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Ethereal Darkness [PMD Fanfic]

Saph~

Serebii Champion x.x
Ethereal Darkness

Rating this PG-13 as there most likely will be fighting and such.

Chapters:
~Will add as they go~

Prologue
~-~​
Eternal darkness, the thought brought a sigh of pleasure to the creature. Such thoughts are practically wisps of imagination at this stage. I need that jewel… The creature let the silence of the cave embed itself into him. Such silence would only be found in total darkness. The creatures thoughts trailed off as he heard someone approaching.


“So, has the time come yet, Darkrai?”

“Not yet, I need more time… “

Time, time was of the essence in this situation. The faster the plan worked itself into action the less time anyone had time to stop it.

“Obviously, I have enough time to go around here, or really anywhere.” The second creature joked.

“You know what I mean, now is not the time for childish jokes.”

“You could lighten up a little.”

“And you would be wise not to joke around like that again.”
A cold gust of wind swept through the air, the second creature began to get a tight feeling in his stomach.


“Alright calm down… So feisty… No need to start fighting amongst ourselves.”

“Suit Yourself.”

~-~​


It was one of those mornings where everything seemed too cheerful to be real; then, all the sudden, it was. Everything seemed to be going wrong for the boy. School seemed like it was an endless cycle of grades just slowly dropping. The boy stepped outside of the school, everyone else gone earlier when he had stayed to get help in several subjects. He felt drops on his head suddenly, the rain became more determined cascading from the sky. Water seeped into his shoes as he walked down the sidewalk towards his house. The boy heard something,

“Master, do you need some cover or anything?” The boy paused out of uncertainty,

“No thanks pal, I’ll let you out of your pokeball once we’re inside though.”

“Fine...”

A few minutes later the boy clicked the latch into his house and ran in, eager to get away from the torrent of rain. He slammed the door shut behind him, dripping with water. The lights were already on.

“Mom? Dad?” He called. No one answered.

The boy walked into the kitchen noticing a note on the counter read Gone out shopping, be back soon! - Mom

“I guess i’ll take a nap while theres still peace and quiet” the boy murmured. He didn’t even want to think about his parents’ reaction to his report card. He walked up the stairs and into his room. The boy collapsed onto the bed, feeling it sag beneath him. It would be so easy just to get some rest and forget about the day’s troubles. Out of sight, out of mind, he thought. He then closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.


A figure loomed over the premises of the room, causing a shadow to blanket it in darkness. If the boy could’ve seen it, it would’ve been a frightening experience indeed. Black smoke trailed off of it seeming to disappear after contact with air. It flashed a smile of amusement. “This might work better than I thought…” it murmured. Black pulsing light, emanated from the room and into the sky. It danced across the orange tinted sky, now streaked with black and purple. Later that night, it would make an appearance on the news as a freak weather occurrence. Of which, would soon be forgotten.


It felt like only a couple seconds when a dark colored portal opened up in his mind. The vortex sucked his breath out of him. The black void enveloped him, draining his energy. Suddenly, he could see himself in third person getting dragged into the portal. He let out a scream and then, there was pure darkness.


He was falling, out of what he thought was a dream and into real life. Stars seemed to flow out of his peripherals and cascade around him. The only thing that came to his mind was What’s happening to me? The thought trickled out of his brain as he began to lose consciousness. He felt a searing pain rip through him as black dots spotted throughout his vision. The last thing he saw was the stars, then, he blacked out.

~-~​

The dragon walked along the coast of the beach, moonlight reflecting off the water, pondering the mundane events that always seemed to recur in his everyday life. A cloud moved to conceal the radiant moon as it moved further along the coast. It was a goodra, citizens of the nearby town thought of him more as a sage than anything to be scared of. Even with his weird eyes and especially the slime on him that seemed ever present.


The goodra continued along the coastline until he reached an overhang, beneath it ridden with debris ranging from driftwood to uprooted plants. He came here every day, where even at this early evening hour, no one would care to venture. Leaving him alone with his thoughts and anything else he’d care to do.


