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Review Game!

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by Wings, May 9, 2018.

  1. Wings

    Wings Dragon Tamer

    Jun 11, 2017
    Hi! So for those of you who saw this post in the Creative Zone (@Barandofl @Laserdragon14 @BraviaryScout @StOwl and @Nova Ozuka!), you already know this is a review game.
    Here are the rules:

    1. You post an excerpt from your story/work that must be longer than 10 words, but less than 5,000 (poems are welcome too!) inside a spoiler.
    2. BUT...before you post your own writing, you must review the person directly above you with helpful, specific critique. Make sure you let the person know their strengths and their weaknesses, and what exactly you notice in their writing (figurative language? Grammar issues? Flowing sentence structure?)
    3. When you post your excerpt, provide some context if it's from the middle of your story. Also provide details on your concerns about your writing!

    Here's an example:

    Context: A flashback where Sol, a boy who studied abroad in Unova, reflects on how he met his best friend Piper.
    Concerns: I'm mostly worried about whether or not this flashback seems boring or not. I also want to know if it makes sense--sometimes I rush the pacing of a story too much, and end up leaving out essential details.
    Sol could still remember the first day he’d met Piper.

    It had been his first week at Striaton Academy, a private pokémon school for the elite. Several students had only made it in on account of the heaping sums of money in their bank accounts, while others knew a friend who knew a friend who knew the dean of admissions, using their status to weasel their way into the academy.

    Sol considered himself a mixture of the two categories, though he hadn’t known it at the time. There was a third category of students, entirely independent of the first two, where he had thought he belonged.

    They were the students admitted for their competency.

    Piper had been one such student, who took multiple entrance exams to prove her aptitude. Not only had she passed the written exams, she had also passed the practical battle tests with flying colors. After careful consideration, the dean of admissions had allowed Piper and a few other middle class candidates to attend Striaton Academy.

    Sol, on the other hand, had hardly any battling experience. His Alolan accent had intrigued several other students at first, as did his financial status, but once they had discovered his weakness, battle classes became a nightmare.

    “What’s the point of having so much money, if you can’t even hold your own against a patrat?” they’d ask. “Why would anyone even bother keeping a pokémon who can’t battle?”

    Several students had no problem with him in the hallways, but once practical battle came around, they avoided him like he was a zubat in a cave. That was, until Piper had come along.

    Practical battle class had just ended, sending a stream of sweaty students down the halls. Sol had stood next to his locker, keeping an eye out to make sure his pokémon didn’t wander too far.

    “Hey, what’s this boy’s name?” Piper had trotted up to him in her unkempt uniform, splattered with dirt from a particularly intense terrain class, kneeling down to pet his only pokémon, a rockruff. “He looks super cool!” Most rockruff bore mild brown coats and clear blue eyes, but Sol’s rockruff had donned sleek blue fur.

    “His name is Rocky.”

    “Why don’t you ever use him in battles?” Piper had tilted her head curiously, standing so she could dust off her skirt. “Oh. Are you one of those trainers?” Worry had pooled in her dark eyes. “I knew there were some trainers who only kept pokémon like these as lapdogs, but...”

    “He’s not a lapdog,” Sol had said quietly, gently steering Rocky away from the girl with his foot. “He can’t battle.”

    “I’m sorry. What happened? Do you need to take him to a pokémon center?”

    “He’s been inbred to get this color. I adopted him from a rescue shelter not so long ago.” A strained pause followed, before Sol followed up with: “He’s got a couple health defects in his lungs, so he can’t battle.”

    “I’m sorry.” The repeated apology had seemed genuine that time, as Piper had gazed at him with determined eyes. “Still, that doesn’t change the fact that you need a battling pokémon, does it? And especially at this school—come on, I’ll catch you something temporary during lunch break!”

    Lunch break is only a half-hour away. Sol had scooped Rocky into his arms, clutching the panting pokémon tight to his chest. I think I can stand to make a new friend for the next thirty minutes.

