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  #1    
Old November 17th, 2007, 02:25 PM
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
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Yes, folks, coming from that other well-known Pokemon fanfiction forum is the latest revision of my fanfic (version 3.0) If you are new to this work, do NOT read it on that other forum unless you like major spoilers. I am posting it here for two reasons: One, I am hoping to get some readers who expressed interest in reading it but cringed at the thought of reading 30+ chapters elsewhere. Second, I have made some improvements to my early chapters, so this version should be the highest quality one to date!

Disclaimers:
  • I do not own Pokemon. All Pokemon names and related likenesses are copyright Nintendo/Game Freak.
  • I do not own Target Stores, Quality Inns, Hess service stations, or Wendy's Restaurants (or similar entities). All other trademarks are properties of their trademark owners. This includes all automobiles, hotel chains, restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, and the like.
  • Any included song lyrics are identified in the "Cultural References" section.
  • Original Characters (including but not limited to Lisa Northwood, the Gym Leaders, original villains) are owned by me.
  • Any resemblance to actual or fictional persons, whether by name or description, is purely coincidental, Pokemon characters and those noted in "Cultural References" excepted.

About Reviews: I would appreciate constructive criticism that I can actually use to improve my story. I am a college graduate student and therefore there is absolutely no reason for me to make stupid grammar mistakes, so feel free to jump all over me if you spot one I'm also a math oriented person, not literature-oriented, so there may be a lack of emotion on the parts of the Pokemon. Please share any advice to help me overcome this. Thanks, and enjoy the show!

Contents:
Prologue (scroll down)

Prologue
South of the Orre region is the region known as Fourtix. Except for the dormant volcano to the north and a secluded underwater cavern off the southeastern coast, the temperatures in the region usually remain pretty constant. A large mountain range separates the region into a western and eastern part, with the eastern region being decidedly larger. Most of the region consists of grasslands, forest, or water. Most of the routes connecting cities are still dirt paths, though some are paved. Many businesses, including those that cater to travelers, have set up shop in Fourtix’s cities and on its busier routes. It is here, in this otherwise unassuming area of the world, that a new threat is waiting for its chance to strike.

In the southwest part of the region sits a quaint town known as Fort Barnes. Though the old fort for which the town is named is long gone, the town has a new claim to fame- a research-only facility affiliated with Fourtix University, whose main campus is in Bluefield City to the north.
********

During one summer night in Fort Barnes, all was calm and quiet- perhaps too quiet. All of the lights in town - even the streetlights, as part of the town's "green" initiative - were shut off save one - one located deep within the town’s massive research facility. Under the single fluorescent light unit, the head researcher, Dr. Amy Sequoia, was working on a top-secret project. Already an accomplished researcher at the age of twenty-two, she would occasionally stop to run her hands through her jet-black hair. A white lab coat rested on her tall frame, concealing a brown turtleneck and black Capri pants. She was completely preoccupied with the research project on her computer, her tired, dry eyes completely focused on the flickering screen in front of her. The room itself was mostly a collection of bookshelves filled with technical journals, as well as numerous computers.

Soon another set of lights appeared in the town - but these belonged to a vehicle. A Ford Club Wagon, colored black with a red pinstripe, pulled up outside the lab's front door. Shutting off the massive machine's engine, a team of operatives exited the van. Two of the agents walked up to the entrance, turned around, and addressed the remaining dozen infiltrators. The larger of the two spoke first, only loud enough so that the entire group could hear.

“We will split up into two teams as discussed at headquarters. Alpha team, follow me. Beta team, follow him,” he ordered as he handed one of two papers to the other man. “Both of us have the floorplan and details of every security measure within this lab, so stay close so nobody triggers an alarm.”

The other commander took out a small object from his pocket. A bright red laser emerged from the device's tip as the agent aimed it at the crack between the entrance's double doors. Upon breaking the lock, the team made their way inside the lab.

“Here is where we split up. I shall be contacting you when we are ready to move out. Let us proceed.”

Once both teams had left the lobby, a tiny figure made its way, sight unseen, across the tiled floor of the lobby and out of the door.

Without making a noise the “Alpha” team made their way down the lab’s darkened corridors until they found the private work room, concealed within the twisting hallways of the research facility. Several figures crept silently behind Dr. Sequoia and then one of them put her in a headlock. The young woman gasped as she was pulled backwards by the man's hand. Dr. Sequoia attempted to scream, but one of the intruders took out a handgun, a clear warning for her to shut up.

Before she knew it, she was staring at a team of high-tech spies. Clad entirely in black except for red “T” logos emblazoned on their headgear, she could not determine their identity. The leader released a vicious black four legged Pokémon, with an orange snout and curved white horns, who snarled at the professor. Despite the darkness, drool was visibly dripping off the creature's razor-sharp fangs, its demonic pointed tail wagged back and forth in a very violent manner. The professor's heartbeat began to accelerate as she was quivering. “What's going on? Who are these people?

“We have come for some vital research as well as the Pokémon currently housed in this facility. I strongly recommend you do nothing to resist. We will not hesitate to eliminate you in short order,” the commander threatened in a deep, mechanically altered voice.

“Houndoom, if she has any Pokémon here for protection, sniff them out!” The canine - like creature did as instructed and began scouring the room.

The professor was gasping for breath until the knee of one of the agents met her abdomen. Writhing in pain, she bit her lip to keep from screaming out. Three of the men tied her up with some jumper cables and put duct tape over her mouth. One of the shorter agents ran over to the computer and began to furiously type on the keyboard.

Don't tell me they're after - THAT research...” she thought to herself as she fell to the floor.

After a few moments, the agent at the computer ran back to her leader. “Boss! Big problem! The research ain’t here!”

The black Pokémon also came walking up to the leader.

“Any Pokémon?” The dog shook its head.

“Damn! We’ll have to cut our losses,” the man replied as a bright red light engulfed the Pokémon as it disappeared from view. “Pick her up and drag her to the lobby,” the leader ordered. “Make her deactivate security as well!” Pulling out a two-way radio, he then said, “We're moving out. Meet us in the lobby.”

“You heard the boss. Where's the switch to shut off the security system?”

After flipping a switch on the wall using her head, Dr. Sequoia was forced to accompany the team to the lobby of the lab, with the leader still holding the barrel of his gun to her back. There, the group was able to rendezvous with the other infiltration team.

“We didn't find any Pokémon and we scoured this entire damn place!” reported the other group's leader.

“If there are any Pokémon here, point them out, now!”

Looks like I don't have any choice!” She motioned with her body toward a large black metal desk in the back of the lobby. The leader ran over to it, opened a drawer, and shoved about a dozen red and white spheres into a bag. “There must be more here! Tear this room apart until we find them!”

Look at this! What are these people doing to my lab? What do they want?

His subordinates did as they were ordered. They knocked over desks, threw furniture across the room, and tore through carefully sorted forms and books. This was one time where the soundproof walls of the lab worked against it. Finding nothing, and seeing that the sun was just starting to show its face, the leader called out, “Blast! For a Pokémon Lab, this place is seriously lacking in the Pokémon department. Return to base!”

He threw the young researcher into a closet at the end of a nearby hallway. Slamming the door shut, the commander was ready to head out, but he noticed the victim hitting the door and letting out muffled screams.

“Shut up in there!” he ordered, cocking his gun so that the professor could hear. “I don't want to have to resort to murder, but if you force my hand...”

He led his team out to their vehicle. The operatives piled into the large fifteen-passenger van before it sped off.

“Meow?” A tiny figure, still obscured by the darkness, made its way through the glass doors and into the building. Seconds later, a strong gust of wind blew both doors shut.

Inside the closet, Dr. Sequoia heard the screeching tires as the vehicle left the town. The woman was still unwilling to make any move. “I hope someone finds me soon...” was her last thought before she collapsed out of exhaustion.

In a large two-story ranch-style house in town, a teenage girl was just getting up out of her bed, unaware of what had happened just a half mile down the road.

*******
There's the prologue! Don't expect updates too often, though... but let me know what you think so far!
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Last edited by Elite Overlord LeSabre™; December 1st, 2007 at 11:00 PM.
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  #2    
Old November 17th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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One, I am hoping to get some readers who expressed interest in reading it but cringed at the thought of reading 30+ chapters elsewhere.
THANK YOU!!! TBH, progress on the other site was going rather slow, and this makes it much easier. None of this chapter is technically new to me, but I'll review anyway!

First off, the story seemed a little rushed. Maybe a little more description (For instance, the lab room that Professor Sequoia was working in) could've been added to beef it up a bit. It was pretty short, so that's the only mistake there was really, and it's not even a mistake, I suppose...

Description of the people were good and I like that you've created your own region which is diverse and makes for a good setting. :) There really isn't much else to say, since like I said this was pretty short, so I'll end this mini review with a quote:

Quote:
For a Pokémon Lab, this place is seriously lacking in the Pokémon department.
Lol
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  #3    
Old November 17th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Umbreon Ruler View Post
First off, the story seemed a little rushed. Maybe a little more description (For instance, the lab room that Professor Sequoia was working in) could've been added to beef it up a bit.
Would you accept the excuse, "It was dark?" No, that doesn't fly? Well, jeez, I'm not getting off to a good start with my revisions

For these revised chapters, I'm still trying to find that sweet spot between not enough description and purple prose, so please bear with me. Alternatively, if anyone wants to look my first ten chapters or so over before I post 'em, be my guest

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Originally Posted by Umbreon Ruler View Post
It was pretty short, so that's the only mistake there was really, and it's not even a mistake, I suppose...
Well, it is a prologue...

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Originally Posted by Umbreon Ruler View Post
Description of the people were good and I like that you've created your own region which is diverse and makes for a good setting.
Thanks! At least I managed to do something right!
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Old November 17th, 2007, 11:54 PM
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I love the ending line. It just grabbed me.

(And, okay, I cheated and looked at the other two editions of this. Might I say that you definitely improved from the first edition posted? Boss job there! ^^ *hands over can of tuna*)

Meh, but what's a review that you can learn from without some nitpick, neh? See, if you want to create tension in this prologue to really grab the reader in, you should show how Prof. Sequoia feels as the mysterious strangers break into her lab. How does she feel when the mysterious stranger fires the gun? Does she fear for her life? Make the professor come more alive in this, to make the reader feel for her and to be sucked into the story.

I can't wait to see the first chapter. Glad that you decided to post this from the beginning, so I can review each individual chapter. But yes, the lack of description about how Prof. Sequoia feels is my only complaint about this chapter.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
I love the ending line. It just grabbed me.

(And, okay, I cheated and looked at the other two editions of this. Might I say that you definitely improved from the first edition posted? Boss job there! *hands over can of tuna*)
Oh, noez! Not THE first edition with minimum 3-page chapters, cheap as heck description, and updates every three days! I KNEW I should have had it deleted instead of merely closed- and I'm still shocked that Yami/Renegade didn't come my way during all that time :o

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
Meh, but what's a review that you can learn from without some nitpick, neh?
Well, of course! Without it, I'd still be writing that God-awful first edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
See, if you want to create tension in this prologue to really grab the reader in, you should show how Prof. Sequoia feels as the mysterious strangers break into her lab. How does she feel when the mysterious stranger fires the gun? Does she fear for her life? Make the professor come more alive in this, to make the reader feel for her and to be sucked into the story.
Very funny and ironic that you bring this up now. For most of my fic, I've been writing in third person LIMITED omniscient, with the thoughts limited to Lisa's (and to a much lesser extent, a character who has not been introduced yet) which would dictate that the character does not delve into the professor's thoughts. However, in the latest chapter at the other forum, I tried going into the thoughts of a secondary character, and a reviewer there immediately picked up my inconsistency there. So, now I'm at a crossroads... Should I keep having the narrator only dictate Lisa's thoughts, or should I expand their scope for this re-write?

Looking back, I should have put in some physical indicators of her fear (trembling, sweating, shaking, etc.) *kicks self*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
I can't wait to see the first chapter. Glad that you decided to post this from the beginning, so I can review each individual chapter. But yes, the lack of description about how Prof. Sequoia feels is my only complaint about this chapter.
I'll actually probably combine two or three chapters for it in addition to the revisions, just so its length is consistent with the later chapters. Of course this throws my whole chapter numbering out the window, but meh...

Thanks for reviewing! Now I know another reason why I decided to re-post here!
*waits for others who told me over PM they were coming to review*
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Old November 19th, 2007, 12:17 AM
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About your crossroads, I'll see if I can help. *holds map upside down*

I find that there are times when I feel more comfortable writing the thoughts of a certain character. Like in the fic that I'm writing now for NaNo, there are only three characters that I like writing as out of the cast of seven. The three characters are the ones that get my focus, with their thoughts and physical reactions to situations. The others only get their physical reactions shown, in either body movements or dialog.

I know of other writers who do the same thing. They pick only certain characters to use as the "story-tellers" to show the reader what's going on through their eyes. I think only once I read a book where each character had their thoughts written out depending on the scene, but I could tell that the writers had their favorite characters to write as because the words didn't read in a forced manner.

Since you feel comfortable writing about Lisa, focus on her. For the other characters, since you have the third-person limited, you should just use physical indicators of their emotions. So yes, you should kick yourself. XD Sequoia didn't really seem to show any reaction to the break-in. At least have her eyes widen at the appearance of the gun.

Hope this helps out some more. I'll see if I can give you a better review for chapter one.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Hey, DP! Sorry this review is short...pretty much everyone else said what I was thinking and also I got class in a few minutes! =O

Anyways, would agree with Hanako that physical indicators for Sequoia (since you said this story will be in Lisa's point of view). At first, you did with her screaming, but then just go through with the actions.

I actually like the description of the beginning of the prologue and the tone you used to describe the setting of the region. It wasn't too much that you described how every city the region has, but wasn't too little that I can't picture what kind of things the region has.

So far this grabbed my attention. Again, sorry for the short review. Hope to do Chapter One better! ^^
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Old November 20th, 2007, 03:00 PM
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First off, I haven't read any of your other reviews, so sorry if I repeat some stuff.

Okay, on to the story: I love fics that start off with the bad guys, as it makes plot very easy to understand. Description of the region was masterfullly done, as was the Houndoom description. However, I did feel the whole thing was a little rushed but I can't exactly pin-point why. Maybe it was that everything happened so fast? Ah, whatever- I'm almost positive you get much better along the way. Plus, it is just a Prologue.

