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The Bringer!
September 7th, 2009, 07:43 PM
First chapter of my repost of Down the Beaten Path. New name, and *soon* new chapters. For now, this first one is basically the same as the one I posted a few years ago. This is probably because chapter one isn't very plot filled, and is mostly an introduction.


Chapter One: Celadon Story

A gust of sweet smelling wind swept across the darkened city of Celadon. Trees billowed from side to side in the unusually warm night air as their golden hued leaves were swept away from them one by one. The whimsical foliage floated in an almost dream like manner past the worn sign that read “Welcome to Celadon City, Kanto’s Brightest Light.” Faded green houses lined up in almost perfect rows seemed to watch in a sleepy manner as the warm breeze carried its leaf passengers to the outskirts of the city. The golden leaves finally laid to rest near a small house, not unlike the dozens of others that surrounded it, where they buried themselves into the quavering, green grass.

One of the windows of this particular house seemed to be ablaze in a brilliant yellow glow, shining out into the darkness of the warm air of the city. A young boy was sitting in this room, slightly unnerved by the quiet tranquility of post midnight. He had been up all night, counting dozens of yellowish coins that were stored in a large tan case. He had been awake to hear the noises of the Game Corner steadily get louder as the sky grew dim, and to hear the many cars drive away as even the most persistent gamblers called it quits. Their Coin Cases varied from completely empty to bursting with the gleaming coins of the Celadon Game Corner. However, now he was awake to hear absolutely nothing, the city had finally died down for the night.

“Three thousand and ten,” the boy said in the middle of a yawn. He was beginning to feel the burden of counting up his many coins, but he didn’t mind. He had been saving them ever since the age of ten, when he had gotten the Coin Case from his uncle as a gift. He could still remember that very day.

“Here ya go, Shane, this is a present for my favorite nephew!” The boy’s uncle had said in a kind and excited voice. His uncle had always had a gambling problem, but when he decided to give up the habit he had given his Coin Case to Shane, much to Shane’s parent’s disapproval. That was also the day Shane first stepped foot into the Game Corner. It was a fairly unattractive place, with the stench of tobacco and burnt popcorn smothering him the minute he entered the neon lit room. Most of it was only accessible to adults, but a few “child friendly” areas were designated. Basically, they were the few places that hadn’t quite yet been completely covered in stains and littered with cigarette butts. Until recently, there had also been a man in a black suit standing in front of a poster in the far corner of the room that was restricted to adults. Shane had had a glimpse of him before, but never knew why he could have been standing there every single day. Even though Shane did not care for the place itself, he kept on coming to the crowded building for the chance to get his first pokemon.

Porygon, that one name meant so much to him. He hoped beyond hope that one day the glimmering technological pokemon could be his. Shane could have bought a Dratini at one point, but he knew that dragons were very hard to train. It would be quite troublesome for a beginning trainer such as himself to receive one as his first Pokemon. His few friends had long ago left on their own pokemon journeys, sure Shane received mail from them from time to time, but he still missed them quite a bit. His parents had been going through a tough time financially, and at the time had not been able to pay for Shane’s trip to Pallet to receive a Trainer’s License from the famous Professor Oak. So there he stayed, sadly waving goodbye to his childhood friends.

“Three thousand and seventy five,” the now fourteen year old droned on, practically falling asleep now. His jet black hair was starting to get a little longer than normal because he had refused to get it cut over the summer, but it still had a certain neatness about it. His sleepy, brown eyes were beginning to blink more and more frequently, threatening to permanently close for the night. The teen wore a simple gray T-shirt and boxers, as he was in his clothes that he wore to sleep, which was what he was supposed to be doing. His lightly tan skin shivered as Shane heard a loud crash outside the window of his room. Momentarily stopping his counting, he went to go check what the noise was.

“Stupid Rattata,” Shane said in an irritated voice. He barely caught a glimpse of the purple rodent scurrying away from a tipped over garbage can. Shane decided that he should go to bed now, and wrote down the number four thousand and twenty on a piece of paper before unceremoniously falling onto his bed. He just barely managed to see that the time was three o’clock a.m. before drifting into a dream filled with noisy purple coins and counting golden rats that were in a porygon colored bag.

Redstar
September 7th, 2009, 09:53 PM
A gust of sweet smelling wind swept across the darkened city of Celadon. Trees billowed from side to side in the unusually warm night air as their golden hued leaves were swept away from them one by one. The whimsical foliage floated in an almost dream like manner past the worn sign that read “Welcome to Celadon City, Kanto’s Brightest Light.” Faded green houses lined up in almost perfect rows seemed to watch in a sleepy manner as the warm breeze carried its leaf passengers to the outskirts of the city. The golden leaves finally laid to rest near a small house, not unlike the dozens of others that surrounded it, where they buried themselves into the quavering, green grass.
First paragraph, first fault. I count 19 descriptors used in this paragraph alone. That's 19 descriptors for five sentences. That's very skewed proportioning. While creating good visuals is a quality all writers should strive for, using this many simply overwhelms the reader. Once characters and actual story get into the mix, that overwhelming feeling can distract from what really matters. You know you're slipping into prose over importance when you describe grass as "green" (which is always green unless it's dead) and foliage as "whimsical". What does that even mean?

Now, I understand you're setting up where the story takes place, but you're going about it the wrong way. Describing the setting can be used, but it's generally not advised when that amount to you describing nothing at all. This is evident when your next paragraph has nothing to do with the previous. Simply saying "one of the houses in the place I just described has a character in it" is rather weak. Characters usually are in houses when characters start, so I'm not being told anything special. If you were to do exactly as you did, a way to make it work would be to describe the house as being run-down, or a mansion, or something that might hint at the character within. Right now we can't really tell anything at all.

His few friends had long ago left on their own pokemon journeys, sure Shane received mail from them from time to time, but he still missed them quite a bit.
This should either be broken into two sentences, re-written, or divided by semi-colon.

“Three thousand and seventy five,” the now fourteen year old droned on, practically falling asleep now.
The second now should be removed to avoid an annoying repetition, or preferably both to increase fluidity.

The teen wore a simple gray T-shirt and boxers, as he was in his clothes that he wore to sleep, which was what he was supposed to be doing.
The bolded part should be rewritten for fluidity, and the "his" removed since we should assume they're his clothes. The underlined part appears tacked on and could be better handled without imposing over the earlier part.

“Stupid Rattata,” Shane said in an irritated voice...Shane decided that he should go to bed now...
Considering Shane is the only character at this point, I feel this part would read much better with "he" used instead. There would be no confusion.

...before unceremoniously falling onto his bed.
Not really an issue, but "unceremoniously" is typically over-used to the point that I rarely like to see it. In this case a better word could have been used, since I doubt anyone has a ceremony for getting into bed.


Overall a good piece. Nothing spectacular, but it gets the job done in paving the way for what should happen in the coming chapters. I'll be sure to review then.