However, today something was different. The cloud that was shielding the moon moved, to illuminate a figure laying in the sand, seaweed clumped over and around it. That alone merited the length of time it had been there. Goodra examined the motionless body. Maybe today would be different after all, he thought.

~-~​

Hope you guys enjoyed that, (sorry about its length but it is a prologue and I covered what I wanted to in it >->) I am a relatively slow writer so you will have to be patient with me getting chapters out. IE. last fanfic I made (Which was bad but none the less I never updated it). I will end up setting deadlines for chapters as that will most likely help me get them out faster as well.
 
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epicninjask123

LoL Lunatic
Okay let me be the first to say that I rather enjoyed your prologue. I may not be the one to speak up and critique it a little, but there are just a few things I noticed as I read it.

For one, I couldn't tell who was speaking when you included dialogue. For instance:

The boy heard something,

“Master, do you need some cover or anything?” He paused for a second,

“No thanks pal, I’ll let you out of your pokeball once we’re inside though.”

“Fine...”

I don't get it. The boy I assume is the same boy from within that paragraph who is walking home from school depressed about his grades, but then it just becomes unclear. "He paused for a second." Is he still the boy, or the speaker? Or is the boy the speaker? I'm just a tad confused. Maybe I'm delving a little too deep into some possible foreshadowing, in which being clueless is a good thing, but I feel it disrupts the flow of the story as it is.

Another minor thing I noticed:

It felt like only a couple seconds when a dark colored portal opened up in his mind. The vortex sucked his breath out of him. The black void enveloped him, draining his energy. Suddenly, he could see himself in third person getting dragged into the portal. He let out a scream and then, there was pure darkness.


He was falling, out of what he thought was a dream and into real life. Stars seemed to flow out of his peripherals and cascade around him. The only thing that came to his mind was What’s happening to me? The thought trickled out of his brain as he began to lose consciousness. He felt a searing pain rip through him as black dots spotted throughout his vision. The last thing he saw was the stars, then, he blacked out.

If he's surrounded by darkness, all he can see is black, right? So it doesn't make much sense to me that he can make out black dots on a black background.

Otherwise it's a good prologue. I dislike how you chose to use Darkrai as a character, though. It seems a tad cliché. However, I'm not really one to talk as I'm writing a fanfic that revolves around a certain legendary (and it's not even a PMD fanfic). By the way, what do you mean by setting deadlines for new chapters? I've posted here in the past but I've never finished a single fanfic due to lack of interest. That's why I haven't posted mine yet despite being past chapter four. Does the deadline approach work? How long do you intend to space out your chapters?

That's all. Keep writing! It's really good!
 

Saph~

Serebii Champion x.x
Okay let me be the first to say that I rather enjoyed your prologue. I may not be the one to speak up and critique it a little, but there are just a few things I noticed as I read it.

For one, I couldn't tell who was speaking when you included dialogue. For instance:



I don't get it. The boy I assume is the same boy from within that paragraph who is walking home from school depressed about his grades, but then it just becomes unclear. "He paused for a second." Is he still the boy, or the speaker? Or is the boy the speaker? I'm just a tad confused. Maybe I'm delving a little too deep into some possible foreshadowing, in which being clueless is a good thing, but I feel it disrupts the flow of the story as it is.

Another minor thing I noticed:



If he's surrounded by darkness, all he can see is black, right? So it doesn't make much sense to me that he can make out black dots on a black background.

Otherwise it's a good prologue. I dislike how you chose to use Darkrai as a character, though. It seems a tad cliché. However, I'm not really one to talk as I'm writing a fanfic that revolves around a certain legendary (and it's not even a PMD fanfic). By the way, what do you mean by setting deadlines for new chapters? I've posted here in the past but I've never finished a single fanfic due to lack of interest. That's why I haven't posted mine yet despite being past chapter four. Does the deadline approach work? How long do you intend to space out your chapters?

