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Thread: The Gift

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    Default The Gift

    Hey, Brutaka here. You may know me from my current fan fic, Through the Thunder and the Lightning. Well, in my former clan of Team SeaSoul, we had a short story competition. It had to take place in or near water for most of the story. This was my entry. Unfortunately, this story only took 2nd place. Still, I liked writing it, and I think it isn't too bad, so I'm publishing it for all to see.
    Oh, and props to the winner of the competition, jeffdavid102 and his story.

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    The Gift

    Water lapped against the white sand. The sun was setting and it cast the most beautiful glow upon the ocean.

    Three Pokemon sat on the beach enjoying the view. On the right was a blue humanoid one. He had orange spikes on his cheeks and an orange belly. He also had two dark blue, fin-like protrusions on his lower back, as well as a larger one on the top of his head. He was a Marshtomp named Kyle.

    On the left was a small round Pokemon that was mostly a lighter blue. She had a white belly, and two round ears on her head. Her tail was black, was bent several times, and held a blue sphere on the end of it. Melody was a Marill.

    Lastly, the Pokemon in the center was a small fox-like creature about the same size as Melody. She had brown fur covering her body. Around her neck was a light tan fluff of bushy hair. Her large tail was tipped with a color of a similar shade. This Eevee was called Shiloh.

    The three Pokemon were the best of friends. They all grew up together in the small sea-side community. For the most part, their lives were carefree and untroubled. The village was a quiet place and the three friends played games everyday. Lately, however, Kyle and Melody had wanted to play in the ocean more and more. This caused a problem for Shiloh, as she couldn’t breathe underwater like her friends. It made her sad when they went to play without her but she didn’t want to hold them back. Kyle and Melody had been noticing Shiloh’s depressed state for a while now, and they could reason out why. Just to make sure though, Melody had gone to her friend Shiloh’s house one evening.

    “Hello? Shiloh, are you home?” Melody called into the small hut.

    The small Eevee came out to meet her. “Oh, hi Melody! Er, its a little late to go play isn’t it?”

    “That’s not what I came here for. I’ve been seeing how sad you’ve been lately. I wanted to know if there’s anything Kyle and I can do to help.”

    “Oh,” Shiloh sighed. “Its nothing, really. Its just that when you and Kyle go out into the ocean to play, I can’t go with you. And I don’t want to keep you and him from having fun, but I get bored all by myself. I guess I just don’t know what to do.” She was becoming sad again.

    “I had figured as much. Look, I know you not being able to breathe underwater is difficult with me and Kyle both being water types. But we don’t have to go play in the water. We shouldn’t have to exclude you in anything.”

    “No, no, that’s okay. You two go have fun, don’t let me hold you back.”

    “Are you sure? You’re not just saying that so I don’t worry, are you?”

    “Absolutely not! I’m perfectly okay with it. Seriously, go have fun!” Shiloh put her best mock smile on and retreated back into her house.

    Melody sighed. “She’s lying.” In fact, Shiloh had been wanting to be a Vaporeon for a while now. Shiloh was an artistic Pokemon, and her subject was often Vaporeon.

    Melody was slowly walking back to her house when an idea hit her. She ran over to Kyle’s house, and knocked on the door. He opened it. “Hey, Kyle, listen, we need to help out Shiloh. You know how she’s been really sad lately?”

    “Uh, ya. Why?”

    “Well, she’s been upset that she can’t go play with us like before, since she can’t go underwater like we can.”

    “Is that why she’s been depressed? We could have helped her out or something. We don’t have to go the water to play.”

    “I already tried telling her that, but she insisted we don’t stop because of her. And if she doesn’t want to have us stop playing in the water, then we’ll just have to make it so she can go in the water and play with us there.” Melody was getting excited.

    Kyle, on the other hand, was confused. “But how do we do that? She can’t breathe in the ocean like we can.”

    “No. At least, not like that. But what if there was a way?” Melody was all giddy now.

    Kyle still didn’t understand. “But, how? I don’t...I wouldn’t know...”

    “Oi, do you have to be so dense? Shiloh is an Eevee, right? Well Eevees are rumored to have flexible genes. Because of this, they can be mutated by high sources of energy. In other words, evolution stones can cause her to evolve. If we can find a water stone, she can turn into a Vaporeon and swim with us,” Melody explained.

    “Oh! I get it now! But where are going to find one of those?”

    “Hm. Well I've heard they can be found underwater. In fact, there's a cave just off shore that is rumored to channel the energy of the ocean. Sounds like where we should go look, doesn't it?"

    "Uh, sure, sounds good. Want to go in the morning? Its late now."

    "Um, yup. We'll just tell Shiloh that we plan on going to play in the ocean again and then we'll check the cave out," Melody said with a nod. They said their goodbyes and she went back to her own house.

    The next morning Melody skipped down the warm busy paths of her small village. She was excited about her wonderful idea and knew Shiloh would love it. Now all she needed to do was meet up with Kyle at the beach and find that Water Stone!

    She rounded the last corner, skipped down a small path lined with tall grass and then saw Kyle leaning against a rock in the distance. He was already at the beach and was admiring the ocean's horizon while he waited.

    "Kyle! Oh good, you're already here. As soon as Shiloh gets here, we'll go and find the stone. Oh, I'm so excited!" Melody exclaimed.

    "Excited about what, Melody?" a female voice said from behind her.

    "Ah!" The Marill turned around. "Oh, uh, hi Shiloh, I was just talking about-- I mean -- what I'm trying to say is-"

    "What she means is that me and her are just excited about a new game we're going to go play today, isn't that right, Melody?" Kyle said smoothly.

    "Oh, yes of course. We should, uh, go and get right to that, don't want to waste any time, now do we?"

    "No, you two go ahead, I'll just stay here and...work on sand sculptures or something." Shiloh turned around and slowly walked over to a rock. She sat behind it began to push sand in a pile together with her tail. Melody frowned.

    "Come on, let's go," Kyle said, and pulled on Melody's arm. She went with him and they both jumped into the sea. Underwater, the ocean was calm and the water was cool. It was a nice break to the warmer temperatures on the beach. The ocean floor gave way quickly to dark depths. They slowly swam their way down. Melody smiled and waved at a group of passing Luvdisc. They smiled back and kept on their way. They decided to look for the cave on the sea floor, so they swam to the bottom of the cold ocean. After a few minutes, they touched the floor of the sea. It was dark though. They wouldn't be able to see anything like this.

    "Well, I can use my Foresight to see, but you'll have to stay close to me, all right?" Kyle said, grabbing Melody's arm.

    "Oh, uh, all right. So you should be looking for a cave. There aren't that many around. I hope we get lucky and find the right cave first."

    "Kay, I'll keep an eye out. Come on." Kyle's eye began to glow a light red, and they walked together. They passed strange rocks(none of them Water Stones), some coral, and a couple of shy Pokemon. Some Clamperls shut their shells as they passed. Corsola greeted them as they walked through the darkness. Apparently the Pokemon down here can see just fine. They must have been used the absence of light. Melody, on the other hand: not so much.

    "Woah!" Kyle muttered.
    "What? What's there?" Melody whispered.

    "Nothing, just this wall came out of nowhere. Oh! There's an opening here!"

    "Great! Let's go!" Melody was giddy again. They followed the wall to the opening and Kyle led Melody inside. A couple of yards into the cave, they saw crystals imbedded into the wall. they weren't Water Stones, but they glowed brightly, and Melody could see the way now.

    "Oh, wow, these gems are pretty! And they're so bright!" Melody sighed, and did a hop.

    "Yup, they sure are. In fact..." Kyle went of to the wall. He made a karate chop pose with his arm, it glowed, and he struck the wall. The wall crumbled a little, and some of the crystals fell to the floor.

    "What are you doing! Don't break them!"

    "Relax. There's plenty of them, and besides..." Kyle bent down and grabbed on of the biggest crystal shards. "Now if we get to a part where its too dark, or there's no more crystals to the light way, we'll have this one to help us see. It should be bright enough."

    "Wow, Kyle, that's actually pretty smart!"

    "Yeah, but we'll talk about that later; right now we have to get that Water Stone." Kyle lifted the torch in front of them, and they continued through the cave. The cave itself was narrow, and didn't have any side paths. And it was quiet. There weren't any Pokemon there to be seen.

    The tunnel went on for a long time. The crystals had stopped lining the walls a while back and now all they had was Kyle's shard for light. It helped though, as they could at least see the walls. Then they saw a glow ahead of them. The tunnel widened out to a large cavern that was lighted by hundreds of shards of the glowing crystals. In the center was a mound of stone. On top was huge glowing crystal. But in the mound itself was numerous solid deep blue stones with bubbles trapped in them. They were Water Stones!

    In front of the Water Stones, however, were three noticeably angry Pokemon. On the left was a Shellder. In the center was a Staryu. On the right was a Panpour. She was the first to speak.

    "Why have you come into our home? Leave!" she said.

    "Oh, is this where you all live? I'm sorry, we didn't know. We'll leave, but we need one of those Water Stones." Melody explained.

    "A Water Stone? First you come into our cave, and now you demand our property?" the Shellder said, apparently a male by the sound of it.

    "Look, its really important. We need it for a friend. Can't we work something out?" Melody asked hopefully.

    "Well...we do have a lot of them. Fine. If you can defeat all of us at the same time, you can have one of the stones." The Staryu in the center said. It too was male.

    "Deal. How tough can you be?" Kyle said, smirking.

    "All right then. Shellder, you wanna show him the new trick you learned?" Panpour sneered, looking at his partner.

    "Yeah, totally. Let's get this thing going!" Shellder exclaimed. Then, his body glowed white. The glow was then shattered off of him. Shellder then burst forward with astounding speed. Kyle and Melody barely swam out of the way. Staryu had vanished completely. He was no where to be seen. Panpour seemed to have grabbed a Flying Gem from somewhere. As Melody dodged one of Shellder's charges, she was hit by a huge bright force. Panpour jumped out of the glow. The Flying Gem was gone. Melody was sent hurdling into the wall. She was hurt but she managed to get back up.

    "An Acrobatics boosted with by a Flying Gem...Cheap, real cheap..." Melody muttered. "But I'll show you what-for!" Melody burst forward and as she was moving, she curled up into a ball and launched herself all over the cavern. She struck Panpour dead center with her Rollout. Panpour hit the far wall as Melody kept bouncing around the room.

    Meanwhile, Kyle was having little luck with Shellder. He couldn't keep dodging the attacks forever. After yet another close call, Kyle cried, "Enough!" His arm glowed white and he jammed his arm into Shellder as he came charging. Shellder fell to floor, unmoving. The poor thing couldn't take a direct hit from a Brick Break, especially since Shellder's defenses were down as a result of his Shell Smash.

    Kyle was then hit by a spinning Staryu. He had apparently used Camouflage to blend into the water. Kyle was only knocked back a couple feet though.

    Panpour had gotten back up and was now attempting to Scratch Melody as she flew by. Instead, however, Melody rammed Panpour again. Panpour hit the far wall again, out cold. Now Melody was struck by Staryu. She could barely get back up. Staryu was still invisible, so he was impossible to hit.

    Kyle, on the other hand, was fed up with this nonsense. His eyes glowed red like before, and he managed to literally catch Staryu on his next run around. Kyle chucked Staryu into a nearby boulder. It cracked and the rocks fell on him. A blinking light shone and a noise could be heard.

    Melody jumped for joy. "Yes! We did it! Now for the Water Stone..." Melody took a step towards the rock when a loud voice rumbled in the cavern.

    "Who dares to come into my home and hurt my friends?" it called. It was a male voice.

    "Um, we just wanted a Water Stone. Your, uh, friends said we could have one if we beat them." Kyle responded.

    "What? And they didn't invite me? Here's a new plan: Get out now, or you'll have to go through me to get to the stones!" A large black shape fell from the ceiling. It landed in front of the mound of rocks, directly before us. The dark shape was a Cloyster, and he floated across from us, sporting his signature grin.

    Immediately, his body turned white, then the white glow broke off. A white leaf floated out in front of him, and he ate it. He was grinning even more now.

    "Oh no! He just used a Shell Smash, then fixed the defense drop with a White Herb! This is really bad, like really, really, bad!" Melody cried.

    "No problem. I'll fix this like I did the Shellder." Kyle swam towards the Cloyster and began to attack with Brick Break. Before he made contact, however, he was thrown back by a spherical rock that thrown him backwards. Four more were launched at him. Melody whacked Cloyster in the side with her tail that was surrounded by water. Then water rushed in on the Cloyster at all angles. But he seemed relatively unharmed. He turned to Melody and launched five spikes made of ice at her. She blocked it with the large ball on her tail, but it still hurt.

    "Five shots again? I knew it. Skill Link..." Melody grumbled. "This is going to be a tough match..."

    Kyle swam back in for another Brick Break, and actually managed to score a hit. But then he was then shot back with a five ice spikes. Kyle was really starting to slow down by now.

    Melody ran in while glowing a sort of light-orange color, and managed to grab and chuck Cloyster into the ceiling. Rocks fell as Cloyster freed himself and fell to the ground. He was no longer grinning. He shot another five rocks at Melody, then another five at Kyle. Melody dodged them, but Kyle wasn't as lucky. He was crawling now. He didn't have much in him. Melody shot a blast of water at Cloyster, who then shot back with more ice spikes. In a show of true strength, Kyle had managed to make his way to behind Cloyster, and grabbed one of the spikes coming out of his shell. Kyle's body then became outlined in red which then spread onto Cloyster. Cloyster groaned, and his face had a pained expression.

