Miz en Scène

Everybody's connected

The Wired
Seen 13 Hours Ago
Posted August 30th, 2016
1,645 posts
12.8 Years
Wow, this was a great read :O

You get the impression that Virizion and the rest of the guardians are these kind of ancient, out-of-touch relics in a world that's moving far faster than they can keep up. The traditions like the vote help keep their relevance tenuously anchored to the present, but it seems clear that they don't play a very large role in the day to day running of the region to warrant them being there all the time. You can kind of see that in the contrast of the way people are looking at Virizion with the way Virizion seems to be all casual about his little walk – like they think that he's a portent of doom simply because he's there all of a sudden rather than because he's a natural part of the world like everything else. So in that sense, I really liked the contrast between the prince that thinks he's a bigshot but doesn't really do much and the people who fear the prince but don't really have a concrete reason to fear him or in fact need him to begin with (at least in their day to day lives).

There was also something really charming about Virizion's interaction with his entourage. They're basically acolytes to a relic who all kind of sort of understand that they don't/can't understand Virizion due to his immortality, but at the same time they kind of feel a sense of traditional duty to him. Kind of like monarchies in many countries. I also found Virizion's dialogue with his entourage to be really good in a this-is-hilariously-charming sort of way. It was, I think, a perfect encapsulation of his relationship to his subjects.

That said, Virizion's internal monologue was definitely the best part of this fic, aside from the dialogue. Even though he had kind of an arrogant prince sort of attitude (which I understand is actually canon?), his reminiscing of the past and the way he sort of took in the land and the train via its sights and smells and taste, and the way you described it, was really beautiful in its own right. It's weird, but I don't really mind the slow pacing as much as I ought to because it lends itself incredibly well in some places to the sentence rhythm.

The train made some more noise as it went through, to which the deer-like Pokémon had been paying some attention: he knew these “taka” sounds as the usual sound of the machines, though for some reason, the Guardian Force felt them this time as irregular, as hollow, as… incomplete? Straightening his neck as the last few wagons passed by, Virizion smelled the air, taking in the scent of the crops being harvested, of the humans and Pokémon working, of the train…


…or at least some part of it.

The legendary figure buffed and took in some more air, if only to check.

There was the sound, which from what he understood came from the motor and the devices humans used to make the train move. There was the scent, which from what Cobalion had explained, came from the heating of the components and fuels humans used to power the machines. There was the sight, in as much as Virizion knew, the machine looked much like any of the other ones he had seen.
This part in particular I really thought was great, especially your use of onomatopoeia which played very nicely with the fitful, jerky sentence structure which signified his flow of thoughts and contemplations. I just thought that this part in particular was really artfully executed, so kudos to you for that.

Having said that though, there was this one thing which I felt could be improved.

For instance, a few times in the fic the narrative jumps back and forth between the thoughts of Caolené and Virizion. It wasn't as particularly jarring as it could have been, but at the same time I felt like it sort of took away from how special the sentence rhythm I mentioned previously was. Mainly because jumping between Caolené and Virizion's internal monologue has the potential to break the immersion the reader has in how the sentences sound within their head (if that makes any sense), and this is crucial in the case of your fic because its sentence rhythm was one its most amazingly well done parts! I understand that it's supposed to be third person omniscient, but at the same time third person omniscient almost always comes with a character focus from which the narrative distance is measured. In this case, I feel like the character focus should be Virizion because we're focusing on something of his life story. But if we jump between Virizion and Caolené, we lose the effect of the character focus and the writing comes off as uncertain regarding which voice it's trying to affect.

Anyway, that was the only part which really bothered me. For the rest though, I really want to commend you on that really spectacular sentence structure up there. In this competition at least, I feel like the cadence of your writing was one of the best.

Oh also, before I end this review, I just want to say I noticed this reference, which I thought was pretty funny:
Maybe… the Arcanine Terrakion had brought into servitude as the Triumvirate’s courier. Virizion turned his head to watch the last wagons go past him. That serf liked to run… to chase after the sun pretending he was a pup, even.
Also yes, the font choice was pretty distracting lol. I had to change it to Verdana with Firefox. :P
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