This really caught my attention, conceptually. The idea was interesting, and drew me in, which is definitely what you want in an introduction. However, you also want the tone of an introduction to suit the subsequent story, especially if it’s told in first person. It seemed that the level of introspection present in these ideas didn’t carry through to the rest of the character’s thought processes. While, yes, there are places where that sort of pondering isn’t going to suit the story, it is something that shouldn’t completely disappear. Matters like this that have to do with worldview, especially, are something that should linger beneath the surface of the character’s observations.
Bringing up a theme so early is also going to alert the readers to it early, which means they’ll be looking for it. It seemed to phase out, a bit, and I would say that from the writing passage alone, your subject doesn’t seem like it’ll be “death” so much as “Pokémon.” If it’s going to be both, you should be more careful to merge the two right off the bat—even in something that’ll be continued, you can’t let it disappear much.
So, rundown: borderline pass, because while you introduced the character and setting, and did it in an interesting way, the rest of the piece seemed to lack the consistency of these ideas. Introductions shouldn’t be thrown away.
This is more a “premise” than a full plot, at this point, so I’ll deal with it as such. I like the idea, on a superficial. You left a lot of holes in a lot of places—not just plotwise, but character-wise. While, yes, this is a prologue and not everything needs to be explained, this is first person past. The character knows what’s happening, now, so you should try to give us a little more leverage. It almost seems that you should have gone past the capture and concluded the piece, just to clarify some of the things that needed explanation. That, or perhaps the British chick’s role in the plot could have been hinted at, instead of left completely ambiguous—perhaps she could have made more insightful comments about the odd paradox of Pokémon in the real world, or made some aside about why she’s there. Point being, though, I don’t really feel like this prologue gave enough information to properly launch the plot. Some mystery is good, but there has to be enough substance to actually prove to the readers that we have a complete, well-thought-out story on our hands. You left too many questions and not enough coherence.
So, as this is a prologue, some of the questions you’ll need to be careful to answer are:
1. Why are Pokémon suddenly in this girl’s life?
2. What is this girl’s name?
3. What is the other girl’s name?
4. Pokémon-tomb raiding connection. WHERE IS IT.
5. Foreigner in an obscure Egyptian ruin that archaeologists probably don’t visit that much, much less tourists. Why?
6. What are the political factors that allow the protagonist to do her “tomb raiding” thing without being interrupted by police?
You probably have answers to most of these. Answering two, five, and six right off the bat could help things out. Hinting at four is definitely prudent. One and three, you should just have a plan for. I assume you do, but I shouldn’t have to assume
—I should know, from how you phrase things, what you describe, little hints you drop. To make a mystery tantalizing, we have to know a little something about it.
All that said, you have yourself a pretty nice premise, here.
Youuuuu have minor grammar errors. Mainly just comma and sentence construction stuff. It’s less grievous, but it’s harder to correct. You tend to omit necessary commas and, alternately, use commas when a greater degree of clause separation is necessary.
Why are people afraid of dead people? And graveyards. Or mausoleums, why are people afraid of mausoleums? And crypts. People are afraid of tombs too. Then there are catacombs, people are afraid of those. Are people afraid of natural history museums? There are a bunch of dead things in there. Old bones, skinned and stuffed animals, frozen Neanderthals; hell, there are more dead things in “The Pharaoh’s Natural History Museum” in Cairo, than any mausoleum or crypt or catacomb on the planet. If I buried a chicken bone in the sand would people be scared of it?
In this paragraph, you have three missing commas and two clauses linked by commas that need to be replaced by em-dashes… or rearranged for semi-colon/colon/period incorporation.
Missing commas. As a general rule, if some element of the sentence is unnecessary to the main clause, it’s offset by commas. (Adverbs and adjectives are a logical exception to this rule.) So, “tombs, too” “‘Museum,’ in Cairo,”… These are interruptions to the sentence flow, so you need commas. Look out for little things like this—you forget to comma them a lot.
The third comma… “If I buried a chicken bone in the sand,
would people be scared of it?” This is a less sensible rule. In a non-if-question-y form, this sentence is two independent clauses. You’d normally have to link it with a semi-colon. The “if” makes the first clause dependent, though. However, it is
a separate clause, so it needs a comma to pull the whole thing together.
