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Heart and Soul: The one shot Contest!


All of them will be posted in four hours, but it might take me more than hour to post all the rankings if Serebii lags. :x


Rfour hours? Gah, I'll be out, the suspense will kill me!


Just to let you know, Negrek’s rankings is like a curve ball. XD There are some entries Breezy and I ranked high while she rank them low, and some we ranked low while she ranked high. Of course, there are times our ranks varied. XD

Once more, no posting your stories till I say so. ‘kay now, let’s do this thing.

25th Place
1stpkmanfan, "Johto, A Day of Friendship!"

Bay: 29th Place (1 point)
Breezy: 29th Place (1 point)
Negrek: 29th Place (1 point)
Total: 3 points

As Gold walks towards the Ilex Forest, he tells himself, “Okay, I have healed Pokémon, a beating heart, some stocked up items, and a nice case of self spirit. But the only thing I need is a nice meal. Ugh, I’ll get food once I reach Goldenrod City.”
Just then, while Gold makes a turn before seeing the Celebi Shrine, a little boy jumps out for help.

The little boy asks, “Oh please sir, please sir, help my find my friends!” The little boy would not let go of Gold until he gives him an answer.

Gold replies, “I’m really sorry kid, but my old friend is coming back from Kanto, so I need to go see her.”
The kid pouts, “Fine! Just leave me here while I cry in shame where I don’t know where my friends are. And so you can go meet your friends.” The little boy sits down, crisscrossed, with his arms the same.

Gold gave up, “Alright…I’ll help you find your friends.”
The little boy got jolly, “You will? Thank you, mister!”
Gold stated, “Only if you help me find my way out of the Ilex Forest, deal?” Gold brought out his hand, to shake.”

The little boy brought his hand out, too, “Deal!” The two shook their hands together. “Oh and by the way, you can just call me “Pip”, everyone does.”
Gold gives a little laugh, “Ok then, Pip, what’s your friends look like?”

Pip got a little down face, “Well, it’s pretty big to explain, but you got to swear NOT TO TELL ANYONE. Promise me, sir.”

I see that you’re a GoldxKris(Crystal) shipper, huh? :3 Sorry, don’t remember the name of that ship. ^^; Anyways, I thought this is a cute one shot. Very funny how Gold is trying to impress Kris, and luckily she thinks it’s cute. XD Also, I like the hide and seek scene. I actually feel sorry for Pip. *hugs* At least he got his Pichu friends, though (love the part when Gold got scared of those cute Pokemon XD). So yeah, like how you have the characters and Pokemon be the focused for this contest’s theme and I can see why you had fun with it. ^_^

I have to say, though, there were quite a lot of problems I noticed here. First off, the layoff. There were many places where you didn’t double space each paragraph. Before you post your story or PM it to the judges, look at your story and make sure you double space the paragraphs and all that you have all the tags in tact. The other layoff problem is the first announcer part. You bolded and super size the font on the paragraph Gold hangs up on the phone.

Another thing is grammar/spelling. First, you have tense problems riddled in your story I’m confused as to what tense you’re trying to put for this story (although I assume you’re using present tense). A couple:

Nurse Joy calls to Gold, “Excuse me, Gold? You have a phone call waiting. Just be sure to answer it, quick.”
Gold smiled nicely, as if this seemed like good news, “Ah, thanks Nurse Joy.” Gold then scurried to the phones to see who is calling him. He picks up the phone and sees that it’s Kris on the screen!
The first quote you have the paragraph present tense, while in the second quote you have the paragraph start in past tense and then in present tense (the bolded parts are the verbs in past tense) . In short, you need to decide which tense you want to put for the story and also that you keep it consistent. Switching tenses can really distract a reader. I know because tenses are my weakness point in grammar too.

Besides tenses, there have been a few awkward sentences and spelling mistakes you did. Some examples:

Though, this was going to be Gold’s lucky day. Ending up in Azalea Town, Gold heads over the Pokémon Center. Seeing how his Pokémon had trained enough for today.
Bolded sentence seems incomplete. I think combing the second and third sentence and have it like this is more complete and conveyed what you’re trying to say: “Ending up in Azalea Town, Gold heads over the Pokémon Center to see how his Pokémon had trained enough for today.”

Kris glad fully told Gold, “It’s quite funny actually.

“Pichu! Pichu Pi Pichu!” The two Pichu’s say in jolly remark, and jump all around Pip with gratefulness and love.
Pichu. No apostrophe before the s as there is nothing that belong to the two Pichus.

Another thing is description. There were many times you did tell more than show and a couple places also your description when trying to convey feelings is weird.

Gold gave up, “Alright…I’ll help you find your friends.”
The little boy got jolly, “You will? Thank you, mister!”
Instead of saying Pip got jolly, show it. Ways to do that is describing how Pip grinned and his eyes went wide with joy, him jumping up and down, him screaming and suddenly hugging Gold, etc.

Pip got a little down face, “Well, it’s pretty big to explain, but you got to swear NOT TO TELL ANYONE. Promise me, sir.”
A little down face, like this: :( ? Don’t make me think that. XD Seriously though, you can just put that Pip frowned.

One last thing is the ending line. One, it is in first person POV while the rest of the story was in third person POV. Second, the ending line sounds as if Gold already had memories of him and Kris: “I believe my time, with Kris again, will begin to fill my heart and soul with these unforgettable memories.” As far as I can see, the two hadn’t made any memories yet and the one shot was mostly focused on the hide and seek game.

Overall, it’s a cute story, but could use a lot of work. Have you tried going to the Beta House or ask someone to be their beta? A beta reader can help make your story better. Sorry that there were a lot I criticized. It’s for your benefit and something to use as a tool if you want to improve your writing. :) Seriously, you’re a good writer, but with some practice and a beta/mentor to help you (if you can find one), you’ll improve even more. ;)

So one of the first things I noticed was your awkward syntax. It's very ... hmm ... blunt and a little unnatural, especially during your character's interactions while in dialogue.
Gold got an embarrassing look, “Oh right, sorry about that.” Gold put his hand back behind his head to reflect how embarrassed he thinks he is.
But Kris found it cute, “Ha ha, it’s all good, no need to embarrass yourself Gold.” Kris gave Gold an attractive but friendly wink.

Gold then got his boldness back, “Alright then. So Kris, what’s the occasion of this beloved call?” Gold asked with anticipation.
It's unnecessarily wordy and just makes your flow seem more mechanical than natural. What is an “embarrassing look?” Flushed cheeks? Eyes cast toward the floor? And how exactly do you obtain boldness back, and what exactly does boldness look like? Actually, the unnatural flow might be due to your repetition of the names. Don't be afraid to use “she” or “he” in replace of names, especially when it's in the same paragraph. Your readers are smart enough to figure out that he = Gold.
The announcer repeats: The train headed for GOLDENROD CITY will be departing soon. Please head for the gate and present your ticket. Thank you for choosing Saffron Train Station as your way of transportation.
Gold hangs up the phone as well. He then grabs his backpack, before leaving the Center. Though, he walks to Nurse Joy to and heals his Pokémon for the journey to Goldenrod City.
I edited it for sake of space, but unnecessary, size 4, bold font is for what? o_O You also forgot to close your tags a paragraph before, so the train conductor's “shouting” carried on to a paragraph that included Gold.

Anyway, the plot itself is simple enough: Gold gets call from Kris, Kris comes back from Kanto, Gold runs to Goldenrod to meet Kris, Gold gets sidetracked by a little boy looking for friends, Gold finds the boy's friends, Gold makes it to Kris. It's a nice little lighthearted 'fic that, as stated in the title, muses on friendship. I especially thought the pichu running around in Ilex Forest was a nice homage to one of the key traits we know about HG/SS.

Unfortunately, grammar was one of your major down falls. In some cases, you completely forget to add in a speech tag and simply put something like: Gold, “Dialogue goes here.” You occasionally switch from present to past tense in a present tense 'fic. And while punctuation in dialogue is one helluva tricky thing to learn, sometimes you neglect to punctuate your dialogue at all. In fact, I think most of your grammar mistakes could have been caught if you properly proofread your story or got your beta to run through it for you.

The pacing was a bit quick. We're quick to jump from the pokémon center, to the forest, then trouble in the forest, then to Goldenrod with little room to breathe. The description was a little too weak and too little for me to be comfortable with, and when you did describe, it was awkwardly worded so it seemed that you were just telling me that so-and-so did this instead of embedding it with action for a more fluid flow. The scene between the pokémon center and Goldenrod where Gold encountered Pip seemed more like filler than a scene that developed Gold's friendship or to depict how friendly Gold is.

It's cute for a lighthearted piece, like I said. Gold is one of my favorite game characters (below Brendan, of course ;P), and it kind of seemed like you incorporated some of Jimmy's (anime version of Gold) characteristics and the slight embarrassment he gets around Kris (well, Marina in the anime). Kris also seemed to be lightly based off her anime counterpart, all giggly and whatnot, so it was nice to see that as well. If you put a little bit more effort into this one-shot and detailed it bit more and worked on your wording, I think it would make a for a much more better one-shot. But as of now, it's pretty rushed, and certain scenes seemed more frivolous and unimportant to the plot.

I'm afraid that you have a lot of trouble with basic writing mechanics; you have difficulty keeping your tenses consistent, your sentences are often incorrectly punctuated or are actually fragments, and you often use words incorrectly or just slightly off the norm ("self spirit" instead of "self-esteem," for example).

The story itself also has a fair few problems; overall, it just doesn't feel like there's a whole lot of *point* to it. It doesn't really go anywhere. It would be extremely short if you didn't throw in the "kid in the forest" encounter, which doesn't seem to have any point but to eat up time and pages.

There are also plot hole issues--for example, how could Bayleef find Pip's friends if it has no idea who those friends are? If you had cut out the unnecessary forest stuff and maybe focused a little more on Gold's time with Kris, and their relationship/something of note that happened while they were together, you could have had a much more impactful entry. As it is, while it has the potential to be a cute little story, the execution really sinks it.

Thanks for entering, 1stpkmanfan. Have fun with those two Pichu. :3
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24th Place Tie
Aura Master, "She Is Winter"

Bay: 27th Place (3 points)
Breezy: 28th Place (2 points)
Negrek: 26th Place (5points)
Total: 10points

She descended gracefully from the gray clouds, slowly coming down, deeping the cold, heartful air every second. She slowly wasted away as she fell, though some of her still falling. Falling to the earth. The beautiful earth, kissing the ground tenderly as she faded away to liquids. The sun rose over her, saddening her day. She knew she will be gone in a matter of days. Her gray clouds separated, the last of her, kissing my hands as I held them out. My hands, covered in her grace, began to warm up, melting her away.

She covered the ground, covered the trees.

She was everywhere,

Shrouded in white.

Her touch cold as ice, but beautiful.

She Is Winter.

This isn’t expected. :) I have to say, I love the writing style of this one shot a lot. Sure, it’s short, but your description of Winter and also the poetic italicized parts (which supported well together) is very effective that I think making this longer would just drag this one shot. Also, it’s clean, meaning I’m able to understand what is going on, even if this story really has no action at all (don’t worry about this as this story didn’t need any action to get the point across).

Another thing I love about this how you have the end of Winter the beginning of the trainer’s journey and that you even corporate the names of the games here. Awesome job there.

One quick problem I want to say is that yeah, you’re right that this one shot can be also used to describe another region (for instance setting the story in Snowpoint City, Sinnoh). You shouldn’t worry too much as the deciding factor is not only if the story is Johto related, but how well you incorporate the culture, myths, etc. in the story and yes, I’m considering a trainer’s beginning part of culture ;). In fact, there isn’t too many fics revolving around just a trainer’s beginning and explaining it in such a beautiful and metaphoric way.

I don’t usually do this, but one other problem is there are a few grammar/spelling and receptiveness problems you have here.

She descended gracefully from the gray clouds, slowly coming down, deeping the cold, heartful air every second. She slowly wasted away as she fell, though some of her still falling. Falling to the earth. The beautiful earth, kissing the ground tenderly as she faded away to liquids.The sun rose over her, saddening her day. She knew she will be gone in a matter of days. Her gray clouds separated, the last of her, kissing my hands as I held them out. My hands, covered in her grace, began to warm up, melting her away.

The first bolded part should be deepening and the second bolded part…heartfeltprobably is what you’re going for? If not, then sorry. Not actually sure what you’re trying to say here. The third and fourth bolded parts is the repetition I talked about. You used “kissing” twice. Maybe replace one of them to have that paragraph flow more.