    "There, Melody, now's your chance...he's just as weak as me..." Kyle managed to say.

    "Got it!" Melody's body glowed orange as she grabbed Cloyster and chucked him into the far wall. He was out cold.

    "Yes! We did it!" Melody cried. "Oh, Kyle, are you okay?"

    "Yeah, I'm-I'm fine. Let's just grab a Water Stone before anyone else shows up."

    "Good idea." Melody walked over to the center rock mound and pulled a Water Stone free. "Its so pretty!"

    When Kyle could stand up again, he grabbed a glowing crystal and led the way back out of the cave and onto the sea shore.

    It was already twilight. Shiloh was still on the beach hard at her sand sculpture. For a small, quadruped Pokemon without thumbs, she made an impressive rendition of a Vaporeon.

    "Oh wow! Shiloh, you made that?" Melody asked, half surprising Shiloh, who hadn't seen her come back.

    "Yay, you're back. And yup, it's pretty good, don't you think?"

    "I'll say!"

    "Hey, Kyle, that crystal is beautiful. Did you find it down there? I wish I could go underwater too. I bet its beautiful down there." Shiloh sighed.

    Kyle was still holding the glowing crystal. "Its nice down there, yeah. But this crystal isn't anything special. You should see what Melody has."

    "Melody? What's that you got there?"

    "Its a present. A special present. For you!" Melody placed the Water Stone on the sand in front of Shiloh.

    "What is this? Wait...this is a Water Stone isn't it? You went out and got this for me? Oh, you didn't have to do that..." Shiloh was just staring at the stone.

    "Of course we did...We know you were just telling us you weren't sad so that we didn't worry, but we knew you wanted to come in the water with us. So, now you can. With this stone, you can evolve into a Vaporeon and play with us!" Melody was really excited.

    "Wow...you guys are amazing! I love both of you! Its been one of my life's dreams to be a Vaporeon. I can't believe this is really happening!" Shiloh took another look at Kyle and Melody. Then she touched the stone with her right paw.

    The stone glowed, and Shiloh did too. Her tail and body grew longer. Her neck fur turned into a strange fin and three large fins grew on her head. When the glowing faded, Shiloh had become what she's always wanted: a Vaporeon.

    "Shiloh! You've done it! Oh, you're so pretty now...I'm mean, you were before, but now..." Melody sighed.

    "Wow! That felt...weird. But this is so cool!" Shiloh looked herself over. "Awesome! This is a dream come true! Come on, let's go play!"

    "I'm glad you like it...But Melody and I are beat. You have no idea what we went through to get that stone. But it looks like it was worth it, definitely. We can't play right now though. Its late, and like I said, we're tired." Kyle explained.

    "Yeah, Kyle's right, I'm exhausted. But we'll go play tomorrow, I promise!" Melody said.

    "Well, all right. I should probably get used to this new form, shouldn't I?" Shiloh responded. And with a nod, they all walked back into town. Shiloh showed off her new look to everyone on the way. Kyle found his house first, then Melody and Shiloh. They all had a very good rest.

    In the morning, the three ran as fast as they could to get to the beach. Sun was up and it was humid. Kyle and Melody ran into the water, but Shiloh hesitated. Then she took a few steps into the wake. She loved the feel of the water against her scaly skin, but she looked down and noticed her feet were gone! Melody explained that Vaporeon have the ability to blend in with the water, since their cells are similar to water molecules. Shiloh concentrated, and she made her paws appear again. She thought the invisibility was cool, like a super power! After a few more steps, she dove into the water. She had no trouble breathing, and the three played all day long.

    And as it turns out, Shiloh was the new master of hide-and-side.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    There are some competitive battling mentions in the fic, but it was for clan, so, eh, just go with it
    Last edited by Brutaka; 20th October 2012 at 9:37 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Neither of our stories are really getting comments. I thought I would give you some of my thoughts. Pretty cool Middle Cup VS Little Cup battle. Those 3 LCers were pretty good. You combined competitive battling and fan fiction pretty well here. With the Shell Smashes and the White Herbs and the Skill Links and the Flying Gems and the Acid Armors(not as sure on this one)




    252 +6 Atk Choice Band Pure Power Victini (+Atk)Critical V-create vs 0 HP/0 -6 Def Dry Skin Paras (-Def) : 103470436.36% - 121729963.64% (Guaranteed OHKO)

    You Don't Say? I had no idea that a Choice Band Adamant Victini with maximum attack EVs and IVs that was baton passed +6 in attack and Skill Swapped Pure Power OHKO's Hasty Dry Skin Lvl 1 Paras with no defense EVs or IVs and -6 in defense under sun with a critical hit V-Create.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffdavid102 View Post
    Neither of our stories are really getting comments.
    So ive noticed :/

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffdavid102 View Post
    I thought I would give you some of my thoughts. Pretty cool Middle Cup VS Little Cup battle. Those 3 LCers were pretty good.
    Yeah. As far as the pokemon go, i didnt have too much of an idea ahead of time on what pokes to pick, to be honest. I know I wanted Shellder for Shell Smash though. Same with Cloyster. Panpour being able to pull of acrobatics was a neat thought, and Staryu's trick was neat as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffdavid102 View Post
    You combined competitive battling and fan fiction pretty well here.
    Yeah, As a battler, a writer, and an artist, i can do quite a bit of things that some other uses couldn't do.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffdavid102 View Post
    With the Shell Smashes and the White Herbs and the Skill Links and the Flying Gems and the Acid Armors(not as sure on this one)
    If your referring to Staryu's invisibility, the move there was Camouflage, not Acid Armor.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutaka View Post
    So ive noticed :/


    Yeah. As far as the pokemon go, i didnt have too much of an idea ahead of time on what pokes to pick, to be honest. I know I wanted Shellder for Shell Smash though. Same with Cloyster. Panpour being able to pull of acrobatics was a neat thought, and Staryu's trick was neat as well.


    Yeah, As a battler, a writer, and an artist, i can do quite a bit of things that some other uses couldn't do.


    If your referring to Staryu's invisibility, the move there was Camouflage, not Acid Armor.
    Actually, I meant Vaporeon. It walked into the water and disappeared. It had that ability in the anime and it was called Acid Armor




    252 +6 Atk Choice Band Pure Power Victini (+Atk)Critical V-create vs 0 HP/0 -6 Def Dry Skin Paras (-Def) : 103470436.36% - 121729963.64% (Guaranteed OHKO)

    You Don't Say? I had no idea that a Choice Band Adamant Victini with maximum attack EVs and IVs that was baton passed +6 in attack and Skill Swapped Pure Power OHKO's Hasty Dry Skin Lvl 1 Paras with no defense EVs or IVs and -6 in defense under sun with a critical hit V-Create.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffdavid102 View Post
    Actually, I meant Vaporeon. It walked into the water and disappeared. It had that ability in the anime and it was called Acid Armor
    Actually, that was derived from its Yellow(and many after) Pokedex entry:

    "Its structure is similar to water molecules. It will melt away and become invisible in water. "

    I don't know if that's Acid Armor or not, but that's what my mind set was when I thought it up.
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    *skids in at the last moment to make up for "whoops forgot to beta"*

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutaka View Post
    Water lapped against the white sand.
    I'd remove the word "the" here. See, the main issue is that we don't really have a mental image of just where this is taking place just yet, so when you jump into things by saying some generic water is lapping against some specific white sand, you're creating a conflicting description because we have no idea what the white sand is supposed to be. Sure, it's a beach, but which beach? Or is it really a sand bar? Or maybe some sandbags holding back a flood? We don't really know.

    However, if you just say "water lapped against white sand," we're forced to imagine the water and the sand, but we're not required to imagine them as anything specific until you shape the image a little further into the beach in question.

    The sun was setting and it cast the most beautiful glow upon the ocean.
    Tip: Whenever you add a conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so) into a sentence, try replacing it with a period first. If you get two complete sentences as a result (like you do here), you're actually creating a compound sentence. As such, you'll need to punctuate it a certain way. If you want to keep the conjunction in the sentence, what you'll need to do is add a comma just before it to indicate that you're finishing one thought and leading into another. (The conjunction by itself is more like a "soft" pause. It's like trying to write two sentences with nothing or just a comma between them: there's not enough of a pause in between thoughts to separate them.) You can also take out the conjunction and use a semicolon, but that's only in cases where the two thoughts are extremely related.

    It's when you don't get two sentences as a result that you don't have to use a comma, meanwhile.

    On the right was a blue humanoid one. He had orange spikes on his cheeks and an orange belly. He also had two dark blue, fin-like protrusions on his lower back, as well as a larger one on the top of his head. He was a Marshtomp named Kyle.
    You'll want to avoid giving the reader information about characters like this. What you're doing basically is pausing the flow of the story in order to give readers details, which is what people like to call an "infodump." In the right situations, infodumps could be passable, but those cases are usually situations in which you really can't work the details into the rest of the narration, not to mention they usually have strong transitions that blend the infodump in with the rest of the chapter so that it's delivered subtly.

    In this case, there's two main problems. First and foremost, you most certainly can work these details into your narration by integrating them with actions. It's far, far stronger to say something like, "sunlight glistened off his blue skin" and "he took a few shuddering breaths, puffing the orange spikes on his cheeks out with each inhale" than it is to simply say "he has blue skin and orange spikes." Try to find ways to link details with actions, and if you can't, then it's probably not that important for us to know. As for his name, that's easily brought up by having it brought up via dialogue.

    The second issue is that this is a bit on the abrupt side. You go right into these descriptions and right out with very little in the way of transitions. A reader can tell these are removed from the story – that if you took them out, you basically still had the same fic. You should avoid that kind of situation for two more reasons. First, the more abrupt you are, the more jarring it is for a reader. You never want to do anything that will disrupt the flow of the story for them because it will be harder for them to get back into your fic and the world you're creating. Second, every word you put on the page should be necessary – as in, you always want to make the reader feel as if they need to know everything in order to understand what's going on. By writing description in this way (i.e., via infodump, especially infodump that doesn't quite have transitions down), you show them that the fic can still be enjoyed and understood with or without that paragraph of information.

    But that's just me repeating myself.

    Kyle and Melody had been noticing Shiloh’s depressed state for a while now, and they could reason out why.
    It always strikes me as curious when an author makes a mistake a couple of times but does things correctly another time. In this case, it looks like you know how to handle a compound sentence, but this is also the first time in the story where you have. And I mean this in the nicest way possible (so I can figure out what level you're at and how to help you), but I'm just wondering what your mental rules are for figuring out whether or not you put in a comma.

    “Oh, hi Melody! Er, its a little late to go play isn’t it?”
    Couple of things here.

    First, don't forget that its is a possessive pronoun. It's, the word that you want here, is the contraction for "it is." If it helps, remember that pronouns absolutely never use apostrophes in their possessive forms; every single time you see an apostrophe in a pronoun, it's actually a contraction for a full phrase.

    Second, believe it or not, you'll need a comma after "play" to separate the statement (main clause) from the tag question at the end (dependent clause). To put it in short, what you're doing here is a lot like having a sentence and a half. The comma shows a reader that the full thought is ending, but because you have the tag question serving as a tail, you need the comma to show that it's still attached to the main clause. In short, because the tag can't be its own sentence, it attaches itself to the main part of the sentence in the same way that a parasitic leech latches onto your leg with a suction cup made of teeth. (Hey, if the analogy works.)

    She was becoming sad again.
    You could probably do without this part, considering a reader can gather this much from the dialogue.

    Shiloh was an artistic Pokemon, and her subject was often Vaporeon.
    Details like this also feel rather abrupt. It would make sense to say Melody knew Shiloh wanted to be a Vaporeon because of something that had to do with how she wanted to play underwater too, but this detail – that Melody knows because Shiloh is an artistic Pokémon who often creates art focused on Vaporeon – is brought up once and never really brought up again. It feels like it's just not needed to know, so it's like a detail someone might bring up in conversation that has nothing to do with what you were talking about.

    For example, imagine that you and your friends were talking about the new Pokémon games, and all of a sudden, one of your friends brings up that they think Misty is hot. You might sit there for a bit, caught off-guard by the fact that Misty being hot has nothing to with anything in BW2. It's the same kind of feeling. The detail is brought up, but because it has nothing to do with anything that came before or after it, it feels like that awkward moment when your friend brings up his attraction to Misty.

    “Uh, ya.
    Yeah. While "ya" can mean "yes," that's the interjection form – as in, it's something you yell out, not really a synonym for "yes" in all its forms.

    If we can find a water stone, she can turn into a Vaporeon and swim with us,”
    What are your rules concerning capitalization? I ask because you don't capitalize "Water Stone," but you capitalize "Pokémon" and all Pokémon species. It's just rather odd to me that you'd capitalize species but not items, basically.

    that Water Stone!
    Buuuut it probably doesn't help that you capitalize "Water Stone" shortly afterwards. Be careful with your capitalization.

