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  #1    
Old July 28th, 2013, 12:54 PM
MusikMaestro's Avatar
MusikMaestro
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ireland
Gender: Male
Nature: Bold

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Hello! Welcome to the thread, I suppose. I'm MusikMaestro, and I'll be your author for this little tale.

Lets get straight to the details, shall we? This is a story I've been working on for quite a bit now (I've been kinda drafting it for the last 3 years). It's a "journey fic", which, for those who dot know, means it follows the journey of a trainer/group of trainers on there quest. Thats were the title comes from by the way.

The story follows the tale of a new pokemon trainer, Jake Green, as he travels across Kanto and competes in the league. It also has a hefty amount of side characters, too.

Well then, lets get to it, shall we?

Journeys: Chapter One: Beginnings

Route 25

It was raining. Still. It had been raining for the past three days, and Jake was starting to get just a bit tired of it. His pokemon didn't seem to like it either, judging by there reactions when he tried to send them out so he'd have some company on the journey to the seaside cottage.

He was headed to see Bill, who was, apparently, a world renowned pokemon expert. Jake had never actually heard of him, but everyone in Cerulean city had assured him. So there he was trekking through the rain to go see some guy who probably had nothing more than some pictures of an Eevee.

He finally saw the dim glow of light in the distance, and as he got closer, he started to see what looked a bit like a house. The rain wasn't helping, of course. As he got closer, heresies that yes, it was, in fact, a house. Hopefully seaside cottage. He wasn't in the mood to be told that no, seaside cottage is the other lonesome house on Cerulean Cape. He reached the door, and stood under the porch, taking down his hood. He reached out a hand, and knocked on the door thrice.

He stood there for a few seconds before he heard a crash, as if something had been knocked over, and then footsteps, getting eventually louder as they neared the door. The door was opened, and standing in it was a young man of about 15, with curly brown hair, a blue sweater and some brown pants. Circular spectacles sat on his nose, hiding his green eyes.

"Bill?", Jake asked, hoping he was right.

The man seemed to smile a bit, as if he was used to humouring people who asked that question, then spoke. "Nope. I'm his brother, Ben."

Jake sighed. Great. Brilliant. Unless... "You're not just being sarcastic, are you?"

'Ben' laughed. "No, I seriously am his brother. You should come in", he said, before walking off down the hallway. Jake followed him. Even if this wasn't Bill, it was at least better than facing the rain.

As he walked, he saw pictures on the wall, of Ben and some other guy. The other guy looked a few years older, and lacked the glasses Ben possessed. Ben pointed them out. "That other guy is Bill. I guess you're here to see him?"

"Yeah", Jake replied. "I heard he's some kind of pokemon expert?"

Ben scoffed. "So he says. He's more a computer geek. He invented the pokemon storage system." Ben turned around, and reached out a hand. "I'm his little brother. I come up to his cottage and help him out every summer. Although, I admit, this isn't exactly what I'd call summer."

They entered a kitchen, with almost every surface covered in books. On the table in the centre sat a computer, which was lying on its side, and a large of paper, all covered in illegible scrawls, with the occasional scribbled diagram. Ben sat the computer upright, and moved a pile of paper away from part of the desk, leaving the area in front of a chair clear.

"Take a seat", Ben said, pulling the chair out.

Jake sat, and asked, "Is Bill here?"

"He took off for some awards ceremony in Fuschia City a couple days ago, and I haven't heard from him since. He might be back soon", Ben said, pouring the contents of a kettle into two cups. "Or, he might not."

"Oh, right." Jake stood. "I should probably get going, if he isn't here."

Ben handed him a cup, and sat at a chair infront of the computer. He took a sip, then spoke: "It's fine." He noticed the pokeballs on Jakes belt, and asked: "You're a trainer?"

Jake sat again. "Huh? Oh yeah. I just started. Kanto's my first league."

"Oh yeah? You're what, 15? Bit old for a new trainer, isn't it?"

"Yeah. 15. But I was nine when the last Kanto league took place, so I was too young then, and my parents didn't want to send me abroad incase I sucked and lost all my money for the plane back."

"Woah. Nice parents."

"Yeah, well", Jake said, and took a sip from his cup. It was tea. Not really something he was too fond of. He tried not to make a bid deal out of spitting it back in. "But, I just started a few weeks ago. It's been pretty hectic."

"Tell me. We've got a while til Bill comes back, and this is one way to spend it, so..."

"Well, if you wanna listen." Jake took out a pokeball, and released the pokemon from the inside. "This is my first pokemon. I picked him up a few weeks ago, at the Oak pokemon lab..."

Pallet Town, a few weeks earlier

A Bus pulled in to Pallet Town station, and slowly slid to a halt. I was early, about 6:30, and the Bus was devoid of any passengers apart from the driver, his chatot, and Jake. Jake hopped up, and walked down the aisle.

