A Poketale (WWC)

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  1. #1
    Negative Albatross Mcfeegle's Avatar
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    Default A Poketale (WWC)

    I'd like to use this story to catch a Machop. Recommended character count is 5-10K. Actual character count is about 12k.

    Feel free to comment. I love feedback!

    ..............


    Geoffrey Elliot: A Poketale

    Chapter 1

    Most stories start with the sea.

    Unfortunately, this isn't one of them. I wanted to go on this big rant on how the sea is forever changing, and unknowable, and uncontrollable, etc. And then how mountains are constant and reliable, but in their own way as uncaring of your existence as the sea. You can live, and die, and throughout the ages the mountains will stay the same. No matter what you do, that mountain that you see outside your window everyday will be waiting there when your great, great, great grandson wakes up so many years from now.

    However, I'm not good enough at writing for that. Or ranting. I'm not good at much of anything, come to think of it.

    Especially writing, though. I mean, I've heard tell that, within your first paragraph, you should establish a character, setting, and problem to draw your readers in and here I am, four paragraphs in and you still have no idea who I am, where I am, or what my issue is.

    So here you go. My name is Geoffrey Elliot, I live in a small village in the foothills of a huge mountain range, and my mom just kicked me out of the house.

    In her own way, my mom's a lot like the sea. She's unknowable, uncontrollable, and can often be described as 'roaring.'

    I guess that makes me a mountain. If left on my own, I'd be perfectly content to sit still and watch the world go past me, and I don't much care what anyone else does.

    Also, I'd like to point out that when you get a mountain right by the sea, the waves beat on it, over and over again throughout the millennia. At first it seems like it's pointless. The cliffs just stand there, taking it. Sooner or later, though, the sea always wins.

    "What do you think you are doing?" the ocean roared. "You sit on your lazy butt all day and leave me to do all the chores."

    I sighed and looked down through the branches of the trees to where my mother was standing, hands on her hips. I got my blonde hair and thin build from her, but my height and green eyes from my dad. He wasn't around anymore. "I've milked the miltanks," my mom said, counting on her fingers, "Weeded the garden, started bread baking for dinner, swept out the house, and what have you done?"

    "Um. . . Invented a metaphor for the constant battle between the ocean and the mountains," I replied, "Also, compared and contrasted their attitudes towards the human race, if one could say they have attitudes at all, which is arguable."

    My mother just stared at me, foot tapping.

    "But of course that was all because I'm hiding in this tree from Mr. Jensen, who's mad at me for dying his chickens' feathers green and making him think they were sick."

    "I knew it!" she said, "I knew you were behind that. Now get down here. I have something I need to talk to you about."

    I slipped down from my perch in the tree, following my mother inside. It was futile trying to fight with her when she got like this. Mountains don't fight anyway, they just let themselves get worn down.

    I followed Mom into our kitchen, which was decorated about how you would expect for a cottage-in-the-mountain kitchen. Wooden table, simple counter, blue-and-white china decorations scattered about around the doilies.

    And, today, something I never expected to see, sitting in the middle of the table.

    A pokeball.

    "I had Professor Yew bring this over," she said. "You spend your days either sitting in trees or pulling pranks on the neighbors. I just don't know what to do with you anymore."

    "So, what? You're just kicking me out?" I asked. "I act just a little bit lazy and you kick me out of the house?"

    "I've tried everything else!" Mom shouted, slamming her hand on the table. "Maybe being a Pokemon trainer will teach you a bit of responsibility. You'll see how hard it is to take care of another living thing, and maybe it will teach you a bit of respect, too."

    I stared at the ball on the table. It just sat there.

    "Do you at least know what pokemon it is?" I picked it up.

    "I didn't ask," said my Mom. She walked around the table and gave me a hug. "Good luck," she said. "Come back when you've learned your lesson."

    "I might." I said, gripping the pokeball harder. This whole thing was injecting far too much angst into my otherwise upbeat narrative, and with stories (especially written by teenagers) being infamous for being overly dramatic, I knew I couldn't stick around much longer.

    "This is for your journey," my mom said, handing me a backpack full of supplies. "I just know you're going to be the very best, like no one ever was."

    "Yeah, Mom, sure." I said, taking the pack and leaving through the kitchen door, off to adventures untold.