    "Come on, let's go," Kyle said, and pulled on Melody's arm.
    Remember to start a new paragraph whenever you start a new topic. In the case of fiction, while that happens whenever you change subjects in narration, it also happens in cases like these, when one of your characters finishes speaking. Once that character finishes, start a new paragraph to contain the actions they take after they're done.

    In other words, let's take a closer look at this example. See, the first subject in this case is what Kyle is saying and what he's doing as he's saying it. So, that gets its own paragraph. However, the sentence after this quote deals with what he and Melody do and see underwater, so that's a completely different subject. Ergo, you need a new paragraph.

    It was a nice break to the warmer temperatures on the beach. The ocean floor gave way quickly to dark depths.
    Again, your narration is rather abrupt here. You talk about something very calm and soothing (how pleasant it was under water), and then BAM! You talk about something dark and potentially spooky (dark depths).

    Be very careful with your description. Don't flit from one idea to the next. Rather, group ideas together by relevancy. If something isn't completely relevant to the sentences around it, take it out and find someplace else to put it or begin a new paragraph.

    Melody smiled and waved at a group of passing Luvdisc. They smiled back and kept on their way.
    It'd be a good idea to take this out or work it into the story a bit better. Right now, this bit seems out of left field, and considering they're never mentioned again, it gives the story a rather awkward aftertaste. Sure, it's description, but these are also characters you're bringing into the story for no real reason.

    rocks(none
    Beware of spacing too. Remember that opening parentheses have spaces before them as well.

    "Woah!" Kyle muttered.
    "What? What's there?" Melody whispered.
    Same thing here. Remember: betaed or not, you still have to be very careful in the proofreading stage yourself.

    Melody was giddy again.
    Always try to let your character tell the audience how he or she is feeling through dialogue or what they do. If you tell them outside of those two options, what you say becomes redundant because a reader can (or at least should be able to) gather that information from what the character says, how they say it, and what they do at the same time.

    they weren't Water Stones, but they glowed brightly, and Melody could see the way now.
    First, be careful with capitalization. Again, even if you have a beta reader, you'll need to proofread thoroughly yourself. (That also helps betas because they no longer have to worry about the simple things you could've easily caught on your own.)

    Second, try the period test here. Replace every comma and conjunction with a period and see how many complete sentences you get. Spoiler: you get three. So, you need to figure out how to separate this out so that you just get at most two independent clauses (the things that can stand alone if you wanted them to) in a single sentence. The reason why is because this is right now a run-on, which reads extremely awkwardly. Breaking down a run-on alleviates this by pulling at least one idea into its own sentence and giving the reader a break somewhere in your train of thought.

    Melody sighed, and did a hop.
    Conversely, replace the comma and conjunction with a period here. How many sentences do you get? (Spoiler: just one, so you don't need a comma. You're not separating independent clauses, and the conjunction does enough to latch the dependent clause onto the sentence.)

    Also, I would recommend "hopped," not "did a hop." "Did a hop" sounds rather awkward, considering the fact that "hop" can very well be a verb itself.

    He made a karate chop pose with his arm, it glowed, and he struck the wall.
    Run-on. Careful.

    Also rather awkward for an action scene. It's the "made a karate chop pose with his arm" part that gets me. That sounds a bit vague because there's several different ways you can execute a chop. It would be far, far better to be as specific as possible in scenes like this. For example, instead of saying "made a karate chop pose," say, "He pulled back his arm until his open palm hovered next to his ear." The reader can clearly picture exactly what's going on in the second situation (the part with pulling back his arm), as opposed to the first.

    That and you don't make a pose. You strike a pose (not that I'm encouraging you to keep that part because of the above paragraph).

    "Yeah, but we'll talk about that later; right now we have to get that Water Stone." Kyle lifted the torch in front of them, and they continued through the cave. The cave itself was narrow, and didn't have any side paths. And it was quiet.
    There's a lot of "and"s going on here. You may want to consider changing up the wording to smooth things out a bit and avoid that redundant sound.

    The tunnel went on for a long time. The crystals had stopped lining the walls a while back and now all they had was Kyle's shard for light. It helped though, as they could at least see the walls. Then they saw a glow ahead of them. The tunnel widened out to a large cavern that was lighted by hundreds of shards of the glowing crystals. In the center was a mound of stone. On top was huge glowing crystal.
    It feels like this is a bit choppier than intended. I get that you were going for a suspenseful feel, but when you string together this many short sentences, you lose the quickness of it and just gain an abrupt, awkward sound. It'd be a good idea to blend some of these together to smooth out your narration a bit.

    They were Water Stones!
    Also avoid using the exclamation point in your third-person narration. It tends to look a little on the inexperienced side because it conveys a little too much excitement on the part of the narrator, who's supposed to be more of an observer or commenter than someone who experiences the mood of the scene.

    "Well...we do have a lot of them. Fine. If you can defeat all of us at the same time, you can have one of the stones." The Staryu in the center said.
    Be careful about punctuating dialogue. Remember that if the tag comes after the quote it's attached to, you need to use a comma (and not a period) and then keep the first letter of the tag lowercase.

    Staryu had vanished completely. He was no where to be seen.
    Sort of redundant here.

    Panpour seemed to have grabbed a Flying Gem from somewhere.
    Try to avoid being vague in your writing. Instead of saying that Panpour seemed to have gotten a Flying Gem from somewhere, describe Panpour picking up (or pulling out) something that glints but vanishes as soon as it jumps, for example. Or if you want to avoid having readers think it's a bit convenient that it managed to find a Flying Gem in the middle of the cavern, you could mention the gem earlier in the scene and then have Panpour go after it.

    The poor thing couldn't take a direct hit from a Brick Break, especially since Shellder's defenses were down as a result of his Shell Smash.
    A couple of things to note here about perspective, and both of them have a lot to do with the tone of your narrator.

    First and foremost, keep in mind that your narrator in a third-person work cannot form opinions. As in, sure, you can have a snarky narrator or one that conveys a certain tone, but you can't have a narrator that explicitly states an opinion about a character. This causes your narrator to become less reliable because it's attaching itself to the characters, if that makes sense. Or in short, because you're having the narrator call Shellder "poor thing," it becomes jarring to a reader because there should be a screen between the entity that's telling a story and the characters within it.

    Second, be very careful about your battle scenes. Telling us that Shellder's defenses were down really doesn't mean much to a reader because we can't entirely picture what that looks like. Does his shell look weaker? Are there cracks that spider-web across its surface? Does it look the same, but the attack magically did more damage than it had earlier? Remember to show, not tell. Don't sum up the effects of a move the way the games do. Detail what's going on.

    He had apparently used Camouflage to blend into the water.
    Drop "apparently." It makes the moment sound a little uncertain, at the risk of sounding vague myself.

    Panpour hit the far wall again, out cold.
    You may be missing a few words here. (Most likely, you meant to say, "Panpour hit the far wall again, but this time, (s)he was knocked out cold." Or something along those lines, anyway. Otherwise, there's not only a disconnect, but it's ambiguous as to what happened here.

    he managed to literally catch Staryu on his next run around.
    Drop "literally." Not only is it very casual to say that, but it's also a split infinitive. Also, it doesn't tell us how Kyle caught Staryu. With his hands? Mouth? Feet? Just by body-checking the thing?

    Something else I've noticed: why is it that half the characters in this fic get names, but the other half don't? I mean, we've got Kyle, Melody, and Shiloh, but the other characters in this fic are Panpour, Staryu, and Shellder.

    and a noise could be heard.
    What noise?

    It landed in front of the mound of rocks, directly before us. The dark shape was a Cloyster, and he floated across from us, sporting his signature grin.
    Well, that explains the casual tone in the narration.

    Seriously, though, be very careful in your proofreading process. You probably meant "them," not "us."

    Immediately, his body turned white, then the white glow broke off.
    Run-on. Try the period test here by replacing the comma with one. Notice that you get two sentences as a result? Keep in mind that "then" is not a conjunction as well.

    He just used a Shell Smash, then fixed the defense drop with a White Herb! This is really bad, like really, really, bad!" Melody cried.
    If it helps, think about describing battles in terms of what would happen if you got into a fight in real life. Would you stop and explain what your opponent did in game-based terms? (As in, would you say, "Oh no! My opponent looks like he's got a really high attack stat right now"?) Would you stop and explain what's going on at all? Chances are, the answer to that is "no." Unless you're a little odd, but you probably wouldn't be assigning stats to your opponents, at any rate.

    Same thing goes with Pokémon. They don't have neon signs attached to them that say "my defense is down" or "my attack is up," so it feels unnatural for a Pokémon to stop a battle and explain what's going on in terms of how stats are changing. Instead, it feels more like it's an explanation for the reader, but… that's not a good angle to use because it ends up looking like you're breaking down the fourth wall.

    When it comes to battles, you can be as creative as you want, but you need to let the description tell most of the story. If the reader can't figure out what's going on by reading outside of quotes, then chances are you'll want to go back and work out a new way to describe what each technique looks like until they do. It's basically the "show, don't tell" piece of advice all over again. So, in this case, you'll want to use a lot of imagery to convey your battles rather than rely on commentary or "Pokémon A used Move B on Pokémon C" because relying on commentary/just telling a reader what move is being used doesn't give them a concrete mental image of what's going on. As a result, they can't submerge themselves in your world as easily because they can't really picture the scene as well as they can when reading a scene that uses a lot of detail to get its message across. It's just more exciting to let the narration do the talking, rather than just leave everything up to talk, in other words.

    Before he made contact, however, he was thrown back by a spherical rock that thrown him backwards. Four more were launched at him.
    Also, go all the way with your descriptions. Instead of having rocks appear out of nowhere, show us Cloyster launching the rocks at Kyle. In other words, on a more general note, you never want to have the attack simply appear. You always want to connect it to its user by describing that character creating/launching/interacting with that technique. Otherwise, you end up with a disconnect.

    In this case, I had to read these two sentences over again a couple of times because I just didn't know what was going on at first. The description was so short and so vague that I actually had to look up Cloyster's stats just to figure out what move was being used in order to grasp this tiny moment. Even now, I can only assume this is Rock Blast, but because this description is so brief (which doesn't give me enough time or detail to picture it) and because every author has their own way of tackling attacks, it could very well be Avalanche or a Secret-Power-generated Rock Throw too.

    Then water rushed in on the Cloyster at all angles. But he seemed relatively unharmed.
    They're underwater. There's already water rushing in on Cloyster from all sides. (Perhaps describing a current might be a better idea?)

    He turned to Melody and launched five spikes made of ice at her. She blocked it with the large ball on her tail, but it still hurt.
    Always describe a reaction; never tell an audience what that reaction is. As in, instead of just telling us it hurt, show it to us by detailing Melody's reaction. Does she flinch? Scream? Immediately clutch her tail?

    "Five shots again? I knew it. Skill Link..." Melody grumbled. "This is going to be a tough match..."
    While there's nothing wrong with bringing elements of competitive battling into a fanfic, it's awkward to have a character who isn't a trainer in any capacity comment on the concepts from that facet of fandom. For example, Melody is a Pokémon. What does she know (or care) about the abilities of a completely different species? Why are wild Pokémon coming up with similar strategies as human battlers? That would be like having a horse understand all the inner workings of polo (or a dog understanding fetch beyond "I go to get the ball and bring it back to my human"). And competitive battling is, for the most part, more complicated than the both of those activities. Sure, Melody might know that Pokémon have special abilities and that items and certain moves have different effects (and that items can be used to produce other effects), but she most likely won't be thinking in the same terms as a human battler because, well, she's not human. That and she's certainly not a human from our side of the fourth wall.

    In short, while I don't mind a match that's formatted in the same way as a competitive battle, I'm a little uneasy about the idea of having a character who's basically a competitive battler in a Pokémon suit.

    Kyle swam back in for another Brick Break, and actually managed to score a hit. But then he was then shot back with a five ice spikes.
    There's really no reason that these two sentences can't be combined into one (especially given that the first one isn't a compound sentence).

    Melody ran in while glowing a sort of light-orange color,
    Either it was light orange, or it wasn't. It can't be a "sort of."

    Melody dodged them, but Kyle wasn't as lucky. He was crawling now.
    Again, be descriptive. This is the climactic battle. Don't go halfway when it comes to showing us attacks hitting their marks and Pokémon reacting.

    He was out cold.
    He was knocked out cold. The reason why I say this is because it's implied that striking the wall was what was the final blow. If you don't add "knocked" into the phrase, it ends up saying that Cloyster was knocked out just by the throw, which would be impressive for Melody but probably not what you had in mind.

    "Good idea." Melody walked over to the center rock mound and pulled a Water Stone free. "Its so pretty!"

    When Kyle could stand up again, he grabbed a glowing crystal and led the way back out of the cave and onto the sea shore.
    Seashore is one word.

    Besides that, this also feels like it's missing a transition of sorts. You go from Melody talking about how pretty the Water Stone is, and then BAM! They're out of the cave. Maybe draw it out a little? Talk about Melody grasping the stone as she goes to help out Kyle (if she does)? Something else that draws this part out just a bit more?

    Melody was really excited.
    You can probably do without this, given that it's pretty clear from her quote.

    a strange fin
    What was strange about it?

    Sun was up
    The sun was up. You actually never say "sun" without an article unless you're being informal.

