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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:08 PM
bobandbill's Avatar
Where's that sheep...
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Coast - Australia
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Nature: Jolly
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Hum, can't say I have anything to complain there. I'll admit to cutting it down in the end and reworking it during the writing as well (time got me in the end) so I'll take those scores quite happily! Congrats to Mizan and Jax, and cheers for the judging as well. =)

Also going to reply to that review Dragonfree, as I'm finding it pretty useful already. (No need to say sorry for hypercritical, I find that's more useful after all even if I like praise, haha).

While John and Sam are reasonably well characterized, their bits seem rather
extraneous to the story here. Their dialogue is purely for exposition at the
beginning and then the comments they make in between snippets of the Gardevoir's
memories are mostly pretty vacuous and unnecessary and take the reader out of
the moment. It would make sense if it felt like a story about them, with seeing
the Gardevoir's memories ultimately serving to change them somehow, but as it is
it feels like a story about the Gardevoir with them as a framing device, and
you're spending too much time on them for a framing device.
Hum, that's not a bad thought there at the end, I may need to consider that some more. Originally I actually cut out a lot more detail from the story as well from the beginning segment, so making them more of the focus makes sense. (The original idea from ages back was only about the Gardevoir on that note. I'll admit the two people ended up being a result of me just forcing myself to write out some sort of beginning to the story so I wouldn't end up with nothing).

Their comments also tend to overexplain; things like the memory of being born
would actually be pretty neat to figure out as a reader, but when two men in the
story are reading it and telling us "Maybe she remembers being born", we're not
really given the chance to interpret it and realize what's going on on our own.
Similarly, when she's meeting her mother in the middle of a battle, it doesn't
help to cut to John and Sam informing us that this is quite an event; we can
decide that for ourselves. Commenting on it only feels like you're telling us
what to think of the story.
Hmm, fair enough. I felt it might be a sensical thing for them to do that to remind the reader they are still there reading as well which was why I included said comments, but I didn't consider that side of it, so I'll probably ammend that aspect.
I do like how you write the Gardevoir; her empath powers are always in the
background somewhere instead of getting forgotten about, and things like her
puzzlement at why someone would train a bunch of Pokémon that are all weak to
Psychic are fun and remind us we're reading about a Pokémon and not a human. It
was nice to see glimpses of the build-up of her bond with Sally, and the parts
near the end where she's going back to her mother and something presumably
happens to Sally are intriguing.

However, it doesn't really go anywhere, and that makes the story feel kind of
pointless and unsatisfying. The flashes of things happening at the end are so
short and vague that it just feels like you cut off before we get to the climax
of the story. This, too, would work better if the story were truly about John
and Sam and we were to see this experience affect them as people - then the
Gardevoir's story wouldn't really be the point. But with John and Sam as a
framing device, we want to see enough of what happened to the Gardevoir to at
least be able to form a coherent mental image of the rest. As it is we can't
even guess at why the Gardevoir was trying to communicate this on her deathbed
in the first place - who was she so desperately trying to reach with it, and why
are these memories so important?
I guess that is a result of running out of time for me sadly, so I'd agree with thhat point there. Extending the ending memories sounds like an idea that I was considering to do after the judging as well.

As for the last bit, I had wanted the reader to form their own thoughts on that I suppose; what happened, and why did she only want to share it now, etc. Maybe I left it too vague though, and on that note unfinished with the snapshots.
I'm also confused by how the Gardevoir can go off to be with her mother when her mother is owned by another trainer, and one who doesn't appear to treat her with
any kind of understanding at that, given the mother's bleak view of trainers.
Why did her mother's trainer let them meet, and how does the mother have the
authority to keep her around longer than she should? Or did we just miss
something crucial like the mother being released in between? There's no way to
I had an answer for that in my head (roughly the trainer of the gardevoir agrees to release her), but that was a 'missing' snapshot so to speak in that I didn't plan to have it in the story. Guess I might have to address it at least somewhat then!
I want a sequel to this. You definitely managed to suck me in and get me
interested in Gardevoir's story, but then when the fic doesn't really deliver on
that front, it feels incomplete. Maybe you do intend on a sequel - John's
determination to figure out what happened at the end sounds like a sequel hook -
in which case I'd love to read it, but I don't think this really stands well on
its own.
In a way I dislike you saying that as now it intrigues me too to take it further in some different ways like that and I wonder if I have the time to do that already! =p But certainly I had briefly considered putting in more after the current ending, so maybe this being more a large part of the story and showing what John finds out (if anything) being the second part of it (idk if still as a long one-shot or two part fic, leaning towards the latter) is something I am seriously considering now. Nice to hear that I got the hook in so to speak at any rate. I was hoping it wasn't too boring in itself, but I can see what you mean in that it could use some more substance to it.
There are several missing and extraneous commas here and there, but they're
minor, and otherwise the grammar is mostly fine, although there are some typos.
I'm not sure I'd quite say this is a story about secrets, though, at least with
the information that we have: there's no indication that the Gardevoir's story
was a secret, just that she was quiet and therefore hadn't happened to talk
about it until she was dying and wanted to get it off her chest. I guess that
could also make more sense if we knew more, though, and it is about something
previously mysterious being revealed to the characters, which kind of fits the
I was aiming more for the latter (as well as using the competiton as an excuse to work on the idea too - a 'well hey this thing I thought up ages ago sorta works let's give it a try' thought process, haha.

Thanks again for the review! Shall certainly put it to use, methinks. =)

Sheep in the Big City: General Specific