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Thread: Not a Cloud in the Skye

  1. #1
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    Default Not a Cloud in the Skye

    Hi, everybody! I'm going to work on this fic when I'm not working on the other one, and vice-versa.

    This is probably going to end up as PG-13. If not, I'll change the rating.


    Prologue
    A New Hero



    In a large room, eight human-like creatures either stood or sat on their platforms, all of which were floating in a circular formation. Each Being was accompanied by a Pokemon, three Pokemon in one case. The Beings were each about eight feet tall, except for the one whose platform floated a few feet above the others, who was ten feet tall. Roksana, the Sun Being, looked over her sisters and brothers below.

    Elfrida, the Equality Being, stood quietly, looking at her feet. Brown hair and glasses masked her gray eyes. Every once in a while, she would nervously smooth down her brown dress or shuffle her big black boots. Behind her were three Pokemon of emotion, willpower, and knowledge. Mesprit, Azelf, and Uxie were floating around on Elfrida’s crystal platform, playing tag.

    Thalassa, the Water Being, was sitting on an ocean rock, dangling her bare feet in the water that made up her platform. The small waves lapped at her waist-length dark brown hair, which was adorned with a crown of water lilies. Little droplets scattered themselves all over her golden brown skin. She wore a smile on her face as she stroked the neck of Lugia, who was resting contently in the water.

    The Life Beings, Indigo and Briar, were twins. Both had dark blonde hair, hazel eyes, and wore green tunics and brown leggings. On their platform rested a large oak tree, surrounded by lush grass. The twins sat on the roots of the tree. Indigo played with a sunflower that was growing near his foot, making it taller and shorter, and turning the petals from yellow to purple to blue and back to yellow. Briar sat back lazily with her eyes closed. Mew flew around the tree, occasionally stopping to see what color Indigo had made the sunflower’s petals, or trying to persuade Briar to play with her.

    Phoenix was the Fire Being. His platform was very much larger than the others, due to the size of his Pokemon companion. On the platform of hot lava rock, Phoenix leaned against Groudon’s leg, occasionally smoothing down his red hair, growing impatient. Groudon was also losing his patience, showing it by glancing at the Sun Being frequently, expecting her to discuss the matter they were all here for. .

    Roksana’s counterpart, Nyx, was the Shadow Being. The floor of her platform was not visible through the dark mist swirling around on top of it. Nyx was dressed in a dark purple dress that went down to her ankles, and wore a black cloak. She wasn’t wearing the hood today, revealing her long ghostly white hair and violet eyes. Her skin was almost gray, because of all the time she spent lurking in the dark. Her face was expressionless; Nyx was just staring down at her hands, as if in deep thought. Her companion, Darkrai, appeared to be in a similar state of mind. He seemed to be mesmerizing himself with the dark mist surrounding his feet (which he had at the time).

    And last, but certainly not least, the Sky Being. Aster wore a loose, light green tunic and sky-blue leggings. She wore slippers of some black material, and a silver locket set with an emerald. Aster’s long jet-black hair partly covered her stormy green eyes. When Roksana caught her eye, Aster smiled and nodded in acknowledgement. She and her companion, Ho-Oh, stood proudly on their platform, which was a fluffy golden cloud.

    Roksana herself stood on a platform of gleaming gold. The platform was even larger than Phoenix’s, to accommodate the Sun Being’s companion, Arceus. He stood towering behind Roksana, staring down at the legendary Pokemon and tall humanoid figures below him. Intense heat emanated from Roksana's chocolate brown skin. The Sun Being was the leader of the Beings: her brothers and sisters. All of them were beautiful, as were their elements, but the Sun Being held all the beauty of light. So beautiful that it sometimes hurt to look directly at her.

    “I assume you know why we are all here today,” said Roksana, addressing everyone in the room. Her voice was strong and powerful, though she was trying hard to tone it down. The other Beings looked up at their more powerful sister, some sighing in relief that the meeting had now officially started. “We are here to discuss the matter of a new hero. I…”

    “Why do we need a new hero?!” interrupted Phoenix. “We are more than capable of fixing any problem ourselves! We don’t need some human brat to take care of it for us!”

    Roksana, though furious at the Fire Being’s outburst, just stared calmly at her brother. “Phoenix, you of all people know that we are not allowed on Earth! Our job is to keep the elements in balance and never interfere. And you forget that this is not just some human brat. This is our children that you’re talking about. They are only half human. The rest of the child is all Being. And I suggest that you do not interrupt again, because if you do, I may have to call upon Thalassa for assistance.”