Quote:
In a large two-story ranch-style house in town, a teenage girl was just getting up out of her bed, unaware of what had happened just a half mile down the road.
Whether or not you were trying to be funny, I lol'd at that. I guess it was the sudden, out of the blue, change in mood.

And yeah... I'm not good at this review thing when there aren't any mistakes, so too bad for me and kudos to you! Be back when Chapter One comes around.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 12:52 AM
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Hello! *waves* I don’t know if you know me or not, but I’ve decided to make an effort to be more active in reviewing, and your fic keeps on catching my eye, except on SPPf it’s so long already that I’ve been put off. ^.^;;

Now that you’re starting it here, though, I have the chance to take a look. ^^

Now, I’m not usually one for reading fics with fan-created regions in them (which is hypocritical of me, seeing as how I’m planning a fic with a fan-created region in it…) but so far what you’ve said about yours is interesting and it’s obvious you’ve thought about it a lot. I like the fact that the lab in Fort Barnes is affiliated with the University, whereas the labs mentioned in canon seem to be privately owned ones; I can imagine that students would be grateful for the chance to help out or observe for study purposes. Such a fantastic opportunity! ^^ I wanna study there!

*cough* Anyway, on to the nitpicks. :) Sorry!

A couple of people have mentioned the thing about Sequoia’s lack of reaction to her situation, so I won’t go into it—just that I agree with them. ;)

The other thing that really jumped out at me, though, was the characterisation of the covert operatives. You introduce them as being highly skilled and experienced individuals—which they’d obviously have to be, to get into a highly secure lab—but when we actually see them properly they act more like random, petty burglars.

Such as here:

Quote:
“We have come to seize every single Pokémon in this facility. You do not dare try to defy us. Hahahahahahaha…”
Cue the cheesy lines and cliché villainous laugh. :P Aside from the fact that putting the laugh in speech marks like that makes it seem kind of… well, cartoonish and not-to-be-taken-seriously, I can’t imagine that any trained operative would go around saying lines like that. He’s on a time limit; he doesn’t know if there’s some silent security system that’s been triggered, or whether someone might come back and run into them. He’s not going to waste time, so he’ll get straight to the point and demand where the pokémon are.

And then here:

Quote:
Dr. Sequoia attempted to scream, but the man directly to the right of the burly commander fired his silencer-equipped weapon at the ceiling, a clear warning for her to shut up.
Even using a silenced weapon, that’s a pretty stupid move. For one thing, there’s the spent casing which can be picked up and IDed by the police. Two, there’s the bullet, which is either A) in the ceiling or B) on the roof if they’re on the top storey, or in the room above. Wherever it is, it’s still available to for forensics to pick up and ID, which would tell them what kind of gun it is and give them a possible (or even probable, if the man didn’t fake his ID during the purchase of the gun) lead.

I would think that just chambering a round and pointing it at her would be a big enough threat and get the point across pretty well; otherwise, it contradicts your representation of them as experienced operatives, because it’s taking a risk that any trained operative wouldn’t take.

Same goes for the woman screaming her report, the team lead constantly seeming to give his orders in a louder-than-necessary voice (even in a large room, or separating to search the rooms, if they’ve had any kind of training than they should have radios with them), and the team just generally making a racket as they search the room. It’s possible—even logical—to thoroughly search rooms only making a minimal amount of noise; no matter how sound-proofed the lab’s walls are, highly-trained agents aren’t going to go around making as much noise as they want. Again, it’s taking a risk they’d want to avoid, and it would go against their training. Even if these people are sponsored and trained by creeps, being a bad guy doesn’t necessarily equal overly destructive tendencies. :P

Also, covert teams would consist of four operatives, whereas you’ve mentioned at least five—it’s a little difficult to tell exactly how many men there are because you’ve been a bit ambiguous about who’s doing what. If you’ve got two teams, though, then you could have up to eight and the problem’s solved, so you can tell me to go stuff it. ;)

As for the weaponry… well, I don’t know how detailed you want to get, but considering you’ve specifically identified the make of the car and the rifle, I get the feeling you like being specific. So I asked my brother what kind of weapons a covert team would usually carry (big mistake! XD Granted, it was interesting, but my head was starting to swirl with trying to remember all those names!) and… well, here’s basically what he said:

M16 assault rifles are a no-no. They’d be used for an assault (funnily enough, lol :P ), so for situations where they need a ton of firepower and not worry as much about secrecy, but are too bulky and loud for a covert op.

There would be at least one G36 rifle, with a thermal scope and a stock handle, for longer-range stuff (but not as long-range as a sniper rifle).

There’d be at least one, but probably two, P90s, which are smaller and more compact, enabling greater manoeuvrability.

The fourth member would carry either another G36 or an M4 carbine, similar to a G36 in that it’s for long-range things.

In addition, one of them could use an MP5SD, but my brother said they’re fading out and a team would be more likely to use a P90 instead.

In all of these cases it depends a little on preference, so you could switch them around depending on your teams’ characterisations… although you’d probably have to look up the exact specs of each gun before you decide that. :) Either way, there’d be at least one G36 or M4 and at least one P90 or MP5SD per team.

For sidearms, all of them would carry either a Beretta 9mil or a USP.45. Plus, they would all carry one frag and one flash grenade, and either the man with the MP5SD or one of the ones with a P90 would carry C4. One could possibly be carrying a smoke grenade as well.

In ALL of these cases, the guns are able to be silenced, so they would carry a silencer with them; in the case of the MP5SD, however, it’s automatically silenced (which is what the 'SD' stands for) so it wouldn't need to be fitted with a silencer.

Oh yeah, and they’d have night-vision and thermal-vision headgear, lol. ;)

…and yes, it was necessary to add that in. If I had to sit through a fifteen minute lecture on the equipment in a covert op, then so do you. :P

Phew! ^.^;;; Okay, you can probably tell I’m big on research, but whether you end up using this information or not is up to you—I just thought you might appreciate it.

As a final note on the covert ops team—it’s in the dead of night and they’re being secret, so why are they using a red vehicle? Why not black? Or better yet, camouflaged, if the lab’s near a forest? Or one which looks like the kind of van that might come to the lab carrying equipment or whatnot, so if someone happens to see it leaving they wouldn’t think too much of it?

…gah, I’m sure there was something else I wanted to mention in relation to the ops team, but I can’t remember what it is now…

ANYWAY! Enough with the covert ops team, already, and on to everything else. Don’t worry, the really big stuff’s past, from here it’s all downhill. ;)

The only other plothole-related thing I wanted to mention is… well, why are the pokémon all in a desk in the lobby? If this is a research lab, wouldn’t there be a specialised room for the pokéballs, even if it’s kind of empty at the moment? Plus, why are they only searching that room and not the rest of the lab? You’ve already said it’s huge, so how do they know there aren’t more pokémon somewhere else?

Strategically speaking, the agents would have studied the lab's blueprints beforehand. The team lead would probably send some of his people (in pairs, so they’d all have backup) to the most likely places for pokémon to be while he and his partner (or his full team, perhaps, depending on the layout of the lab and how many people he has to distribute… I’m assuming here that you’ve got two teams of four, which would make sense considering the size of the lab) go to take the research and get information from Sequoia. Then they can radio the specific locations to the rest of the agents, rather than having to worry about dragging a hostage everywhere and risking her triggering an alarm or something—and since the agents are already in the lab and on their way to probable locations, it would potentially save on time.

…I said that I was finished with the covert ops team, didn’t I? Whoops. :P

Okay, this time I really am done, I promise! All that’s left of this review are a few oopsies, mostly in terms of language use.

…OH! That’s what I was forgetting with the covert ops team! :P It’s okay, it’s still a language-use nitpick. It’s just that, you call them ‘thugs’ more than once, but the word has a connotation of a ruffian, often someone who uses brute force. In terms of how the agent act, they’re acting a lot like thugs—but you’ve also called them trained operatives, which, as I’ve already shown you, is in contradiction to the way they’re acting. Since it’s unlikely that any half-trained thug would make it into a highly secure lab, I would suggest running with the covert ops portrayal, in which case I’d also recommend not using the word ‘thug’. :P

Okay, so on to other specific stuff:

Quote:
South of the Orre region, and separated by an impassable mountain range, in a more temperate climate, is the region known as Fourtix.
This sentence confused me. O.o I didn’t know whether you were talking about Fourtix being separated from Orre by the mountain range, or—since you start talking about it a second later—whether you were talking about Fourtix being separated in two by its mountain range. Maybe it’s just me, but… yaw. ^.^;;; Maybe a restructure of the sentence?

Quote:
A large mountain range separates the region into a western and eastern part, with the eastern region being decidedly larger. Only two methods exist for those wishing to pass between the eastern and the western parts. One is a water route to the south, and the other is a large cave bored into a northern mountain. Aside from that, most of the region consists of grasslands, forest, or water.
Again, maybe it’s just me, but the fact that you’ve thrown in the bit about the methods for passing the mountain range seems kind of random. It kind of interrupts the flow of the paragraph—since the next sentence goes back to referring to the mountain range itself, as opposed to methods of crossing it—and you could easily explain that somewhere else in the story, while Lisa is looking at a map, or when the time comes for her to cross the mountain range, or something.

Then, that whole section about the region and Fort Barnes is in present tense, whereas the rest of the prologue is in past… that’s not necessarily a mistake, in some ways it makes sense, especially if you want to establish Fourtix as still existing in the present time and this particular event happening sometime in the past, but it did jar me a little and now I can’t shake it off. :P So I just thought I’d mention it.

Quote:
down the lab’s darkened corridors until they found the private laboratory, concealed within the twisting hallways of the lab.
Repetition of ‘lab’, there. ;) I’d suggest a change. Perhaps use ‘building’ instead of the second one?

Quote:
Several figures crept silently behind Dr. Sequoia and then one of them, the team commander, put her in a headlock…
I dunno, this sentence just doesn’t carry as much weight and suspense as I think it could, especially since you’ve added in the aside about the team commander. And, quick side note, I’m not sure the team commander would do that himself… he would want to confront Sequoia, see her face to face, to try and coerce her into doing what he wants, and it’s a little difficult to do that when he’s the one restraining her… plus, if anyone’s doing the shutting up it should be at his command, whereas that other dude kind of acts on his own… okay, I’ll stop rambling now. ^.^;;;

So, maybe if you refashioned it a little… so rather than just describing what’s happening, describe how… uhm, I explain better with examples, so here:

Quote:
The figures ghosted up behind Dr. Sequoia, shadows rippling over the tiled floor, until one of them reached out and clamped his gloved hand over her mouth, pulling her back against him with a jerk and a stifled yelp of surprise from the scientist.
I know I took out the bit about the team lead, but I don’t think he’d be the one restraining her and it kind of interrupted the flow of the sentence; it would probably be more appropriate for the team lead to be identified when he starts speaking, or through the way the others defer to him.

Quote:
Despite the darkness, drool was visibly dripping off the creature's razor-sharp fangs. The lanky creature's demonic pointed tail wagged back and forth in a very violent manner. The rest of the agents had M-16 assault rifles pointed at her. In a deep, mechanically altered voice, the commander spoke.
This paragraph is just… really choppy. It’s the short sentences; it stops and starts and jars the reader out of the story. Well, it did me, anyway. I think you could combine the sentence about the houndoom into one, and you could easily expand the sentence about the team by describing Sequoia’s reaction or their uniform or something… and I think the description about the team lead’s voice might be better after he speaks… for instance…:

Quote:
“Where are the pokémon?” one of the black-clad men asked in a deep voice, mechanically twisted and distorted into something which sounded barely human.
…okay, that may be a little over the top, but I couldn’t resist. :D

As another side note, it might work better if the team lead released the pokémon as a threat tactic… that way it would remove the problem of that guy firing his gun at the ceiling… of course, the guy holding her would still have a gun to her head, but a creepy devil-dog would be an added threat. :P

Plus, you kind of forget about the houndoom in the rest of the prologue… he’s released but he doesn’t do anything, and then you don’t even describe the team lead returning him or what happens or anything… he just disappears. So you could even take him out entirely, since he doesn’t really add anything to the story.

Quote:
“Blast! For a Pokémon Lab, this place is seriously lacking in the Pokémon department. Return to camp!”
The word ‘camp’ here seemed incongruous. :P I mean, this is a high-tech society, so why does he sound like the leader of a band of bandits raiding a wagon? The word ‘base’ would probably be better.

One final thing, which is really nitpicky, but it’s also a pet peeve and I’m running out of things to critique (which is good! Honest!):

Quote:
the town has a new claim to fame- a research-only facility affiliated with Fourtix University,
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a hyphen pretending to be a dash. You’d be amazed (or not) at how often that happens; not many people think about dashes and hyphens, but apparently seeing random grammatical errors everywhere is the terminal disease of editing students, because I just can’t stop! :P

Since it’s difficult to explain, I’m just going to quote what I said in another review and hope it makes as much sense to you as it did to that author:

Quote:
A dash should either look like this: – and have spaces on either side of it, or look like this: — which usually doesn’t have any spaces on either side of it but is accepted if it does. The first one can be made by writing a word, followed by a space, then a hyphen, then another space and another word, and when you press space after the second word MSW will automatically change it to a dash for you. To make the other one there are no spaces in-between the words and the hyphens, and you need two hyphens in a row. So this is what it would look like before you space after the second word: hello--goodbye
And… uhm, I think I’m done. ^.^;;; Sorry I got kind of carried away talking about the covert ops team… I find that stuff really interesting, myself, so… yeah. ^.^;;; Good luck for the rest of the story, and with luck I’ll be back to take a look at the first chapter.
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Last edited by purple_drake; November 21st, 2007 at 04:37 PM.
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  #10    
Old November 22nd, 2007, 07:54 AM
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay View Post
I actually like the description of the beginning of the prologue and the tone you used to describe the setting of the region. It wasn't too much that you described how every city the region has, but wasn't too little that I can't picture what kind of things the region has.
My region actually started out as a failed forum-based Pokemon RPG (but it lived for a year!) made back in 2005. I've had the idea for the region already in my mind when I started writing my fic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glajummy View Post
I love fics that start off with the bad guys, as it makes plot very easy to understand. Description of the region was masterfullly done, as was the Houndoom description. However, I did feel the whole thing was a little rushed but I can't exactly pin-point why. Maybe it was that everything happened so fast?
Quote:
In a large two-story ranch-style house in town, a teenage girl was just getting up out of her bed, unaware of what had happened just a half mile down the road.
Whether or not you were trying to be funny, I lol'd at that. I guess it was the sudden, out of the blue, change in mood.
The invasion did happen fast, didn't it? I guess all I can say is that the team knew they were on a limited schedule. Oh, and that I seriously skimped on the prof's reaction And about the last sentence- It's kinda a bridge to the next chapter where the main character (surprise, surprise, her name's Lisa!) is introduced.


