The next morning, Ash and Misty woke up. After having breakfast, they talked about Ash’s upcoming Gym battle against Bugsy. Some hours later, they left the Pokemon Center and went to a restaurant for lunch, which was Misty’s idea.
This does not read like a story. It reads like a summary
of a story. As such, it lacks the concrete details and sense of movement that allow the reader to visualize the scene and set the mood. I'd expect to see something like this in an outline, but for a scene in the actual story it needs a lot more development. This is a recurring problem in this chapter (don't know if it is in others, but I would guess so).
“Ash, we’ve been waiting for almost 20 minutes now! The waiter is going to customers who came here after us!” Misty said, in a sad voice. Her stomach growled.
One thing I noticed as I read through this is that you're VERY heavy-handed with exclamation points. It's definitely something you want to cut down on, because it tends to make everything shouty and desperate-sounding and also comes across as very juvenile. Honesty, I'd cut out the vast majority of the exclamation points in this chapter and let the dialogue speak for itself. Remember that the exclamation point, like any textual mark of emphasis, loses power when you use it too often.
Also, I'm noting that there's absolutely no transition between the Pokemon Center scene and the restaurant one as well as absolutely no hint of the setting they're in now. It makes it very hard to gain a sense of atmosphere this way.
“Yes, Misty!” Ash replied. His stomach also growled. “Let’s just go to the Gym now. I can also battle when I’m hungry.”
The “His stomach also growled” is awfully repetitive from before. Why not change it up for the sake of variety. Something like: “Ash replied, his stomach letting out a guttural moan.” Added to that, the “I can also battle when I’m hungry” line is exceptionally awkward sounding. It’s better to just cut it down to “I can battle when I’m hungry.”
“No, Ash! I am also hungry and I want to eat first!” she replied. “I want fries and coke now!”
Again, “I am also hungry” sounds extremely awkward. Only robots talk like that. How about just “I’m hungry” or “I’m hungry too.” And she doesn’t sound like she’s replying, she sounds like she’s disagreeing or shouting. A more appropriate dialogue tag would definitely help here (this happens a lot throughout this chapter). Also, Misty sounds like a petulant child. I know she can be a little whiny sometimes, but I’ve seen more patient six-year-olds. If you wanted to make this outburst from her more justified, then you should’ve taken your time with it—shown the waiter walking past them over and over again while they keep looking longingly over the menu and get hungrier and hungrier. Without the build-up, her behavior just seems childish.
They looked angrily at each other.
This is an extremely generic sounding sentence. Again, it’s something I’d expect in an outline, not a final draft.
Then, the waiter finally arrived.
Another outline statement. This is very abstract and promotes no visualization. We have no idea what the waiter is like or what mannerisms he uses. Did the waiter plod over to them, tired as one might when working in an understaffed restaurant during a busy time? Did he frantically approach them as one might who had a lot to do and little time to do it in? What does he look like? Did he give them a teasing sort of leer as he called them lovebirds? Did he look fondly at them when he said it as though remembering his own loved one? He needs to be embodied, otherwise he’s just a blank space in the reader’s mind.
“Ash, now the waiter is finally here, are you fine with eating here before the battle?” Misty asked.
“Ash, I am telling you the thing that’s happening right in front of your face.” That first part is really unnecessary. A nod to the waiter and a “So, do you still want to skip lunch and go straight to the gym or do you want to stay?” Would sound more natural and make more sense unless she’s trying to clue in a blind person to what’s happening.
“Yes, of course! I have to admit that I am also hungry.” Ash answered.
This “I am also” thing you keep doing is not only repetitive, but it sounds odd. No one I know speaks that way. “I gotta admit I’m hungry too” would sound more like Ash.
“I’d like to order two portions of French fries, and two cans of coke.” Misty replied.
