Hey ShinySceptile, I saw your fic and decided to take a look. I was initially interested in the story firstly because it was new, and I'm interested in reading new stories popping up on the forum lately, and secondly because while stories from a pokemon's perspective aren't exactly uncommon, stories from a Seviper's perspective are, I feel. It seemed an interesting pokemon to choose, so I figured I would give it a shot. I wanted to see where you would go with it, and I'm glad I did! I've written a review here for you, so I hope that you find it useful to your writing.
So far I find your characterization to be excellent. Zangoose and Seviper being mortal enemies is completely canon, I like that you took advantage of that fact. Jumping into a fierce battlefield between the two groups of pokemon was a great choice and I think it works well here. We don't know much about the main character yet, but what I've seen so far, I like. That she seems to have a heightened sense of morality and empathy is, I think, a different interpretation of a Seviper than usual (as snakes, people usually make them evil.) The role switch, with Zangoose being in the villainous role and Seviper in the sympathetic one feels pretty fresh, and I'm digging it. Seviper herself, while we haven't seen much of her, seems spunky but also sweet, and I like her a lot. The Zangoose chief comes of as appropriately menacing but his offer to bring her to safety implies a bit of depth, which is awesome. I'm really interested in his character in particular and I hope to see more of him. I think my soft spot for badasses is showing O_O
Aside from this, there's really not that much I can say yet in terms of plot, since this is such a short two chapters, and because nothing stood out to me as bad and its a little early to make judgements, so I'll come back to this in the future when there's more to talk about. Let me just say I think so far you're doing well, and I want to see more. I'm already pondering what could happen to her when she wakes up from her faint. Will she be a prisoner of the chief mongoose because he just can't bring himself to kill her and they fall in love and make peace between their clans? Well, maybe not, but I'm a romantic! I can dream, can't I? I can and I will.
I find it interesting that the pokemon don't have names. While as wild pokemon I can easily see that that might be the case, I worry that this might make things confusing in the future, if you start getting into multiple characters who are the same species. Now you will know better than I will how much of a problem that will be, but it's something to keep in mind. If you don't intend to give any names but still have more than one pokemon of the same species, I'll suggest having Seviper give characters names or certain ways of referring to different character that are the same species, at least to herself. This though will again depend on where this goes. I also want to mention the length of your chapters. I can't help wishing that they were longer. Just a little bit. I personally love long chapters (and by long, I mean like, +10k words at least), but I think chapters as short as 1k~1,500 or so can be effective. Right now yours are about 600-ish. What you have works here for me since you had two chapters up for me to read, which equals about that 1,500 range, so it was like reading one chapter. But really, chapters as short as your now worry me a little. I feel like anything shorter than 1k words risks bad pacing and makes it harder for readers to stay interested, as so little can happen in each chapter when they are that short. I would highly recommend trying to stretch out your chapters to around 1,000 words, especially since you are so close already. I just think it would make your chapters a little more effective, and help things along as you go and really get into the story. I'll admit though, that this is somewhat of a personal preference.
Now for the technical aspects, that is to say spelling, grammar, etc. For the most part it was clean and well done. I saw a couple little mistakes in punctuation, but you'd used punctuation correctly most of the rest of the time, so I assume they are type-os, and not bother talking about them. Just go over you chapters again and you'll probably be able to eliminate them completely, so good job there.
You're writing was pretty stilted in a few places int he first chapter, with very short, staccato sentences, and that threw me off in the beginning, especially in the first paragraph, but luckily it resolves itself later and you no longer do that. Since it's pretty isolated I think this is mostly a case of start-of-the-story-wonkiness (the beginning of stories are almost always wonky in some ways on the first draft for some reason. I am not remotely immune to this, mine tend to be too O_O), I'll still address it, though.
Now, in that third paragraph, I think it can stay that way. It actually sort of gives an interesting distant feel, as if even though Seviper is there and watching, she's having trouble processing it, as it's so intense an experience, seeing all that battle and death. In the first paragraph, though, you write this:
Now this definitely needs combined with a comma. Putting the period in between there renders that second sentence a fragment and unintelligible without a second read. There are plenty of instances where a writer doesn't have to worry too much about writing sentence fragments, especially in dialogue or if they are being very informal, but here I think it's really necessary to eliminate it. When I leave off that first sentence and then start the next one and read, "Unlike the grass below it," as a separate statement, I'm like "Wait...what unlike what?". It's confusing, I'm expecting more to explain what the grass is unlike and why, when really the answer is in the previous statement, which becomes apparent on that second read. Now, I personally feel kind of stupid making a big deal out of this to you, and ordinarily I wouldn't even mention it, but since it's in the very first paragraph it's both very noticeable and potentially off-putting to perspective readers to be confused so early in the story. I stayed, but there are other people who might not, anticipating the whole to be that way (which it's not, so it would be a shame to loss a reader for something like that).
The sky was so clear. Unlike the tall grass below it.
Now as I said before, your grammar and such is actually very clean and correct, which I love. Props to you. What that means is I don't have to lecture you on boring stuff like tense rules and crap. I do think that there are some ways that you can improve your writing though, and I'll address them now. The most obvious one that came to me while reading this is paying attention to your wording/flow and word choice. That is, looking at each word, the order, placement and definition and making sure it is communicating exactly what you want to say, in the best, most efficient way possible. There's a couple places where I think you're a little off, for various different reasons.