    The Water Being smiled dangerously at Phoenix. He gulped, and Roksana went on. “As I was saying…. I want you all to hear this. Nyx, the prophecy, please."

    Nyx still did not look up from her hands. "Yes... Darkness will rule a barren world and blood-red sky. Fire will fall from clouds of black, and lightning with our fear. Unless a hero, born from human and Being, can find her eagle soul and turn away from so-called friends."

    Phoenix was visibly struggling not to have another outburst. Aster was rubbing her locket, as she always did when she was thinking. The others were in similar states.

    "Eagle soul," repeated Aster. "That means...."

    "Now," interrupted Roksana, "I want you all to think about your children. Think long and hard, and decide which one is the most qualified...."

    All of the Beings, including the Sun Being, did as they were bidden. After a while, the Beings opened their eyes one by one, and with each Being that did so, a light in the empty space in the middle of the platforms grew brighter. At last, once the last Being had opened their eyes, the light was like a miniature sun, which Roksana found amusing. The light burned with the Beings’ choices, carefully choosing which one would be the new hero.

    After a few minutes of agonizing silence, the light started to burn so intensely that it hurt one’s eyes to look at it. But as fast as it started, the light began to dim. Then, it began to swirl, like a whirlpool, and the more intense light had returned to burn in the heart of the whirlpool. If one looked hard enough, they could see a girl who seemed to be about thirteen years old. She was sitting on a couch, laughing hysterically at something that the vision decided not to show. The girl was dressed in punk-style clothes. She was also wearing a piece of jewelry that seemed a bit out of place: a silver locket set with an emerald. The girl had shoulder-length red hair tipped with black, and her green eyes and the shape of her face were reminiscent of the Sky Being’s.

    Aster beamed with pride, and Ho-Oh let out a cry of happiness.




    FUN FACT
    All of the Beings, except for Roksana and Elfrida, have Greek names. Example: Nyx the Shadow Being was named after Nyx the Greek goddess of night.
    Last edited by DaggerThruMyHeart911; 11th March 2010 at 12:25 AM.
    Grovyle is awesome. So is Celebi. 'Nuff said.



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    PMD2: Blind Eyes, Gazing Hearts Chapter Eight is up!

  2. #2
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    Love it =D

    It's just as good as your other fic so far, and I am very suprised that not many others have replied. And the characters are well written.

    Keep up the good work, Dagger! =D


    My Dream Team~ by Junpearl63!

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  3. #3
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    Thank you, GlaceonLover1, for leaving the first comment and for your good review!



    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! My Microsoft Office Word is messed up! I CAN'T TYPE ANYTHING! Sorry, everyone! The first chapter will have to wait a little longer (I still haven't finished it yet, but this isn't really making it go faster)
    Grovyle is awesome. So is Celebi. 'Nuff said.



    BTW
    Fanfics by me! (The ones that aren't on hiatus)
    PMD2: Blind Eyes, Gazing Hearts Chapter Eight is up!

  4. #4
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    Hello! I noticed you had posted a new fic yesterday, but didn't have time to review until today. So, here I am. Hopefully my review will be useful in some way.

    ~

    First of all, I'd like to address the title. Was the misspelling intentional? (Is the girl going to be called Skye, or something?) Because it looked really awkward to me when I first saw it and I think it would remain awkward even if it was supposed to be a play on words. Such jokes are funny when used outside of the fic, maybe as an inside joke with your readers, but don't really fit in your title. After all, it's one of the first things a reader sees and if it has something that could be considered an error – skye instead of sky – it might turn people off.

    In a large room, the eight Beings either stood or sat on their platforms, all of which were floating in a circular formation. Each Being was accompanied by a Pokemon, three Pokemon in one case.
    I think this introduction to your 'Beings' is a bit sudden. We don't know anything about them, so starting out with 'the eight Beings' seems a bit abrupt. Maybe start out with 'eight creatures' and then describe them.

    The Beings were each about eight feet tall, except for the one whose platform floated a few feet above the others, who was ten feet tall. Roksana, the Sun Being, looked over her sisters and brothers below.
    That first sentence doesn't quite work. Sentences between commas like that should be able to be left out and still leave a correct sentence. For example, something like this:

    “The queen, whose subjects adored her, walked alongside her king.”

    'Whose subject adored her' is additional information that could be left out. It would still leave a full sentence. 'The queen walked alongside her king.' Your sentence does not. ('The Beings were each about eight feet tall who was ten feet tall.') In fact, the way it is written now would make it appear that 'the others' are ten feet tall.

