I actually find this to be a random introduction. Here's the sky -- god no, I meant dialogue. I know some 'fic writers here like to do the "one sentence intro" as a sort of hook, myself included, but since it's a description about the environment, it's not really a grasping hook. Just ... well, what is the importance of me knowing that it's afternoon? Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with it, but I think you could have had a stronger introduction/hook, especially with the dialogue after it and the character your protagonist is friends with. "Watch out! Loser coming through!" or something. Lol.
The sky was a late-afternoon gold.
The dash part here is confusing as you already state that her name is Janine outside the dashes, and the information inside the dashes is pretty important. I understand what you're going for (stall/wondering what her name is), but there's a better way to go about it.
Instead of telling - her name was...Janine -
Janine that I'd failed to get the badge from Mauville twice, I stammered and stuttered into a lie about enjoying the town too much, taking a hiatus, living and relaxing a while, etcetera.
Instead of telling ... god, what the **** is her name? Janine? Yeah. Instead of telling Janine that I failed ...
Instead of telling her--Janine or something--that I failed ...
Are you sure she came from a conservative family? ;P This bit is very fact-based and not very personal (we'll get into first person narrative later). This happened, then that. Don't be afraid to get a little ... ahem, raunchy in first person narrative considering your character is pretty loose and laid back anyway.
She came from quite a conservative family
just like mine. She had been quite a conservative girl
. It was a surprise to see her here like this. I joined her on the dance floor.
I found this too blunt and forced out. Would your friends really blurt out a long rambly line before skipping off lol? There's a way to affirm that your characters aren't the usual cookie cutter "pokemon are my besties!" form but it's probably best fitted during your character's thoughts while watching a battle. Like he found it naive that other trainers would babble on about heart and courage. Though I do like the irony between your character's personality (in battle ... or what appears to be his battle style) and the fact that his mightyena is named Amigo. =P
"Oh yeah, and remember; pokemon battles are not about friendship, they're not about the strength of your heart, it's a science and the only thing that will ensure victory is the strength of the wallop you can let down on your opponent. Stay sharp, buddy."
You need to be a tad more careful with proofreading. You write it's a scyther one minute then a hitmonlee another.
Two exotic pokemon, an Espeon and a Scyther
were on the field, both looking exhausted and injured.
is really tough, and really fast. I'm surprised he's survived against my Espeon for this long...Hmm.
The battle sequence with the hitmonlee was confusing, too:
I'm not sure what's happening here, though I do appreciate your attempt to be creative in battle. Did the double kick already happen? o.O And if it didn't, how did what's-his-face know that a high jump kick would be next? Or is it a mixture of the two? Or ...?
What followed was the lead-in to a Double Kick, followed by the execution of a High Jump Kick.
"Psychic!" Espeon reared back as Hitmonlee approached for his Double Kick. She let loose a wave of psychic energy in his direction catching his leg in the middle of his High Jump Kick
So I'm a little bit on the fence on this one. I do think the plot is/will be interesting, and I do like the sudden transition from an ordinary day to wtf is happening:
and it totally threw me off about what this story was going to be about (well, not that I really had an idea what this story WAS about until this little tidbit). It's also nice to see a teenager (end of high school or something, right?) and traits that show that he's a teenager other than just a random love interest (yay hangovers ... well, not really lol). I would poke at you about why you made them teenagers though and why they didn't travel at the age of ten as so reflected in most, if not all, pokemon canon, but ... eh. Hopefully you address that (or at least state somewhere that it's AU in terms of age). I found the section with the espeon and the "line o doom" to be your strongest scene in terms of creativity and actual mechanics. I thought the explanation of psychic was awesome, and I thought your character's true personality shone the most when he heard this little bit of news.
Then I felt dizzy again. My vision became blurry and the sights around me twisted and flowed together. Then I heard a short whisper.
"You'll die before the end of your journey."
The actual lead up to this scene just seemed forced, though. Like you were trying to jam all of this information down your reader's throat for seemingly no purpose. I really don't get the point of introducing Janine now, for example, nor did I get why you had to go into this awkward flashback about your character and Will walking through the woods. Let's talk about that for a minute, actually.
For starters, the first paragraph explaining Amigo's love for the breeze had no correlation between his love for the breeze and running around like a chicken with his head cut off (though you do explain why he likes it a little later on in the chapter). Then weird space. Then italicized quote. Then more about Amigo. Then weird space. Then a flashback, and an easily missed one at that. At first, I thought this was taking time during the present, but I realized that this was an explanation about why a great ball wouldn't be enough to hold back Amigo's newly evolved form. So you might need some sort of transitional sentence (besides a gap between paragraphs because that's not very telling of what's happening) besides ellipses to allude that your character is remembering a scene or that we went toward a flashback.
Ever since he was a pooch..yena, Amigo has been a big fan of a good breeze. Before I figured this out, he used to run as fast as he could through my other apartments, usually causing damage that I had to pay for. He got out of his pokeball if he wasn't being supervised and then proceeded to run amuck.
"We're not going to be able to return your deposit. This dog has caused at least that amount in damage to the walls."
The second time it happened, I invested in a more expensive pokeball, a Great one, one that I didn't think he could escape from. This worked fine until he evolved...
