I figured I'd give this story a look-over, as I've seen it floating around the forum for a while. Hope you don't mind he random review encounter.
I've read the first four chapters (everything on the first page), and here's my thoughts:
-There are no noteworthy grammar/spelling/punctuation errors that don't seem like anything worse than typos, so that's good. It reads pretty well without anything like that interrupting the flow.
-The dream sequences/subplot about Aesgar and the people in the headdresses, and the green serpent is quite interesting, and I'm curious as to where that is going. It's been hinted at twice, but not very well-developed (which is good because it leaves a LOT of mystery, which I want).
-The narration is good and consistent. It's attached to Jack and doesn't tend to wander off to show us what multiple people in any one scene are thinking. It did leave Jack to show Icy Eyes meeting a Primeval, which is fine since that was ts own scene. I enjoy consistent, attached narration, so good work here, too.
-The thing that stuck out to me the most is that stuff happens REALLY fast without much development or care. Jack's at home being listless, then he gets challenged to a battle by a kid, then he loses, then all-of-the-sudden he wants to go on a journey. What? In ten years, nothing else as simple as that ever came a long to motivate him? It seemed way too easy. We didn't get any real development on his home life, just that he got good grades while his dad was sick, had some minor jobs, but was mostly a layabout. And then, like I said, over basically nothing at all, he finds the motivation to go on a journey? I need more here. I need to know more about what his last ten years was like. Did he always secretly want to journey? Who are his parents, really? They might not end up being important, but we just glossed over them like they were just place-holders in his life. Why was that ONE battle against a new trainer so important that he made Jack realize his last ten years have been in error? What was his dad's sickness that led to his staying at home? How long was dad sick? Why didn't Jack go after his dad got better if he was ready to go before he got sick? I feel a lot like I want answers as to why things are happening, but the story wants to grab me by the wrist and take me elsewhere.
-That ends up being a theme of the story. Suddenly Jack is out training. Then he catches a Rattata, then he meets Maxwell, and suddenly they are friends and companions. Then Team Rocket attacks them and Jake gets beat up. Then suddenly Gary is there and we got some exposition about Team Rocket stealing and returning pokemon. But nothing FEELS important because it's just all coming in such rapid fire. I feel like I can't get attached to any one scene or moment because if I hold my breath, everything will have moved on at least once before I need a new breath. Even something as mundane as Jack catching Rattata should have been shown more. Make it a scene worth reading; make me CARE whether or not he catches the Rattata. As it was, it was a completely emotionless moment. There's a Rattata. There's a short fight. Rattata is caught. It wasn't enough to get the reader invested. If you are going to include a scene in your story, make it feel important!
-The description feels a little generic, too. I'll see if I can find some examples:
Okay, main-character-looks-in-a-mirror-to-allow-narrator-describe-him is overplayed as it is. It just smacks of being an obvious attempt to do just what i said. But it happens and it IS an easy way to do it. I've seen even really good stories here fall into it. I might have even done it in my story (I can't recall). But it's just...obvious. Anyway, what is NOT obvious is Jack's body. It is noteworthy enough to narrate, but...why? Is the narrator just showing Jack off? Why is he do fit when he seems lazy. It's an intriguing contradiction, but the reader is given no reason for it.
Jack got out of bed and walked over to the mirror. His thick black hair was unkempt as always, sticking out at every possible angle. The 5 o’clock shadow on his face further added to his general disheveled look. The only part about him that hinted that he might actually care about his appearance was his slender, runner’s build.
-Aside from that, I guess your narration wasn't as bad on the second read-through; it's just...unremarkable. The best job you did was during interlude with Icy Eyes in Seafoam. But you tend to give us a lot of easy "It was [character]. He had [descriptions]." Like this:
All his life, Jack had heard stories of the legendary Gary Oak, seeing as they had originated from the same hometown. Gary had shown immense promise, becoming even the Champion for a brief stint before losing his crown to Kanto’s current champion. Rumor had it that he was now the most powerful gym leader in Kanto. Jack craned his neck and after some significant wincing, his eyes fell upon a man likely in his early 30s with messy, graying brown hair and a confident look in his eyes.
Jack looked down and saw what the Pokédex was talking about. In front of him was a small purple mouse Pokémon. It had a white underbelly, complete with a curled tail.
As Jack chased after him he caught sight of numerous brown and white Pokémon flitting in and around the trees at the edge of the clearing. They appeared to be small foxes with the majority of their bodies covered in brown fur and a white tipped bushy tail.
You should find more ways to subtly throw the descriptions into narrations of their movement or speech rather than just ticking them off like a list. It's just not very exciting to read them like that. I'm not saying to NEVER describe things that easily--sometimes you certainly can, and I know I overdo it a lot, too--but it is so much more fun for the reader if you drop the details in during action rather than just as a short info-dump.
His eyes landed upon a tall man with stark white hair that fell neatly around his forehead and ears. He was wearing thick black glasses and a bright blue button up shirt with a pair of thick khaki shorts. At his side was a small black dog Pokémon with a skull on its forehead.
-The description and the pacing are my two key problems; they really don't allow Jack or any of the characters or pokemon feel "real" to me, because everything is so rushed. Don't be afraid to slow things down and let the reader savor some scenes. It will really allow us to enjoy the story more and become more invested in what is going on. You obviously have some writing chops since your grammar and your narration are both in good order, so I'm sure you can work on your weak points to polish them up.
I think that might be all I have. I hope what I brought up helps you along a little bit.
Last edited by Sid87; 28th August 2012 at 8:26 PM.
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