Before I start, I highly recommend you don't post chapters on a day-to-day basis if you want to gather more reviewers, even if your chapters aren't too long. Sometimes huge amounts of text posted in a short period of time can scare away potential reviewers. It's better to give your readers a few days to read a new chapter before posting the new one as, well, not everyone has time to read a new chapter per day; likewise it gives you a break and time to re-read your work. What's more important is consistency; a reader is more likely to come back if he/she knows you update every week or every three days or something.
Hmm ... I like the starting paragraphs of your story, actually. You do well with establishing Ash's confusion in the opening paragraphs along with the flood of emotions that Ash himself doesn't know why he's feeling. I was kind of “eh” on the “wailing souls/hell” simile because it seem misplaced. Kind of like you wanted something intense there for the sake of something being intense there. I actually think the mood would be better without it.
There's no need for the comma here. You only need a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, so, for, etc.) when you're creating a compound sentence. So if you typed something like this:
He opened his eyes slowly, and immediately noticed his headache was gone.
He opened his eyes slowly, and he immediately notice his headache was gone.
you would need the comma since you're connecting two complete sentences together with the conjunction/comma combination. It's not the biggest of deals, no, but you might be creating unnecessary, awkward pauses when you don't need to be. An easy way to tell whether or not you need a comma is by reading the clause before and after the coordinating conjunction as its own sentence. If its a sentence that can stand on its own, you need the comma. If not, you don't need the comma.
I feel like you're missing something here or you could rephrase it better. Like “It hadn't been been something Ash had ever done before, but he closed his eyes and prayed.”
It hadn't ever been something Ash thought about doing, but he closed his eyes and prayed.
I like the juxtaposition between Ash's version of Professor Oak and this Professor Oak.
Not so much an error than a query, but why is Max there? Do you mean Brock by chance?
He had been with Dawn and Max last he knew- where were they now?
I feel like you could break up the paragraph when Oak is talking to Ash for the first time just to avoid the unnecessary text block. If you don't want to break it up too much (personally, I would have started a new paragraph with each question/answer because in a way it's working like dialogue), consider starting a new paragraph where Oak says, “What I'm going to say.” Perhaps you could work in Oak's emotions/hesitance-in-delivering-the-news in this part since his dialogue is kind of monotone here. I'm not sure if you wanted it to be like that.
That being said, I like how you wrote Ash's nerves in that section. I think the “entire name” idea was a nice one to touch on how formal/distant the relationship between Oak and Ash is in this world. I also like the build-up along with the confusion. Again, I like the juxtaposition between what we know is wrong with Ash (him being in a coma for a number of years) and what he thinks is wrong with him, which is – at least from what I interpreted – him being paralyzed.
Haa, I actually like this part because I didn't get what you meant by “it” at first, and once I did, I felt like Ash and I were on the same page. The following scene where Ash proudly demonstrated his new ability was executed so beautifully, by the way. I also love Ash's reaction to Oak's hug.
He had awoken from another dreamless slumber, and he yawned from his boredom. He didn't even catch it right away.
That's heartrendingly beautiful. I think this small plot line would make such a sad but gorgeous side story to this piece.
Often times when Oak was there the conversations became more serious. Ash learned that his mother had passed four years back, from breast cancer. Her insurance had given her an ultimatum: to pay for Ash's bill, or hers. She suffered a lot, but she stayed by Ash's side throughout it all. Oak had begun showing up to see Delia, to help her through her own troubles, and when she died, he continued to stay because of Ash.
The back-and-forth dialogue between Ash and Oak here is brilliant; you can just see the difference between their first “conversation” earlier and how disconnected the two of them were and how connected they are now, given that Oak has been working with Ash for months now.
“Luckily,” Oak said with a devious grin, “You're twenty-two years old, so you don't have to worry about not being allowed any Pokémon.” Ash's face fell serious as he glared at Oak.
That being said, “you're” should be lowercase here since it's still in the same sentence as “luckily.” (Luckily, you're twenty-two years old ...)
Write out any number between 1-100 in your story.