    She loved the feel of the water against her scaly skin, but she looked down and noticed her feet were gone!
    Ignoring the exclamation point, there's just one other thing to note about this part: it would probably be better as two separate sentences. The reason why I say this is because they're not really that related. "But" implies that the half of the sentence that comes after it is going to contradict the half that comes before it somehow, but in this case, they're two unrelated ideas. The fact that her feet are missing isn't a contradiction of the fact that she enjoys the water; they're actually two separate sensations that she's experiencing in succession.

    Melody explained that Vaporeon have the ability to blend in with the water, since their cells are similar to water molecules.
    I'm willing to forgive this because this is a quote coming from a character, but I just want to point out that cells are significantly more complex than molecules. In fact, if we get technical, everyone's cells are similar to water because, well, water is a major component of the average cell. But you can't really have cells that are similar to molecules because that just doesn't really make much sense.

    If you're looking for a means to explain this scientifically, you could always look to what canon has to say about Acid Armor and then build an explanation from there using bits of Google research. (For example, you could do some research into what holds cells together and what kinds of bonds can be broken by water.) However! Because this is such a brief mention, I have another suggestion.

    Take it out.

    Hear me out on this one. See, you mention this in brief (in fact, much of the ending of this fic is rushed), right to the point where you don't even show us the conversation in which Melody tells Shiloh how this power works. That implies that it's really not important to know (and it really isn't, considering the fact that you can still have Shiloh be fascinated by her powers without explaining how they work scientifically). So, what do you do with superfluous information? You take it out so that the reader is left with only what they need in order to understand what's going on.

    And as it turns out, Shiloh was the new master of hide-and-side.
    As it turned out. This fic is set in the past, so you don't want to switch tenses.

    Also, do you mean hide-and-seek?


    Anyway, overall, it's okay. The premise is cute enough (two friends going off to find a way to help their other friend), but the problem is that the execution tended to be distracting at some points. Sure, this was for a contest, but… actually, because it was for a contest, it's important to focus on the presentation and execution. (And for that, I apologize for not being able to beta read for you.)

    A lot of parts just felt incredibly rushed or clunky, especially during the parts where a judge would have expected a lot of effort and care: the battle and the ending. The ending is rendered as mostly a summary, with no time given to Shiloh's reaction besides "she thought this was neat" (as opposed to letting her speak or letting the others react to her new abilities). Meanwhile, the same thing goes for the battle, in which you summarize a lot of moves instead of taking a lot of care in being explicit when it comes to what was going on. (For example, you resort to telling us that Shellder's defenses were down, but you don't really explain to us what that looks like.)

    Characterization… was eh. I could grasp Shiloh's personality (her depression over being left out, her artistic side) a bit, and I could see Kyle's kindness as well. I'm not sure what Melody's personality was supposed to be (the know-it-all, considering she kept on stating facts during the battle?), and the Water-types in the battle were actually pretty generic. I still find it weird that you gave names to three characters but left the others without ones, for starters. Also, I get that they're pissed that Kyle and Melody waltzed into their home, but it seems like there's a stark contrast between good and evil at work here. I mean, you've got Kyle and Melody who are portrayed as kind (enough to go to great lengths to help their friend) and childlike, and then you've got Staryu, Shellder, and Panpour (What is a Panpour doing in the ocean anyway?), who flip right the eff out despite being told everything was just a huge misunderstanding. Kyle and Melody had no idea the cave was someone's home. Putting it another way, Staryu, Shellder, and Panpour's reaction is a lot like you coming after me with an aluminum baseball bat because I walked on your lawn thinking it was part of a field that sat next to it. It just feels a bit extreme, considering the fact that Kyle and Melody apologized for not knowing anyone lived in that cave.

    …Actually, now that I think about it, Kyle and Melody pull a rather shady move after that point by stealing a Water Stone. I mean, Staryu, Shellder, and Panpour have a right to be pissed off after that happened, considering the fact that two kids just broke into their home, beat the crap out of them, and swiped their property. But that kind of situation would only be buyable after Kyle and Melody made off with the goods, not while they were explaining that they mistook that cave for, well, a(n uninhabited) cave.

    Besides that, there were grammatical issues to clean up, namely comma glitches and homophone confusions. Only way you can keep yourself from making those mistakes is just by committing things to memory – especially when it comes to homophones.

    In short, I will say that it's something different, and it has the potential to be rather cute. The problem was that a lot of it was rushed and generally not thought-out as thoroughly as they probably should have been, and maybe you tried to aim for something a bit too ambitious for what you were trying to convey. (And at this risk of being a terrible person, some of these things wouldn't have been worked out with a beta unless you were willing to do some heavy revisions. ...Or at least that's what I'm telling myself right now.) Yes, yes, I can take into consideration that you were working with a time constraint, but on the other hand, part of the challenge of a contest is to come up with a fic with a solid enough premise, enough fleshed-out characters, and so few issues in plot and syntax that the judges decide your fic is better than someone else's. So you'll want to aim for quality in a contest fic, not just whether or not you can complete it within a certain time frame. And here, it feels like you focused so much on the time frame that the story is just a bit shakier than it should be.

    Which is to say it's not really your best, but hey, I wouldn't have put it in last place either. It's charming in its own way – just not really the best I've seen from you.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 16th October 2012 at 6:46 AM.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    *skids in at the last moment to make up for "whoops forgot to beta"*
    Haha, it's okay. :P

    I'd remove the word "the" here. See, the main issue is that we don't really have a mental image of just where this is taking place just yet, so when you jump into things by saying some generic water is lapping against some specific white sand, you're creating a conflicting description because we have no idea what the white sand is supposed to be. Sure, it's a beach, but which beach? Or is it really a sand bar? Or maybe some sandbags holding back a flood? We don't really know.

    However, if you just say "water lapped against white sand," we're forced to imagine the water and the sand, but we're not required to imagine them as anything specific until you shape the image a little further into the beach in question.
    Hm. Noted.

    Tip: Whenever you add a conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so) into a sentence, try replacing it with a period first. If you get two complete sentences as a result (like you do here), you're actually creating a compound sentence. As such, you'll need to punctuate it a certain way. If you want to keep the conjunction in the sentence, what you'll need to do is add a comma just before it to indicate that you're finishing one thought and leading into another. (The conjunction by itself is more like a "soft" pause. It's like trying to write two sentences with nothing or just a comma between them: there's not enough of a pause in between thoughts to separate them.) You can also take out the conjunction and use a semicolon, but that's only in cases where the two thoughts are extremely related.
    Yeah, I know that trick, but it slips my mind at the most inopportune moments...

    You'll want to avoid giving the reader information about characters like this. What you're doing basically is pausing the flow of the story in order to give readers details, which is what people like to call an "infodump." In the right situations, infodumps could be passable, but those cases are usually situations in which you really can't work the details into the rest of the narration, not to mention they usually have strong transitions that blend the infodump in with the rest of the chapter so that it's delivered subtly.

    In this case, there's two main problems. First and foremost, you most certainly can work these details into your narration by integrating them with actions. It's far, far stronger to say something like, "sunlight glistened off his blue skin" and "he took a few shuddering breaths, puffing the orange spikes on his cheeks out with each inhale" than it is to simply say "he has blue skin and orange spikes." Try to find ways to link details with actions, and if you can't, then it's probably not that important for us to know. As for his name, that's easily brought up by having it brought up via dialogue.

    The second issue is that this is a bit on the abrupt side. You go right into these descriptions and right out with very little in the way of transitions. A reader can tell these are removed from the story – that if you took them out, you basically still had the same fic. You should avoid that kind of situation for two more reasons. First, the more abrupt you are, the more jarring it is for a reader. You never want to do anything that will disrupt the flow of the story for them because it will be harder for them to get back into your fic and the world you're creating. Second, every word you put on the page should be necessary – as in, you always want to make the reader feel as if they need to know everything in order to understand what's going on. By writing description in this way (i.e., via infodump, especially infodump that doesn't quite have transitions down), you show them that the fic can still be enjoyed and understood with or without that paragraph of information.
    Yeah, I just got chewed out for this very thing by my betas in Chapter 1 of another fic I've decided to cycle writing with my first.

    It always strikes me as curious when an author makes a mistake a couple of times but does things correctly another time. In this case, it looks like you know how to handle a compound sentence, but this is also the first time in the story where you have. And I mean this in the nicest way possible (so I can figure out what level you're at and how to help you), but I'm just wondering what your mental rules are for figuring out whether or not you put in a comma.
    Because that's what it is: a mistake. I'm always doing stuff like that, some of them are wrong but the rest are right. As for my rules, I use the same thing you mentioned above, but often times I forgot it. When I write initially, I just go with what looks right; as in, I write it as I think it should be at the time. It's only in the proofreading that I take notice of the rules. However, I'm only human, and since it's my own work, I can only find maybe 75% of my own errors. I make a lot of mistakes; what was left was only about a 1/4 of the mistakes I actually made. I have two awesome beta's(in my opinion) now, but I didnt at the time of writing this.

    Couple of things here.

    First, don't forget that its is a possessive pronoun. It's, the word that you want here, is the contraction for "it is." If it helps, remember that pronouns absolutely never use apostrophes in their possessive forms; every single time you see an apostrophe in a pronoun, it's actually a contraction for a full phrase.
    I was scolded by my beta's for this in a more recent chapter of TTL, one that came out after this. So I know how to figure out which is which now.

    Second, believe it or not, you'll need a comma after "play" to separate the statement (main clause) from the tag question at the end (dependent clause). To put it in short, what you're doing here is a lot like having a sentence and a half. The comma shows a reader that the full thought is ending, but because you have the tag question serving as a tail, you need the comma to show that it's still attached to the main clause. In short, because the tag can't be its own sentence, it attaches itself to the main part of the sentence in the same way that a parasitic leech latches onto your leg with a suction cup made of teeth. (Hey, if the analogy works.)
    Didn't realize that until now, but your right. It even just looks like it needs one.

    Details like this also feel rather abrupt. It would make sense to say Melody knew Shiloh wanted to be a Vaporeon because of something that had to do with how she wanted to play underwater too, but this detail – that Melody knows because Shiloh is an artistic Pokémon who often creates art focused on Vaporeon – is brought up once and never really brought up again. It feels like it's just not needed to know, so it's like a detail someone might bring up in conversation that has nothing to do with what you were talking about.

    For example, imagine that you and your friends were talking about the new Pokémon games, and all of a sudden, one of your friends brings up that they think Misty is hot. You might sit there for a bit, caught off-guard by the fact that Misty being hot has nothing to with anything in BW2. It's the same kind of feeling. The detail is brought up, but because it has nothing to do with anything that came before or after it, it feels like that awkward moment when your friend brings up his attraction to Misty.
    I get what you're saying. I'll see if I can transition it better.
    So for your analogy, instead of going from bw2 discussion>misty's hot, it could go bw2 discussion>something about bw2 gym leaders>one of the bw2's leaders being hot>misty's hot. Still an a slightly weird jump at the end, but thats how my conversations go in real life, believe it or not.

    Yeah. While "ya" can mean "yes," that's the interjection form – as in, it's something you yell out, not really a synonym for "yes" in all its forms.
    Hm. Okay, noted.

    What are your rules concerning capitalization? I ask because you don't capitalize "Water Stone," but you capitalize "Pokémon" and all Pokémon species. It's just rather odd to me that you'd capitalize species but not items, basically.

    Buuuut it probably doesn't help that you capitalize "Water Stone" shortly afterwards. Be careful with your capitalization.
    Yeaaaaah, I had planned on having it not capitalized, much like how we wouldn't capitalize 'opal' or 'sapphire', but then I decided that I was going to capitalize it. So I went back and changed them all. Evidently, I forgot one.

    Remember to start a new paragraph whenever you start a new topic. In the case of fiction, while that happens whenever you change subjects in narration, it also happens in cases like these, when one of your characters finishes speaking. Once that character finishes, start a new paragraph to contain the actions they take after they're done.

    In other words, let's take a closer look at this example. See, the first subject in this case is what Kyle is saying and what he's doing as he's saying it. So, that gets its own paragraph. However, the sentence after this quote deals with what he and Melody do and see underwater, so that's a completely different subject. Ergo, you need a new paragraph.
    Hm, makes sense.


    Again, your narration is rather abrupt here. You talk about something very calm and soothing (how pleasant it was under water), and then BAM! You talk about something dark and potentially spooky (dark depths).

    Be very careful with your description. Don't flit from one idea to the next. Rather, group ideas together by relevancy. If something isn't completely relevant to the sentences around it, take it out and find someplace else to put it or begin a new paragraph.
    Ack, you're right, and I'm trying to figure a better transition at the moment.

    It'd be a good idea to take this out or work it into the story a bit better. Right now, this bit seems out of left field, and considering they're never mentioned again, it gives the story a rather awkward aftertaste. Sure, it's description, but these are also characters you're bringing into the story for no real reason.
    I hadn't thought of it that way. Maybe instead of specifically saying "Luvdisc" say something more generic like "a group of water-typed Pokemon"?

    Beware of spacing too. Remember that opening parentheses have spaces before them as well.

    Same thing here. Remember: betaed or not, you still have to be very careful in the proofreading stage yourself.
    The first one I'll fix, and the second was already fixed on my copy, but apparently I hadn't updated it to here. Oops.

