Memento - Chapter 1: Boned

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    At last, Kalos ghaskan's Avatar
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    Default Memento - Chapter 1: Boned

    Author's Words: I'm still a writer in training, especially when it comes down to English, but since I want to catch some Pokémon in URP while brushing up both my English and creativity writing, I thought "Why not?" and decided to make my own URP journey tale. I'll always post my captures here, I want to keep some sort of continuity.

    About the first chapter: Sorry if it's slightly action-less.

    MEMENTO


    Chapter 1 - Boned

    Target Pokémon: Cubone (Medium Difficulty - Requires 10 000 - 20 000 characters)
    Characters used: 13 000 - 14 000

    The sun was falling slowly, painting the sky with a soothing pink, when the girl came outside. She was petite, and she was hoping her way through a small garden. Many kinds of flowers germinated among the fresh, green grass and the only tree was a large and old oak. She sat down by it, and leaned against the strong trunk, yawning loudly. Behind her, a strange creature with a tall hunchback showed up, sniffing the air with its swine nose. The girl squealed and patted the creature’s scruffy hair, who raised its hears and emitted a friendly snore as a response.

    The girl rose up, observing her friend: it still had a small, furry head and brown pelt, but it had changed since when it was an infant. The creature had at the moment a tall hunchback, making it almost as tall as the girl, tiny tusks had begun to sprout from the sides of its mouth and its childhood stripes were gone.

    “Piloswine” the Pokémon barked contently, nudging its friend’s jeans.

    “Hi, Bu” she greeted, falling on one of her knees and patting the Piloswine’s head once again.

    The girl had know that Pokémon since she was a tiny baby. Her parents often told her the tale of a small male Swinub who found her mother during one particularly violent snowstorm. The woman was almost giving birth, still carrying the girl in her womb during that time, and she was lost, confused and cold. She stumbled on a small Swinub, who, using noises, nudges and other signals, guided the woman through the snowstorm to safety. From that day onwards, Bu never left them and quickly became the girl’s best friend and guardian. In spite of this, Bu was never caught with a Pokéball, remaining wildly loyal.

    The Piloswine lied down, and the girl sat down, leaning against his hunchback. They remained silent for many minutes, appreciating the landscape as the sun drifted into the shadows. They lived in the suburbs, and there were mainly houses, and no apartments. The young woman was thankful for that, since some nature was kept, including a mountain range in the distance.

    “Martha, dinner’s ready!” called a strong feminine voice.

    Like always, her mother’s timing was perfect. The moon was almost done with its daily takeover, and the sun’s last stand was merely a smooth and weak orange light behind the mountains.
    Martha took her time to get up and returned to her house slowly, so when she arrived night was finally absolute and the garden was bathed by a beautiful silver beam.

    Bu stayed outside, like he always did, staring at the moon with a yearning, curious gaze.


    ***********************************


    The dinner was rapid. Martha and her parents ate something light, while exchanging several impressions of what happened during their days. After that she began helping her father washing the dishware.

    “Tomorrow, I have a surprise for you” he said, looking at her from behind his round glasses.

    “Really?” Martha inquired, caught off guard.

    “Yes. Don’t waste time searching for it, it’s nothing you can find like that” her father said, smiling.

    Martha blushed slightly. Two years ago, one week before Christmas, she had disarranged the whole house in her search for the presents. Worst yet, she had not found them!

    “Don’t worry, I learned my lesson” she guaranteed.

    After cleaning the last plate, Marta hugged her always caring father and bid him good night. She went to the living room, progressing next to their low veranda, where a bulky, furry creature was resting, all curled up.

    “Good night, Lu” Martha wished, making the creature to grumble and get up.

    Under the intense moonlight it was easy to distinguish its features: it had very big incisor teeth, a long and scaled tail and large ragged ears. It was tawny; however the section from the belly to the face was lighter coloured.

    “Ra, Raticate!” the rat Pokémon woofed in response, and licked her hand.

