I do do that sometimes, but I'm not sure I'm completely seeing what you mean in this part specifically, unless you mean the two uses of "buildings" in the same sentence which is something I just caught myself.One of the things I've noticed about your writing is the wordiness at times. I know it's very difficult to keep this kind of thing from happening, but try to avoid awkward wording whenever possible. If you're not reading your chapters aloud, it might help to do so.
I had to read the line several times to see what you meant, and I do see it now. I think it does hold true either way (whether you're referring to the coastline only or the entire city) but I don't think I can honestly promise to do all that much about it. The sentence sounded perfectly fine to me until I reread it several times times and finally spotted the poor wording, so I don't know how easy it will be for me to catch it next time. I'd like to, but I can't promise it.In this case, for example, you've got a misplaced modifier; on a first read-through, a reader might think you're saying that the coastline was larger than New Bark but smaller than many of the other metropolis-size cities. Remember that a dependent clause following a comma is often attached to the first noun before the aforementioned comma.
This one, however, is something I can clearly see now. That sentence is a muddled mess. I can completely see it and I'm not sure how that happened. That is completely fixable and avoidable, which I'll do my best to do.The second sentence, meanwhile, is plagued by the question of "plenty of what?" It might help to think of it like this: your readers are going into your story with a blank slate, so you'll need to describe as much as possible to get your ideas across. Likewise, be very careful with how you word things as well to avoid any awkward phrasing that seems vaguer than you intended.
Thank you!Going to have to agree with what's already been said about making Pierce Tenganist. It adds a lot of depth to his character, particularly given the fact that the anime doesn't give us much in the way of characterization for him.
I've got more in store for him. Developing it was something I enjoyed quite a bit, and I think it should work out to make him interesting enough. He has his place in everything.
Coming from you, with the great care you put into expanding the characters of Bill and Lanette (for example), I do take that as quite a compliment. Perhaps it's because I enjoy fitting existing characters that lack much specific characterization into a larger plot that allows them to shine more, but taking existing characters and expanding their roles is just something I like doing.In general, I love that you're using canon characters. A lot of people these days scoff at the thought of doing that, but if it's pulled off well, then it becomes a showcase of the author's talent – especially if they're writing in the anime universe. I mean, the anime does a poor job of providing backstory and personalities for characters, so to do so and to do it in a way that makes sense for what we see of the characters shows that a writer can be flexible and competent with characterization all in one go.
Perhaps I should clarify here though that this is not strictly anime universe, it's an AU that takes elements of the anime and the games together. I'm doing this because I feel both have strengths that I can combine for greater effect than simply using one or the other alone.
You literally cannot understand how much of a relief it is to hear this in such detail. Seriously.That and it appeals to the fangirl side of certain folks (like yours truly). On that note, I have to say I'm really excited about seeing the actual Jessie, James, and Meowth in this fic. Not too many people include them (and most people include badly done rip-offs of them), so it'll be fun to read an actual fic with them as main characters – preferably in-character… which they are so far, by the by. (I also have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the scene where they were recruited from their flower shop. It was really cute to see them actually having a legit lifestyle – as in, attempting to make an honest living – before they were dragged right back into Rocket shenanigans. They would live like that, and besides that, that scene gave them a lot of depth for moments like this, where Jessie just wants to get it over with, James is nervous, and Meowth is completely okay with being a part of the Rockets' plan.)
I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to properly balance out some humor with their abilities from Best Wishes!. Especially with the riots this generation over how the trio should be depicted, with the possibility being raised of going back to the (in my opinion) repetitive and unfunny DP versions. I wanted so badly to try to show a way to depict them that doesn't fall into either extreme.
I wouldn't necessarily categorize them as "main characters," as a few of the other remaining Rockets will appear later; one angle from BW I'm trying to play up is the "team" in "Team Rocket." But yes, there won't be Expys of them in Polaris or anything. The "Jessie, James and Meowth" role here will be filled by Jessie, James and Meowth and no one else.
I'm glad you liked that scene, too. I'm not sure what I can say about it, but it's something that I hoped people would like.
