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Old 09-27-2010, 03:43 AM
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Default Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Well, I've been told by some people (none of which are on this forum) that my writing skills are good ,so I decided to apply it to Fanfiction. this was the result:


"And the champion lets loose with another Ice Punch! Flint's Dragonite is not looking very good here."

"Hyper Beam, Dragonite!"

"And The Hyper Beam misses by a long shot!"

"Gallade, finish it with Night Slash."

".....And Flint's Pokemon is down! Chalk up yet another win for the current champion of the Sinnoh League, Mich- "


I stand up and turn off the TV. I've been following the Champion's status for a while now, and I've finally decided it's time. I long to be on that TV, and to fight my way to the top. I long to be on the road, traveling with my Pokemon. I long to make my family proud, and to put my name on the top of the list. I long to know what it feels like to be the most powerful trainer in the world.

I'm Adam, And I'm a Pokemon Champion to be.

Tomorrow I start my journey, but for tonight, I'll just settle for my dreams.

-------------------------

Early morning.

The sun rises, and the Starly are chirping. The dawn of a new day, and the beginning of my journey. I say goodbye to my mom, take the single Potion out of my PC storage system, and set off towards the Pokemon Lab in Sandgem Town. It's a pleasant day. The sun is bright, and a light breeze is blowing through the trees. I feel like I could rule the world, like nothing could stop-

"Hey! Get out of the way!"

I whirl around, just in time to be knocked over by a strange guy in a jumpsuit, with green hair and a bowl-cut haircut.

"What was that for?!" I yell. But I notice something. I see a small Pokeball on the ground, and it looks like it belongs to someone. Scratched on the side in small writing, is R(S). I decide to take it to Professor Rowan.

---

"Ah, Another newcomer. Welcome to my Pokemon Lab."

As I walk in, I see a line of trainers standing in front of a desk. They all look excited, and are staring hungrily at the single Pokeball on it.

"I'm afraid you might be too late All these trainers got here first, and only one of them can walk out of here with that Pokemon."

"Actually, Proffesor," I say, " I wanted to talk to you about this." I hold up the ball, and he snatches it out of my hand.

"Where did you get this? You know that stealing pokemon is punishable by law, don't you?"

"No no no, it's nothing like that." I assure him. "I found it on the ground after this strange spaceman-like guy ran me over."

"What did he look like?"

I describe the person to him.

"I was afraid of that." Rowan walks over to a Pokeball scanner, and places the ball inside of it.

"That man who ran you over belongs to a sinister group of theives named Team Galactic. Three years ago, they tried to ressurect an ancient pokemon and take over the world. A trainer stopped them, but one of their commanders, Charon, went into hiding. They've started attacking and stealing again, and it's just been getting worse." The machine starts to hum as he continues. "He is hiding somwhere in Mt. Coronet, but so far no one has been able to find him. There are rumors going around suggesting a takeover, but.... I honestly don't know who to believe anymore." He sighs, and hands me back the pokeball.

"I beleive this belongs to you."

I stare at him blankly.

"How can that belong to me?" I ask him. "I just picked it up off of the ground!"

"Well, the Pokeball system works like this: When a Pokemon is captured, the Pokeball sends a signal to the Pokemon Storage System, and the Pokemon is registered under te trainer's ID. This ball was broken, so it's as if no one ever caught it. You can have this one, as soon as I register your ID number in the Trainer Liscence Registration Database."

"What Pokemon is it?" I ask him.

"You may want to see that one for yourself." he tells me.

I take the ball, and press the release button in the center. I'm nearly blinded by the flash of light, and when I can see, I find myself staring at a tiny child-like creature. It has a blue cap on its head with orange spikes poking out, and a white body.

Ralts? it asks me tilting its head.

I stare at in awe, remembering seeing a picture of this Pokemon in the Trainer School. There was also something else about it. It was a rare "shiny" Pokemon. I remember learning that a recessive gene in a Pokemon's genetic structure caused it to have a different coloration, and to produce blue sparks from around its body when it was released.

"There, you're all registered. Here are five Pokeballs, a couple Potions, a few Revives, and your Trainer's Fund of $5,000." Rowan walks up, takes one look at the Ralts, and nearly drops all the stuff he's carrying.

"You know, you're a very lucky person to have found a Pokemon like that."

"Don't I know it." I respond in a quiet voice.

"Well," he says, clearing his throat, "I would reccomend you heading to Jubilife city. It's a day's walk up the road, and you could probably find out more information about the first Gym from there."

"Thanks." I say. I start to head for the door.

"Wait!" He stops me mid-step. "I don't think you should leave until tommorow morning. There's a storm on the way, and you'd be better off staying at the hotel in the Pokemon Center."

I thank him again and walk over to the Pokemon Center. I pay the fine of $50, leave my pokemon at the desk, get a room and drift into sleep, the rain pounding on the windows.

What a day it's been.
-----------

Aaaaaand... Chapter. I'm probably gonna write more, but I want to know what you guys think. Don't be afraid to leave criticism, as long as it's constructive. (I actually want some opinions on this. I won't know what to do otherwise.)
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

I liked it, but I found it difficult to read, I believe there might be some tense issues causing that.