@purple_drake: Unfortunately, I can't provide an explanation for some of the things you pointed out (namely the leader's cliched lines, the deal about searching for Pokemon in the lab, and the leader's referral to the "camp") without spoiling some plot points in chapters in the near future. Hopefully once the "leader" makes his reappearance, it'll explain most of this.

As for the choppy and confusing sentences... It's weird, but they never look that bad until someone points them out :o Then when someone does, it's like, "Holy cow, that does sound confusing!" I'll try to keep a look out for that in the future (particularly the whole subject confusion and short, choppy sentences thing) but I may not catch it all, which hopefully my reviewers can jump all over me and show me the errors of my ways

Well, thanks for reading and reviewing everyone (and purple_drake, your review is of the type I'm DYING to see on Serebii...), and Happy Thanksgiving!
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  #11    
Old November 24th, 2007, 07:45 AM
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Finally the official first chapter is up! Please enjoy!

A/N: Yeah, corny chapter name, but it has to do with the song Lisa sings in the chapter, which is, coincidentally, "At the Beginning" by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis. Those who are following this on Sppf know that that song will play a HUGE role much later in the fic, but don't spoil it

Let's start, shall we?

Chapter 1: At the Beginning

As the sun rose over the sleepy town, a girl was already awake, sitting at a desk in her room. The girl had one of her textbooks on her desk, as well as a legal pad and a TI-89 calculator. She was not particularly tall and was of a medium build. She had styled her long brown hair fairly quickly, letting two locks drape down over her shoulders while the rest of the hair hung down in back. She had taken no time to apply makeup or anything of the sort; she had more important matters to attend to. Adjusting a pair of reading glasses, she began to bury her face in a book entitled, “Number Theory Algorithms, Theorems, and Conjectures.”

Her room was adorned in pink, but was strangely devoid of dolls, boy-band posters, or anything of that nature. On one wall was a poster with the first million digits of pi. On the opposite wall she had hung the periodic table, overlooking a brown bench with several test tubes, beakers, and a Bunsen burner. She had three computers- a Windows laptop, a Mac desktop, and a second desktop running Linux. A rack of servers rested in a “sunroom” addition to her room. On her bookshelf stood an eclectic mix of high level math books, car shop manuals, and Quality Inn hotel directories, the oldest dating to 1955. A small TV and VCR rested next to the bookshelf, with a Nintendo GameCube sitting on top of the VCR.

Still wearing her pink nightgown, she mulled over a question printed in her book, playing with a pencil in her right hand while her chin rested on her left one. “Hmmmm… If I take the third derivative of the beta function and substitute sufficiently large primes for x and y…”

“Lisa!” a voice called out. The girl turned around to find her father, a man in his early forties with dark brown hair and a light beard, standing at her door. “Lisa, you know your mother and I have to take this job in Spartanburg, which is why we decided that it’s time for you to start training Pokémon. You passed the trainer qualifying exam four years ago, but then you decided to go to college back home. Don’t know why you took the test if you were just gonna head back to South Carolina, but, whatever.”

The man shrugged. “Anyway, we’ve been back here since May, and all you’ve been doing since then is studying your math. Don’t you think it’s time? I mean, you’re fifteen now. Most other trainers your age already have four years of experience under their belts. And remember that Professor Sequoia at the lab did send those postcards to you, asking you to come by her lab and choose a Pokémon for yourself. You go to visit her lab on a regular basis; I would have thought you would have done this on your own.”

Lisa ran her hand through her long brown hair. “I suppose so, maybe it would be good if I got out of the house for awhile,” she lied. “Of course I realize I’m older than the others! Man, there’s a REASON I haven’t taken a Pokémon yet! Oh well, as my old professor said, just nod and agree, and hopefully they’ll get off your case.” Instead of voicing her protest, she simply mumbled, “After all, this is like the seventy-fourth postcard she sent me, and most of them were forwarded to South Carolina over the past four years. Okay, I guess it’s finally time to respond to her. Just as long as I get the keys to the Caprice,” she said, referring to her car, a 1989 Chevy Caprice Classic in mint condition, which had been her parents’ car previously. “There’s no way I’m leaving this house unless I’m behind the wheel…

“Um, Lisa, when most people start out Pokémon training, they proceed by foot.”

Please tell me this is some sort of bad joke…” Unfortunately, she knew better. Her father wore that look… His unblinking stare, slight frown, and arms folded across his chest told Lisa that his word was final and there would be no negotiations. The girl still couldn’t believe her ears, though. “On foot?! Are you serious?” Jumping up from her chair in a flash, she almost tripped over the legs of the seat. Lisa ran over to her closet and opened it up with a loud slam. Motioning toward the small collection of shoes on the floor, he exclaimed, “I only have one pair of shoes that aren’t heels, and those happen to be ballet flats! I can’t possibly walk all that way in heels!”

The teenager looked up at her father, lower lip quivering, but the man firmly stood his ground. “You are leaving today, and that is final. And, honey, we bought you a pair of sneakers…”

No! Ain’t gonna happen! Me wearing sneakers is madness!” Angrily, Lisa shouted, “Dad, I told you, I never wear sneakers. Tomboys do that, and I do not want to be lumped into that category. I’ll take my chances with the heels.”

“Fine,” her father replied as he left the room. “Wear what you want, I’m just trying to make it a little easier on you… Jeez, Lisa, will you ever change?”

The girl’s mind began to wander as she set herself on the bed. Thoughts of her past life came rushing in like a hurricane. “I still don’t see why they couldn’t have taken me back to South Carolina with them… I mean, let me stay at our place in Anderson! At least there I can walk to Applebee’s or any number of stores and restaurants on Clemson Boulevard when I need a meal. Plus, I’d be near my college, where I can check up on everyone that I graduated with. My sister is still back home, living with Grandma. I don’t see why Mom and Dad didn’t simply transfer her to schools here, yet they made ME move with them…

“Lisa!” her father admonished. “Are you getting packed or are you daydreaming again?! Get down here or we’ll drag you to the professor’s place! If your mother and I miss this flight…”

”Sorry, I’ll get on it right now!” Lisa started packing about five of her favorite outfits into vacuum-sealed bags and placing them into her dark purple backpack. “I love these awesome bags!” Lisa had been using them for years. She appreciated that with them, she could carry a whole suitcase’s worth of clothes in something that was much smaller and easier for her to handle.

In a smaller yellow handbag she placed her cell phone, PDA, and TI-89 calculator, as well as her wallet, keys, and several small books. She then put on her favorite outfit. This consisted of a knee-length blue dress with a purple and green floral print. Over this she put on a light green cardigan. She also put on white stockings and a pair of black open-toe dress shoes. To complete her look, she also put on a white wide-brimmed hat with purple ribbon trim. “Well, with my cutest outfit on, it looks like I’m all set to go. We’ll see how this turns out… Not that I’m expecting too terribly much…

The girl sighed. “This is ridiculous… I might be fifteen, but I’m a college grad and the owner of a math tutoring businesses. I shouldn’t be made to do something like this… And they expect eleven year olds to do this stuff? Is this government out of its freaking mind? Oh, whatever... Better make this call, then.

”Hello? Is this Miss Laura Hess? Yes, this is Lisa Northwood… I need to ask you a favor. I’m going to be on leave for an undetermined amount of time, so I need you and the other tutors to cover for me while I’m gone… I’m sorry, but my parents are making me do something where I won’t be able to take calls… Listen, if any really difficult questions come up, just give me a call and I’ll try to answer as fast as I can… Okay, thank you. And also, if by mid-February I’m not back, I need you to send me an electronic copy of our firm’s financial records so I can file our tax returns. Thanks again, and hopefully I’ll be back as soon as I can!”

“Lisa Kimberly Lynn Northwood! Downstairs, NOW!”

“Okay, I’m coming!”

Hanging up the phone, the girl grabbed both bags and made her way down the carpeted stairs. “Well, it’s about time,” scolded Lisa’s mother, a blond-haired woman who was rather tall, once her daughter had walked into the kitchen. “Since you’ve spent so much time just fooling around, you’ll have to have this granola bar and this bottle of cranberry juice for your breakfast,” the mother told Lisa, motioning to the food sitting on the kitchen’s granite countertop.

“Okay, Lisa,” her father spoke up, “I know I’ve been a little pushy this morning, but I feel that this Pokémon journey is something you need to do. It seems hard, I know, but in the end I think it’ll make you a better person and teach you many lessons.”

“But, Dad, that’s what I went to college for!”

“Lisa, I’m talking about life lessons – the things they can’t teach you in a classroom. Honestly, it’s time to set the algebra and calculus aside and step out of your comfort zone…”

The girl sulked. “But I like my comfort zone! It’s so comfortable!”

The man gave his daughter a disapproving frown. Lisa grew silent. She knew better than to interrupt people, especially her own parents. Heaving out a sigh, he continued, “And that’s the problem. You’ve never really challenged yourself before. Well, that changes today! You do understand that we both love you, and only want to do what’s best for you. And right now, we think that training Pokémon would help you grow as a person.”

Lisa relented. She knew her father was right. “All right, I see your point. I suppose if it’s for the best…”

Her mother then said, “Now, we were going to give you some money to get you started, but considering you’ll still be earning money from your tutoring company, as well as the standard Pokémon League trainer stipend, you should be fine money-wise – even if you were to spend every night at the Ritz.”

“Yeah, thanks anyway, Mom.”

“Well, I think we’ll be heading off now. Good luck on your journey, honey, and be sure to call us every now and then!”

“But not too often,” added Lisa’s father. “No, all kidding aside, I do hope that you get something out of this.”

Lisa received hugs from both of her parents before they headed to the door. Turning around one last time, her mother added, “Good luck, and don’t forget we love you!”

“Love you too, bye!” Lisa waved back. Picking up her breakfast, she then made her way toward the door, thinking, “Well, here goes nothing… I hope you two are right…

The girl activated the house’s high-tech security system. “Ain’t nobody gonna be stealing my car or my computers while I’m out doing this…” she mumbled to herself. Receiving three electronic chirps from the white control panel, Lisa locked the door to her house and set off toward the laboratory. As she stepped off the porch, she received a final wave from her parents as they backed out of the driveway in their brand-new Mercury Grand Marquis. The gleaming four-door sedan then drove off, headed north and to the region’s only international airport. Soon enough, the black full-size car had disappeared over the horizon.

Suppose it’s too late to turn back now. Fine, let’s get this over with…

En route to the lab, the girl was walking down a red brick walkway, passing a number of two-story houses and their well-manicured front lawns. Having not even walked a mile, Lisa’s feet were already beginning to hurt. “This Pokémon training stuff had better be worth it,” she muttered under her breath. The way to the laboratory was fairly direct, as there was only one main road through town.

Finally, the two-story lab came into view. It was a rather bland building, with a beige stucco façade and no ornamentation whatsoever - just a huge tan block with the occasional window. When Lisa finally arrived at the lab, she knocked but got no response. Then she noticed that the large glass doors were ajar, and she entered.

Upon entering the lobby, confusion and fear gripped the girl, as her face was frozen in a wide-eyed stare. “Wha… what happened here?! This place looks like a disaster area! I hope the professor and Meowth are all right…

She saw the lab in complete disarray. Shelves were broken, tables were overturned, and papers were strewn all over the white tile floor. The teen looked around, her eyes wide open in shock as she observed the damage around her. “Who would do something like this? And worse, what if they’re still here?

Then Lisa heard muffled screaming coming from a back room. She ran back there and found Dr. Sequoia tied up and gagged. “Dr. Sequoia, is that you? Geez, what happened here?!” Lisa exclaimed.

The tied-up researcher was startled awake by Lisa’s outburst. Not immediately recognizing the voice, she began to curl up, not knowing who was in the lab. “Did those invaders come back to finish the job?” The door opened, and Dr. Sequoia was prepared to accept her fate.

However, instead of an armed intruder, she was met with the face of a fifteen-year-old who was familiar to her. Breathing a sigh of relief, she said, “Wait… You’re Lisa Northwood, aren’t you?” Lisa nodded.

Once Lisa had freed her, the professor began to explain what had transpired. “Last night, I had been up late working on a project when these thugs in black somehow got in the lab and took me hostage. They were after something on my computer, and ended up ransacking a good part of the lab looking for Pokémon as well. I know that some of them were stolen.” The young researcher was out of breath after her explanation. Sweat was dripping down her forehead and her knees were shaking.

“You need to calm yourself,” Lisa advised. “Can I get you a glass of juice or something?”

“Yes, please…”

Lisa walked over to a refrigerator and poured some orange juice into a nearby glass. The researcher took the glass and began to drink. After finishing her juice, she had a calmer demeanor, no longer quivering or sweating. “Well, I’m feeling a little better now… Long time, no see. Are you here to ask about my research? You know, of everyone in town, you seem to be the only one who understands half of it.”

Lisa let out a small laugh and rubbed the back of her head. “Well, you know, we brainiacs have to stick together, ya know? Actually, I’m here about getting my first Pokémon. My folks are saying I need to do something besides college for a change.”

Dr. Sequoia was taken aback. “This girl has been receiving notices to claim a starter Pokémon for five years and chooses today, of all days, to finally take one?” But the professor, remaining the consummate professional, simply replied, “After seventy-nine replies you decided to take me up on my offer? Unfortunately, you picked the worst time to do so. I’m sorry, but because of the incident last night I don’t have any Pokémon to hand out…”

“Oh, that’s a shame…” Lisa interrupted nonchalantly before she was cut off.

“Meowth meow meow meowth…”

A tiny cat with light tan fur and a gold charm on its forehead emerged from under a stack of papers and went over to Lisa and looked at her, shaking its whiskers intently. It then used its huge brown feet to jump up into Lisa’s arms and smiled with its huge eyes, looking up adoringly at the teenage genius. This Meowth had a red bow on its head.