“portions of French fries” sounds odd to me. It might be a locational thing, but I’d just say “I’d like two orders of fries.” And you don’t need that comma in the middle of the sentence because you’re not following it with another clause or making a list of three or more things. Where you need the comma is where the period is after coke. I’ve already spoken to you about this by VM, but I’d really suggest you go through and edit that error you keep making where you use a period right before a dialogue tag. It’s an obvious sign of a new writer who hasn’t quite come to grips with punctuation conventions and it looks bad. I know when I see that problem I think to myself “if this writer doesn’t know that, then what else don’t they know about punctuation and grammar?” And that might be enough to make me decide not to read a fic. It’s worth fixing and it’s worth implementing in later chapters.
Also, what kind of lunch is an order of fries and a coke? No burgers?
While Ash hand Misty were waiting, Pikachu pulled Ash’s shirt.
Typo alert! “Ash and Misty” you mean.
“Pika Pika!” Pikachu said. He nodded.
Another lifeless collection of sentences. Make me feel Pikachu’s desire for french fries! “Pika pika!” Pikachu exclaimed, eyes shining with hunger and excitement as it bobbed up and down.
Abstraction alert! You need to get concrete. What did Pikachu do that made it look happy? Give me something to imagine. Maybe “Pikachu beamed delightedly.”
Togetic was happy. Then, Pikachu and Togetic got to a separate table for two. Misty enjoyed their cuteness.
Again with the abstractions. And use verbs that create a sense of movement. Instead of “Then, Pikachu and Togetic got a separate table for two” how about “With the promise of delicious salty treats dancing in their heads, Pikachu and Togetic bounded over to an empty table to enjoy their food together.” See how much more lively a sentence with “bounded” seems than just saying that they “got a table?” One creates an image, the other does not.
I’d nix the “Misty enjoyed their cuteness” sentence altogether. Not only is it a visual-less abstraction like before, but it sounds really weird to me and tells instead of showing. If you want to communicate that concept then it needs to be done more subtly. Maybe with a “Misty watched fondly over Ash’s shoulder as the two Pokemon chatted animatedly to each other at their own private table.”
“Here you are!” the waiter said, arriving with the food and drinks. Ash and Misty gave half of their fries to their Pokemon.
The exclamation points are really grating on me at this point. I know I already mentioned it, but it seems like every sentence is being shouted.
“This tastes good!” Ash said. Misty agreed.
Another imageless moment. How about
: “ ‘This tastes good!’ Ash enthused, tossing a golden brown fry into his mouth while Misty nodded her assent, her mouth too full of french fries to answer him out loud.”
When they finished their food, the waiter came again, with the bill, 10 Poke Dollar.
We need action verbs! We need concretion! “When they finished their food, the waiter sauntered over once more, setting a black plastic receipt holder on the table. The slightly purple type-face of the cheap paper announced that they owed 10 Poke Dollars.”
“Well, it would be romantic if the male of the couple would pay.” Misty replied.
The male of the couple? What, are they animals being observed by National Geographic? How about
: “Don’t you think it would be more romantic if you paid? After all, you’re the guy.”
“It wasn’t my idea to go here!” Ash replied. He looked annoyed.
Show me his annoyance instead of telling me he’s annoyed. Perhaps his eyebrows drew together, or he frowned, or he crossed his arms irritably.
“What’s wrong with you today? We didn’t argue after getting together again until today, and now we argued twice in one morning!” Misty asked.
The second sentence sounds rather wordy and like it’s tripping over itself. And it seems very weird that Misty would get hung up over that little disagreement over whether to leave the restaurant or not, because it really did not come off that heated.
“Sorry Misty, I’m just so excited for my Gym battle against Bugsy! I even woke up at 5:00 AM and trained with Bayleef and Pidgeot, while you woke up at 8:00 AM.” Ash replied.
It would be nice if we saw that instead of an argument over french fries. It would’ve been more actiony and less static.
“I’ll pay, but we’ll go to the Gym immediately after that. And next time you’ll pay!” Ash proposed.
Ash is awfully willing to do this, despite the fact that only two seconds ago he was dead set against it and absolutely nothing has changed to make him want to. You’re letting your conflicts be solved too easily.
Plain. How about “Ash reached into his pocket and fished out a couple of crumpled bills, setting them on top of the receipt.” You have A LOT of sentences like this and I’m not going to point out and present example rewrites for all of them, but these are things you should look at throughout this whole chapter and develop more.
