Thread: Metal Coat;
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Old May 29th, 2009 (2:27 PM).
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JX Valentine JX Valentine is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Harassing Bill
Age: 28
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Why this gets no reviews is anyone's guess, really. It's actually got a great storyline, with believable, entertaining characters and original plot. The opener alone is an eye-catcher that essentially takes the old PMD clichés beats them over the head with a lead pipe, and rifles around for things to use for an original plot. Don't get me wrong. That's actually a compliment. As in, you set up the fic making us think it'll be another PMD fic, but by the end of just the first scene, it's pretty obvious that we're not looking at a Pokémon who's going to save the world. Likewise, within two chapters, you actually manage to invert the genre as an added bonus.

The breaking of the fourth wall felt a bit jarring at first, but to be honest, it really works by reminding the reader on a constant basis that this isn't serious business. That way, you end up taking a fic loaded with adventure and, well, Cyrus's brand of happiness and keep it lighthearted and interesting, rather than wandering down dark and angsty paths. Sure, a legendary went flipping psychotic. Sure, she wants Cyrus dead for attempting to rip apart the universe. Sure, she's manipulating the lovely trainers and Pokémon he encounters. The humor that you pepper this fic with allow it to dance away from becoming just another dark fic in which mortals go up against legendaries.

Also, you get extra points for your portrayal of the legendaries as a whole. For example, the entire using Arcanine as a Metatron thing plants amusing images of Arcanine as brown-nosing groupies in my head. Darkrai is only mentioned as evil in the text, but he otherwise doesn't really care about what's going on, making the entire evil thing seem almost like another joke. Uxie's nonchalant attitude made him likeable, and watching the way Azelf spoke to the group was amusing.

Then, of course, you had Mesprit. Oh, Mesprit. I love her when she's psychotic. It's just not what one would expect (because she's cute and… pink), but it fits so much. Not to mention watching her brand of crazy is incredibly refreshing. All too often in this fandom, you have the kind of evil that's obviously evil. As in, yeah, okay, they're surrounded by an evil aura, and they're doing something that's obviously illegal. They drip in evil, a la Darkrai over there. But Mesprit? Psycho***** as a result of messed up morals and her own element working against her? Actually, honest-to-God insane, rather than just slightly misguided? Not a villain often used in the Pokémon fandom, probably because it's one knife short of not designed for kiddies. But even then, it's anyone's guess why that kind of crazy doesn't pop up in fanfiction anymore.

That all aside, there's just a few things to clean up. At various points in the fic, there's just a few things that can best be caught through a spell-checker (or by turning on spell check as you type so you get the red squiggles under words and thus can see whether or not you're screwing up one), and there's a few dialogue rules and comma rules that I'm going to go over through a review of your latest chapter (which will also include some bits that just apply to it). I'd go over the rest, but come now. Sixteen chapters. Sorry, dear, but I don't lack that much of a life.

Quote originally posted by Giratinasaur:
swishing through the aor
I'm guessing you mean "air" here. Like I said, there were certain parts of earlier chapters that could use just a once-through with a spell checker. I know that makes a computer want to commit suicide when trying to handle a Pokémon fanfiction, but there is a way to cheat:

If you're using Microsoft Word or Open Office, learn how to turn on the red squigglies that you get whenever you misspell a word. (In Word, this is Tools > Options > Spelling & Grammar > Check spelling as you type. I don't recall off the top of my head what it is in Open Office.) By doing this, you can physically see what words are misspelled as you go along, so you can easily go back and figure out what's correct and what's actually a typo.

“And what do you expect Embargo is going to do? All it does is make the target incapable of receiving help from items.” Cyrus said,
Another thing to note is that whenever you have dialogue, there's a few rules. It's easier to explain by first defining what the parts of dialogue are:

1. The quote. Obviously, everything in the quotation marks.
2. The dialogue tag, or the part that says "he said," "she said," whatever. Note that tags need to define how a quote is said and who said it. If you don't have that but have the speaker interrupt their dialogue with some action, then it's just an interruption.

Now, how you punctuate dialogue all depends on where the dialogue tag is. If it comes before the quote, you need a comma at the end of the tag. If the dialogue tag comes in the middle, you might need dashes or commas, depending on what the circumstances are. If the dialogue tag comes after the quote, you'll need a comma if the quote itself would otherwise end in a period.

To make it even clearer, the rules are like this:

Tag Before Quote
Rick said, "I'm going to the store. Mary, don't wait up."

Tag in the Middle of the Quote
"I'm going to the store," Rick said. "Mary, don't wait up."
"I'm going to the store." Rick said, "Mary, don't wait up."
"I'm going to the store. Mary," Rick said, "don't wait up."
"I'm going to the store. Mary—" Rick turned to face her. "—don't wait up."

Tag After Quote
Statements: "I'm going to the store. Mary, don't wait up," Rick said.
Exclamations: "I'm going to the store. Mary, don't wait up!" Rick said.
Questions: "I'm going to the store. Mary, don't wait up, okay?" Rick said.

Not a Tag
"I'm going to the store." Rick picked up his jacket and nodded to his sister. "Mary, don't wait up."

Confusing, yeah, but just remember that the tag isn't technically its own sentence.

it would probably grab on to his legs with its second pair of arms, and that would be even worse.
I feel like this should be its own sentence. It can really stand on its own.

She looked down to the tunnel’s entrance again, and smiled wickedly.
Be careful about commas. Not all sentences with conjunctions (such as "and") are compounds. Try replacing the comma and conjunction with a period. If it forms two separate sentences, then the comma's okay to leave in the text. If it doesn't, then take it out. (There's exceptions, of course, that are basically the other comma rules, but this is a simplified tool to help you avoid inserting a comma into a sentence, thinking it's a compound.)

She had a tall, thin, almost slouching frame, and pale skin.
Same thing about commas here. Because this is technically a list with only two items, the comma isn't needed to separate the part about her frame from the part about her skin. You'd need commas if you had more items, though.

Other than those, really, your work is pretty clean. Despite working with a deadline, it's obvious you've taken your time with this. Not to mention, as I've said before, the plot and characterization were actually good, the humor didn't make me want to beat myself up with a spiked club, and as a result, I think I kinda like Cyrus now.

About this chapter specifically, you've got Mesprit's crazy and the age-old device of, "Oh snap. You're my sister, and you hate me." Granted, I'm not actually saying that's a bad thing. I actually like it, mostly because I really wasn't expecting Yami to be Cyrus's sister at all. In fact, I thought she was Jupiter incognito, if anything else. So, extra points for catching me off-guard.

Not to mention, hey, even if it is a bit of a cliché, it's one of my favorites, if only for the part where the sibling squirms.

Overall, I enjoyed this, and I'm looking forward to the next chapters. Good work.
Professional ninja. May or may not actually be back. Here for the snark and banter at most.

Need some light reading?
Anima Ex Machina (Chapter 20 now available)
The Leaf Green Incident (SWC 2012 winner)
Braid (Creepypasta apparently)
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