    Always try to let your character tell the audience how he or she is feeling through dialogue or what they do. If you tell them outside of those two options, what you say becomes redundant because a reader can (or at least should be able to) gather that information from what the character says, how they say it, and what they do at the same time.
    At the moment, 'showing not telling' is hard for me. Like I try, but most of the time it isn't good enough. Practice, I suppose.

    First, be careful with capitalization. Again, even if you have a beta reader, you'll need to proofread thoroughly yourself. (That also helps betas because they no longer have to worry about the simple things you could've easily caught on your own.)

    Second, try the period test here. Replace every comma and conjunction with a period and see how many complete sentences you get. Spoiler: you get three. So, you need to figure out how to separate this out so that you just get at most two independent clauses (the things that can stand alone if you wanted them to) in a single sentence. The reason why is because this is right now a run-on, which reads extremely awkwardly. Breaking down a run-on alleviates this by pulling at least one idea into its own sentence and giving the reader a break somewhere in your train of thought.
    It isn't that I didn't know, it was just something I missed. Believe it or not, I read this story aloud quite a few times (my siblings wanted me to read it to them) and I still missed some things.

    Also, I would recommend "hopped," not "did a hop." "Did a hop" sounds rather awkward, considering the fact that "hop" can very well be a verb itself.
    Yeah, looking at it now, it does look strange.

    Also rather awkward for an action scene. It's the "made a karate chop pose with his arm" part that gets me. That sounds a bit vague because there's several different ways you can execute a chop. It would be far, far better to be as specific as possible in scenes like this. For example, instead of saying "made a karate chop pose," say, "He pulled back his arm until his open palm hovered next to his ear." The reader can clearly picture exactly what's going on in the second situation (the part with pulling back his arm), as opposed to the first.
    Hm. I think at the time of writing this I was having a big conflict between "too much detail" and "not enough detail". It's a hard thing to master...

    That and you don't make a pose. You strike a pose (not that I'm encouraging you to keep that part because of the above paragraph).
    Good point, though 'strike a pose' seems too...flamboyant? I know that's the way to do it, but I'm just saying...

    There's a lot of "and"s going on here. You may want to consider changing up the wording to smooth things out a bit and avoid that redundant sound.
    All right, I'll clean that up.

    It feels like this is a bit choppier than intended. I get that you were going for a suspenseful feel, but when you string together this many short sentences, you lose the quickness of it and just gain an abrupt, awkward sound. It'd be a good idea to blend some of these together to smooth out your narration a bit.
    Hmm. Okay, so I restructured it and combined a couple sentences. Still not the greatest, but it's better than it was, I think.

    Also avoid using the exclamation point in your third-person narration. It tends to look a little on the inexperienced side because it conveys a little too much excitement on the part of the narrator, who's supposed to be more of an observer or commenter than someone who experiences the mood of the scene.
    Yeah, I see what you're saying. I guess I'm not used to writing in 3rd. I'll get better though, since I have something else I'm writing in 3rd now.

    Be careful about punctuating dialogue. Remember that if the tag comes after the quote it's attached to, you need to use a comma (and not a period) and then keep the first letter of the tag lowercase.
    That's one of the hardest things for me to catch on my proofread, unfortunately.

    Try to avoid being vague in your writing. Instead of saying that Panpour seemed to have gotten a Flying Gem from somewhere, describe Panpour picking up (or pulling out) something that glints but vanishes as soon as it jumps, for example. Or if you want to avoid having readers think it's a bit convenient that it managed to find a Flying Gem in the middle of the cavern, you could mention the gem earlier in the scene and then have Panpour go after it.
    Ack, what was I thinking...

    A couple of things to note here about perspective, and both of them have a lot to do with the tone of your narrator.

    First and foremost, keep in mind that your narrator in a third-person work cannot form opinions. As in, sure, you can have a snarky narrator or one that conveys a certain tone, but you can't have a narrator that explicitly states an opinion about a character. This causes your narrator to become less reliable because it's attaching itself to the characters, if that makes sense. Or in short, because you're having the narrator call Shellder "poor thing," it becomes jarring to a reader because there should be a screen between the entity that's telling a story and the characters within it.
    Oh, good point.

    Second, be very careful about your battle scenes. Telling us that Shellder's defenses were down really doesn't mean much to a reader because we can't entirely picture what that looks like. Does his shell look weaker? Are there cracks that spider-web across its surface? Does it look the same, but the attack magically did more damage than it had earlier? Remember to show, not tell. Don't sum up the effects of a move the way the games do. Detail what's going on.
    Battle scenes are still a work in progress for me. Usually I dont put as much technicalities in my battles, but this was for a competitive battling group. Even still, I'm going back and looking at ways to fix it.

    You may be missing a few words here. (Most likely, you meant to say, "Panpour hit the far wall again, but this time, (s)he was knocked out cold." Or something along those lines, anyway. Otherwise, there's not only a disconnect, but it's ambiguous as to what happened here.
    Yeah, some bad wording for sure. I'll fix it.


    Drop "literally." Not only is it very casual to say that, but it's also a split infinitive. Also, it doesn't tell us how Kyle caught Staryu. With his hands? Mouth? Feet? Just by body-checking the thing?
    Those darned split-infinitives. Though I'm not sure what the term actually means...

    What noise?
    that beeping sound that fainted Staryu makes in the anime. I'll clarify it in the story.
    Does the term 'organic beeping' make any sense? I cant really describe the noise very well...

    Well, that explains the casual tone in the narration.

    Seriously, though, be very careful in your proofreading process. You probably meant "them," not "us."
    Ack, must have slipped into the TTL mindset there for a second.

    Run-on. Try the period test here by replacing the comma with one. Notice that you get two sentences as a result? Keep in mind that "then" is not a conjunction as well.
    Gosh dang it. Ill fix it.

    If it helps, think about describing battles in terms of what would happen if you got into a fight in real life. Would you stop and explain what your opponent did in game-based terms? (As in, would you say, "Oh no! My opponent looks like he's got a really high attack stat right now"?) Would you stop and explain what's going on at all? Chances are, the answer to that is "no." Unless you're a little odd, but you probably wouldn't be assigning stats to your opponents, at any rate.

    Same thing goes with Pokémon. They don't have neon signs attached to them that say "my defense is down" or "my attack is up," so it feels unnatural for a Pokémon to stop a battle and explain what's going on in terms of how stats are changing. Instead, it feels more like it's an explanation for the reader, but… that's not a good angle to use because it ends up looking like you're breaking down the fourth wall.

    When it comes to battles, you can be as creative as you want, but you need to let the description tell most of the story. If the reader can't figure out what's going on by reading outside of quotes, then chances are you'll want to go back and work out a new way to describe what each technique looks like until they do. It's basically the "show, don't tell" piece of advice all over again. So, in this case, you'll want to use a lot of imagery to convey your battles rather than rely on commentary or "Pokémon A used Move B on Pokémon C" because relying on commentary/just telling a reader what move is being used doesn't give them a concrete mental image of what's going on. As a result, they can't submerge themselves in your world as easily because they can't really picture the scene as well as they can when reading a scene that uses a lot of detail to get its message across. It's just more exciting to let the narration do the talking, rather than just leave everything up to talk, in other words.
    That was funny, but so very true. And something I've needed to work on. But I'm looking at that scene as well, so I'll see what I can do to fix it.

    Also, go all the way with your descriptions. Instead of having rocks appear out of nowhere, show us Cloyster launching the rocks at Kyle. In other words, on a more general note, you never want to have the attack simply appear. You always want to connect it to its user by describing that character creating/launching/interacting with that technique. Otherwise, you end up with a disconnect.

    In this case, I had to read these two sentences over again a couple of times because I just didn't know what was going on at first. The description was so short and so vague that I actually had to look up Cloyster's stats just to figure out what move was being used in order to grasp this tiny moment. Even now, I can only assume this is Rock Blast, but because this description is so brief (which doesn't give me enough time or detail to picture it) and because every author has their own way of tackling attacks, it could very well be Avalanche or a Secret-Power-generated Rock Throw too.
    How a Cloyster uses Rock Blast is quiet a hard thing to describe actually. I don't like saying that "Cloyster magically formed the rock and somehow launched it" but that's basically what happened. Pokemon are assumed to have super-practically-magical-powers that can do strange things. But these are often difficult to describe, know what I mean?

    They're underwater. There's already water rushing in on Cloyster from all sides. (Perhaps describing a current might be a better idea?)
    I had that though too when I just read it. The current idea was supposed to be implied and/or described by the rushing water comment.

    Always describe a reaction; never tell an audience what that reaction is. As in, instead of just telling us it hurt, show it to us by detailing Melody's reaction. Does she flinch? Scream? Immediately clutch her tail?
    Perhaps changed to "It still made her cringe" or something to that effect.

    While there's nothing wrong with bringing elements of competitive battling into a fanfic, it's awkward to have a character who isn't a trainer in any capacity comment on the concepts from that facet of fandom. For example, Melody is a Pokémon. What does she know (or care) about the abilities of a completely different species? Why are wild Pokémon coming up with similar strategies as human battlers? That would be like having a horse understand all the inner workings of polo (or a dog understanding fetch beyond "I go to get the ball and bring it back to my human"). And competitive battling is, for the most part, more complicated than the both of those activities. Sure, Melody might know that Pokémon have special abilities and that items and certain moves have different effects (and that items can be used to produce other effects), but she most likely won't be thinking in the same terms as a human battler because, well, she's not human. That and she's certainly not a human from our side of the fourth wall.

    In short, while I don't mind a match that's formatted in the same way as a competitive battle, I'm a little uneasy about the idea of having a character who's basically a competitive battler in a Pokémon suit.
    Something I had gotten better about doing after this was trying to describe stuff like this. I'm still not the greatest, but it's better. I'm revising the areas in this scene that are the most troubling.

    Either it was light orange, or it wasn't. It can't be a "sort of."
    I suppose that's true enough.

    Again, be descriptive. This is the climactic battle. Don't go halfway when it comes to showing us attacks hitting their marks and Pokémon reacting.
    Good point.

    He was knocked out cold. The reason why I say this is because it's implied that striking the wall was what was the final blow. If you don't add "knocked" into the phrase, it ends up saying that Cloyster was knocked out just by the throw, which would be impressive for Melody but probably not what you had in mind.
    That would be impressive. But I'll fix it.

    Besides that, this also feels like it's missing a transition of sorts. You go from Melody talking about how pretty the Water Stone is, and then BAM! They're out of the cave. Maybe draw it out a little? Talk about Melody grasping the stone as she goes to help out Kyle (if she does)? Something else that draws this part out just a bit more?
    Yeah, I'll fix that up.

    The sun was up. You actually never say "sun" without an article unless you're being informal.
    Woops.

    Ignoring the exclamation point, there's just one other thing to note about this part: it would probably be better as two separate sentences. The reason why I say this is because they're not really that related. "But" implies that the half of the sentence that comes after it is going to contradict the half that comes before it somehow, but in this case, they're two unrelated ideas. The fact that her feet are missing isn't a contradiction of the fact that she enjoys the water; they're actually two separate sensations that she's experiencing in succession.
    Ah. Didn't think of it that way, but it makes sense.

    I'm willing to forgive this because this is a quote coming from a character, but I just want to point out that cells are significantly more complex than molecules. In fact, if we get technical, everyone's cells are similar to water because, well, water is a major component of the average cell. But you can't really have cells that are similar to molecules because that just doesn't really make much sense.
    I was actually referring to a Pokedex entry...blame gamefreak! lol.

    If you're looking for a means to explain this scientifically, you could always look to what canon has to say about Acid Armor and then build an explanation from there using bits of Google research. (For example, you could do some research into what holds cells together and what kinds of bonds can be broken by water.) However! Because this is such a brief mention, I have another suggestion.

    Take it out.

    Hear me out on this one. See, you mention this in brief (in fact, much of the ending of this fic is rushed), right to the point where you don't even show us the conversation in which Melody tells Shiloh how this power works. That implies that it's really not important to know (and it really isn't, considering the fact that you can still have Shiloh be fascinated by her powers without explaining how they work scientifically). So, what do you do with superfluous information? You take it out so that the reader is left with only what they need in order to understand what's going on.
    Yeah, that's probably just the best thing to do.

    As it turned out. This fic is set in the past, so you don't want to switch tenses.
    Oops.

    Also, do you mean hide-and-seek?
    Yes, another big oops.

    Anyway, overall, it's okay. The premise is cute enough (two friends going off to find a way to help their other friend), but the problem is that the execution tended to be distracting at some points. Sure, this was for a contest, but… actually, because it was for a contest, it's important to focus on the presentation and execution. (And for that, I apologize for not being able to beta read for you.)

    A lot of parts just felt incredibly rushed or clunky, especially during the parts where a judge would have expected a lot of effort and care: the battle and the ending. The ending is rendered as mostly a summary, with no time given to Shiloh's reaction besides "she thought this was neat" (as opposed to letting her speak or letting the others react to her new abilities). Meanwhile, the same thing goes for the battle, in which you summarize a lot of moves instead of taking a lot of care in being explicit when it comes to what was going on. (For example, you resort to telling us that Shellder's defenses were down, but you don't really explain to us what that looks like.)
    This is stuff that i didn't like about my story as i read it over. I'll have to do a lot of revisions.

