Thread: Absol tales.
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Old June 29th, 2008 (10:35 AM).
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Well, pretty good. This time around it was more of a plot-chapter than an emotional-chapter, but you need a good mix of those to have a story, so that works out great. I enjoyed the description of Absol life and culture, and how Saul disliked his lifestyle. That was a unique twist, as few fanfics really get deep into the aspects of how wild Pokemon live and work. Some use it, and usually those that do end up being fics that stand out amongst others.

Probably the most major issue I noticed here was the lack of a setting. Where was all this taking place? There's plenty of description of characters and the like (I love how you gave Saul such great detail); now you need to focus just as hard on your locations. For instance, it was never specified what kind of place the Absol family lives in. The reader's mind will start to wonder, "What, so is it a forest? Do they live in caves? A grassy field?" Give us the answer to location-related things like this in your writing, otherwise where are we to assume the action is taking place?

Not much else there. I'm more of the type to review on plot holes and issues with the reasoning of the story, but I suppose I could take a moment to go into grammar. Now, I am aware you don't have Word. Neither do I. Plenty of fanfic authors don't. But I think there were a few gramatical mistakes that need to be mentioned, seeing as you won't learn to fix them just by using Word (and sometimes Word doesn't catch everything). For now let's work with just one portion of a paragraph, though, for the sake of simplicity. I've bolded, underlined, and numbered grammar mistakes so they will be noticable and easy to reference.

He did not enjoy his job 1., in fact, you might say he hated it. But he had no choice 2., he was an Absol. Most 3.Absol's tend to bad events, but few are assigned specifically to one person. He was one of those few. He remembered his assignment day, the wind was running through his milky white fur, his sleek, black claws digging into the dirt, his blade, in all of its jet black glory, gave him a sense of pride. He wasn't happy though, even though all signs would say he was. Saul 4.(his name,) was not fond of the idea of leaving his family and tracing unfortunate events.
Numbers 1 and 2 are pretty much the same problem: improper use of commas. "He did not enjoy his job, in fact, you might say he hated it," does not work because the second part of the sentence (in bold) is incomplete. If you were to read it properly aloud, it would seem awkwardly rushed. Instead of that comma, you could use a period and turn the second half into a sentence of its own. I get the feeling that this paragraph has a sort of deep mood to it, and technical non-fragment sentences sometimes disrupt this mood, so you could just change this sentence and the next (as they have the same problem) to something like this:

He did not enjoy his job. In fact, you might say he hated it. But he had no choice; he was an Absol.
Notice how I used the semicolon (;) in the second sentence rather than doing the same thing I did to the first? Semicolons are very useful punctations, as long as you remember not to over-use them. Every now and then, they are good for keeping the flow going without breaking things into more sentences or improperly inserting commas. Think of a semicolon as an abbreviation for a comma followed by the word "and", or another more fitting conjunction. In other words, it connects two seperate parts of sentences properly without the use of "and", "yet", "but", and other words that would just make the flow of everything seem more choppy and ruin the feeling of your writing.

Most 3.Absol's tend to bad events...
Okay. This is a lot more simple than that last one. An apostrophe (') is used to describe posession. For instance, you would use "Absol's", before a noun that is something the Absol(s) own. In this case, you do not need an apostrophe, because the sentence is telling something that the Absol do, not what they own.

The way I think you are trying to use the word "Absol" here is to make the term plural; you want to show that you are talking about more than one Absol, as in the whole society of them as a whole. In Pokemon fanfiction, pluralization gives you two options. If you've ever seen the anime, multiple Pokemon of the same species are always referred to by the same name they usually have. For example, rather than saying "The Pikachus" while describing three Pikachus, characters will say "The Pikachu", to refer to all three of them. All Pokemon species follow this rule. However, fanfiction authors also use the regular pluralization for most nouns, which is simply to add an 's' at the end of the name (while in the case of a Pokemon like Skitty or Dustox, they would be respectively pluralized as "Skitties" or "Dustoxes", just like singular nouns that normally end in 's' or 'x', and this also works for name sending in 'sh', 'th', 'ch'... et cetera). Therefor, the two correct ways to punctuate this would be:

Most Absol tend to bad events...

Most Absols tend to bad events...
Moving on, I marked out "was" in one sentence (you probably noticed it) becuase without a conjunction (and, yet, but, etc.) after a comma, was is not needed. It's a bit confusing to me, sometimes, too...

Saul (his name,) was not...
Lastly (at least that I noticed in that paragraph) is that comma inside the parentheses. It's un-needed. I think you were thinking you needed a comma to continue the sentence like at the end of a dialogue. Actually, it should just be:

Saul (his name) was not...
See? No comma needed.

Phew! *sighs* How do you grammar-reviewers do this to whole chapters? I guess I'm just being a bit over-specific... Well, grammar isn't as big a deal once you get Word, becuase it will alert you if there's a problem like three-fourths of the time, but you do need to be wary of the one-fourth of the time when Word either doesn't suggest anything specifically or simply doesn't notice something. Hopefully that helps you at some point in time.

All in all, a nice chapter that while lacking in some parts remains very interesting. It really makes the reader want to know what is coming up next. Good luck, and keep 'em coming! Now I'm going to go play Pearl Version...
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