Re: Setting out into the sand: Ready to Grade.
Plot: The plot is a bit scattered around, I think. The Sandslash battle seemed to add nothing to the story except more length; if I hadn’t read it, I would understood the rest of the story just fine. There are small questions here and there that you never answered, such as what Ba-Ba was doing out in the middle of the savanna when she found Ikuto. As an inhabitant of the village, she must surely know about the dangers the savanna has to offer. You also never explain exactly why Ikuto is so set on being a gym leader. Yes, he says he wants to prove his father wrong, but why a gym leader and not simply a trainer? Also, other than the fact that he comes from a wealthy family, I don’t know much about him.
This doesn’t have much to do with plot, but I still feel the need to address it. Can Ikuto walk for miles in that kind of temperature? It strikes me as really unrealistic.
Chocrocove Village and its history, people, and so on were barely touched upon. Why are the villagers so violent against trainers, and if they are so angered, why don’t they just get rid of this challenge? Ba-Ba’s role in the village was never elaborated on, and as for the challenge itself, I don’t know whether it’s some tradition spanning generations or just something Ba-Ba thought of when she was bored. When an event is as monumental as this, the event that Ikuto has worked for throughout the whole thing, you cannot just vaguely explain it in one sentence and leave it at that. It loses its importance and its impact on the reader. Why should I care about this challenge if I don’t even why it’s held in the first place? Why should I care about Ikuto being hurt if I don’t even know why the villagers are angry in the first place?
Introduction: Where is savanna anyway? If Winston could drive Ikuto by carriage to it, does this mean it’s right outside the city? Were they traveling though the savanna and stopped in the middle of it? If the place where your story takes place is not something commonly known (for example, Pallet Town: many will know it’s at the bottom of the Kanto region), it’s your job to inform the reader.
Other than that, you introduced us to your main character, although the information you gave us was scant at best. Yes, you described his clothes, but his hair, eyes, and built were left to me to wonder about. Later on you told us some of his background, but how he became a trainer and how he came to find out about this village and the challenge were never revealed. We do not need to know about the character’s full history, but motives need reasons. Journeys need explanations.
Grammar/Spelling: For a Complex Pokémon, this was very poor. First off, your spacing needs work. Every time someone speaks, you make a new paragraph because if not, the dialogue gets all jumbled up, and it gets hard to keep track on who’s speaking.
Second of all, your dialogue had mistakes, most notably when you didn’t add commas.
You leave your dialogue open like this. You need some kind of stop, whether be it an exclamation mark, question mark, or a period. When there is no dialogue tag involved (no “said, screamed, yelled, asked,” and so on), you always end your dialogue with a period. If there is a dialogue tag, and the situation does not call for a question or exclamation mark, you put a comma:
“You’re great,” the girl told me.
“You’re great.” The girl smiled.
You are also using semicolons wrong. A semicolon is used to connect two complete sentences. For example:
“An Eevee” is not a complete sentence, so the semicolon should not be used. Here, you either put a colon or a comma.
Next to me was my very first pokemon partner; an Eevee.
There was tense switching here and there.
Here, you switched to present tense. There were many instances like these, so be very careful. On top of that, you had some misspelled words.
I prayed that I would have captured the pokemon as I get hit with another Ice Beam….
Description/Detail: Very scant. The only character described decently was Ba-Ba, followed by Ituko. The only surroundings described in detail was the village. The Pokémon were not described at all, and you have to remember that not everybody can remember exactly what each Pokémon looks like. Describing the Pokémon also gets you in the habit of describing everything, which leads to a better painted picture.
Visual description should not be the only description you should use. There was an instance where you said the cave was moist, and you should use more varied description like that. Ituko mentioned that the temperature was draining him, but if would have went into more detail as to how the heat felt, how it drained him, I would have been more sympathetic of his plight. Smell could also tell one about their surroundings. The village, I would imagine, might not smell very nice if it didn’t a have a sewage system. Hearing could help describe the utter silence of the vast savanna.
Battle: It was repetitive. Ru-Ru used Trump Card again and again, and it was the same thing with Smoochum with Ice Beam. Wouldn’t Ru-Ru know TM moves, since Ikuto would be wealthy enough to buy them? How about Smoochum? Would it know Egg Moves from generations of ancestors? The key to a battle is to vary your attacks because a repetitive battle is a boring battle.
There was very little description in the attacks. You say Eevee used Trump Card and that Smoochum took damage. Cue next attack. There was no description as to how the attack hit, as to what kind of damage was done, and as to how the Pokémon recovered. You even said Bite hurt Smoochum because it was part Psychic-type. This is a very frank way of telling the reader that Dark has an advantage over Psychic. Rather than saying it, describe how this attack is more affective than the other attacks Ru-Ru has been dealing.
Outcome: You have a good story here, but I have to say, Beldum not captured! Your grammar, lack of description, and lack of details that ties in the plot together were your downfall. Edit your story with improvements in all three sections, and PM me for a re-grade. ^-^