That's all. Keep writing! It's really good!

My bad, that should be the boy pausing ill change that to make it clear.

He was surrounded by darkness before stars appeared and he was falling.

As for deadlines, I like to procrastinate a lot. I work better when I feel like if I don't do something i'll be letting more people than just myself.
 

Dragonicwari

Artistically angry
Hey Saph, I actually kinda liked it :) I feel like the paragraphs are kinda small though, maybe a few could be mixed together in future chapters or something?
 

JX Valentine

Ever-Discordant
Hey there! Here to drop a review. Sorry in advance for the blunt bits, but ... yeah. You have a lot of unpolished surfaces to what might be an interesting premise.

Eternal darkness,

I’d go for a colon or a dash here. Maybe even a period to form a fragment. It’s just that as it stands, it feels like you want a lengthy pause, but what you’ve got here instead is a short break so that it reads more like direct address instead of a drawn-out thought.

Such thoughts are practically wisps of imagination at this stage. I need that jewel…

Be careful about tense and point of view. If this was meant to be a thought, you’ll want to make it a bit clearer that it’s a thought because right now, we’re not entirely sure what we’re reading. After all, this is the second sentence, so it’s difficult to say what’s going on at this point. Putting a reader in that haze of vagueness so early is dangerous because the first chapter/prologue is meant to pull a reader in. So you want them to have vivid mental images, even if they don’t know the exact why of what’s going on.

The creatures

Also, be careful about possessive nouns. You’ll want an apostrophe here.

“Obviously, I have enough time to go around here, or really anywhere.” The second creature joked.

Also! Be careful about how you punctuate dialogue. Because it’s a bit difficult to describe without getting lengthy or making it sound really convoluted, I’d recommend checking this guide out. It explains things pretty simply with examples, so it should help you keep things straight.

As a note, I’m not going to go over every single error in dialogue punctuation, but there were quite a few. Definitely check out that guide and see if you can go through and spot them.

“You know what I mean, now is not the time for childish jokes.”

Darkness. Silence. Time. Those three words keep repeating themselves throughout this first part of your chapter. While repetition can sometimes be used for dramatic effect, it’s really best if it’s used sparingly. Going overboard by repeating something one too many times could result in a loss of effect: rather than heightening drama, what you end up doing is making your prose feel slow and monotonous. In other words, see if you can dial back the repetition by removing some of the mentions of darkness, silence, or time or by using synonyms.

“And you would be wise not to joke around like that again.”
A cold gust of wind swept through the air, the second creature began to get a tight feeling in his stomach.

First and foremost, be careful about spacing. Hit the enter key again to fix this one up.

Additionally, the entire second sentence is actually a run-on by comma splice. Try this: replace the comma with a period. See how you end up with two sentences as a result? That’s your cue that you’re actually working with two independent clauses, but independent clauses need to be separated by periods, semicolons, or a comma and conjunction in order to make it grammatically correct. So in order to fix this, I would recommend just replacing the comma with a period.

“Alright

True story! “All right” is two words. Technically, alright is a thing that’s used, but it’s very informal, akin to writing “cuz.”

“Suit Yourself.”

Also, don’t capitalize in the middle of a sentence unless you’re working with a proper noun (or a common noun that would need capitalizing).

It was one of those mornings where everything seemed too cheerful to be real; then, all the sudden, it was.

I’d suggest removing the semicolon and replacing it with a period. These two independent clauses aren’t really related enough to warrant being separated the way it is right now. Besides, you’ll want a stronger pause than what a semicolon can give you.