I'll start with this early one that stood out to me:
This sentence is an example of what I like to call word-weirdness. It's a sentence that seems perfectly innocuous, until you start looking into what it is actually saying and then you're like, oh, whoops! In this case, I'm talking about the word "Screeching", which is clearly being implied to refer to the actions of both the Seviper and Zangoose, some of which you go on to say are dead. So according to this sentence, there are dead Seviper and Zangoose who are screeching. Now, I would hope that dead pokemon don't screech, and I'm assuming that's not what you meant with this sentence, obviously you meant the screeching to apply to the live ones, but the wording implies something else. This is one of those things that's easy, even common to do (I catch myself writing a few of these as well), but also easy to fix once you've spotted them, though they tend to fly under the radar and get missed by most writers and betas alike. I consider this sort of advanced, I guess, since the average reader of a fanfic is probably not even going to notice this (except for me, because I'm a ninja), but for the already competent writer who is looking for the ways to keep improving, this is one of those things to start looking out for.
Screeching Seviper and Zangoose were scattered everywhere, some dead, some alive.
Probably the best way to fix this sentence in particular is just to get rid of the word 'screeching' altogether, but a little rewriting and an additional sentence is probably in order to really communicate both the fact that things are noisy and chaotic, and that there are also some bodies laying on the ground being decidedly neither noisy nor chaotic on account of being dead. I saw a few more of these 'word-wierdness' mistakes in both chapters, but I'll let you look for them yourself.
Now this one:
Now there's a few things after this I'm going to talk about, but I'll start with the first sentence. Mostly it's worded awkwardly, with some superfluous words. I really had trouble reading it, it didn't flow smoothly or how my mind wanted or expected it to. I would just love to give you nice rules to help you out with wording but...well, I don't know anyth sure-fire ones, its kind of situational, but I'll give you a few to keep in mind that usually work:
She somehow felt that it was betrayal that she was all safe in a hiding place while her parent's were out there, getting raked by savage claws at every turn.
- Read it aloud and if you stumble, there could be a problem.
- If you repeat a word twice in one sentence (like you repeat the word 'that', yes, those kinds of words count) you might want to move things around until you don't need the word anymore, or replace it with something else, if you can.
- If you can eliminate words without changing the meaning, you probably should go ahead and do that.
- don't use the word 'got', or any of its variations (in this case 'getting'), as it is both vague and boring, and what we want is precise and interesting. This applies to a few other ultra-common words, but they escape me at the moment, sorry.
- If you can replace any other boring or vague word or phrase with a more descriptive one, then go for it.
Now I don't usually like to give 'sample sentences' or say how things 'should' have been written, but I don't really know how else to show you what I mean. Just keep in mind this isn't how it should be, I'm not saying you should write it exactly like this or copy me or anything, I'm just giving an example of one way you might make it make more sense, and hopefully that will give you your own ideas of how to improve your sentences in a way that reflects your style and intentions with your writing. So, just as an example of how that sentence might look with those rules applied, I came up with this:
Since you're the writer, it's really up to you which you like better, or how you would want to change it, though. Only you really know what you want to say.
Somehow it felt like a betrayal to hide in safety while her parents were raked by savage claws at every turn on the battlefield.
Now the next sentence:
This one...I personally found it questionable for a few reasons. The obvious one is that in the sentence directly following it, you start of with the word 'however' again, and that's not the kind of word you should repeat in such quick succession, as it is very noticeable, but that is easily fixed by switching it out with 'though' or 'although', or something similar. No big deal. The thing that really bothers me most though, is that in this sentance we have a pronoun ("it") but we aren't told what "it" is referring to. Reading the previous sentence, we can assume that by 'it', you probably mean the fact that she's hiding and not in battle, since that's what that sentence is talking about, but a reader shouldn't have to guess what you are referring to. And you really shouldn't use a pronoun like 'it' for something someone is doing anyway, since "it" is a pro-noun and generally a noun as opposed to a verb or phrase. So instead you might want to be more clear and say something like this:
It was simply because her level was so low, however, and she was somewhat grateful nonetheless.
Again, this isn't how it should be just a way you might change it to make it more intelligible.
But her exclusion from the battle was simply because her level was too low to be of use, and despite Seviper's uneasy feelings she was grateful for that safety.
Now I'm not going to go over this next sentence, since this review is getting novel-length and you are probably tired of reading it, but I'll just point it out to you as a bit awkward and you can think about what to do with it yourself. It's int he second chapter.
And I guess that is it for me. I definitively enjoyed the story though, and I look forward to reading more! I hope this review was of some help to you. Please keep up the good work!
Outside the cautiousness of that particular serpent, however, every Zangoose in the bloodstained valley immediately turned their attention to the one who had let loose the powerful Screech in a well-drilled salute, whilst the unlucky arm-less Seviper not fainted or ready for an eternal rest in the Pokemon Tower yet writhed in the pain of the clamor hitting their exposed heads.
(P.S. And what the heck did you mean, this is your 'last shot' at fanfiction? It better not be! Keep going! Keep improving! I know you can do it! Just keep writing and you'll definitely become great at it!)