Quote:
I stand up and turn off the TV. I've been following the Champion's status for a while now, and I've finally decided it's time. I long to be on that TV, and to fight my way to the top. I long to be on the road, traveling with my Pokemon. I long to make my family proud, and to put my name on the top of the list. I long to know what it feels like to be the most powerful trainer in the world.
This paragraph in particular felt odd.


Quote:
I stand up and turn off the TV.
Should be "I stood up and turned off the TV."

Quote:
I've been following the Champion's status for a while now, and I've finally decided it's time.
May I suggest, "I had been following the Champions status for a while now. I knew it was now, or never."

Quote:
I long to be on that TV, and to fight my way to the top.
May I suggest "I wanted to fight my way to the top; I wanted it to be me on the television screen."

The order of some of the sentences seem to be off, for example above, you can't be on television until you are on top... I hope I am making sense.

You use "I long" quite a bit in that paragraph as well.You can replace "long" with "dream" or "want".

And so on and so forth, but I think you get my idea. *laughs* I don't want to keep going and write it for you. Tense issues, as in wrong tense and random tense changes.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Thank you for that. I'm in the middle of working on a second chapter, and I'll take tense into account. Keeping things in tense has always been a problem for me when I write.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

before you start writing about an adventure with the Ralts, I think this may be of relevance
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charizard2K View Post
Should be "I stood up and turned off the TV."

Tense issues, as in wrong tense and random tense changes.
Actually I disagree. It doesn't have to be "I stood up and turned off the TV;" the whole piece is in present tense and there's nothing wrong with that. Present tense is a perfectly valid tense to write in; it doesn't have to be changed. I didn't see any issues with tense, except perhaps for this:

Quote:
The sun rises, and the Starly are chirping.
I would go with "The sun is rising," to keep the tense consistent here.

But yeah, there's no reason to change it to past tense unless that's what you want it to be in.

A couple of other things: might want to run a spell check before you post things; there's nothing too horrendous but there are a few misspelled here and there, like "Professor," "recommend," and "tomorrow." (They're spelled correctly here for reference." If you use Firefox, you can right-click the text box and select "check spelling" and it'll do that for you.

There are a few words capitalized that shouldn't be, like "and" in the "I'm Adam" sentence.

You do this most of the time, but whenever you write dialogue such as,
Quote:
Originally Posted by random example
"Hello," he said.
always make sure to use a comma after the dialogue when the "he said" is part of the sentence. (Meaning, the sentence such as, "I was afraid of that." Rowan walks etc. is fine because the "Rowan walks" isn't an actual part of the dialogue.)

And a final thing: the story right now has a lot of long chunks of dialogue whose sole purpose is to dump information on the reader. Think about it realistically: would this Adam really not know that three years ago an evil organization tried to take over the world? That's pretty major, so an explanation such as the one that you've used here doesn't seem logical. Integrate information slowly; maybe when the guy first runs into Adam, he thinks he looks remarkably similar to a Team Galactic grunt or something.

Hope that helps. =)
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafpool View Post
before you start writing about an adventure with the Ralts, I think this may be of relevance
Well, you may not be able to tell it from the first chapter, but that's actually kinda the opposite direction that I was going. I mean, I know ralts is cliche, but I chose it because Gallade is my favorite pokemon. Adam (me) will find more pokemon throughout the course of the story.

Thanks for the help, people who have read the story. I'll try and work on tense. Next chapter should be up by Friday at the latest. I'd work on it more, but school, Science Olympiad, and an upcoming trip with my dad to sell books in a place that DOESN"T EVEN HAVE CELL PHONE COVERAGEh has been stressing me out a little.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

I love your story, and I have the same problem with keeping things in the right tense. However, your little intro does seem to be in the right tense, so I don't understand what that person was talking about. I noticed that with words that have an i and an e in them you kept getting mixed up and putting the e first and thought I'd just pop in here and say a little trick that my english teacher had taught me. i before e except after c. So in the story where you said beleive, that should be believe. But all in all I loved how you wrote your story, there were just a few spelling mistakes.

Ressurect = resurrect
Beleive = believe
and so on(:
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

The part about the Pokeball breaking and the trainer getting to keep the Pokemon seems a bit too close to what happened with Mark in The Quest For the Legends.

It all seemed too typical, like your average trainer fic. Starting at the game's protagonist's home town, easy aquisition of Pokemon, shiny starter (Which is actually more common than most think)...
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

That's strange, because I haven't read the Quest for The Legends.

I may rework the first chapter and add a second sometime soon.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

The main problem I have is with the big chunk of dialogue. The problem is that it feels really unrealistic. Some nickpicks:

1. Why did Professor Rowan automatically assume that Adam is a thief? Thieves usually don't go around presenting their stolen things to authority figures. And if Rowan thinks that Adam is a thief, it seems a bit strange that he believes Adam's story that the boy picked it off the ground without any evidence to back it up.

