There is Something About the First Capture

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  1. #1
    Walking Shadow King_Reis's Avatar
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    Default There is Something About the First Capture

    Quiet. Silence. Calm. All around him there was life, pouring out from every different angle as he crawled through the grass. Taking in all the smells and colors of his vibrant world, he briefly recalled what had brought him here. Reis had lived his entire life as a shut in, a recluse, unaware of the world all around him, unsure that the next step he took would have any measure of safety. "Hikkikomori," they had termed him. It was a constant problem for his parents to have such a problematic child and they tried their best to draw him out, to incorporate him into the world. His dad would sit outside his room and talk about how he had first heard the sheer number of Pokemon in the known world, a simple 150. As time went on, he would tell how things were so simple in those times, but the more they discovered, the wilder the world became. He told of the diabolic Team Rocket, how they had been trounced by a young hero, who now lived alone honing his body and spirit alongside his legendary team.

    Time would flow and eventually Reis would become the man he had become today, mainly due to the presence of the creature beside him. A violet orb surrounded by a thick vapor, with wild eyes and a malicious grin, he owed Gastly the world, and treated him as a precious companion. Their meeting was the turning point of his life, and he would never forget those moments. However, all his brief reminiscing was for naught. The task at hand was that soft rustling just ahead. Bringing his fingers to the rim of his white fedora and pushing it up where he could see clearly he made sure that his target was well within his sights. "Pidgey," he spoke the word softly to himself and his companion, almost caressing the word. "The littlest child can become the grandest hero. A small, unassuming form, just like yours Gastly. However, just as you can become something all the more impressive, so can it. That Pidgey will become the key we need to soar high above the clouds, to take wing across the world as we look for that...." Trailing off he recognized the wheezing laughter of his companion, similar to a mischievous canine sidekick from the old cartoons. Gastly was not taking his speech seriously. That was their relationship though. Gastly was more of a prankster than anything, and Reis' speeches tended to get a bit corny. Of course, this was because he had not quite gotten used to talking regularly in the outside world. So, he closed his lips together and stood, taking a slap at Gastly's form in retribution. The trickster pokemon simply continued his laughing as he phased to the other side of his trainer. Of course, their little play did not go unnoticed, as the tiny bird pokemon lifted it's head over the grass and it's eyes met Reis'.

    Tilting his fedora over his eye he made a quick motion to Gastly and the laughter ceased immediately. Even though the orb liked to play, it knew that when it was time to battle, there was time for play and time for fear. This time, Reis wanted to spook the little Pidgey into submission, and it had just the strategy to do so. "Lick," was the one word out of his mouth, the voice that came out slightly more steady than the dreamy one that had chalked up that little speech. Gastly's attack path did not falter as it let it's tongue lull out almost comically, rocketing straight towards it's intended victim. They always said nature knew how to protect it's own, and this little bird knew how to use the nature around it. Fighting the fear it turned and began to run, it's feet scratching at the ground, kicking up dirt and splashing it into the eyes and mouth of the approaching foe. While he did try to avoid it, the gaseous orb flew out of the cloud of dirt and dust spitting and shaking it's head furiously to get the sand out of it's eyes and mouth. Reis dusted his grey blazer off as some of the dust had managed to get on him, but he had had enough distance to step out of the way of the cloud that had messed with his companion's sight. Wasting no time, he turned his attention to the floating orb as it recovered and issued the command again, "Lick." The goal here was not to harm the small creature this time. He understood that weakening it would make the capture easier but he preferred to mess with his opponents senses, it's perception of reality itself. Taking his cue from the simple command, Gastly dive bombed the tiny bird once more, and the young Pidgey realized it was running short of options. With little elsewhere to go in the grass surrounding it, the bird backed itself up and waited for Gastly to get just within reach, before it reared it's head back and then followed with a fierce thrust, it's beak aiming straight for Gastly's outstretched tongue. There was something to be said for how the gaseous orb used it's incorporeal body so skillfully, and as the beak almost pierced his tongue, it moved it out of the way and licked a trail up the side of the beak and over the bird's head.

