an off-handed comment.


The rain had cleared the skies.

Tip: Simple is always a better way to go. Do not attempt flowery, poetic description because nine times out of ten, it actually doesn't make sense. Here, I think you mean that it rained so much that the clouds dissipated, but even then, because clouds move, it would make more sense to say, "After the rain, the skies cleared."


"The rain gave the world a bath~",

Do not punctuate sentences (within fanfiction) with tildes. That is not what they're for. That's the equivalent of punctuating a sentence with :D.

(Also, again, the comma should be inside the quotation marks.)


and the skies was like a mother.

"The skies" is a plural term, so you'll want a plural verb. ("Were," not "was.")


Then what would the ocean be? Perhaps the pools of water could be like the eyes of the world. She saw in a painting once where the Earth looked like a woman, and pools of water reflected the sky. She briefly wondered why the Earth and the Water Makers didn't get along. But either way, they were inseparable, if conflicting forces. And the Sky Mediator always settled quarrels between the two. So much for that theory. Her mind lingered on that idea, however, as she hoisted the sketchbook she held.

Never bring anything up in a fanfiction if it's not going to be relevant. For example, you spend a paragraph here describing Raizel's thoughts on the land, the sea, and the sky, but while I guess it could hint at where you're going with this fanfiction, in the end, it just seems out of place because it literally doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't add to her character, and it doesn't seem to contribute to the plot of the fic. As soon as it's over, she goes onto a train of thought involving what she was going to do that day.


or picking up random items, with their ability, Pickup.

Never reference a Pokémon move or ability if you're not going to describe it. The reason why is because fanfiction is meant to be an expansion of canon. As in, to a reader, it doesn't mean anything if you just say that Zigzagoon used Pickup. We can't picture it happening. We can, however, picture a Zigzagoon picking an item up with its paws or mouth and stashing it in its fur. Go beyond the games in order to give us a good mental fix on what's going on.


It looked so cute and derpy at the same time!

Do not use "derpy" in a sentence. That's internet slang, so it's actually equivalent to using the word "lol" instead of saying a character laughed out loud.


There was a few of Poochyena,

There were a few. Again, you're talking about more than one item, so you need a verb that refers to more than one thing doing something.


she looked at a few Pokemon.

This is actually not a dialogue tag. It's its own sentence, so you'll want to treat it like one.


all regard for stealthiness.

"Stealth." While "stealthieness" is also a word, it's more slang and calls to mind Stephen Colbert.


she can face to face

She came face-to-face, perhaps?


"Yaaaah!" she cried out, visibly startled.

You actually don't need to mention that she was visibly startled. First off, that doesn't really mean anything to a reader because we can't really picture what "visibly startled" looks like. (Meanwhile, we can picture a startled expression through wide eyes, an open mouth, trembling limbs, a jump, a scramble backwards, a pale face, and so forth.) Second, it's already implied that she's startled when she yelled out. Saying that she's visibly startled is actually redundant.


The Scyther didn't seem fazed at all that a teenage girl came leaping out at it from the bushes.

I honestly would never have guessed that she was a teenager. She plays with stuffed toys, she has a room full of more toys, she constantly says the word "nya," she's concerned about what her parents think, her trains of thoughts go from one childlike idea (personifying forces of nature) to another (sketching wild Pokémon), she's more interested in sketching and playing with Pokémon than she is in anything else… she just didn't strike me as a teenager. I'm not quite sure if Raizel isn't meant to be like most other teenagers (to put it as PC as possible), but in any case, there was just no indication that she was actually a teenager before this point, period. No mention of the idea that she might be different, no hint or mention of how old she is – pretty much nothing. That's something that I'd imagine would be one of the first things you'd bring up about her because that would speak volumes about who she is, what her parents are like, what her environment is like, and everything else.


It even seemed sort of cocky.

How? Stance? Growl? The way it glared at her?


One, this Pokemon was never seen around these parts. Second, Scyther was incredibly powerful.

You'll always want to be consistent with your words. If you start off with "one," make sure the next point is "two." If you want one of your points to start off with "second," make sure the first one starts off with "first." It's a lot less awkward.


of it's scythes.

It's = contraction for "it is."
Its = possessive pronoun (word that indicates that something belongs to it).

If it helps, no pronoun has an apostrophe in it unless it's actually a contraction.


some Cheri berries

If you're capitalizing all items that have to do with Pokémon, don't just capitalize one half of one. "Cheri Berry" is the full name of the item, not just "Cheri."


For several minutes, Raizel remained frozen. But, the Scyther seemed incredibly unconcerned with her.

Move the comma after "but" to where the period after "frozen" is. There's really no reason why it should be there, and this phrase reads like a compound sentence anyway.


It glanced at her, not unaware of her shifting, but it didn't seem to care.

Okay, yeah, I'm going to have to ask why. Scyther are canonically either skittish (in the games) or violent (in pretty much every other canon). It just seems uncomfortably convenient that it's sticking around, as if it's just here for the plot of the chapter. That becomes especially apparent when you have it stare at her until she notices that it's done eating. Sure, I get the feeling this Scyther was abandoned at some point (especially given the fact that it's not native to Hoenn), which would explain why it's used to humans. Yet, that would bring up a whole different set of questions – like why it's okay with humans. (In canon, Pokémon generally don't like to be abandoned. The comics and anime are especially detailed in showing us that if the relationship between a trainer and a Pokémon ended particularly badly, then that Pokémon's not going to be happy seeing people. It'll be wary, and it may come with all kinds of issues. Ash's Charmander was pretty much the only instance where that wasn't true, and even then, the only reason why it wasn't true was because Ash was kind to it while it still thought its original trainer was coming back for it.)

Beyond that, I have to ask: why Hoenn? I get the feeling you've decided to give Raizel a Scyther because you wanted this fic to match your FB character, but there's really other places where she could have picked one up. They're native and available outside of a Safari Zone in Johto, for example. (Sure, you have to catch them in National Park, but still.) Right now, it just feels like you're building up the standard "Pokémon was abandoned and taken in by a very kind character" backstory, which I have to warn you about because it has all kinds of issues. Namely, it has a tendency for some people to be a warning sign of a Mary Sue or a generic trainer plot. Granted, that doesn't automatically mean that your character and plot are going to be either, but some people are intelligent (not really) enough to believe that individual traits pulled from a Mary Sue litmus test or a list of clichés automatically makes a story be a certain way.

More importantly, it means that you'll eventually have to address the fact that the Scyther has a particular backstory. You're going to have to answer the question of how a Scyther came to be a wild Pokémon in a region where they literally can't be found (even in the Safari Zone). You're going to have to answer the question of what kinds of issues it's going to have if it's abandoned. You're going to have to have Raizel confront the fact that this Pokémon is abandoned, and you're probably going to have to have her literally confront whoever abandoned it. In other words, having a rare Pokémon in the wild of a place where they're not normally found is going to call for a very complicated story, and you'll want to be ready to tackle it.