The air, losing it’s cold, quickly retreated being replaced by warmth.
Its as you’re trying to explain the air is losing a possession of some sort. You use “it’s” to explain something like, “it’s cold outside.”

The city, shrouded in white, but beautiful. She covered the town, ready to desend more.

One last thing I want to mention is why you kept capitalizing the “I” whenever you put “She is Winter” in the italicized parts. Just odd to me.

All in all, quite like this one shot a lot, but do look over one more time for spelling and grammar mistakes, maybe even have a beta look at it a couple times too. Looking forward to more of your writing!

Hmm ... It's not a bad premise, I suppose. I do like how you made things somewhat circular (death of one things leads to the beginning of another). However, I do think you were trying too hard to mimic an “artistic” style of writing, Aura, most of them leading to an improper, choppy sentence structure. There were also numerous spelling errors (errors that would have been caught by a proper spell checker), so the enjoyment of the piece wasn't as high as it could have been.

Some examples:
I settled my self of a high cliff, just off Mahogany Town. All alone, no one here. Though there is one ... She is there, not always, but there. She is everywhere.
”Myself” is one word. Likewise “of” should have been “off.” The second portion of this quote is just ... confusing. “She is here. Wait, not really. Kay, she really is” is what you're saying. I have a feeling you're trying to be wordy and mimic the “flowery” description style that some of the more advanced authors use, but you have to make sure that what you're saying makes sense. Or that you're doing it within reason and not just for aesthetic reasons.

The city, shrouded in white, but beautiful. She covered the town, ready to desend more. She covered the region with her luxurious touch coveting the small towns with her gifts.
Descend. The first sentence doesn't work syntax-wise since you're using commas to set off information (much like how parentheses do). The sentence, if you so choose to use commas in the parenthetical way, should make sense should you choose to omit what's in between the commas (for example, read this sentence without the information between the commas and you'll see it still makes sense). So what you're really saying is “The city but beautiful” if you omit what's in between the commas.

The city, although shrouded in white, was beautiful.
The city was shrouded in white but beautiful.

I will admit that it kind of seems like you only made slight adjustments to fit the prompt. While the story itself isn't bad as a general one-shot, there was little emphasis or reminder that this took place in Johto nor did you really take advantage of Mahogany Town's key attractions and describe them to make it feel like we were in the town (or at least looking at it). We're just in generic town where winter is falling. I'm also assuming that it's snowing, which is also interesting because, you know, Johto doesn't really have snow ... >_> Not unless you count Ice Cave which is ice, not snow. And not unless I'm recalling incorrectly. Rambleeeeee. RAMBLEEE.

Anyway, the choice of Mahogany Town is an interesting one, and I'm a little curious about why you chose it instead of somewhere else, like New Bark. I noticed that you mentioned a boy and a girl being pushed out by their mothers, and your ending line was, “the beginning of heart and soul” so me, being lame, assumed you were talking about the game protagonists. So I figured it probably would have wrapped up nicely if you were talking about the innocent beginning of the protagonists of the games and how with winter's ends begins our trainers' tale, thus jumping into more symbolism (spring = new growth, summer = more carefree, autumn = more aged, then back to winter where the cycle continues). This is just opinion, though I do think it would have made more sense in terms of fitting the prompt and adding a nice touch and more circularity to your story.

The fact that you have multiple grammar/spelling errors doesn't really help your case either. There are numerical sentence structure mistakes, something I've pointed time and time again in your other stories, in what I feel is your attempt in using the “choppy sentence” method to put stress on certain sentences. They don't really work, however, and the reader is probably left lingering after a sentence or they have to re-read it over just to make sense of it, detracting from the sentence's meaning and the story as a whole.

However, your use of language is improving, and the style you were trying to emulate is no easy task. Your word choice is done nicely, keeping it simple in tone but sophisticated in actual style. Like I said, as a general one-shot, it isn't bad, and I like how you wrote how one thing ending starts a new thing. I do suggest perhaps rehashing the idea and writing your one-shot how you wanted it to be with no limitations that this contest had.

I don't understand. This doesn't seem to have anything at all to do with Johto/HG/SS except the random "Heart and Soul" tacked on at the end and one mention of a town name. Since winter happens in most all the pokémon regions (Hoenn and possibly Orre being exceptions), aside from the mention of Mahogany town at the beginning, this could as well take place anywhere.

Prose is okay. You have problems with sentence fragments--some of them I think were unintentional or at least sound quite wrong--and the possessive apostrophe (shouldn't be "girl's" or "it's"), random capitalization of She Is Winter does not add to the Artfulness of your prose. There are plenty of general proofreading problems (missing words and so on) and tense shifts as well. Piece seems to focus too much on Winter itself rather than the build-up to Winter's end being a beginning; ending feels kind of tacked on as a result.

Not bad for a primarily "scene-oriented" piece (not much of a plot, just presents a description/idea), but unfortunately doesn't stack up well against stories that tackle more complex narratives and make greater use of the contest theme. It is sort of cool how you link the end of winter with the beginning of pokémon journeys, but you didn't develop the idea evenly or with a lot of depth.

Thanks for entering, Aura Master. Nice bundle of warm clothing will be coming to your home soon. :p


24th Place Tie
Jason-Kun, "The Ceremony Preparations"

Bay: 26th Place (5 points)
Breezy: 27th Place (3 points)
Negrek: 28th Place (2 points)
Total: 10points

Tugging at his white lab coat, the male, who most called Professor Elm, moved across the room. The walls were a bit molded and the floor creaked underneath the weight of his newly bought brown boots. His green dress shirt swished as he held his palm up to a scanner on the wall. After Silver had taken Totodile a few years back, he had decided to add extra security to the place. Green dress pants brushed his legs as the door slid open. Moving inside he let it close.

This room was neater than the one for he had just left. The overhead was made up of glass, allowing for one to see into the sky. To the far left was a door leading into another room and straight ahead was yet another. Built into the center of the floor was a raising fish tank. Large gray stones sat in the water, small blue crocodiles playing on it. Over in the far corner were two large bags. A bucket sat beside the tank. Moving quickly, Elm scooped a few handfuls of meat out and carried them over to the bucket.

“Feeding time, and than you’ll finally get a new owner,” he told the crocodiles. Emptying the meat into the bucket, he carried them up a hidden stairway. Dropping the meat into the tank, Elm climbed down and with quick steps was at the left door. The sounds of teeth digging into the meat met his ears.

Nice one shot how Professor Elm prepares for the oncoming trainers. It’s one of those typical “in the life of” kind of stories, but I like this a lot as it’s simple and also cute. :D I actually consider the Johto starters the cutest starters out of the other Pokemon. XD *goes play with the Chikorita*

Anyways, concerning length, I don’t think you need to expand anymore on the plot. The plot is just basically Professor Elm doing some preparations and I thought you did it in a nice pace. You didn’t drag the story too long with unnecessary explanations and you didn’t have the story go too fast where I’ll be confused what happened.

There are some things I want to bring to attention. First off, the description. The physical description I think you did fine. You’re able to not expand too much on the description on the rooms and have the flow of the actions going on nicely. However, there were a couple parts where the description was listy. For instance, this paragraph:

This room was neater than the one for he had just left. The overhead was made up of glass, allowing for one to see into the sky. To the far left was a door leading into another room and straight ahead was yet another. Built into the center of the floor was a raising fish tank. Large gray stones sat in the water, small blue crocodiles playing on it. Over in the far corner were two large bags. A bucket sat beside the tank. Moving quickly, Elm scooped a few handfuls of meat out and carried them over to the bucket.
In this part I felt you could have spread out the description of that room instead of jam pack everything in one paragraph just like that. One way is to mention Professor Elm looking through the room and also show more of his feelings and such, like his noise wrinkling in disgust while he scooped the meat into the bucket.

Besides that, there is one part that made me confused:

A couple of small, yellow mice with a green shell and fire on their back could be seen playing in the sand.
Cyndaquil has a green shell? ._. Don’t think so. However, if I’m wrong, let me know. ^^;

Another thing is grammar/spelling. There were a few mistakes that I saw. The judges might find more of them, though. XD I’m only going to be mentioning a few of them.

Running his fingers through his, he pushed back his clipboard.
Missing a word between “his” and “he.” Perhaps hair?

“Feeding time, and than you’ll finally get a new owner,” he told the crocodiles.
Then. You use “than” in the context of comparing. I had trouble with this too. XD

Holding his fingers up, Elm rotted towards the door.
Elm is meat and going to be eaten by the Totadiles soon? XD In all seriousness though, I think you meant trotted.

Taking out an empty cart, he wheeled it back to wear he had left.


Overall, a nice short one shot there. Be careful with description and grammar/spelling, though. For description, don’t list. Instead, have the description flow gradually. On grammar and spelling, double check on that and also maybe have a beta look over too. First time seeing your writing and you have something here. :) Keep up the great work

Tugging at his white lab coat, the male, who most called Professor Elm, moved across the room. The walls were a bit molded and the floor creaked underneath the weight of his newly bought brown boots. His green dress shirt swished as he held his palm up to a scanner on the wall. After Silver had taken Totodile a few years back, he had decided to add extra security to the place. Green dress pants brushed his legs as the door slid open.
The bold sentence in this paragraph seems randomly thrown in. You start off with two sentences of character description, then jump back into character description after a line about added security. It doesn't flow well. I suggest moving it around or omitting some of these character description lines since they don't seem important anyway. In fact ... your entire story is description. Listy, straight out description. Did anything ... happen? o_O

The basic plot of your story is simple enough. As the title states, it really is just Professor Elm preparing for the flock of trainers coming to claim pokémon. However, it was really lacking. You just stuck to the basic plot and some wordy, awkward description, half which shouldn't have been needed anyway. You didn't delve into how Professor Elm felt, how he was nervous or excited for these new trainers, or anything like that. With basic plots like these, you want to work with what you have.

The description isn't horrible, though like I said, most of it was used just to pad your paragraphs. It's very listy: This looked like this. That looked like that. And some of your description just made no sense:
A couple of small, yellow mice with a green shell and fire on their back could be seen playing in the sand. “Come along now, the trainers will be here any minute now,” he called to them. They scrambled after him as he moved back into the other room. Pressing a button on the tank, the water began to drain. After a few moments, a door slid open and the smell of dead fish filled the room.
I have no idea what pokémon you were describing in the first paragraph. I know one was totodile, the other was chikorita, and I'm assuming this pokémon is a cyndaquil since its considered a mouse pokémon but I really don't see it with the description you have. They don't have green shells, do they? Once we move into the action sequence after Elm's dialogue, I'm not sure what's going on here either. There was a tank? And why did it smell like fish? o_O If you're talking about cyndaquil, you know they're fire types, right? And they're associated with mice, not turtles.

You also want to be careful with sentence syntax. When you stack a similar sentence structure after another, the flow sounds staccato instead of smooth.
Holding his fingers up, Elm rotted towards the door. Opening it, he could see grass for as far as the eye could see.
Ideally, you should mix sentence structure around so the flow sounds more fluid.

Holding his fingers up, Elm [walked] towards the door. He opened it, seeing grass for as far as the eye could see.


Holding his fingers up, Elm [walked] towards the door and opened it, seeing grass for as far as the eye could see.

This brings me to my next concern: wording. I have never heard the word “rot” used as a term for walking, not unless my dictionary is effing up and you can use rot as a word for “movement.”

The green ones let out a couple of vines which pulled down the spears. As the creatures began to turn on the spears, he moved into the next room.
Spears? Perhaps you mean spheres, like in the shape? A spear is a weapon, and I'm not sure how you could turn on spears, or enter into them.

To be honest, there wasn't anything interesting about this piece. You just told us what happened. You could have really entered Professor Elm's mind and done so much with this piece other than just telling us what happened. For example, you could have gone into Professor Elm's mind about the repetition of this process or the excitement about getting a new bunch of kids to do his research, or his own want to go out there or anything; this story plot was so vague that you literally could have done anything with it. You can stick with the basic description you have here, obviously, but build upon it. Make it more than just “I'm giving pokémon away, fweeeee.” In terms of description advice, a good rule of thumb, at least for me, is to describe what is needed for the scene. When you describe too much and describe what isn't needed, you can lose a reader's interest. If you are going to describe something small and unnecessary, have it in the story so that doesn't break from the flow. Embed it with some sort of action. “He passed the paint-chipped wall,” etc.