    The young woman patted the Raticate and went straight back to the living room, where her mother was watching television. Keeping on with the ritual, she bid good night to the older woman, wish Martha accompanied with a bear hug to give emphasis to her care and love for her mother.

    Finally upstairs, Martha had an opportunity to look at the mirror of the bathroom while brushing her teeth: her square glasses were all dirty on the lenses, her brown, curly hair was completely untamed after another full day and she had some more spots growing on her complicated skin. When the teeth were whitened and clean, the girl combed her hair and walked to her bedroom. There, Martha was truly at home, it was the only part of the house she had designed herself. The walls were painted of a faded orange, the furnishing was all made of oak wood and she managed to fit green wherever she could, namely on her bedspread and silk curtains.

    Martha changed clothes, throwing her jeans and plain T-Shirt to a chair and dressing up white and green pajamas. When the task was done, the girl looked at the book she was currently reading, which was on her bedside table, with a pondering expression. Martha decided not to read it on that night, she was feeling too tired. With a quick plunge, she was in bed, and soon after the young woman was sleeping.

    ***********************************


    The next day, Martha did her usual morning affairs, including going to Pokéschool, without any further talk with her father about the surprise. When she came home for lunch, however, the girl had a shock; her father was staying outside, in front of the closed wooden door, holding up a big green backpack Martha had used for camping the year before. He adjusted his glasses nervously and coughed before words left his mouth.

    “Darling, time has come for you to leave and make your own tale of adventure” the man started, looking at her solemnly. “Your brother was already left, and is faring well. I’m sure you can do just as fine. You will be bringing Bu with you. I couldn’t afford a better bodyguard.”

    Piloswine creped from behind the Oak tree after the father finished the sentence. He nudged the girl, his way to greet her, and she did a small pat on his hunchback, too astonished by her father’s decision to actually bother too much with salutations.

    “I won’t let you starve; there is enough food and clothes to survive for a good week, and money to buy more supplies. In fact, the trainer card I got you works as a credit card, and you can spend the quantity you feel to be necessary. I just ask to be responsible and don’t go out buying everything you want.” he added, “Also no problem with Pokéschool. You already have the elementary teachings and, while they all come in handy, the ones you have should suffice.”

    “Yes, father.” Martha said submissively.

    The man placed the backpack on the ground, and a lone tear fell from his brilliant brown eyes. He opened his arms, and Martha ran towards him. They hugged for a long while, feeling the warm and security they always did, but more than never they valuated the moment.

    “Now, let’s go have one last lunch together. It will take a good while before we can do this again” he said, his voice charged with both sorrow and pride.

    They went to the kitchen, and the best lunch Martha could ask for was on the table: delicious roasted chicken accompanied by mashed potatoes, everything sprinkled with a wonderful carrot and honey sauce. Her mother was already sitting and crying. Martha hugged her around the neck, her own tears falling like a slow rain. The woman released her daughter a minute after, and cleaned her tears.

    “Let’s enjoy our last meal in such a way the walls themselves shall mirror our happiness.” the mother declared, her voice strong as ever despite the emotional weight on her shoulders.

    They ate slowly, enjoying every second, appreciating every bite, laughing at every joke, paying attention to every story. That last time lunch lasted more than an hour, and they were all cheerful and full when Martha ate the last dose of mashed potatoes.

    “I proposed a toast!” the girl’s father suggested.

    The two women agreed, and their glasses clinked softly after a cheerful clash. Tears and laughs occupied their last moments in a good while together, until the time to leave had ultimately come.

    The three of them, plus Bu and Lu, hugged lovingly for many minutes. When they finally released each other, Martha’s parents decided it was better if they went inside the house immediately to make the departure easier. After a last good bye, Martha picked up the green backpack and together with Bu she made her way outside the propriety. Lu waved from the garden, and the last word she heard from her family was an encouraging “Raticate”.

    ***********************************


    Martha and Bu had been walking silently for a few minutes throughout the city’s suburbs. There was nothing too thrilling to see; the streets sides were used only to build houses, even though some of the gardens were beautiful. There was even one with a sculpture adorning a fountain.