Ten minutes later, they arrived at the Gym. Ash walked in and shouted “Bugsy, I’m here for another battle. I’m ready!”
Not a single one of our settings have been described, so I have no feeling that we’ve moved despite the fact that we’ve gone from the Pokemon Center to a restaurant to a lush, bug-filled gym. We need a sense of atmosphere here, to create mood and provide contrast from one scene to another.
“So Ash, you’re ready to lose again? Fine!” Bugsy replied. The referee did his usual introduction. Then, Bugsy took a Poke Ball from his belt and released a spider-like Pokemon from his Poke Ball. It was Ariados. Ash sent out his Pidgeot.
That’s awfully abrupt. Don’t be afraid to tease out the scene instead of making it go straight to battle. It just seems so quick that we’re already in a battle and they’ve only exchanged one line of dialogue with each other. The ambiguity of saying it’s a spider-like Pokemon is pretty worthless since we can figure it out pretty quickly and even if we couldn’t, you follow it up with the devastatingly simple sentence “It was Ariados.” Also, I really don’t like this starting sentences with “Then.” It makes this already summary-like paragraph feel more like it was ripped straight from an outline and it’s not a good transition. The sentence with Ash sending out his Pidgeot needs movement too.
“Good luck, Togetic, Hoppip and I will support you!”
Correction: “Good luck. Togetic, Hoppip and I will support you!”
“Thank you, Misty!” Ash replied. Pidgeot, let’s start with a Whirlwind! The Bird Pokemon flapped his wings, hurling wind at Ariados, who was blown against the wall, but wasn’t defeated yet.
You’re missing quotation marks there. Also, you pretty much announced how this is going to end up to your readers by saying that Ariados wasn’t defeated “yet.” Again, while this paragraph contains a bit more action, it still feels very skeletal and needs more development and detail.
“Pidgeot, evade and use Wing Attack!” Ash commanded. Pidgeot did what his Trainer told him to and evaded the attack that defeated him in the first battle against Bugsy. Then, Pidgeot flew at Ariados. Bugsy told the Spider Pokemon to evade, but Pidgeot was faster and hit Ariados. “That was a critical hit!” Ash concluded happily.
This one-on-one ended comically quickly. The way you write it in this section it felt like it took all of ten seconds, which is beyond ridiculous for a gym battle. You need to take more time with these things and better grasp the flow of time in your story.
Ariados tried to stand up, but collapsed.
Again, details would be nice. “Ariados struggled to stand, but collapsed, its spindly legs too weak to hold its weight.” Also note that I’ve replaced “tried” which is a very weak verb that doesn’t promote any sort of visualization.
Pidgeot looked very confident.
Show, don’t tell. Did it caw triumphantly? Maybe do a victory loop-de-loop in the air? In what way did it look confident?
“Ledian, use your Ice Punch!” Bugsy commanded. Ledian hit Pidgeot with its icy fist. Pidgeot collapsed.
Again, too fast and you need more details to make the scene come alive to your readers.
“Watch out for Ledian’s Supersonic, Ash!” Misty whispered in Ash’s ear.
Wait. She’s that close? Isn’t she supposed to be in the stands? I don’t think she’s allowed to be right by him during an official gym battle.
“Don’t worry, Misty! I thought Bayleef a nice new attack for that.” Ash responded.
Taught, not thought.
“Bayleef, use Safeguard!” Ash commanded. Bugsy looked surprised. “What the f*ck?” Bayleef shoudred himself in white light, blocking the sound waves.
I don’t have a clear idea of who’s saying that second line. Since Bugsy is the one that’s surprised, I would assume it’s him, but if a new speaker was talking then you should’ve put it on a new line. If it is Bugsy, that’s profoundly odd. I can’t imagine him swearing.
Also, you mean “shrouded” not “shoudred.”
But Ledian, who was very fast, evaded the leaves with ease.
You don’t need to tell us that he’s very fast, because we can SEE that he’s very fast by his actions. Telling us that like we can’t figure it out just spoils the effect.
This time, Bayleef was seriously hurt.
I’m sure you want this to have emotional impact but it doesn’t, because you’re telling us what’s happening instead of showing us.