Too little happened for me to be enthralled in the 'fic. Nothing happened. =\ I honestly do think if you revisit this 'fic and put some sort of emotional depth into it, or perhaps even put in another plot point, it would make this story a much more interesting read.

I... guess I don't get the point of this. Certainly it sets a scene, and there are some fanfics that are really no more than an examination of a single moment or event, but generally you get the feeling there's a point to them--something about that small slice of time that they want us to look at in a different way, something that they want to recognize about what's *really* going on. This one-shot here just reads like it's the first chapter of a trainer 'fic where the bit with the actual trainer in it has gotten cut off. Elm's getting everything ready for people to come get starters.


This piece is rather rife with errors, I'm afraid; grammatical mistakes, words getting left out, and homophone problems are common. The first time I read through this, I thought there was going to be some kind of twist ending when the chikorita started gathering up spears (omg they're not going to meet their new trainers, they're going to kill and eat them!) and was really confused by the ending. Reading again, I'm guessing you just meant "spheres." A little proofreading would have gone a long way to help this read more smoothly.

Not a lot to say here, as there wasn't a lot to read, either; it's kind of a cute little one-shot, but there just isn't much to it at the moment.

Thanks for entering, Jason-Kun. Can I have all of the three starters? XD
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23rd Place
LostHero, "Silver’s Story"

Bay: 28th Place (2 points)
Breezy: 26th Place (5 points)
Negrek: 25th Place (7 points)
Total: 14 points

Silver had fallen to his knees when Totodile fainted. He got up and walked away, hoping to never see the shorter boy again.

A few days later, he arrived in a large city known as Violet City. He went to the city’s largest tourist attraction, The Sprout Tower, and decided to do their battle challenge. Half way up, Silver came across a Gastly that enjoyed pranking the tourists. Silver saw the strength the ghost had and caught it. Silver then reached the top of the Tower and defeated the master of the Tower, a Sage by the name of Li. Just before leaving Li told Silver that he needed to be kinder to his Pokèmon. Silver dismissed the advice and left, running into the boy with the Cyndaquil yet again. Silver shoved passed him and left Violet City.

A few days later he came to the Union Cave. He travelled through and caught a Zubat that seemed to be very powerful compared to the others. Once he left the cave he came to Azalea Town, who had recently lost their Slowpokes to Team Rocket. He entered the Slowpoke Well to fight the Rockets there, only to find that they were already defeated by that stupid boy and his recently evolved Quilava. Furious, Silver waited for him in the Ilex Forest.
While he waited, his Totodile evolved in to a Croconaw. He smirked as he saw the boy coming along. Silver challenged him again. Croconaw defeated Quilava with ease this time, but was defeated by the boy’s Mareep. The electric type sheep was, however, defeated by Zubat, who defeated by a young Pokèmon called Togepi, which looked strikingly similar to the egg the boy had when Silver first met him. Gastly came up and defeated the Togepi. Silver thought he had won until the boy sent out a fourth Pokèmon, a Heracross. Silver then walked away, defeated.

Another Silver story, huh? Silver has too many fanboys/fangirls then. :p Anyways, your s is different from Morpher’s, and I love both of your interpretations of Silver. :O While his starts at the beginning on how he’ll become stronger so that he can get revenge on his father, yours start at the end where Silver begins to change his ways.

Interesting you summarized what happened to Silver and those events did happened at the games, although it’s a bit weird you skipped the parts where Silver went and try to stop Team Rocket (one at Goldenrod Underground and the other at The Lake of Rage). Both of those events are very important scenes in the games because that’s when Silver confronts Team Rocket. I can understand though as you want to show how because of Gold, he got sidetrack. I actually would like to see those events expanded instead of just retelling, but that would then make the one shot turn to a novel length fanfic, considering there’s lots of ground to cover. ^^; That, and you mention Silver telling his story to Red, so that’s understandable.

The ending I thought wraps up well and a bittersweet conclusion to Silver’s story. Also, I thought it’s neat the Sneasel evolved and how that Pokémon got its name. I think you could have expanded Silver’s emotions, though. Seems that he just agree to love his Pokemon just like that. One way to expand that is maybe have him think about what Lance told him when the two battled (I remember in the game Lance said he didn’t love his Pokemon enough and that got Silver frustrated). Actually, I’ll talk about the ending later and other such things later.

There are some problems I want to address, though. First, you got one part of canon wrong. Sneasel evolves from Weavile from holding the razor claw and has to be at night, not by battle and leveling up. However, if there’s actually a razor claw somewhere in the story, point it out to me because I might have missed up (even when I reread that part five times already D: ). ^^;

Another problem is the layout. There were some instances where you forgot to double space between paragraphs. Makes it hard sometimes to know where the new paragraph starts at. Remember to look through your fic real quick before sending it in PM to make sure you double space after every paragraph.

Next is grammar and spelling. There were quite few of those that could distract a reader easily. Only going to point out a few since I think the other judges will also point them out.

The cool night air that seemed to cover Mount Silver, hit the red headed boy’s face
You don’t need a comma between “Mount Silver” and “hit” as it ruins the flow of this sentence.

Silver his for a year or so with an elderly woman in Cherrygrove City and watched as Team Rocket assaulted Johto in many attempts to find their long lost leader.
Awkward sentence there. I think you meant stay instead of his.

While he waited, his Totodile evolved in to a Croconaw.
Into. Put the two words together.

It was then that Silver was attacked a Rapidash.
Missing a word here. There should be a “by” between attack and Rapidash.

Last is you need to expand Silver’s character and emotions at the end. Have to agree with Breezy on a few things. Even though I can understand why you have the scenes mostly retold and also why some events are altered, but you left out some very big important events. Again, can understand why you didn’t put the events dealing with Team Rocket because Silver’s sidetracked, but can’t help but wish you somehow put it there. Like I said, those events are important concerning Silver wanting to get back at Team Rocket. You can still have him going against Team Rocket but more focused on Gold. Also, you left out the part where he confronts Lance and loses- BAD. This is an extremely important scene because that’s when Silver is slowly realizing what has become of him and thinking of his ways. I’m assuming this is AU and some events will change, which I don’t mind. However, you left out some very important ones that is the pinpoint of Silver slowly changing himself for the better.

Overall, nice oneshot there giving the readers a glimpse of Silver’s story and you did it well. The biggest problem though is the layout and the spelling and grammar. For layout, once more check real quick that each paragraph is doublespaced. For spelling and grammar, you should check it a couple more times and also would be much better if you have a beta or two to look over those anything else you want the beta(s) to address like plot and characters. Also, you seem to have Silver agree with Red too quickly. Expand more on that by have him think over first. Good work though and good luck on any other projects and contests you’ll do!

The cool night air that seemed to cover Mount Silver, hit the red headed boy’s face. He was cruel looking, with his black pants and shirt, both of which were trimmed with a scarlet red. His pants were messily tucked into his rubbery looking black boots, which seemed rather small for him.
Several things in your beginning paragraph. One thing would be the first comma in the first sentence: it's not needed. Second thing would be the correlation between “what a mean looking kid” and the fact that he's wearing black pants and shirt. What would make him cruel looking might be his facial expression but not necessarily his clothing. I get what you're saying, obviously, but you might want to reword it a bit better.

After his father’s defeat to the now champion of Kanto, Red Pyro, Silver watched as Giovanni killed all that he knew. Janice, his bodyguards, and several high ranking members of Team Rocket were all killed in Giovanni’s rampage fuelled by anger. The evil old man then left, leaving Silver to take the blame.
I don't get why Giovanni would kill everything BUT Silver. o_O I mean, he even killed Silver's bodyguards, but not Silver? I'm not sure if Giovanni would be concerned about being caught if he ended up just fleeing the country anyway.

While he waited, his Totodile evolved in to a Croconaw. He smirked as he saw the boy coming along.
Wait, it evolved? From what? Just randomly? “Hey, Silver, while we're standing here, I'm just going to randomly evolve. Good timing, seeing as that hat-wearing kid is coming!” o_O

One of the major problem I had with this 'fic was that it basically retold Silver's past, like it were in a history book. It was more just listing of fact than an actual story. And when we finally do get into an actual story, it's short-lived. There was no emotional context from Silver; you never delved into his personality, and when you did, it seemed out of character for him. I'm going to assume this is AU because half of Silver's story never really happened in the games. You stayed with the G/S game canon for awhile, and then quickly deviated away once Silver met Gold at the pokémon league.

Gamewise, after Silver was decimated in battle by Lance in the TR hideout, he slowly began to have a change of heart, and he continued to question if his way of thinking and motives were any good for himself or his pokémon. He slowly transforms, and he seems to have changed for the better after you defeat him at Victory Road. His kind, soft nature is seen because he has a crobat on a team, a pokémon that evolves because it is happy with its trainer.

But let's just stick to your AU. In your world, Silver wants revenge on Gold and finds himself at Mt. Silver where his sneasel evolve. He then meets Red, who, for some odd reason, decides to aid the boy. What concerns me the most in your AU is the fact that you never, ever developed Silver's character. Even after being defeated by Gold at the pokémon league, he STILL wants to seek revenge and is only at Mt. Silver to get stronger. He's still that stubborn, hardheaded trainer that despises the weak and softhearted. Yet, we have this:

“Right,” Silver dropped his head, “I’m sorry for making you feel bad.”
Yeah, I doubt Silver would be sorry for making someone feel bad if you never developed his character.

And then we have this:
Red stared at the red head. After a few minutes, he nodded, “OK. The first thing you need to do is give some love to you Pokèmon. You must do this, or I won’t train you. Understand?”Silver nodded and Red smiled and pointed at the cave, signaling Silver to enter. He did so knowing that once he left the cave, he would have a little more heart and soul.
Why would Silver understand that or even agree to it if he believes that the softhearted always lose in battle? That is why Silver battling Lance and then battling Gold at the pokémon league were so important; those were two important character development scenes for Silver in the game. Excluding those scenes (or at least not indicating that Silver was having a change of heart when he battled Gold for the last time) would mean his character would still be cold and heartless.

Ideally, all you did was retell the game plot without breathing any life into it and then threw game canon out the door and made Silver into something that he just wasn't, or couldn't be since you omitted very important plot points in the game. While I'm glad you tried to put your own spin on Silver's story, things, unfortunately, do not match up in it. If you do choose to revise this, I would put your focus on Silver's emotional battle rather than his physical ones, and how he transformed from something so cruel to somewhat decent. At least decent enough for Red to take him under his wing. I'm sure Red, like Lance, could see through Silver's character (his undeveloped cruel one, anyway) and probably would have either ignored him or decimated him in battle as well.

A lot of this story is chaff. It feels kind of like a game summary condensed into prose form, and it's really not very engaging. There are many more effective ways that you could have conveyed Silver's past, given an idea of where he's coming from and why he is the way he is. Things like detailing what pokémon he was adding to his team, how he got them, how he got his gym badges--what does it matter? Even sneasel's evolution feels a bit tagged on, just an excuse to get Red interested.

The ending, which is the real important part (Silver's transformation to being bitter and hostile towards everyone, including his pokémon, to starting to move in a positive direction), is quite anticlimactic. This whole time, Silver's been very against treating his pokémon well, but Red just has to say, "Sorry, but I won't help you unless you change your mind about that" and Silver's suddenly all about being pals with his team? Not even a little protestation, or at least some time to think it over? His transformation at the end is terribly abrupt and doesn't fit with the characterization you've built for him throughout the rest of the story.

The writing is serviceable but a bit on the stilted side. Because you were cramming so much into such a short area, it naturally takes on the feeling of a summary; further, you tend to use simple sentences, which makes the writing feel jerky and abrupt. For the most part your mechanics are all right, but there are plenty of typos (you even spell feraligatr wrong) throughout.

I think what you really need to work on here is talking about only what is important. You could have had a good story here if you'd gone more in-depth with a smaller handful of events from Silver's life, and then not rushed through the most important part, the end, where he decides to change. As it is, it just feels like you were trying to cram too much stuff in here, and the story loses much of its impact as a result.

Thanks for entering, LostHero. Great discovery on Weavile. XD


22nd Place
Rixec, "The Treasures of Heart and Soul"

Bay: 25th Place (7 points)
Breezy: 25th Place (7 points)
Negrek: 27th Place (3 points)
Total: 17 points

“Morning b*tch,” Rain said casually.

“Watch your mouth young man!” Ms. Lang scorned. She had her own personal vendetta with the boy. She always tried to break him with cruel punishments, but he kept shrugging them off. “If I had kids…!”

