This is my first story, so I would like any help I can get. Now so I don't get in trouble...
Disclaimer: I do not own anything pokemon related. All pokemon belong to gamefreak and Nintendo.
There are also some parts in which I show pokedex entres for pokemon. I am referencing serebii.net under the black/white pokedex entree.
Chapter 1: First steps (1513 words) [Reviews: 2]
I'm doing this on an iPod with the notes app, so don't expect things to be ordered correctly.
Chapter 2: First Pokemon (1243 words) [Reviews: 1]
I'm using the copy and paste method, and with an ipod I can't scroll up the story text. So that's annoying.
Date:May 27 2013 Chapter:Chapter 1: First steps
First off, welcome to the fics section, hope you continue to write and get better.
As for the story, it's quite short so I won't give a rating yet until more of the story is fleshed out. For the most part there weren't any spelling errors, but there was a slight slip-up in tensing in the third sentence.
For formatting, I would advise a double-newline between paragraphs, and multiple lines of dialogue should be in separate paragraphs, so more spacing.
Also, rule #1 in writing is show, don't tell. For example, for the transition "-Outside of Bayloot Town, in Loreal Forest-", the scene should be described so the reader can visualize the scenery. I see a lot of newer writers doing these kind of transitions when changing location or time in the story, but if you pick up a book, you never see a scene transition like that. A simple paragraph break, perhaps with a horizontal rule would be enough to tell the reader that the scene is changing, and if you describe the scene well.
More description in general would be a good start and would help lenghten the story. First that, then you can worry about showing off the Jethro's personality.
Good luck writing and hope you stick around!
Thank you for your advice, and as for the story being too short, I only sent in the first part of the chapter. I was about to add the rest. I still got a ways to go and it is difficult to express senery in the writing position I'm in right now. Hopefully i can describe it better in the next chapter, when I actually finish it.
Date:Jun 29 2013 Chapter:Chapter 1: First steps
He was around 5'8", dark-brown hair, had green eyes, and was wearing casual blue jeans and a white t-shirt. Character-biography introduction is common to first-timer writing. While there is an argument for ensuring the audience knows what this protagonist looks like in detail, instead of dumping it on us, you could have shown us his awakening ritual and worked in the details (like hair color) when relevant. E.g., "...carelessly combing his dark-brown hair, Jethro rifled through his clothes for his most-comfortable pair of jeans..." That would have fleshed out the scene when we meet our Protagonist rather than rushing through it. Tempo is important; while you don't want to waste reader time with irrelevant words, abbreviating a scene like that makes it seem unimportant and forgettable. Reveal details through the action whenever possible. If you can't it's probably not actually important (yet) or deserves a better presentation than being read off of his ID card. For example, saving them for when you write them on his ID card at the end of this chapter.
"Oh crap! I can't believe I forgot!" Â¶ "Jethro, aren't you forgetting something?" Â¶ Jethro couldn't believe he forgot his jacket. Â¶ "I can't believe I almost left without it." We can't believe it either, unless you are deliberately establishing that Jet's brain shuts down whenever in a rush. Also, Mom should have had the comment about his extensive wear-time with that jacket, not the Narrator, because Mom was there to notice Jet's atypical behavior. Narrator's job is to carry us between conversations and to provide information to the audience that the characters cannot and to provide the non-verbal action, not to interrupt the scenes with pop-up trivia that's really rightfully only part of the Author's (your) knowledge.
"What are be going to do?" Be going to proof-read (and initially typeset) more carefully. F7 is never enough. (I did notice your admission of technical limitations of your current device; acknowledged but not excused. ^_^)
L'oréal Forest takes an hour to get into every morning, but makes you look stunning all day. (I know, probably an accidental pun, but the foundation was laid nonetheless. I'll make-up for it later.)
Shiny pokemon make the fan-fic world go around, don't they? It's like the ratio went from 1 in 8196 to 1 in 8 during the transition to text.
...he stops talking and notices it was... breaking out of past-tense and into present-tense. It's a rare case when the Narrator can get away with a tense shift. This is not one of those times.
Even though it seems like adding a lot of line breaks that turn your text into a noodle stuck to a blank wall, whenever you change speakers, you change paragraphs. (No exceptions.) (Okay, one exception.) (Don't worry about that.) That includes question-answer patterns like the registration process in the final scene of this chapter.