2. Did Rowan just ignore the huge line of trainers, all who to give Adam a pokemon? That's kind of a jerkish thing to do. The other trainers have woken up early specially for the chance of getting a pokemon, and Rowan just ignores all of them, then let a late kid keep a shiny Ralts that nobody knows if it's stolen? They should at least get mad or complain. It seems really unfair.

2.5. The line of trainers also seemed to serve no purpose besides making Adam seem more special (look at Adam! He gets a shiny ralts and they don't!). They don't talk, walk around, or do anything. They're almost like furniture...

3. More emotions! Adam seems to have no feelings after the introductory paragraph. It's written in first person, so you should use this opportunity to expand on Adam's inner world more. Don't bombard the fic with thoughts, of course, but Adam feels really unnatural right now. He should be shocked, or mildly annoyed, or panicked, or something after a respected pokemon professor accuses him of being a thief in front of a large group of trainers. Also, he seems way too calm for a trainer-wannabe when he doesn't react at all after being told that he won't be able to get his first pokemon from Rowan.

4. The ending feels really choppy. We jump straight from Rowan's lab to the Pokemon Center in about half a sentence. The walk could've been a good time for Adam to ponder about his journey, or his new Pokemon, or Team Galatic.

5. And Adam comments on what a day it has been after he falls a sleep seems a bit weird. I dunno, could be just me on that one.

Also, since you're writing Adam as a self-insert, you're going to wander into Sue territory if you're not careful. I would suggest that you look at this list of Common Mary Sue Traits (warning: TVTropes). Adam is not a Sue, but he has the potential to be, especially with the shiny ralts and the way the professor's treating him.
Also, I would suggest that you don't mention the fact that Adam is a self-insert to the world, because a lot of people have a prejudice against self-inserts, since they often happen to become Sues.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

I have a plan for that shiny ralts. Also, I think I'll add the second chapter soon. Thanks for the advice, everyone!
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallOut Blade View Post
That's strange, because I haven't read the Quest for The Legends.

I may rework the first chapter and add a second sometime soon.
Mmm. You should read it, then. It's Butterfree's best work. Er, well, that and the spin-offs.

If you do rework chapter one, try and get the chapter length up considerably. I'd suggest at lest three times the length of chapter one.
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Last edited by Chopsuey; 10-21-2010 at 02:46 AM. Reason: Typo.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steele View Post

If you do rework chapter one, try and get the chapter length up considerably. I'd suggest at lest three times the length of chapter one.
Actually, I disagree; fanfics can be great even if the chapters are on the short side. I think the length of this chapter is pretty good; better organization and descriptions'll make it better, but it seems fine right now.

Long chapters might actually turn away readers, because it's hard to stay focused for so long. Unless, of course, you can write really well, but even so, you wouldn't really need long chapters.

Really, make chapters as long as you want. If there's a place you feel would make a good ending for a chapter, do it, even if it'll make the chapter short. Instead of feeling pressured to make longer chapters, focus on your story instead.

And yes, do read The Quest for the Legends. :) It's awesome.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafpool View Post
before you start writing about an adventure with the Ralts, I think this may be of relevance
yes except this is not the issue with this uh 'fic' is what you call it? I don't know that the word fiction would exactly be accurate because this is like those writing exercises you have to do in fifth grade where no one can write and they just make themselves star in the best story ever.

You have not written a story. You have written, like. An outline. Of something that still isn't a story. It basically sounds like a really scarce 'narrative' version of a game walkthrough except it's a mod of DPPt where you are in a super special Yellow-type situation. Your story goes as so:

this happened. I said a thing. Then this happened. Then this happened. Then exposition, then I met the plot point. Then I ended a chapter.

This does not make for good fiction, hotlegs.

In fact, a lot of what people are saying -- 'oh careful he's gonna be a sue!!' -- is wrong. (For one, I don't believe this mary sue bull crap ... any character can avoid being a 'sue' if one /writes them well./ Same with cliches. Fuck that noise.) But it's not wrong because he's a good character or anything, it's because he has no personality at all. At all. Which is why it reminds me so much of a game walkthrough because he is completely blank and uninteresting and never responds to anything with any sort of enthusiasm. It's like he's just watching himself do nothing and writing it down. Not interesting in the least.

NOTE TO READERS: this fic is actually good if you read it in a robot voice! This should be about a robot.

So you have this kid go up to Rowan -- who regularly looks like he could beat the shit out of Team Galactic with one hand behind his back, just sayin -- and go HEY I FOUND THIS. Then, when Rowan accuses him of stealing, he's like 'no i didn't' and Rowan believes him? Rowan asks you twice in-game if you even like pokemon, the guy is nuts.

AND ALSO A POKEMON PROFESSOR. If you found a stolen pokemon he wouldn't just go 'oh hey, this thing is probably stolen and valuable and the horrible ruthless evil team of the day is going to be looking for it LET'S GIVE IT TO THE TWELVE YEAR OLD.' He'd take it, study it maybe, find its owner or whatever, release it I don't know but he's an adult and a smart one at that and would not entrust a kid with a stolen pokemon. Or whatever it was.