“Tough, since no man would ever want to be with you,” Rain smirked.

Ms. Lang was turning bright red. “Come… here… boy,” she hissed.

“Like hell!” Rain hollered as he ran out the door.

Rain stomped out and saw a little girl from the orphanage walking barefoot in the bushes. She was walking straight for a broken bottle Rain saw. He rushed over and picked her up. She squirmed and bit Rain. He dropped her and she ran off. Rain sighed and picked up the bottle and threw it in the trash can.

Rain wandered the streets of new Bark Town. This place is too small, he thought, the world was something to see. But the only way he could do that was to become a Trainer, which he had no interest in. Are Mom and Alora seeing it?


The mention of Rain being in the orphanage most of his life and has never been adopted reminds me of the novel/movie The Cider House Rules. In that novel, the main character Homer Wells never got adopted (well, he did a couple times, but he always comes back) and his situation reminds me a bit of Rain’s predicament here. Heck, Rain’s mother giving birth at the orphanage reminds me of that too. Just letting you know. XD

The best thing about the fic is the plot here. I like how you mention the important items in all the games and then you mention about HeartGold and SouSilver not being like any other items. This should be a good plot point there. Also you did well with the action in the lab and the aftermath of it.

I love how you feature a young Jenny in this one shot. I love the young Jenny wannabe Marble in the anime and I love how the Officer Jennys overall are very flexible when it comes to able to be free giving them any kind of personality, so…:D

I like the ending where Rain realizes Pokemon aren’t weapons. Nice early stage of character development there.

First problem I want to mention is grammar and spelling. Actually, you don’t have too much of a problem with that area, but there were a couple awkward sentences I want to mention:

“The person who extracts them from that life form has the power to restore those with damages hearts or souls, or, my favorite, steal the emotions and freewill from the hearts and souls of others.”
I think you mean damaged.

She was ten year old girl as of yesterday and was coming in to start her journey.
The bolded part sounds weird. There’s actually two ways you can go about this: She was ten years old as of yesterday… or She was a ten year old girl as of yesterday… Personally, I prefer the former.

Another problem is I’m confused about Black. On one scene he has a red R tattooed on his arm, but in another scene he’s surprised of a grunt in the lab. I wonder, is Black in Team Rocket or not?

Well, this next point I want to talk about is probably me being bias, so sorry in advance. ^^; It’s the names Black, Rain, and Nami. Usually when characters have unusual names than the other people, it makes if as if they’re special. I understand they’re main characters and of course you have to develop them and such, but by names alone you’re making them stand out way too much.

Another problem is the scene with Giovanni, Samara Fire, and Alora. I was suddenly going “woah?” at that part. There are some things I wonder. Why Samara left Rain at the orphanage and not Alora (actually asked myself that question when there’s mention of Rain being put in the orphanage)? What are Giovanni and Samara planning? Did the family have good or bad intentions for Rain (basically they will help him or harm him) Is Giovanni Rain and Alora’s father? Well, I guess those questions will be answered if you decide to expand this. ^^;

The biggest problem with this one shot is this would work better as a prologue or first chapter of a fic instead of a one shot. The way you have this story more of a setup for bigger things to come makes this story somewhat incomplete. If that’s the way you’re aiming for in this fic, then even though I love where this is going, this is better off as a longer piece to make it more complete.

Last are characters. I felt iffy that in this one shot the four kids are suddenly mention as the chosen ones. Now, it is possible to pull off a one shot about chosen ones and I’ve seen it pulled off (comedy, suspense, dramatic, you name it). However, you didn’t pull off well because overall the story feels incomplete, as I already mentioned. I just don’t feel connected to Black, Nami, and Jenny (although I’m psyched you’re featuring a young version of her :p). Although I like Rain’s development, I still really don’t feel connected nor rooting for him just yet. I can understand though the characters aren’t properly introduced due to the setup of this one shot and if you were to have this piece be a longer one, they’re be developed gradually.

Long story short, you have a plot going there, but this piece feels more it’ll be better as a longer story of sorts instead of a one shot. Also, not so sure about the names of the main characters, but that’s probably just me. ^^; Characters could use some development too, but again part of it is how this story is setup more for a longer piece. I guess you might actually plan to have this expanded, which I would like to see. ;)

There seems to be a ... complete lack of logic in your story.

His mother had stopped here ten years ago today and gave birth to a set of twins, a boy and girl. She named them Rainbow and Alora, but only left Alora, leaving her son to fend for himself.
This is odd. Why wouldn't anyone question that she would leave one kid but keep the other? It's also awkwardly worded. She named them Rainbow and Alora, but only kept Alora ...

Rain stomped out and saw a little girl from the orphanage walking barefoot in the bushes. She was walking straight for a broken bottle Rain saw. He rushed over and picked her up. She squirmed and bit Rain. He dropped her and she ran off. Rain sighed and picked up the bottle and threw it in the trash can.
I don't really get the importance of this part because it didn't seem to have an emotional effect on Rain or showed the reader that Rain was ignored and hated because of his attitude. I assume you're trying to go for the latter, yet you never really reflect how Rain hated how he was treated or reaffirmed that yeah, Rain gets treated like that all the time. No emotional depth, if you get what I mean. That being said, I would be freaked out, too, if a guy randomly ran toward me and picked me up for no reason (even if Rain knows why). Couldn't he at least shouted, “Watch out!” before picking her up or something so it doesn't seem ... creepy?

Besides all that, you write it very list-like. He did this. He did that. When you have situations where you have a few lines of description piled on top of each other like that, it's important to use different sentence structure so the flow is more readable and smooth instead of static.

She was walking straight for a broken bottle Rain saw. Acting fast, he rushed over and picked her up. This only startled the girl, though, and she squirmed, trying to get out of his grip, eventually biting him. Rain cursed out in pain and dropped the girl, and she ran off. Sighing, he picked up the bottle, throwing it in the trash can.

Even then, it still sounds a bit unflexible and listy, but it gives more variety.

Rain was minding his own business when he saw the smoke coming from the lab. Fire was not good in a small town like this so he ran in to see if there was anyone inside. No one was downstairs when he entered. Rain decided to run upstairs but before he could, he saw something moving on the table. A pokéball. Suddenly, a Cyndaquil popped out and landed on him.
So instead of doing the reasonable/logical/common sense thing like running to a phone to call the fire department or running to an adult or ... just running out of the way so he wouldn't get hurt, he goes inside toward the fire where a cyndaquil randomly pops out and lands on him somehow? And let's talk about that cyndaquil. What luck that it just wanted to obey Rain even though, har har, Rain showed no facial feature or sign that he liked it. And if Rain hated pokémon so much, why would he carry it with him and make it attack?

The two ran upstairs and Rain saw a boy his age, give or take a few months, with long red hair and black eyes. Rain also couldn’t deny that this boy was as handsome as he was. “What did you do?” Rain asked, eyeing the fire and people on the floor.

“Don’t look at me,” Black pleaded, “it was a Rocket Grunt that did this.”

“Team Rocket? Why would they be here? I’m taking you in,” Rain said. “Cyndaquil, Ember!”
... Isn't there a fire? Why are the two boys still there? The floor should be sinking in, there should be smoke that would have either knocked out Black or would have deterred Rain away from going up there, even if he wanted to play hero. Did you forget that there was a fire? o_O Kind of sounds like it with the way you made cyndaquil use ember, possibly causing the place to go up more in flames. Honestly, if you were in a life/death situation like that, the first thing you want to do is get out of the place. You don't stop to battle. You don't stop to talk. You run out of there and fast.

“Can you absorb the fire?” Cyndaquil looked at him funnily, but it walked over and it was actually drawing the fire into its back. After a minute, the fire was out.
Er ... how? o_O The cyndaquil obviously doesn't know how with that funny look, yet it somehow did it anyway?

“This is the police!” Rain heard from outside. He looked out the window and saw the police all right. Along with all of New Bark. “Yo!” he yelled. “Don’t suppose you saw…”

“Shut up you devil!” Ms. Lang shrieked. Suddenly, the cops pulled out their guns and pointed them at Rain.

“Rainbow Fire,” Officer Jenny yelled, “you’re under arrest for arson, theft, and attempted murder!”
Isn't Rain a kid? Even if people were out to get him, I really doubt any police officer would be quick to assume that this was his fault without reasonable evidence.

“Ember!” Rain yelled and Cyndaquil set fire to the splattering oil. It fell down upon the ground, destroying the police cars. Rain gave a weak smile as he saw everyone trying to dodge the fire raining down. It suited his name. This was a Rain of Fire.
So he was innocent before this scene, probably could have proved his innocence, but decided to go, “Hey, might as well try to kill people while we're at it?” o_O

I'll cut it here; the response is getting too long with the quotes. That isn't to say there weren't any more “o_O” worthy moments. To be honest, things happened too quickly for me to keep up with. Scenes of importance were rushed past, and scenes that didn't seem important (like the orphanage scene with Rain and that girl) were longer than they should have been. You thrust too many characters, most of them without a distinct personality (besides Rain), into the mix and jump to their perspective without much time for your reader to breathe or for your reader to get to know your characters. There are too many illogical downfalls in your story–a few I have already pointed out–that are so wtf-worthy that it really was hard to focus on the plot. It really sounds like this should be a multi-chaptered story. I think it'd be a more efficient fic that way. This way, you have the space and the room to take your time and develop your characters and scenes properly.

Ideally, what you want to work on with this story is the pacing. The second thing you want to do is perhaps logically think about your characters' actions, like Rain throwing oil on the crowd, or Rain running up the stairs to a fire. If you do make this a multi chapter story, you might want to dedicate a prologue to Black and Giovanni's want for the Golden Heart and so on. From then, you should progress into Rain's back story, build on his emotion and explain/describe how and why he is the way he is today. From there, you could probably go on to the laboratory scene. The next chapter should probably be his encounter with Black. Only until you slow it down and make sense of things would any reader be able to understand your story.

This definitely feels like a prologue, not a one-shot. It's setting up a story, not delivering one. You're kind of just throwing characters into the mix here--the story is really just at the "introduction" phase, which leaves it feeling extremely incomplete when it slams to a halt. There's also a fair amount of nonsensical stuff in here--a tiny town like New Bark has an orphanage (where most kids stay only a couple of weeks)? The police would have opened fire on a child who they only suspect may have started a fire? (Also, did anybody even bother to rescue the professor and his assistant? And where on earth are the fire apartment?) A bucketful of oil set alight can destroy multiple police cars? And so on; you really need to make sure that your story makes sense--as it is, there are a lot of little things that made me double-take as I read through.

You have issues with punctuation (comma splices, especially) and grammar in general throughout; your sentences tend to sound awkward. Don't write things like "K.O" in serious writing; it looks tacky and jarring in the midst of normal narration. You do a lot of showing not telling (anytime you describe a character as "handsome" you're doing something wrong) and in general fixating on unimportant aspects of the narration (character appearance, for example).

Without any real time to get to know any of the characters and no particular central plot or idea to give to the reader at this point, it doesn't really leave much of an impression. Not much really happens to the characters other than that they get their starters and meet... yeah, as a whole, this one-shot just doesn't have anything to stand alone on.

Thanks for entering, Rixec. You better make this a much bigger story. :p
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21st Place
Starliteevee, "Shattered Heart "

Bay: 23rd Place (10 points)
Breezy: 24th Place (9 points)
Negrek: 23rdPlace (10 points)
Total: 29 points

The quiet was too much for Hayleena to bear. She warily stood up, her shaky legs threatening to collapse underneath her weight. She heaved a deep sigh, letting out all the tension and stress pent up in her. Turning, she walked deeper into the cavern, the pads of her feet so soft that her footprints could not be heard.

The walls were absolutely bear. No moss, mold or even lichen grew on those black rocks. No water dripped from the ceiling. The cave was so silent and dead it seemed as nothing ever did, or could, live there. It was the perfect place for a miserable widow.

She stopped at the edge of a black cliff. The cavern floor stretched out endlessly before her: a black plain of stone dotted with a few stalagmites. So deep was the darkness that even she, with her strong eyes that were used for hunting on the blackest of nights, could barely see, but she could feel the edge of the cliff with her feet. She moved her two back legs forward, and hit a rock over the edge as she did so. For a couple seconds silence reigned, before it was shattered as the rock hit the floor about one-hundred feet down. Hayleena paused for a moment, then resumed getting into her position. It was almost a crouch, with her four feet at the edge of the cliff and her rear off the ground. She did not even bother to think about what she would do, if she did she might find it too hard and not go on. All sanity was lost to her as she leaped off the precipice, falling down to the stone floor that would spell her end as the air whistled around her.