Everything seemed to be going wrong for the boy. School seemed like it was an endless cycle of grades just slowly dropping. The boy stepped outside of the school, everyone else gone earlier when he had stayed to get help in several subjects. He felt drops on his head suddenly, the rain became more determined cascading from the sky. Water seeped into his shoes as he walked down the sidewalk towards his house. The boy heard something,

This … is going a bit too quickly for an intro to a character. See, you tell us things that are happening, but you don’t actually show it. What that means is that it would be much, much stronger if we could actually see a scene of this boy struggling in school. Is he being bullied? Have a moment in which he interacts with (read: talks to/is physically pushed around by) his classmates. Is he failing classes? Have a scene in which he’s struggling with schoolwork/not paying attention in class, only to be picked on by a teacher. Point is, we can’t really sympathize with/connect to this character unless we actually see him doing things. Or unless we actually see things done to him, in any case. If you simply tell us that his grades are slowly dropping, that doesn’t really tell us anything about his personality, including how he copes with everyday troubles.

Not to mention right now, it’s difficult to say whether those first two sentences are meant to talk about the boy’s entire life or just that particular school day. After all, you say that his grades are slowly slipping, which would imply that you’re talking about what he’s like over a long period of time. (Your grades don’t slowly slip over the course of a single day.) Yet you also go on to talk about just a single day.

In other words, it’s rather confusing to read this because it’s just so vague.

“Master, do you need some cover or anything?” The boy paused out of uncertainty,

Put the part about the boy pausing in the next paragraph. You want to tie it to the part that he actually speaks, not the part someone else speaks.

Also, you won’t need a comma when you move it. That sentence is not a dialogue tag.

“No thanks pal,

Move the comma to before “pal” for direct address. Place a period where it was to avoid a comma splice.

He slammed the door shut behind him, dripping with water.

You probably don’t need to say “dripping with water,” not only because the rain makes it a given but also because it’s a bit awkward where it is. The main action of this sentence is the boy closing the door, so “dripping with water” doesn’t really supplement it.

The boy walked into the kitchen noticing a note on the counter read

If it helps, read your work aloud (even in a whisper) to listen to what your sentences sound like. Doing that will not only slow you down while you’re proofreading (meaning it’ll be easier for you to spot minor errors), but it will also allow you to figure out what does and doesn’t sound awkward. If something sounds awkward, then most likely, you have a sentence that needs tweaking.

As it stands, it feels like this starts off on one topic (the boy walking into the kitchen) but forgets where it’s going and wanders into a completely different topic (the boy noticing the note). It would be best to split this into two sentences in order to ensure that your sentences are focused.

“I guess i’ll

If you’re not proofreading, you really should. The more errors you have, the more awkward your work becomes because a reader can’t help but notice minor issues like typos. Try the reading aloud method I’ve described earlier, but also, it’ll help if you wrote in a word processor with both spell check as you type and autocorrect turned on. (You can tweak the latter so that it only autocorrects major issues, like any instance in which you don’t capitalize the pronoun I.)

take a nap while theres

Insert an apostrophe in “there’s.” It’s a contraction for “there is.”

the premises of the room,

“Premises” is a word that refers to a building and the land it sits on. You can’t actually use it to refer to the area of a room. Even then, you could just say “a figure loomed over the room.” Never overcomplicate your wording because that increases your likelihood of writing something a little bit awkward.

causing a shadow to blanket it in darkness.

As a continuation from the earlier comment, that and it really feels redundant in light of this part. I mean, this part is also redundant because you’re basically saying, “A shadow loomed over the space of the space, causing a shadow to loom over the space,” but still.

(In other words, you’ll probably want to drop this particular excerpt or reword the whole shebang to, “A shadow loomed over the room.” Perhaps even “A figure loomed over the room, blanketing it in darkness.” Point is, the more concise, the better.)

Black smoke trailed off of it seeming to disappear after contact with air.

I would recommend inserting a comma right after the “it.” Alternatively (because that would probably still be awkward), you could insert “and” and change “seeming to disappear” to “disappeared.”

By the by, try to avoid using “seem” in your work. As the third-person narrator, you should know whether or not something happened, and concrete descriptions are much stronger and more effective than ones made uncertain by “seem.”

Black pulsing light, emanated from the room and into the sky.

Welp.