    Clearly traumatized by the assault, the bird's eyes seemed to understand that it was cornered by this terrible thing, but it was not done yet. As Reis uttered the command "Hypnosis," the last bit of survival instinct kicked in and the bird began to frantically beat it's wings. The air began to swirl in a terrifying vortex that began to close the space between Pidgey and Gastly, increasing in size before the former launched the Whirlwind at the latter. Again, Gastly's crafty personality showed itself, as it began to ride the outer edge of the vortex, it's misty glow almost being pulled inside. Using the vortex as a slingshot, it rode the circulation twice before it launched itself right in front of the Pidgey and locked eyes, an eerie tint glazing over as it pulled away it's enemy's strength and left only weariness. Reis thought it a done deal, but the Pidgey seemed to continue to fight. Yes, this would be a worthwhile acquisition, and he would be proud if this creature became his companion. Sliding his hand to his bag, he grabbed a Poke Ball and reared back to throw it, waiting for the tell-tale sign of Hypnosis' effects. As the Pidgey nodded off, the entire weight of it's body sending it to the side, he launched the ball, his Gastly hovering out of the way. As the ball flew, it popped open, and the magic of the device began to work as it made it's way towards the Pidgey, that tell-tale glow emanating from within.

    Re-done and ready for grading. Why do I feel so rusty....

  2. #2
    'Lax in lederhosen Elrond 2.0's Avatar
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    Default Re: There is Something About the First Capture

    Introduction:

    I really liked your introduction. The way you wrote set up a really mysterious, even creepy mood. Reis’ point of view, even though it’s shown from the third person perspective, is very vivid, and it really drew me in. There’s one section of your introduction that I’d like to talk about, though, because I personally didn’t think it fit so well:

    His dad would sit outside his room and talk about how he had first heard the sheer number of Pokemon in the known world, a simple 150. As time went on, he would tell how things were so simple in those times, but the more they discovered, the wilder the world became. He told of the diabolic Team Rocket, how they had been trounced by a young hero, who now lived alone honing his body and spirit alongside his legendary team.
    The reason I don’t think it fit was that it was too specific. I know, that may sound strange, but hear me out. From the part of the paragraph preceding this excerpt, the reader learns that Reis has some sort of mental problem. I don’t know if you’ve ever read The Sound and the Fury, but Reis immediately reminded me of the character Benjy from that book in terms of the way he views things. In other words, sensory stimulation is highly important, while specific things (like the exact words someone says) might not mean so much. Basically, I felt that it would’ve fit the mood of the paragraph better if you hadn’t mentioned the things Reis’ father said and rather focused on the sensory images Reis had of his parents. In other words, how did his father make Reis feel when he was telling stories. Because it seems like it shouldn’t be the story that matters so much to Reis as opposed to, say, the comforting tone of his father’s voice.

    Don’t worry, that’s not gonna affect my grade negatively, I just thought it was something important to point out that might help you with your writing. It’s something to think about, anyway.

    Plot:

    Aside from the backstory, this was a pretty simple plot. Reis finds a Pidgey and tries to catch it. There was so much backstory, however, that I was disappointed when you didn’t develop it into the plot. For example, why was meeting Gastly the turning point of Reis’ life, and could you have made that effect the actual plot somehow? See, if you create an elaborate past for a character, and it doesn’t effect the way they act or the events of the story in a profound way, then Reis could just be a regular trainer with a Gastly who goes out to find a Pidgey, and just happens to have a mental disorder. Not very story-worthy. Your reader wants to know why the mental disorder matters, so you need to be asking yourself the same question and giving the answer. Otherwise, why bother?

    On the same token, this story really didn’t have a single plot twist. Sure, the mental disorder is something that pops up all that often, but again, if it doesn’t have a profound effect on the plot, it doesn’t make much difference. I’m assuming this is probably part of a series, so I can understand why you might leave some stuff out. Just remember that if you’re writing a series, each plot should be able to stand on its own while connecting to the rest of the story.

    Description/Detail:

    I already mentioned that I liked the way you described things in the introduction. You had a knack for describing the way Reis saw things and using piles upon piles of detail. However, you did tend to go a little bit overboard in places. The one point I’ve got in mind is the last paragraph, which was half about the Hypnosis attack, while Pidgey’s Whirlwind didn’t even get a sentence to itself. Does Hypnosis really require that much detail? However, overall you did a good job with description; just remember that sometimes, less is more if you can pick out the right adjectives and verbs so that you don’t need to get so wordy.

