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Thread: A Humble Journey

  1. #1

    Default A Humble Journey

    This is my first venture into serious Fan Fiction, so hopefully some of you veterans can help me out.

    I usually don't write long chapters. But maybe that will change as this goes on.

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    A Humble Journey

    Prologue: Oath

    I remember the stars that bled through our tent. Blurry drops of white that only faintly managed to make their presence known through the mesh. We were still just kids, and wrapped up in sleeping bags lining a great, blue tent. The only noises that came through were occasional bleats and clicks- the buggy-symphony of Viridian Forest. I was halfway asleep, mind drifting off to the big city when a whisper woke me up.

    “Lilly-girl? You asleep already?”

    “Sam? Is that you?”

    “Who else would it be, dummy? C’mon, I’ve gotta’ show you somethin’.”

    A mass of blankets rose up beside me. Sam shook his head out from under them, putting his brown hair back into its organized mess. He arched his back like a cat before dropping the blankets and reaching his hand out to me.

    “Ready to go?”

    I had to think for a second.

    “Yes.”

    I got up as quietly as I could and took Sam’s hand. He pulled me out of the tent and into the night. Up above a bloated moon lazed, illuminating the vast greenery of the forest. Sam let go of me and surveyed the edge of the trees.

    “What are we doing out here?”

    “You’ll see.” Sam turned his head back to me, “You’re not scared are you?”

    I crossed my arms. “I’m not scared. I’m cold.”

    “Pfft. Sure.”

    “Really, Sam, what are we doing out here?”

    “Hold on a second, I forgot my flashlight.” Sam disappeared back into the tent.

    “Gosh, you’re thick.”

    I walked over to edge of the trees and looked into the thickness. The sounds of native Pokemon were louder here. We were safe in the clearing, but in the deep forest we would be at the mercy of nature. A gust of wind blew through and I closed my eyes, trying to think of someplace warmer. Of course the big city appeared. I’d heard stories about places like Saffron, where even at night you could stand under the heat of a street light. And Goldenrod, with the Radio Tower, you’d able to see the ocean from the very top.

    Every place was just so much more… interesting compared to dusty old Viridian. Sure we had a Gym, but even it had to be boring Ground-type. Saffron was Psychic. I was imagining a battle between Sabrina and Giovanni where Alakazam was picking up Nidoking with its mind and throwing it out the window when I felt a claw on my back, some Ursaring that had come out of the woods to eat me. I started to scream but something covered my mouth. I struggled but a familiar voice hushed me,

    “Geez, Lilly-girl. Could you be any louder?”

    “You’re a jerk.” I freed myself from Sam’s grip and started back towards the tent.

    “Wait! I haven’t even showed you the spot yet!”

    I turned back and looked into his pleading green eyes.

    “Fine.” I flipped my hair back. “Just make it quick.”

    Sam smiled wide, “You won’t be disappointed.”

    Quickly, he led me into the brush. I tried my best to keep up, but Sam knew the way already. Every once in a while I would see a pair of lighted eyes through the trees and think of more hungry Ursarings. Then again, if they had wanted to eat us, they already would have. We were making so much noise, crushing branches under our feet and running. My calves were burning when we burst out of the trees and into a new clearing. I caught my breath and took in the view.

    “Wow.”

    “Told you it was cool.”

    In the middle of the clearing was a large lake. Trees from the forest reflected onto its surface, poking into the sides of the deep blue. Stars dotted the surface, bouncing off the water all the way from the night sky. But even more, in the middle of the lake, on a grassy platform, a single green Pokemon stood. It was vaguely frog shaped and had a single curled hair on its head. Its cheeks were bright red and it had a joyous kind of smile. It closed its eyes and let out a single, low note. It was surreal, but from the water a plethora of smaller blue Pokemon appeared- Poliwags and Poliwhirls. Their slick bodies shined in the light as the Pokemon in the middle sang.