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing you say, and that's good because admission is the first step forward! Aside from some punctuation errors, none glaring (except to readers as picky as myself), you are writing with entry-level competence. What will keep me off of advancing any sort of rating is that you haven't presented anything new here:
â€¢ Oh boy my journey begins today! -- Done to death.
â€¢ Oh no I overslept/forgot/thought-it-was-tomorrow! -- Done to death.
â€¢ Found a hurt pokemon, saved its life, Pokémon GET! -- Done to death. (Yeah, yeah, I've played close to it once, but it was a reveal a few chapters in.)
â€¢ Newbie stumbles into possession of Unique Special Shiny Pokemon MacGuffin. -- Done quite often when excluding lemons from the field.
Because this is Chapter 1 and I've seen plenty of fics become good after first-chapters that made me put on my perfectly neutral :-| face, don't sweat it, I don't think anyone's going to be driven off, but realize that you probably aren't going to hook anyone with this introduction by virtue of its content alone because it's made almost completely from off-the-shelf parts at this point.
Date:Jun 29 2013 Chapter:Chapter 2: First Pokemon
"Jet got the water starter."
...because that's all that happened here. That's not bad but that's not enough...
Another amateur writer issue is not understanding (or disrespecting) what a chapter is. A chapter is part of a story, and it has its own progression. A conflict is introduced, confronted, and partially resolved. It's a little cycle within the overall story's progression. A chapter is not "I write about this much at a time" or "wow, got a whole scene done, better post it!" I recognize that the format (website with a big textbox and a shiny SUBMIT button at the bottom) encourages post-as-you-go, but that's also why a lot of fics come out clunky. This submission should have been the other half of Chapter 1...
Chapter 1's cycle ought to have been thus. Jethro needs his starter pokemon so he can begin his journey, therefore:
â€¢ Conflict: need a starter, don't have one.
â€¢ Confrontation: zigzagoonus interruptus.
â€¢ Partial resolution: Jethro got the pokemon he was given a day later, but is it truly going to help him on his journey? and what about the zigzagoon?
See how that goes? A more complicated story might have wider arcs, where only one step is taken per chapter (or even less frequently) but with a single-threaded story like what you have right now, that's not a concern.
Of course, this is trivial in the sense that the concept of "chapter" is just a mouse-click in digital format, but then again, it's just a page-turn in dead-tree, so what happens is you break your audience's immersion by playing loose with your chapter splits since they're left hanging, stalled in the middle of a cycle. If you want to equate "chapter" with "writing session," that's your choice, but you are dropping a powerful writing tool by stripping "chapter" of its narrative meaning.
The use of the "this is the only one starter I have to offer" mechanic to artificially strip Jethro of choice seems like either a cop-out to avoid putting him to a decision and avoid the usual Rival introduction that always happens about this time in a Journey story, or it is a magnificent maneuver because later you plan to [I'm omitting what I suspect the plan would be because if it isn't what you're planning or if you're not planning anything at all, I'll use it myself sometime because it's a good one; :D] which would be a good way to enter a dramatic twist into the plot.
And, of course, we readers meet yet another pokemon who doesn't want to be emballed, followed by the template "I won't put you in unless I have to" conversation. So few writers allow their pokemon to be pokemon; either they're elevated to human status (an issue which I make the foundation of much of my Pokémon writing) or they descend to "other team members" who are neglected out of battle. I find the middle-ground interesting to write for, but perhaps it's more difficult and that's why few do? (I digress; ignore these ramblings of a grouchy old man.)
"...you will be exiled, and along with that, killed" Wow. Tough room. He better be careful or they might kill him three or four times, feed his body to wild pokemon, and then kill the pokemon.
Because very little happened here, my view hasn't changed. You've got a sturdy-enough foundation here, but only because you are using tried-true tropes. The only points of distinction you've made so far are that Jethro (kinda) started with a wild pokemon and got his official Starter second, and that nobody has written a fic with Oshawott/Zigzagoon as the Protagonist's (apparent) gym-one team.
That alone is kinda neat, but until it develops, we're still just hopping from trope to trope waiting for your story to begin.
I avoid reading existing chapter reviews before I say anything, at the risk of redundancy, to avoid bias. Cyn mentioned your "transition" method as being something you never see. What you wrote, with or without intent and in improper format is essentially what's called a slug line. In their natural format, such as "INT. PROTAGONIST'S HOME - NIGHT", they are perfectly fine for script writing where nothing that isn't vital to line-reading and shooting is permitted. However, you aren't writing a spec script so take Cyn's advice on that. (As you apparently have.)