16th April 2010, 05:11 PM #1
A day in the forest
This is my first attempt at writing a story and i would like as much contructive critique as i can get so feel free to comment whoever you are. Aside from that English is not my first language and as such im not sure about some of the grammar so if its horrible i give my appologises ahead of time.
Pokemon targetted: Lotad
Expected Length: 5k-10k
A day in the forest
The sound of the waterfall was almost deafening as it echoed inside the small cave. Nemq had made the choice to sleep behind the waterfall for one simple reason, to avoid scavenging Pokémon, sadly this attempt at outsmarting nature had failed and he instead found that he had several bite marks, most likely from a group of Zubats.
He started making his way out of the cold and dark cavern while trying to avoid getting drenched in the falling water. Slowly but surely he made his way outside and rejoiced in the blinding light of the sun. He ran his hand through his hair and called for his companion.
-Shade! He called until seemingly from nowhere the Murkrow appeared.
-Shall we get some breakfast he asked the bird.
-Suck-er! Replied Shade in a squeaking voice.
Nemq was not surprised at the response; after all it was the only word the bird knew how to say even though he never quite said it right.
They followed the river downstream in search of a town or at the very least some berries. Nemq walked below his beloved friend and couldn’t help but smile as the bird stopped at a branch to rearrange a small fork that it wore in the plumage around it head, almost like a feather in a hat.
The sight made him reminisce about the summer when he had finally caught the thieving crow, it had been stealing food and silverware from his family for a good month when he one night saw it marching around the porch table seeming so proud of itself and the small pile of bread and meat it had amassed in the middle. It hadn’t even noticed him when the Dusk Ball hit it on the wing and a moment later it was his.
It was almost midday now and they had yet to find any form of food discounting the group of Magikarp playing in the river, which he had no way to catch. He had started to feel the sting of hunger now and was beginning to wonder how long he had been walking. As if by fate an apple tree appeared behind the small hill he had been walking up for some time now.
He settled below the tree, lazily watching the stream as he ate. Amazing that those lily pads aren’t swept away by the river he thought to himself. As he studied them closer he noticed that one of them seemed almost to move against the current, his thought was interrupted by the familiar chirping of Shade.
-Suck-er, said the bird over and over again like a broken record.
Nemq stood up to see why the bird was so agitated; the cause was obvious a trainer was approaching.
-I don’t get much company in these parts, said Nemq.
-I’m not from around here, answered the unknown girl.
-Your Murkrow seems energetic so how about a battle? Inquierd the young woman.
-What are the stakes, asked Nemq
-I’m kind of strapped for cash right now so how about if you win I will give you half of my food supplies and if I win you give me 100$?, suggested the young woman.
Nemq quietly contemplated the suggestion while looking the woman over, she was pretty no doubt about it and she certainly was more prepared for outdoor living than he himself was, and he could certainly use the clean water and food, he decided to take the chance.
-Alright 1v1 if that’s fine with you? He answered.
The woman responded by sending out a Budew .
Nemq turned his head slightly towards Shade who was seated on his shoulder; Shade gave him a slight nod and took flight.
-Ready? Asked Nemq.
The woman instantly ordered Stun Spore and the Budew started glowing slightly and suddenly fired a bolt of yellow powder in Shades direction.
-Taunt! Countered Nemq.
The bird dove down from the skies and began to fly circles around the rosebud causing the young flower Pokémon to panic and throw Absorb after Absorb trying to hit the dark blur that was all that could be seen of Shade.
-Stun Spore ordered its trainer, but the Budew was far to angered and ignored the order and continued an unending barrage of Absorb.
-Sucker Punch stated Nemq, in an almost arrogant tone; we have this he thought to himself as he watched Shade descend for what he thought would be the finishing blow.
- Shade dove down towards the Budew but was interrupted when he was hit repeatedly by Bullet Seed sending him tumbling down to the ground.
-Again, Screamed the woman.
The Budew attacked again with a barrage of Bullet Seeds and all that Shade could do was too try to dodge them the best he could.
-Faint Attack, ordered Nemq now in a somewhat panicked voice.
The bird suddenly disappeared before their eyes and appeared just as swiftly behind the Budew and slammed it with its beak and wings.
-Hang on Rose, yelled the agitated woman, -Use Synthesis, she advised the Budew.
The Budew started glowing brightly and small sparks of green light obscured its form with a blinding intensity.
-Sucker Punch now, Called Nemq.
Shade responded and got a clean hit on the recuperating plant.
The battle was now over and Shade returned to his master’s shoulder and started rearranging the small fork once more.
-You win said the woman in a somewhat disappointed voice, Here are your supplies, she said as she handed over his winnings.
-What are you doing out here anyway? Nemq asked.
-Well mostly I’m just training this Budew she answered while administering a Potion to the hurt Pokémon. -My name is Kerrigan by the way.