    Sam broke in, “It’s a Politoed.”

    “Politoed? I’ve never heard of that before.”

    “Me neither. I had to look it up. Apparently it’s pretty rare.”

    We stood in silence for a bit, taking in the sight. I got as close as I could to the lake and looked at the Pokemon, and then my reflection. My long blonde hair was matted up by leaves and dirt from the trip and I took a moment to get rid of them.

    “Are you really doing your hair right now?”

    I turned my head back and forth making sure my face wasn’t dirtied up.

    “You boys don’t understand. A girl’s appearance is half her person.”

    “That’s dumb.”

    I leaned closer to the lake. My green eyes weren’t bright enough for my tastes. I was thinking of ways to get them brighter when a rock fell into the water, dissipating my temporary mirror and splashing water on my face. I jumped back and wiped my face off.

    “You have got to be kidding me! I hate you so much.”

    Sam smiled at me and threw another rock into the lake.

    “That’s the point though Lilly-girl.”

    He stepped closer and looked me in the eyes. The Politoed’s song was still going.

    “We’re perfect rivals!”

    I rolled my eyes. “Are you still on about this? I don’t want to be a trainer, dunce.”

    “Oh c’mon, Lilly-girl. It’d be just like in the shows! Two kids from the same town take the Gym challenge and become the ultimate competitors against each other! Action, challenge, growth, and finally,“ Sam struck a pose, quickly. “Victory for the strongest one!”

    “Why don’t you just pick someone else. How about Kristie? She wants to be a trainer, you know.”

    “Kristie’s not any fun to mess with, though.”

    “So you just want to mess with me, huh?”

    “No, it’s just-” Sam frowned.

    Suddenly he put out his left hand.

    “Fine, but you have to make a pact with me.”

    “A pact?” I could hear the Politoed quieting down, now.

    “Yeah. If you become a trainer, we have to be official rivals.”

    “Fine.” I sighed, getting tired. “So do we just shake hands or what?”

    “No.” He pulled out a pocket knife from his pants. “It’s gotta be a blood oath.”

    “What?! No. I’m not doing that.”

    “Too late, you already agreed, Lilly-girl.”

    Sam pressed the knife to his thumb and showed me the tiny cut.

    “Here, can you do your own?”

    The lake was silent now. I thought about the big city and wondered if Sabrina could cut her own thumb.

    “Of course I can, dummy. I’m not afraid.”

    I snatched away the knife and placed it on my thumb. I put as much pressure as I could on it.

    “You probably won’t feel it, Lilly.”

    I lifted the knife and saw the cut starting to bleed.

    “Alright, now what?”

    “Here.” Sam grabbed my hand and put his thumb on mine, twisting them together.

    I looked at my thumb, now stained dark red.

    “We should’ve just shook hands.”

    Sam smiled and took his hand away.

    “Nah. Handshakes aren’t for real. Blood oaths last forever, you know? So now you have to be my rival no matter how long it takes.”

    “Forever and a day, I’d say.”

    Sam looked out over the lake.

    “I’ve got a good feeling about it.”

    ---------------
    Last edited by Please Don't Stare; 31st December 2012 at 3:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    That was a really cute start! The way the two characters interact is really fun to see - you have a great dynamic set up from the get-go, and it makes me look forward to seeing how they'll do. In addition, it's a start I haven't seen much, so it wasn't predictable and was rather fresh. It's also nice that they have a cute dynamic that isn't over-the-top, but still amusing and fun. Though theirs is not a unique relationship, they compliment one another pretty well already and it's clear that you'll continue writing them quite well.

    I also enjoyed the element of mystery here. I think you could have stretched the wait a little longer, expanding on Lilly's thoughts and feelings and reactions as they travel through the forest. Such as right before "I tried my best to keep up," show her struggle to keep up; describe her stumbling over the undergrowth, leaves smacking her face and snagging her clothing as she tries her best to stay warm against the chill night, while also fearing losing sight of her guide in this dark place. Little bits of description can add a lot to a scene and really make the reader feel they are there, seeing and smelling and hearing and feeling everything the character sees and smells and hears and feels.