    Characterization… was eh. I could grasp Shiloh's personality (her depression over being left out, her artistic side) a bit, and I could see Kyle's kindness as well. I'm not sure what Melody's personality was supposed to be (the know-it-all, considering she kept on stating facts during the battle?), and the Water-types in the battle were actually pretty generic. I still find it weird that you gave names to three characters but left the others without ones, for starters. Also, I get that they're pissed that Kyle and Melody waltzed into their home, but it seems like there's a stark contrast between good and evil at work here. I mean, you've got Kyle and Melody who are portrayed as kind (enough to go to great lengths to help their friend) and childlike, and then you've got Staryu, Shellder, and Panpour (What is a Panpour doing in the ocean anyway?), who flip right the eff out despite being told everything was just a huge misunderstanding. Kyle and Melody had no idea the cave was someone's home. Putting it another way, Staryu, Shellder, and Panpour's reaction is a lot like you coming after me with an aluminum baseball bat because I walked on your lawn thinking it was part of a field that sat next to it. It just feels a bit extreme, considering the fact that Kyle and Melody apologized for not knowing anyone lived in that cave.
    I still don't know why I didn't name the others...Huh.
    My thoughts on writing the three opposing water types was that they were territorial. Not only that, but they also liked to battle, which why they were eager to show their tricks.

    …Actually, now that I think about it, Kyle and Melody pull a rather shady move after that point by stealing a Water Stone. I mean, Staryu, Shellder, and Panpour have a right to be pissed off after that happened, considering the fact that two kids just broke into their home, beat the crap out of them, and swiped their property. But that kind of situation would only be buyable after Kyle and Melody made off with the goods, not while they were explaining that they mistook that cave for, well, a(n uninhabited) cave.
    Not at all. See, they walked in and apologized. They asked if they could have one, and the three who owned them offered to give them one if they were defeated. Cloyster didn't exactly play by the rules, but he was defeated as well. They took a stone, but it was all in the agreement. I suppose I should enforce that idea though.

    Besides that, there were grammatical issues to clean up, namely comma glitches and homophone confusions. Only way you can keep yourself from making those mistakes is just by committing things to memory – especially when it comes to homophones.
    Yeah...my proofreading isn't the best, not by a long shot...

    In short, I will say that it's something different, and it has the potential to be rather cute. The problem was that a lot of it was rushed and generally not thought-out as thoroughly as they probably should have been, and maybe you tried to aim for something a bit too ambitious for what you were trying to convey. (And at this risk of being a terrible person, some of these things wouldn't have been worked out with a beta unless you were willing to do some heavy revisions. ...Or at least that's what I'm telling myself right now.) Yes, yes, I can take into consideration that you were working with a time constraint, but on the other hand, part of the challenge of a contest is to come up with a fic with a solid enough premise, enough fleshed-out characters, and so few issues in plot and syntax that the judges decide your fic is better than someone else's. So you'll want to aim for quality in a contest fic, not just whether or not you can complete it within a certain time frame. And here, it feels like you focused so much on the time frame that the story is just a bit shakier than it should be.
    I know, and the time frame was no excuse. Admittingly, it was one of my lesser works. I didn't take the time I should have. And that was my fault.

    Which is to say it's not really your best, but hey, I wouldn't have put it in last place either. It's charming in its own way – just not really the best I've seen from you.
    Probably my same opinion.
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  8. #8
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    Couple o' notes to respond to the bits that weren't "noted" and whatnot (which is cool because you've been one of the easier people to review).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutaka View Post
    When I write initially, I just go with what looks right; as in, I write it as I think it should be at the time. It's only in the proofreading that I take notice of the rules.
    I mean this sincerely, but it might help to do the opposite: take into consideration the rules as you write. Not only does this mean you're forcing yourself to learn how the language works, but you're also making the proofreading step a bit easier because you proofread as you work. Betas can't catch everything, and they're not really supposed to be used to clean up things you know are wrong. So it's really just all-around better to start off working with the rules in mind.

    So for your analogy, instead of going from bw2 discussion>misty's hot, it could go bw2 discussion>something about bw2 gym leaders>one of the bw2's leaders being hot>misty's hot. Still an a slightly weird jump at the end, but thats how my conversations go in real life, believe it or not.
    *nod* It's actually better to use the lengthier chain of thoughts because even if there's a jump, you still can go back and think of something that can form a link between one thought and another. For example, the link at the end? Could easily just be, "Yeah, sure, Elesa might be hot, but you know who're hotter? The Kanto gym leaders. And you know who the hottest is among them? Misty. Man, they really know how to look fine in Kanto, and Misty takes the cake!" Easy, sensible transition because you're going from one set of hot gym leaders to the next before focusing in on the last link in the chain. It's all about jumping from one related idea to the next, really.

    Yeaaaaah, I had planned on having it not capitalized, much like how we wouldn't capitalize 'opal' or 'sapphire', but then I decided that I was going to capitalize it. So I went back and changed them all. Evidently, I forgot one.
    Fair 'nough. And just as a side note, it'd be interesting to see a fic that didn't capitalize item names. But of course, you'd probably be answering the question of why you didn't capitalize "Pokémon" or Pokémon species names, but still.

    I hadn't thought of it that way. Maybe instead of specifically saying "Luvdisc" say something more generic like "a group of water-typed Pokemon"?
    Since it's so brief and doesn't really add anything to the story, you could actually probably take it out unless there's some significant reason why you have them there. Remember, when you're telling a story, you should only present details that are important for the reader to know. If those Pokémon – even if you don't specify what they are – are brought up, the reader is going to think that they're going to be relevant to the overall story somehow. It's basically the rule of Chekhov's Gun: you don't display a gun on the mantel in the first act unless you want to have it fired by the third.

    At the moment, 'showing not telling' is hard for me. Like I try, but most of the time it isn't good enough. Practice, I suppose.
    Pretty much, yep.

    Hm. I think at the time of writing this I was having a big conflict between "too much detail" and "not enough detail". It's a hard thing to master...
    It is, but if it makes it easier, try asking yourself, "Will this be relevant later?" If the answer is yes, include it. If it's no, then you can drop it.

    Good point, though 'strike a pose' seems too...flamboyant? I know that's the way to do it, but I'm just saying...
    Depends on the context. You can have a character strike a pose for the cameras, and that would be flamboyant. On the other and, you can have a character strike a battle-ready pose as explosions go off behind him, and that… well, actually, that'd still be flamboyant via a completely different definition.

    But if you really want to avoid writing something awkward, there's definitely other ways you can phrase that moment. For example, you could simply tell us what he did without mentioning that he struck a pose. As in, this is how I'd personally write it:

    Kyle lifted an arm into the air and pressed his claws together. Each one began to glow white as every muscle in his hand tensed. Then, he swung it down and struck the wall with a swift karate chop.

    A bit lengthier, yet it's straightforward because it shows you exactly what he's doing. It doesn't have him pause to pose; it has him pause to prepare for the attack. Shifts the focus of the action a little, in other words.

    Yeah, I see what you're saying. I guess I'm not used to writing in 3rd.
    It takes some getting used to, true. *nods*

    That's one of the hardest things for me to catch on my proofread, unfortunately.
    It really screws everyone up, so don't worry, haha. The only thing you can do in order to avoid that is memorize. What helps me is just remembering that the dialogue tag isn't a full sentence, so maybe thinking of it in those terms might help you.

    Those darned split-infinitives. Though I'm not sure what the term actually means...
    Not many people do when working with this language, admittedly! (It's definitely more of a known thing in other languages, from what I understand.) Basically, an infinitive is a structure that's "to + [verb]." So, "to go" is an infinitive. "To see," "to be," and so on and so forth. It's actually a verb form in itself in that the combination specifies not only what is being done but also when it's being done, much like any other single-word verb. A split infinitive is when you throw a word between the "to" and the verb. So, "to boldly go" is a split infinitive, as is "to not be." It's technically grammatically incorrect because in a lot of cases (particularly when that pesky "literally" shows up), it reads awkwardly because it's basically the equivalent of writing things like "writ-literally-ing."

    that beeping sound that fainted Staryu makes in the anime. I'll clarify it in the story.
    Yep, that's why I asked. ;D To point out that it was vague when it shouldn't be.

    As for describing its noise, why not say something like "and with each blink, Staryu emitted a faint beep"? What makes this part vague isn't so much the fact that the noise isn't defined (although that's part of it) as it is it's weirdly divorced from its source. As in, the way you describe it makes it feel like Staryu isn't making that noise. It doesn't help that we don't know what noise it's making, but "beeping" might actually work if you tied it to who's making it.

    That was funny, but so very true.
    I try.

    How a Cloyster uses Rock Blast is quiet a hard thing to describe actually. I don't like saying that "Cloyster magically formed the rock and somehow launched it" but that's basically what happened. Pokemon are assumed to have super-practically-magical-powers that can do strange things. But these are often difficult to describe, know what I mean?
    Here's where you'll need to be particularly creative. One of the first rules to describing battles is remembering that battles aren't restricted to what Pokémon can do in the games. You can utilize the field in order to create a believable battle for a reader by pulling in elements around the Pokémon in order to allow them to attack. For example, this scene takes place in a cave. There's rocks everywhere. Therefore, you could describe Cloyster using its shell to scoop up boulders and its water jet abilities to fire them at opponents. Or, well, Cloyster doing anything with the rocks surrounding it.

    The other idea is by using Bulbapedia. Bulbapedia has an extensive Move Dex, basically a Pokédex for moves. For all of the entries that have appeared in the anime, there's screenshots and detailed descriptions of how the move was used in a more visual medium. For example, Rock Blast has several entries of appearances in the anime, all of which can give you a springboard for what to do with Cloyster's attack.

    Going from there, detailing an attack isn't that difficult. It's really just a matter of saying something like "[Pokémon] channeled energy into the attack," but even then, that's not really necessary because, yeah, Pokémon can use magic. So as long as you describe the part where it shoots glowing things that happen to be rocks made of magic light, you're good to go.

    However, most of the problem is the same as what happened with Staryu: you've got to be specific when it comes to the source of these kinds of things. Right now, it reads as if the attack's coming out of nowhere.

    I had that though too when I just read it. The current idea was supposed to be implied and/or described by the rushing water comment.
    Needs more detail, in other words. *nod* Especially so because this is a cave, so you've already got water flowing through narrow pathways compared to the open ocean. So you'd end up having to highlight what's different here anyway.

    Perhaps changed to "It still made her cringe" or something to that effect.
    Drop the "still," and that'd work.

    I was actually referring to a Pokedex entry...blame gamefreak! lol.
    Haha, I'd be careful about the 'dex entries. Sure, they're interesting, but they also say Flareon's flame sac can reach temperatures of up to both 1600 and 3000 degrees Fahrenheit… in the same generation. (Then there's the lulzy bit about how Alakazam's IQ reaches 5000 among other 'dex hilarities. My headcanon is the player character writes the 'dex entries and doesn't know wtf s/he's talking about. Or the person who actually wrote the entries was drunk.)

    My thoughts on writing the three opposing water types was that they were territorial. Not only that, but they also liked to battle, which why they were eager to show their tricks.
    I'm not so sure how I feel about this in part because, as a result, it feels like Kyle and Melody are more human than their three opponents. I mean, sure, you have humans who love fighting too, but that's more of an animalistic response, y'know? Or at least it's more obvious because Kyle and Melody just feel a lot more human than their opponents in general. It's difficult to describe when I'm tired, but.

    Maybe naming the others would help with that, but so would expanding on their dialogue and their reasons for attacking, probably.

    Not at all. See, they walked in and apologized. They asked if they could have one, and the three who owned them offered to give them one if they were defeated. Cloyster didn't exactly play by the rules, but he was defeated as well. They took a stone, but it was all in the agreement. I suppose I should enforce that idea though.
    Admittedly, I read the agreement as insincere – as in, they weren't actually going to give them the stones; they were just attempting to lure Kyle and Melody into a battle. So I have to admit I seriously didn't think that was actually a factor there. Sorry about that. In any case, sure, going back and adding a bit more detail to those characters (their lines and motivations and whatnot) would clear things up a bit.

    I know, and the time frame was no excuse. Admittingly, it was one of my lesser works. I didn't take the time I should have. And that was my fault.
    On the positive side, you netted second place. XD

    But seriously, thanks for responding so quickly. I'll check out your other stuff, but I have to admit right now it might be just as long before I can get to them. X_x Sorry!

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Couple o' notes to respond to the bits that weren't "noted" and whatnot (which is cool because you've been one of the easier people to review).
    Cuz I know my stories aren't the best and I'm always looking for ways to improve.

    I mean this sincerely, but it might help to do the opposite: take into consideration the rules as you write. Not only does this mean you're forcing yourself to learn how the language works, but you're also making the proofreading step a bit easier because you proofread as you work. Betas can't catch everything, and they're not really supposed to be used to clean up things you know are wrong. So it's really just all-around better to start off working with the rules in mind.
    I'd like to be able to do that, but I usually don't sit down to write a well-written story, I just sorta let my story flow onto the page. All the rules I know at the time of righting are floating around in my head, but often times I don't sit there and check that each sentence fits it. I try to write the sentences correctly, of course, but getting my ideas on the page is more of a priority than writing according to rules. I'd fragment my own writing by trying to go overboard with rules while writing.
    It's like when I make sprites: I first go and do the outline, details, and rough shading. After that's done I go over the whole thing and fix up some details.