“Well, hi there! It has been almost a month since I last visited, hasn’t it? Oh, I hope you weren’t too scared by what happened here!”

“It seems that this little Meowth managed to avoid being taken by those thugs. I know it isn’t the typical Pokémon I give out to new trainers, but would you be willing to take this Meowth and train her well? I guess from all those times you’ve visited me to check up on my research, she’s already taken a shine to you.”

“Um… okay. Aww, there you are, you cutie!” Lisa started to rub the Meowth lightly behind its ear. Meowth began to purr contently. The girl and the Pokémon had indeed developed a rapport during the time that Lisa had lived in Fort Barnes, though none of their interactions had revolved around battling.

Professor Sequoia left the room then returned with a differently colored Pokéball and a small device. “When I caught this Meowth, I used this Luxury Ball, but sometimes I noticed she likes to walk outside of it. Still, I better give you this in case something happens and you need to call her back into the ball,” she said, giving Lisa the black capturing sphere and a small data cartridge.

“Also, here is an upgrade for your PDA that contains a Pokédex function. It was actually developed by your father’s company. Use it to gather data on any Pokémon you meet. Oh, and here are a few additional Pokéballs. You passed the trainer qualifying exam, so you should still remember how to use these.” She then handed the girl five red and white balls.

“Well, I think you better be on your way before those thugs return. I wish you the best of luck on your adventure! I’ll call the police and have them investigate the matter. Don’t worry! I’ll be fine! Just be careful out there!”

“Thanks, professor!” Lisa and her new Meowth both waved back before taking the route out of town.

Well, Meowth and I do go back a ways… maybe this journey won’t be so bad after all… besides, there IS supposed to be a nice Comfort Inn two towns ahead, so at least I’ll get a decent room…

As they walked out of town, Lisa started to sing quietly, which seemed to relax her Meowth.

“We were strangers
Starting out on a journey
Never dreaming what
We’d have to go through

Now here we are
And I’m suddenly standing
At the beginning with you.”

You know, it’s really weird. I mean, I don’t think I sound bad singing like this, but for some reason, everyone at those college karaoke parties couldn’t stand my voice! I got booed right off the stage each time! Maybe I just have a thing for these love songs, I don’t know…

Lisa took one last look at Fort Barnes. This wasn’t her permanent home, but for a small town it wasn’t too bad. Lisa noticed a sign that read “Route 501: To Chromo Town.”

“Chromo Town. I guess that’s our next destination. Well, we might as well get started.” She thought to herself, “I really hope I’m not getting myself in too deep… but at least I have a familiar partner by my side…

“Meowth meow meow!”

The pair had just reached the grassy field just to the north of town. With the lab and residences of Fort Barnes plainly in view, Lisa abruptly stopped and Meowth walked face-first into her trainer’s legs.

“Oops, sorry for not warning you that I was gonna stop!”

Lisa plugged the upgrade chip into her PDA, then decided to try it out on her new Pokémon. She aimed the device at Meowth then hit “Info.” The machine beeped and an image and text appeared. A pleasant female voice started up as well. “Meowth, the Scratch Cat Pokémon. Meowth is a nocturnal Pokémon that loves to wander the city streets at night and collect shiny objects like coins.”

“Guess we better start working on your attacks… Let’s start by giving that bush over there a Scratch.”

The small cat extended her long, pointed claws then delivered a single swipe at the small hedge, causing some of its foliage to come loose. “Good job!” she complimented. Lisa started to feel a breeze and noticed a large green leaf float by. “Okay, Meowth, let’s try moving targets this time! Scratch the leaf!”

Meowth’s first attempt missed, but the cat concentrated its focus on the floating green object before leaping at it with her claws at the ready. This time, the kitten was dead-on and sliced the leaf in two. “Excellent work! Now let’s try multiple Scratches! Target that bush again!” This time Lisa observed as Meowth made five quick swipes at the plant.

“Good job! Okay, now go after that leaf!” she directed while pointing at another floating green object in the sky. The feline jumped up at it, her claws ready.
********

On a four-lane highway, a black Mercury Grand Marquis was making its way north. Inside the sedan, a woman in the passenger seat turned to her husband. “Douglas, you know, Lisa really didn’t want to leave home. Are you sure we shouldn’t have just taken her with us?”

“You know, Brooke, it was tempting, but honestly, that girl hasn’t seen a challenge in her life. She breezed through school and college, she’s earning a five-figure income, and basically she’s had everything handed to her. She has no idea of what the real world is like. She hasn’t had to scratch and claw her way to success like we had to. I figured that Pokémon training was something that would test her physically as well as force her to realize there’s more to life than being sheltered and spoiled.”

“I suppose you do have a point there, but I’m just worried it might be a bit too dangerous for her, if you know what I mean.”

Keeping both hands firmly on the steering wheel, Douglas answered, “True, but the League lets kids younger than her journey into the world, so it can’t be that dangerous. Besides, there’s something about Lisa… once she gets into Pokémon training, I’m sure she’ll try her hardest to excel. She’s always wanted to be the best at whatever she tried to do, and while this is a bit different, soon she’ll realize it’s another challenge to conquer.”

Resting her hand on her door’s armrest, Brooke looked forward again. “True, I mean, that’s what drove my brother to Pokémon training success all those years back. Perhaps that desire for success is something that runs in the family.”
********

“Okay! That’s good for now!” the teenaged trainer called out to her tiny cat Pokémon. “I sorta lost track of time there, but I think we should get going here. After all, I don’t need environmentalists coming after us for destroying the plant life here.”

Meowth nodded and, after swiping at a tree trunk one last time, she ran over to Lisa.

“Maybe I should give you a nickname, Meowth. How about, ‘Quadratic Formula’?”

Meowth scowled at her trainer, apparently not accepting the name.

Lisa continued to suggest nicknames. “3.14159? Pythagorean Theorem? SOHCAHTOA? Isosceles Triangle? System of Equations? What, you don’t like ANY of them?!”

Meowth had rejected every one of her proposed nicknames, each time sticking her tongue out at her shocked trainer. Dejected, Lisa finally mumbled, “Fine, I’ll just call you Meowth for the time being. Man, I never was any good at nicknames!”

Meowth seemed to agree to this plan, as it was painfully obvious that any nickname suggested by Lisa would be nerdy in a mathematical way.

“Okay, Meowth, I suppose it’s time we got going.” The pair then proceeded to walk down the grassy path, which was overgrown and filled with weeds and small shrubs.

Last edited by Elite Overlord LeSabre™; April 10th, 2008 at 04:57 PM.
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  #12    
Old November 24th, 2007, 07:58 AM
royalprophecies's Avatar
royalprophecies
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I love it so far. Really good.
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  #13    
Old November 24th, 2007, 08:33 AM
Haruka of Hoenn's Avatar
Haruka of Hoenn
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(I never got to review your first chapter on SPPF, but here's my chance! )


Quote:
Her room was adorned in pink, but was strangely devoid of dolls, boy-band posters, or anything of that nature. On one wall was a poster with the first million digits of pi. On the opposite wall she had hung the periodic table, overlooking a brown bench with several test tubes, beakers, and a Bunsen burner. She had three computers- a Windows laptop, a Mac desktop, and a second desktop running Linux. A rack of servers rested in a “sunroom” addition to her room. On her bookshelf stood an eclectic mix of high level math books, car shop manuals, and Quality Inn hotel directories, the oldest dating to 1955. A small TV and VCR rested next to the bookshelf, with a Nintendo GameCube sitting on top of the VCR.
I actually wouldn't mind switching rooms with her! Oh, and I also like how you made Lisa like math and be smart, without losing her 'girly' characteristics! It makes her a truly unique character.

Quote:
Finally, the two-story lab came into view. It was a rather bland building, with a beige stucco façade and no ornamentation whatsoever - just a huge tan block with the occasional window.
Nice description! The building sounds kinda plain but it is a lab, after all...


Quote:
After all, this is like the seventy-fourth postcard she sent me, and half of them were forwarded to my college address while I was attending.
Seventy-fourth? And to think, most people would have given up after five years... Dr. Sequoia must really want Lisa to become a trainer for some reason!

Wow, the suspense really is starting to build in this chapter since the prologue! I'll definitely be around to review the second one!
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  #14    
Old November 24th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Astinus's Avatar
Astinus
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royalprophecies, there needs to be more substance to your review. Tell DP479 why you like the story. Don't just say you like it. Add on more to it with the why. Otherwise, your posts will be counted as spam. Just letting you know.

And, ah, DP479, I'll review when I have more time. Still have three more pages to type of an essay. xP
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  #15    
Old November 24th, 2007, 11:18 AM
royalprophecies's Avatar
royalprophecies
Writer of The Sneasel Trainer
 
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Alright, I'll post more.

Quote:
“Guess we better start working on your attacks… Let’s start by giving that bush over there a Scratch.”

The small cat extended its long, pointed claws then delivered a single swipe at the small hedge, causing some of its foliage to come loose. “Good job!” she complimented. Lisa started to feel a breeze and noticed a large green leaf float by. “Okay, Meowth, let’s try moving targets this time! Scratch the leaf!”

Meowth’s first attempt missed, but the cat concentrated its focus on the floating green object before leaping at it with its claws at the ready. This time, the kitten was dead-on and sliced the leaf in two. “Excellent work! Now let’s try multiple Scratches! Target that bush again!” This time Lisa observed as Meowth made five quick swipes at the plant. Just then her PDA began to beep. “Meowth has learned Fury Swipes.”
I'm not trying to tell you what to do with the story, but Meowths don't learn Fury Swipes that fast, but otherwise nice detail.

Quote:
Lisa continued to suggest nicknames. “3.14159? Pythagorean Theorem? SOHCAHTOA? Isosceles Triangle? System of Equations? What, you don’t like ANY of them?!”
Haha. She must really like math or equations or something.

From the Prolgue:


Quote:
Before she knew it, she was staring at a team of high-tech spies. Clad entirely in black except for red “T” logos emblazoned on their headgear, she could not determine their identity. The leader released a vicious black four legged Pokémon, with an orange snout and curved white horns, who snarled at the professor. Despite the darkness, drool was visibly dripping off the creature's razor-sharp fangs. The lanky creature's demonic pointed tail wagged back and forth in a very violent manner. The rest of the agents had M-16 assault rifles pointed at her. In a deep, mechanically altered voice, the commander spoke. “We have come to seize every single Pokémon in this facility. You do not dare try to defy us. Hahahahahahaha…”
Is that Pokemon a .... Houndoom? I love that Pokemon, plus I love the use of describing it.


Quote:
After flipping a switch on the wall using her head, Dr. Sequoia directed the team to the lobby of the lab. There, she motioned with her body toward a large black metal desk in the back of the lobby. The leader ran over to it, opened a drawer, and shoved about a dozen red and white spheres into a bag. “There must be more here! Tear this room apart until we find them!”

His subordinates did as they were ordered. They shoved over desks, threw furniture across the room, and tore through carefully sorted forms and books. This was one time where the soundproof walls of the lab worked against it. Finding nothing, and seeing that the sun was just starting to show its face, the leader called out, “Blast! For a Pokémon Lab, this place is seriously lacking in the Pokémon department. Return to camp!”
Wow, only fifteen? If I was a professor, then I'll have over fifty, but otherwise, nice.
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  #16    
Old November 24th, 2007, 11:34 AM
Bay Alexison's Avatar
Bay Alexison
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Join Date: May 2006
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It is off to a slow start, but first chapters always does. XD So far I’m liking Lisa’s character. I agree with Haruka that Lisa’s character is unique. She’s smart but girly! XD Also, even though I thought you described Lisa’s room a tad bit too much, it’s not really a big deal. I actually liked how you not only describe the objects but that those objects in the room represent her personality. ;)

Quote:
”Sorry, I’ll get on it right now!” Lisa started packing about five of her favorite outfits into vacuum-sealed bags and placing them into her dark purple backpack. “I love these vacuum-sealed bags! They let me carry a whole suitcase’s worth of clothes in something I can easily fit on my back!”
Haha, those vacuum bags look cool! Would love to get it one day! XD

Quote:
In a smaller yellow handbag she placed her cell phone, PDA, and TI-89 calculator, as well as her wallet, keys, and several small books. She then put on her favorite outfit. This consisted of a cute blue dress with a pretty purple and green floral print. Over this she put on a light green cardigan. She also put on white stockings and a pair of black open-toe dress shoes. To complete her look, she also put on a cute white wide-brimmed hat with purple ribbon trim. “Well, looks like I’m all set to go. We’ll see how this turns out…”
This is one of my pet peeves, but for some reason I really don’t like it when the narrator says the adjectives like “cute” and “ugly”, unless the story is in first person point of view. In my opinion, it would be better if we know that her dress and hat is cute in Lisa’s mind. I don’t know, but it gives me the impression of an inexperienced writer wanting to tell us, “Oh, my main character is cute, beautiful, and perfect!” I am not saying that you are one of the inexperienced writers. In fact, I think you are one of the better ones in this forum (and on Serebii) and I applaud you for trying to make this story the best you want it to be. Just saying to be more careful with the adjectives you used when you are describing a person and his/her things, clothes, pets, etc. Meh, this is just my two cents. ^^

Quote:
Lisa continued to suggest nicknames. “3.14159? Pythagorean Theorem? SOHCAHTOA? Isosceles Triangle? System of Equations? What, you don’t like ANY of them?!”
OH MY GOSH. I seriously love that part! I may be a math geek like Lisa, but I won’t THINK of naming my pets after mathematical terms! XD

Well, so far so good. Again slow but I am sure things will pick up. Can’t wait for the next chapter (and hope I will review it on time if school doesn’t get me!)
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  #17    
Old November 24th, 2007, 08:01 PM
Duncan McNeil's Avatar
Duncan McNeil
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I'm finally here. Yeah, I reviewed this a few months ago on the big green lagger, but all those chapters intimidated me...

I had written up a nice, long review of the prologue, but purple_drake beat me to it. Seriously, she said everything I was going to say and more. So I'll just say that I agree with her on everything and move on to a less picked over chapter.