    Suddenly, Bu stopped and snored loudly. Martha looked at him curiously, stopping as well and wondering what her friend was up to. The Piloswine stuck his nose to the ground and trotted swiftly to the other side of the street. Martha ran behind him, and they were almost trampled by a car, whose owner cursed heavily at them. Martha offered her best apologises and kept going after Bu.

    The Pokémon stopped at the entrance of a dark, untidy alley and nudged Martha insistently. She looked at Bu worried; the thought of a dead end and the possibilities it could offer to someone with bad intentions was scary. However, she had no reasons to be worried... after all, the almighty and loyal Bu was with her! Martha had her courage strengthened, and began walking forwards, slowly, with Bu trotting by her side.

    A few steps into the alley, Bu let out another snore. Martha stopped, and looked around. Sitting, a couple of feet away, was a small being, and strangely... it was wearing a worn out skull. A bone with a boomerang shape was sitting on its lap, and the skull-head was leaning towards it, a pair big and shiny eyes mirroring a great grief. Its tail waved slightly, in a way that made it look more like a nervous twitch instead of an intention.

    The creature, which Martha presumed to be a Pokémon, moved its head towards her and the young woman held her breath. That gaze was so intense, so sorrowful, and so breathtaking! The girl wondered what the little child creature had been through to be eye her like that...

    “CUBONE!!!” the Pokémon yelled while charging forwards with great agility and catching Martha completely off guard.

    Fortunately, Bu was always paying attention, and shielded Martha. The Cubone hit Bu with its bone, showing unbelievable strength. If Martha had not seen the attack, she would not believe the infant Pokémon was capable of such a hit. She took a couple steps back to take control of her first battle without help from her father and against an opponent who would not stop in case Bu was defeated.

    The Piloswine, nevertheless, took the attack with ease, shrugging Cubone off. He was waiting orders from his friend, putting his trust on her to make the best decision. Martha pondered for a moment, but there was no time to waste.

    “Use Mud Bomb!” she ordered, trying to aid Bu the best way she could.

    Bu opened its mouth and fired balls of mud from it, hitting the Cubone with bull’s-eye accuracy and throwing it against the dead end wall. Martha sighed with relief, because Mud Bomb did not always hit, and this time it hit and dealt a good amount of damage.

    However, the Cubone had guts, and answered promptly. A light blue aura surrounded it, and without giving time for Bu to react it threw its bone, surrounded by a blue aura, which hit Bu. The Piloswine stumbled, and afterwards the bone looped, hitting Bu again and with the same efficiency. After that, the bone returned to Cubone, and the Pokémon caught it by reflex.

    Those hits had been heavy, so Martha had to be answer accordingly. She had not trained any combo with Piloswine yet, but they had to pull one off... there was not much time left to think but... that was it!

    “Use Icy Wind and while it is too crippled to attack bite it with Ice Fang!” Martha commanded, her voice filled of conviction.

    Bu released a beam of chilling wind from his mouth, hitting Cubone and causing it to tremble violently from the cold. While the smaller Pokémon was handicapped, the Piloswine dashed in the direction of Cubone and bit it while releasing frost energy from his mouth. After that attack Cubone was very worn out and frozen.

    The girl thought about the Cubone, initially the first contact, when it was a lonely, sorrowful creature and looked so inoffensive, followed by a great battler, full of backbone and determination. She wondered what to do... and made her decision.

    Searching quickly inside her backpack, Martha found one of her father’s presents: a Pokéball. It was a ball-like device, painted of red on the top and white on the bottom, and had a line, representing the balls division in a perfect half, riveted by a simple white button. Martha pressed that same button, and the ball outgrew her hand, making it harder to hold. Still, she was as determinate as the Cubone.

    She threw the Pokéball on its direction, making the ball device to open. A white ray left from the lower half of the ball’s insides, sucking the frozen Pokémon in. It closed and fell to the ground, starting to wobble violently...
    Last edited by ghaskan; 1st October 2010 at 06:48 AM. Reason: Some corrections had to be made.