As it stands, I'm not sure how well you'd fare, truth be told. Don't get me wrong. You have potential as a writer once you straighten out the oddities when it comes to your use of language and punctuation. (It was at least readable, in other words.) It's just that this story didn't really go anywhere. You didn't really establish any of the characters here (especially Raizel, considering how much detail in terms of who she is you didn't bring up at first – meaning, yes, even she's a little on the two-dimensional side because her characterization doesn't really go anywhere), your description really needs work (show instead of tell), and the plot is very loose at best. It's the third installment, and I still can't figure out where you're trying to go with this. Is Raizel meant to go on a trainer's journey? Is she going to stick around home and sketch local Pokémon with a Scyther companion? Are there going to be shenanigans involving that Scyther at home? There's just no direction here.

I know that you're trying to do an impromptu, stream-of-consciousness fic, but even so, I'm not sure if it stands on its own. To be honest, you're leaving out a lot of details (sometimes literally), and there's just no plot hook. It's a lot like trying to watch The Room, if you're familiar with it. If you're not, it's basically just a hodge-podge of different ideas that the director/writer threw together without giving any of those ideas time to develop, so you end up with several different plots that start but don't really take off, characters that receive just the tiniest hint of development, and one audience of movie lovers who don't quite know what to make of it.

In short, I wouldn't say this is bad (because, like I said, it was readable, and I wouldn't force myself through chapters of material I didn't want to read anyway), but what it really, really needs is focus.

Sorry for the bluntness, and I hope that helps a bit!

3D992
15th February 2012, 1:01 AM
Harsh... ^

I agree with some things on there but this isn't meant to be a novel, is it?

JX Valentine
15th February 2012, 1:23 AM
Harsh... ^

I agree with some things on there but this isn't meant to be a novel, is it?

As a warning, you just hit on one of my pet peeves, so this is going to be particularly blunt. I'm not angry or anything of the sort, and none of this is meant to be personal. I'm just saying this is something that annoys me.

Just because it's not a novel doesn't mean that you shouldn't be attempting to do your best on it. One quote I've always liked from a friend of mine went a little something like, "You don't half-*** rock climbing."

In the same vein, you don't pat a writer on the head, say "good job," and leave them at that. The whole point to posting work online is twofold. First, you're obviously trying to entertain an audience. After all, you post with the hope that someone is enjoying your work, so yeah, you're basically writing for an audience.

Second, you're looking to get either (or both) positive and negative feedback. Yes, everyone here is an amateur (read: not professional) author, but that's the point. A writing community exists so that people can trade tips and help each other improve as writers. That's why, if you ever leave a review, you need to be specific in your statements. If you liked the whole thing, point out specific scenes or bits that you liked. If you thought it could improve in certain areas or just didn't like it that much, point out specifics (as civilly as possible). After all, how will the author know what they should keep doing and what areas they can do better in? How will they develop into better authors who are better liked or at least write something that stands out? They're not going to use magic to find out. It's your job, as a reviewer, to help them. If you don't bother with specifics, you're pretty much failing the author -- at the risk of being dramatic about it. Think of it like that one exercise where someone closes their eyes, falls backwards, and expects their partner to catch them. If you don't bother putting effort into your review and telling them the specifics, what you're doing is standing around and letting the author fall flat on their back. Sure, they might not realize that's what they're doing, but from your perspective, that should be, if that makes sense.

In short, yes, it was harsh. Yes, she's doing it for fun. No, that doesn't mean we should sugar-coat our reviews and give her only one-liner praise. If she wanted that, she'd have better luck on deviantART. In the meantime, basically, she'll want to know that she should probably expect constructive reviews of both sorts because, you know, freedom of speech/this is a writing community and all, especially if she's writing her story directly on Serebii. Not saying she's not expecting it. Just saying "this is just for fun" is not a defense, and one-liner reviews are really more of a disservice to a writer than a help.

3D992
15th February 2012, 2:25 AM
Sorry, didnt know you'd be offended... Guess I just got too many negative comments when I did a fanfic that all I ever try and so is encourage the writer... It is true that constructive critisism can be helpful.

JX Valentine
15th February 2012, 2:33 AM
Sorry, didnt know you'd be offended...

Just so you know, I'm not offended. All I said was this is a pet peeve of mine because the more writers take the attitude of "omg you can't be negative people are doing this for fun," the harder they are to deal with because they'll blow off reviewers and become increasingly obnoxious. Again, not saying that Raizel is herself. Just saying that there are writers out there who blow off reviewers and then go around proclaiming that their work is amazing/epic/better than all kinds of other crap. And that just makes the more experienced writers side-eye them, but there's nothing a person can do about those kinds of people because they just won't go away -- or worse, other people keep encouraging them. It's just not pretty.

Tl;dr, that comment irritated me because things like that enable bad behavior, but it'd be silly to take it personally.

Agonist
15th February 2012, 2:34 AM
Encouraging the writer, and writing a one-liner 'this was really cool, icant wait for the next chapter.' are two entirely different things. Writing out a little one-liner does absolutely nothing to help the writer improve, and while it is true they may feel better about it than a long post with some constructive criticism (such as Jax's), in the long run the post telling them what they should improve on and why they should improve upon it is ultimately more useful. I know that I would rather have one detailed, constructive post telling me where I made errors, and how I should avoid making those errors than a dozen one-liners telling me that it's awesome, and that I should keep up the good work. That will help me as a writer improve, and in the end, knowing that I can use that knowledge to help better myself feels alot better, regardless of how harsh the criticism may have been.

DreamersRiddle
15th February 2012, 11:37 AM
Wow, I didn't think that I would get such a detailed reply! I would like to thank you for your deep thought on my fanfic. I didn't really think anyone would take it seriously. I just sort of just decided to just write a fanfic for fun, and didn't really think much on it, and just wrote. Let me take each point, and examine, and/or explain why I should use them, or why I didn't use them. Off subject, but you almost sound like an English major with a degree or a professor with your knowledge of the written language! I'm quite impressed! Also, Americans and Englishmen don't seem to learn the English language the exact same way (in case you're English) in my experience. I've compared the way we're taught to write in school, and it seems different. But then again, the way writing is taught seems to differ even from school to school, or teacher to teacher. Much of it can just be style.

First point: Paragraphing. I agree completely on this point. I'm used to pressing enter once, and having a tab button, and that's how I usually write my paragraphs. Here, though, it doesn't seem like the tab button works. Leaving a line between paragraphs makes it easier to read on Serebii. However, I have been scolded in the past from my English teachers for the practice of leaving a full line in between paragraphs. That said it was unnecessary, and a waste of space. I was supposed to put in one enter, and one tab between all paragraphs and go on like that. Your point is very valid though, and specifically stated in the Serebii rules (which I didn't read when first posting this. It was a bit of folly on my part). I have taken your suggestion, and others suggestions into consideration and edited my current work.