    Like I said, sooner or later, the ocean always wins.
    Last edited by Mcfeegle; 8th February 2011 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Negative Albatross Mcfeegle's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Poketale (WWC)

    Chapter 2

    In some ways, fog was sort of like the ocean. It was huge and surrounding, but you could only see a small part of it at a time. And its wet.

    I was surrounded by fog. This stretch of road was perpetually surrounded by fog. I'd been down it hundreds of times, but I never got used to it. For one thing, I couldn't see the mountains, which really threw off my sense of direction. I had to navigate by staring at what bit of road I could see right in front of me. It was more annoying than scary, but there had been a couple of attacks by wild pokemon recently, and I was wary.

    I thought about the pokeball hanging at my side. It might give me a fighting chance against a wild pokemon, but I still had no idea what it contained and I was sure that the moment I pulled it out I would be attacked. It would be most dramatic that way. I was just grateful that I'd never had a traumatic experience with a pokemon when I was a kid, or it would definitely be that pokemon that attacked me.

    Unfortunately, it seemed that the universe was more in the mood for slapstick. I tripped over a rock, sprawling flat on my face. My pokeball came off of my belt, rolling along the path and out of sight.

    I picked myself up and rubbed my elbow, which had been scraped. I started crawling forward, staying close to the ground so I could look for my pokeball. I followed the path, but I wasn't seeing it. I stood up as I got close to a rope bridge, which stretched across a ravine. I was about to turn around to search the path again when my foot hit something. I looked down just in time to see my pokeball falling off the cliff.

    I cursed and kicked at the dirt. I couldn't go home and tell my mom I had lost my first pokemon before I had even reached Solaceon. She wouldn't let me stop my journey. She'd probably make me take one of Mr. Jensen's chickens instead, and I couldn't see them winning any battles.

    So I carefully eased my way over the cliff and started down. It wasn't a sheer cliff. It was sort of sloped with lots of ledges and plenty of handholds, so climbing it wasn't too hard. Until a few feet from the bottom when I lost my grip and slid the rest of the way. I suppose that was one thing the ocean had going for it. It didn't scrape you up near as much as mountains.

    My pokeball was there at the edge of the river, and I picked it up before it could fall in and cause me more problems.

    That, of course, was when the wild pokemon attacked.

    A rock hit me in the ear. I raised my hand to it and felt something wet. Blood. Another rock hit me in the head and I spun around. It was a Machop, picking up more rocks to throw at me. I'd always thought Machops were sort of creepy, the way they almost looked like little half-lizard children.

    I looked around, trying to figure out what to do. I could climb up the cliff to escape, but I would be pelted my whole way up. The one that hit my ear had done some serious damage, I could tell. I couldn't risk being hit in the head again. I only had one choice.

    "Whatever you are!" I shouted, pulling out my pokeball. "I choose you!" I threw it as hard as I could.

    It glowed and a pokemon appeared. It was a blue cat. . . dog. . . lion. . . thing. It stretched yawned.

    "Attack!" I yelled, hoping it didn't need a more specific order.

    Machop seemed to delight in the new target. It threw a rock at the new pokemon, hitting it in the back. It jumped, letting off a huge flash of light.

    I couldn't see. Bright colors danced at the edge of my vision, which had mostly gone black. Like when you stare at a light for too long and then look away. It was worse than the fog. The only upside was that Machop might have been blinded, too.

    Unfortunately, either it could see or was throwing rocks blindly. One hit me in the shoulder and I lost my balance, falling on my backside. I scrambled to my knees and started feeling around. I discovered that the river was to my right, plunging my hand in freezing cold water. That meant the cliff had to be to my left. I crawled in that direction.

    Another rock hit me in the leg. "Attack!" I shouted. "Attack it, you stupid cat-thing! You're worse than a chicken!"

    I rubbed my eyes, trying desperately to restore my vision. It was improving slightly, and I thought I saw the little pokemon ram itself into the Machop, knocking it over. I blinked a few more times, and I could see the cliff. Possibly well enough to climb it. I had an idea.

    "Pokemon!" I shouted, preparing. "Do that glowy thing again and then run over to me."

    When I opened my eyes again, the Machop had dropped its rocks and was rubbing its eyes. The little pokemon ran over to me and jumped on my shoulder. I started to climb, feeling its claws dig into my shoulder. When I made it to the top, I didn't stop. I practically ran across the bridge and kept going.

    When we emerged into the sun, the pokemon jumped off my back and I collapsed, leaning my back against a rock wall. "Cliffs and wild pokemon and temporary blindness." I said. "Stupid dramatic imperative."