-I’m Nemq he responded with a curt nod.
-I best get on my way or I won’t make it too Olivine City before dark, she said and started walking away again.
Nemq followed her with his eyes until she disappeared behind a cluster of trees a small distance ahead.
The forest was teeming with life and you could hear a group of Spearow flying above the canapé. You could smell the faint scent of a Gloom that must have passed by some time earlier during the day for the smell was endurable but still strong enough to make one curl your nostrils. A wisp of wind caused the trees to sing as Nemq made his way further away from the river.
Now that he didn’t have a need to visit a town to restock supplies he had made the decision that he would go in search for a good camp site, after all it was getting late and it could be hours before he would find a suitable location.
-Go on stretch your wings he said too the bird on his shoulder and shook his shoulder slightly to get the bird to lift of.
The black bird flew ahead and soon Nemq could no longer see his old friend. Nemq felt spent he wasn’t hungry, yet he couldn’t relax, he felt as if he was being followed but he knew that there was no one else around.
He walked along watching the forest and listening to the repetitive chirping of his Murkrow in the distance. Not too far ahead there was a clearing with a small brook running through it.
He looked over the small area and felt the fresh air envelop him, the stench of the Gloom was long gone now and he could smell the algae in the water. He stood there for a minute just enjoying the scene of which he was a part.
He quietly contemplated on making camp right there and so he began to look around for some firewood but not too much avail. He resorted to cut his own and had just started cutting twigs from a nearby tree when Shade returned back.
The black bird took too searching through Nemq’s backpack that was lying on the ground. You could hear clearly as the bird kept dragging various inedible objects such as, a frying pan, a pair of blue pants, and a box of matches and finally it managed to find a sealed container of raw meat.
Nemq glared slightly angered at the mess his pet had caused but couldn’t resist enjoying the comical sight of the helpless bird trying to open the container.
Once he had a decent amount of firewood he settled down and stacked the twigs so they formed a cone. He ignited the small stack of twigs and dried leafs, the warmth of the small fire washed over him as the flames begun to consume the remaining fuel.
Nemq rested his back against a tree trunk while he feed the now cooked meat too Shade, the moon was coming up now it was not night yet nor was it still evening. Shade was marching around the camp fire, just like he had the day Nemq first caught him. The small fork glistened in the light from the fire like a miniature of the lighthouse back in Olivine City. As the night went on he found himself drifting off into his dreams.
The morning sun crept over the horizon and the light caressed the trees creating beams of sunlight that gave the forest a shadowy contrast. Shade was sitting on a branch above his master watching him sleep and watching a small Lotad eating the algae from the small brook.
As Nemq opened his eyes and saw the Lotad he remembered how he thought he had seen a lily pad move against the stream.
He was going to catch this Lotad.
-Shade use Mean Look, whispered Nemq afraid to scare the still grazing Lotad.
The bird immediately threw a look on the Lotad, frozen in place it stared at the Murkrow.
-Wing attack, Ordered Nemq.
The attack connected to the Lotad knocking it back a few feet and leaving a tear in the leaf on its head.
Nemq threw a Net Ball on the small Lotad and closed his eyes praying that he would capture his first water type. When he opened his eyes there was no sign of the wild Pokémon, and so he picked up the used Net Ball and began preparing to head away from the small camp site leaving no sign he was ever there except for the crushed grass upon which he had slept and the small campfire that was still smoldering slightly.
As he walked through the forest he still couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched and so he stopped several times to look around and make sure he was alone.
Unbeknownst to him he had accidentally left his small campfire still burning it was not much at first but with the help of the wind a small ember made its way into the undergrowth igniting the bushes and the fire was now spreading fast among the trees and bushes, causing the Pokémon too flee before its onslaught.
Shade had by now picked up the scent of smoke and was trying to alert his owner to the inherent danger of their situation, but was not successful.
By now the wind had shifted and carried the fire around Nemq’s route and was quickly trapping the young traveler in a noose of flames.
Now the smell of burnt wood and grass was so strong that even the human nose could not mistake it for anything else and more than that the sky had turned a dark orange shade with blooming smoke pillars reaching for the sun.
When Nemq realized the danger he and Shade was in he panicked and at first tried to outrun the fire but wherever he turned the flames matched his strides blocking his path. The flames now covering the forest from the ground to the top of the trees scorched everything it touched burning the Butterfrees and badly burning several Methapod who were trying to survive by using Harden.
Nemq ran past all the suffering creatures without a second thought,his only concern to find Shade who had fled earlier.
After running for what seemed like forever he made it back to the previous campsite and found to his horror Shade lying seemingly lifeless on the ground. He picked the injured bird up and tried to stand but the exhaustion and smoke made it hard to breathe, he tried to crawl towards the small spring of water when he saw the Lotad from earlier combating the fire.
