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  #1    
Old December 6th, 2011, 01:28 PM
q11e
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
(One-shot)

Forgotten within the secured vaults of the Silph Corporation lies hidden the Universal Technical Machine. It is said that whoever possesses the UTM will hold in his hands the very Universe itself. Now, Ash and his friends must find it before someone else does. They'll have help from their Pokémon -- but are they up to the challenge of such a complex operation? Only time will tell...


=====================

This originated as a chapter from a longer story, but it started to take on a life of its own; I think it's sufficiently self-contained and distinctive that it could stand alone as a one-shot. The premise is mostly an excuse-plot anyway, to get our heroes into the heist business.

This was fiendishly difficult to write, much more so than the previous version that you may have seen me post a couple of months ago. What I'm mainly wondering is:
  • Do you find this style entertaining? Confusing? Tiring?
  • Was it easy enough to tell what's going on at any given moment?
  • Did you notice any plot-holes or inconsistencies (beyond the outlandishness of the premise itself)?
It's impossible to reproduce this story in plain-text beyond the first few paragraphs, so I included it as an image below. Also, here's some music to set the mood.

As always, thanks for reading!

=====================

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Parallel process.pdf‎ (249.7 KB, 5 views) (Save to Dropbox)
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Last edited by q11e; December 6th, 2011 at 11:41 PM.
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  #2    
Old December 6th, 2011, 01:57 PM
SuperTrainStationH's Avatar
SuperTrainStationH
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Gender: Male
What specific difficulty are you having in posting the text of the story itself here?

Perhaps I could be of assistance or provide advice, because frankly, your odds of someone actually downloading that PDF AND reading it AND giving feedback are much much slimmer than if you just had the story itself posted here.
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  #3    
Old December 6th, 2011, 02:55 PM
q11e
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
The text divides into three columns to represent Misty, Ash, and Brock's simultaneous actions, but the exact number of lines of text in each paragraph needs to be counted precisely so that it lines up when they interact with one another. (The text later splits into a fourth column, and elsewhere turns upside-down.)

Here's a screenshot of the first bit of it. Do you think it would be helpful to post the whole thing as an image?

[EDIT: The complete image is posted above.]
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Last edited by q11e; December 6th, 2011 at 11:42 PM.
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  #4    
Old December 6th, 2011, 07:05 PM
Astinus's Avatar
Astinus
Remember NovEnder
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut, USA
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Since you can't recreate the correct format through plain text, I'd go with the image option over the pdf.

Though I can say right now, looking at the sample image, that reading this story will be difficult at first because my eyes read everything on one line, so I read Misty's part, then Ash's, then Brock's, and everything is kind of confusing. Especially when Ash's and Brock's parts go together, but Misty's doesn't fit in with their parts, and the paragraph ordering is weird as well. Like where one paragraph of Ash's part runs at the same time as Brock's so I'm not really sure which way to read this.

That's just what I can see with the small sample that you posted. It might be different if you post the full thing.

Besides, as SuperTrainStationH said, it's not very likely that people will download your pdf, read it, and then review it on the forums.
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  #5    
Old December 6th, 2011, 11:47 PM
q11e
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Thanks for the helpful feedback so far. I posted the whole thing as an image in the OP, with vertical lines added to separate the columns, and the gaps between pages removed. Hopefully this might make the flow of the text more clear.

As for the overlapping conversation, it doesn't go on for very much longer, so maybe the whole thing will be a bit less disorienting.
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  #6    
Old December 7th, 2011, 08:52 PM
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icomeanon6
It's "I Come Anon"
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Age: 21
Gender: Male
Huh.

I generally frown on gimmicks in writing in general, but I do have to say this made for an interesting read. It's definitely nothing I've seen before, and the thing with the time running backwards after the Teleport, though it takes liberties with the extent of Abra's abilities, was especially amusing and wasn't too paradox-tastic. Thing is though, even though you've done nicely by putting it all together into one image file, if I hadn't already printed out the story so I could read it in the cafeteria, I would have been twitching with rage at how you expected anyone to read upside down text on a computer. I'd rather not have to either mess with my monitor settings or download the image and rotate it manually. On a print-out it's better, but I'm afraid you can't escape the fact that your structure is pretty frustrating to handle.

Which is a shame, because you constructed this thing awfully well; much better than I expected. The lines match up great, and it makes for some pretty good humor at times. But again, reading it is a chore by necessity, and that's going to turn people off. I enjoyed it for the most part, but not everyone's as patient as I am.

As for the story itself, I thought it got off to a strong start. You did a good job of establishing that this would be a not-very-serious kind of Ocean's Eleven meets Pokemon thing, with some nice little in-jokes thrown in to boot. (The hands-in-the-middle then "Getto da ze" in particular was delightfully silly.) The problem, though, is that you take this nice start, go through some nice complications, and then kinda stop. I don't know, but just ending with Team Rocket showing up didn't really do much for me. (Also, the way you have it laid out Jessie and James say their bits simultaneously, instead of in succession.) The weird thing though, is that I can't think of how else the story would really end. This is probably because everything was shown in parallel and our brains aren't built like that, but I couldn't feel any real kind of climax, and all of the rising action felt vague. Oddly enough, it makes the entire experience feel kind of homogeneous, in that I don't feel much different between different parts of the story; just the same kind of moderately interested and amused.

I'm rambling. At any rate, it's a neat experiment, but ultimately I don't think it holds up as far as telling a good story. Don't take this wrong, I applaud your efforts; but the restrictions you put upon yourself are caustic in terms of immersing the reader in the story, even though they make the reader interested. Basically, by necessity the structure you've chosen makes the reader think their way through the story, but at the cost of allowing them to really feel it. Maybe other readers will disagree with me on that, but I think your story's main asset is keeping it from being anything more than just interesting. If you think you can revise this a bit and prove me wrong, go for it. I'd love to see something great come out of this idea, but I'm not sure anyone can do it.

P.S.

Pokemon money is based on the Yen, so the fine for being on the roof is something like fifty cents.
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My chapter fics:
Kanto: The Disputed Frontier - 14 chapters, indefinite hiatus. Gary Stu's Unpredictable Adventure - 8 chapters, completed. Digimon Campaign - 7 chapters, ongoing

One-shots:
There's Always Tomorrow (SWC 2009), A Matter of Stubbornness (SWC 2010), Left by the Roadside
(SWC 2011 1st place),
Giovanni Destroys the World and Everything in It (2012), By What Right? (SWC 2013 1st place), Back in the Day (SWC 2014 1st place) (New!)


Family (kind of?): Strange person who calls me strange names

If the pen is mightier than the sword, the keyboard is mightier than the ICBM.
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  #7    
Old December 10th, 2011, 10:31 PM
q11e
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Thanks for taking the time to chug through this. The fact that you printed it out makes me happy

The appearance of Team Rocket at the end is a bleed-through of the plot from the larger story, which I suppose doesn't fit as well when it's treated as a stand-alone.

I have to admit that writing this was a rather intellectually exhausting endeavor (particularly the "retrograde conversation" between Brock and Misty, which took about 8 revisions to get right). So I have no plans to make any major changes. I do think it would be cool to make a webcomic version of this... but there's no way in hell that's actually going to happen.
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