“Or mausoleums, why are people afraid of mausoleums? And crypts. People are afraid of tombs, too. Then there are catacombs, people are afraid of those.”
The “or mausoleums” and “catacombs” sentences can’t be grammatically correct with ust a comma. It’s not a full-on comma splice, because “or mausoleums” isn’t a complete clause… but at the same time, the opening phrases lead in a different thought direction than the closing pieces. There needs to be a higher level of grammatical separation between them. You could put a period after the “then there are catacombs” bit; that’d seem a bit chopped off, to me. An em-dash is the way to go (it can be used to connect two independent or two dependent clauses, and various combinations, into a complete, grammatically correct sentence), for me. You might also like a colon after catacombs. Colons are used for cause-effect, increasing complexity, and the introduction of lists, generally. You could employ the second mode, there. There’s also the ellipsis (…), although that tends to be weaker writing.
The ruins of old Aswan were now just a bunch old tan sandstone arches all lined up in a row, the ceiling that connected them was removed by time.
This sentence is another example of the same thing, although it’s a blatant comma splice. Two independent clauses like this must
have a “stronger” degree of grammatical connection.
Point being, when you have a sentence that changes grammatical idea and direction, or is a simple conglomeration of independent clauses, use the em-dash, or the semi-colon/colon (the last two, only when appropriate).
You did work to incorporate basic images—the ruins of Aswan, the anatomy of the Pokémon—but you didn’t really make the details matter. The purpose of imagery is to build atmosphere and imbue sights and occurrences with meaning, not just to show readers pictures. The only place you really gave a feel
to your descriptions was when you described the Pokémon.
The blur took shape. It looked somewhat like a bat crossed with a scorpion, with large purple claws on its from legs and a long tail, with a curved spine. Its head was large, almost completely covered with two large eyes and pointed ears. It had a long wing on each armpit, that allowed it to remain airborne. It stared at the cat, its singed tail, with its curved pincer poised to strike.
Most of that is kinda “oh, cool. Yup.” The last sentence, though, makes the Gliscor scary. You should work on adding this “idea” to the rest of the imagery. A bat and a scorpion—creepy in concept, but not in presentation. Is the stinger dripping with poison? Do its wings flutter with that hollow, kindof disturbing leathery sound? Are its eyes glinting, hungry? You should probably go for something less cheesy, :P, but the principle remains. You want this thing to be odd and frightening, it seems, from how your protagonist talks about it. But at the same time, if she feels that way, it’s because she’s noticed certain things about it that freak her out. Show me not what those things are, but why they scare her—without saying, “ITS BIG SCARY PINCER DRIPPED AND IT REALLY FREAKED ME OUT” ‘r something.
Similar concept should be applied to your scenery. Don’t just show me the crumbling columns. Talk about the dust blown on the wind, whipped up into miniature sandstorms—or the heated, windless air that makes the protagonist’s skin feel too tight. Give some sort of impression about the setting, not just the specifics of the setting itself.
Because you didn’t really give relevance to your details, a lot of them felt like they broke up the flow of the story without contributing anything. SO WATCH OUT FOR THAT.
Not too shabby. The reactions of the Pokémon to their wounds added a nice dimension of “description” to it. The action was more or less interesting, although you kindof killed the climax with the last paragraph—even with the disturbing last sentence. I feel like you should have taken more advantage of the protagonist’s emotions throughout
the battle, and not just at the conclusion. I mean, it must look weeeeiiirrdddd. Some more insight on that front could have “made” the battle.
Two posts. You’re good.
I sounded a bit down on this, but not because I didn't like it. It just kinda happened in the course of the grade. I’m actually going to give you Gliscor Captured
. The plot was at a perfect level of complexity for a Medium Mon, and you did indeed have details. If this were a Hard capture, I probably would have made you build up the plot consistency a bit more—but it’s not. You should definitely consider what I’ve said for future pieces, as the reason I said it in the first place was because it is, indeed, relevant.