  2. #2
    Dance in the ashes Dragoness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memento - Chapter 1: Boned

    *swoops in, claims, flies back out*
    Faith
    ...
    Siggie by Dragoness, aka me | Married 2 Noble One

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    Dance in the ashes Dragoness's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Memento - Chapter 1: Boned



    Ze Introduction:

    You set the scene beautifully. See, you used the adjective 'soothing' and that bit 'falling slowly' to give a feel of what the sky looks like. Between that and the adjective 'pink', I was able to visualize what the sky looked like (it helps that we have a ton of beautiful sunsets and sunrises where I live, so I was able to quickly think of our beautiful skies).

    You slowly eased me into the rest of the story--good :)

    ~~
    Grammar: This is where I bombard you with useful tips on r use of words *rubs hands together* Let's get started!*
    *(this section is a bit larger than what I'd usually write. That is not because your grammar is worse than what I usually see--it's actually better than some stories I have read. It is because you specifically mentioned you wanted to brush up on your English and I wish to give as much feedback as I can without overwhelming.)

    Quote Originally Posted by From Memento
    ...painting the sky with a soothing pink...
    The above quote is not correct as it fails to mention the object the adjectives are describing.

    It could have stood on its own as "...painting the sky a soothing pink..." Because the adjectives clearly followed the object they are describing. But you could also have done it your way, but with the addition of a word (such as 'color').

    Adjectives describe or modify something/someone (examples of adjectives would be 'large'; 'bitter-sweet'; 'beautiful', ect.). And you followed up with another adjective ('pink'), but then stopped. "A 'soothing pink' what?" is what I was asking myself. Adjectives should generally follow up with the object that they are describing/modifying. Soooo:

    Quote Originally Posted by From Memento, edited by Dragoness
    The sun was falling slowly, painting the sky with a soothing pink color, when the girl came outside.
    -
    Quote Originally Posted by From Memento
    “Piloswine” the Pokémon barked contently, nudging its friend’s jeans.
    That quote *points directly above this sentence* is incorrect. While I do congratulate you on knowing and remembering that "its" is possessive and "it's" is a contraction of "it is" (something that has tripped up many a people, including yours truly), you failed to use a comma after "Piloswine". If the next sentence makes no sense without the dialogue, then use a comma or an exclamation point.

    Another way of putting it is that you need a comma between the dialogue and tag line (the tag line being the set of words used to identify the speaker, such as "he/she said"). NOW, if the sentence after the dialogue does not describe the dialogue in any way, then there is no need to put a comma there.

    Quote Originally Posted by From Memento, edited by Dragoness
    “Piloswine,” the Pokémon barked contently, nudging its friend’s jeans.
    Here (click here, please) is a link to Jack of Clover/Galleon's "How to Write Freaking Stories" thread. It's in the URPG story section, actually, stickied near the top of the forum. At the bottom there is a short bit of information regarding common comma rules.
    -
    I noticed a fair amount of typos. Like in the first paragraph of this story, in the second sentence, "...and she was hoping her way through a small garden." 'Hoping' means to have hope; I think you meant 'hopping', which is a very bouncy way of walking commonly practiced by the Easter Bunny and small children jacked up on sugar.

    I rarely/never avoid having at least one or two typos, but if you proofread a story a few different times before posting it, then the typos are drastically cut down. Also, proof read at a couple different times of the day, on a couple different days, then you catch even more typos.
    -
    Quote Originally Posted by From Memento
    The girl had know that Pokémon since she was a tiny baby.
    The above quote was confusing to me the 1st time I read it. It wasn't the typo ("know" should be in the past tense, so it would be "known"), but more the fact that it started off a new paragraph--and since I didn't know what "that Pokemon" was for several seconds before I finally connected "that Pokemon" with Piloswine. When you describe things/people with vague words like "that", then you should do it in the same paragraph. Otherwise, include more details on who/what you are talking about.

