Good then off the rails
How about you put that at the end of the chapter so that you can laugh at all the reviewers who didn't read all the way.
Originally Posted by Sunnydayandraindance
Anyway, to the real review:
I get that she cares about his looks from this. However, it's unknown what causes her to wake up like such a slug. I assume that it's just a regular day for her and that she likely stayed up late last night, or eats unhealthy food for dinner. But this is a small detail, and won't really affect anything unless she needs to get up quickly in the future for an emergency. Bad sight or lazy movement can hurt her chances at escape if she has to run from crazy pokemon in early morning hours later on.
I checked my alarm clock. It was nine. I lazily stepped out of bed and dragged myself to my bathroom. My hair was a complete mess. It almost looked like I had an afro. I brushed through it and checked again. It looked normal. That's a relief.
The mention of Johto feels like it's the weakest link. I mean, do the readers need to know that Piper was in Johto when he was 7 years old? Why care about the orgins of how people started walking with pokemon?
I ran down the bustled streets, waving to people I knew. Cheryl passed by me, and I waved and shouted a quick hello. The city was beautiful as well. Well, no wonder. The grass type gym was here, after all. The streets bustled with plants and bushes, and grass type Pokemon walked alongside their trainers in the street. The concept of walking with Pokemon had started in Johto. I remember Johto the most. I had stayed in Johto when I was 7, and I left for Sinnoh when I was 10.
The conversation following this is actually well done and describes father-son/daughter relations well.
"Hey Piper, are you sleeping? I feel like you might be, considering it's you."
I already know that her dad is Roark. His mother married him. But that's a small redundancy.
My dad's Roark, the gym leader. He's 45 now. He's pretty fun, but he tells terrible rock puns. My mother's Gardenia. She's the Eterna city gym leader.
It's one of those fan fics, but the description and characterization occurring so far is promising.
"That's not the point. We want you to travel a year, beat gym leaders, battle the league, face off against every trainer you can, and then you're taking over. You're starting a journey."
"Why? Why me? There are plenty of perfectly suitable trainers you could choose from! Just get Cheryl to do it!"
Excellent, that's a good way to point out that Piper is female. This review thus assumes Piper is female.
"Sweetie, that's not what the council decided. You're the offspring of two gym leaders, and all though you're not the best right now, sooner, it'll click, and you'll be great."
That just killed any sense of tensions between father and daughter. It's really weird to see anybody take advice from her parents so easily. Does she not feel that Roark is passive-aggressively suggesting that she's a loser for not having future plans? Even if she liked the idea of going on a journey just to get to be a gym leader, why should she go? Why does she care about the gym?
"I don't want to go!"
"If this is better, think of it this way... what are doing right now? What do you have planned for your future?"
"Okay... I'll go. Only because you suggested it to me. I don't really have a plan yet."
Perhaps there are internal thoughts going on in her head that would lead to her taking up her father's challenge, but the dialogue does not include her thoughts or emotions during this talk with her dad. Readers don't believe that a character would so easily take this request from a father. After all, it's hard enough dealing with homework, and then harder to deal with "Are you doing your doing your homework, kid?"
So what would make her decision believable? Perhaps showing her attachment to the gym would help the story. I need to know that she's serious about the gym: Will she clean everything, including the bathrooms? Host gatherings for annoying kids from the local trainer school? I need to see that she will put up with these things, and love the gym despite them. Doesn't have to be too much of a description, maybe Piper would describe how she cleaned up after a trainer school's banquet in the gym, and suffered so much, yet earned a thank-you from a teacher -- and that made everything worth it.
This feels weak. It mostly is just orders and short descriptions. I am actually surprised that Onix fell so fast because the magical leaves do not show impacts that appear to be harmful. They simply "hit against Onix." Well, I would like to know if there's any dust or rocks that fly off Onix due to the attacks. Also, how the heck did Grass Knot tie Onix? That has to be some long, strong grass, but that type of grass isn't described as occurring due to the attack. Reactions from Roark or Onix, or possibly both, concerning the grass knot's tying of Onix would also be nice to see during the battle. I suggest reading up on fan fics that have done battle scenes well, or calling over a writer who has experience in this area for assistance.
"Substitute!" Cherubi switched in with the substitute. Dig hit hard, and Cherubi switched back in. Onix started to lunge into a tackle. "Cherubi, magical leaf!" Leaves darted out of Cherubi's leaf, and hit against Onix, knocking him down a bit. His tackle was a bit delayed, but he kept lunging. "Cherubi! Grass knot, tangle him!" Cherubi darted to the side of Onix, and began to weave grass using the grass bed beneath her. Cherubi tangled the grass into Onix, stopping him from moving. "Now! Magical leaf!" Cherubi summoned leaves again, and they hit against Onix. Onix fell down weakly.
Felt like a let-down. Bruising and cries of pain are more believable than simply the act of fainting. Also, flying backwards due to the rollout's hit would imply that there was a lot of momentum in the attack. In fact, I feel that this battle scene has copied the transcript of any battle in the pokemon games. I don't really see myself as viewing a battle here: no pokemon knocking another back, no grass and dirt being thrown up by the rollout, and no description of how the rollout caused a hard hit.