Also, I personally find it easier to read things when it's in book format. I don't usually like to make a different paragraph for each spoken sentence. It's true, that some books do that, but I end up confused as to who's speaking when it puts speaking lines every other sentence alone, and I find that it puts a different feeling on the story. The format of the story puts some impact on how it it perceived. So, if I put the speaking lines apart from everything else, it feels like it's separate from the rest of the story (to me). Not only, that but in parts with lots of dialogue, I might have lines and lines of single sentences. It would drive me mad! You may have a point there, but this is just my personal preference for writing. It doesn't feel fluid.

Second point: Yeah, this was completely off the cuff. I did no proofreading, and this was basically stuff I came up with on the spot. I like it that way though. Although, looking back at Serebii Forum Rules, it DOES say to use a proofreader. Or at least write in Microsoft Word. I don't feel like it's rushed, myself. This the impression you get, however, as a reader. I feel pretty comfortable with this, and I feel like fretting too much over the original work can sometimes ruin it. My muse seems to fly away under pressure. I feel like my first drafts can be some of my best, because I lose my feel for story and fun if I worry too much. I think if the writer enjoys it, then by extension, the joy of the writing may get through to the reader. And not only that, but sometimes I take a good hour to relax before actually writing. It helps energize the mind. I just take my time.

I just hope this method of doing it won't get me in trouble with the Serebii mods, because I really like doing it this way. If they tell me I need to though, I guess I'll do it.


Third Point: Wow, I never knew that ellipses had a certain number of dots! I like learning as much as I can. I always thought that the number of dots corresponded to the length of the silence. I suppose one could argue, if that was true, you'd have pages of dots sometimes. ...I made a rather ridiculous argument, but oh well.

My view on the background information is, from whatever point you enter in a story you will always have missed some of the character's background.The reader or the writer will often not know every detail in a character's history. I prefer to think of what you called missed background, room to operate in the story. I prefer showing things. (Although you have pointed out that sometimes I don't do that. I guess it hits me at some times, and not in others.) Rather than telling the backstory right out, I want to have room to maneuver in the story, and make the character up as I go along, rather than being stuck with a background that doesn't fit the character. I feel that I don't know who the character is until I write him/her. The times I've attempted to create a character willingly, I usually shoot too high for my own abilities. Like, an attempt to create a "wild card Magnificent Bastard". That went down horribly. You can find an entry for the Magnificent Bastard on the TvTropes website. It's quite an interesting place, full of tools for writing. Either way, I didn't have the skills to write a trickster or any manipulative characters. I feel it's more natural to let them emerge from the story and form their own character.

Fourth Point: I meant for it to be simple. It wasn't particularly trying to be flowery, of have a huge impact on the reader. Raizel sort of has a simple mind in some ways. She doesn't think in complicated terms. She's more on the child side of adolescence. I write in the mood of the character. Since she's simple, I use simple sentences. A sentence like, 'The rain was the tears of God crying for the people's misfortunes happening, all over the world in front of his eyes', isn't staying in with the character. She thinks more in parallels, I guess. The rain looks like teardrops. The sky must be crying. More instinctive.

Fifth Point: I don't really need people to take her seriously. She isn't a serious character. I'm not sure if I'm missing something here, but people come in all shapes and sizes. There are people who act cute, there are people that act cool, or serious. Most people will not appeal to everyone. It may be hard to take her seriously, but that's just the nature of the character. She might just not be a character you like. I like writing her though. She's not perfect, but she seems to be a character with life behind her. I feel, that if I want to make it feel stronger, that the character will mirror life, in the way, that she will mirror actual people. And yes, there are people who meow, and obsess over cute things, and collect plushies. They're usually called otakus. I like otakus, because of their quirky differences from the norm, and their willpower to stay on the path of the things they love, even if it's considered stupid or infantile. I also believe that things considered 'young' aren't necessarily a bad thing. As long as it's mature in the way that it doesn't hurt oneself or others, it's fine. Heck, my boyfriend and I still get kicks out of playing with preschool toys. Embarrasses my sister though.

Sixth Point: Taken note of. A few things I didn't know, and would like to improve on. But I still have the problem that I assign the quote to the wrong speaker when it's in different paragraphs. I find it annoying. 'Alright' is the word the mother used. Yes, she is using slang. I try to mimic how people talk when I write. Not all of them talk perfectly, but I find it more fluid. I was awkward on the dialogue tag. That is a very good suggestion, and I will attempt to use it in the future. I didn't really know what to do there the first time, I remember. I'll write out the numbers in the future too. I feel that the two ideas standing alone would make them rather boring. They would be rather plain to read.

Seventh Point: I totally agree. I should notice that in the future. I have a feeling that I'm going to make that mistake a few more times before fixing it though.

Eighth Point: I feel that Raizel's mother is not much a part of the story so far. I only really want to put effort into characters that are going to be important in the story. Raizel is mostly free is walk around town, and it is her opinion that her mother frets over her too much, like some teenagers think. I suppose I write a lot of the dialogue from Raizel's point of view, despite being third person/the narrator.

Ninth Point: This was an error. I meant to have it be only single quotes at both ends. Thank you for pointing it out though!

Tenth Point: I agree with you there too. It feels like I should have ended it at the first comma, and put the rest as another sentence.

Eleventh Point: It'll come later. I have some ideas for this fic.

Twelfth Point: She feels like it's more her parents' Pokemon and treats it as such. At this age, she is somewhat distancing herself from her parents. They're sort of exiting her life in this phase. Again, I don't really feel like going into her parents. The original Pokemon games never really have the parents in major roles in the story (except in Hoenn), and I don't feel like going to much into it either.

Thirteenth Point: She just believes she will have a Pokemon. She doesn't really have any proof that she will. Perhaps you can call it intuition. I think a lot stories leave a lot of room for interpretation, rather than giving all the details. That's part of the reason why fanfic rose up, didn't it? However, in a different aspect, I simply want to put my story in the Pokemon world as it is. I'm not seeking to cover the unanswered questions left by the various media revolving around Pokemon, I simply want to write a story about it.

Fourteenth Point: ...Writing/talking style? I think most people will get it.

Fifteenth Point:I feel like a single sentence should cover a single action. I feel like sitting down and watching the Pokemon were like one combined action. I'll try to see where I can fix this, though.

Sixteenth Point: It's her personality. I like it, personally.

Seventeenth Point: I see what you mean! I'll try it!

Eighteenth Point: I think the readers will get that there were toys in her room, and she managed to grab them and play with them. In books and television shows, sometimes they'll just switch to the scene suddenly. In television, it's probably easier to grasp because you can see what's going on. In books, you'll just have to imagine it.

Nineteenth Point: Okay, thanks! I learned something new! I think I've learned quite a bit so far. I shall not use commas after exclamation points.

Twentieth Point: Okay, suggestion taken.