Was the ralts stolen? Or just caught by a galactic grunt? Either way the thing is not going to just go 'oh hey, you are not the guy who caught me, twelve year old boy, let us be bffls.' Even if ralts is all emotion-based or whatever I have a feeling it would be a little freaked out.

All that aside notice I haven't even talked much about your writing. That is because it is sparse and bad and is not fiction writing at all and I will take hours to explain how to not suck so hard and I don't have that kind of time, I'm writing an essay or so I claim. But three words SHOW DON'T TELL anyways have fun with that this was bad
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Hiya. I thought the story was interesting and had a lot of potential, and I wanted to give you some advice beyond tenses and the employment of trainer-fic tropes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallOut Blade View Post
[I]"And the champion lets loose with another Ice Punch! Flint's Dragonite is not looking very good here." [Rest of sequence]
I like this opening, because it draws you immediately into a conflict, and its a pretty exciting way to start. No super confusing prologue foreshadowing things that will happen 50 chapters later, just action. I like it.
I acknowledge this is a television narrator describing the fight, but if this is your actual style of describing battles, I recommend giving a bit more description besides attack names, but as it stands for this portion of the story and as a television announcer giving narration, it works and sets a good pace.
Quote:
I stand up and turn off the TV. I've been following the Champion's status for a while now, and I've finally decided it's time. I long to be on that TV, and to fight my way to the top. I long to be on the road, traveling with my Pokemon. I long to make my family proud, and to put my name on the top of the list. I long to know what it feels like to be the most powerful trainer in the world.

I'm Adam, And I'm a Pokemon Champion to be.
And you keep the good pace! We immediately know:
1) who he is
2) what he wants and why
And this is great. I am immediately given a goal to want to see the protagonist to want, and thus I care about what happens again. Good job!

Quote:
Early morning.
I think its a bit redundant to tell the reader that its morning after you show it in the following paragraph. I recommend cutting the above line from the story.
Quote:
The sun rises, and the Starly are chirping. The dawn of a new day, and the beginning of my journey. I say goodbye to my mom, take the single Potion out of my PC storage system, and set off towards the Pokemon Lab in Sandgem Town. It's a pleasant day. The sun is bright, and a light breeze is blowing through the trees. I feel like I could rule the world, like nothing could stop-

"Hey! Get out of the way!"
Again, breaking from my show don't tell advice, I would say I like how you got the boring stuff out of the way to maintain your up-beat pacing. I also enjoy the humor in what he was thinking and what he was cut off by. Again, good job.
Quote:
As I walk in, I see a line of trainers standing in front of a desk. They all look excited, and are staring hungrily at the single Pokeball on it.

"I'm afraid you might be too late All these trainers got here first, and only one of them can walk out of here with that Pokemon."
Good job at setting up the mood of the scene, I like it.
Quote:
I describe the person to him.
Again, I like how you skip borrowing parts and maintain a fast tempo.

Quote:
"That man who ran you over belongs to a sinister group of theives named Team Galactic. Three years ago, they tried to ressurect an ancient pokemon and take over the world. A trainer stopped them, but one of their commanders, Charon, went into hiding. They've started attacking and stealing again, and it's just been getting worse." The machine starts to hum as he continues. "He is hiding somwhere in Mt. Coronet, but so far no one has been able to find him. There are rumors going around suggesting a takeover, but.... I honestly don't know who to believe anymore." He sighs, and hands me back the pokeball.
And know we know:
3) what is keeping him from what he wants
Thus, in a relatively short time, you have set up the plot, main characters, and why we should care. Good job.

Quote:
"I beleive this belongs to you."
*Believe
Quote:
"Well, the Pokeball system works like this: When a Pokemon is captured, the Pokeball sends a signal to the Pokemon Storage System, and the Pokemon is registered under te trainer's ID. This ball was broken, so it's as if no one ever caught it. You can have this one, as soon as I register your ID number in the Trainer Liscence Registration Database."

[...]

I stare at in awe, remembering seeing a picture of this Pokemon in the Trainer School. There was also something else about it. It was a rare "shiny" Pokemon. I remember learning that a recessive gene in a Pokemon's genetic structure caused it to have a different coloration, and to produce blue sparks from around its body when it was released.
I LOVE these bits of World-Building, looks like you have thought it through, and I hope to see more of these delightful tidbits.
I also like how quick the world-building is. You just do a flash of it, and then continue to the story, hardly slowing down. I like that.

Quote:

"Wait!" He stops me mid-step. "I don't think you should leave until tommorow morning. There's a storm on the way, and you'd be better off staying at the hotel in the Pokemon Center."
And this makes we wonder what will happen next, and thus is a pretty good "cliffhanger" of sorts for us to want to keep reading.


Overall, I think you are a good writer because you keep a great pace whilst still having some interesting world-building, and make me actually want to read more. ^_^

Quote:
yes except this is not the issue with this uh 'fic' is what you call it? I don't know that the word fiction would exactly be accurate because this is like those writing exercises you have to do in fifth grade where no one can write and they just make themselves star in the best story ever.
How does this bit of badgering help the author?
Quote:
You have not written a story. You have written, like. An outline. Of something that still isn't a story. It basically sounds like a really scarce 'narrative' version of a game walkthrough except it's a mod of DPPt where you are in a super special Yellow-type situation.
Um, your metaphor doesn't work if you then describe whats different from the things you compare its like if I said:
"You are like concrete, you are unmovable. Except its more like that it has cracks and you can scoop up the pieces."
See how that doesn't work very well?