He was a grown man. He knew he was twenty-two but he didn't expect change. He was a couple inches shy of 6 foot,
I think it's a little weird that Ash wasn't aware of his facial hair or the length of his hair. Facial structure and body structure I can get if there's no mirrors, but I figure Ash could see that his hair was brushing against his shoulders/the side of his neck. Likewise, if he had ever brought his hands to his face, he could feel the facial hair, no? Since he has been in the hospital for so long, his facial hair would have grown quite a bit, so someone must have had to shave it for him at least a few times. And if not, I feel like that would just make it easier for him to realize he has hair on his face.
I get what you're doing here obviously, but it's just a little strange how Ash wouldn't recognize some changes even if there were no mirrors (he wouldn't catch his reflection anywhere?).
Period after “room” should be a comma.
“It took me four years for her not to electrocute me when we entered the same room.” Samuel said.
Interesting ending for this chapter. A little depressing in a way, but I understand Ash's logic in it. At the same time, it's strangely refreshing in the sense that it's a new start for him and that despite knowing that he lived a life that wasn't real, he's ready to move past it.
Ash didn't know exactly how to explain it, but he knew he didn't want to remember that world. Dwelling on it would simply make it harder to adjust, so all he said was, “No. I got rid of her as fast as I could.”
Actually, I think you did handle the aspects of the pokemon coma theory quite well into your story, though I might be biased; I have read the pokemon coma theory a few times (and read it incorporated in other stories as well) so I knew exactly what was going on. I liked how you weaved in the basic idea of Ash's electrocution with another plot point in this world (the whole parents wanting to ban pokemon being given to kids thing). I am glad you didn't just information dump the points in the coma theory and made them work with what was currently going on in the story. They were informative but at the same time entertaining or touching. You worked the emotions really well in this chapter; what was poignant to me was when Ash smiled for the first time. At the same time, you also know how to effectively tug at the emotions of your readers (again, the Delia plot line. Gah, I wanna remix that point right now ;-; ).
I think the major difference between your take on the coma theory and other people's take on the coma theory is that you're aware of growth and that life goes on. Many coma stories are stuck around the depressing factor of Ash being in a coma for so long and his life, essentially, being just a dream, and while it's certainly plausible to think Ash would be depressed, I wouldn't say that isn't the only way to interpret it. I like that you're aware that it would take Ash time to recover. I like that you're aware that Ash would go through other emotions besides sadness and that, with time, he would slowly move forward and try to re-enter regular life, whatever regular life means. I loved that you took us through Ash's physical development, his re-learning of talking and eating and walking, along with his emotional development and his handling of what had happened to him and those around him.
I actually had a question about whether or not Ash had retained the information he had learned in his ... dream world or whatever it's called, but I see you answered it in a response to another reviewer. It appears that you thought long and hard how certain aspects in the real world would affect Ash in the dream world and vice versa. Anyway, onto episode dos!
I had an issue with this when Ash estimated his height (roughly a couple inches short of six foot), but can you accurately guess how tall someone is just by looking at them?
Nonetheless, he and Pikachu stopped and Pikachu looked up at him knowingly. Ash swallowed hard. She was no taller than 5'5”, but her legs were long and slender.
You info dumped character description on us (definitely apparent with the color description on the clothes) which isn't the best way to describe someone. Mostly because A) it doesn't flow with the fic and B) people usually skim them at best. It's best to incorporate it into story via some action so it flows with the piece. Likewise, breaking it up in shorter pieces that flow with the story makes it more apt to be read by your readers. Yes, some things may catch Ash's eye, like her hair, but you don't need to describe everything else in one go either.
Don't use single quotation marks to indicate thought because some people may confuse it with real dialogue (some countries use it for dialogue, for example). Usually the “thought tag” that follows the thought is enough indication that it's in someone's head. Italics are optional, actually. I personally don't use them but to each his own.
'Damn it,' he thought, 'I forgot this thing existed.'
“He” should be lowercase.
“Why wouldn't I bring Pikachu?” He said into it.