    *nod* It's actually better to use the lengthier chain of thoughts because even if there's a jump, you still can go back and think of something that can form a link between one thought and another. For example, the link at the end? Could easily just be, "Yeah, sure, Elesa might be hot, but you know who're hotter? The Kanto gym leaders. And you know who the hottest is among them? Misty. Man, they really know how to look fine in Kanto, and Misty takes the cake!" Easy, sensible transition because you're going from one set of hot gym leaders to the next before focusing in on the last link in the chain. It's all about jumping from one related idea to the next, really.
    That's true. I guess I still don't know the exact amount of details to add before I start rambling. That's a fear I have, rambling. I do that in English essays, and let's just say, not good.

    Fair 'nough. And just as a side note, it'd be interesting to see a fic that didn't capitalize item names. But of course, you'd probably be answering the question of why you didn't capitalize "Pokémon" or Pokémon species names, but still.
    Haha. You know, that really would be a good fic to write. Though it isn't my style, so someone else would have to do that.


    Since it's so brief and doesn't really add anything to the story, you could actually probably take it out unless there's some significant reason why you have them there. Remember, when you're telling a story, you should only present details that are important for the reader to know. If those Pokémon – even if you don't specify what they are – are brought up, the reader is going to think that they're going to be relevant to the overall story somehow. It's basically the rule of Chekhov's Gun: you don't display a gun on the mantel in the first act unless you want to have it fired by the third.
    I guess it helps with the whole "Melody is is nice" thing, though I suppose that's known without that moment.

    It is, but if it makes it easier, try asking yourself, "Will this be relevant later?" If the answer is yes, include it. If it's no, then you can drop it.
    I'll try to remember that. If I can. My brain is a crazy place.

    Depends on the context. You can have a character strike a pose for the cameras, and that would be flamboyant. On the other and, you can have a character strike a battle-ready pose as explosions go off behind him, and that… well, actually, that'd still be flamboyant via a completely different definition.
    See, that's what I mean! lol

    But if you really want to avoid writing something awkward, there's definitely other ways you can phrase that moment. For example, you could simply tell us what he did without mentioning that he struck a pose. As in, this is how I'd personally write it:

    Kyle lifted an arm into the air and pressed his claws together. Each one began to glow white as every muscle in his hand tensed. Then, he swung it down and struck the wall with a swift karate chop.

    A bit lengthier, yet it's straightforward because it shows you exactly what he's doing. It doesn't have him pause to pose; it has him pause to prepare for the attack. Shifts the focus of the action a little, in other words.
    I'm working on something like that. Though Marshtomp doesn't really have claws. They just have a flipper that's split into three at the end.

    It really screws everyone up, so don't worry, haha. The only thing you can do in order to avoid that is memorize. What helps me is just remembering that the dialogue tag isn't a full sentence, so maybe thinking of it in those terms might help you.
    Well, I know why it needs it, but my brain skips over them in the proofreading, even after the wait period.
    Knock it off, brain!

    Not many people do when working with this language, admittedly! (It's definitely more of a known thing in other languages, from what I understand.) Basically, an infinitive is a structure that's "to + [verb]." So, "to go" is an infinitive. "To see," "to be," and so on and so forth. It's actually a verb form in itself in that the combination specifies not only what is being done but also when it's being done, much like any other single-word verb. A split infinitive is when you throw a word between the "to" and the verb. So, "to boldly go" is a split infinitive, as is "to not be." It's technically grammatically incorrect because in a lot of cases (particularly when that pesky "literally" shows up), it reads awkwardly because it's basically the equivalent of writing things like "writ-literally-ing."
    Ah, okay, that makes sense. So would "he literally caught" be any different/better than "he managed to literally catch"? Hypothetically of course; I took the 'literally out'.

    Yep, that's why I asked. ;D To point out that it was vague when it shouldn't be.

    As for describing its noise, why not say something like "and with each blink, Staryu emitted a faint beep"? What makes this part vague isn't so much the fact that the noise isn't defined (although that's part of it) as it is it's weirdly divorced from its source. As in, the way you describe it makes it feel like Staryu isn't making that noise. It doesn't help that we don't know what noise it's making, but "beeping" might actually work if you tied it to who's making it.
    Ah, I get it. Didn't even think of it, but tying it to the Staryu is obviously necessary, duh.

    Here's where you'll need to be particularly creative. One of the first rules to describing battles is remembering that battles aren't restricted to what Pokémon can do in the games. You can utilize the field in order to create a believable battle for a reader by pulling in elements around the Pokémon in order to allow them to attack. For example, this scene takes place in a cave. There's rocks everywhere. Therefore, you could describe Cloyster using its shell to scoop up boulders and its water jet abilities to fire them at opponents. Or, well, Cloyster doing anything with the rocks surrounding it.
    Other than move around, Cloyster really can't do much of anything. If you were a limbless clam with immobile spikes, would you be able to do much of anything that didn't take a decade and a half?

    The other idea is by using Bulbapedia. Bulbapedia has an extensive Move Dex, basically a Pokédex for moves. For all of the entries that have appeared in the anime, there's screenshots and detailed descriptions of how the move was used in a more visual medium. For example, Rock Blast has several entries of appearances in the anime, all of which can give you a springboard for what to do with Cloyster's attack.

    Going from there, detailing an attack isn't that difficult. It's really just a matter of saying something like "[Pokémon] channeled energy into the attack," but even then, that's not really necessary because, yeah, Pokémon can use magic. So as long as you describe the part where it shoots glowing things that happen to be rocks made of magic light, you're good to go.

    However, most of the problem is the same as what happened with Staryu: you've got to be specific when it comes to the source of these kinds of things. Right now, it reads as if the attack's coming out of nowhere.
    And I'm working on it. It's getting better, but it's still too vague. As it stands, i have that the attacks are coming and directed from Cloyster and that he was in control of it, but it doesn't do well in describing how he formed them.

    Needs more detail, in other words. *nod* Especially so because this is a cave, so you've already got water flowing through narrow pathways compared to the open ocean. So you'd end up having to highlight what's different here anyway.
    Yeah. When I read this I tried thinking of wording and couldn't come up with much. But I did get a few ideas.
    Only, if the cave is a dead end, wouldn't the water be stagnant? Since there wouldn't be a current to speak of...


    Drop the "still," and that'd work.
    Okay-dokie

    Haha, I'd be careful about the 'dex entries. Sure, they're interesting, but they also say Flareon's flame sac can reach temperatures of up to both 1600 and 3000 degrees Fahrenheit… in the same generation. (Then there's the lulzy bit about how Alakazam's IQ reaches 5000 among other 'dex hilarities. My headcanon is the player character writes the 'dex entries and doesn't know wtf s/he's talking about. Or the person who actually wrote the entries was drunk.)
    Darn those pokedex entries. You're right though, I once had a discussion with someone on all of the pokedex fallacies we could find.
    I like Bulbapedia's explanation "They have a unique molecular structure. They have the ability to "melt" into a body of water and disappear completely from view."
    Saying 'unique molecular structure' is a lot safer. Though I took it out of the story regardless.

    I'm not so sure how I feel about this in part because, as a result, it feels like Kyle and Melody are more human than their three opponents. I mean, sure, you have humans who love fighting too, but that's more of an animalistic response, y'know? Or at least it's more obvious because Kyle and Melody just feel a lot more human than their opponents in general. It's difficult to describe when I'm tired, but.
    Well, you have to realize that Melody and Kyle live in an actual society. They have a house and they live in a town. These three do not; they live by themselves in a cave.
    I would imagine that those three would be more in-tune to instinct that Melody & Kyle. It does make our protagonists look more human, but in a sense, they are.
    However, I'm working on a scene to bridge the part between Cloyster's defeat and the retrieval of the stone. Something where the three opposed wake up, apologize for Cloyster, and honor their deal. A bit of a change of character, but defeat can be quite humbling.

    Admittedly, I read the agreement as insincere – as in, they weren't actually going to give them the stones; they were just attempting to lure Kyle and Melody into a battle. So I have to admit I seriously didn't think that was actually a factor there. Sorry about that. In any case, sure, going back and adding a bit more detail to those characters (their lines and motivations and whatnot) would clear things up a bit.
    I'll also try to amend the scene before the battle as well.

    On the positive side, you netted second place. XD
    Out of three stories X(
    Still, 'least I wasn't last.

    But seriously, thanks for responding so quickly. I'll check out your other stuff, but I have to admit right now it might be just as long before I can get to them. X_x Sorry!
    No worries. You might want to check out my new fic, A Different Kind of PMD Story(A Vulpix Tail). I think you might like it. It's an idea me, Knightfall, and Azurus have played with, the transformation of a Pokemon into a human. I don't think it's as great as it could be, but the idea is there and it's neat. And Chapter 1 has some deep dialogue(if somewhat corny).
    Not to misunderstand though, I'm still writing Through the Thunder and the Lightning, i'm just cycling the chapter releases between the two. TTL Ch. 12 is next on my writing list.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutaka View Post
    Cuz I know my stories aren't the best and I'm always looking for ways to improve.
    *brofist!*

    I'd like to be able to do that, but I usually don't sit down to write a well-written story, I just sorta let my story flow onto the page. All the rules I know at the time of righting are floating around in my head, but often times I don't sit there and check that each sentence fits it. I try to write the sentences correctly, of course, but getting my ideas on the page is more of a priority than writing according to rules. I'd fragment my own writing by trying to go overboard with rules while writing.
    It's like when I make sprites: I first go and do the outline, details, and rough shading. After that's done I go over the whole thing and fix up some details.
    On the other hand, you also follow some set of rules when spriting; you just don't realize it. For example, you don't pick colors that clash, you don't make outlines using lines that are above a certain line width, you don't use a canvas that's way bigger or smaller than you need, and so forth. You still probably check what you're doing as you're doing it, but you aren't as conscious of it. It should be the same thing when you're writing. Remembering which its/it's is a lot like remembering how to do shading, and remembering how to punctuate dialogue is a lot like remembering how thick your outlines should be. You just have to train yourself to remember them but to do it as if it's second-nature to you.

    That's true. I guess I still don't know the exact amount of details to add before I start rambling. That's a fear I have, rambling. I do that in English essays, and let's just say, not good.
    Oh, sure, that's fair 'nough there, but rest assured that if you make it clear that one thought is linked to another (namely, all the details link up with each other and your story in some way), it'll be difficult to read what you have to say as rambling. So no worries there.

    Haha. You know, that really would be a good fic to write.
    Inorite? There always needs to be more love for the "don't capitalize" camp.

    I guess it helps with the whole "Melody is is nice" thing, though I suppose that's known without that moment.
    Yeah, you can definitely convey that Melody's nice without that bit. After all, it was her idea to go on an expedition to the bottom of the ocean to find a Water Stone for Shiloh, right? She's basically saying, "Hey, you know what would be cool? If we braved wild, unknown, dark territory full of things that could probably kill us just so we can make our friend happy!" I don't know about you, but I'd think that anyone who went that far out of their way to help a friend was probably the sweetest person ever.

    So if you think it's not obvious that she's nice, then you could always find ways to highlight those bits that are relevant to the story. For example, maybe emphasize that she's nice when she talks about her idea to Kyle, or maybe you could have her attempting to resolve the potential conflict with Staryu, Shellder, and Panpour peacefully. There's definitely ways you can convey how nice she is without needing moments that don't tie directly into the fic, and it would actually be really cool to see what you do with those opportunities.

    I'll try to remember that. If I can. My brain is a crazy place.
    Neon-colored post-its near you computer might help. ;D (Only don't actually do that because I'm kidding. Or you could and tell me if it works.)

    I'm working on something like that. Though Marshtomp doesn't really have claws. They just have a flipper that's split into three at the end.
    Flipper's an okay word too. I just used "claw" because it depends on how you view that arm. (Wtf @ Bulbapedia calling it a hand.)

    Well, I know why it needs it, but my brain skips over them in the proofreading, even after the wait period.
    Knock it off, brain!
    XD Oh, trying to tell your brain to do anything.

    Ah, okay, that makes sense. So would "he literally caught" be any different/better than "he managed to literally catch"? Hypothetically of course; I took the 'literally out'.
    It'd actually be better and not just because you're no longer using the split infinitive. I mean, that's part of it, but using an action verb wherever possible (as opposed to an infinitive or the passive voice) tends to be much, much stronger.

    Other than move around, Cloyster really can't do much of anything. If you were a limbless clam with immobile spikes, would you be able to do much of anything that didn't take a decade and a half?
    Depends on how you imagine it. Remember that Cloyster and Shellder were basically born without limbs, so they'd have to adapt different ways of doing things. It's a lot like a person who was born without one of their senses or without a limb. They have to come up with different ways of getting by, and in a lot of cases, they do just fine that way. So with Cloyster, there's a few things to take into consideration. Kyle and Melody didn't notice it when they first entered the chamber or during their battle, so it must have moved into the chamber sometime during, right? That means it can move around just fine. As for what it can do, its shell is capable of clamping, so that can function in place of hands, especially if it's grabbing an object that's pretty difficult to destroy (like a boulder). It also has teeth and a soft, pliable body, not to mention some of its attacks could potentially be used to grab things or move it closer to objects. (For example, Whirlpool can pick up objects, and it learns Teleport in Gen I via TM. Never mind the fact that Hydro Pump could possibly be used to help it move from place to place; some real-life sea animals do move by expelling water from their bodies, after all.) Alternatively, you could interpret Shell Smash to mean it has the ability to leave its shell and swim (because Shell Smash is portrayed by having the user leave its shell in the anime), so there's an option too.