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this happened. I said a thing. Then this happened. Then this happened. Then exposition, then I met the plot point. Then I ended a chapter.
What is your criticism? That its first-person? That is goes at a fast pace?
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This does not make for good fiction, hotlegs.
Than what does? Are you going to help them improve? Or are you just going to point things out that you hate without being specific before calling the author names?
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NOTE TO READERS: this fic is actually good if you read it in a robot voice! This should be about a robot.
More pointless badgering.
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So you have this kid go up to Rowan -- who regularly looks like he could beat the shit out of Team Galactic with one hand behind his back, just sayin --
He got easily shoved out of the way, that doesn't even make sense as a criticism.
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and go HEY I FOUND THIS. Then, when Rowan accuses him of stealing, he's like 'no i didn't' and Rowan believes him? Rowan asks you twice in-game if you even like pokemon, the guy is nuts.
Well if you read it, it established why he believed him, and Rowan didn't instantly believe him, he was notably skeptical.

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AND ALSO A POKEMON PROFESSOR. If you found a stolen pokemon he wouldn't just go 'oh hey, this thing is probably stolen and valuable and the horrible ruthless evil team of the day is going to be looking for it LET'S GIVE IT TO THE TWELVE YEAR OLD.' He'd take it, study it maybe, find its owner or whatever, release it I don't know but he's an adult and a smart one at that and would not entrust a kid with a stolen pokemon. Or whatever it was.
This is the man who sends little kids out into the wild to get research data for his Pokedex knowing full-well the dangers? No, Rowan (nor any of the professors) are that careful. If they were, they wouldn't give the player character research equipment and expect them to use it for them whilst hardly knowing them.
In other words, main-plot of the main-games suspend my disbelief in almost the exact same way.
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Was the ralts stolen? Or just caught by a galactic grunt? Either way the thing is not going to just go 'oh hey, you are not the guy who caught me, twelve year old boy, let us be bffls.' Even if ralts is all emotion-based or whatever I have a feeling it would be a little freaked out.
You admitted at the beginning you had no idea what the situation with the Ralts was, it could not be a normal Ralts and some sort of experiment, you never know, so I would wait before we know more before criticizing things based on speculation.
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All that aside notice I haven't even talked much about your writing. That is because it is sparse and bad and is not fiction writing at all and I will take hours to explain how to not suck so hard and I don't have that kind of time, I'm writing an essay or so I claim. But three words SHOW DON'T TELL anyways have fun with that this was bad
I would say "Show don't tell." is context-sensitive, and I think the author avoided being boring by keeping a fast pace, being descriptive for the interesting parts, and I like that. You don't point out whats specifically wrong, you are too lazy to as you admit, and you just pointlessly badger the author.

Overall, your criticism sucks.
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

As much as I hate to say this, no. Your criticism does. As a writer, I know that I would much rather have someone review my fic like Verne did like then you did. All you did was gush about it. That doesn't help anyone.

Of course, Verne was also right. The chapter just kind of ends. The prose is short and choppy. The dialogue takes over. The beginning is almost exactly like EP001 of the anime. I don't know what Adam looks like, his goals are boring and clichéd, and we know nothing of his personality. Not even a hint.

While I wouldn't say he's a Marty Sue just because he's a self insert (I have five very different self inserts myself to the point that it's a plot point that they all have the same soul, yet are different people) and that he has shiny Ralts unless everyone starts to think Adam is awesome and he mows down everything, those are still things that make readers want to stop reading.

Or maybe it's because I've read the same thing a million times (and even write one myself) that I'm being so hard on this, I don't know.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketsu View Post
As much as I hate to say this, no. Your criticism does. As a writer, I know that I would much rather have someone review my fic like Verne did like then you did. All you did was gush about it. That doesn't help anyone.
As a writer, I would like to have had people tell me what exactly I did wrong and what exactly I did right, so I can repeat it. I praised it in a specific manner, Verne did so in a very vague manner without being specific. Being specific helps the writer know what they did right (so they do it again), and what Verne did was just put the author down without helping them. Wherein I pointed to things I would like to see in the future, giving them incentive to repeat what they did right.
Quote:

Of course, Verne was also right. The chapter just kind of ends. The prose is short and choppy. The dialogue takes over. The beginning is almost exactly like EP001 of the anime. I don't know what Adam looks like, his goals are boring and clichéd, and we know nothing of his personality. Not even a hint.
Yes, but couldn't they have said that without being mean?
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While I wouldn't say he's a Marty Sue just because he's a self insert (I have five very different self inserts myself to the point that it's a plot point that they all have the same soul, yet are different people) and that he has shiny Ralts unless everyone starts to think Adam is awesome and he mows down everything, those are still things that make readers want to stop reading.
Eh, I don't think that makes logical sense, not saying you are employing it, but making this more of a general comment to the criticism thus far:
"Adam is a self-insert. Most self-inserts are Mary Sues, therefore all self-inserts are Mary Sues, thus Adam is a Mary Sue."
"Adam has a Ralts. People who have Ralts in a story are Mary Sues, therefore all people who have Ralts in a story are Mary Sues, thus Adam is a Mary Sue."
"Emerald stones are green. Most green things are plants, therefore all green things are plants, thus emerald stones are plants."