Both “shes” should be lowercase. I feel you don't need this lesson but just in case ... Anything that explains how the dialogue is being stated (ex: he said, she yelled, Ash asked, they replied, I muttered, etc.) is connected to the dialogue; therefore, the speech tag after it should be lowercase. Likewise, the dialogue, if it doesn't end with a question mark, exclamation mark, or ellipses, should end with a comma.
“Pardon?” She said. “Who is this?” She asked Samuel skeptically.
- “Hey,” she said.
- “Hey!” she yelled.
- She said, “Hey.”
- “Hey,” she said. “How are you?”
- “Hey. How are,” she began, “you?”
- “Hey.” She waved at him. “How are you?”
- “Even if you were thoroughly prepared–” He turned his head slightly to look at her near-empty bag. “–or prepared at all, there could be things you might not be able to handle.”
She landed in a crouched position, taking off sprinting. She hurtled herself over the fence in once
Eh, you're kind of pushing it here with the age detail. I can tell you only said it just to tell me her age. =P I don't think people would thank their specific age rather than thanking that they're young. But again, eh.
It was while running that she wondered, 'Why did we park so far away?', and was grateful at least that she was only nineteen, and didn't have to worry about tiring out from just a couple blocks run.
Lol. Kind of like that “hell” analogy in your first paragraph, this simile just sounds like you wanted something fancy just to have something fancy. Plus it doesn't make sense; garbage falls and don't run away like doves do.
The sliding side door flew open, fast food bags and garbage spilling out like doves fleeing from a magician's hat.
I kind get what you're doing (kind of) but I think you could tweak this. It sounds like a list of descriptions instead of one fluid description of one object. Why would Green look at Gingie's appearance now anyway? Make sure your description makes logical sense in terms of placement.
She wore a hooded sweatshirt, black, and the hood was up.
I lol'd. I like your light touches of humor. You know good places to insert it.
“Long brown hair?”
“Definitely had hair.” He agreed, nodding.
Unfazed. I'm iffy on Samuel's little tangent here, mostly because you didn't mention Ash's reaction during it. He may not have spoke, but Ash would have responded in some way during it, whether it's facially or bodily or something. Though I admit I am biased; I was never one for long bouts of dialogue because someone usually interrupts somehow, whether vocally or through movement.
And there isn't any guarantee that you'll even make it out of this unphased.
You're missing a word after “even” I believe.
Even, he wanted to learn.
Your chapters kind of end abruptly. It's not necessarily a problem, but it's kind of off-putting nonetheless. Interesting that Ash wants to try challenging the gym again. Wonder how it's going to be like comparing his gym experiences with this one and if you're going to describe them in a more grittier way.
The Green subplot was interesting (I was thrown off a bit, admittedly, because I'm so use to pokespec!green, who is the boy, than Green as the girl (which kind of threw me off as well since I'm use to reading Leaf as her. And I have a parenthetical thought inside a parenthetical thought. I'm gonna stop this thought train now)). It was definitely a lot more physical and grittier than the violence in the anime. Of course people would run and push people down to the point of injury in order to escape. At the same time, its weird because we're so used to that sort of thing not happening in the anime (at the very least they wouldn't get hurt as badly as Oak did).
I guess while we're on Oak, I should talk about him. He is very different from the Oak is. I bet you're tired of me saying grittier, but he is, well, grittier. Obviously so because he does cuss (any reason for that?) but because of what he has experienced with Ash in the coma and the things that have happened outside of Ash's coma. You do well with keeping him “in character” though in the terms of your setting; he is still warm and cares a lot for Ash, much like how the Oak in Ash's coma cared for him. You definitely did age him; he does appear to be a bit more senile and loopy, though he does appear to have his head relatively straight on his shoulders. You balance his wisdom and quirkiness quite well where he's not as sharp as he used to be but he's not a shadow of his former self either.
Anyway, episode three time.
How do you handle pokemon capitalization? Do you treat pokemon names as common nouns (therefore pokemon names are lowercase with the exception of them being proper nouns)? In episode one, you had “pikachu” uppercase in sentences where it should have been lowercase, but I see with this rattata scene you have “rattata” lowercase. So I'm not sure which one you follow.