    Point is, don't be afraid to be creative when it comes to battles. Think outside the box, and think carefully about all the things a Pokémon can do. You can do that just by taking a good look at a Pokémon's movepool or the Pokémon itself and remembering that you're not necessarily limited by one obstacle or another.

    And I'm working on it. It's getting better, but it's still too vague. As it stands, i have that the attacks are coming and directed from Cloyster and that he was in control of it, but it doesn't do well in describing how he formed them.
    Definitely look to the anime for advice if all else fails. Take note of where their attacks come from and think of ways you can have attacks shoot out of your Pokémon.

    Only, if the cave is a dead end, wouldn't the water be stagnant? Since there wouldn't be a current to speak of...
    No, actually, it'd probably be more noticeable because you've got water getting channeled into a small space and then back out again (presumably). If water has a source, it's always flowing; it's only perceived as stagnant if it either has no source or if it has enough space to flow freely.

    Put it this way. If you have a stagnant pond, the reason why it's stagnant is not just because it's a dead end but also because nothing is feeding it, so the water doesn't flow one way or the other. If you have a pipe under water that has two ends (like a cave), the water rushes inside it because you're channeling water from one end to the other. Meanwhile, if you have a cave that ends somewhere but nowhere for the water to go, then you've got a water flow from one end to the other… but where is the water going?

    So, yeah, cave diving is a thing, but it's also a dangerous thing. That's just part of the reason why: because caves can carry pretty dangerous and strong currents either way, even if they're dead ends. You can feel free to use Google to find out more, but this article (yes, it's Wikipedia, I know) gives you a brief overview.

    …Actually, that would be an interesting idea to include there. Makes the hunt for a Water Stone more perilous, y'know?

    Darn those pokedex entries. You're right though, I once had a discussion with someone on all of the pokedex fallacies we could find.
    Haha, I'd actually legit love to see what you guys came up with.

    I like Bulbapedia's explanation "They have a unique molecular structure. They have the ability to "melt" into a body of water and disappear completely from view."
    Saying 'unique molecular structure' is a lot safer.
    I have to agree, and thank you Bulbapedia for bringing that up. But it definitely is a lot more sound than the cell idea the 'dex proposes.

    (But it's cool that you took that part out.)

    Well, you have to realize that Melody and Kyle live in an actual society. They have a house and they live in a town. These three do not; they live by themselves in a cave.
    If that's the case, then I have to ask why some Pokémon don't live in a society while others do. It's a lot like saying some humans live in buildings, but others live in the forests and brave the elements. Sure, you might have some groups of humans who are more modern than others, but ultimately, most of us live in societies with cultures. It's considered extremely rare and strange to come across a feral human.

    Same thing with Pokémon. I know the Mystery Dungeon games don't really go into it that much, but still, if you're going to be creating a world, you've got to be consistent about how like creatures live or at least present a reasonable explanation for why some live one way while another bunch don't. Otherwise, when you have Pokémon that aren't human-like and Pokémon that are, it tends to stick out.

    That being said, you can have Pokémon that are more in-tune with nature, but right now, it feels like your world is the equivalent of having a universe in which there's a large population of feral humans. While, your lead protagonists are very human-like, your antagonists are very animal-like, and there's really no rhyme or reason why there's a difference.

    That's another issue with the animalistic nature of your antagonists, actually. It's a lot like making one side obviously good and the other side obviously evil. In other words, you've got a lot of unfortunate implications going on if only your protagonists are human-like (and modern-thinking or civilized according to your definitions), you know?

    …But mostly, I just want to hear about what you did for your world-building and whatnot. /bias

    However, I'm working on a scene to bridge the part between Cloyster's defeat and the retrieval of the stone. Something where the three opposed wake up, apologize for Cloyster, and honor their deal. A bit of a change of character, but defeat can be quite humbling.
    That could work too. *le nod*

    Out of three stories X(
    XD Well, that's still good!

    No worries. You might want to check out my new fic, A Different Kind of PMD Story(A Vulpix Tail). I think you might like it. It's an idea me, Knightfall, and Azurus have played with, the transformation of a Pokemon into a human. I don't think it's as great as it could be, but the idea is there and it's neat.
    Well, that's different.

    And of course, different fics + TF = right up my alley. So will do! o>

    Not to misunderstand though, I'm still writing Through the Thunder and the Lightning, i'm just cycling the chapter releases between the two.
    Hey, it's cool. No rules against how many fics you can write at the same time, after all.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    *brofist!*
    yeah! lol



    On the other hand, you also follow some set of rules when spriting; you just don't realize it. For example, you don't pick colors that clash, you don't make outlines using lines that are above a certain line width, you don't use a canvas that's way bigger or smaller than you need, and so forth. You still probably check what you're doing as you're doing it, but you aren't as conscious of it. It should be the same thing when you're writing. Remembering which its/it's is a lot like remembering how to do shading, and remembering how to punctuate dialogue is a lot like remembering how thick your outlines should be. You just have to train yourself to remember them but to do it as if it's second-nature to you.
    Well, thats exactly my point. When I write, I apply as many of my rules as i can remember while making the story, but unfortunately thats not many. Practice,I suppose. I've only been writing since June, lol.



    Oh, sure, that's fair 'nough there, but rest assured that if you make it clear that one thought is linked to another (namely, all the details link up with each other and your story in some way), it'll be difficult to read what you have to say as rambling. So no worries there.
    True. I just got finished reading Mark of Athena by Rick Riodan. I realized how similar our writing styles are, just he knows what mistakes not to make that I do.

    Inorite? There always needs to be more love for the "don't capitalize" camp.
    Well it makes sense in real world applications. We don't capitalize items in real life unless they're brand names. Like hyper potion wouldnt be capitalized, but Prescott Pharmaceuticals(TM) Brand Hyper Potions might be. And we don't capitalize 'dog' or 'horse' so why capitalize herdier and ponyta?

    Yeah, you can definitely convey that Melody's nice without that bit. After all, it was her idea to go on an expedition to the bottom of the ocean to find a Water Stone for Shiloh, right? She's basically saying, "Hey, you know what would be cool? If we braved wild, unknown, dark territory full of things that could probably kill us just so we can make our friend happy!" I don't know about you, but I'd think that anyone who went that far out of their way to help a friend was probably the sweetest person ever.

    So if you think it's not obvious that she's nice, then you could always find ways to highlight those bits that are relevant to the story. For example, maybe emphasize that she's nice when she talks about her idea to Kyle, or maybe you could have her attempting to resolve the potential conflict with Staryu, Shellder, and Panpour peacefully. There's definitely ways you can convey how nice she is without needing moments that don't tie directly into the fic, and it would actually be really cool to see what you do with those opportunities.
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Kyle's also nice, but he's not very vocal about it, typically.

    Neon-colored post-its near you computer might help. ;D (Only don't actually do that because I'm kidding. Or you could and tell me if it works.)
    I dont have any of those. I also have no money to buy them. Yes I know it's cheap.
    Oh well.

    Flipper's an okay word too. I just used "claw" because it depends on how you view that arm. (Wtf @ Bulbapedia calling it a hand.)
    It could be called a hand...depending on how loose your definition of the word 'hand' is, lol.

    XD Oh, trying to tell your brain to do anything.
    yeah, it never works, lol

    It'd actually be better and not just because you're no longer using the split infinitive. I mean, that's part of it, but using an action verb wherever possible (as opposed to an infinitive or the passive voice) tends to be much, much stronger.
    It even sounds better.

    Depends on how you imagine it. Remember that Cloyster and Shellder were basically born without limbs, so they'd have to adapt different ways of doing things. It's a lot like a person who was born without one of their senses or without a limb. They have to come up with different ways of getting by, and in a lot of cases, they do just fine that way. So with Cloyster, there's a few things to take into consideration. Kyle and Melody didn't notice it when they first entered the chamber or during their battle, so it must have moved into the chamber sometime during, right? That means it can move around just fine. As for what it can do, its shell is capable of clamping, so that can function in place of hands, especially if it's grabbing an object that's pretty difficult to destroy (like a boulder). It also has teeth and a soft, pliable body, not to mention some of its attacks could potentially be used to grab things or move it closer to objects. (For example, Whirlpool can pick up objects, and it learns Teleport in Gen I via TM. Never mind the fact that Hydro Pump could possibly be used to help it move from place to place; some real-life sea animals do move by expelling water from their bodies, after all.) Alternatively, you could interpret Shell Smash to mean it has the ability to leave its shell and swim (because Shell Smash is portrayed by having the user leave its shell in the anime), so there's an option too.

    Point is, don't be afraid to be creative when it comes to battles. Think outside the box, and think carefully about all the things a Pokémon can do. You can do that just by taking a good look at a Pokémon's movepool or the Pokémon itself and remembering that you're not necessarily limited by one obstacle or another.

    Definitely look to the anime for advice if all else fails. Take note of where their attacks come from and think of ways you can have attacks shoot out of your Pokémon.
    Yeah, I just have to write it right...

    No, actually, it'd probably be more noticeable because you've got water getting channeled into a small space and then back out again (presumably). If water has a source, it's always flowing; it's only perceived as stagnant if it either has no source or if it has enough space to flow freely.

    Put it this way. If you have a stagnant pond, the reason why it's stagnant is not just because it's a dead end but also because nothing is feeding it, so the water doesn't flow one way or the other. If you have a pipe under water that has two ends (like a cave), the water rushes inside it because you're channeling water from one end to the other. Meanwhile, if you have a cave that ends somewhere but nowhere for the water to go, then you've got a water flow from one end to the other… but where is the water going?

    So, yeah, cave diving is a thing, but it's also a dangerous thing. That's just part of the reason why: because caves can carry pretty dangerous and strong currents either way, even if they're dead ends. You can feel free to use Google to find out more, but this article (yes, it's Wikipedia, I know) gives you a brief overview.

    …Actually, that would be an interesting idea to include there. Makes the hunt for a Water Stone more perilous, y'know?
    It would be, yes. Though that's a lot of restructuring of the scene. I wouldn't mind it so much if I had an idea of to do it. I dunno. I'll think about it.

    Haha, I'd actually legit love to see what you guys came up with.
    This was a year ago or more, I can't quite remember where it was...I think there was a thread about it, early '11.

    I have to agree, and thank you Bulbapedia for bringing that up. But it definitely is a lot more sound than the cell idea the 'dex proposes.

    (But it's cool that you took that part out.)
    Yeah. I guess it kinda makes sense to. Not anymore crazier than Pidgey flying you across the globe.

    If that's the case, then I have to ask why some Pokémon don't live in a society while others do. It's a lot like saying some humans live in buildings, but others live in the forests and brave the elements. Sure, you might have some groups of humans who are more modern than others, but ultimately, most of us live in societies with cultures. It's considered extremely rare and strange to come across a feral human.

    Same thing with Pokémon. I know the Mystery Dungeon games don't really go into it that much, but still, if you're going to be creating a world, you've got to be consistent about how like creatures live or at least present a reasonable explanation for why some live one way while another bunch don't. Otherwise, when you have Pokémon that aren't human-like and Pokémon that are, it tends to stick out.

    That being said, you can have Pokémon that are more in-tune with nature, but right now, it feels like your world is the equivalent of having a universe in which there's a large population of feral humans. While, your lead protagonists are very human-like, your antagonists are very animal-like, and there's really no rhyme or reason why there's a difference.

    That's another issue with the animalistic nature of your antagonists, actually. It's a lot like making one side obviously good and the other side obviously evil. In other words, you've got a lot of unfortunate implications going on if only your protagonists are human-like (and modern-thinking or civilized according to your definitions), you know?

    …But mostly, I just want to hear about what you did for your world-building and whatnot. /bias
    I see the complications now. I don't think it'd be like the feral Pokemon are inherently evil, just...less civil?
    Anyways, think of this as early humanity. The world would be slightly divided by civil and non-civil beings.

    Well, that's different.

    And of course, different fics + TF = right up my alley. So will do! o>
    Yeah, it's a reverse PMD story. Instead of a human turning into a Pokemon and going on a rescue/exploration/etc team adventure, we have a pokemon turn into a human and go on a trainer journey with a companion. Though in fairness, she's more or less the companion. That's another thing. While it is told in 3rd person, the story mor eor less focuses from her partner's view point. It'd be as if TTL were told by April instead of Shane.
    Now obviously she'd be less than inclined to subdue her former kind in tiny prisons, I have a plan thought out to explain that.
    It's also told in a B/W/2 type adventure, so Team Plasma will be especially challenging for her to...disagree with. And N will be quite interested in her as well.
    Though as always, she has no memory other than her previous species. Yet, she doesn't have a name because she didn't have one besides her species name as a Pokemon.
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