Hoy! That's a large amount of suggestions there! I've learned a lot, and shall try to take as much from your earnest critique! I was going to write a reason for every single suggestion, but now I'm getting tired, and I have to go to bed. If you really want me to, I can give you the other reasons. But know I have read your entire critique, and have incorporated as much as I can from it to help me learn to be a better writer. I thank you very much for your time and effort for helping me improve myself. I am humbled and grateful that my writing is good enough to have someone read it in such detail and give their insights in order to help me improve. I hope you will read the rest of my fic. Just know, that it will take time for me to incorporate these things into my writing. I will probably make more mistakes. Such is life. Best of luck to both of us!

DreamersRiddle
15th February 2012, 11:49 AM
I hope you don't mind if I add my opinion? Well, as soon as I got tired and posted my response to JX's critique, I saw some minor disagreements. 3D992, I thank you for wanting to encourage me. I highly appreciate the support. There are some writers that get crushed by negative or blunt critiques. However, I view JX's critique, though blunt, highly useful. I'm flattered that he spent that much time to review my story. It must have taken him a lot of time and effort to give such a detailed review. It's true, I'm just having fun. But I don't mind improving, either. Since it's the internet, I'm probably going to get a few critiques I don't like, or whatever. The internet is a place for all types of people, so likely, my style or writing will not suit the style of everyone. I will say that, the first two critiques made my day when I read them. I was really happy that some people thought I had talent, and that they were worth reading. So, you don't need to feel bad or anything about giving me praise or critique. I'd say encouraging, yet constructive criticism is the best way to go in my opinion.

3D992
15th February 2012, 3:57 PM
I see your point guys. I'll try not to be critical of constructive critisism anymore.

JX Valentine
15th February 2012, 7:09 PM
Wow, I didn't think that I would get such a detailed reply! I would like to thank you for your deep thought on my fanfic.

You're welcome. Like I said, in a writing community, generally reviewers will want to review for the sake of helping a writer out. Unfortunately, not everyone gets that (which is rather silly because if you think about it, why else would a writer post work on a place where people can freely comment on it?), but hey.

That being said, a few notes of explanation:


Off subject, but you almost sound like an English major with a degree or a professor with your knowledge of the written language!

Guilty as charged. English major undergrad; currently working on a publishing-with-focus-on-books grad.


Also, Americans and Englishmen don't seem to learn the English language the exact same way (in case you're English)

I'm also American.

It might also be a good point to note that the way Americans and the way everyone else in the world learn English is actually the same thing. The only differences are spelling, how to punctuate something in quotation marks, and the quality of education.


But then again, the way writing is taught seems to differ even from school to school, or teacher to teacher. Much of it can just be style.

Actually, when it comes to grammar, it's not really style so much as "some schools just really fail to teach students the basics." For example, if we're talking about comma rules, comma rules don't change from school district to school district. You're still expected to use a comma the exact same way either way because those are standardized across the board. The problem is that many schools don't really teach comma rules, so many kids never really learn them in the classroom. However, that doesn't mean they can't learn, period. (http://google.com)


Here, though, it doesn't seem like the tab button works.

Unfortunately, that's the way the entire internet is, actually. Unless you happen to know fancy code for doing it, webcode of any variety tends not to acknowledge indentations, so everything gets stripped. That's why the standard alternate signal for paragraph breaks on every website is the line break.

It also makes sense because the eyes treat reading text on a screen differently compared to reading text on paper. I admit I'm not entirely certain of the science behind why, but it's generally more difficult for the eyes to get through large amounts of text they see in on a computer screen than in a book. It's just more of a strain, really. So creating very visible paragraph breaks gives the eye a chance to rest and parcel out material to make it easier on the reader.


That said it was unnecessary, and a waste of space.

For printed text, yes, it's true that you're not supposed to use line breaks. Unfortunately, writing on the web is very different from writing on paper, but I won't beat that into your head.


I don't usually like to make a different paragraph for each spoken sentence. It's true, that some books do that,

Minor correction: You create different paragraphs for each different speaker. Also, all books do this. The reason why is because it's a standard way of making sure the reader is clear on the fact that someone new is speaking. For example, look at this paragraph. Before you get into it, however, I want you to read up to the question mark, pause for a bit, and think about who you think is saying it.

"I'm off to get some milk," Jenny said. "Maybe some eggs too? And don't forget the cereal. We're all out of pretty much everything," Gary said. "Do we have enough money for all of that?"

Done with that small exercise? Good! Who did you think was asking that question before you read to the end of that quote? If you said Jenny, you just experienced first-hand why people start new paragraphs for each new speaker. (For extra fun, tell me who's the speaker of the last question. If your answer is Gary, then I'd hate to inform you that I intended on that being Jenny's line.) It's just more effort on a reader's part to figure out who's speaking if everyone's quotes are crammed into a single paragraph. Keeping everyone's quotes to separate paragraphs makes your work cleaner and gives readers the ability to figure out immediately who's saying what.

That and "because I like it better that way as a personal preference" is generally not a good reason for ignoring what's actually another grammatical rule. If writers throw rules out the window, it's typically for a specific reason that adds something to a story. (For a poetry example, e.e. cummings violated the rules of the English language all the time, but each violation actually means something significant to "the missing period represents loneliness" levels.)


I like it that way though.

No.

Sorry for being blunt, but there's a reason why you should proofread: your readers. Not everyone is you, and not everyone will be taken in by the story. It's terrible to say, but an obvious lack of proofreading is a signal to most readers that they're looking at a badfic.

Think of it like this: imagine your writing to be a road through the countryside. If it has absolutely no errors (because you proofread), then the road will be smooth, and your readers can drive along it and admire all of the scenery around them at the same time. Errors are like potholes, however. If you have one or two of them (because you proofread but are still very much human), then your readers will usually forgive you because they'll be able to swerve around them on occasion and still be able to admire the scenery around them. If you have a lot of errors/potholes, however, then the reader can't focus on anything but the road because each pothole is another distraction.

Like I said, your story was readable, but it was extremely difficult to get through because of all the errors. I couldn't focus on your story as well as you would probably like me to as a reader. Even when I said I'd ease up on correcting all your grammar, did you notice how I still corrected grammar? That's because I got distracted by it. While, yes, I'm a more discerning reader, I'm still just an average reader. You never know if someone else in your audience is having just as much trouble.


I feel pretty comfortable with this, and I feel like fretting too much over the original work can sometimes ruin it.

No, actually, it can't. Most writers at least proofread, especially professional ones. Like I just mentioned, putting in extra effort to clean up your work after you're done writing only improves it for a reader.

Put it this way. If you're just writing for yourself, it'd be okay to write in a stream-of-consciousness manner because you're the only one who's reading it. However, when you post online, you're actually posting for a reader, so you have to take extra steps to make sure that the work is enjoyable for them because they're the ones taking time out of their day to be entertained by fanfiction. If you don't care about the fact that they do that, then you might as well keep your writing to yourself because what's the point of showing someone you don't actually care about (if that makes sense)?