    Now that I wasn't having rocks thrown at me, I took some time to really look at my pokemon. It's back legs were black, with blue paw. It had yellow rings around its front paws, a long blue tail with a yellow tuft at the end, and round ears with tufts of yellow fur sticking out of them. I had absolutely no idea what it was. It looked like it was probably electrical, but that was all I could guess.

    I thought my mom might have given me a pokedex, too, so I searched through my pockets. No such luck.

    "Well, I have no idea what you are so I'm just going to have to name you," I said. "I can't keep calling you pokemon."

    It was jumping around in the grass, batting at dandelion seeds. I stood up and walked over to it. "So should I call you?" I asked. "Are you a boy or a girl?" I reached down to pick it up and it started to glow. "Don't do that again." I closed my eyes and picked it up. "I'm enjoying seeing stuff again."

    I sat down again and put the pokemon on my lap, rubbing its head. It seemed to like it well enough. I opened my eyes. "Twitch your tail once if you're a girl, and twice if you're a boy. Okay?"

    It twitched its tail three times.

    "That's helpful," I said. I watched it for a moment. Its movements seemed sleek and elegant. "You seem too pretty to be a boy," I decided. "If you're male you'd better speak up quick or you'll end up with a girl name."

    It responded by rubbing its head against my hand and making me pet it more."Fine.You're Selena, and there's nothing you can do about it."

    I stood up and brushed the dirt of my pants. I didn't feel like putting Selena back in her pokeball, so I just put her on my shoulder again. "There has been far too much melodrama recently." I said. "When we get to Solaceon, we should completely fail to run into any long-lost siblings or legendary pokemon that have come to take vengeance on humanity."

    "Shii!' said Selena.

    So there I was, with a bleeding head-wound, several bruises, and a brand new pokemon. So far my adventure appeared to be a mix between a soap opera and a slapstick comedy. Perhaps things could only get better from there.

    It was a stupid thing to think. I should have realized that, for my adventure to feel like it had some importance, there would have to be some sort of large danger posed to the world in general, or at the very least my part of it. That meant things were going to have to get far, far worse.

    But it made me feel better at the time, so what can you do?

  3. #3
    ._. Synthesis's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Poketale (WWC)

    Introduction:

    Hmm interesting way to start your story. The use of metaphor in comparing yourself to a mountain, and your mother to the waves of the sea was quite an intriguing way to start off. I could definitely see an image in my mind of waves breaking against a mountain, gradually wearing it away. This is quite good for several reasons. First of all, it's different. I feed on things that are like this as it says so much more about the writer than I would have gotten if you followed the norm.

    It was different enough to be interesting, yet it stall had all the components of an effective introduction, which you commented on in the story. Sure, we know little about the character on a literal level, but if we delve deeper we can learn so much about him. The fact that he's descibed as a mountain tells us how he is sturdy and, quite literally, able to hold his ground. We get even more from the mother being describbed as a wave. She is clearly persistent and she seems to go on endlessly, aswell as she always seeming to get her way when the mountain "caves" in. I'll elaborate on this in the "details" section.

    Now that characters are done, what else should an introduction have? Yes, that's right! They should have some problem or something to move the plot along. You said this intro didn't have one, but it sure did. The son's endless struggle against his mother, for one. We don't know much about it but there is enough there to spark interest from the reader. Is she too harsh with him? Is he rude and ignorant of her needs... or vice versa? Still, it encouraged me to read on which is always good so nice job there!

    Now, for the most part, this intro was done quite well, but I felt that there were some areas that could be worked on in future. I felt you really could have described the characters on a more literal level (read: basic description on looks etc.), and I felt the opening line was a little... off.

    Most stories start with the sea.
    Huh? First off, I don't see all that many starting out about the sea, but I can see why you said this; for making your metaphor(s) more effective later on. Also, I felt this sentence didn't need to be seperated from the rest as it didn't have TOO much of an impact on the story itself. This did irk me a little, but if you work on portraying the characters a little, and watching these minor quibbles, your intro would be near flawless. Right now, it's still really well done, especially for a newer (URPG) writer, so good job. It also hooked me in with those clever metaphors so I wanted to read more.

    Plot:

    This plot wasn't exactly overly complex or too basic, but somewhere in between. I was a little let down that those rich metaphors didn't keep coming as i felt they could have added a little more to the plot, but it was definitely a solid plot for a Simple category 'mon.