I'm not really bothered by you saying that, because quite honestly, I can see exactly why you wouldn't necessarily connect with her yet. I think she has to hit rock bottom before these things can begin to get better; the illusion has to be shattered before progress can be made, and I can tell you, it's coming.Okay, I might have to be blunt for a bit here, and I'm really sorry to say this. I just don't really feel all that attached to Olivia. Back when we were first introduced to her in the XD series, it just felt like she was a stereotypical little kid, a kind of Scrappy Doo for the cast. She didn't really have much development past the whole cute thing.
Understandable, already putting some work into it.Now, we're on the Operation GEAR series, and I have to say she does have more depth, but I don't really know what to feel about her. There are times when she curses out Matt or mimics Nekou's vulgarity, and at those times, I'm on the fence. On the one hand, a teenager would try to emulate something she thinks is cool; on the other, it's sometimes tiring to read two characters with basically the same personality.
I want to preface this by saying that I do agree with you.Not to mention there's also the discipline issue. Olivia's still a kid, but people are completely okay with her mouthing off at her parental figure. But the parental figure bit is also a bit weird because no one's told her that her dad's dead. I'll admit I've lost track of exactly how old she is at this point, but wouldn't someone have told her, "Oh, well, your dad isn't coming back because he's sort of dead"? Her entire goal is focused on not only finding Rich but also getting his attention or at least doing the equivalent of *****slapping him. Sure, it was mentioned earlier that this gives her fuel to live, but… she's surrounded by people who care about her. She's a trainer. A professor has recruited her to help in her research. Heck, even the subjects she's studying would give her some sense of passion. The point is, she's got plenty to live for, so letting her spend a lot of effort tracking down someone who's dead (someone she's meant to love and respect, given that he's her father and a hero) seems crueler than just saying, "I'm really sorry, Olivia, but he's dead. But it's okay because he would have wanted you to live a fulfilling life, and we care about you." Also, there's the fact that she's old enough to comprehend what death is, so it's almost an insult to her intelligence that they're keeping that from her and letting her continue to work towards that particular goal.
What I want to say as a larger point, though, is that to a degree this is how I wanted it to go this early. I wanted this because I wanted to emphasize how terrible a situation Olivia is in without even really being aware and also emphasize just how much Matt failed to really do what had to be done when he was given a responsibility he couldn't handle. He didn't want to feel responsible for disillusioning her (or whatever he feared would happen) so he made the worse choice and kicked the can down the road. That's something I really wanted to put focus on immediately - these aren't flawless characters. They've made major mistakes and caused others serious harm through them. That's a huge part of why Matt is so downcast on himself, because he's aware he screwed up but finds himself trapped in a (seemingly) impossible situation.
Things have to be broken here before they can be fixed, I think. This isn't where the characters should be at the end, obviously. But I think that starting off on such a broken base is a gamble I'm willing to take. I'm willing to take the risk because I think the payoff will be better in the end.
Well, as far as to why she was reacting in such an ... exaggerated? ... manner, she's banking so much on succeeding at this quest that for it to not go exactly as she intended throws off her entire balance. It's something she's going to have to grow out of, and I can tell you that I do have such a thing already in the works.But the reason why I'm pulling this particular quote is because she just seems so defeatist and negative. She basically threw a temper tantrum over the fact that she wasn't able to get a Totodile, for starters. For another, when she fell and broke her leg, she was crying because she was defeated, not because, well, breaking your bones hurts like a mother. At this point, she's just berating herself. Yet all that's happened is she got an unexpected starter and nearly got killed. It was the first adventure she's had, and she made it out alive. I mean, Ash pretty much had the same situation happen to him. He got an unexpected starter and nearly got killed. Multiple times, in fact, including one instance where he had to come to terms that he was a selfish idiot (because he nearly had his Metapod killed in the process due to his stupidity). Yet, he still got up and walked onward. I'm not saying that you should have a carbon copy of Ash. (In fact, I encourage you to avoid that.) I'm just wondering why Olivia is acting like it's the end of the world and the end of her journey for her when, well, it just began. She's been through a lot already, so why does this break her? I just feel like not everyone should break down over every negative experience. Certainly, some people would, but it tends to happen a little more frequently than usual with your cast. (It certainly happened a lot with the XD series. It hasn't happened quite as often with the Operation GEAR casts, although Matt has a tendency to do it too. And, well, there's also Anabel, but anyway.)