This is pretty good right now, but the thing that I don't like is the description. Like here:

Quote:
En route to the lab, Lisa’s feet were already beginning to hurt. “This Pokémon training stuff had better be worth it,” she muttered under her breath.
The thing is, this wouldn't have been bad if you just cut off right before here and got rid of this entirely. I don't mind new regions, but when you do make a fic in one you have to be careful. For example, let's say you have a fic based in Hoenn. You can get by (barely) with less description, simply because almost everyone knows what Hoenn looks like. But when you create a region, you lose all of that knowledge. Now that's not nessecarily a bad thing, but you need a lot of extra description. Describe the heck out of it. Are there interesting landmarks? Is there anything at all that is unique? Things like that are extremely important. I understand that this was written a while ago, so as long as the new chapters have good description then you're good.

Quote:
Her room was adorned in pink, but was strangely devoid of dolls, boy-band posters, or anything of that nature. On one wall was a poster with the first million digits of pi. On the opposite wall she had hung the periodic table, overlooking a brown bench with several test tubes, beakers, and a Bunsen burner. She had three computers- a Windows laptop, a Mac desktop, and a second desktop running Linux. A rack of servers rested in a “sunroom” addition to her room. On her bookshelf stood an eclectic mix of high level math books, car shop manuals, and Quality Inn hotel directories, the oldest dating to 1955. A small TV and VCR rested next to the bookshelf, with a Nintendo GameCube sitting on top of the VCR.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love this room! Come on, that's just awesome.

Quote:
Lisa ran her hand through her long brown hair. “I suppose so, maybe it would be good if I got out of the house for awhile. After all, this is like the seventy-fourth postcard she sent me, and half of them were forwarded to my college address while I was attending. Okay, I guess it’s finally time to respond to her. Just as long as I get the keys to the Fifth Ave,” she said, referring to her car, a 1989 Chrysler Fifth Avenue in perfect condition, with a beautiful dark burgundy finish and elegant red velvet interior.
A couple things here. One, this just doesn't seem realistic to me. She obviously doesn't want to go and they've had this conversation before. Adding what she was thinking would be very helpful here.

Two, I've got to say if I had two successful businesses I'd have better cars than an old Fifth Avenue and a Corsica. Not all that important, but come on! Together those two are worth what? A couple thousand bucks? Yeah, I'm into cars...

Quote:
“On foot?! Are you serious?” Lisa ran over to her closet and opened it up. “I only have one pair of shoes that aren’t heels, and those happen to be ballet flts! I can’t possibly walk all that way in heels!”
This is truly scary. DP479 made...a typo! *the world starts to shake* The Apocolypse is coming! XD

Quote:
After a couple quick phone calls, Lisa would make her way to Dr. Sequoia in the laboratory to obtain her starter Pokémon. The girl headed downstairs to see that her parents had already taken off toward the airport. She only found a note that read:
Here is a case of telling us what happened. Show what happens instead. True, it might be stupid or boring, but you did this a couple of times. It's not that bad or anything, but it would be nice to know what happens. Yeah...

Quote:
Hanging up the phone, the girl sighed. “This is ridiculous… I might be only fifteen, but I’m a college grad and the owner of two businesses. I should be mature enough to stay at home. Oh, well, I’ll never understand parents… Better make this second call, then.”
Huh? She's fifteen? I know it's not the case, but this really makes Lisa look like a Sue. I know that she's not, but how many fifteen year olds have already graduated college, owns two businesses and two cars? Another thing is how can she drive? It seems like she has been driving for a while (to me, at least) and she's only fifteen. I don't know how well it would be to have people that age (and almost certainly younger) driving. A nit-pick, but whatever.

I apologize for the negative review, but I want to tell you that this is pretty good. Adding to the fact that this is 30-something chapters old, I'm quite sure that you've improved. Yeah, I suppose that's all. Just work more on your description and you should be good. Whew.
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  #18    
Old November 24th, 2007, 09:56 PM
Astinus's Avatar
Astinus
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royalprophecies, that's the type of review I'm talking about! ^^

DP, here's my review.

Quote:
She was not particularly tall, but fairly attractive; however “cute” would describe her better than “beautiful.”
Agreement with Bay about this. Everyone has their own definition of what is "cute" or "beautiful". (Trust me. I know. XD) Find a better way to describe Lisa as not being a perky cheerleader-esque girl and more of a plain...nerd. :<

Quote:
“Lisa, you know your mother and I have to take this job in Spartanburg, which is why we decided that it’s time you to start training Pokémon.
Missing a "for" between "time" and "you".

Quote:
The girl’s mind bean to wander as she set herself on the bed.
"Mind bean"... I'm sure you mean "began".

Quote:
After a couple quick phone calls, Lisa would make her way to Dr. Sequoia in the laboratory to obtain her starter Pokémon.
For some reason, the "would" here bothers me. I try to replace it with "started to" to get rid of the passive voice. Just as a word of general advice: If you want action, use the active voice with active words. It just sounds better. (That's what I've learned. You don't have to follow that advice.)

Quote:
oh, well, gotta keep the family business running, I suppose…”
"Oh" should be capitalized since it's the beginning of the sentence. The space after the ellipses shows it to be a stand-alone sentence.

Quote:
“Ain’t nobody gonna be stealing my car or my computers while I’m out doing this…” she mumbled to herself.
"Mumbling" implies to me that she says this out loud, so I don't know why you italicized it as a thought line. Sure, it's her thoughts, but she's saying them out loud like regular dialog.

Quote:
En route to the lab, Lisa’s feet were already beginning to hurt. “This Pokémon training stuff had better be worth it,” she muttered under her breath.
But, what does the route to the lab look like? Is she in a rural setting, where she has to walk in her heels through the dirt? Or is she in a suburban setting, where she's kicking up the asphalt? Some description of the scenery would be nice.

Quote:
“Oh, that’s a shame…” Lisa interrupted nonchalantly before she herself was cut off.
Eh, don't need the "herself" in this sentence. It makes no sense to me.

Quote:
It then used its brown webbed feet to jump up into Lisa’s arms and smiled with its huge eyes, looking up adoringly at the stunned teenage genius.
"webbed"? o.O Like...a frog's? That's the image in my mind. So I'm not sure if that's the best word choice to use, but if that's what you want to say...

In the beginning, Lisa does start off as a near-perfect character. Yes, she can't sing at karaoke parties (who can?) but with her graduating from college, running two businesses, driving, and... I'm just repeating what Duncan said, huh? Plus, you spent a lot of time showing how different she is from other people by describing her room. Eh, it might be a cop-out, showing that early on and that swiftly how different she is instead of just taking your time. But I'm not really the best one to look to on this.

I had hoped that one thing you would have done with this reposting is edit in some of Lisa's feelings. I mean, how does she feel being forced out into the world of Pokemon? She just seems to readily accept this change so soon after finding out her parents are leaving. I figured that since it's Lisa (whom I know from later chapters) that she would be a bit more stubborn.

o.o I have no idea if I just posted a spoiler or not.

I think I'm done now with this review for chapter one. I never got a chance to review this chapter, since you were already up to chapter six by the time I arrived in your thread. So I'm going over this with a fine-tooth comb. ^^

See you next chapter.
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  #19    
Old November 25th, 2007, 12:25 AM
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™
Classic Elegance
Community Supporter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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WOW! A whole lot of reviews in just one day! And these are way better than 2/3 of my Sppf ones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haruka of Hoenn View Post
(I never got to review your first chapter on SPPF, but here's my chance! )
Yay! This is how Lisa (and I as a writer) got our start!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haruka of Hoenn View Post
Quote:
Her room was adorned in pink, but was strangely devoid of dolls, boy-band posters, or anything of that nature. On one wall was a poster with the first million digits of pi. On the opposite wall she had hung the periodic table, overlooking a brown bench with several test tubes, beakers, and a Bunsen burner. She had three computers- a Windows laptop, a Mac desktop, and a second desktop running Linux. A rack of servers rested in a “sunroom” addition to her room. On her bookshelf stood an eclectic mix of high level math books, car shop manuals, and Quality Inn hotel directories, the oldest dating to 1955. A small TV and VCR rested next to the bookshelf, with a Nintendo GameCube sitting on top of the VCR.
I actually wouldn't mind switching rooms with her! Oh, and I also like how you made Lisa like math and be smart, without losing her 'girly' characteristics! It makes her a truly unique character.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay View Post
It is off to a slow start, but first chapters always does. XD So far I’m liking Lisa’s character. I agree with Haruka that Lisa’s character is unique. She’s smart but girly! XD Also, even though I thought you described Lisa’s room a tad bit too much, it’s not really a big deal. I actually liked how you not only describe the objects but that those objects in the room represent her personality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan McNeil View Post
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love this room! Come on, that's just awesome.
Showing and not telling gone too far?:o Yep, her room shows her personality, and also what she's leaving behind when she embarks on this journey. Glad you liked the description of Lisa's room/home office/chemistry lab/study It's not your typical room 'cause Lisa's not your typical trainer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haruka of Hoenn View Post
Quote:
After all, this is like the seventy-fourth postcard she sent me, and half of them were forwarded to my college address while I was attending.
Seventy-fourth? And to think, most people would have given up after five years... Dr. Sequoia must really want Lisa to become a trainer for some reason!
Perhaps the prof sees something in Lisa

Quote:
Originally Posted by royalprophecies View Post
I'm not trying to tell you what to do with the story, but Meowths don't learn Fury Swipes that fast, but otherwise nice detail.
I just figured that if it can learn cratch, then doing the move several times in a row isn't much harder... And on that subject, how is a "Slash" different from a "Scratch?" Is it executed faster? Do the claws dig deeper into the opponent? No, that advice was quite helpful

Quote:
Originally Posted by royalprophecies View Post
Quote:
Lisa continued to suggest nicknames. “3.14159? Pythagorean Theorem? SOHCAHTOA? Isosceles Triangle? System of Equations? What, you don’t like ANY of them?!”
Haha. She must really like math or equations or something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay View Post
OH MY GOSH. I seriously love that part! I may be a math geek like Lisa, but I won’t THINK of naming my pets after mathematical terms! XD
I said before that Lisa sucks at nicknaming Pokemon- and my ingame Flygon is named, "Dr.Calculus" XD It's what happens when you're uber obsessed with something

Quote:
Originally Posted by royalprophecies View Post
From the Prolgue:
Quote:
Before she knew it, she was staring at a team of high-tech spies. Clad entirely in black except for red “T” logos emblazoned on their headgear, she could not determine their identity. The leader released a vicious black four legged Pokémon, with an orange snout and curved white horns, who snarled at the professor. Despite the darkness, drool was visibly dripping off the creature's razor-sharp fangs. The lanky creature's demonic pointed tail wagged back and forth in a very violent manner. The rest of the agents had M-16 assault rifles pointed at her. In a deep, mechanically altered voice, the commander spoke. “We have come to seize every single Pokémon in this facility. You do not dare try to defy us. Hahahahahahaha…”
Is that Pokemon a .... Houndoom? I love that Pokemon, plus I love the use of describing it.
Yep, it is I suppose I described it well enough, that I don't have to mention the species name in order for readers to recognize it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by royalprophecies View Post
Quote:
After flipping a switch on the wall using her head, Dr. Sequoia directed the team to the lobby of the lab. There, she motioned with her body toward a large black metal desk in the back of the lobby. The leader ran over to it, opened a drawer, and shoved about a dozen red and white spheres into a bag. “There must be more here! Tear this room apart until we find them!”

His subordinates did as they were ordered. They shoved over desks, threw furniture across the room, and tore through carefully sorted forms and books. This was one time where the soundproof walls of the lab worked against it. Finding nothing, and seeing that the sun was just starting to show its face, the leader called out, “Blast! For a Pokémon Lab, this place is seriously lacking in the Pokémon department. Return to camp!”
Wow, only fifteen? If I was a professor, then I'll have over fifty, but otherwise, nice.
Well, it is explained later why this is the case- but this lab and the ones in the anime are different in purpose...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay View Post
Haha, those vacuum bags look cool! Would love to get it one day! XD
I think "SpaceBag" is the name brand for one type of those bags. Advertised all the time on late night TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay View Post
This is one of my pet peeves, but for some reason I really don’t like it when the narrator says the adjectives like “cute” and “ugly”, unless the story is in first person point of view. In my opinion, it would be better if we know that her dress and hat is cute in Lisa’s mind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
Agreement with Bay about this. Everyone has their own definition of what is "cute" or "beautiful". (Trust me. I know. XD) Find a better way to describe Lisa as not being a perky cheerleader-esque girl and more of a plain...nerd. :<
You know, nobody's ever brought that up before... but I suppose keeping the narrator objective and not biased is important... I'll try to remember, but I'm only human...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan McNeil View Post
This is pretty good right now, but the thing that I don't like is the description. Like here:
Quote:
En route to the lab, Lisa’s feet were already beginning to hurt. “This Pokémon training stuff had better be worth it,” she muttered under her breath.
The thing is, this wouldn't have been bad if you just cut off right before here and got rid of this entirely. I don't mind new regions, but when you do make a fic in one you have to be careful. For example, let's say you have a fic based in Hoenn. You can get by (barely) with less description, simply because almost everyone knows what Hoenn looks like. But when you create a region, you lose all of that knowledge. Now that's not nessecarily a bad thing, but you need a lot of extra description. Describe the heck out of it. Are there interesting landmarks? Is there anything at all that is unique? Things like that are extremely important. I understand that this was written a while ago, so as long as the new chapters have good description then you're good.
True but three things:
1) Some landmarks would be HUGE spoilers
2) Some of the unique points about the region:
Quote:
Most of the routes connecting cities are still dirt paths, though some are paved. Many businesses, including those that cater to travelers, have set up shop in Fourtix’s cities and on its busier routes.
This will become more clear when the freeways, Wal-Marts, TGI Fridays', and Quality Inns start showing up
3) Your quote has nothing to do with the region description, just that Lisa's feet are in pain :o

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan McNeil View Post
A couple things here. One, this just doesn't seem realistic to me. She obviously doesn't want to go and they've had this conversation before. Adding what she was thinking would be very helpful here.

Two, I've got to say if I had two successful businesses I'd have better cars than an old Fifth Avenue and a Corsica. Not all that important, but come on! Together those two are worth what? A couple thousand bucks? Yeah, I'm into cars...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
I had hoped that one thing you would have done with this reposting is edit in some of Lisa's feelings. I mean, how does she feel being forced out into the world of Pokemon? She just seems to readily accept this change so soon after finding out her parents are leaving. I figured that since it's Lisa (whom I know from later chapters) that she would be a bit more stubborn.
1) You're right on the adding thoughts, but this time her parents aren't giving her the choice- they're MAKING her leave and do this... I thought I did add more of her thoughts this time around... guess not enough of them, huh?
2) Not Corsica- Caprice Classic. There's a world of difference And her choices are based on personal preference- she's really into the older American boats. When she starts driving for real, she'll probably get something like a brand-new Town Car, but she's old-school

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan McNeil View Post
This is truly scary. DP479 made...a typo! *the world starts to shake* The Apocolypse is coming! XD
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
Missing a "for" between "time" and "you".