With a sickening crunch she hit the bottom, and the cave was a silent and empty place once more, silent and dead as it should be.

Ah man, ghost stories give me the chills (sorry for the pun :x), especially the ones about lonely souls. :O I commend you for being the first entry to scare me half in wits. XD I actually had a dream of that Houndoom after I read this entry (was reading it late at night). XD;

Anyways, that is what I love about this one shot. You didn’t end with just Haylenna’s death but instead when she becomes a ghost. I thought it’s very cool actually because you have her emotions expanded even after she died. Also, you did very well with Wekko’s emotions when he saw the ghost. I would also react like that if I saw a ghost. XD

Have to say, love your portrayal of the Houndoom’s howl in this entry and how it scared everyone. Houndoom are known for their howls in a couple of the pokedexes, so I have to give you credit for that. Also, in the Diamond and Pearl entries, people thought their calls were from the grim reaper. Not sure if this is intentional or not, but like how the Houndoom is a ghost actually when she howls, hehe.

There are some things I want to mention, though. First there were a few grammar and spelling mistakes. Most are typos, however. A few I found:

The seed grew until it was a great tree, whose trunk and bark were filled with love and exhuberance, each branch laden with joy and each leaf made of jubilance.

A Houndoom appeared to be standing on the rock, its nose pinting toward the bright moon floating amidst the sea of stars, but it was not like any Houndoom he had ever seen.
I assume you’re going for pointing.

He did not bother to move as a third call went up, higher and louder then[b/] the previous two.

Supposed to be than because you’re comparing how loud the howls were.

Another thing I want to mention is the Houndoom’s fate is very predictable. Oy, whenever there’s a story where the main character is heartbroken (whether their crush loves someone else or they lost their love one), in the end they attempt suicide. Man, not too many second chances at love stories anymore. XD; In all seriousness though, I understand she’s very sad over her lost and that can happen if you love someone very deeply, but I just see too many stories like that.

Next is you didn’t mention how Haylenna’s love died. I love the description of Haylenna’s relationship with her love as it gives the reader a glimpse of how much Haylenna really loves her mate. However, I would love it though if you expand more on that by telling a bit how Haylenna’s mate died and her reaction at that moment.

Another thing is description. For the most part you did well with both physical and emotional description as you did that gradually and I’m able to picture everything. Also, you got the emotions across, so that’s good. However, the beginning where you described Haylenna, that was a bit too much. I love how you featured some action to describe the Pokemon in a gradual way, but the thing is we Pokemon fans already know what a Houndoom looks like, so you don’t need to describe all of the features of a Houndoom. Have to say though, the description of the Houndoom as a ghost is excellent. :3

Overall, you have a haunting one shot there, but the Houndoom’s fate is predictable. Also, you didn’t need to describe every feature of a Pokemon and also you should check over for grammar and spelling mistakes. Lastly, this doesn’t feel too much like a Johto story in my honest opinion as this story can work with any Pokemon and region. This work is very good since you managed to give me nightmares about a haunted Houndoom and I’m dead serious (sorry for the pun again ^^; ). ;D

One issue I found was your misuse of words. While they're not necessarily “typos”, they are being used in the wrong context. Example:

The walls were absolutely bear.
Bear has a million definitions, most of them having to do with holding something (“bearing the weight”), or exhibiting something, and so on. Bare, on the other hand, pretty much means naked. The walls are bare, or the walls have nothing on them. So you would use bare instead of bear. There were other typos (“nd” instead of “and” for example) but nothing huge.

Nothing much happened in the actual story plotwise (houndoom mourns death of mate, suicides, and omg ghost), but that's okay since this is more of an emotional context/description story anyway. However, I did find your description TOO heavy and chunky to the point that it seemed unbalanced. Description, description, description, what is this story about again? in a sense. This mostly came up when you had to describe the actual character. Why did you have to detail the entire character out in one chunky block instead of spreading it out in the story when it was actually used? Heylenna probably snorted from her snout later on in the story; why not describe the snout then instead of putting in a description heavy block? Her dark paws? She kicked a rock or something, right? Why not write about what her paws look like then? The same goes with Wekko's description. What was the importance of knowing that his eyes and hair were brown at that moment of time in one huge text block?

Then on the complete polar opposite, your description was also lacking, or at least written confusingly. For example, the cave setting that Heyleena was in. You described it as being empty with nothing living within it, and then you write that she walks further into the cavern until she reaches a cliff. This bit puzzled me, but I guess I understand; caves can have drop offs and can look deeper than they appear. I was going to connect this to the scene with Wekko, but I think those are two different settings (the rock thing threw me off lol).

Past the clumps of description, the story tells the tale of a widowed houndoom who can't take the idea of being alone without her love and eventually jumps to her death. After that, a human spots her ghostly figure (I assume), then freaks the freaks out once she starts to howl. I liked how you incorporated the houndoom's cry into it as its pokédex entry state that its howl is eerie (though I'm not sure if you used the pokédex to write this lol). I also liked how you made the widowed houndoom so dedicated to its mate, something that I would expect from a houndoom. Despite my nitpicks of your description being too blocky, it is done well, especially in terms of vocabulary.

I don't know, though. I really think it could have been a lot more powerful in the emotion department, specifically for the first scene where Heyleena is mourning the death of her mate. Everything happened a little too fast; you only dedicated one paragraph to “her love” and why she was “so sad” about it, and I don't think it's enough to justify why she would jump – at least to your readers. If you reflected more on how much impact Heyleena's mate had on her and maybe a past memory or two about their love or something like that, then maybe it would make more ... sense, I suppose, about why she can't live without him. Repeating “love loss, woe, miserable, widow” really isn't enough. I did think, however, that Heyleena's sadness in her ghost form (second scene) was done well. I do think you should tweak around with the idea of putting more emotional emphasis on how much Heyleena's loss had on her and work on breaking up chunky description and describing only when needed.

The houndoom in this story doesn't really seem to be behaving like a pokémon. The overwrought pining,the crying, etc.; certainly pokémon feel grief (under most interpretations), but Heyleena's sentiments seem much more like a cariacature of a human's than those of an utterly different kind of creature. There's not much that seems to be going on in this one-shot; houndoom commits suicide and becomes a ghost, but what does that mean? There isn't much of a narrative build-up or resolution here, but rather just "this happened," and that's the end of it.

Prose is okay, with a tendency towards overabundant and/or overwrought description. At times your attempt to drive things home and emphasize them just botches what you were trying to do--take the last line, for example. Surely you could have conveyed that Hyleena was a) a lonely phantom, b) devoid of all happiness, and c) left to dwell on her sorrow forever without out-and-out having to spell it out. Rather than letting your intent come through from the construction of your prose, you kind of hammer it in with narration, which really spoils the effect.

There's not a lot going on in this one-shot; idea could be good, but execution wasn't so hot. Try to evoke feeling with the way that you say something, rather than having to explain directly what you want the reader to take away from a scene.

Thanks for entering, starliteevee. That Houndoom will haunt us this Halloween. XD


20th Place
Diddy, "Under a Glass Moon "

Bay: 24th Place (9points)
Breezy: 23rd Place (10 points)
Negrek: 22nd Place (12 points)
Total: 31 points

“Whozair?” he asked, half-asleep.

“It's me you idiot, wake up!” she said in a stifled shout.

Eli propped himself up, his forearms resting against the mattress, “What are you doing waking me up at this time?” the duvet slipped, exposing his chest, making no effort to pull it back, he sat up, back against the pillows.

“It's only nine o'clock, and you're in my bed.” she whispered whilst sitting on the end of the bed.

“I'm awake now, no need to whisper. And besides, aren't you glad to see me?”

She turned her head away, deep in thought, “I suppose so, but it would have been nicer if you would have turned up during the day... and if you were wearing clothes.”

Eli looked sort of embarrassed but then his face flushed with realisation, “Oh come on sis, I know why you're being like this.” he said annoyed, “You know why they couldn't let you go.”

Her eyes filled with tears, but she wiped them away before they could fall down her cheeks, “I know, it's just... I feel like I missed out on a massive part of my childhood. You were off travelling with your friends and I was stuck here, working on the farm.” her gaze lay fixedly on the carpet.

I’ll admit, I’m not too fond of lyrics been put in fics as sometimes that could actually disrupt the flow of the story. However, you only put the lyrics at the beginning, so I’ll let that slide. That and I think the lyrics are awesome. ;)

I actually like the different spin you have on Celebi here. Love that you have some character development on him, having him learn from his ignorance and trying to fix that mistake. True, Celebi might not sound like a legendary here, him being immature and ignorant, but I don’t think it’s that much of a problem. Heck, Ysavvreyl’s entry is of a too proud Ho-Oh and I thought she did well portraying the bird legendary like that. However, sorry, I can’t imagine Celebi as a guitar playing man because that creature is a forest fairy and everyone knows pretty and cute fairies dance, not play awesome instruments. XD Have to give credit though that’s a good way for Celebi to watch over the girl.

I also thought the first part of the one shot you have the main character’s emotions very realistic. I too would want to go see the outside world and be all mad at my parents if they won’t let me out. Of course, things like family stuff can held back a person too. Those kind of situations anyone can relate too, which I like.

The first problem is there have been a few grammar and spelling mistakes. These are the ones I found, although I think the other judges might catch them more than me. ^^;

He was sat under a sycamore tree.
Reading it aloud, this sentence sounds awkward. Perhaps omitting was would make the sentence be clearer.

Behind her were miltank, grazing on the healthy coastal grasses north of Olivine, she truly wished they were behind her, in a less literal sense. To escape this life and live like the young man under her favourite sycamore tree.
Like last quote, the first sentence in this quote sounds awkward when reading it aloud. I actually think this could be a run on sentence, but I’m not sure about that. Breezy and Golden are much better at grammar and spelling, so yeah. ^^; Perhaps replacing the comma with a period after “north of Olvine” would do it. Not only breaks that sentence into two, but also would make more sense.

“Eli? Is that you.”
Question mark at the end instead of the period as the girl is asking a question to Eli.

We were all young at some time in our lives and we all know how it feels, what matters is how we deal with our choices in early life and how we move forwards.”
This sentence seems like a run-on like the other quote I mention, but again not entirely sure. However, when reading it aloud the sentence sounds awkward so I think replace the comma with a period after “how it feels”. That would break this sentence into two and sounds clearer (having that sentence into two) also.

Another problem is this one part of the story:

“Yes I know, it's just... I've been feeling better lately, and with Eli back, it just got me to thinking what could have been.” she replied sullenly.

“It was just too risky. What would we have done if you had another attack out there, with nobody to help you, you would have died. I know we've been harsh, but you must understand, it's all been for your benefit.”

The girl fell silent for a few seconds, then looked into the eyes of her mother, “I understand.” she said simply.
On the bolded part, the mother explains how it would be too risky for her to go outside. However, the girl’s reaction is that she understands. I don’t know, but I think it would be more realistic for her to react in confusion when her mother said that. I would.

Next is the way you punctuated dialogue. I already mention Flaming Ruby about this, so you should have a look at her review. However, I’m going to talk to you about this real quick.

“Yes I know, it's just... I've been feeling better lately, and with Eli back, it just got me to thinking what could have been.” she replied sullenly.
Basically, if you have a sentence like that, there is supposed to be a comma, not period, like this: “Yes I know, it's just... I've been feeling better lately, and with Eli back, it just got me to thinking what could have been,” she replied sullenly. You only put a period if you’re not going to really mention how that person speaks in that way. For instance, “Yes I know, it's just... I've been feeling better lately, and with Eli back, it just got me to thinking what could have been.” Her reply was of sadness and guilt. is fine since you don’t want to mention the action (she replied sullenly), but you still want to explain the tone of her voice. Gah, this is hard to explain, so the other judges might be able to talk to you about this better than me. x_x

Another thing is I wish you somehow take advantage of the Moo-Moo Farm. The girl wanting to get out of the farm is a start, but I feel you could have done something more and take the opportunity to put your own spin on the farm. How, I’m not sure. Sorry for being vague. D: This is minor, though.