The ladybug flew at Bayleef again, at high speed.
Nix the comma. It’s not needed.
Another abstraction. How about “Ash’s eyes lit up as he saw an opportunity.”
Bayleef did that, just in time to prevent getting hit.
Sentences like “Bayleef did that” sound lazy because you’re refusing to describe the action and just letting the command do all the work.
Ledian was unable to move, being caught in the Vine Whip.
The second part of the sentence need not be repeated unless you wish to be called Captain Obvious. The fact that Ledian is caught in the vines has already been established.
The Body Slam attack defeated Ledian!
I know I’ve already advised you to tone down the exclamations in dialogue, but to go further, I’d advise you to, 99% of the time not use exclamation points outside of dialogue and thought. It sounds absolutely desperate to create an artificial sense of excitement, when you should be using your words to create that feeling.
“Ash, you did it!” Misty said happily. She gave Ash a kiss on the cheek. He blushed.
Simple sentences, needs detail. I’m repeating myself, aren’t I?
“Ash, you did a great job. You clearly learned from your loss. I like how you used the same Pokemon. You really believe in them, and knew what attacks of my Pokemon to watch out for. You deserve this Hive Badge!” Bugsy said.
Bugsy sounds like he swallowed a Hallmark card. I guess I can’t complain too much since the gym leaders in the show are rather corny at times, but you’d think he’d at least rib him with something along the lines of “I nearly had you there with that ice punch” considering how cocky he was before. Nevertheless, even though the gym leaders in the show are corny, I think this goes beyond that. This is basically spelling out Ash’s development for the readers instead of letting them see it and judge it on their own.
“Bye, Bugsy!” Ash and Misty said.
That is another abrupt move that needed a transition. He won and then suddenly their leaving? I know that how they did it in the show, but they cut from one scene to another. Here there’s no indication of any such break in time.
Ash retreated Bayleef in her Poke Ball, Misty retreated Hoppip in his Poke Ball, and they left the Gym.
Retreated is not the proper word here. Perhaps you mean “returned?”
It was early in the afternoon, so they could travel further a bit.
Go for an image. Tell us where the sun was in the sky and have them conclude that they have plenty of hours of sunlight left and that the road ahead is waiting for them and such.
Ash went to the Pokemon Center first, but Pidgeot and Bayleef didn’t have to stay there to heal after the battle with Bugsy. They were already fine.
Umm... why? They were clearly wounded in the battle and all of the sudden they’re magically better? That doesn’t make sense.
Then, Ash and Misty left Azalea Town and went in the Ilex Forest, which leads to Goldenrod City. When they just entered the forest and passed the place where the Team Rocket Hideout once was, they heard a voice saying “HEY, NICE TO SEE YOU TWO AGAIN AFTER SIX YEARS!” It was Samurai, a guy who battled Ash when Ash just became a Pokemon trainer. “Uh... Fine, let’s battle!” Ash said. “I choose you, Totodile!”
Transitions, I’m begging you. Only in the games do people say one line of dialogue and then suddenly a battle starts. Real life takes a little more set-up both for the characters and for me to actually care about the outcome of the battle. Also, since we haven’t seen the Samurai in six years, a description would be nice and perhaps an explanation for why he’s in Johto.
“Totodile, evade and use Bite!” Ash commanded. The crocodile evaded and bit Butterfree in its right wing.
Don’t use the exact same wording as the command. This is where a thesaurus would’ve helped you.
“Well, you are never finished learning.” Misty said.
Contractions would help your sentences sound less robotic. “Well, you’re never done learning,” Misty said.
“Bye Ash, bye Misty!” Samurai said.
...What... was the point of that? It was just a drive-by battle that did absolutely nothing and told us nothing about this character that we haven’t seen in six years. Who sees an old acquaintance, jumps out at them, has a five minute battle with them, and then abruptly exits without even bothering to catch up with what’s happened with them in the six years since he’s seen them or what they’re doing in Johto or anything?
Then, Misty looked scared. “EEEH! IT’S A BUG! IT’S A BUG!” A Yanma was sitting on her backpack. The Yanma was shocked by Misty’s behaviour, causing it to fly away at high speed.