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Or maybe it's because I've read the same thing a million times (and even write one myself) that I'm being so hard on this, I don't know.
He's just playing Trainer-Fic tropes straight, and I think its refreshing to have a story that isn't all dark just to be different.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Quote:
Eh, I don't think that makes logical sense, not saying you are employing it, but making this more of a general comment to the criticism thus far:
"Adam is a self-insert. Most self-inserts are Mary Sues, therefore all self-inserts are Mary Sues, thus Adam is a Mary Sue."
"Adam has a Ralts. People who have Ralts in a story are Mary Sues, therefore all people who have Ralts in a story are Mary Sues, thus Adam is a Mary Sue."
"Emerald stones are green. Most green things are plants, therefore all green things are plants, thus emerald stones are plants."
Your argument doesn't make sense either. Ketsu doesn't even say that Adam is a Sue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketsu
While I wouldn't say he's a Marty Sue just because he's a self insert...
The point is that Adam does not have any personality. Adam gets a special, shiny Ralts just because. Rowan ignores a huge group of eager trainers just for Adam. Rowan is entirely persuaded that Adam is not a thief even though Adam had no proof. Ralts didn't freak out or try to teleport away or anything when it sees that it's surrounded by unfamiliar people. It's not logical, and it's not an interesting read. It's not that they're trying to be different; it's that they are trying to be interesting.

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He's just playing Trainer-Fic tropes straight, and I think its refreshing to have a story that isn't all dark just to be different.
But people don't want to read about straight trainer fics! People want to read an interesting story, and playing the tropes straight gives you a cliched, overused plot (or no plot at all). And since nobody has a personality in this fic, people can't read it for the character development either. Dark fics aren't necessarily interesting, but interesting fics are usually a bit dark because there's only so much you can do with happiness and sunshine.
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Linoone View Post
Your argument doesn't make sense either. Ketsu doesn't even say that Adam is a Sue.
I said it was a general comment.
Quote:


The point is that Adam does not have any personality. Adam gets a special, shiny Ralts just because. Rowan ignores a huge group of eager trainers just for Adam. Rowan is entirely persuaded that Adam is not a thief even though Adam had no proof. Ralts didn't freak out or try to teleport away or anything when it sees that it's surrounded by unfamiliar people. It's not logical, and it's not an interesting read. It's not that they're trying to be different; it's that they are trying to be interesting.
It was the only fic in this sub-forum recently published that held my interest, so *shrugs*.

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But people don't want to read about straight trainer fics!
Yes but the writer wants to write a straight trainer fic, thus you should help them write a better straight trainer fic, because if they start telling the story they don't want to, whats the point?

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People want to read an interesting story, and playing the tropes straight gives you a cliched, overused plot (or no plot at all).
Star Wars played most of its tropes straight and did fine.
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And since nobody has a personality in this fic, people can't read it for the character development either. Dark fics aren't necessarily interesting, but interesting fics are usually a bit dark because there's only so much you can do with happiness and sunshine.
Um, no you can do a lot with Happiness and Sunshine, the tone of a work really shouldn't correlate it with its quality.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Insert Title Here. Fanfic I'm starting to write.(Opinions/Help/Criticism appreciated)

Ugh.

Honestly? Verne wasn't particularly helpful. He didn't really bother to explain himself properly (except in regard to the logic issues), just talking about how bad the writing is and how robotic Adam is. That makes perfect sense to people who already see the issues he's talking about and can fill in the blanks from their own minds, but it will mean absolutely nothing to the author (who clearly doesn't see it that way since he wrote it in the first place), making it very unlikely to result in actual improvement unless somebody comes along and tries to explain.

So, well, I guess I'm going to attempt to do that. For future reference, Verne, if you absolutely must half-ass a review, try to at least do so without using inflammatory language. It's just going to get people upset.

What Verne is trying to say about your writing is that it's extremely flat. This is especially glaring because you're writing in first person present tense. First person present tense is the absolute closest you can get to the character: the reader is there with them, in the moment, seeing all that they see and feeling all that they feel. Usually this perspective and tense are used for very introspective stuff, but this story is just him completely robotically running through what's happening, without any emotion or character, and it gives the impression that he's just this blank slate. Hence the comments about his lack of personality: there's just nothing there to make him feel like a character.

Specifically, the only hint that he's an actual human being with emotions is at the beginning, where he announces his intent to become the Champion. And unfortunately, that's about as generic as goals for original trainers get, meaning it doesn't do much (read: anything) to set him apart. The remainder of the story is nothing but neutral, factual descriptions, and while those are fine when you want to write a neutral report, they don't make for very interesting fiction.