Not to mention the proofreading stage happens after you're done writing a chapter. Your muse should really have nothing to do with correcting comma and paragraphing errors.


I feel like my first drafts can be some of my best,

True story: Everyone's first drafts are actually their worst. No exceptions. For the reason I mentioned earlier, really. That and basically, for each edit you make, you actually tighten up the story. Its language and plot can only get more coherent as you go back and fix things you know are errors. Unless, of course, you somehow introduce more errors into the work, but in general, editing improves things.


I think if the writer enjoys it, then by extension, the joy of the writing may get through to the reader.

Actually… not really. Like I said earlier, most readers (except the ones who sugar-coat and will tell you you're good no matter what you do) have difficulties getting through a work loaded with errors. The more difficult it is for them, the less enjoyable it is. After all, they have a wide selection of stories to read and only very little time to read them. If they stop by a story that shows that absolutely no effort went into cleaning them up, they're going to be disappointed because they could have spent the same amount of time reading a story that shows effort did go into the proofreading stages. This statement is a lot like saying you're expecting the reader to like a shoddily made or written movie when they could be seeing The Lion King just because the production team had fun with the lower quality film. A viewer doesn't take "the production team had fun" into consideration when it comes to making the decision between whether or not they should walk out of the theater. Likewise, a lack of proofreading doesn't say to a reader that the writer had fun. It actually says to them that the writer didn't care, which tends to insult a reader on a level.

Of course, I'm not saying that you meant all that or that you don't care. I'm just saying that that's what it says to a reader, just so you know.


I just hope this method of doing it won't get me in trouble with the Serebii mods,

I'm surprised they haven't come in here yet due to the "all chapters must be longer than two pages in Microsoft Word unless it's proofread and extremely well-written" rule. If they don't mind me mini-modding just a hair, I'd say it'd be a good idea to do it because normally, fics like these actually get locked. It's pretty heavy of a risk.


My view on the background information is, from whatever point you enter in a story you will always have missed some of the character's background.

While this is true, there's a difference between leaving out unnecessary details and leaving out the essential details. For example, like I said, you never introduce Raizel. She just comes out of left field. For that reason, readers don't know why they should care about her, and they're left in the dark as to who she is. They don't even know how old she is, which as I've mentioned in a later paragraph, makes a huge difference in how the reader views her. (Up until the point where you mentioned she was a teenager, I just looked at her behavior and assumed she was five or six. Realizing she's a teenager added layers of implications on top of that, some of which I don't want to get into because they're not entirely politically correct.)

Likewise, if you don't add essential details like those to the beginning of your story, you're not giving your reader room to operate. You're actually leaving them in the dark. It's a lot like plunking them down in the middle of nowhere without a map. If you gave them just enough details to know on a basic level who your characters are, they can make assumptions on their own and still follow the path (of thought) you probably want them to take. If you don't, then they'll stand there in the middle of nowhere struggling to figure out which direction is home. Or for a clearer example, did you want me to assume that Raizel is five years old? No? That's what happens when you don't give the reader essential details.

Also, I'd like to point out that most writers figure out their characters as they go along. The difference is that most writers use essential details to help them develop their character whenever necessary. I'd hate to put up an egotistical example, but in one of my fics, I introduce a character named Lanette Chastain. (Yes, the same Lanette as in the games, but still.) In her very first scene, I establish some very basic concepts about her, like she's a red-head, she's young, she's the colleague of the main character (who's known by that point to be a scientist), and she's not exactly all that friendly, although she was at some point in the past. That gives a reader enough to go on to form a fairly decent mental image of her and what to expect from her, so they can figure out where she goes from there. Other details – like the fact that she's the leader of a band of wanderers known as the Caravan, she's very sentimental towards her own Pokémon, she likes children, she has a thing for Steven, all of her backstory – I added later because I didn't know when I wrote her first scene what I wanted to do with her or who she was. The canon doesn't really develop her character all that well.

I did it that way because it's typically a mark of a good writer (Note that I never said right here that I'm good – just that I aspire to be good.) to be flexible and to know what to do with what you give yourself, if that makes sense. If you don't like something, you can go back and edit the story or just make use of retcons, but the point is, you can't stop yourself from including essential details so you can be free later. You're going to eventually drop essential details either way; you might as well do it where the reader expects them to avoid any questions or leading your audience down a mental path you didn't intend.


Either way, I didn't have the skills to write a trickster or any manipulative characters.

The reason why you probably didn't succeed in creating a Magnificent Bastard is because MBs tend to go either really well or really horribly but nothing in between. It's very dependent on how well you can pull off Gambits, particularly of the Xanatos variety. (Yes, I know what TVTropes is.) That doesn't mean you can't write a decent, developed (read: not flat or one-dimensional) character from the get-go. It just means you were playing the game on hard instead of easy (like creating a tsundere or straight-up Big Bad instead).


I feel it's more natural to let them emerge from the story and form their own character.

Most people do this, but most people also drop hints to serve as trail markers in order to allow the reader to watch the characters emerge. You just can't have a character emerge abruptly halfway through the story.


Fourth Point: I meant for it to be simple. It wasn't particularly trying to be flowery, of have a huge impact on the reader. Raizel sort of has a simple mind in some ways. She doesn't think in complicated terms. She's more on the child side of adolescence. I write in the mood of the character. Since she's simple, I use simple sentences. A sentence like, 'The rain was the tears of God crying for the people's misfortunes happening, all over the world in front of his eyes', isn't staying in with the character.

First off, you're writing in third person, not first.

Second, that's not even what I mean. O_o I mean that just saying "Rain is beautiful" is telling someone that the rain is beautiful. It literally does not mean anything to them. You can keep the crying comparison if you want, but you have to describe what that looks like and what it looks like to be beautiful because both are very vague and objective – as in, the reader can form absolutely no mental images (besides the comical ones) to allow them to imagine what Raizel sees. If you can't pull the reader into a story by helping them to picture what's going on, then it'll be harder for them to get into the story because to them, your story ends up being just words, rather than mental images.


Fifth Point: I don't really need people to take her seriously.

By "take her seriously," I mean "assume she's ever going to be a developed character." And by extent, I also mean "the reader may not be able to take her story" seriously. It's a lot like sitting the reader down, having them watch Spongebob Squarepants, and assuming they'll come out of it thinking they've just watched Neon Genesis Evangelion. There's just a distinct difference between the two.

Also, I have no idea who says "nya" in real life (save for the folks who are trying hard to sound cute but end up sounding obnoxious instead), so to me, she actually doesn't mirror reality anyway. :/


They're usually called otakus.

Actually, I know quite a few otaku, and I'd like to say that not all of them act like catgirls. Not even most of them do, and really, a lot of them look down on those types of people (by classifying them under the not-at-all flattering name of "weeaboo"). In fact, many otaku that I know are actually mature and act their age. That's because to them, their interests are interest. While, certainly, interests define people on a level, they don't control their behavior, and most people realize that in the end, they have to act like people, not stereotypes.