    I want to stress the point that you should be thinking while you are writing and asking yourself questions like "Am I being clear? Am I using the correct words to get my feelings/thoughts across to the reader?" 'cause as an author, its easy to mis-communicate to the reader. You know what the plot is, you know what the surroundings look like, you know the feel in the air and the emotions of your characters; now you have to just use the right words at the right time to communicate these ideas to the reader.
    -
    And finally, I noticed that sometimes you used a gerund improperly. Just so I can make sure I am being 100% clear, a gerund is the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by From Purdue Online Writing Lab
    A gerund is a verbal that ends in -ing and functions as a noun. The term verbal indicates that a gerund, like the other two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being. However, since a gerund functions as a noun, it occupies some positions in a sentence that a noun ordinarily would, for example: subject, direct object, subject complement, and object of preposition.
    (short explanation: a gerund is a grammatical term that refers to a word based on a verb that ends in -ing. It is a verb turned noun)

    An example of where you misused a gerund:

    Quote Originally Posted by From Memento; bolded part done by Dragoness
    The dinner was rapid. Martha and her parents ate something light, while exchanging several impressions of what happened during their days. After that she began helping her father washing the dishware.
    Does it sound better on your ears if you say, instead of the bolded section above, this: 'After that she began to help her father wash the dishware.' ? What I did was add an infinitive ('to help') which negated the need for gerunds. (FYI: an infinitive is a type of verb that is usually preceded by the word 'to'.)

    See, there was no need to add any gerunds and most certainly not the second gerund ('washing'). That sentence tech. could have stood alone as "After that she began helping her father wash the dishware." Gerunds function as the subject, the complement, or the object of a sentence and thus turning the verb 'wash' into 'washing' was not correct.

    Purdue's OWL: Gerunds, Participles and Infinitives (click) is a decent guide on gerunds. I <3 Purdue. According to Firefox's Web of Trust add-on, Purdue is a safe website. That link may help if you have any more questions on gerunds.

    Strunk and White's Elements of Style is a decent, although quite long guide on English grammar. If you read it, I suggest you go over it slowly, over time. It has many helpful tips, but there is quite a bit of information to digest.
    -
    I will say that in the grand scope of things, you did fairly well. There were, as I pointed out, some troublesome spots with some general grammar rules (like dialogue tags), some typos and also moments where there was a lack of clarity. But overall, you did pretty well :D

    Here is a short summary of the above:

    • When you find yourself describing things and using words such as: pretty; blue/purple/pink/black/white/ect.; tall; small; and so on, you are using adjectives and adjectives need to have something to describe. So make sure you include the object you are describing in the sentence

    • Use a comma between the dialogue and the sentence after the dialogue (assuming the next sentence relies on the dialogue)

    • Proof read the story a few different times, preferably at different times of the day

    • When you are writing, make sure you are being crystal clear. You know what you mean, but does the reader?

    • Remember: gerunds function as the subject, complement or object of a sentence

    • Here is Strunk 'n White's Elements of Style Guide. Remember: if you read it, taking in small chunks at a time will be helpful.



    ~~
    Description:

    General Impression of Your Use of Description: Good, but also just a little spotty; at times there were moments where you really communicated the surroundings and a general feeling of atmosphere to the reader (which is awesome!) and then again, there were other times you failed to help me visualize the situation/area/people. If you intended to be, at times, sparse on the details, then that is okay as it was a conscious choice. Examples 'n all coming.

    Quote Originally Posted by From Memento
    The dinner was rapid. Martha and her parents ate something light, while exchanging several impressions of what happened during their days. After that she began helping her father washing the dishware.
    This is just an example of the sometimes sparse details I was talking about. I don't need to know every, or even any of the types of food they ate; I don't need to know any of their actual dialogue, but it would be an opening for you to show us a glimpse of their personalities and the family relationships. Was the food scrumptious? Was it a cheap, fast meal? And what impressions were exchanged? Was it a fun, lighthearted banter? Was it a quiet, tense time at the table? Given what was about to happen, it felt perhaps you could have used a moment like this to give a vague warning that a bombshell was coming.