"Mind bean"... I'm sure you mean "began".
OHNOEZ THE FIC IS GONNA GET CLOSED AND IMMA GET 2,743 INFRACTION POINTS FOR IT!!!
Funny thing is, those were some of those last minute changes I decided to make... Oh, and make sure y'all take your mind beans this morning XD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan McNeil View Post
Quote:
After a couple quick phone calls, Lisa would make her way to Dr. Sequoia in the laboratory to obtain her starter Pokémon. The girl headed downstairs to see that her parents had already taken off toward the airport. She only found a note that read:
Here is a case of telling us what happened. Show what happens instead. True, it might be stupid or boring, but you did this a couple of times. It's not that bad or anything, but it would be nice to know what happens. Yeah...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
For some reason, the "would" here bothers me. I try to replace it with "started to" to get rid of the passive voice. Just as a word of general advice: If you want action, use the active voice with active words. It just sounds better. (That's what I've learned. You don't have to follow that advice.)
Actually, the "would" was intended to indicate that at this point, she had not made the calls yet but was intending to do so... And I do have those calls in the chapter, just a bit later
Quote:
Originally Posted by phone call #1
”Hello? Is this Miss Laura Hess? Yes, this is Lisa Northwood… I need to ask you a favor. I’m going to be on leave for an undetermined amount of time...
Quote:
Originally Posted by phone call #2
Dialing another number, the girl spoke, “I need to speak with Luis McClaine. Yes, Luis, this is Lisa. Listen, I need to take an extended leave of absence...
Believe me, there was a LOT more telling before I went in and made my edits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan McNeil View Post
Huh? She's fifteen? I know it's not the case, but this really makes Lisa look like a Sue. I know that she's not, but how many fifteen year olds have already graduated college, owns two businesses and two cars? Another thing is how can she drive? It seems like she has been driving for a while (to me, at least) and she's only fifteen. I don't know how well it would be to have people that age (and almost certainly younger) driving. A nit-pick, but whatever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
In the beginning, Lisa does start off as a near-perfect character. Yes, she can't sing at karaoke parties (who can?) but with her graduating from college, running two businesses, driving, and... I'm just repeating what Duncan said, huh? Plus, you spent a lot of time showing how different she is from other people by describing her room. Eh, it might be a cop-out, showing that early on and that swiftly how different she is instead of just taking your time. But I'm not really the best one to look to on this.
Right now, she's more of a car "collector." She has driven a bit for practice, but not on the congested mess that is South Carolina's Interstate 85. And Lisa does seem like a Sue- but if you stick with it, I do show how Lisa's well-to-do upbringing does put her at a disadvantage as far as the journeying is concerned... just think "rich spoiled kid sent out to the real world."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan McNeil View Post
I apologize for the negative review, but I want to tell you that this is pretty good. Adding to the fact that this is 30-something chapters old, I'm quite sure that you've improved. Yeah, I suppose that's all. Just work more on your description and you should be good. Whew.
No, a negative review is something like, "YOU SUCK YOU ****ING N00B GET YOUR *** OUT OF THE FANFIC AREA AND NEVER POST **** LIKE THIS AGAIN!!!" Your review was quite helpful, and let's face it, it never hurts anyone to get tips on how to improve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
"Oh" should be capitalized since it's the beginning of the sentence. The space after the ellipses shows it to be a stand-alone sentence.
It does? Never heard that rule *goes to look up in grammar guide book* I've just customarily put spaces after ellipses because it looks cleaner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
"Mumbling" implies to me that she says this out loud, so I don't know why you italicized it as a thought line. Sure, it's her thoughts, but she's saying them out loud like regular dialog.
I probably intended it to be just Lisa's thoughts, but like a noob I used the wrong speaker tag...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
But, what does the route to the lab look like? Is she in a rural setting, where she has to walk in her heels through the dirt? Or is she in a suburban setting, where she's kicking up the asphalt? Some description of the scenery would be nice.
Dangit! I KNEW I forgot something...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
"webbed"? o.O Like...a frog's? That's the image in my mind. So I'm not sure if that's the best word choice to use, but if that's what you want to say...
Yeah, it's the way I picture those large, wide, three toed feet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haruka of Hoenn View Post
Wow, the suspense really is starting to build in this chapter since the prologue! I'll definitely be around to review the second one!
Glad you liked it! And things do pick up next chapter, both plot wise and action wise!

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Originally Posted by Bay View Post
Well, so far so good. Again slow but I am sure things will pick up. Can’t wait for the next chapter (and hope I will review it on time if school doesn’t get me!)
Thanks! And hopefully next chapter will be even better!
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  #20    
Old November 25th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Okay, seeing as how this has been so carefully fine-combed by all the reviewers before me, I'm not sure how much I can say without sounding like a broken record, but here goes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
Soon enough, a girl was sitting at a desk in her room.
I dunno' about this sentence. 'Soon enough' is an adverbial phrase synonymous to 'without being late' and it just looks really weird at the start of a chapter. I mean, in the middle of one it's fine, but at the beginning it's just screaming for something to refer to. Maybe use some alternative form of expression here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
”Sorry, I’ll get on it right now!” Lisa started packing about five of her favorite outfits into vacuum-sealed bags and placing them into her dark purple backpack. “I love these vacuum-sealed bags! They let me carry a whole suitcase’s worth of clothes in something I can easily fit on my back!”
I dunno'...do you really need to underline that they're 'vacuum-sealed' by repeating it like that? I'd suggest just saying 'bags' the second time around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
The girl’s phone calls were important. Embarking on this Pokémon quest meant that Lisa would have to put her two internet-based businesses in the hands of her top employees. The first, Northern Light Advanced Online Solutions, was a Web design and hosting company. Dr. Lisa’s Math And Science Homework Help Forum was an online tutoring service where Lisa would help students with homework. Both of these businesses provided her with a steady source of income, which paid for college, both her cars, and her computer equipment. That income would now also pay for expenses incurred during this journey.
Ehh...I've got to agree that running two companies at the age of fifteen seems sort of overdone. A single one would have gotten your point across just as well, really, unless of course both have some kind of plot significance later on.

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Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
Dr. Sequoia was taken aback. “This girl had been receiving notices to claim a starter Pokémon for five years and chooses today, of all days, to finally take one?
Just have to point this out: given that thought description thus far has been focused exclusively on Lisa, I find this sudden quotation of the professor's thoughts sort of odd, especially since this is the only part in this chapter where they are described like this. Maybe relate the information content of that by some other means? Maybe through her expression or something? Just a thought. ^^ Incidentally, considering that the good professor was just robbed and has been tied up overnight, I must say that she's taking the whole situation very calmly. You'd think she'd at least be a little bit thirsty or something at this point. Or at the very least a good bit stiff. D= If that's just part of her personality then don't mind this comment. Again, it's just something that struck me when reading this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
A tiny cat with light tan fur and a gold charm on its forehead emerged from under a stack of papers and went over to Lisa and looked at her, shaking its whiskers intently. It then used its brown webbed feet to jump up into Lisa’s arms and smiled with its huge eyes, looking up adoringly at the stunned teenage genius. This Meowth had a red bow on its head.
Ahem, "webbed feet" is when the toes, right out to the tip, are connected by skin. (In lieu of a gull's or frog's feet) Meowths don't have webbed feet, at least not in official illustrations, just toes very close to each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
Professor Sequoia left the room then returned with a differently colored Pokéball and a small device. “When I caught this Meowth, I used this Luxury Ball, but sometimes I noticed she likes to walk outside of it. Still, I better give you this in case something happens and you need to call her back into the ball. Also, here is an upgrade for your PDA that contains a Pokédex function. It was actually developed by your father’s company. Use it to gather data on any Pokémon you meet. Oh, and here are a few additional Pokéballs. You passed the trainer qualifying exam, so you should still remember how to use these. Well, I think you better be on your way before those thugs return. I wish you the best of luck on your adventure! I’ll call the police and have them investigate the matter. Don’t worry! I’ll be fine! Just be careful out there!”
Not a direct fault here, but there's a pretty hefty chunk of pure speech you've got there. Maybe give some of her movements in between here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
“Huh, so that’s what you call a series of rapid scratches. Okay, sounds cool. Maybe I should give you a nickname, Meowth. How about, ‘Quadratic Formula’?”

Meowth scowled at its trainer, apparently not accepting the name.

Lisa continued to suggest nicknames. “3.14159? Pythagorean Theorem? SOHCAHTOA? Isosceles Triangle? System of Equations? What, you don’t like ANY of them?!”
Heh, I love this part. It's good to see that for all her merits, Lisa couldn't think up a good nickname to save her life. xD Still, I think we've all had our cases of just plain weird nicknaming, as my old LeafGreen Pidgeot, Cheese, can attest to. xD


Overall, I'm enjoying this fic thus far. Though Lisa does have a slightly Sueish touch to her at the moment, I guess I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now since it's only the first chapter. Besides, I've always had a weakness for the spoiled rich types (ACC could testify to that if he got his buttocks over here. x3) so I'll be interested in seeing how Lisa will develop. I'm also seconding most of what has been said by those before me, particularly about describing the trek to the town and the subjective terms thing. Sure, you can do subjective in narration, but in that case you should make your narrator clearly subjective (free indirect discourse and all that). This one, on the other hand, has more of an objective approach to the story, so a sudden 'cute' or 'beautiful' is a break in the style. The easiest workaround is to say that Lisa thought this and that, since that puts the subjectivity firmly on her shoulders.

Anyway, hope some of that helped. Looking forward to the next chapter. ^^ Oh, and in case you were wondering: purple_drake stole my thunder on the prologue, so I really can't say anything about it that hasn't been covered already. Hence why my comments are focused on the chapter.
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Last edited by Alter Ego; November 25th, 2007 at 09:23 AM.
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  #21    
Old November 27th, 2007, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
I dunno' about this sentence. 'Soon enough' is an adverbial phrase synonymous to 'without being late' and it just looks really weird at the start of a chapter. I mean, in the middle of one it's fine, but at the beginning it's just screaming for something to refer to. Maybe use some alternative form of expression here?
I think that stems from the fact that in my Word document, there's no break between the prologue and chapter 1. So it looks fine there, not so much when they're split up on the board :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
I dunno'...do you really need to underline that they're 'vacuum-sealed' by repeating it like that? I'd suggest just saying 'bags' the second time around.
Repetition will always be the bane of my writing... and the whole "vacuum sealed" does reveal why Lisa has multiple outfits on her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
Ehh...I've got to agree that running two companies at the age of fifteen seems sort of overdone. A single one would have gotten your point across just as well, really, unless of course both have some kind of plot significance later on.
True, but, not knowing how much money each would provide, I wanted to make sure my character was well-financed for this journey, as she will be incurring many expenses that most trainers never will...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
Just have to point this out: given that thought description thus far has been focused exclusively on Lisa, I find this sudden quotation of the professor's thoughts sort of odd, especially since this is the only part in this chapter where they are described like this. Maybe relate the information content of that by some other means? Maybe through her expression or something? Just a thought. Incidentally, considering that the good professor was just robbed and has been tied up overnight, I must say that she's taking the whole situation very calmly. You'd think she'd at least be a little bit thirsty or something at this point. Or at the very least a good bit stiff. D= If that's just part of her personality then don't mind this comment. Again, it's just something that struck me when reading this.
Yeah, I'm thinking of expanding the narrator's "knowledge" by giving insight into a few more (not all, mind you) character's thoughts. And the professor WILL appear later, where her personality will hopefully become apparent...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
Ahem, "webbed feet" is when the toes, right out to the tip, are connected by skin. (In lieu of a gull's or frog's feet) Meowths don't have webbed feet, at least not in official illustrations, just toes very close to each other.
Hmmm... It sounded like such a good way to describe those feet... perhaps a mere "oversized" would have been better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
Not a direct fault here, but there's a pretty hefty chunk of pure speech you've got there. Maybe give some of her movements in between here?
True, she says all that but doesn't actually hand over the items! Probably should've added that part in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
Heh, I love this part. It's good to see that for all her merits, Lisa couldn't think up a good nickname to save her life. xD Still, I think we've all had our cases of just plain weird nicknaming, as my old LeafGreen Pidgeot, Cheese, can attest to. xD
Thanks, though in the upcoming chapters, hopefully more of her faults/quirks will show up in some form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
Overall, I'm enjoying this fic thus far. Though Lisa does have a slightly Sueish touch to her at the moment, I guess I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now since it's only the first chapter. Besides, I've always had a weakness for the spoiled rich types (ACC could testify to that if he got his buttocks over here. x3) so I'll be interested in seeing how Lisa will develop. I'm also seconding most of what has been said by those before me, particularly about describing the trek to the town and the subjective terms thing. Sure, you can do subjective in narration, but in that case you should make your narrator clearly subjective (free indirect discourse and all that). This one, on the other hand, has more of an objective approach to the story, so a sudden 'cute' or 'beautiful' is a break in the style. The easiest workaround is to say that Lisa thought this and that, since that puts the subjectivity firmly on her shoulders.

Anyway, hope some of that helped. Looking forward to the next chapter. Oh, and in case you were wondering: purple_drake stole my thunder on the prologue, so I really can't say anything about it that hasn't been covered already. Hence why my comments are focused on the chapter.
Well, I do know what I have to watch out for, although IIRC, that first chapter might have been the only time I've used "subjective description" in the context of the narrator. I'll still keep my eyes peeled, for it though.

See, if I would have gotten these kind of reviews over on Sppf, the number of changes I'd be making right now would be a lot less! Yes, the reviewers over here at PC do rock
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  #22    
Old November 30th, 2007, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
purple_drake stole my thunder on the prologue
I seem to have done that to a couple of people. XD But what goes ‘round, as they say… I had difficulty trying to find stuff that everyone else hasn’t already covered for this chapter!