See, this is a recurring problem I’m seeing. You have the ideas of: Ash and Misty go to a restaurant, Ash battles Bugsy, Ash battles Samurai, and Misty is scared by bugs, but you don’t connect them in any way beyond the fact that one happens right after another, so they don’t feel like they belong in the same chapter as each other and are poorly transitioned. Added to that, you could cut out everything except the battle against Bugsy and not lose anything of importance.
“Well, Misty, you know how to scare the bugs away!” Ash said, giggling.
Giggling is a girly word. Schoolgirls and children giggle. It would be better if he laughed or snickered.
“That wasn’t funny, Ash! You know I see Bug Pokemon as scary!” Misty replied.
“That wasn’t funny, Ash! I’m announcing obvious exposition that we’re both aware of!” Misty replied.
As you can guess, I’m not a fan of that second sentence, not only because it’s obvious, but because it doesn’t sound like something a human being would say. How about a “You know I’m scared of bugs!”
“Sorry...” Ash responded, and he kissed his girlfriend on the cheek.
Conflict? What conflict? There’s barely a moment of tension in this before the conflict gets ushered away.
“No problem, Ash. It’s allright. That Yanma just shocked me so much...”
...And she joins the cry to abandon conflict. Also, it should be “alright.”
After having dinner, they travelled onwards. At a given moment, they saw Jessie and James standing in front of them!
This needs to be spooled out more. Describe the scene instead of summarizing it.
“Togetic, use your Metronome!” Misty commanded. Togetic waggled her fingers. The Metronome ended up being a Thunderbolt.
“Team Rocket is blasting off again!” Jessie and James said simultaneously. “Meowth!” added Meowth.
What, they don’t even say anything or do anything before they get blasted off? That’s pointless.
Then, Ash and Misty put down their sleeping bags: one two-person sleeping bag for themselves and one for Pikachu and Togetic, who liked to sleep together.
Nix the “who liked to sleep together” line because it’s telling instead of showing. Also, as far as I’m concerned you’ve already confirmed Pikachu and Togetic as a couple with everything you’ve done. I thought you wanted to be more subtle.
Ash and Misty first made sure no one was around. Then, they took off their clothes and put on their pyjamas. They lied in their sleeping bags and looked at Togetic and Pikachu, who were already asleep. “They are so cute!” Misty said. She saw her Togetic and Ash’s Pikachu lying next to each other in one sleeping bag. They had their arms around each other.
“Lay” not “lied.” And you’ve heard my spiel about concrete description before. This scene would be a heck of a lot more cute if you described it more instead of relying on Misty to tell us it’s cute.
“EEK! IT’S A CATERPIE!” Misty screamed. The Caterpie got shocked and ran away quickly.
Again, image. Show us the Caterpie crawling slowly up the waterproof fabric of the sleeping bag.
So... final thoughts?
I think I've made my criticisms more or less clear by repeating them a bunch of times and giving you examples of what you should try for instead, but... can you see now why your chapters are coming out so short? You're summarizing instead of letting a scene play out, giving very sparse description, not adding in transitions, and shutting down scenes like you're desperate to end them, not to mention killing any sense of tension before it starts. It's not enough to have a collection of ideas for scenes. You need to develop them and make them work together (imagine an actual episode of Pokemon that involved all these scenes without tying them together. That just wouldn't happen) and actually have them lead somewhere since, plot-wise, everything but the battle with Bugsy is completely irrelevant. Only if you can do those things will you have a developed story that reads like a story and not an outline. To put things in perspective, my review of your chapter is twice as long as your chapter. Word count isn't everything, but you need to have enough text to develop a scene and, as it is, you don't.
And I didn't even really get around to mentioning that these scenes (or shells of scenes) don't really have anything original about them. Most of them feel like abridged versions of things that already happened in the anime with more shipping stuffed in. I don't see anything that's especially new. But I think you have more important structural issues to take care of before you can address these conceptual problems.
I'm sorry if any of this is hard for you to hear, but I hope it gives you some idea of the things you need to do to improve.