-We are safe, thought Nemq to himself as he allowed the heat and exhaustion to take its toll and before passing out he whispered – Thank you Lotad.
Last edited by NemQ; 18th April 2010 at 02:49 PM.
19th April 2010, 04:55 PM #2
Head of the URPG
Re: A day in the forest
You're in luck my friend. This will be my first story I grade here at Bulbagarden. Heh, guess people can't say the leader of the URPG doesn't do anything.
Anyway, onto the grade.
I liked this part. You're quite creative, and in particular I liked the part about the bite marks from the Zubats who are known to drink blood. Additionally, because the bite marks are from failed attempt to hide simply add to the realism of the story. I can easily see a trainer taking these actions and then finding that the results are quite what he expected.
However, I would like a bit more detail in regards to everything. How did the bite marks feel? Did they hurt? Were they still bleeding or was their dried blood at each of the wound points? Was the trainer faint due to blood loss? These little things simply add to the story.
In general, I feel as if you lost direction of your plot or decided to add in more content to fill in space. For example, while the battle with the female trainer did solve the hunger issue, none of that really affected the capture of Lotad. In fact, Lotad is almost non-existent up until the end where it plays a larger role.
I would have preferred a greater emphasis on the pokemon you're trying to capture rather than random points in the story that do not relate. Else it just ruins the continuity.
I think you forgot to count spaces with your character count. From what I see, you have a total of 11,445 characters, which is over the recommended 5k-10k. That's a good thing. Writing a lot of content demonstrates that you worked hard for this story.
There are quite a few grammar mistakes. I understand that English isn't your first language, but I think you did well regardless. And I imagine that, as you continue to write, you will improve over time.
One thing that really stood out was the dialogue. Normally we use quotation marks when someone is speaking or thinking. Don't forget to include other punctuation marks as well. For example:
"Shall we get some breakfast?" he asked the bird.
"I’m kind of strapped for cash right now so how about if you win I will give you half of my food supplies and if I win you give me $100?" suggested the young woman.
Additionally, your paragraphs are a little too spread out. While certainly appreciate that you didn't squish everything together, it does make the story seem disjointed. One line of space between each paragraph if you don't mind, unless they separate two different chapters of your story, in which case it's fine.
I didn't notice many spelling mistakes, though be sure to double check each time. You misspelled "Inquired" for instance.
Description and Detail
It's here where I feel you did the worst job, especially in relation to your battles.
In general, you're very detail light. While you said you were in a cave, behind a waterfall, you didn't describe either to me. How tall was the waterfall? How loud? Did it splash down into a large pool or continued along a river? Was it a pure blue or a greener color? How large was the cave? Were you at the mouth of the cave or farther in?
Details serve two purposes here. They allow the reader to better understand what's going on in your story and they also serve to increase the number of characters in your story. This is one way to make sure that your plot stays on track. By knowing the main points of your story, and then adding details to those points, you eventually realize that your story length is exactly where it needs to be.
As for your battles, it's almost as if I'm witnessing two people shouting at each other. There is very little description on what each pokemon is doing? If bullet seed is used, how many bullets were fired? Did they clump together or were they spread out? How did either pokemon react to the attack? Were they flung backwards, rolling along the ground, kicking up dirt and dust?
Let's take a part of your story and rewrite it:
The Budew attacked again with a barrage of Bullet Seeds and all that Shade could do was too try to dodge them the best he could.
Now here is a way it can be improved with further details.
Budew shrieked in panic as Shade shot through the air, using the light currents to boost his speed. The pokemon knew it was at a disadvantage against the flying pokemon, but trusted its trainer to overcome this difficulty.
"Use Bullet Seed!" shouted the opponent.
Budew nodded, and suddenly opened its mouth, sucking in some of the air around it. It seemed to puff up slightly, as if about to burst. But just as it seemed to reach its limit, it exhaled. Squeezing its mouth into a tight "O", Budew launched a series of seeds at breakneck speeds at Shade, using the air pressure it had built up to force the seeds outwards.
The seeds shot into the air, missing Shade easily at first. However, Budew slowly rotated its body, using the previous shot to better aim the next one and the bullets soon appeared directly in front of Shade's flight path!
Shade dived forward, screeching in alarm. He swerved to his right, and continued to fly erratically in a series of evasive maneuvers designed to avoid the bullet seeds. Many came quite close, and Shade could feel one brush the tip of one of his wings, ripping out a single feather.
Details make battles more than summaries. They turn them into scenes of action and adventure that makes the reader feel like he's there watching the entire thing.
I admit, this is a tough decision for me. Your meandering plot and your lack of details really hurt your chances for the capture. Luckily, except for dialogue, your grammar was actually decent and it was easy to read what you wrote. I would say that your saving grace probably was that you wrote more than was required of you, thus demonstrating good work ethic.
Next time, I expect to see more detail and a better plot. You are a natural writer and have great potential. Good luck.