I also believe that things considered 'young' aren't necessarily a bad thing.

I never said it was. I said that there's a difference between a reader assuming that a character is four years old and realizing that she's fourteen. There's a huge difference between the way the two age groups act, and although you might laugh at social norms, the truth of the matter is that if you're fourteen and act like you're four in every way, that seriously means you need help. Or that, you know. Non-PC stuff.

Yes, older folks can enjoy things meant for younger kids. (This is why Pokémon is still popular.) However, when they're done, they clean up their toys and go back to being teenagers or adults. What Raizel did throughout this work is clean up her toys and go back to being an infant, which is, if I may be frank, not exactly normal in a way that's not good.


'Alright' is the word the mother used. Yes, she is using slang. I try to mimic how people talk when I write.

…You pronounce "all right" and "alright" the exact same way. It's an issue of spelling.

Also, I'd hate to break it to you, but "because my mom did it that way" is actually not the best reason for ignoring grammar either. I'd hate to bring personal bits into it, but for an extreme example, my mom's first language isn't English. Consequently, ignoring how she writes (which is typically just barely understandable unless you can imagine her speaking it), she has difficulties keeping male and female pronouns straight. By this logic, you're basically encouraging me to call you a "he" instead of a "she" because that's the way my mom does it.


I feel that the two ideas standing alone would make them rather boring. They would be rather plain to read.

It's not an issue of plainness in reading. It's an issue of awkwardness in reading. Sorry to say, but the sentence just looks awkward to a reader.


I feel that Raizel's mother is not much a part of the story so far.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't bother to give her characterization. Like I said, you tell us that she's the kind of mother who would fret over her daughter, but what we see is her ignoring her daughter. So, your readers are going to keep going down that line until they simply assume that she's a neglectful parent, which is territory you most likely did not want us to get into.

In other words, if you bring up a character trait, never ever simply tell us that a character is a certain way. Even if they're side characters or not as important to the story, you need to have them show us the traits that you give them by having them do things that match the trait. For example, instead of having Raizel's mother show that she just doesn't care whether or not Raizel's going out without an umbrella, show her poking her head in and making sure. It usually takes an extra few lines to have her do that, but the end result is we know and understand that she's easily worried about her daughter. We don't end up thinking she's a neglectful parent.

The point is, if you fail to show us side characters acting in a way that makes sense according to what you say they're like, then that makes us as readers doubt your ability to characterize the important cast members. After all, if you can't have a single character act out one character trait, what are we supposed to think of how you handle your main character, who should have a huge list of traits all at once?


Raizel is mostly free is walk around town, and it is her opinion that her mother frets over her too much, like some teenagers think.

Would be nice if you showed us the two of them interacting so we can figure this out as we're reading.


I suppose I write a lot of the dialogue from Raizel's point of view, despite being third person/the narrator.

Consequently, you create an unreliable narrator. In this example, you just pointed out that Raizel's mother might not actually fret over her as much as Raizel thinks she does. And that's just a very basic character interaction. If we know that so much of the narration is actually Raizel's opinion, then we can't tell if the rest of what we're seeing is what the characters she encounters are actually like or if what the narration is telling us is actually just Raizel's view of them. (Of course, it's not unusual for a narrator to allow their voice to be colored by the characters, but usually, there's plenty of interaction between the characters to allow a reader to figure out for themselves what's actual narration and what's more along the lines of the story dipping into the heads of the characters.)

In short, because the narration shows only Raizel's thoughts on characters but doesn't really bother to show character interactions, it's harder to trust what's going on. That doesn't even create a sense of suspense; it just means that we're left in the dark as to who your cast is.

Also, as a side point, I just want to make it known that one of the many methods of characterization is the way characters interact with each other. So, actually, having Raizel's mother interact with her develops Raizel by showing us clearly what she thinks of the way her mother treats her.


Eleventh Point: It'll come later. I have some ideas for this fic.

If you mean the part about not bringing up things that don't seem relevant (i.e., the talk about the sky, land, and water), the point is that it didn't seem relevant. Your readers will write it off as a non sequitur, rather than something that sounds suspiciously like it's going to be important later on. Or in shorter, to a reader, it just looks like your writing is intensely unfocused, not that you just brought up something that's going to be a Chekhov's gun.


Twelfth Point: She feels like it's more her parents' Pokemon and treats it as such.

It would be nice if we saw that happening in the story.

Seriously, if you have to explain things in review responses after they point out that something seems missing, then something is missing.

In this case, you missed prime opportunity to develop Raizel as a character, which was the entire point of that note. Having Raizel interact with Politoed, as I've said, would have given readers a chance to figure out what kind of person she'd be around Pokémon in general.

Also, as a side point, yes, the games don't feature parents as prominent characters, but that doesn't mean you can't have a character interacting with them. Even the protagonists' mothers in the games take the time to talk to the characters and establish hints of their characterization.


Thirteenth Point: She just believes she will have a Pokemon. She doesn't really have any proof that she will. Perhaps you can call it intuition. I think a lot stories leave a lot of room for interpretation, rather than giving all the details.

Yes and no. Most stories give you hints of characters right off the bat. You may not know everything there is to know about Harry Potter at first (for example), but you have a vague idea of who he is as a person and what he thinks of the wizarding community and the muggle world. That allows readers to make guesses as to what the character will be like in the future, and it'll allow them to take enough interest in the character to want to watch them grow and change. If you give a reader absolutely nothing, then each change will be like sticking them in a dark room, waiting a few minutes, and clubbing them in the head with a metal bat. Nothing would be subtle and smooth, and they won't see it coming.


That's part of the reason why fanfic rose up, didn't it?

Yes and no. Yes, the point of fanfiction is to expand on canon. No, a fan writer does not start with nothing. That's why terms like "OOC" (out of character) exist: because writers acknowledge that there's characterization to begin with. Likewise with terms like "canon."


Fourteenth Point: ...Writing/talking style? I think most people will get it.

If I had to bring it up, no, they won't.

If this is about Pickup, then that was another matter of showing instead of telling. If you just told a reader "Pickup," that just doesn't mean anything to them beyond the game description. They can't picture it being used. You need to have them imagine it being used to help them immerse themselves in the story a bit more. (That and not bothering to describe moves tends to come off as lazy. Yes, you're free to avoid describing Pokémon, but what they do is a different story.)


Fifteenth Point:I feel like a single sentence should cover a single action. I feel like sitting down and watching the Pokemon were like one combined action. I'll try to see where I can fix this, though.

At this point, I'm going to have to mention that there's an option to quote posts or parts of posts. I honestly have no idea which part of my post is considered to be the fifteenth point, particularly since there's quite a few things you didn't cover.


Sixteenth Point: It's her personality. I like it, personally.