    Did the plot continue on with what the introduction started? For the most part, yes, it did. Our principal character was described a little more as we went on, which is good, but what about his mother? She played quite a large role in this, but we still don't really know what she looks like. What about the problematic relationship between mother and son? Was it developed on? Yup, it was. It is quite easy to detect the disappointment she has towards her son from most of what she says.

    "I just don't know what to do with you anymore."
    Here being a fine example. In the end, she forces him into becoming a trainer so that he will mature. Nice job with that. So, like I said before, the plot was solid and it kept up the high-standard from before so *high-five!*.

    Battle:

    The battle wasn't necessarily a 'battle' in the traditional sense of the word. The character asked his Pokemon (a Shinx?) to distract the aggresive Machop with flashes of light so they could escape. The Machop was hurling pebbles at them so there was some contact at least XD. Pokemon battles can be so enjoyable and interesting to read and write so I tend to encourage people to word hard on them, even though the don't play too vital-a-role in the overall story. Battles help to give some action and excitement to a slower story, which helps keep the reader that much more attentive. This story wasn't necessarily slow, but I saw some areas where I felt something lively could help spice it up. A battle would be perfect. You did describe the one attack his Pokemon did (Flash I'm guessing), every time it was executed so well done, but try and add a bit more variety to the battle, in terms of moves mainly. Variety is the spice of life, afterall!

    Length:

    Machop is in the Simple category, so it's advised to aim for about 5,000-10,000k chars. You had 12,000, which is excellent for this level.

    Grammar:

    I have to say for a first story, this was certainly quite a high-standard. It feels quite weird when I can honestly see nothing in the grammar area that even needs some improvement (I even went to the effort of re-reading this just to double-check). The dialogue was fine; you knew how to pull off speech. In other words, you knew where to end a sentence with a comma (,), an exclamation mark (!) and a question mark (?), which is all good.

    The paragraphing was good, but because it's unnatural to have nearly nothing to comment on, I'm going to bring up something that could have been phrased differently at the beginning.

    Most stories start with the sea.
    This sentence would be fine being by itself, like it is now, but by seperating the next sentence (which is linked to this one) it seems a little out-of-context. I propose doing this:

    Most stories start with the sea. Unfortunately, this isn't one of them.
    And then continue the rest in the next paragraph. Another thing you could have done was join these two sentences, as they are interlinked, and make them one more fluid sentence. Like so:

    Most stories start with the sea; unfortunately, this isn't one of them.
    The fact that I'm completely nitpicking pretty much sums up how well the grammar section was, so good job with this as a whole.

    Detail:

    Finally something I can really sink my teeth into. Before going on my little 'lesson', I'd like to just give you a brief intro to this section as you're new to the story section. Details, also known as description, is what really makes up a story. It generally comprises of adjectives, which can help to read to really get a clear mental image of what you're telling. As a whole, this section is very important in my books.

    I'd like to say that your detail part of the story was quite good as a matter-of-fact, but it was a little patchy. There are times when you do your job perfectly and I could actually envisage the foggy mountains or the chickens that were died another colour.

    I followed Mom into our kitchen, which was decorated about how you would expect for a cottage-in-the-mountain kitchen. Wooden table, simple counter, blue-and-white china decorations scattered about around the doilies.
    That sentence is a perfect example of what I'm saying. It really depicts this quaint little kitchen.

    There were other areas that I felt could have used a bit more description. The ones that are most dominant are the two characters that are really developed (the son and his mother. Like I said before, we know little about them. This means they aren't as memorable and the reader WON'T BE ABLE TO VISUALIZE THEM. visualization is the key. You do have the general jist of things, but explain them. Don't be afraid to re-read passages and ask yourself a few things. Can you visualize them? Are they portrayed how you wanted them to be? Now, see it from the readers poin-of-view. If you have any comments/questions/concerns about this, don't hesitate to IM on AIM @ thesyn4, or send me a Private Message on the forum.

    Personal Opinion:

    This was one of your very first stories, if not your first, so I wasn't really expecting an overly high standard of story. The truth is, this was much better than most first stories (and a lot stories of this length in general). You definitely had the grammar near-perfect, an interesting introduction and a good plot. The Simple category isn't too demanding so not much is required. You surpassed your average Simple story, so good job with it.

    Outcome:



    If you write any more of this story, link me. I'd like to see more =D
    Last edited by Synthesis; 12th February 2011 at 02:47 AM.

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