Sorry this took so long. Gosh, I really hope you’re active, or all of the guilt that made me come back and do this finally will have been for naught.
I really liked the first sentence of your story. It was a feeling I could relate to, but it left me wondering what exactly was on the main character’s mind. He later says that a walk “usually calms him down.” These are great lead-ins to character development, but you didn’t follow through. It turns out that he just doesn’t sleep very well. I was a little disappointed with your introduction because it didn’t keep me wanting to read further. I would have liked to learn a little more about who your character is, because he’s rather flat and faceless right now. However, I can see why you might have left that information out. This was a very short story, and you got right into the action. You did work some character development into his thoughts and reactions, but I think you could have made him more unique.
It was pretty bare, but not bad for a beginning story. Again, my main complaint is that you didn’t develop things very well. You told me that Igglybuff had a scratch, but I don’t think you said anything about how it got there. You also introduce two more characters, but tell me nothing about them. Why are they outside, and what, if anything, do they have to do with the Igglybuff?
One thing that did make me smile to myself when I read it was your character’s realization that Igglybuff was the solution to his problem. It was a nice resolution to one of the problems I didn’t expect to see solved.
This story could definitely have used more detail in a few areas, but I just want to address one problem I noticed:
The male stepped forward into the light, and I could now see that he was around the age of 25, and seemed to be bad…
“Words like good, bad
, pretty, ugly, nice, mean, cute, friendly, old, young, etc., do nothing to help readers fill in the blanks of the picture that’s being presented to them.” – http://kwjwrites.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/vague-words/
That just says it better than I ever could have. “Bad” could mean so many different things. Obviously, you were going for “evil” in this case, but even then, that’s a pretty vague adjective. Using “bad” here is a perfect example of telling rather than showing. Instead of outright telling the reader a character is “bad” or “evil,” describe the character so that your reader will come to that conclusion themselves. For instance, you never told me what the two mysterious people were doing outside. If you had shown them harassing the Igglybuff, I would have come to the conclusion that they are evil, all on my own. That’s what “showing” language is. It allows the reader to infer things about your characters through their actions and words rather than through description by the author.
You could also have described the way the man looked in order to make me form a negative impression of him. For example, if he had beady eyes, a scar on his face, or a haughty stance, I would have disliked him immediately. But because you described very little about the man, I have basically no image of him in my mind.
Consider these five quotes from your story:
1. I felt around for a flashlight, eventually finding one.
2. I walked down the hallway, looked down and around for my shoes, finding my Vans and slipping them on.
3. The 2 people were in darkness, so I couldn’t see who they were, even if they had actual Pokemon, mind you I saw the Pokeballs earlier so I’m guessing they might.
4. Well, that confirms my guess of them having Pokemon…
5. Looks like I’m going to have to battle him.
These sentences each have a similar problem, and it has to do with the tense each was written in.
1. The first half of this sentence makes perfect sense, however, the second half magically switches into the present tense. You need to watch out for things like this. By using the participle “finding” here, you imply that the “felt” and “finding” are happening simultaneously. However, the adverb “eventually” makes it seem as though the character was feeling around for a bit before he found the flashlight. Even if you had omitted the “eventually,” common sense would have made it seem the same way. For this sentence to make sense and sound good, it should be edited to:
I felt around for a flashlight, and eventually found one.
2. This has pretty much the same issue. “Finding” and “slipping” didn’t happen simultaneously with the “walked” or “looked,” so they need to be in the past tense as well to make sense:
I walked down the hallway, looked down and around for my shoes, found my Vans, and slipped them on.
3. Consider the part starting with “mind you…” First of all, your character is directly addressing the reader here, which is generally a bad idea and doesn’t really fit the style of the story. The main problem is the part that says “so I’m guessing they might.” If the character is directly addressing the reader and says “so I’m guessing,” in this case the present tense makes it seem that the character is guessing at the same time as telling the story. But since the story takes place fully in the past, this makes no sense. The correct way to write this (and this entire part of the sentence should really be omitted, in my opinion) is:
The 2 people were in darkness, so I couldn’t see who they were, even if they had actual Pokemon, mind you I saw the Pokeballs earlier so I guessed they might.
4. Again, the character is breaking the fourth wall a little, while breaking into the present tense. It seems this sentence was meant to be in your character’s thoughts, so you should have put it in italics to designate that.
5. Basically, same thing as number four.
Don’t sweat this too much; I’m not taking off points (not that I use a point system, but you get my drift).
Also, you should write out numbers that aren’t excessively long. It’s “two people,” not “2 people.”
7136. Just fine. :)
There’s not too much left to say here. I thought it was well done, although a little short, though I can understand this since your character’s goal was just getting Igglybuff out of there instead of actually defeating the Butterfree. This is acceptable because Igglybuff is a Simple mon, but for anything much harder I’d still have expected a longer battle or at least more of a challenge in the way of saving the Pokemon.
Though this had a few problems, it was a fine effort, and certainly enough to warrant a capture. So, at the risk of being repetitive, Igglybuff captured!
and all that jazz. Good job, and I hope I haven’t just wasted time grading for a member who will never appear again! (even though it’s probably my fault for not doing this sooner….)