Will and I were headed back from lunch at the bread shop in Dewford about a year ago. We both had left our pokebelts at home to avoid any annoying random challenges. Some trainers were so wired, though, it didn't seem to matter.
So as I read this flashback (or whateva), we get into an interesting tale about your character (does he have a name that I missed reading btw? Lol) and Will being encountered by a bug catcher who then gets all hissy and attacks them, and the two eventually end up dragging the bug catcher's pokemon away. Somewhere in between walking/not battling and psuedo-battling, character randomly throws in "ocrap blah blah can't hold great ball blah!1!" but it's soooo random and really has nothing to do with Amigo's evolution or his inability to be held back in a great ball. Just a random musing that was ... well, stated earlier outside flashback. Was that the point of the flashback? We're remembering when character remembered that Amigo might not be able to be held in a great ball? It's like ... what the heck is the point of this flashback? Lol. Amusing, sure. Necessary? Me thinks not. And it doesn't really answer the statement before it: "This worked fine until he evolved..."
Damn, I said flashback a million times in that paragraph. =(
Er, anyway ...
Then there's what appears to be a random scene with Janine. I do get how it lead up to this (Will's invitation and spotting her), but I feel like it extended longer than it needed to be, or that it seemed out of place, considering how it didn't contribute to your chapter other than to lengthen it. If Janine is a secondary character, I'm not sure why you couldn't add it later, or even pulled this entire section into another chapter with a few tweaks (your character drinking his problems away in the next chapter and seeing her there, for example). I could be wrong, of course, but I don't see any importance of introducing Janine now.
Rush isn't the right word because you did thoroughly explain the events and detail what exactly is going on. Like I said earlier, it kind of feels like you just wanted to get all these minor details out of the way so you don't have to deal with them later which really isn't the way you should go about getting smaller detail out, like Amigo's inability to be held in a pokeball, or your side character Janine. One bit I do think was rushed, though, was the transition from the bar to Janine's room was a bit too quick for my tastes.
You're really not taking advantage of first person narrative, at least not to the extent I think you can go. It is obvious that your character is a bit of a ... hmm, rowdy (I can't think of the right word lol) when he talks to Will or talks in dialogue period, but when you get to his actual thought, it's very formal and objective, even when remembering a personal story. First person is awesome for a lot of reasons, mostly because you can put your character's personality inside the actual narrative, narrative that would usually be objective and impersonal if written in third person. You don't really take advantage of this, and it's like, why even write in first person at all? So loosen up a bit; narrative in first person doesn't have to be formal all the time. ;P
An example of what I'm talking about is one of the quotes I made up somewhere up there (I included a cuss word since your character seems cuss happy lol).
Another example from this quote:
For the record, you only capitalize directions (north, east, west, south) when they're referring to a section of the world or a location (i.e: "I live in Southern California.") but not when they're being used in actual direction (i.e: "Head west if you want to see the pie cart accident!")
Amigo strolled beside me as I walked towards the Mauville gym. That wasn't where I was headed, that's just a directional notation. I guess I was also just headed West. The wind was headed East and Amigo was enjoying the hell out of it just like I thought he would.
Er, where was I? Right, an example.
I have no idea where the hell I'm going other than west, mostly because Amigo likes it when the breeze blows against his face. There was the gym. **** that noise. Like I'm ready for that again. Oh well. As long as Amigo was happy, with his tongue all hanging out and prancing about like a fairy, then I was happy ... I guess. Yes? No? Maybe?
Or, you know ... something better. Small little tweaks in objective narrative makes your story more of a flair and a personality (well, your character's personality).
While your grammar and structure were overall decent, you need to be a bit more careful of proofreading. Since this review is getting long enough as it is, I'll throw a few tips of what I noticed you were doing wrong.
Remember that a comma isn't sufficient enough to hold together two complete sentences. So when you have something like this:
you need to figure out another way to properly punctuate your sentence so it's grammatically correct. Either add a coordinating conjunction (and, but, so, etc.), use a period, or use a semicolon. In this case, I would use an exclamation mark where the bracketed comma is and start a new sentence.
I know you guys have pokemon[,] you were just intimidated by me, so you hid your balls!
You also need to brush up on semicolon and colon usage. Semicolons are mostly used to connect short, similar, but COMPLETE sentences together (or long lists, but eh). Colons can be used to introduce a description, list, explanation, and so on. Most of your semicolons should have been colons:
like here. The rest of your semicolon usage was fine, though you did slip up (one section of your semicolon sentence wasn't a complete sentence, thus you shouldn't have used a semicolon).
A picture of her family sat on her nightstand; her brother, mother, and father.
Tone it down a bit on the "haha's" in dialogue, too, btw. No one really does that in real life not unless they're being sarcastic. You're better off writing "he snorted" "he chuckled" "they laughed" instead of rows and rows of annoying "hahahahaha".
So, yeah. You just need to ... tune the story up a bit so the real gem of your story (the plot imo) can shine.
- think about scenes and if they're necessary to your current chapter
- work on first person narrative. Give it more of a flair by adding your character's personality into what is usually objective narrative
- proofread and work a bit on punctuation (commas and semicolons specifically)
- interesting plot twist