If this is referring to the fact that I thought she was five when she was really a teenager, I'm really hoping you don't like the fact that I assumed she was five when she was really a teenager. If not, then what I was saying is that a combination of a lack of essential details (like that) and the way she behaved throughout the fic so far caused a reader to draw the completely wrong conclusion about her. That's why essential details are, well, essential: because how a reader reacts to a six-year-old is very different compared to how a reader acts to someone who seems like she's six. There's also a huge difference between the way a reader reacts to a teenager who acts like she's six because they're just childish and to a teenager who acts like she's six because she's… not exactly mentally on par with the people around her, to put it as gently and politically correct as possible. (Incidentally, my second guess when it came to Raizel's behavior was that the second is true, which unfortunately means that I'd end up expecting the subject of mental handicaps to be treated delicately, seriously, and realistically at some point, else I'd write off the whole fic as being politically incorrect. Yes, different characterizations affect the overall story that dramatically.)


Eighteenth Point: I think the readers will get that there were toys in her room, and she managed to grab them and play with them. In books and television shows, sometimes they'll just switch to the scene suddenly.

Except for the fact that most books and television shows allow the reader to visualize it. What you're doing is basically hitting the reader in the face with new details. Even books bring up details before they're used.


Nineteenth Point: Okay, thanks! I learned something new! I think I've learned quite a bit so far. I shall not use commas after exclamation points.

Or quotation marks in general, really. :/


I thank you very much for your time and effort for helping me improve myself.

You're welcome, but just remember that there's a reason why I brought up various points. Compare your story to published works, and you might see a huge difference in the way they handle various elements. Of course, I can't also force you to take all of my advice. The best I can do is explain as clearly as possible why I brought certain things up.

Additionally, it may be in your best interests to find something called a beta reader – someone who can read over your work before you post it. These people generally offer additional advice and can help you proofread in order to clean up your work and make it the best that it can be.

Good luck!

DreamersRiddle
16th February 2012, 5:09 AM
Okay, I have read everything you said, and agree with most of them. I see why certain things can be confusing. The reason why I didn't put characterization at the beginning was a sort of personal blindness. Certain people told me that describing your character at all was the mark of a Mary Sue, and I desperately wanted to stay away from that stigma.

I think I've compounded all of it into my brain. I may rewrite what I've already done in accordance with your suggestions. Another option I might have, is just continue and post future chapters with the things I learned. I may not have gone completely in accordance with the Serebii rules, but I believe I have learned a lot from your overview of my work. I'm glad I posted it. ^_^

I might not be able to put everything into practice right away. However, I shall learn from the critiques from the people who read my fanfiction. I shall put into practice the things I have learned, and inevitably get better with time.

Agonist
16th February 2012, 5:38 AM
if you want to indent, you can use
, however I'm not sure how that works out...

bobandbill
16th February 2012, 6:24 AM
I'm surprised they haven't come in here yet due to the "all chapters must be longer than two pages in Microsoft Word unless it's proofread and extremely well-written" rule. If they don't mind me mini-modding just a hair, I'd say it'd be a good idea to do it because normally, fics like these actually get locked. It's pretty heavy of a risk.
On this note, I'm leaving it open for a bit to allow you to edit your story so it meets that critera. The exception to the length rule is only done if the writing is of a high enough quality but there is some editing needed, so I'd advise to get to fixing it so each chapter is at least two pages long. Otherwise, well, I will have to close; rules are rules after all.

Oh and as a visual test for the indent tag:

stuff
So there you go.

JX Valentine
16th February 2012, 7:03 AM
As a note about the indentation code, while it works to push text away from the margins, you'll want to be wary that it indents everything you put within the code and puts a line of space after whatever it indents. So to take a paragraph from your fic as an example, this is what happens when you use it:


Raizel slowly walked out of the forest, stunned by the recent events. The burning desire to draw that Scyther was foremost in her mind. As she walked home, she kept peeking at the drawing, and comparing it to the other drawings of Pokemon. Her eyes fell on one of a happy Eevee with it's trainer. She remembered, her skill level was not high enough at the time to really catch the full bond between the trainer and Pokemon. She had taken a shortcut, and simply drawn little hearts all around them. It still caught at her heart strings. After the drawing was done, the trainer took a look at the drawing, and was happy with the way she had captured them. She had seen them as best friends enjoying all the minute moments between each other. And that was exactly what see drew.

If you attempt to just surround the first word of the paragraph, this happens:


Raizel slowly walked out of the forest, stunned by the recent events. The burning desire to draw that Scyther was foremost in her mind. As she walked home, she kept peeking at the drawing, and comparing it to the other drawings of Pokemon. Her eyes fell on one of a happy Eevee with it's trainer. She remembered, her skill level was not high enough at the time to really catch the full bond between the trainer and Pokemon. She had taken a shortcut, and simply drawn little hearts all around them. It still caught at her heart strings. After the drawing was done, the trainer took a look at the drawing, and was happy with the way she had captured them. She had seen them as best friends enjoying all the minute moments between each other. And that was exactly what see drew.

And if you try to figure out how long a line is and surround it with the indent tag, this happens:


Raizel slowly walked out of the forest, stunned by the recent events. The burning desire to draw that Scyther was foremost in her mind. As she walked home, she kept peeking at the drawing, and comparing it to the other drawings of Pokemon. Her eyes fell on one of a happy Eevee with it's trainer. She remembered, her skill level was not high enough at the time to really catch the full bond between the trainer and Pokemon. She had taken a shortcut, and simply drawn little hearts all around them. It still caught at her heart strings. After the drawing was done, the trainer took a look at the drawing, and was happy with the way she had captured them. She had seen them as best friends enjoying all the minute moments between each other. And that was exactly what see drew.

So I would actually suggest not using it and just going with standard line breaks instead.

As for the claim that any character with description is a Mary Sue... good gracious, where on Earth were you posting before? Because I feel like there's a writing community out there that needs a good leering at.

Seriously, the definition of a Mary Sue is actually a pretty complex one. To put it simply, though, a Sue is a character around whom reality is warped. Characters act OOC around her. Things just happen for no apparent reason because the plot needs to bend to her whim. Other plot points that just don't make any sense whatsoever happen because she's around. Elements of canon are thrown out the window for her benefit... things like that. For a better explanation, I'd check out this post (http://serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=13215145&postcount=12) and the longer posts (besides the first one) here (serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=536623). Wikipedia also somehow manages to have a better definition than TVTropes about this. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue)

In terms of what people think a Sue is, most people will automatically assume that a character with over-the-top description is a Sue. As in, it doesn't make a character a Sue if you describe her. It makes her a Sue (according to many people who were unfortunately taught by Sue litmus tests) if she has purple hair, cat ears, psychic abilities, more talent as a trainer than anyone else in canon, a special bond with a legendary, and a canon character as her boyfriend. In other words, she's not a Sue unless she's ridiculous. (Or in brief, TVTropes is where you'd want to go for a definition of what many people think is a Sue. To be fair, they also have details about different types of Sues; it's just that their general definition could use work.)