Don't just write about what's happening; write about how Adam experiences what's happening. Instead of:

Quote:
As I walk in, I see a line of trainers standing in front of a desk. They all look excited, and are staring hungrily at the single Pokeball on it.

"I'm afraid you might be too late All these trainers got here first, and only one of them can walk out of here with that Pokemon."

"Actually, Proffesor," I say, " I wanted to talk to you about this." I hold up the ball, and he snatches it out of my hand.

"Where did you get this? You know that stealing pokemon is punishable by law, don't you?"

"No no no, it's nothing like that." I assure him. "I found it on the ground after this strange spaceman-like guy ran me over."

"What did he look like?"
Try something like:

Quote:
As soon as I open the door, I see a crowd of trainers - twenty? thirty? - organized in an unruly line in front of the professor's desk, and I realize at once, with a sinking feeling in my stomach, that I'm late. Even if Professor Rowan has extra Pokémon to give away, there's no way he could possibly have this many. How could I have screwed up my timing today? No Pokémon - I wouldn't get a Pokémon. I'd have to beg Mom and Dad, or...

Professor Rowan clears his throat, snapping me out of my thoughts. "I'm afraid you might be too late," he says gently. "All these trainers got here first, and only one of them can walk out of here with that Pokémon."

I try to push the thought away; I'm only going to make an idiot out of myself if I start to protest. "Um," I say, feeling the eyes of all the potential trainers on me. "Actually, Professor... I wanted to talk to you about this." I hold the Pokéball I found forward a little and am about to start explaining when Professor Rowan suddenly snatches it out of my hand, his expression turning into rage. "Where did you get this?" He looks at me, eyes blazing with a mad fury, and all I can do is look back at him in puzzlement; is he a little crazy? "You know that stealing Pokémon is punishable by law, don't you?"

"What?" I glance around and see the other kids' eyes widening. "No, no, no, it's nothing like that!" I say quickly. "I... I found it. On the ground, after this strange... spaceman-like guy, uh, ran me over."

I realize halfway through the sentence that I probably sound even madder than the professor and half-expect someone to burst out laughing, but they don't, and Professor Rowan calms immediately, as if it's the most natural explanation in the world. "What did he look like?" he asks, and I can only assume he means the space-man.
I'm not claiming this particular blurb is stellar writing, what with it being hammered together for this review, but my point is you hopefully see the difference between the two passages, and then I don't mean "the second one is longer". It's a matter of describing what the character is experiencing through their eyes - not just what's happening, but their emotions and observations about what's happening. Other relevant detail also tends to enrich the storytelling unless you start cramming in useless information for the hell of it or put it in at inappropriate moments (such as in a fast-paced scene where you should be focusing on the action).

Really, though, I personally have more of a beef with the story here than with the writing. It simply doesn't make sense, and that's putting it mildly. To recount everything that really jumps out to me as nonsensical:

1. How on earth is he this late to something he's clearly supposed to be extremely excited about? Wouldn't he be sure to wake up early and show up on time, at the latest? This isn't to say he can't be late if you want him to be (maybe he misremembered what time it was supposed to be or something), but the fact you don't include any thoughts or emotions is your downfall here - you don't show anything that could vaguely hint at why he's late, and this is something that really should have come up in his thought process at some point. The reader isn't going to just come up with justifications for something like that for you.

2. Even worse, how is he this late without even realizing he's late in the first place? You don't give the impression he's hurrying at all, so we really aren't expecting him to suddenly step into the lab and discover that oh, he's actually way late. Ordinarily one would assume that if he was late he (and by extension the audience) would already know.

3. Why on Earth is Professor Rowan only giving out one Pokémon when there are so many kids competing for it? How does he decide who gets the Pokémon? A draw? That's just silly and unfair; he canonically has multiple Pokémon to give out and I really don't see why you here chose to make it only one. Furthermore, if there's only one Pokémon being given out, why did Adam confidently assume that he would be starting his journey today at all? Was he unaware that other kids live in his hometown or something?

4. Relatedly, if he really is giving out only one Pokémon, why did he just tell Adam that nope, sorry, he's too late, when there are several trainers lined up? If it's determined by who gets there first, everybody else after the first person to show was also too late and wouldn't need to line up; if it's not, why have a time limit in the first place?

5. Others have commented on the nonsensicalness of Rowan first automatically assuming he's stealing and then magically believing him the moment he says he didn't, so I won't go into that.

6. Why in the world does Rowan tell him all that stuff about Team Galactic? There is no conceivable way that Adam needs to know that, and it's quite likely (as others have pointed out) that he already does. Why not just, at most, leave it at "The man must have been from Team Galactic, it seems they're on the rise again, thanks for your help and goodbye"? The answer, of course, is that you want to infodump for the audience's sake, but you should never make it this obvious you're infodumping. It doesn't make sense for the character to give a long-winded speech about Team Galactic's plans and possibility of a takeover.

7. Others have commented on Rowan giving him the Ralts, but this is bad enough that I must do so too: WHY WHY WHY? Seriously, even Adam sees how ridiculous this is:

Quote:
"How can that belong to me?" I ask him. "I just picked it up off of the ground!"