To start things off, this is not a sentence that would need a comma. You’re basically separating the subject from the predicate here.

Moreover, “emanate” means “to come out of a source.” You probably mean that the light is coming from the shadow, not the actual room. If you actually did mean the room is emitting light, you’ll want to add more to this paragraph to make what’s going on a bit clearer.

It danced across the orange tinted sky, now streaked with black and purple.

Drop the last clause (the bit about how the sky is streaked with black and purple). This is because, as the black, pulsing light is dancing across the sky, it would be rather repetitive to keep it.

Later that night, it would make an appearance on the news as a freak weather occurrence. Of which, would soon be forgotten.

You could either combine these two thoughts or drop the second sentence. It’s rather awkward to keep it as it is.

At this point, I’m going to go ahead and be a little more lax in terms of pointing out grammar and word choice issues. A lot of the errors in the rest of the fic are basically similar to ones I’ve pointed out above, and it seems like a lot of your issues could easily be solved by reading over your work before you post it, preferably aloud.

That said!

He was falling, out of what he thought was a dream and into real life. Stars seemed to flow out of his peripherals and cascade around him. The only thing that came to his mind was What’s happening to me? The thought trickled out of his brain as he began to lose consciousness. He felt a searing pain rip through him as black dots spotted throughout his vision. The last thing he saw was the stars, then, he blacked out.

The main issue here is that it looks like you could have some interesting descriptions. “Stars seemed to flow out of his peripherals and cascade around him,” while wordy and awkward (and also vague with that “seemed” word in there), could be tightened up to form a really beautiful description. However, the timing’s a bit off. If you begin to lose consciousness, you begin to feel less and less sensation. As in, you might feel pain before you’re knocked unconscious, but you don’t really perceive it as your lights are knocked out because, well, your brain basically shuts off at that point. That’s what “losing consciousness” means.

Not only that, but also, the way this paragraph is structured feels like this kid is losing consciousness twice. First, you actually say that he’s losing consciousness. Then, you describe the pain but follow that pain with another description of losing consciousness. If you really want to make this act a bit stronger, you’ll want to cut out the sentence about the thought trickling out of his brain and rely completely on your descriptions of what he’s feeling and seeing right up until everything goes black. By relying on details alone, you force a reader to imagine those same things that the character is experiencing, and in turn, they can imagine feeling sensations like falling unconscious. It’s like I said earlier about telling versus showing. Whenever you can describe something in detail, try to go for that route instead of just telling the audience what that character is experiencing (especially if you’re going to follow up with a description of that experience anyway).

The dragon walked along the coast of the beach, moonlight reflecting off the water,

Drop the bit about moonlight. It’s rather awkward sandwiched between two actions that the dragon is taking. If you must include it in the paragraph, try to pull it into its own sentence.

A cloud moved to conceal the radiant moon as it moved further along the coast. It was a goodra, citizens of the nearby town thought of him more as a sage than anything to be scared of.

Again, this paragraph seems to be all over the place because you’re bouncing from topic to topic. First, you describe something that the dragon is doing. Then, you describe what the moon is doing. Finally, you go back to the dragon, but this time, you’re describing who the dragon is. However, because of the placement of that last sentence, the “it” (both of them, actually, although the first one reads as if it’s referring to the moon) actually refers to the cloud because that’s the last subject before you get into this sentence. So in other words, you’ve really got to straighten out your temporal senses here.

Let me put it another way. When you start in on a subject—such as talking about the Goodra—you’ve got to focus on one particular subject at a time. It’s like they might have taught you in school: paragraphs cover one topic. While you can describe the Goodra’s surroundings, you’ll want to do so in a way that makes it clear that everything is related to the Goodra. For example, you might be able to get away with saying that he looks up at the clouds blocking the moon. If you wanted to talk about its role in the village, you might say that he thought about how the citizens considered him to be a sage, or you might rephrase that entire bit so that it’s a dependent clause of a sentence starting with, “It was a goodra.” (Yes, by the by, that’s a comma splice.)