And speaking of reviews… I should get started. ^.^;;

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
Yeah, corny chapter name, but it has to do with the song Lisa sings in the chapter, which is, coincidentally, "At the Beginning" by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis.
Not so corny. ;) Using songs as chapter names isn’t that bad… heck, I’ll be doing it myself once I reach that far in my story…

…oh, and I love, LOVE that song. ^^ It’s probably the best thing to come out of the Anastasia film… unless it was written beforehand and they just decided to use it as the theme song… but either way. ^.^;; Yus. *faves*

Quote:
Maybe I should give you a nickname, Meowth. How about, ‘Quadratic Formula’?”

Meowth scowled at its trainer, apparently not accepting the name.

Lisa continued to suggest nicknames. “3.14159? Pythagorean Theorem? SOHCAHTOA? Isosceles Triangle? System of Equations? What, you don’t like ANY of them?!”
Like everyone else, I loved this part. XD Gawd, she’s so nerdy—but this is coming from a girl who always names her pokémon after mythological deities, so go figure. :3 At least she’s got a working theme.

Although, by the end of the scene I was wondering, ‘why doesn’t she just name it Pi?’

…besides the fact that anyone hearing it would think she’s referring to the food. XD

So. Uhm. Yes. :3 There are some things I would usually talk about, but I won’t, because everyone else has already mentioned them. :P So I agree with just about everything everyone else has pointed out, especially the bit about Lisa’s character being a touch Sue-ish.

Although speaking of Lisa’s character, there was something I wanted to expand on… I think someone’s already mentioned ‘showing not telling’, but I’m not sure if it was in reference to Lisa or, really, any of the other characters.

You’ve been giving us some of their thoughts and reactions to things, but not really much in the way of how events are affecting them. As a result, your interactions seem kind of flat and rushed.

Let’s take the scene between Lisa and her father, for instance… I know you said that, in comparison to your previous copy, Lisa’s parents are forcing her to leave and go on a pokémon journey, but I’m not getting any of the urgency or forcefulness. The monologues are a part of problem, but others have already mentioned them, so I won’t repeat that. But in combination to breaking up the monologues with action, you need to show what each of the characters are feeling during the interaction. Obviously that’s going to be more difficult when you’re writing from one character’s perspective, in which case you can’t do much more than write the reactions they have observed from others, but it’s the character driving the scene which is going to require the most focus anyway.

Let’s take this excerpt for example:

Quote:
“Um, Lisa, when most start out Pokémon training, they proceed by foot.”

“On foot?! Are you serious?” Lisa ran over to her closet and opened it up. “I only have one pair of shoes that aren’t heels, and those happen to be ballet flts! I can’t possibly walk all that way in heels!”

“Honey, we bought you a pair of sneakers…”

“Dad, I told you, I never wear sneakers. Tomboys do that, and I do not want to be lumped into that category. I’ll take my chances with the heels.”
Aside from the fact that this is mostly dialogue (which isn’t necessarily bad, depending on how it’s used, and at least it alternates the speaker) the only descriptive piece is Lisa running over to her closet and opening it up. And I just repeated the sentence word for word just by explaining what happened, which suggests that the language is pretty basic—again, not necessarily a bad thing, but use of words can often imply more emotion than their most basic synonyms.

Lisa’s just received an unexpected surprise—not only is she being forced to go out on a pokémon journey, but she’s being forced to walk the whole way. Why isn’t she a little bit shocked, or getting annoyed? Her dialogue says she’s throwing a mini-tantrum, but where’s the emotion? And why isn’t her father getting a little annoyed; you’ve implied that they’ve spoken about this before (at least, that’s the impression I got), which would also imply an argument since Lisa’s against it, but they act like they’re discussing the weather. And if they haven’t talked about it before, aside from the fact that it’s pretty bad of her father to come out and tell her this only minutes before they leave, then Lisa would probably be even more shocked and maybe even outright angry that they came up with this so suddenly.

So… yus, an example might help explain it better:

Quote:
“Um, Lisa, when most people start out pokémon training, they proceed by foot.”

Lisa’s stomach plummeted. He’s got to be joking. “On foot?! Are you serious?” One look at her father’s longsuffering expression and yes, she knew he was serious. But— She launched herself off her padded chair, sending it scudding backwards on the carpet, the girl rushing over to her wardrobe and throwing open the wooden doors with a dual slam as they hit the walls. A glance told her what she already knew, and her heart sank further. “I only have one pair of shoes that aren’t heels, and those happen to be ballet flats! I can’t possibly walk the whole way in heels!”

She whirled around to her father, pinning him with a desperate, pleading expression, but he just sighed in slight exasperation. “Honey, we bought you a pair of sneakers…”

Forget it! “Dad, I told you, I never wear sneakers. Tomboys do that, and I do not want to be lumped into that category.” She huffed slightly, crossing her arms, her mouth turning unhappily down at the sides. “I’ll take my chances with the heels.”
…the bolded word is something I think you should add in, just as a side note. ^.^;;

Now, obviously I don’t know much about Lisa’s inner thoughts and motives, so forgive me if I got her characterisation wrong. Here, I’ve got a description not just of what the characters are doing, but what they’re feeling too. Plus, I’ve interspersed Lisa’s thoughts in the scene; since thoughts are a fluid, continuous thing, giving little snippets of what the character is thinking at any one time can offer a lot of insight.

Granted, that’s a matter of style, and there’s nothing wrong with having them reflect on things after the fact; I mention it just in case you find it helpful in expanding on Lisa’s thoughts.

I mentioned that I agreed with the apparent Sue-ness, right? Well, part of the reason she seems that way is because so far, her reactions and emotions aren’t really described. I mean, when she enters the lab and sees it in ruins, we don’t get her reaction to it; shouldn’t she be shocked, confused, maybe frightened or worried? Instead she just seems to take it in stride. It’s that sort of reaction—or lack thereof—as though the character knows exactly what to do despite never having been in the situation before—which makes her seem even more ‘perfect’ than she’s supposed to be.

…and I just looked back at your other reviews, and I see that Hanako mentioned something similar to this (the lack of reaction) with regard to the professor in the prologue… but oh well. ^.^;;

…oh, and something to bring up about her having two companies… aside from the fact that (coming from an admittedly inexperienced source) I imagine the web design company would be enough for expenses, why aren’t her parents giving her any kind of allowance or travel expenses? I know you’ve said you wanted to make sure she has enough money, but she seems to come from a wealthy family, so it’s not like they’re tight on cash. She may be a genius, but she still is a child, so as independent as she is I find it a bit of a stretch that they’d throw her out like that without any kind of backing.

Plus, I don’t know if you’ve planned this already or not, but the lack of expenses would provide some good character development, as she gets herself into tight spots because she hasn’t saved money properly, learns how to limit her spending and spend it the most important things.

Okay, since we’re on the topic of maturity, let’s leave the characters and slide into the subject of plotholes:

Quote:
Hanging up the phone, the girl sighed. “This is ridiculous… I might be only fifteen, but I’m a college grad and the owner of two businesses. I should be mature enough to stay at home. Oh, well, I’ll never understand parents… Better make this second call, then.”
It seems to me that going out on a journey, on foot, without any kind of adult and in the company of beings that could conceivably electrocute, burn or explode you without much effort at all, would require more maturity than staying at home. There are a lot more things to think about; true, no bills, but other expenses such as money for travelling (if she decides to cut corners by catching a bus or train), pokémon food and upkeep, First Aid equipment/medical stuff, money for clothes which gets worn out, leaving aside the givens of food and lodging—and most of those have to do with money. What about security? Making sure she knows where emergency services are in the cities—making sure she can find the Pokémon Centres?

In addition, the comment is at odds with the fact that her parents are shoving her out the door without seeming to lend her any money whatsoever, which one could take as a strong expression of trust and belief in her maturity (if they accepted the fact that any parent worth their salt would do that to begin with).

I also wanted to mention the fact that her parents left so quickly… it felt like you just wanted to get rid of them, because they’re unimportant characters or you weren’t sure about their characterisation. Plus, it really doesn’t help your case of ‘they’re forcing Lisa to go’. If they were really making her go, then why didn’t they stick around to make sure she actually went? Even if Lisa isn’t the type of girl to disobey her parents like that, their lack of presence when she leaves takes away some of the edge and makes it seem more like she’s going of her own free will.

I’ve mentioned her total lack of reaction to the break-in… I also agree with Alter Ego about the effects the break-in would have had on the professor—things such as her thirst and stiffness. It’s details like that which lend a good deal of realism towards a story.

Also, why is it that the first thing Sequoia does is start blurting out her story to the first person she sees? I know Lisa asked, but considering the night she’s had I would think the professor would be more concerned with the identity of her rescuer, not to mention checking the damage and making sure no one was actually hurt—how does she know whether there weren’t other scientists there, possibly injured or killed? And if her rescuer is a total stranger—which, obviously, Lisa isn’t, but Sequoia didn’t stop to check—then why would she blurt all that stuff out? And considering that Lisa is still a kid, why’s she going into detail about the stuff to begin with—why does Lisa need to know at all?

Then there’s the appearance of the meowth, which seemed really… out there. I mean, from the prologue on you’ve inferred that the operatives stole all the pokémon, but this particular one just happens to appear? Why was she out of her pokéball to begin with, when all the others weren’t? Why didn’t she try to fight off the attackers, if she’s loyal to the lab? Why didn’t they find her—especially since the houndoom had been released, why didn’t it smell cat? Why didn’t she start investigating around the cupboard where Sequoia was tied up—obviously Sequoia is her surrogate trainer, for now, so the pokémon has to be at least a little bit concerned. Some foreshadowing in the prologue of her escaping, or hiding—you don’t even need to mention what it is, just imply that something else is there—would go a lot towards making Meowth’s appearance seem less like it was just pasted in for convenience.

And, you say that Lisa and Meowth already know each other and have developed a friendship, but it doesn’t seem like it at all; in fact, when Meowth first jumped into her arms I put another mark down on the ‘Mary-Sue chart’, because it seemed like Meowth had bonded instantly with a total stranger. Part of it is because you describe Lisa as ‘stunned’, I think, but there are other factors involved. For instance, if Lisa knows and is friends with one of the pokémon at the lab, how come she isn’t shocked and worried upon hearing that all the pokémon at the lab had apparently been stolen? And why isn’t she relieved when it turns out that Meowth isn’t? If you made it so that Lisa greeted Meowth before Meowth jumped into her arms, then that would establish that they at least know each other.

…and as a side note, why does Sequoia mention that Meowth was caught in a Luxury ball? I mean, so what? That just seemed kind of random to me.

Quote:
As they walked out of town, Lisa started to sing quietly, which seemed to relax her Meowth.

“We were strangers
Starting out on a journey
Never dreaming what
We’d have to go through

Now here we are
And I’m suddenly standing
At the beginning with you”
Well, first of all, you need a fullstop after the final ‘you’. ;)

Second of all, you say that Lisa’s singing in order to relax Meowth, but Meowth has been pretty calm thus far; why would she need relaxing? Plus, the fact that Lisa suddenly started singing like that seemed kind of abrupt to me. Even if it does suit the situation, there needs to be some reason for her to have thought of it to begin with (another point which is related to expanding on Lisa’s thoughts and motives).

I understand how tempting it is to paste the song in there, since I did the same thing in the original copy of my chaptered story—my character actually started on her journey because of a song, which was then supposed to be a main theme throughout the rest of the story. I ended up chopping it out of the new copy, and the story is better for it, even though in some ways it still suits as a theme.

I’m not saying that you should cut your song out as well, but if Lisa’s going to have an awareness of the theme and its significance, then you’re really going to need a lot of justification for its presence; otherwise it’ll just seem kind of corny. I do wish you luck with that, though—hopefully you’ll succeed where I failed. ;)

Quote:
“Chromo Town. I guess that’s our next destination. Well, we might as well get started.”
I seriously thought this was the end of the chapter. Then it kept going and I was like, ‘huh?’ and everything afterwards seemed rushed and pasted onto the end. It seemed like you thought you should have some kind of training in there, since it’s a trainer fic, so just decided to add it in at the end.

Why did Lisa randomly decide to start working on Meowth’s attacks? In the middle of the path? Just outside of town?

And then Meowth picks up on things unbelievably quickly. True, a single scratch is very easy, no complaints about that; but why did Lisa progress so quickly to moving targets? Landing a blow upon a stationary target may be easy, but where the blow landed is just as important.

Forget it’s a bush. What if it were, say, a cyndaquil? A scratch directly on its back would leave Meowth open to getting flamed. On the other hand, landing the blow on the cyndaquil’s head would mean Meowth was in a position safer from a counterattack (unless the cyndaquil managed a Tackle), or taking out one of its legs would give Meowth an advantage because cyndaquil would fumble. Everything has a weak point—the most obvious thing being the eyes and often the belly—so being able to target those weak points with a good degree of accuracy is going to important, even if it’s a stationary target. Plus, there’s the fact that an opposing pokémon would likely be attacking while Meowth is moving towards them or trying to find an optimal position to attack from; in that case, Meowth’s ability to attack while she herself is in motion is going to be just as important.

Obviously, since a bush can’t attack back, none of these are entirely pertinent for this chapter, but it is an indication that going from stationary to moving targets is still a big jump.

What I really had issue with was how quickly Meowth was able to master moving targets. True, if the breeze isn’t very strong then the leaves aren’t going to be moving very fast, but it would still be very difficult to predict where the leaves are going to float next, especially for an inexperienced pokémon. Yet Meowth succeeds in two tries; what the? What’s more, after only one direct hit, Lisa is satisfied? As a mathematician, shouldn’t she want to make sure Meowth’s performance is optimal? That it wasn’t just a fluke? If she’s serious enough about training to actually take time off and work on the attacks outside of a battle, then she shouldn’t be doing things halfway.

…and I know that someone else has already brought up the Fury Swipes thing, but that annoyed me too, so I wanted to put in my two-cents worth. ^.^;;;

That, and I already started to dissect your comment…:

Quote:
I just figured that if it can learn cratch, then doing the move several times in a row isn't much harder... And on that subject, how is a "Slash" different from a "Scratch?" Is it executed faster? Do the claws dig deeper into the opponent?
XD So yes, sorry.

Okay, definitions of ‘scratch’ and ‘swipe’ by thefreedictionary.com:

Scratch: ‘To use the nails or claws to dig or scrape at.’ Also, ‘To make a thin shallow cut or mark on (a surface) with a sharp instrument.’