    Also, why does Sam call her "Lilly-girl"? It could be cute if it were a nickname with a reason, but it's never addressed at all (for instance, it could be mentioned that she does/doesn't like the nickname). I understand that it's common to have such honorifics in Japan, but in English it just comes off as awkward. Plus Sam has no such suffix, so it doesn't seem very consistent.

    I was also a bit confused about how many people were in the tent at first. It was quite vague at the beginning, with the sleeping bags "lining" the tent implying that there could be quite a few sleeping bags (depending on the tent size, which also wasn't mentioned).

    And then just a few little things.

    I was imagining a battle between Sabrina and Giovanni where Alakazam was picking up Nidoking with its mind and throwing it out the window when I felt a claw on my back, some Ursaring that had come out of the woods to eat me. I started to scream but something covered my mouth. I struggled but a familiar voice hushed me,
    Considering that this is supposed to be a moment where Lilly panics, it comes off as incredibly calm, and also loses any humour because of how it's written. Short, choppy sentences are best to display the fast, panicked thoughts someone who's been surprised that would would be feeling. Also, I think a shout or yelp might work better than a scream, and maybe have her jump or startle somehow as well. So it would read more like "when I felt something land on my shoulder, and I released a loud yelp. Was it an Ursaring from the woods to eat me?!"

    Sam smiled wide, “You won’t be disappointed.”
    The comma here can be a period, since "Sam smiled wide" is a complete sentence that can stand on its own and still make sense without the dialogue. That's how to tell which punctuation is needed.

    But even more, in the middle of the lake, on a grassy platform, a single green Pokemon stood. It was vaguely frog shaped and had a single curled hair on its head. Its cheeks were bright red and it had a joyous kind of smile. It closed its eyes and let out a single, low note. It was surreal, but from the water a plethora of smaller blue Pokemon appeared- Poliwags and Poliwhirls.
    I would go with "island" or "patch of land," since a platform implies something less natural and more man-made. Also, the descriptions here come off as a little too list-like. The best way to spruce up description is by adding in a little action to it, such as "it's cheeks, which expanded and contracted like small balloons, were bright red." I would also describe the image of the Polis poking their heads out of the water - it could be a really pretty or eerie image if it were expanded on and described a little more.

    I turned my head back and forth making sure my face wasn’t dirtied up.
    I don't find this a very good way to describe what she's doing. I would say something more like "I checked my face for dirt" or "I turned my face this way and that, checking for dirt."

    I was thinking of ways to get them brighter when a rock fell into the water, dissipating my temporary mirror and splashing water on my face. I jumped back and wiped my face off.
    This is another moment where her reaction isn't described very well. Automatically, after describing the rock breaking her reflection, show whether she is angry, agitated, upset. Her reaction should come before anything else, and we should see the emotion in it. Also, this seems a weird time for her to try and find a solution to her eyes.

    “That’s the point though Lilly-girl.”
    Whenever you have someone being directly addressed you need a comma, in this case before "though."

    Two kids from the same town take the Gym challenge and become the ultimate competitors against each other!
    Don't need "against one another," because it's understood that that's what competitors are.


    “We should’ve just shook hands.”
    Okay, this made me literally laugh out loud. I really like your dialogue - you do a lot while using minimal tags, making exchanges especially snappy and fun.


    Anyhow, as I said this was quite cute and makes for a nice setup. Watching their relationship looks like it could be quite fun, and your writing is pretty solid. I would advise that you focus a little more on describing setting, without forgetting things like sound and smell, while incorporating action at the same time to prevent it from being too static and dull. Don't change a thing with your dialogue, as those interactions are definitely your strong suit, and they make the story fun and interesting.

    Best of luck, you're off to a great start!

    ~Psychic

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