On the other hand, I wonder if you're trying to say something about her – like she's trying to represent someone who's not exactly typical. But that's a side thought.
As for when she was lying at the bottom of the cliff, she was most likely delusional and so near blacking out that she didn't even consciously feel the pain.
Although, I think you might have started to catch onto something by the end of your thought here. For example, she's probably at least guessed at some point that Rich is dead, but she so violently wants to reject that idea that she shut off the part of herself that thought of it. tl;dr of it, she's not exactly well.
Aw, thanks! XD;And I love you.
Well, like I've said, in every game you start right away by getting a starter and a Pokedex from the professor (or in the case of the Johto games, professors) while the most notable exceptions - the Orre games - can be handwaved due to how lawless the region is.One of your stronger storytelling points is your worldbuilding abilities, definitely, and this is one of them. I like reading what people have to say about the way the Pokémon world works, and it's interesting that you're tackling the one thing pretty much no one talks about – how Pokémon centers work in terms of funding and the billing system. It's very interesting that the service is free to trainers with a 'dex and a starter. The explanation fits canon perfectly, and it's completely believable from what we've seen of the main game characters.
I'm glad you liked it, because it will act as a step into more thematic elements later.
An excellent question, actually.There's just one little question, though, and that's, "How often do trainers get Pokédexes?" Some of the lines of dialogue in the games (especially in Gen I and FRLG) imply that the 'dex is actually a rare item, and in the animeverse, only people who met with a professor to start a journey received one. The problem lies in the fact that not everyone started their journey by meeting a professor, so you have people like Misty and Brock who might not have had a 'dex. It'd be interesting if this part would be expanded just a bit or at least if the idea could address who can receive a 'dex, who gives out 'dexes, and so forth.
I'm operating under the assumption that Pokedex/starter distribution is indeed a rarity. It is something important to provide background for later elements. You raise an excellent point about characters such as Brock and Misty, to which I guess I can only say that Gym Leaders get special permissions.
The rest of the questions have answers or answers that are being developed (your raising some of these questions is helping me frame my planning of them) but there's not much I can say right now about them. I don't want to give away too much, but I can say that they are relevant subjects to think about.
Not the first time you're going to see it.I see what you did there.
This subject has been covered several times by other reviewers, so I'm afraid I haven't much more to say about it. I fully acknowledge that this habit is my weakness, and I'm trying to break myself of it. That's all I've really got to say.I keep going back and forth between moments like these. You do this often enough when introducing characters: you either stop the narration to describe their looks or stop the narration to describe facts like these. The information you bring up is important to know for the most part (although probably not so much if Nando isn't going to be a major character in this story), so in that sense, I'm somewhat more okay with the fact that it's brought up. On the other, I'm also not completely comfortable with the transitions. It's very difficult to pull off an info drop (that is, stopping the narration to talk about something or feed a reader information) because of the fact that you're disrupting the flow of the chapter to do so. It's usually better to integrate information like this into the story, usually whenever appropriate. (In this case, perhaps having a character bring up Nando's Pokémon preferences themselves would do it.) Otherwise, it just sticks out like a nail in the floorboards.
That and in general, the transition could be smoothed out a bit. You go from talking about his preferences in team members to Matt's line, so there's very little to help ease the reader from topic to topic there.
The transitions point is taken into account, however. I'll work on it.
I can't say that that kind of language style is necessarily something I'd feel all that comfortable using myself, but that's really not the point here. If I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, I think what I could do is simply split the description up completely and slip in bits and pieces of it during the battle instead. I'll have to remember to do that.This is what I meant by pausing the action to describe a person, by the by. Considering this is a very action-oriented scene (given that it's a battle), it would be better if you linked descriptions of the character to her actions. For example, instead of simply telling us that she was a tall, thin woman and so forth, you could say something along the lines of:
The tall, lithe woman leaned back as a smirk crossed her thin, tanned face. One of her hands slipped up the leg of her tight-fitting jeans until it rested on the curve of her hip as the other pulled a black tendril of her hair out of her golden eyes. The rest of her dark hair writhed around her as she moved, brushing across the taut, yellow cotton of her top and the swarthy flesh of her midriff with each tiny shift of her body. In all ways, she looked like a snake – all to catch her opponent off-guard.