Last thing I want to talk about it is the revelation that Celebi mentions to the girl. Sorry to be blunt, but it seems random and there are some plot holes. I was like “what?” after Celebi mentions that she has to save the world from destruction. After Celebi tells his story though, there’s not a mention of her have to save the world nor her thoughts on it. I might be missing something here though, so if I do, then sorry in advance. Let me know if I do.

In short, like your spin of Celebi and it’s nice you featured the Moo-Moo farm as I like that place when playing the games. Also, the main character’s reaction to the situation she’s in, at least staying at the farm her whole life, is realistic and one that anyone can relate too. However, there were quite a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes and also you have a problem with punctuating dialogue. I know you did this last minute and all, but perhaps before posting this have a beta look over this. I’m sure he/she will explain your dialogue problem much better than me. Also, Celebi mentioning the girl she’s destined to save the world is a bit random and wasn’t mentioned again. This fic could use some polishing, but I enjoyed it a lot. You have some good ideas here, but it’s a matter of focusing what you’re trying to accomplish with this story.

Eh, Diddy, your grammar wasn't as strong as I would have thought. I know I'm pretty picky when it comes to grammar, so I do try to be more lenient, but I seriously was distracted by all the errors. I know I've told you about comma splices (using a comma to connect two independent clauses):

Behind her were miltank, grazing on the healthy coastal grasses north of Olivine[,] she truly wished they were behind her, in a less literal sense.
The bracketed comma indicates where you comma spliced. If you want to continue the trail of thought and don't want to make it abrupt with a period, try a semicolon instead; they can be used to connect similar sentence ideas together to keep the trail of thought smooth.

Behind her were miltank, grazing on the healthy coastal grasses north of Olivine; she truly wished they were behind her, in a less literal sense.

If you do use semicolons, make sure both halves of the semicolon sentence can stand alone as its own sentence. A comma isn't strong enough to hold together two independent clauses. You either need to end the sentence with a period or add a coordinating conjunction (and, but, so, etc) WITH the comma in order to use the comma. If not, they really are run-on sentences.

Taking one last look at the young man now, like her, staring at the orange sun being swallowed by the vast ocean, she ventured back to the farm house.
I found this to be awkwardly worded. It kind of sounds like you're saying that the young lady is like the man instead.

Taking one last look at the young man who, like her, was staring at the orange sun ...

You also previously stated that the sun already went below the horizon – or the sun “fell” (not my choice of verb to describe a sunset, but eh) in the beginning. Did it or did it not? Or did it just start to descend?

“It's only nine o'clock, and you're in my bed.” she whispered whilst sitting on the end of the bed.
Not unless you think Johto/Kanto are near the polar edges of the world, I don't think the sun would just be setting or just set below horizon) at nine. But that might vary per person; some people get late sunsets I guess.

“He's had a long trip deary, he deserves a good night's sleep.” her mother said soothingly.

She stood up, her small hands balled into fists, “Stop treating me like a child!”
To insert another parent cliché: “Then maybe you should stop acting like one.” Seriously, how did the mother treat her child-like with the exception of talking softer since her brother is tired? It's not like she babied her or anything. o_O

Your mother screamed and ran inside, almost immediately your father came rushing out as well. You hadn't noticed, you just kept on talking to the bellsprout. They'd seen you communicating with the pokémon, and saw the understanding in your speech, they realised that they couldn't have such a person bringing shame on the family name.
So she was locked up and hidden from society because she talked to a ... bellsprout? Did she grow devil horns? Talk in a hissy, parseltongue type of voice? Was she able to shoot sparks out of her hands? Anything, you know, besides talking a plant? Honestly, these are country folk, and country folk are very traditional and do give the abnormal the side eye, but honestly, I don't see how talking to pokémon = go to your room for ... six or seven years. It is abnormal, yes, but really, I don't see anything horrible about this. Sure, you'd be freaked out, but it sounds more like a gift than a ... punishment from god or the gods or the pokémon gods or whatever once the parents thought about it. Besides, you never really clarified if this girl was talking in another voice or another language when communicating with pokémon, so how would the mother know that the girl (why does she have no name, btw?) was talking to pokémon? People in the anime and game talk to their pokémon all the time. You allude to something more with all this “we can't let you out due to your attacks” talks, but you never gave an example of it. It's either “believe it or not.”

Then we come to the character of Girl, the nameless. The reader assumes that perhaps Girl is home even though her brother gets to travel is to help out with the family farm. However, she longs for something more. Okay, that's believable; kids are often held back from the things they want to do in order to help out with the family in both real life and the pokémon world. Slowly, the reason why she is actually being kept home starts to surface; she has these ... “attacks” as her mother puts it. Again, I guess that's believable; after all, you didn't really clarify what these attacks are. For all we know, she could be sick and she could have an “attack” on the road.

We then scene switch into later that night where Girl is awoken by noise and goes to investigate. No, it wasn't a meowth knocking over a trash can, but a celebi by her favorite sycamore. Er, okay, I guess. We're starting to push toward “too special for my comfort” but I can deal with it. It then goes to tell her that she was given these gifts to “save Johto” and the reason why she's kept in captivity is because her parents using these “gifts” (I refer back to my earlier comment on this). Okayyyy ... Kind of odd, and turns on the “Mary Sue” alert, but we'll leave it at that. Moving on, instead of being angry with celebi or crying in distress about it or even being angry with her parents, she forgives both without any sign of emotion – which celebi causes “wisdom.” What is this I don't even ...? She THEN goes onto state that she's going to leave because of this news. Even if she knows the truth, if she really wanted to leave, she could have; nothing was stopping her.

It's like ... what just happened in the span of two paragraphs? o_O (over exaggerate obviously)

I really think you could have handled this story better. Maybe you could have stuck to her differences without making Girl some generic “chosen one” clone, especially since you never really elaborated on how she would change the world. You can stick with the “talking pokémon” gift, but I think you need to elaborate on why the parents are so offended by it or maybe think of another reason why she's so different from the world that she had to stick around home. Or expanded on this “chosen one” idea. It kind of seem like you threw it in there just so weird character can get weirder.

You also, also, ALSO need to work on your sentence structure. You can't just add commas to connect two sentences together even if you want to keep trail of thought going, it doesn't work like that, it gets annoying after awhile, it's like will the author give me a chance to breathe, it's kind of starting to hurt my eyes like this see? It is even more annoying when they're stacked on top of each other, for example like this one, as you can tell, these are run ons, horrible ones, you didn't over exaggerate like this, and you mostly did it to string together two complete sentences, it's irritating nonetheless. Read your sentences/story out loud and when you run out of breath, that usually is a sign you should have an end stop somewhere. You also might want to review your punctuation in dialogue; most, if not all, of the time you're throwing periods and uncapitalized words in your dialogue.

Anyway, what I think you did well the relationship between the song you quoted and the story itself which is why I kind of understand the opposing opinions between Girl's gifts and her parents and how her her gifts could cause disturbance for society. She's different from the world around her, and then she meets Celebi who I think you added in to relate to the “By your hand ...” part of the song. So relating the song to the story was done excellently. And I kind of just repeated myself. I also thought tying Celebi to the guitar guy in the beginning was clever, too, since that song has an awesome solo ... Er, anyway, this fic isn't error-free certainly, and there are things that I think you need to revise greatly, but overall, it wasn't too bad.

An odd one-shot, this. It didn't really make sense to me. For one, the girl's parents apparently kept her at home with the excuse that she had some kind of dangerous "attacks"... but the only ability Celebi mentioned was her ability to talk to pokémon. Hardly something that manifests as an "attack" or something one could reasonably expect to die from if out alone in the wild. So... the girl believes her parents why? And given how easy it was for her to sneak outside to meet Celebi, why did she not just run away at some point if she was really so miserable? And if Celebi was able to travel back in time and see her there, upon coming to the realization that she was being maltreated, why did he not intervene and instead decide to hop to some random point in the future to apologize? There are ways you could easily address these issues, but as it stands, you failed to do so in the text.

This piece was also lacking in a lot of emotion. Sure, the girl goes on about how sad she is and whatnot, but the way she speaks and acts doesn't really get that through to the reader. It's especially bad during Celebi's little infodump; these are some serious revelations he's throwing around, after all. And yet there's not even a hint that she disbelieves him (really, he just popped in and told her she was chosen to save the world) or how she feels, in general, as the story unfolds before her. The worst part is at the end, when Celebi asks her what she intends to do next--after a few moments of calm deliberation, she comes up with a carefully reasoned, objective assessment of the situation, and has done with it. I mean, really? What the Celebi has just told her is life-changing; it goes up against everything she's ever known. And it doesn't appear to have affected her emotional state at all. There's no remorse, no excitement, no anger... she's just ready to go. It leaves the whole thing feeling extremely anticlimactic.

You have serious issues with run-on sentences, and you don't punctuate dialogue correctly. You don't demonstrate correct use of possessive apostrophes, either. On the whole it's a bit of a rough read.

Overall, you could make this a lot more readable by tightening down your punctuation and sentence construction. More pressingly, though, you need to work on conveying your characters' emotions more effectively and closing plot holes.

Thanks for entering, Diddy. We'll make sure to keep on rockin'! XD


19th Place
Araleon, "Legend of the Winds "

Bay: 22nd Place (12 points)
Breezy: 21st Place (14 points)
Negrek: 18th Place (20 points)
Total: 46 points

“I think we should guard the Tin Tower.” Everyone stared at Koji in complete shock. “Hear me out!” he requested, his green eye filled with emotion. “I think that protecting the Tin Tower is more important. If we are at Tin Tower when they come to place to bomb, their entire plan will be destroyed, and they’ll have to focus on one tower.”

Sayo looked at her husband. “But... what about Brass Tower?”

Koji put his hand on his wife’s shoulder and addressed the group once more. “Either way, one tower would be lost. If we protect Brass Tower, then Tin Tower will succumb to the bomb. If we protect Tin tower like I think we should, then Brass Tower would be attacked by the entire Vision. It comes down to which Legendary bird would be the greatest asset to them. A bird with the power of resurrection, or a bird who governs over three other birds. It’s rather not face an army with infinite numbers of members than four powerful birds. But that’s just me.” Koji’s eyes had the same steely look as before, but this time they also held specks of remorse.

Li was the first to respond. “I agree. We’re already here at Tin Tower, we stand a beter chance at protecting it, and I agree with Koji about the infinite army thing.” He sent a smile at his oldest guy friend and they did a slight knuckle touch.

Sayo had tears in her eyes, but she knew what was right. “I agree as well. Tin Tower it is.” She put her hand on top of her husband’s and best friend’s hands. She looked at Gaku expectantly. “Well? Are you in or out Gaku? ‘Cause we can do this without you if we need to.”

Second longest entry in this contest, and we have quite a few long ones here. D: As such, lots to talk about. ;) The beginning scene with Tommy and his Grandma is a cute scene. I like how you make them imagine how would a real battle scenario will be like. Sorry though, but Grandma did a bad Morty impression. Morty’s voice is calmer and surfer like. :p *gets shot*

Next is that I like the three sisters a lot. Miki is such a cutie and loved her excitement over Nako’s dance results. Also, I thought you did well portraying Kuni as the older sister that worries but cares for her younger siblings. She reminds me of myself as I too have a younger sister and I’m always worried about her. XD Nako is cool also. She interacts well with her Pokemon and her sisters and she seems very friendly.

Love the dancing scene. Beautiful description of the action there. This is my favorite part.
The light shone through the gaps in between the petals as they swirled around Naoko and her Pokémon, creating a spectacular sight. It was as if the sun was surrounded by pink rose petals. All the while Naoko and her two other Pokémon companions were swaying and turning to the music. Then the fox lifted its head, opened his mouth, and shot a log stream of pure orange fire at the petals. The fire overtook the petals and soon Naoko and her Pokémon were surrounded by a twisted strand of fire. The light and fire died down, and the performance was over.
I can picture that part of the dance routine being performed. If I were part of the audience, I would be amazed too. :3

Interesting take on the Xatu showing the future scene. I actually laughed, not because it’s funny since I thought you did very well with the Pokemon’s ability there, but because in one of my fics I did the exact same thing. XD I have the Xatu in my story able to show the main characters of what will happen in the future with mist. The only difference is the Xatu’s eyes glowed and he didn’t keep flapping his wings. ^^;

Love the part of Koji and Li explaining how things were simple in the past and that now everything changed with Vision coming. Like the reflection how back then the three only had to worry about collecting badges and not anything else. With all of them in different careers though, like them, the world changed too. I thought that’s a nice way of bringing that up.