    Grammar/Spelling:

    You really didn’t have any problems with this. There was one really awkward sentence I’d like to point out, though.

    The air began to swirl in a terrifying vortex that began to close the space between Pidgey and Gastly, increasing in size before the former launched the Whirlwind at the latter.
    It’s not grammatically incorrect, but it just sounds really weird to me. I think it was the bolded part that really sounded strange. There wasn’t really any indication that Pidgey was planning to use a Whirlwind attack beforehand, so ‘the’ isn’t the right article there. Also, like I said earlier, I really think the Whirlwind attack deserves its own sentence. Otherwise, you disrupt the flow because the reader’s gonna stop and do a double take because this sentence doesn’t sound quite right.

    Length:

    A little on the short side, but enough.

    Battle:

    Hmm. Your descriptions were very detailed, but Gastly only used two attacks. Generally battles should be a bit longer, i.e. more attacks. However, since this story was only aiming to catch a Pidgey, I suppose the battle doesn’t really have to be all that long. For the future, just remember that Pokemon are usually have quite a bit more stamina then in the games. Also, battles should not distinctly be dominated by one Pokemon, either. Gastly seemed to have a large advantage from the get-go, and Pidgey didn’t really get the chance to retaliate. The way you described the scene made this less of an issue, because of the fear aspect, but I just wanted to let you know for your subsequent stories.

    Overall:

    For a simple Pokemon, I’ll say Pidgey captured! Just think about my advice, and I’m sure you’ll do fine. You seem like a very good writer. Keep writing!

  3. #3
    Prince of All Blazikens! Magikchicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: There is Something About the First Capture

    I'd like to add my own two bits' worth... xD

    I thought that each paragraph (and hence each topic) flowed quite well into the next, especially at the beginning. You went from a 'hint' or 'summary' of the current situation, to some character backstory, to a description of his Pokémon, back into the current situation, without making me feel like there was even a change of topic at all. As far as 'flow' and the smoothness of the writing went, this was extremely good, in my opinion.

    Also, the descriptions are very well-chosen, as Elrond pointed out. Colors were given when necessary-- such as Reis's white fedora, or Gastly's purple, gaseous body-- as well as enough adverbs and adjectives that at no point was I left asking, 'but what KIND of (noun)?'

    As to the matter of the mental handicap, I happen to disagree with Elrond. There are types of handicap that are like the one he described-- where feelings are more important than the words people speak-- but I get the distinct feeling that Reis's particular personality quirk is of the exact opposite kind: There are people for whom particular social cues, such as people's emotions or body language, are difficult to interpret or notice.
    I have some knowledge of this because I personally have Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning (a.k.a. very mild) form of mental 'disorder'-- related to autism. Asperger's is best described as a personality trait that entails requiring conscious effort to notice the more subtle social cues, and perhaps being less centred on the feelings and perceptions of others. Instead, people with this personality quirk tend to view the world more from an 'intellectual/logical' point of view, putting more, rather than less, importance on words and explicit statements. For instance, I (tend to) only come to understand someone's feelings about a matter when they explicitly explain to me 'This is what I think about ___,' rather than figuring it out for myself from the fact that almost all of their friends are people who are like-minded about that particular concept.
    This is why I, to some extent at least, understand why the content of Reis's dad's stories was emphasized rather than Reis's impression of his father. It's not that his dad doesn't matter to him-- it's that the thing he focused on most was what his father was saying.

    I hope that makes sense. All in all, I agree with Elrond's decision to have you successfully catch the Pidgey. ^_^ I'm not a grader, not yet at least, I'm just adding my own opinion because I liked the story.
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  4. #4
    I Invented the Pidgeot SiberianTiger's Avatar
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    Default Re: There is Something About the First Capture

    It's usually frowned upon to post in another person's story thread unless you are a grader. Just so you know.

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  5. #5
    Prince of All Blazikens! Magikchicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: There is Something About the First Capture

    Oh... Sorry. I like commenting on stories I like, but I'll try to hold off in future. My bad. >_<
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