"Have a nice day", the Chatot, obviously trained said, and Jake nodded towards the bus driver, before stepping off. The bus pulled off, leaving Jake standing there under the early morning sun. He was wearing green camo shorts, a brown t-shirt, and white running shoes. He had messy brown hair, and bright blue eyes.

He took out his Pokegear, and opened the map. He checked it, and found the Oak pokemon lab, and set off for it. His parents had also given him Oaks phone number, which he rang.

"Hello? Oak pokemon lab", a female voice said.

"Hello, Professor? This is Jake? I think my parents said I'd be coming."

There was silence on the other end, before an answer finally came. "Uhmm, Jake Green right? Yeah, the professors expecting you. Seven O'Clock, right?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Ok, cool. I'm the Prof's assistant, Sarah. I'll be waiting outside of the lab for you at about... 6:45, 'k?"

"Right. See you, then".

Sara hung up on the other end, and Jake continued along the route provided to him by his Pokegear. He would probably get there for 6:45, he hoped.

Jake turned up at the lab on time, and was greeted by a young girl, about his age in a long white lab coat open on the front, showing a purple knee length dress. She had long blond hair, tied up in a ponytail falling down until the small of her back.

She waved over to him. "Hey! Jake, right? You look just like your file picture."

Oak had a file picture for him? That was a bit weird? Did his parents give him that? Suddenly, he realised this girl was probably waiting for a response. "Um... Sara, right? You.. sound just like you did on the phone?"

She laughed. "Yeah, I'm Sara. I guess you do too." She walked off, beckoning him. "Come on. The Profs waiting in the main lab."

He followed her up the hill to Oaks lab, and she stopped at the door, and lowered her eyes down to a black box on the wall.

"Is that a... Retinal scanner? How paranoid is the professor?"

She laughed again. "Naw, that's just the mail box. Me and the professor had a be on whether you'd fall for it." She opened the door, and lead him in.

The walked through the labs corridors in awkward silence, Jake still kinda stung from falling for such an obvious prank. He noticed a bunch of awards and degrees up on the wall. Probably the Professors.

Sarah broke the silence. "I guess he owes me five bucks." They reached a door, and Sara typed in a code, and it slid open.

"Ah, Sara! And you must be Jake!", a booming voice announced. "I'm Samuel Oak. This is my lab. But you probably already knew that." Oak popped out from under a desk, with loads of wires under. The professor had probably been working on it. Probably. He was wearing the same kind of lab coat as Sara, and had a white sweater and brown pants on under it. He also had grey short hair.

He stuck out a hand. "Anyway, it's great to meet you."

Jake returned the shake. "Good to meet you too. Professor."

"Oh, just Prof, will do. Sara informs me that it will "endear me to the youth"." Sara chuckled behind Oak, know under the same desk, working on the same bunch of wires. "Know then, if the footage from my security camera outside is right, I owe Sara five bucks. The pokemon are over there", he said, pointing towards a desk in the back of the lab. I'll be over in a minute. Take your pick."

The Professor walked over to Sara, and Jake headed over towards the table Oak pointed out. There were three pokeballs on the table, with labels infront of them. Bulbasuar, Charmander and Squirtle. Jake had thought about this. Hell, he'd had a whole bus ride to think it over. He reached over towards the ball he would choose, and picked it up, releasing the creature from inside.

The Professor walked over, and saw the small bipedal creature Jake had released. It was orange in colour, and had small fangs coming out of its mouth. It's tail was on fire, and it's underbelly was white. It also had three small claws on its hands and feet.

"Ah, you've chosen Charmander then. Good choice", Oak said. "Now then, if you'll just follow me outside, well get you set-up for the league.

END

Next Time: Jakes first battle!

So, thoughts? Constructive criticism is heartily welcomed.
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  #2    
Old July 29th, 2013, 12:27 PM
Cutlerine
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Hello! And welcome to FF&W! I hope you enjoy your stay.

Onto your story, then. It's an opening style I don't see much in journey fics around here - beginning in the present, and then going into a flashback that tells us about the start. It's nice to see something that makes an effort to start off a little differently; I'm certainly curious to see what Ben's going to do, and why Jake's after Bill in the first place.

You do make quite a few little typographical errors, though. Here are a few of them:

Quote:
Ben handed him a cup, and sat at a chair infront of the computer.
You're missing a space between 'in' and 'front' here.

Quote:
He tried not to make a bid deal out of spitting it back in.
I think you mean 'big' here, not 'bid'.

Quote:
I was early
'I'? The story's been in the third person so far. I think that's probably a mistake.

Quote:
That was a bit weird?
It's not a question. There shouldn't be a question mark.

Quote:
Me and the professor had a be on whether you'd fall for it.
You've missed the T off 'bet'.

Quote:
"Now then, if you'll just follow me outside, well get you set-up for the league.
'Set up' doesn't need a hyphen. (And 'we'll' needs an apostrophe.)