You did well with the war scenes and the destruction the fights are causing. I love also that the Pokemon won’t take mercy on any human or Pokemon. Scary stuff there. Heh, also reminds me of one part I had written in my fic as I also wrote a war scene (in short bursts, though XD; ).

Lastly I just love this part:

<Flaweon went buh-bye…> And she too let out a soft cry, letting one tear fall onto Flareon’s head.
Aw. Cute but so sad at the same time. ;_;

First off, grammar and spelling. I understand you did this last minute, but there were many typos riddled in your story. I would suggest you look over this and then have a beta check your story over too before posting. Not going to go through all the mistakes that I found, but will present a couple to expand this a bit.
“It all began in our quaint town of Ecruteak, but very a long time ago…”
Bolded part you mix up the order of the words. Supposed to be, “…a very long time ago.”

Jolteon smiled. <Well, when your riding, you’ll pick up Wooper, and I’ll follow behind you guys. Ok?>
Bolded part supposed to be you’re.

A few sentences I’m confused if the thoughts of the characters or not. I get the story is mostly on third person POV, but some sentences you have it in a first person POV style. A couple examples:

Grandma smiled at the sight. It’s moments like these that make me love my grandson even more.
The narration is in third person POV, but in the bolded part you one sentence that is of a first person POV.

The older sister stared at her baby sister wearily. Oh Miki, you always could hold a conversation by yourself… I just wish you’d stop to breath once in a while!
Another example. Yeah, basically when doing thoughts in first person POV in a third person narrative, have some indication that they are. First way is by italicizing them, which I seen a few instances of that actually. Another example is like this: Oh Miki, you always could hold a conversation by yourself, the sister thought to herself. I just wish you’d stop to breath once in a while! The latter I have seen done like that without the thoughts being italicized and I’m still able to get that the author wants the character’s thoughts in first person POV while the story is in third person POV.

There were some places that weren’t doubled spaced. Makes the entry hard to read at times. I suggest before posting this to make sure you double spaced every new paragraph. You didn’t have much problem with it, though.

Sorry, have to question how long ago the Legend of the Winds story took place. If it’s like hundreds of years ago, then there are some instances where the story doesn’t sound like it’s in the past and more just a few years ago. First instance is the name Miss Carmen. Next is police officers. True, in the past there should be some form of law enforcement, but I don’t’ think they’re called that long ago. I think they would be call guards, but not sure. ^^; The last name sounds too modern to be in the long distant past. Next is dialogue. Let me pull out one:

The younger sibling brushed back her sea-green hair and chattered away excitedly to her oldest sister. “I hope Naoko passed! I mean I watched her performance a bajilion times and it was totally amazing and – ohmygod! Do you think they’re gonna promote her to a Kimono girl at the age of sixteen? That would be totally awesome! Mom and Dad would be so proud… Oh! Do you think she’d still be our sister? Or would she go all diva crazy on us? I don’t think she would, but you never know. Oh! What about…”
Reread this part. The dialogue here would be weird to use if you were to have this story in the distant past. This is more like a modern teenager would say. I can understand it’s not easy to do dialogue when doing a story from the past, but one way to fix that is by reading some literature books from the past. One example is if you want to write a story set in the 1800s. Some authors to read are Charles ****ens and Jane Austen. Pay attention how the characters speak.

Sorry for rambling a lot on this part, but if this story is set a long, long time ago, I find the dialogue and other things like names to be off. I’m making the assumption this story is in the past due to the grandma saying the story is long ago and also the Brass/Tin Tower incident happening five hundred years ago (I think…), the same time the three legendary beasts are born, which you’re going for. If you’re having this story set more modern, then the dialogue and other things would be fine. However, the problem is the birth of the legendary beasts set five hundred years ago, so you’re breaking canon when it comes to timeline (well, the game at least. Don’t remember if the anime version says how many years the burning towers took place). I explained to katiekitten and Ejunkown this, so I’ll make this quick. If you have one event happen at a later time than the specific time stated in canon, then you have basically changed everything else that happened also. Think history. Would you change the timeline of WWII to in the 1920s or 1950s?

-Next problem is this:
“You’re right, Li, I just wish life could be as easy as it was before we got old and settled down with jobs, and in my case, a family… Back in the old days I could call upon Arcanine and Umbreon and my problem would be solved in minutes, and with the crime rate in our town I can still send them out and have the problem solved in a snap. But with Vision it’s different. Vision is bent on destruction and they’re all experienced trainers who are used to Pokémon solving their dilemma within minutes.”

The group sat in silence for a while, pondering the news, when Koji spoke up. “Okay, what are we going to do?” His Growlithe ran to his side, and Umbreon and Espeon instinctively reported to their respective trainers side.
Does Koji has an Arcanine or Grwolithe? One part you said he had Arcanine, but later you put he has a Growlithe.

Another problem is I find it weird the League won’t let him compete because of his scar. I can’t imagine the League only accepting the “pretty” people to compete. There has to be some other reason besides that.

Next is Jolteon’s death. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Jolteon only injured his leg, which got burn and (I think) twisted. True, burns do need immediate attention, but I don’t think he would die by a burn on a leg. Heck, if his whole body burned he might still have a slight chance of living. You would actually be more of a risk of dying by staying in a burning building too long and inhaling the smoke instead of being burned (well, that’s what my dad told me one time when we were watching a movie long, long ago ^^; ).

Next thing I want to talk about is the tone of this piece. At first you’re going for a more serious dramatic tone and some examples are Xatu’s vision, the grown ups reflecting the past and present, and the deaths of Jolteon, Flareon, and Vaporeon. However, some parts the scenes got more cartoonist. First instance is when you kept mentioning Dai wanting to rule Johto and also him being the know-it-all for Vision. It’s kind of cliché as there has been many cartoons with antagonists like that. Also, sorry to be blunt here, but I think he was being a baby that he turned evil because the League won’t accept him due to his scar. Another example is the ending. Here’s one scene in particular:

“Bring it on you legendary wannabes! Typhlosion, Dragonite, attack!” Alas, the two powerhouses did not attack. In fact, they whimpered and hugged each other. Suicune and Raikou grinned at each other and slowly walked towards the cowering Pokémon.
I can understand you’re trying show that Typlosion and Dragonite are scared, but showing that by having them hugging each other reminds me of the cartoons I watched when I was a kid. If you want to go for a more serious approach, one way is to have them just stood there frozen and unable to do anything. Another way is them whimpering and backing up slowly.

Now, I don’t mind stories that want to take a cartoonist approach. Sometimes a story can work like that if that’s your intention. However, to me this story seems to have a mixture of both and makes the story not flow well. I recommend reading Chozo’s entry as he also wrote about Ho-Oh and the three legendaries. True, there is a lot of comedy, but the scenes of the Tin Tower burning and the death and resurrection of the dogs are all in a dramatic tone and no comedy put in it.

-Last is you didn’t mention much the fate of the girls, their parents, Li, and Gakou. I thought it’s weird you mention what happened with Dai and the legendary beasts but not them.

Short version of this review: I thought it’s interesting you have the legendary beasts be born from the Eeveeloutions. Also, I like your characters a lot and there are some scenes that are memorable. However, there’s just many things I have to point out like grammar and spelling, when exactly this story took place, and what kind of tone you’re going for. Despite this though, I can tell you definetly put a lot of effort on you story and I commend you for that. I do hope you’ll take some advice from me and the other judges and use them for other stories/contests you plan on doing!

Long review is long. This is another "review while I read" response since the story itself is long. Again, I'll try to combine all my thoughts together near the end.

“Well, on one condition.”

“What conidishiun?” Tommy stared at his grandmother with such intensity in his eyes, she felt herself beginning to melt.
You're technically saying the same thing; you just changed the phonetic spelling. I get what you mean, but you might want to think of a different spelling to show Tommy's inability to say the word. Stuttering, or something. Besides that, Tommy seems able to speak pretty coherently, so it sounds more random than childish.

Regardless, I thought this beginning scene was cute and heartwarming. It's always nice to see a grandson and grandma bond with each other. ^^ I also liked the small growlithe bit where it used ember instead of flamethrower (luckily, I suppose =P).

That was also a very beautiful description of the dance Naoko and her pokémon did. It sounds like something straight out the anime during those contest episodes. And yes, that is a compliment. =P I also think Naoko is a cute character with her embarrassment/nervousness around her teachers.

The group stared at the Xatu, and then its eyes shot open, and the Pokémon teleported into the air. Its flags arms started to flap in an uncontrollable flag pattern. Left. Right. Left. Left. Right. Left. Right. Right. Meaningless symbolism to the untrained eye.
I liked this bit. I know it's a small bit, but I think you nailed down a xatu's characteristics. I also like the way you described how Xatu was able to deliver its psychic reading to the humans. Admittedly, the vision of the future was ... chunky, and too much time/length was devoted to explaining what the beasts looked like. We'll get into description later, though, when I wrap things up.

“Oh, well then, let’s hear it Gengar!”

“So then Flareon executed a perfect Flamethrower on the petals! It was pure gold!” Naoko exclaimed, clapping her hands in excitement.
Wha? It's kind of awkward to jump from one scene to another like that without a line break or a transitional line.

While Naoko was getting Flareon to dry her off, Kuni’s Pokémon joined her by her side. Well, her Venomoth perched herself on Kuni’s shoulder, Misdreavus floated in front of her, and Chinchou jumped on her lap… Ok, so just Vaporeon laid down in front of Kuni. But that was to be expected, he was incredibly tired from playing hide-and-seek with Chinchou. He was winning until Naoko sat on his tail…
While I do like when people try to give some personality/life into their narration, you gotta make sure it makes sense, especially when you've been writing in a formal, objective third person narrative.. Informal narration is usually used when writing about your character's thoughts/perspective or inserting your character's personality into objective narrative. When you jump from formal to informal narration without giving your reader a reason/warning, then it sounds random and kind of unprofessional.

Butterfree shuddered. She was glad Flareon beat his brother at wrestling. Jolteon with super speed and super strength could be devastating to the homeostasis of her life. His supped up strength would be the catalyst to more practical jokes from her, and good and mischief would no longer be balanced in her life… Well, now she did not have to worry. Flareon won.
Like this bit. I liked how you threw a bit of Butterfree's personality into the narrative.

So instead of landing in front of the front desk, he landed inside of a lightbulb. Yes. A lightbulb. Needless to say, the lightbulb exploded when they teleported into the center, and Nurse Joy was not pleased with the indoor fireworks.

<I’m sorry, Nurse Joy!> Gengar screamed in agony. This had to stop! <Please, this Xatu is really hurt, just get this crazy Blissey off of me!> After seeing the display of fireworks, Nurse Joy’s Blissey took it upon herself to attack Gengar with her Flamethrower.
Er, I'm not sure what's weirder: the fact that the gengar teleported inside a light bulb whether than near it or that a blissey, trained to heal pokémon, knows a powerful attack like flamethrower.

“Vision!” Kuni whispered. Terror shocked her to her core. The notorious crime mob of Johto.
You can't really whisper an exclamation. That being said, I really wish you had more emotional emphasis in your dialogue, but we'll get into that later.

Kuni slowly turned around, and thought her face lost all color. There was around fifty people with huge Pokémon charging attacks, all aimed at her. She turned back to the man who had released a tall, cream colored ferret whose neck was lit on fire. “You better run little girl, we’re not taking any prisoners, and no one will get out alive.”
Okay, first off, fifty gang members have nothing better to do but aim attacks at this seemingly innocent girl (who should have run, btw, instead of talk back to the Vision member)? Don't they have a higher prerogative, like attacking a tower or at least focusing on it? Not attack and focus one girl who wasn't even in the way or defending the tower?

She felt a presence behind her, and she turned around and saw the crazy man from earlier. The one who told her to run. “Who are you?” she asked quietly. His army was gone, all in the direction of the Tower. She could hear attacks being launched.

The man chuckled. “I’m Dai, the leader of Vision.” Kuni gasped. This man, a few years older than her, was the reason for all of the strife in Johto!
Why would the leader of Vision be interested in talking to this girl who holds no importance other than getting in his way? Why would he stop and converse with this girl when he has bigger issues to worry about, like capturing Lugia? And this wasn't just a “get out of my way!” statement. He went on and told her his life story without hurting a hair on her head even though he threatened her earlier. You're making your characters more special than they really are at this point of the story. And, again, you depicted your character as scared, not brave, and only worried about her sisters, yet you still have her stand still and talk in the middle of a battlefield? o_O

Miki nodded. “Wait. But what about you guys?” She gasped when a piece of the ceiling fell. The enflamed wood almost landed on her.