Sure, that still pauses the action a little, but these are easier to break apart. As in, you don't have to describe her in one go. Instead, you can take one sentence of this and use it in her introduction. Then, maybe further down the line, you'll be able to use the sentence that describes her hair writhing around her when it feels more appropriate for her to move in a way that would cause it to do that. Maybe at another point, she puts her hands on her hips in frustration, which allows you to use the line about her hips. Or you could keep the paragraph intact, and it would still be a little less obvious that you're describing her because she's still doing something – as in, you're not really stopping the action just to describe her.
Oh, it makes perfect sense. I think I have just the idea I need to have to get this right, I just need to put it into practice.The key in this case is to make it less and less obvious that you're launching into a detailed description. The more you tie each detail with an action, the more subtle it becomes until it turns into just another fragment of the story, if that makes sense.
This is more of an example of how description is best done, actually. It's integrated with action so that the story doesn't stop just to describe Nando.
Now here's something I took vast inspiration from the anime for. A good battle can be exciting enough in the games, but when you have the freedom that a more open medium grants you, you would be foolish to not take advantage of it, I think. You just have so many options at your disposal for battles here.One of the many things I have to give you credit for is the way you get across creativity in battle. Not too many people remember that battles aren't just a couple of people duking it out on a generic field wherein nothing but attacks can be used to one's advantage. I know that there was an instance in the last chapter where Olivia took advantage of the layout of the field (i.e., the fact that Zorua was using Dig) to attack, and in this instance, you have Nando make a move that isn't just another attack. It makes battles more interesting because it's no longer possible to predict exactly what characters are going to do. They could very well attack directly, or they could manipulate the field or put themselves into a new strategic position or a million other different things.
In short, battles aren't predictable or repetitive in this fic, and that's something I appreciate because not a lot of people know how to keep battles from being predictable or repetitive. It's very refreshing to see a match be something other than Pokémon A uses Move B on Pokémon C over and over again, and it keeps things suspenseful and exciting to read.
(See, kids? Battles can be interesting to write about and read, even if they're not climactic battles. You just have to do them correctly.)
One battle I hold up as a gold standard for this is the Nando VS. Zoey battle from episode 176 of Diamond and Pearl, which puts Nando's Kricketune and Lopunny against Zoey's Mismagius and Leafeon. On paper it's just a Double Battle between four UU-at-best Pokemon, but in practice it turns into a very exciting match in which both sides use each others' moves to build their own, and the outcome is not clear until the very end.
I think you're going to be very pleased with what you see next chapter.
I know I shouldn't be defending myself here, but I couldn't figure out another way to indicate Nando's sing-song voice in a line like that.…But shame on you for tilde abuse.
While your larger point is correct, in this case, Zapdos was quite far above Leavanny when it started its attack, and the adapted effect of Trick Room drastically slowed down its movements. In order to make a move like Trick Room function more realistically, I changed it from just blatantly reversing the order of who attacks when and made it so the more speed a Pokemon has before Trick Room is initiated determines how dramatically slowed down that Pokemon becomes. In this case, Zapdos is normally very fast, so it was slowed by a great amount.However, I do have to comment about pacing here. I know that Trick Room is in effect, but at the same time, it seems a bit off that Nando would have time to meditate and think about what was going on while Zapdos is launching an attack. Attacks are still fairly quick unless there happened to be a lot of distance between Zapdos and Leavanny, so I'm having some difficulty picturing exactly what's going on here.
Just remember that it's okay to fudge game mechanics a little. That includes the turn-based system.