    On the flip side, there were a few time where you threw in some details that were, frankly, not needed. They did not help set an atmosphere to the overall story and they did not help convey a general image/feel for the place. Every sentence adds or detracts from your story. If you want to include sentences/paragraphs that have unessential details, then that's okay, just remember to not go overboard. 'What's essential?' you ask? Whatever you feel is going to make things clear to the reader, whatever is going to add to the general feel of the story, whatever is going to stir emotions/thoughts in the reader, whatever is going to improve a character's personality...whatever you want :)

    Most readers won't mind if they don't know exactly how tall someone is, or exactly what clothes someone is wearing, or every piece of furniture in the room. As long as they have a few details and a strong sense of the character's personality and the setting, then I've found that they are (usually) happy. Of course, you can't please everyone, so some people will always want a little more of "this" and a little less of "that" :P I'm done nitpicking, I SWEAR!.

    Generally though, you did quite nicely when it came to describing things and you used most sentences to your advantage. I was able to "see" most of what was going on in the story and rarely felt swamped by meaningless details :D

    One thing I would like to mention is don't forget all fives senses when you write a story. You usually shouldn't include them all in one sentence xD But throughout the whole story, especially longer stories, try and include most of the senses. Those five basic senses are: sight, sound, smell, hearing and touch (I noticed a strange lack of smell in your story).

    I SPENT LONGER on this section then I meant to D: That's 'cause you did pretty well though and I want to encourage you to continue to do well though :D If you don't take in/remember all this at once, then that's normal.
    --
    Length: 13,741. Here (click) is a free, non-download character counter. I've used it for a couple years now. Just copy+paste your story.
    ---
    Plot:

    It reminds me of trainer-goes-on-adventure storyline, but darn it if I wasn't expecting it O.o Seriously, I didn't realize what this story was going to be about until the middle of the chapter. Trickster, you are. Which is a good thing! Lol, the trainer-starts-his-journey thing is rather tired, but you pulled it off pretty well.

    Just remember: in later chapters and especially as you aim for higher tier Pokemon, add to the plot. Which shouldn't be too hard. Travel leads to many interesting people and encounters and can evolve into a strong plot.

    It's odd that Martha's dad and mother acted pretty normal, then suddenly turned around and pushed their daughter out of the house. Didn't even have a bit of warning for that, which in this case wasn't really that good. I didn't and shouldn't have known exactly what was going to happen, but a little warning that some kind of trouble was afoot would have been welcomed. It felt like too sudden a change--from a father happily promising a surprise to the next day suddenly bringing tears and all, with little mention of mixed feelings of joy/sadness. Sudden plot turns without any warning are usually done when the plot turn is unplanned by the characters. This was planned by the parents, however, and was known by everyone but Martha.
    --
    Battle:

    Fairly two sided. Two-sided battles are important. You described the attacks and the feelings of Martha pretty well. Which is good 'cause some authors forget that describing the attacks is needed and often the trainer's feelings are barely mentioned. AND THEY DO HAVE FEELINGS.

    There was a moment where it felt like you didn't fully describe how Cubone was feeling.

    After that attack Cubone was very worn out and frozen.
    "Worn out" seems a bit too weak. "Exhausted" perhaps? Also, I know Cubone is frozen, but what kind of frozen? Frozen so he's shivering violently? Or frozen as in he's coated in a thin layer of ice?

    --
    Outcome: Da da, de dum...hmm?

    *drumroll*

    You caught the bonehead <3 Congrats!
    --
    Other: This is a bit longer than what I would normally give. I think--in other words, I hope--I didn't overwhelm you with too much info. If you have any questions, feel free to VM/PM me. You did a pretty good job and I see that you have a lot of potencial :) I hope you keep writing and if you have any other stories, feel free to ask me to grade them.
    Faith
    ...
    Siggie by Dragoness, aka me | Married 2 Noble One

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