    Maybe you could separate it into two sentences. Something like “The Beings were all about eight feet tall, except for one. This being, whose platform floated a few above the others, was ten feet tall.

    Either way, I don't think it's necessary to give such an exact measurement. Readers really aren't going to care if your being is nine or ten feet tall. Simply saying they were 'large' and the one was 'larger' would work too. Size only really matters when comparing it to something else. ^^

    Elfrida, the Equality Being, stood quietly... her companion, Ho-Oh, stood proudly on their platform, which was a fluffy golden cloud.
    That entire huge section of description seems utterly unnecessary to me. I know you want to introduce your 'Beings' to us, but dumping all this information on us really isn't going to do anything but feel annoying. Right now the readers do not care if your Sky Being is wearing gold, silver or bronze. It's not at all relevant and doesn't belong in a prologue.

    You could cut out this entire section and it wouldn't matter much. Once a 'Being' has a part to play you could mention something about the way they looked, or acted. Also, we don't need to know their names right now. It would be a lot more mysterious if we read about these otherworldly Beings and didn't know much about them. Let us find out gradually what they're all about. Maybe along with your character.

    I know this sounds harsh and I truly don't mean to be, but it adds nothing to your prologue. If you want to interest people into waiting for the next chapter, then going on and on about some Being's hair isn't going to do the trick. Unless it's relevant, it's not something you should include.

    “Why do we need a new hero?!” interrupted Phoenix. “We are more than capable of fixing any problem ourselves! We don’t need some human brat to take care of it for us!”
    Ah, yes. This is something I wanted to mention later on, but I suppose I can do so right now. Your plot. I can see that you want to have a legendary journey with a 'Chosen One' character. This isn't odd, as a lot of people have done so, but it does create some problems if you don't set it up right. One of these problems is addressed by your character here. Phoenix is right. Why do all-powerful beings and legendary pokémon need help from humans? (Even half-humans.) What could possibly have happened that a human could fix but a legendary creature couldn't?

    Even worse is that not only does this plothole exist, but you have a character addressing it. Readers are going to notice, especially if you don't answer Phoenix's legitimate. Why would they need a human for anything?

    Or is this some kind of game to them? “Let's choose a hero and throw all sorts of nasty things their way.” Are they that cruel?

    After a few minutes of agonizing silence, the light burned started to burn so intensely that it hurt one’s eyes to look at it
    This sentence is awkward. 'the light burned started to burn'? Also, where did this light come from? Is it another sentient being?

    ~

    All in all, I'm really worried about this prologue. Not only are you setting up your character to become a Mary-Sue, but there doesn't seem to be a sensible plot.

    Why are there suddenly 'Beings' that are more powerful than even legendary pokémon? Why do they congregate to decide on a 'hero' when they should be more than capable of dealing with problems themselves? How can a partly human child ever hope to fix what they can't? How did the legendaries suddenly all show up...wherever they are, instead of roaming the world as they always do?

    I know you're probably going to say it will all be explained in upcoming chapters, but they're plotholes right now and should be fixed now as well. It doesn't make sense and only makes it seem as if you wanted to make some special character – I'm not even going to ask how the human/Being thing works - and new Beings.

    I really think you should reconsider some of your choices.

    I know I may come across as harsh, but it really worries me. Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

    Thank you, Saffire Persian, for the lovely banner.

  5. #5
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    I have to agree with Silawen here; this prologue feels exceedingly pointless. We don't need to know in detail what these "Beings" look like, least of all before they do anything relevant, and what's worse, if you cut out the descriptions, it becomes plain that it really has almost no substance at all. This is what your prologue boils down to:

    “I assume you know why we are all here today,” said Roksana. “We are here to discuss the matter of a new hero. I…”

    “Why do we need a new hero?!” interrupted Phoenix. “We are more than capable of fixing any problem ourselves! We don’t need some human brat to take care of it for us!”

    Roksana, though furious at the Fire Being’s outburst, just stared calmly at her brother. “You forget that this is not just some human brat. This is our children that you’re talking about. They are only half human. The rest of the child is all Being. And I suggest that you do not interrupt again, because if you do, I may have to call upon Thalassa for assistance.”

    The Water Being smiled dangerously at Phoenix. He gulped, and Roksana went on. “As I was saying…. I want you to all think hard, now. Close your eyes, and think of your children, and which one is the most qualified to be a hero.”

    All of the Beings, including the Sun Being, closed their eyes and thought long and hard. After a few minutes of agonizing silence, the chosen one was revealed to be the daughter of the Sky Being.