I want to go for something that doesn't compress around the main cast to a claustrophobic degree in this story, which I hope to get by giving other characters some focus of their own once in a while to increase the scale of the plot. That, and the battle also served to introduce Dahlia as the major driving force of this two-chapter arc, setting up her strength and fighting style so not only Matt but the reader themselves should feel prepared for the formal battle with her next chapter. The entire events of these two chapters revolve in some way around Dahlia or at least tangentially involve her, so I wanted to give her more screentime as well.Also, we were talking privately about how you might trim a chapter, and if you're still interested, this may be a good example. See, chapters should only contain enough information to drive the story forward. While Nando's battle with Dahlia does convince Matt that he needs to train, it might not have been necessary to show all of the battle. Sure, the attacks were beautifully described and the strategies were fascinating to read, but it also seemed out-of-place, considering Nando doesn't immediately have anything to do with the rest of the cast. As in, the only thing that affects Matt and company in this scene is Nando's victory; even if Matt had only seen Exploud versus Zapdos instead of Leavanny's matches, the outcome would have been the same because a sample of Nando's talent is still encapsulated in the very last match of the battle. So, you could actually distill the battle down to just the last part (Exploud vs. Zapdos) and still have it inspire Matt. That makes whatever came before it rather superfluous, and superfluous information just adds to your page count while serving as a distraction from the main point.
Of course, if you want to keep that part of the battle in, it can probably also be left in without making the chapter feel like it's dragging on, but it's definitely an option when it comes to trimming things down.
It's not like she's spilled her entire bag of tricks yet, either.
Yeah, I'm not sure how I let that happen. I'm going to have to fix it.Be careful. Don't fall into the trap of telling instead of showing, and this is actually one case of it. Instead of showing us Feraligatr struggling to move, maybe wincing and hunching over as he steadied himself (or something along those lines to show that Feraligatr is struggling after the Double-Edge), you simply tell us that he's hesitating because of the attack. That's one thing I've noticed now and then: you say "due to" and then launch into an explanation, and that's something that you may want to phase out of your writing because it makes it easier for you to tell instead of show.
I was actually afraid that some of the battles were too short.I also have to appreciate the fact that you realize a battle needs to be drawn out. Tying in with the idea that your battles aren't just Pokémon A uses Move B against Pokémon C, Pokémon don't just knock each other out with a couple of hits. That makes battles all the more exciting because it's just not something that happens in fanfiction for some reason. Maybe it's because people just don't want to spend that much time on battles, or maybe it's just because people are eager to get to the end because they already know the outcome. Either way, it's different to see a battle that's drawn out over a messload of pages, and while I had a feeling Matt would win, it was still a satisfying read.
But anyway, I'm glad once again that you liked the battles. I'm shooting to give the reader some great visuals when I write battles, which I think is something that acts as a major hook into the scenes. Of course, they also have to be well-written, so I take great care in doing research on the Pokemon in each battle to determine their moves, an adaptation of their game actions, tactics and so on. I like going out of the box, which is why I gave Gengar the Toxic/Venoshock combo and Metronome, which could only be obtained as a Move Tutor move in FRLG.
It's a little hard for me to answer this one without giving away too much. I am aware of what you're saying.Now, okay, I have to say that I knew Matt would win, and it's because of something I told you in private about the XD series a long time ago. Namely, there's a definite lean towards the protagonist. As in, I think it's pretty rare to have one of your main characters lose, and when it happens, it's devastating. For example, one of the first battles we've seen in this particular fic had Olivia winning despite using low-leveled (for the most part) Pokémon. The only time she lost a fight of some kind was when she had to be given a reason to beat herself up (i.e., the fight against the Bisharp army). More recently, Nando wins against a legendary owned by a Frontier Brain – which, okay, is something Ash has been known to do, but still. Before that, I can't really think of any moments where the main characters have actually lost a battle except for one instance in XD^3.
It's really just something I noticed, and it could just be me (as in, maybe I'm forgetting instances everywhere wherein a main protagonist loses a match). If it's not just me, though, let me just say that the story is still enjoyable either way, but it would be cool to get some variety so that it's a little bit harder to predict. That and it might be more satisfying to read about moments when a character nets a victory if their win-loss ratio was a bit more even.