    Piper turned out not to be his friend for thirty minutes, but for four years. She had been the only reason he passed practical battling with a B minus, even though she was two years younger. Now, the fact that she was moving to Alola filled Sol with joy to the point where he felt he would burst if he had to wait any longer to show her around the region. It was his turn to make Piper feel welcome.
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  2. Nova Ozuka

    Nova Ozuka Team Crimson

    Jan 11, 2017
    @Wings: I'm no expert so sorry if I'm not much help, but I'm not really seeing anything wrong with it other than what Pokémon Piper caught for Sol is left unmentioned, but I'm sure it will be mentioned elsewhere, which will be fine. It does seem a little short though, but it works. Sure as heck beats it basically dragging on forever, speaking of my own experiences with writing.

    That being said, I suppose my turn is next. What I'm posting here is an unfinished chapter for Pokémon Resonance. My main concern is that I'm stuck and it's unfinished, which makes me worry that I will never finish the story as I've been stuck here longer than I can remember.

    Zero has the ability to understand Pokémon as will as detect their emotions, as a result I keep the Pokémon lines translated. Shade and Zephyr both escaped from a lab that experimented on them. Finally, Rio, Zero's Riolu possesses an ability I call Trance due to having played part way through Final Fantasy Explorers. Trance is a reaction that takes place when Rio is exposed to a Pokémon similar to a Shadow Pokémon. When Trance occurs, he temporarily evolves into Lucario, but loses control over his actions and his body basically just moves on its own. I think that should be enough context, so...

    Zero and Co finally set foot at the entrance of Union Cave. There, Zero tied an Escape Rope onto the signpost and kept the rest coiled around his arm. “Alright, we’re all set. If we get lost, we can double back to our rope as long as we stick together,” he told Cia, Shade, and Kalea as the rest of the Pokémon were safely in their Pokéballs.

    “Then let’s get moving,” Kalea responded. Zero took Cia’s hand and walked into the cave with her with Shade and Kalea following close behind. Zero frowned at the darkness ahead. He couldn’t really see too far in front of him.

    “Hey, Shade, take the lead from here. You can see better than we can,” he told the Umbreon. “Come to think of it, you’ve been through here once already, Kalea. Think you can lead us through to Azalea Town?” he then asked the Alolan girl.

    “It took me a whole day to get through here. We’ll just get lost if I lead,” she replied.

    “I think we’ll get lost anyway. After all, you’re the only one out of us who has been through here,” Zero pointed out as they followed Shade into the cave.

    “Fair point, but what made you choose to go through here to Azalea Town?” Kalea asked.

    “It was this or pass through Goldenrod twice. I don’t want to take my chances in Goldenrod More than once, and I’m thinking of just flying over Ekruteak once I have the Olivine and Cianwood Gym Badges,” Zero explained. “Of course by the time I’m ready for my seventh badge, I’ll probably be ready to take on Charlemagne head on.”

    “Sounds like a good plan,” Kalea nodded.

    “So, I already told you my story. What’s yours?” Zero asked.

    “It’s not much, but I grew up in the city on Melemele Island. Then one morning, while I was on the beach, I found a Z-Ring in the water. My eleventh birthday was coming up, so I decided right then and there to take the Island Challenge. After I got Kaihana and Roto, I took on my first trial. So far all of the trials have been pretty interesting. You’ll have to try the Island Challenge if you come to Alola,” Kalea told Zero.

    “I’ll think about it after I finish my Johto Gym Battles,” Zero replied.

    “About that, what made you pick Johto over Kanto? I mean, New Bark Town is pretty close to the border,” Kalea pointed out.

    “Unfortunately, it’s too dangerous to cross the border for inexperienced trainers,” Zero mentioned.

    “(Funny, Zephyr and I didn’t seem to have any trouble. But then again, we were probably at least half way across it to begin with, and it did involve getting capture by Charlemagne,)” Shade commented.

    “Oh yeah, I suppose trashing that lab will come before any trip to Alola too. Can’t have the people that did this to you to keep doing whatever they want, now can we?” Zero asked. Shade shook his head.


    “What the heck was that?” Zero asked.

    “(That roar belongs to an Onix. I remember it from when I was with Carol back in Kanto,)” Shade answered.

    “An Onix?” Zero questioned.