Point is, all of your sentences need to follow some kind of natural progression. Don’t just jump from the dragon to the clouds and then back to the dragon. Go from the dragon walking to the dragon looking to the dragon contemplating.

Even with his weird eyes and especially the slime on him that seemed ever present.

Why would either be considered a threat? Goodra’s eyes are rather friendly-looking, and its slime isn’t known for being poisonous. In fact, Goodra as a whole are seen as being friendly, not threats.

beneath it ridden with debris ranging from driftwood to uprooted plants.

Definitely read your work aloud before posting. *nods*

However, today something was different. The cloud that was shielding the moon moved, to illuminate a figure laying in the sand, seaweed clumped over and around it. That alone merited the length of time it had been there. Goodra examined the motionless body. Maybe today would be different after all, he thought.

So I will give you props on this. You took your time with introducing the PMD character. That’s not something that happens frequently. Usually, PMD authors either want to make their main characters’ human lives ambiguous at first, or they just start with Pokémon. So it’s refreshing to see a fic that takes it slow and gives us a glimpse of a character before they’re sucked into the PMD universe.

In general, don’t get me wrong. This looks like it could be interesting. There is, of course, the aforementioned “hey, this beginning isn’t used too often” effect, but also, I will freely admit that I want to know what Darkrai is doing or who it was talking to. Sure, the entire bit about how it’s evil and how it just pulled someone into the PMD realm might be a teensy bit cheesy for the reason that epicninjask brought up (the idea that Darkrai as a villain is cliché), but with the right build-up, you could be leading straight to a fic full of conspiracies or an epic quest or a thousand other possibilities. So with that and the boy’s backstory (if you gave the latter a bit more development—as in, wrote a bit more about his time as a human and gave us more of a glimpse of who he is already), you could be cooking up a rather decent contender for the PMD genre.

The main problem here is … it needs more build-up. In fact, a lot of the delivery could use some tweaking. See, it looks like you have potential in terms of the description; some of these images, if rephrased and made a bit more concise, could actually be vivid and effective. However, although it’s odd to say (because who thinks sentence structure or grammar would have a major impact on anything?), it feels like a lot of your prose wanders from point to point. In some places, it’s very vague just because it’s so brief (like the entire intro to the boy), but other times, it’s just that the sentences are structured so oddly that it’s difficult to follow (like the sentence about the clouds covering the moon and what “it” refers to). Then, you have the sentences that are in-between, the ones that start out with one point but end up saying three other points because they’re not particularly concise. Alternatively, you also have sentences that say the exact same thing three different times in a row in an effort to be poetic. (In particular, that sentence about the figure casting a shadow over the room.)

To all of these problems, I advise you to be a bit more wary in what you’re actually writing. Read your work over again before you post it. Avoid overcomplicating sentences. Try to say things in as few words as possible (per sentence, anyway). In short, be careful and be concise, and that will lead to effective writing.

Also, of course, show, don’t tell. I felt like I couldn’t quite get a good handle on your main character, just because you rushed past a lot of opportunities where you could have developed him a bit more. You could have had a scene or few of how he handles school, you could have had a few sentences expounding on whether or not he was afraid of his parents finding out about his grades (and maybe show him reacting to that a little). You could have even described what his home life was like. Right now, all we know about this kid is that he’s starting to suck at school, he has a Pokémon he can talk to (apparently), and he likes to sleep. Even for a first chapter, that’s … not really much. And given the fact that this is a PMD fic that starts off with that main character as a human, it feels like building up his former life and allowing us to know what he was like during that time is actually going to be important (past the standard “character wants to be human again” thing).

Not to mention it just feels awkward walking into this not knowing anything about this character, given the fact that Darkrai apparently wanted to make his life in particular a living hell.

It’s just that you really, really have to slow down while writing and be careful with proofreading because it feels like those ideas are getting lost in the mix here.

Good luck with future chapters!
 
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