In short, trust me. You won't raise any red flags for describing a character (using reasonable, not-over-the-top, sensible traits that don't warp reality around your character), and if someone calls you out on it, then feel free to use any of those links to explain why they don't know what a Mary Sue is and then feel awesome that you do.

DreamersRiddle
19th February 2012, 6:30 AM
Chapter Two



Raizel was still giddy from the close encounter with such a strong Pokémon. Her eyes were almost glued to the page while she walked her way home. A small voice echoed at the back of her head.



“Why didn't you catch it? You could have had an impressive starter Pokémon. If you don't catch it, someone else probably will. After all, the Hoenn region is swarming with trainers. A Pokémon that rare will stand out,” the voice reasoned disapprovingly. “You could have actually caught that Pokémon instead of keeping a drawing of it for the rest of your life.”



Raizel suddenly felt a pang of extreme disappointment. “I... didn't think about that.” She stopped walking and suddenly looked at the Scyther in a new light. “It was wild, wasn't it?” she thought. “I was so excited just to have the picture. But who knows if it'll even be there tomorrow?” Another thought came to mind. “I'm not even an experienced enough trainer to handle such a strong Pokémon. Heck, I'm not even a trainer! How am I supposed to catch such a wild creature? It'd kill me! I mean, one swipe of those scythes, and I'd be cut in half!”



“Stop being such a baby. Borrow a Pokémon from someone. Do SOMETHING. Just don't let your chance go to waste,” the voice scolded. The voice disappeared before Raizel had a chance to protest. It left her standing there, confused and somewhat afraid.



Raizel began to turn around, and then froze. The Scyther had followed her into the city. “Oh... snap,” she murmured. She was completely at a loss for what to do. She just stood there slack-jawed until the Scyther had come within a few yards. Then a small piece of pastry landed at her feet. She looked at it, completely boggled. Then a pastry landed a little closer to the Scyther. She looked at it in total disbelief. It was trying to lure her in, just like she had done! She just stood there, gaping, too confused to take anything in.



The Scyther then gave her a look as if to say, “What, never seen food before? Humans can be so stupid sometimes.” Raizel stared at the food for a few seconds. Was it trying to lure her in? As food? For friendship? After a while, she made a face, and picked the food up off the ground. After taking one deep breath, she ate it. It tasted vaguely of dirt. She nearly gagged. However, the Scyther seemed pleased. It kept throwing pieces of pastry, and she kept eating them. She ate them quickly, to avoid the dirt taste. Soon, the Scyther was only a scythe's length away. Raizel gulped as she looked at it. This was almost the closest she'd ever been to such a Pokémon. She had always stayed a safe distance away from the dangerous ones, because she was worried that they would lose control.



The Scyther stared at her, with a sort of calm interest. It took one scythe, and speared the rest of the pastry lightly on the end. Then, it took it, and dangled it in front of her. Nervously, Raizel leaned forward to try to eat off the end of the scythe. But as she did so, the Scyther took the pastry it was dangling in front of her, and ate it! Raizel stared at the Scyther, dumbfounded. Scyther took one look at her, and started an odd sort of giggling laugh. Raizel, still extremely nervous, laughed, but out of nervousness more than anything else.



“W-Wasn't that meant for me?” she asked tentatively. The Scyther immediately stopped laughing, and fixed her with a severe look for several seconds. Then it took another snack from the pastry pile it held, and speared it with its scythe again. With this one, it poked at the opening of her mouth a little. Raizel, opened her mouth, almost worried that it would accidentally spear her through the mouth. It was gentle, though. It put it in her mouth, and left it dangling from her lips. Raizel took the pastry with her hands, and took a bite. But while she was chewing, she was more interested in what the Scyther was thinking rather than the taste of the pastry.



Only silence passed between them for a few minutes, only the sound of munching to be heard. Raizel recalled the small voice's suggestion. Rather forceful suggestion, in fact.



Raizel swallowed up her courage, and asked in a small voice, “W-Would you like to be my Pokémon?” The Scyther simply glanced at her, and began to wander off.



“H-Hey! I asked you a question!” she stammered. The Scyther took no notice, and wandered out of sight down the street and around a corner.



“Awww...” she mumbled. She wanted that Scyther, but that was enough excitement for one night. She wouldn't be able to handle any more.



“Mom! I'm home!” she called to her mom upon entering the house. Her mom's strong tone echoed out throughout the house.



“Where were you? It's nine already. I leave you a lot of freedom, and I only give you a curfew.” Her stern demeanor gave way to concern. “What happened? Did you meet any strangers? What kept you out for so long?”



Raizel became somewhat bashful. She wasn't sure whether to tell her mom about the Scyther. Her mom might disapprove of the danger she would be putting herself in. But didn't everyone meet danger in some point, in this world of creatures with such incredible powers? She decided to tell her mom a half-truth.



“I was sketching Pokémon, Mom. I lost track of time,” she said, looking at the floor. Her mom raised an eyebrow.



“Dark came down a while ago. There's no way you could have been sketching Pokémon in the dark.”



Raizel began to shift uneasily. She reluctantly took out the drawing of the Scyther she had. “See? I was sketching this Pokémon.”



Her mom's eyebrows skyrocketed. “That's a Scyther,” she said curiously.



“Uh... yeah, Mom...” Raizel shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot.



“You DO know those are really dangerous?” her mom said. The tone of her voice was shifting from curious to stern. “And where would you find one in this region? …Oh!” The tone of her voice relaxed. “You must have been sketching trainer's Pokémon. Scyther aren't seen around here.”



“Uh...” Raizel was rather stumped on how to answer this one. She decided to go with the truth. “Well, there's a Scyther just randomly wandering around the woods, Mom. I bumped into it one day when I was out sketching. It seems so unusually calm, Mom. But it has a fire in it. A... fighting spirit. I wanted to catch that in my drawing. But... the first time I tried drawing it, it hopped away. I wanted to lure it out to draw it. I found it, and it followed me into the city. That's why I was late...” Her voice trailed off, shy, and unsure whether her mom would be understanding or angry with her.



She found a Poke Ball shoved into her hand.



“Huh?” Raizel looked at the Poke Ball, somewhat confused.



“It's Poli's Poke Ball. If you see that Scyther again, be sure to be safe. Make sure to always have a Pokémon around when you come into contact with wild Pokémon. From now on, you have to take Poli with you. Is that clear?” Her mother seemed incredibly stern right now. Raizel became somewhat sheepish.



“Um... yes... Mom...” she murmured, still shy. It suddenly occurred to her that her mom just wanted her to be safe. And, with Poli, her parents Politoed around, it would certainly be a lot safer. Her face suddenly lit up into a beaming smile. “Thanks Mom.”