Speaking of missed apostrophes, you frequently miss contractive and possessive ones, like here:

Quote:
Yeah, the professors expecting you. Seven O'Clock, right?"
and here:

Quote:
He noticed the pokeballs on Jakes belt
'professors' is a contraction of 'professor is', so it needs an apostrophe before the S; 'Jakes' needs an apostrophe before the S too, since the belt belongs to Jake.

You do something a bit odd with dialogue punctuation, too:

Quote:
"Bill?", Jake asked, hoping he was right.
Punctuation in direct speech stays within the quotation marks - there's no need for that comma. Just the question mark is fine.

Quote:
"Yeah", Jake replied.
Again, the punctuation must stay within the quotation marks - move that comma to the other side of the inverted commas and it'll be fine. You make this mistake several times, but I'll just point it out the once.

Quote:
"Oh, just Prof, will do. Sara informs me that it will "endear me to the youth"."
A quotation within double inverted commas uses single inverted commas, and vice versa. Like this:

Quote:
"Oh, just Prof, will do. Sara informs me that it will 'endear me to the youth'."
Now, onto a few miscellaneous little things that are harder to neatly categorise:

Quote:
A Bus pulled in to Pallet Town station
I'm not sure why you've capitalised 'Bus'. I can't see a reason for it, so I'd advise you leave it as 'bus'.

Quote:
Jake still kinda stung
'Kinda' is a bit too informal for this - it doesn't fit with the tone of your prose, and would probably only work in a first-person narrative where the narrator uses words like that frequently, anyway. I'd suggest 'somewhat' or something like that as a replacement.

Quote:
"Have a nice day", the Chatot, obviously trained said, and Jake nodded towards the bus driver, before stepping off.
It's a bit oddly worded, this - wouldn't it sound more natural to write 'said the Chatot, obviously trained' or 'the Chatot said, obviously trained'? As you've written it, it's a little hard to read.

This sentence also displays your odd use of commas. There doesn't need to be a comma between 'driver' and 'stepping', for instance - in fact, it's ungrammatical and makes it difficult to read. You do this at several points throughout the story, inserting pauses and breaks in sentences where they aren't necessary. Read the sentence aloud as you've punctuated it - it doesn't sound quite right, does it? Get rid of that comma and it reads much more naturally. If you're having trouble deciding where you ought to punctuate in cases like that, it helps to read through your sentences aloud to see if they sound OK.

Moving away from the syntactical side of the story, the opening is a little bland. I mean, when you set up a flashback like that, I was expecting some highly memorable event to happen - and yet, what happened was quite humdrum. It's quite a typical opening - kid goes to Professor, gets Pokémon - and so it lacks the interest that the first part of the chapter had. It ends quite weakly, too: there's nothing to make the reader think yes, this chapter has set up something good and I want to see how that plays out - and that is so important in a first chapter of all places. Ideally, you want to hook your reader, and really drag them in so that they want to come back for the next part of the story. It needs a bit more punch to be really effective.

We're also not left with much of a feeling as to what sort of person Jake is. We haven't read anything about his emotions, or his reaction to anything; he seems a bit vaguely defined. However, I'm sure that'll clear up in later chapters - I'm just flagging it here in case it becomes a concern.

So overall, it starts well - it's a quirky, different start that I haven't seen for a while - but towards the end, it gets a bit bland. After all, we all know what that first bit's like; we've seen Trainers pick their first Pokémon a thousand times before. The reader doesn't need a whole chapter to get that, unless something interesting happens at the same time. That's not to say you can't open a story like that, if you do it really well. It's just that in this case, the story kind of peters out.

But yeah. It's not a bad story. I've given as much constructive criticism as I can (I know I'm not the best reviewer, but I try to review as completely as possible), but that's not to say it's outright bad - it isn't; it could just be made better. I'd like to see where you go with this.

Good luck with your story!
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  #3    
Old July 29th, 2013, 01:55 PM
MusikMaestro's Avatar
MusikMaestro
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ireland
Gender: Male
Nature: Bold
Thanks for the review.

About all the errors: Sorry about that. I'm typing on a phone with a slightly dodgy spellcheck. It, for some reason randomly decides whether I meant well or we'll, or he'll or hell, which can be annoying. I'll definitely proof read it a few more times before posting the next chapter, and I might see if I can find any actual proofreaders.

Thanks for your comments on the start. I read an interesting series of one shots on fan fiction. net once, by the author Farla, which listed a group of common trappings journey fic authors fell into, and one was a boring start. I included the bit with Ben to attempt to streamline the start, so I could only cover vital or interesting parts without loads of messing about in the middle. I did need to include this scene though, as while it makes for a boring second half, it does set up some important characters and events; Jake getting his Charmander, Sara and Oak, etc,. I'll try to streamline it a bit more in the future though. Jakes character will be expanded on piece by piece too.

But seriously, thanks for the review!

I'll probably get a new chapter up tomorrow.
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