    Aster beamed with pride, and Ho-Oh let out a cry of happiness.
    And what is this, really? We hear vaguely that these deities for some reason need a "new hero". Why? As Silawen and Phoenix pointed out, why would these supernatural beings need a "hero" who is less supernatural than they are? I'm sure you have some good explanation for this, but then why does Roksana answer by basically changing the subject (he was asking why they, who are "more than capable of fixing this problem ourselves", need a hero at all, while she nonsensically answers with, "Well, see, the hero is going to be half as powerful as we are")?

    Sure, you want it to be mysterious, but only ever be mysterious in a way that seems to make sense. You can't just tell us they need a hero that is decidedly less powerful than themselves and not even hint at why they do. You even have a character assert that they can solve the problem themselves, whatever it is, and nobody bothers to contradict that claim.

    That said, Phoenix's outburst doesn't quite make sense either, because why in the world would he speak of their children as "some human brat"? Why doesn't he say "half-human", or "mortal", or something else a bit more accurate? I mean, these are his siblings' children he's talking about; he should know better than to refer to them that way to their faces. It really feels like you only have him say that so that you can go on to have Roksana point out they're half-Being. Don't make characters act for the sake of the reader.

    I must also confess to being disappointed you didn't elaborate on why they chose Aster's daughter. My first thought when they were going to think long and hard about whose child should be chosen was that they'd probably each be biased towards their own children. Why aren't they? What makes this girl so qualified in their eyes? That would be a much more interesting and relevant thing to include than the elaborate description of the light turning into a whirlpool or of the girl's clothes. Seeing them debate it would have been a bit of an insight into how these beings think and why they're doing this, but instead you just have a silent vote that would probably look visually spectacular if this were a movie, but doesn't really add anything to the story when it's written down.

    Really, that's a pretty defining characteristic of this prologue. I can tell you're visualizing some breathtaking imagery, but that just doesn't translate well into words. This would work a whole lot better as a movie, where instead of lengthy descriptions we'd just have brief establishing shots of the characters and lots of pretty costumes and CGI that would make us forget to analyze it too much. Also importantly, the rest of the story would follow immediately, making it less of a problem how little real substance there is to this scene. Different mediums require different methods, however, and in a fanfic where you're posting one chapter at a time, this just doesn't work.

    It doesn't help that your writing can be a bit clunky. There were several instances where you repeated the same or similar words with too little in between with jarring results (e.g. "whirlpool" in the penultimate paragraph), and you have a tendency to use commas in places where they don't belong. (Primarily, there is a rule that you only have a comma before an "and" if both sides of the "and" contain a complete sentence that could stand on its own.)

    The descriptions are also rather listy and boring, what with the constant "She wore this and this and her hair was like this." The worst offender is the description of the girl at the end, mostly thanks to the endless lingering on the details of the clothes she's wearing. Why are we supposed to be interested in the chosen one's fashion sense? Why are the gods interested in that?

    What's worse is that detailed clothing descriptions, especially of exactly the sort of the clothing she's wearing, are a trademark of a certain brand of Mary-Sue, and the fact she's a demigod chosen one with a special emerald locket can't possibly help with that. Ending your first chapter with everything we know of the main character being stock statements on Mary-Sue litmus tests is never a good idea; if you're going to have a character that necessarily has Sueish qualities such as being a chosen one or a half-god, you need to work extra hard to redeem the reader's first impression of her. You need to show her to be a good, well-developed character right off the bat, preferably before you introduce the Sueish elements, so that the reader will have enough confidence in her to keep reading.

    Try to do something interesting with her half-god identity and don't just use it as an excuse to give her a special destiny and special powers. Make it affect her realistically as a character. Show this right in the first chapter, preferably near the beginning. Making a character like this work requires a lot of care.
    Last edited by Dragonfree; 14th March 2010 at 8:55 PM.

    Chapter 65: Three Dragons
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

  6. #6
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    @Silawen and Dragonfree
    Thank you for your reviews. Yes, I know the prologue was pretty bad. I really don't know why I put one up, since I utterly fail at them. And yes, the title is a cheesy play on words. I promise to you that the chapters are better. Oh, and I fixed the plothole and edited it a little bit more.

    And as for Phoenix's outburst... He's just a jerk.
    Last edited by DaggerThruMyHeart911; 14th March 2010 at 10:17 PM.
    Grovyle is awesome. So is Celebi. 'Nuff said.



    BTW
    Fanfics by me! (The ones that aren't on hiatus)
    PMD2: Blind Eyes, Gazing Hearts Chapter Eight is up!

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