The battle scene was kind of cute in a strange way with Ash being all giddy and Pikachu feeling so encouraged for once after a long time. I kind of wonder if Pikachu would be rusty at using electricity, though I figure she must have used it occasionally while Ash was in his coma.
Ha, love this bit of dialogue. Your dialogue is very natural for the most part.
“Yah, I did. Honestly, you don't have to worry. I'm in a hotel room right now, and I heard that some girl robbed a gas station and made off. Looks like I'm hot on her trail.”
“Is that so?”
“Was that an owl?”
Comma before “Ash”
“Would you mind putting someone on the line then Ash?”
You might want to tweak this as I'm not sure what's going on with the phone. Is he calling him back now or not?
It also told him he had four missed calls. Guess it was time to call Samuel back. He put his phone away, putting it off until he found somewhere to sleep for the night.
I wouldn't recommend throwing in two different ages in there for the sake of clarity. That or rework it so it says that he was forty but he looked in his early thirties or something.
Giovanni looked to be about thirty, but he had an air of elegance, noblesse in how he talked. His hair was short and black, with no signs of graying despite that he was actually in his early forties.
How would Ash know his name now then? I get that you don't want to introduce him so that would be odd to do. Perhaps you could Ash hear the end of the conversation with Giovanni calling the blond-haired guy that specific name?
The man standing with him was an eccentric named Orm, someone Ash had never met- real life or otherwise.
I love this bit. Probably a bit presumptuous of me to say, but I like your portrayal of Giovanni in this world. He still has that “bad guy” persona about him, but he's also likable in a strange way.
His voice boomed and echoed off the conclave entrance to the gym, the empty night streets, Ash's self-esteem. “I ****ing love this guy!” he said to Orm.
Whoa, the following paragraph is huge. You can break up a paragraph even if you're still on the same subject or the same character is talking. That being said, I really am liking Giovanni here. His dialect is great. You're very keen about how the small differences in how people speak, how much they can speak, and so on. Giovanni's little actions, like what he does with his cigar, was also very telling of how aware you are of the little fidgety things people do with their hands and feet while they're talking.
Thought they were sharing a room. You mean “bed”?
Orm walked out, said to close the window so it didn't happen again, asked if he was hurt, and returned to his room.
Eh, why the sinister grin? Kind of a weird choice. Also, “lay back down.” The past tense of “lay” (to place something down) is “laid”; the past tense of “lie” (to recline) is “lay.” So it's easy to confuse the two.
He grinned a little sinisterly, made a note to hit the pokecenter on his way out of Viridian, closed the window (although he'd almost forgotten already) and lied back down
, asleep before his head hit the pillow.
I do like the capture scene; it was definitely a creative way for Ash to catch his second “first” pokemon again. It was unexciting in one way since it wasn't all that dramatic but, oddly enough, exciting because it wasn't dramatic. Does that make sense? Haha.
I kind of wish you gave Pikachu a little more personality. I like how you handled her when she encountered that wild rattata and how she kind of freaked out and ran up a tree. But besides that, I think you could do a lot more with her besides faithful little pokemon. She is adorable though, I'll give you that. You do handle your human characters with great skill; each one is distinct and quirky in their own way. Ash is the most obvious given his circumstance. Oak with his cussing is another, along with Giovanni's specific way of speaking.
Descriptively (since I don't think I really commented on it in a general sense yet) you do well, but you need to work on how to embed character description with your story. You rely heavily on information dump, sometimes telling us information that Ash doesn't know yet (again, back to the Orm thing). You don't have to dump details of a character in one go. Besides that though, you handle description quite well; you know when to describe the setting for the most part, and you know how much is enough to set the picture in your reader's head.
Welp, long review is getting long, so I'll wrap it up. I really enjoyed this. You have a lovely, enjoyable writing style that is serious enough but knows how to be light-hearted when appropriate. I can tell you put a lot of thought and effort into this story.