Swipe: ‘To make a sweeping stroke.’

So the definitions would indicate that swiping is a more powerful blow, because it evidently uses more body weight—otherwise how could it be ‘sweeping’? Plus, to add to the discussion:

Fury: ‘Violent anger; rage.’ In terms of adjectives, it would be ‘furious’, which then has a definition of ‘full of activity; energetic or rapid’. Therefore, one can assume that Fury Swipes would be a good deal faster than a simple scratch, as well as being a broader motion.

In that sense, Fury Swipes isn’t as simple as just performing the same move several times in a row; the pokémon would have to master the rapid speed at which those blows are delivered, which would take good deal longer than a few minutes’ training. For one, their muscles would have to build up to the point that they can move with that kind of speed.

And, since you brought it up:

Slash: ‘To cut or form by cutting with forceful sweeping strokes.’

So slashing is even more powerful than a simple scratch, because it’s got a lot of weight and strength behind it. Where Scratch might leave a minor wound or graze, and Fury Swipes is focussed upon speed, Slash would dig and rip away flesh, probably strongly enough to get at or break bones.

Finally, the transition to Lisa deciding to nickname Meowth was very sudden, as is her abrupt decision that they need to get going after a few minutes’ worth of training; what was the point in stopping to train to begin with?

So… I think that was all in terms of plothole-type things. ^.^;; I still have a few more minor things to point out, though… so let’s start with a language issue:

Quote:
”Sorry, I’ll get on it right now!” Lisa started packing about five of her favorite outfits into vacuum-sealed bags and placing them into her dark purple backpack. “I love these vacuum-sealed bags! They let me carry a whole suitcase’s worth of clothes in something I can easily fit on my back!”
Aside from the fact that, as Alter Ego pointed out, you’ve got some repetition, she sounds like a television advertisement. Seriously. Why is she saying that out loud? The first part—‘I love these vacuum-sealed bags’—sure, I’ve expressed my liking for things out loud in an empty room before; it’s the second sentence which gets me, just because she does sound like she’s trying to sell something. If you want to explain why the vacuum-sealed bags are so important, I’d suggest doing it as an aside, speaking as the narrator. Sort of like this (because I suck at explaining myself XD):

Quote:
“I love these vacuum-sealed bags,” Lisa sighed. And she did; they were so useful for travelling, especially when you needed to travel as light as possible. It meant that she could carry a suitcase’s worth of clothes just in her backpack, instead of being forced to cart one of them all over the country.
Also, I think someone already mentioned this, but your representation of thoughts is kind of confusing because of the speech marks you used. You’ve got them in italics, which is good, but you use the double speech marks for dialogue as well as thought, and since italics is often used for emphasis anyway it confused the heck outta me. As far as I’m aware, if dialogue uses one form of punctuation, then thought is usually the other (or, alternatively, thought doesn’t need to have speech marks at all, which is the route I take).

And finally, the really little nitpicks:

Quote:
She had three computers- a Windows laptop, a Mac desktop, and a second desktop running Linux.
Quote:
and no ornamentation whatsoever - just a huge tan block with the occasional window
There are those camouflaged hyphens again. ;)

Quote:
“This girl had been receiving notices to claim a starter Pokémon for five years and chooses today, of all days, to finally take one?”
This should be ‘has’, present tense, which would match the rest of Sequoia’s thought pattern (as well as being the accepted tense for direct thought patterns). Alternatively, you could have an indirect conveyance of the professor’s thoughts through the narrator, in which case you’d write:

Quote:
This girl had been receiving notices to claim a starter pokémon for five years and chose today, of all days, to finally take one?
Since it’s technically the narrator speaking it’d be without speech marks or italics. Plus, if you write it like this it might help with that issue of transferring from Lisa to the professor which you mentioned being uncertain about, since it’s just the narrator’s telling of Sequoia’s thoughts and not her thoughts directly as it is with Lisa.

Then again, you’re also talking to someone who has a habit of changing perspective mid-scene, so… ^.^;;;

Quote:
“Thanks, professor!” Lisa and her new Meowth both waved back before taking the route out of town.
‘Professor’ should be capitalised, since it’s being used as a pronoun.

Quote:
before leaping at it with its claws at the ready.
Quote:
Meowth scowled at its trainer,
You’ve already established Meowth as being a girl, so these should be ‘her’. ;)

…aaaaaaand I think I’m done. ^.^;;; Sorry for the longish review, guess I found more to talk about than I thought I would.

On a completely irrelevant note, would you happen to watch the TV show ‘Numb3rs’? Seeing as how you’re a fan of math and all. :3
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  #23    
Old November 30th, 2007, 08:29 AM
Dragonfree's Avatar
Dragonfree
Teh Spwriter. :3
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Hm. I had a feeling the other forum you'd been posting it at was here. And I see that purple_drake has been giving you some very nice reviews, bringing up most of the issues I had been finding with the story (such as the lack of emotion on Lisa's part, one of the things that bothered me the most when I was reading it on Serebii). I think I might as well follow it here, since you're making improvements and such.

However, I would like to comment on this part:

Quote:
“Huh, so that’s what you call a series of rapid scratches. Okay, sounds cool. Maybe I should give you a nickname, Meowth. How about, ‘Quadratic Formula’?”

Meowth scowled at its trainer, apparently not accepting the name.

Lisa continued to suggest nicknames. “3.14159? Pythagorean Theorem? SOHCAHTOA? Isosceles Triangle? System of Equations? What, you don’t like ANY of them?!”

Meowth had rejected every one of her proposed nicknames, each time sticking her tongue out at her shocked trainer. Dejected, Lisa finally mumbled, “Fine, I’ll just call you Meowth for the time being. Man, I never was any good at nicknames!”
Everybody else seems to have loved this, but it irritated me to no end. Not even the most geeky of math nerds would name their pets or Pokémon something like that except as a joke, for a very great number of reasons ranging from how you generally don't name an animal after random completely unrelated and highly technical mathematical concepts to the fact that they're generally impractical as names for sheer length. I can see something like 'Fermat' or 'Pythagoras', which would show her interest in math nicely while still sticking with things that would actually be halfway sensible as names, but the ones Lisa suggested are just plain ridiculous, and even then, nobody is so bad at nicknames that they can't think of anything better than overcomplicated multiple-worded mathematical phrases. (I mean, for God's sake, at least make her think of 'Pi' if she's already managed to think of '3.14159'.) Yes, I understand that it's there for humour, but to me it just seemed... rather too stupid to be funny; the sheer unrealism of it just made me facepalm. There is no way a character, no matter how obsessed with math, will want to name a living creature 'Isosceles Triangle'. Heck, I could see Isosceles, which sounds somewhat like some sort of a Greek name, or even Triangle if you stretch it. Isosceles Triangle... no. Just no. It is obvious in this scene that you were racking your brain for the most dismal names you could possibly make out of mathematical concepts that you could think of, and because Lisa isn't supposed to have been actively trying to think of bad names, this doesn't work. "Dr.Calculus" and names from Greek mythology actually work just fine as names. Lisa's suggestions do not.

Now, maybe the reason you didn't make her think of simpler mathematical names like Pi, Fermat, Euler or Pythagoras is that you didn't want Lisa to give her Meowth a nickname at all. I understand this perfectly if this was the case, but then why didn't you simply have Lisa think to herself that she is terrible at nicknames so she shouldn't even try - and maybe have her remember some more genuinely amusing story of her inability to make names? Off the top of my head, assuming her sister is some years years younger than her, I thought of her maybe being asked as a young but already math-loving child by her parents what she thought her little sister should be called, and her piping up "Pythagoras!" - or hell, maybe even "Isosceles Triangle!", for that matter; while no fifteen-year-old girl with a mental age anywhere close to that would think that makes a decent name for anything other than isosceles triangles, I can definitely see a young child saying it when she's just learned of the concept and hasn't quite gotten a feel for society's general idea of how children are supposed to be named. (It would also be funnier that way because it would be her little sister - human names are generally taken rather more seriously than pet names, after all.) Of course, I don't know if their ages would work like that or if she was already obsessed with math at such a young age or anything; that is something that you, as the author, know better than I do. It was just what flew into my head as the general kind of thing that would have been a better way to provide that humourous touch about her naming abilities that you were going for. I guess my basic point is that you made her too bad at nicknames; it is painfully obvious that no one is really that bad.

Well, yeah, other than that, purple_drake has said more or less everything I'd have wanted to say already, so I suppose I'll just wait for the next chapter and review again. I'm sorry if my opinion on Lisa's presentation in your first chapter was the final straw in making you walk away in a fuss from the Serebii.net forums, but I'm afraid I didn't spend all that time reading your story only to leave you alone the moment you go to another forum. As it happens you got me very interested in seeing how you could improve this story and at least trying to help you along somewhat. So yeah. I'll at least hope you don't have a grudge against me.
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  #24    
Old December 1st, 2007, 01:10 PM
Umbreon Ruler
Like clockwork
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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I just noticed that you posted a new chapter. Sorry if I can't match up to some of the great reviewers here, but I'll try...

First of all, it seemed a teensy bit rushed again, but not so much as the first chapter. Description, in my opinion, could still be a little better, but I trust that you'll improve quickly.

Next, the emotions were a little skimpy. Like Dr. Sequoia, for instance. Her lab was just broken into by dangerous and hundreds of Pokemon were possibly stolen and she seems perfectly calm. If that were me, I'd be huddled in a corner crying my brains out, no matter which genius came for a visit. And her father's reactions also bothered me a bit. His daughter is leaving for maybe years and he seems indifferent to the whole thing. I don't know, maybe I'm the only one who thought this... Now to Lisa. She seems to instantly change from someone who would rather sit at home doing work than go on a Pokemon journey, to a girl who seems almost happy that she's left her home. I understand that she formed a quick bond with Meowth, but we learned from the high heels comments (lol'd at those, by the way) that she's a very strong-willed individual. But you said that emotions aren't your best subject so I'm sure that it gets much better. :)

Quote:
“Okay, Meowth, I suppose it’s time we got going.”
Sorry, but this ending was kind of... odd. Imagine if you were watching this in movie form (I know that books and movies are completely different, but just follow me on this one) and Lisa was talking to her Pokemon. She's looking at Meowth and says "Okay, Meowth, I suppose it's time we got going." and the screen instantly goes black, ending the movie. It just seems... well, like I said, odd. I know it's a little cliche, but perhaps you could describe them walking "down the grassy path, headed for their next destination..." Yeah, it's lame, but it's the best I could come up with at the moment.

Now, I'll tell you about some of my favorite parts of the chapter.

Quote:
Lisa could sing love ballads with a soothing and pleasant tone, but if she tried to sing anything else, it would sound rather off key. Of course, this never stopped Lisa from singing during karaoke parties, much to the dismay of anyone within earshot...
Lol, I loved that part. A perfect example of some of your almost randomly inserted jokes that never fail to make me giggle.

Quote:
Lisa continued to suggest nicknames. “3.14159? Pythagorean Theorem? SOHCAHTOA? Isosceles Triangle? System of Equations? What, you don’t like ANY of them?!”

Meowth had rejected every one of her proposed nicknames, each time sticking her tongue out at her shocked trainer. Dejected, Lisa finally mumbled, “Fine, I’ll just call you Meowth for the time being. Man, I never was any good at nicknames!”

Meowth seemed to agree to this plan, as it was painfully obvious that any nickname suggested by Lisa would be nerdy in a mathematical way.
Yet another example. I know that Dragonfree didn't like it as much as some of your other reviewers, but I thought it was a nice little addition to the chapter.

P.S. Sorry if I pointed out something that has already been discussed, but some of the reviews were actually longer than the chapter itself, and I didn't have time to read them all...

P.S.S. I know that you left SPPF (I don't know exactly why you did, but I did notice that you had left) and please tell me that you're not leaving this forum too. I really want you to stay...
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  #25    
Old December 6th, 2007, 12:05 PM
+Saving Grace+'s Avatar
+Saving Grace+
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Don't check the closet, don't check the closet...
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Whee! Tracking does work! Hello Darkpersian, long time no see!


In case you haven't figured it out yet (which I doubt) it's me, Aimi Hanako! Introductions aside, I'm glad I found you, because I have been waiting (impatiently) for a reply from the Pm I sent you. But you seem pretty busy here, you're fic and all. Since you don't seem to react to Serebii Pms I'll change them into Pokemon Community pm's (which sounds dreadfully unoriginal in my opinion) But let's not get off-topic, after all, I'm supposed to be a reviewer

Let's get on with the show!


For now, It'll just be the prologue but expect another review about Chapter 1 to be fired your way (be careful not to let it hit you )


First of all, your first version of this prologue seemed to be almost exactly the same like the previous one (luckily for you, I read the revised version, where you changed some sentences)


Quoting time! (Yeah I'm lazy and I'm also fully aware I'll never be able to get such a good, indepth and long review like Purple-Drake and Dragonfree, but one can try.


Quote:
A large mountain range separates the region into a western and eastern part, with the eastern region being decidedly larger. Most of the region consists of grasslands, forests, or water. Most of the routes connecting cities are still dirt paths, though some are paved.
Well, what do you know, first quote and two things that seem wrong to me. Who are you and what have you done to Darkpersian479?! Just kidding, but let me show you what I mean.

1: While I'm a little unsure about this one, I think it's supposed to be forests, however, feel free to scold me if I'm wrong. I'm probably being picky and I really suck at Grammar, but I'm trying to be helpful here.

2: Definately sure about this one, that's unneeded repetition, which are things you warned me for (you are right, once someone points it out, some things really look wrong)

Quote:
Many businesses, including those that cater to travelers, have set up shops in Fourtix’s cities and on its busier routes. It is here, in this otherwise unassuming area of the world, that a new threat is waiting for its chance to strike.
In my eyes, the same error, I think that shop needs a extra 's'.

Quote:
The leader released a vicious black four legged Pokémon, with an orange snout and curved white horns, who snarled at the professor. Despite the darkness, drool was visibly dripping off the creature's razor-sharp fangs, its demonic pointed tail wagged back and forth in a very violent manner.
Now this is good description!

++++++



Here it is, hopefully I was helpful.


+Saving Grace+


P.S. Yes, the sprite is self-made. I hope it's not too difficult to look at. BTW, I don't want to sound impatient but how is your progress on correcting the chapter?


*waves*
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