    “Bzzzt! Thatzzzt my cue!” Roto exclaimed as he displayed Onix’s data on his Pokédex screen. “Onix, the Rock Snake Pokémon. Onix tunnels under the ground at over 50 miles per hour, which causes tremors. It’s stone body becomes hard as diamond as it grows.”

    “Almost 29 feet? That’s massive!” Zero commented.

    “Uhh maybe we should turn around,” Kalea suggested nervously.

    “Nah, between Rose, Liefa, River, Kaihana, and Rio we can take it easily,” Zero pointed out. Then a high-pitched howl came from within the cave.

    “That was a Rockruff!” Kaihana exclaimed in recognition. Roto promptly switched Pokédex pages.

    “Rockruff, the Puppy Pokémon. Rockruff are known for their exceptional sense of smell and will never forget an odor it has smelled even only once. They are considered a good Pokémon for beginners because of their friendliness, but they grow violent and aggressive as they mature. They rub the rocks against others as a sign of affection,” Roto explained.

    “One must have followed my family here from Alola,” Kalea deduced.

    “Whatever the case, it must be in trouble. Come on!” Zero told everyone. They began running through the cave, the sounds of battle reaching their ears as they approached. They arrived in time to see the Rockruff crash to the ground with a yelp.

    “(W-Why are you doing this?)” the Rockruff asked her attacker. As the Onix towered over the Puppy Pokémon, Zero felt something very familiar and very wrong about that Onix as he reached for Rio’s Heal Ball.

    “That’s enough!”

    “Ursula, use Brick Break!”

    Just as Zero had called out to gain the Onix’s attention, an Ursaring of all things leapt toward the Onix’s head with a glowing fist. As Ursula punched the Onix in the side of its jaw, it fell over. The Ursaring’s trainer was a boy older than Zero with spiky red hair, green eyes, a yellow vest and a blue headband. He wore strange machine on his left arm. “Go, Pokéball!”

    Much to Zero’s horror, the boy had chosen to throw a Pokéball at the Onix. Much to the boy’s surprise, Shade had bolted into the ball’s path and caught it with his mouth.

    “Hey, control your Umbreon!” the boy shouted.

    “Excuse me? First, Shade isn’t my Umbreon, and second, we were just about to handle this when you barged in!” Zero shot back.

    “Guys?” Kalea tried to get their attention.

    “I’ll have you know that you are interfering with international police business!” the boy pointed out.

    “Guys!” Kalea tried again.

    “Oh please. Even if you are with the international police, which I doubt, I’ve been involved in this a lot longer than you!” Zero spat.


    Now, obviously the roar at the end means the Onix recovered. I'm struggling to figure out what exactly I should write next. Basically, what needs to happen regarding the Onix is that Zero lets Rio out of his ball so Trance can trigger, and also a cave-in occurs during the incident, causing the group to get separated. I was going to just have him whip out Rio's ball immediately in responce to the Onix, but I worry that it might come off as rushed. Plus, I got stuck right after that too.

    10 points if you can figure out the identity of Ursula's Trainer.
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  3. Wings

    Wings Dragon Tamer

    Jun 11, 2017
    Hi! Sorry this response is a bit late, I’ve been catching up on a lot of schoolwork since I’ve been sick the past week.

    I really like what you’ve written so far. For your current excerpt, I’d recommend cutting out dialogue tags unless they reveal something about your character’s personality.

    For example, “he barked”, “he snapped,” would reveal something about the temperament of each character, but “told” or “asked” doesn’t do much. Instead, you can replace those dialogue tags with an action. You made a good example of this when you wrote:

    “Guys!” Kalea tried to get their attention.

    This could be taken to the next step by showing how Kalea tries to get their attention, such as:

    “Guys!” Kalea glanced back and forth between the trainers, waving her hand in front of Zero’s face.

    Or something like that, whatever suits your character! That’s the only suggestion I have for your current excerpt. The story itself feels exciting and like it’s going somewhere, so from here, I’d recommend:

    Option a) The trainers face the Onix together. This option allows for a Pokémon battle scene, which would help reveal the new character’s ability in battle.

    Option b) The trainers run. I like this option because it moves the story forward, and the trainers can regroup at the end to catch up on what happened.

    I really hope this helped!! Now the next person can post an excerpt :)

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