D: [/slaps self on wrist] Yeah, the amount of time it took me to find the opportunity to finish this… was pathetic. More than pathetic, considering that I wrote the beginning of this note last month. EMBREON/GALLEON, YOU SHOULD GLARE MENACINGLY AT ME DURING WAGES. Although my attempt at not swamping newbie URPGers may have been a success, the length of time it took = fail.
It’s functionable. Probably not the most original Pokémon-related intro to strike the pages, but it still works
—everyone loves a good battle, and opening with a line that promises one will pull in a reader, simply because they want to know who gets knocked out first. In a shorter work like this, a battle hook—although not, perhaps, the most earth-shattering concept—does its job. So. Pass
. Keep in mind, for future works that have more length and substance to them, that you’ll probably find yourself needing something with a bit more zing; this is effective, yes, but not the most
effective. For your first story, nice job, because you did
manage to interest me.
This was… standard. It’s your first URPG fic, and it’s only for a simple ‘Mon, so it’s fine, but, as a general rule, trainer fights a battle then wanders into woods and captures wild Pokémon is an automatic “no” for a plot, unless it’s so twisted by quirks that it’s unrecognizable (in which case it… wouldn’t be trainer-woods-Pokémon). Even for the trainer-woods-Pokémon, it was rather twist-less—although your battles were nice, so :).
Watch yourself here, and perhaps put some more effort into conceiving a more intriguing plot. You did quite well on giving me a picture into your character and his situation; that situation, however, is what lacked a certain gravity of “wow, I’ve never seen this before.” There was nothing particularly eye-popping about your character—his personality, his situation, his goals… all were pretty much cookie-cutter Pokémon fic stuff. As I said, that works for something this short, especially as it’s your first, but try to put some more thought into your future works.
For the most part, your grammar was fine. All you need to watch out for is dialogue tagging/a few things with comma usage (although you did confuse “your”/ownership form of you and “you’re”/you are once or twice). These are all pretty common mistakes.
A quick guide to dialogue tags:
“That fish just ate your foot,” said Hobbes.
“That fish just ate your foot!” said Hobbes.
“That fish just ate your foot?” asked Hobbes.
“That fish just ate your foot,” Hobbes said, not appearing to actually care. (dialogue tag + subordinate clause with description) → “The fish just ate your foot.” Hobbes didn’t seem to care. (no tag, entirely separate sentence with description)
The basic rules: If you’re following dialogue up with a s/he said, you never use a period. EVUR. Exclamation points and question marks are fine, but the comma is what you’re going to want to use the majority of the time. This is the reason for the next rule, which is that you don’t capitalize the first letter of the dialogue tag (unless said first word is a proper noun). The previous sentence is continued, not ended, so no new capital letter is necessary. This don’t-capitalize rule even applies when using exclamation points or question marks.
would actually be…
Your grammar is a lot better than that of many. There’re some flow/sentence structure things (mostly related to comma use), but when you start to sort out the more technical grammatical functions that I’ve mentioned, some of the more nuanced conventions will start working themselves out. Just focus on the stuff I dealt with. Good job here. :D
You had a nice balance of description methods, and look like you know where to place
description. As a writer, you’ve got a nice start on forming strong imagery and description. I’d like to help you strengthen what you’ve got, really, because you’re efficiently leading into building up strong descriptive methods.
There, standing in front of them, was a small, green Pokemon with six yellow legs and two red fangs.
This passage highlights both your strengths and weaknesses in description. As I said, you have a good basic idea of what can be described and where to describe it. The description itself gives a picture, especially as a later bit mentions that Spinarak is spider-shaped.
However, this picture is pretty… vague. I mean, think about it. If I told you that my sister was purple, would you be able to form a mental image of her? That’s the first thing, really. Color, in and of itself, is probably one of the most useless descriptive methods in existence. Words like “green,” “yellow,” and “red” don’t really even give me a shade mental image. Green as an evergreen in the summer? Green as semi-dead grass? Green as vomit floating in the porcelain depths of a toilet bowl? There is nothing wrong with using color imagery; just be careful with it, and try to give it a more specific form in the reader’s head. Watch adjectives, really—“small” could mean “small as a breadbox” or “small as the dead mouse under my bed.”
Next up would be the “legs and fangs” bits. I, being the sort of horrible type that I am, immediately get this mental image of this massive, hairy spider with gnarled, sickly-looking yellow legs and huge fangs glistening with venom and dried blood. ...But Spinarak is actually really cute, and not scary in the least. As a writer, it’s your job to give specifics in details that paint the picture you
want the reader to see. With the details you have here, I don’t know what you want me to see. Let’s say you want me to think it’s cute (which I would argue that it is). You could say that Spinarak is, perhaps, so small that it seems nearly impossible that it’d want to harm someone. Or maybe mention that those fangs are rather benign and stunted-looking—not threatening in the least. Of course, Spinarak also has this adorable face pattern on its back, so you could mention that. Obviously, you don’t want to give too many specifics, as that bogs down the writing—but if you’re going to describe something, describe it as efficiently as possible.
Overall, you did a pretty darned decent job for a first story, and I can definitely see that you’ll be capable of producing some strong writing after more honing of your skills.
There was quite a nice attack pattern in both of your battles; there’s not much to say here, really, because the majority of your improvement in battles is more going to come through making them more relevant to a grander scheme of plot (rather than making
them the plot) and adding some stronger description.
When the Spinarak and Yanma collide and crash into a tree? Tell me that splinters flew everywhere, or that the tree kinda groaned with the impact—it’ll make the reader clue into the battle a bit more. Same goes for pretty much all of the actions occurring in the battle. More description, stronger description, stronger images…. I’d recommend that that should be your main focus for writing URPG battles, at this point.
I’m going to give you the Spinarak capture
. This piece has a lot of the weaknesses in style and concept that come with being a newer writer, but you’ve also shown that you put some effort into the writing process—even considering the “standard-ness” of the plot, there was work apparent in the writing. Your main concern for writing in URPG in the future is going to be coming up with something a little more original, plot-wise, and further honing the basis of your descriptive technique. Were this not a first story, I believe I might have been a bit more hesitant to hand out the Spinarak, simply because of the plot.