"Well, the Pokeball system works like this: When a Pokemon is captured, the Pokeball sends a signal to the Pokemon Storage System, and the Pokemon is registered under te trainer's ID. This ball was broken, so it's as if no one ever caught it. You can have this one, as soon as I register your ID number in the Trainer Liscence Registration Database."
This reminds me all too strongly of another fanfic where a character posed a perfectly valid question about the nonsensical premise of the story and got an answer to a completely different question back. Just how, indeed, does it belong to him now? Professor Rowan is not answering that; he's explaining why it doesn't have a legal owner at all (though the explanation doesn't make sense either: you explain why a Pokémon is registered to you when you catch it but then go on to assuming this record is erased when the ball is broken, which does not follow from that). A Pokémon professor's first thought when a mysterious Pokéball from Team Galactic comes into his hands should not be "Oh, well, might as well just hand it over to the kid who brought it here." It could be a murderous experimental clone that wants to kill everybody, for Christ's sake. Nobody sane would just tell him he can have it without even looking at it, and even if they looked at it and found it was harmless, they'd still try to find out if it was okay or had been abused or what, and probably release it into the wild rather than give it to the next random twelve-year-old they see.

Incidentally...

Quote:
This is the man who sends little kids out into the wild to get research data for his Pokedex knowing full-well the dangers? No, Rowan (nor any of the professors) are that careful. If they were, they wouldn't give the player character research equipment and expect them to use it for them whilst hardly knowing them.
In other words, main-plot of the main-games suspend my disbelief in almost the exact same way.
No. Something nonsensical is not justified by arguing something else is also nonsensical.

Furthermore, young kids traveling around with Pokémon is considered normal in the Pokémon world, and the professors always have some reason to trust you with the Pokédex, as you run some errand for them before you actually get one and sometimes they've even known you for years. Rowan here is not just violating what we'd consider normal in the real world; he's going against all common sense.

8. Even worse, they're standing right in front of a bunch of other kids who are desperate to get a Pokémon. Why aren't they crying foul, asking why he's getting special treatment? Why aren't they going into fits of jealous rage when they see he's getting a freaking shiny Ralts just because he happened to bump into some Team Galactic dude? This applies especially because all of those kids have to compete for one Pokémon, and then this random guy waltzes in way late and gets a special much rarer Pokémon?

Odds are they aren't because you forgot they were there mid-scene, which is just extremely lazy writing. If there are characters present, they need to react realistically to what's going on, or you give the impression they all just poofed out of existence at some point during the conversation.

This is all so much more painful because it didn't have to be like this. So okay, say you absolutely must give him a special shiny Ralts owned by Team Galactic. Why doesn't Adam just step into Rowan's lab, discover he's too late to get a Pokémon, look at the Pokéball in his hand and realize he already has a Pokémon? This story would be so much more interesting if he just backed slowly out of the lab and went on his journey with a technically stolen Ralts. Inner conflict! Shades of gray! And you get to give him your special Pokémon in a way that makes more sense. Win-win.

But okay, now you might say that you'd never steal a Pokémon and Adam is based on you so you couldn't do that, and fine, it's your story, but in all honesty, you probably aren't as interesting to read about as somebody who would steal it. That's one of the main problems with self-inserts: people usually aren't very aware of their flaws, their moral dark side, or any of the aspects of themselves that tend to make fictional characters interesting or fun to read about, and this tends to lead to them just being kind of boring when they try to insert themselves into a story. The most entertaining self-inserts are extremely self-deprecating; to quote How Not to Write a Novel, "In fact, successful autobiographical fiction tends to [use] themes like 'I am a loathsome worm' or 'I flounder helplessly with the simplest of tasks'." If you can write yourself believably as an interesting or entertaining character, go for it, but I wouldn't be too confident of success there.

There's also the part where it's kind of hard to write yourself going through character development and most people are averse to writing themselves into serious trouble and generally I cannot fathom why the hell anyone would even want to write about characters who are literally themselves, but whatever. :/

In general, you'd do well to remember that other characters and events don't exist for your main character's sake or the sake of his story; they have their own individual existences and this should be reflected in the story. If you're going to portray an event like a starter Pokémon giveaway, you can't just think about how you can set up a scene for your character to barge into; you have to think through how a starter giveaway might actually work. Likewise, you have to write Professor Rowan as saying and doing what this Pokémon professor would say or do in the situation, not just whatever your character or plot need him to say or do. If you can't get the setup you need using things the characters might naturally say or do, you'll have to change the setup to something that gives similar results but makes more sense.

Incidentally, about the shiny Ralts, a good rule of thumb is that anything very lucky or unlikely that happens to your character, unless it's set up in such a way that it feels like a natural consequence of what led up to it, should ultimately be there to give them more problems, not less. If having this Ralts gets Team Galactic on his heels trying to murder him or something about as hellish, great. If it just turns out to be the most awesome Ralts ever that beats everything and handily takes care of Team Galactic when they show up, not so great, because that just makes him an obnoxious Gary-Stu.
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