Geodude started to come towards Cherubi, and began to morph into a rollout, and before I could do anything, Geodude hit Cherubi hard. So hard, in fact, Cherubi looked like she was going to faint. I frowned at my dad. He had a smirk plastered on his face.
"she about to faint" Oh man, that phrase is boring. Fainting is a soft term, it doesn't show off the pain that Cherubi is going through. Also, what does "she looked fine now" mean? She has no pain and feels full of joy that sends her back into battle with a bounce?
I looked at Cherubi in the field. Am I really cut out for this? I asked myself. Cherubi winced and looked over at me. Cherubi looked like she about to faint. The wind blew the grass faintly, creating a whistling noise. "Ah! Cherubi! Morning sun!" The sunlight beamed through the branches, and lit up Cherubi. She looked fine now.
Dodged what? He lunged in what manner at Cherubi? Also, "hard" is a way overused adjective at this point.
I looked over at my dad again. Geodude started to rush towards Cherubi, and was about to tackle Cherubi, but she dodged, and Geodude kept lunging, but Cherubi dodged and dodged. "Magical leaf!" I yelled. I was too late, as I spoke, Geodude hit Cherubi hard, and knocked her out.
Well, that's it? I expected more thoughts and feelings for this pokemon. What emotions would she feel having seen her partner fallen in battle? I mean, Piper likely played with Cherubi as a child, and I don't feel a good connection between trainer and pokemon here.
I looked down at Cherubi in the field. "It's my fault she's knocked up like this," I said to myself.
No, Roark, you don't send Piper into battle just like a pokemon. Piper could have snapped back at her father for that statement: "Excuse me? You never sent me to get hurt, why should I see her get hurt?" I mean, if she's upset enough, I bet she would snap at her father in some way due to this battle. This is just a comment on characterization. I brought it up because I felt that Piper should be offended at what her father said, should have him clarify what he means by his parenting metaphor.
"That's the responsibility of a Pokemon trainer. You're looking after your Pokemon and yourself. It's hard, and it's just like being a parent," My dad added.
"It really is, isn't it? I don't want to see her get hurt."
Oh my gosh, how does she not feel the condescending nature of Roark? In one paragraph, he dismissed any idea of not letting pokemon get hurt as selfish. Yet battling isn't selfish? Yet letting pokemon get hurt isn't selfish? Let's map this logic:
"Which is why so many people can't deal with it. They get too fuelled by anger and hate, and they think it's wrong. But battling actually brings us together, regardless of our beliefs. Battling allows us to care more than we should. The people that don't want to let Pokemon get hurt, for their own selfish reasons are like Team Plasma. They really want to control Pokemon. Gym leaders help bring Pokemon and people together, which is why the duty is so important, and why it's being passed on to you."
People think battling is wrong if and only if those people are fueled by anger and hate. Thus people who think battling is just are pleasant and loving.
Battling brings us together, no matter what. Battling allows us to care more than we should. Thus we should battle each other to death. yeah...
If you don't like seeing pokemon get hurt, then you are like Team Plasma and you want to control pokemon. Thus if you aren't like Team Plasma or don't want to control pokemon, then you like seeing pokemon GET HURT.
Gym leaders, experts in battling, bring people and pokemon together. Thus Piper, to be a gym leader, must like to see pokemon get hurt. Otherwise she is just a control freak like Team Plasma.
The major problem with these ethics is that a person who happens to believe in non-violent ways of bringing people and pokemon together is a complete loser even if he's not part of Team Plasma. Roark is absolutely horrible for saying this.
End of logic. Okay. Unless Piper is indoctrinated with this awful justification since birth, this is an awful justification and should cause her to at least snap at her father.
"I think it just clicked. I'm not fighting for myself. I'm fighting for Cherubi, and against people like Team Plasma."
"That's precisely it. Now, shall we continue?"
I think some readers will gloss over that awful logic and ethics proposed by Roark, but I find Roark's conclusions (and Piper's acceptance of them) to be completely crazy. It's so crazy, that I wouldn't be surprised to see pokemon start rebelling against humans in this story because it seems that pokemon would fight back against being "brought together."
Roark's explanation was stupid, and Piper should either challenge him about it or Roark's dialogue should be edited. It feels so shallow that she accepts what her father says so easily. If Roark allowed peaceful ways of bringing pokemon together, then his logic would be much better than the above.
Other than that, this did have a good start, some good dialogue, but the descriptions of the battle scenes weren't so good. And the characterization appeared to go off the rails with Roark's justification. Actually, Piper does seem pretty heartless, and thus she's like any other trainer based on her regard for pokemon. Oh well, ethics does make or break characters.
Disclaimer: I live in the real world, so I can't suspend my belief for everything in a fic.
Good job on getting rid of that picture, by the way.
This no longer needs to be here.
Last edited by Sunnydayandraindance; Today at 9:00 PM.
Last edited by Akiyama; 11th November 2013 at 5:02 AM.
As I adventured into math and ideas, that old desire for fan fiction came back.
This review took at least an hour to write, by the way.