You may get your wish at some point. That's all I can say. I'm sure you understand.
Well, in the case of Venoshock for example, it's just a recolored Sludge Bomb in the anime. I want moves to look unique, so I adapted the game portrayal and modified it to make it a literal "shock" of "venom."Another thing I noticed? I thought it was unusual that you were going for game portrayals of moves instead of anime portrayals (like in the case of Venoshock), but that's really just your preference. It does strike me as curious either way, though, so… there's that.
Thanks again!Overall, it's really not a bad story. The pacing is well done (even though you could cut some material out if you wanted to), and the premise is pretty riveting. Not only that, but you have a knack for taking canon characters and making them deep and interesting while still being spot-on. Not to mention your battles are frequently well-described and exciting – not at all turn-based or game-like. In that sense, this is actually a pretty good fic.
Hmmm. Well, first off, I'm glad that you like Matt. You've definitely got the right idea on him - he doesn't do a bad job, all things considered, but no matter how hard he tries he just keeps getting more in over his head when bigger obstacles come up.It's just that there's some bits centering around the characters that could be worked out. For example, there's the tendency to stop all narration to describe a character. For another, there's the fact that the protagonists have an inordinately high chance of winning a battle, which tends to make the fight scenes slightly predictable.
But more than that, I have to say I'm undecided about a lot of your OCs. There are times when I really like what you do with them. (For example, Matt is one of my favorite characters right now because he feels like such an underdog despite the fact that he's pretty competent. Satsukoro was one of my favorites in the XD series because of his complex backstory.) On the other, some of your characters are also difficult for me to like. (I'm not fond of Nekou because I don't see her as badass as much as immature – like a teenage boy trying to convince me that he's awesome, and I'm not fond of Olivia because of how she used to be a childlike stereotype and is now prone to tantrums and teenage angst.) I'm not quite sure how to feel about your villains either (because almost all of them turn out to be psychotic and violent). I'm not quite sure what you can take away from this comment or how you might be able to improve on your weaker characters, given that it's pretty late in the series for all of them; I just wanted to get it out there that basically the only thing that might be affecting the quality of your fic are some of the OCs' personalities.
re; Nekou and Olivia: I think my big problem here is that I overplayed my hand with them too soon. I've already begun taking measures to scale it back while writing the next chapter. I want to portray Olivia as a bit more clearly troubled for more understandable reasons while Nekou gets more dimension to her character. I only ask that you give them some more time, because they haven't come into their own fully yet.
Also, it's not relevant right now but there is a reason Nekou is the way she is.
re; Villains: I'd chalk this up mainly to circumstances. In the previous stories, Colonel Nixon was a corrupt military official during a more warlike time, so violence from him would be expected. Meanwhile, Liam Everton had to be the spiritual successor to Grings Kodai, the antagonist of the Zoroark movie, so he had to take everything Kodai did up to the proverbial eleven.
As for right now, Ghetsis is Ghetsis, there's not much more that can be said about him. Rest assured that not all of the rest of Polaris is like him - he's only the useful one to use as an introductory villain since he's a known quantity already. I think I've assembled a decent cast of villain types for the Sacred Helix, which should come out more once the others get more time.
Thank you for your extremely kind words and generous review.Of course, this is literally the only thing. Shrugging off the typos, you've done some impressive work with canon characters, battles, and descriptions in general (and not just of characters), and that much is what a lot of writers fail to do. That's where the strong points of your fic lie, and I honestly think your story still works because in the end, that list embodies basically most of the spirit of Operation GEAR. You can still work with the OCs you've got. (And to be fair, they're a lot deeper than a number of other OCs out there; they just hit my "these kinds of people annoy the **** out of me" button. …Which may actually be a good thing because I'm annoyed because of their personalities, not because they're flat characters.) That's because in the end, you still have a story that stands up on its own.
So in that sense, this story isn't that bad. I'll definitely keep an eye on it.
I can't promise that all these things will be immediately addressed in the next chapter (for one, it's almost half done already) but I'll shoot for that "isn't that bad" to become "is pretty good" or something. Hey, goals motivate, right?