Jolteon smiled. <Well, when your riding, you’ll pick up Wooper, and I’ll follow behind you guys. Ok?>
...Er, why couldn't she return the jolteon again? Or return the wooper when it was done with its job and ride out on the stanler? Or both? The vaporeon's death I understand as they were in a battle, and I understand that these deaths play an important part later, but this death seemed like it could have been prevented had your character been, well, thinking just a litttleeee.

<Flaweon went buh-bye…> And she too let out a soft cry, letting one tear fall onto Flareon’s head.
I thought this was a cute characterization of Oddish albeit a little overdramatic with the one tear thing. =P

The first feline figure was predominantly blue. It had a dark blue, protrusion on its forehead in the shape of a hexagon.


Its shaggy fur did not cover its giant feet, and it had four black anklets. He had mountain-esque jagged plated on his back, and a wispy cloud-cape that covered them.
You know, you already had a pretttty chunky description of the beasts earlier in the story, so I'm not sure why you needed to have it here ... or why you went into excruciating, almost painful, detail the first time during the vision. I do like this description better than the first one as it gets to the point as doesn't waver into unnecessary detail, though it would have been nice to have seen some of this description during the creature's action. That's a personal writing style opinion, though.

<Look up at me, my creations!> Ho-oh beckoned as he perched in a tree. <I have revived you from the dead Vaporeon, Flareon, and Jolteon that used to belong to three female trainers. You are now my disciples.>
How over dramatic and kind of cocky. >_> Especially for Ho-Oh who is usually depicted as kind of ... quiet and not very show-offy (we're going to pretend that's a word lol) of its power.

Nitpicking aside, I'm going to assume this is AU, or you're asking, “What if a gang went after the legendaries?” or “What if there were a war?” or something like that. Because, er, if you're relying on game canon, then you're pretty far off. In the game, a lightning bolt struck down Brass Tower, and it burned for three days, killing the three beasts inside it and making the two bird legendaries flee. There was a downpour (speculated by yawning slowpoke who make it rain by yawning), putting out the fire, and Ho-Oh returned to the Brass Tower, reviving the beasts, before flying off again. But let's just say this is an AU ... =P

I am a little confused about how Brass Tower burned down. You jumped from Dai going to attack it to it just being burning. There was no attack or scene (not that I can recall) where it showed it was hit and set on fire. It also seemed melodramatic or you wanted things to seem “epic,” but it kind of looked ... corny. An example of this is the quote of Ho-Oh somewhere up there in my rambly notes. The scenes where the eons died were kind of ... iffy for me, too, as the trainer would cry a few tears that would always fall on top of the pokémon, and corny words were muttered, and then next action sequence. Granted, I suppose everyone is a little corny and lame during a close one's last moments, but you kind pushed it a little too far for my tastes. However, that's personal opinion; others might be perfectly fine with it.

There were points in your story where it seemed that you went through a mad dash on the keyboard just to get the description out of the way. When you try to get description (character detail, usually, but it can also take form in your setting), it tends to make your paragraphs heavy with description, and it tends to outweigh your dialogue, making it look unbalanced:

The resulting green bird stood tall and lifeless. Its wings were kept firmly attached to its side, adding to the lifeless appearance. The wings were like flags, and the bird’s body as a whole resembled a totem pole of sorts, with ancient markings and symbols decorating its feathered skin. Its eyes were shut tight, adding to the mysterious aura the Pokémon exerted.
This was your description of Xatu. It's important to give your reader a base of what the pokémon looks like but getting too detailed with it will bore your reader. Describe when necessary and when appropriate. The ancient marking probably could have been omitted, or the symbols could have glowed or done something while Xatu was foreseeing the future.

Besides being chunky, huge description paragraphs usually show little to no emotion from the character:
Dai stared at the clock. The time was nearing. He drummed his fingers on his podium as he stared out at the members of Vision. His organization. Each member was dressed in a gold and silver jumpsuit and their traditional black mask. His gaze again faced the clock. Not even a minute had passed! He was getting extremely restless. He had waited ten agonizing years for this moment, and he'd be damned if he had to wait any longer.
This one has a mixture of things: similar sentence structure, short, choppy sentences which leads to a list-like detail. Mixing sentence structure is important because it makes the flow of your text more natural instead of abrupt and monotonous. You can either combine similar sentence structure with coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, etc), semicolons or re-tweak the sentence entirely.

You also tend to mix narratives with second person narrative:
Kuni walked over to her youngest sister and gave her a big hug. She knew what it was like to lose the closest friend you had.
She wouldn't know what it was like to lose the closest friend I had, would she (and goodness, I always hated when teachers posted comments like that whenever I farked up and put a “you” in an essay ... Sorry, I'm reminiscing at the wrong time =3). Change it to “She knew what it was like to lose a close friend” or something along those lines.

Naoko screamed. All of the blood, the gore, the sheer destruction, it was too much for her! How did she wind up in the middle of this fight? Oh yeah… the picnic… I wonder what happened to the basket and blanket…
The bold part is probably Naoko's thought, but it would have been nice if you had written something like “she thought” before or after it.

The pace once the battle began was a little too fast for my liking. Since this is such a huge tale which juggles numerous characters, it's hard to squeeze everything together into one long story. I don't think this should be a multi-chaptered story, but rather a two shot, with one half dedicated to developing your characters more thoroughly and properly and perhaps start one half of the battle and the other half dedicated to the second half of the battle, focusing on the deaths of the eons and the emotional impact it had on its trainer. In its current states, it seems like Naoko and the others weeped over their fallen starters for oh, say, five minutes? When Vision came to attack the city, everything seemed to rush by in a blur. The tower was suddenly on fire, pokémon were dying left and right, and it was just one big, incoherent battle. Your end also seemed thrown together at the last minute. Like in the sense of, “Agh, deadline, throw something together now.” Slow it down should you choose to revise this.

I thought your characterization for each individual pokémon was done well, and I thought the eons represented the beasts properly with their attitudes (entei/flareon being protective/fatherly, kind of like how Entei was with Molly in the movie, and so on). You took a lot of time to develop the personality of your pokémon's which is refreshing as a lot of people don't usually spend a good amount of time to give their pokémon a set personality. However, the personality for the humans seemed lacking to the point of, well, I can't even name the girls. They seem to all be the same girl; they don't seem to be any different from each other, and it would have been nice to see them have different, distinct personalities, like their pokémon. If not that, perhaps their attitudes would have reflected off their starters.

Grammar was fine, but did you run this thing through spellchecker? o_O Or re-read your work? A lot of your errors were mostly spelling mistakes, most of which would have been caught by a proper spellchecker. There was an occasional slip up with comma splice run-ons, but nothing that effected the story as a whole.

Since this review is getting too long, I'll wrap it up. Overall, it's not a bad piece structurally with well-developed characters (well, the eons and some of the pokemon anyway), decent description and grammar. The plot was interesting, and it's nice to see a different spin on how the beasts came to be. I am a little troubled over the lack of details on some things and the pacing on the battle, and I think you should rethink the deaths of the eons, specifically for Jolteon as he died pretty vainly. You also want to think about certain scenes realistically; if you're running to save yourself, you don't stop to chat it up with the villan that's causing the destruction, like what Kuni did with Dai. A gang leader wouldn't target some innocent girl if he has bigger things to worry about, like Lugia. Things like that. If I were to make suggestions for things to work on, it would be pacing and sentence structure; you tend to repeat sentence structure so it makes your description/plot progression sound more like facts out of a history book then an actual story. Either way, it's obvious that you put a lot of effort, and I appreciate all the hard work you put into it.

This story was considerably longer than it needed to be. You got bogged down in a lot of unnecessary scenes, such as Xatu's trip to the pokemon center, Naoko's dance and a lot of the planning stuff from the group of Ecrutkeak's elite. The story's framing (i.e. its being a story told to another character by the grandmother) didn't add anything to it and indeed really didn't make a lot of sense--the story is not related in a way that one would ordinarily tell a story to a child. Further, the prose itself is clotted with unnecessary and sometimes confusing description, especially towards the beginning.

You also dove a bit into the melodrama around the part where the eons started buying it; as an aside, I don't know how jolteon managed to die in a matter of minutes from a burned leg. The ending was also weirdly anticlimactic. I get that you were trying to add some humor with the way that Raikou, Entei, and Suicune interacted, but it really just killed the moment. There also wasn't much sense of resolution--just a couple of hasty lines from Grandma. While it's better than the platitudes people tend to be drawn towards at the end of one-shots, it does seem strange to have this monster of a 'fic crashing to such an abrupt halt.

The prose overall is a bit inconsistent. There are a lot of typos and grammatical snafus that suggest poor proofreading. Towards the beginning and a couple of places later on, you have difficulty keeping the tense consistent. Your word choices are sometimes blatantly wrong: "encumbered" by flames, "evicted" tears, and so on. It looks as though you're working hard to employ advanced vocabulary and sound sophisticated, but it's only backfiring on you. You're too focused on adding stuff in that you're losing the power of the underlying narrative. It's not so much that your grammar or punctuation is bad, but your syntax could use work.

This story would have been much more effective if it had been slimmed down a bit. There's no inherent problem with length, but the narrative had to drag along a hefty load of baggage, and that really made it crawl. The prose, too, seems belabored; in general, I'd recommend that you work on refining your work (proofreading and editing) down to what really matters and focusing on how the story works rather than on how to make it seem impressive.

Thanks for entering, Areleon. We'll remember those legend of the winds for sure. :3
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18th Place
.Bright Side., "Evolution "

Bay: 18th Place (20 points)
Breezy: 20th Place (15 points)
Negrek: 14th Place (32 points)
Total: 67points

“Uh…Hi…” I said, a little confused as to why he was sitting in this dank room, or why he was grinning at me. I looked at F-Zero, then back towards the guy. As I looked back at him, I saw the Pikachu disappear into a red silhouette and then retreat to the Pokéball. He exchanged it and reached for a different Pokeball, eager to battle. Dusting my conflicting emotions under the rug, I took on a cockier personality and prepared for battle.

“You don’t waste any time, do you?” I joked, waiting for him to reveal his Pokemon. Upon releasing the red stream from his Pokeball, it took the shape of a quadruped. A long forked tail extended from its rear while two large ears poked out from its head. Its magenta colored coat seemed to shimmer.

“An Espeon, huh?” After returning F-Zero, I reached for the perfect candidate for this battle. Releasing the data from its Pokeball, a large and lanky creature emerged. The creature had an irregular shaped head in the shape of an upside down star. A long mustache grew around its nose. Its armored chest took shape. Finally, a set of two legs and two arms emerged. Its hands held two spoons.

“Go Spoons! Thunder Wave!” The Alakazam quickly acknowledged the situation and responded to the command. It raised its two spoons to eye level and touched them together. Channeling the psychic energy, the spoons began to crackle with static. Finally, he discharged the electricity into thin streaks, firing it towards the Espeon.

“Safeguard” the trainer said almost as a whisper. Quickly and elegantly, the Espeon responded with a shield of sparkling stars. The stars formed a protective shield in front of the Espeon, subsequently absorbing the Thunder Wave. The shield remained, though turned transparent, allowing the Espeon to pass through it and prepare to strike.

Nice take on the battle against Red here. Haha, I actually remember using a Dewgong and he was able to defeat that level 81 Pikachu easily. XD

First off, I just love the theme you have here. Not only does the Pokemon evolved, but the main character too. You really did well with their development by putting in some flashbacks and also showed that in battle too. Speaking of those two, I´ll explain them more in depth.

The flashbacks I actually think are needed to give the readers a feel of both the character and his Pokemon´s development. True, the way you have it is kinda like how the Naruto anime does it: huge battle, flashback, back to battle, flashback, then… KABOOM! However, you did it well. The flashbacks and the battle are related to one another in terms of showing each of the Pokemon´s personality, how they battle, and also their development. Again, nicely done here.

Haha, the whole battle is long, but you did it very well. Once more, love how you put personalities into the Pokemon when they battle. For instance, the scene where Lion-O recklessly charged at the Charizard. Also, I like your take on some of the attacks. My favorite part has to be Venusaur´s Scary Face. Imagining his face like that gives me the creeps. XD Also, love your take on Baton Pass and how Chop Suey and Lion O work well together. Also, love how you have the character be nervous but then he begins to become very cocky and too confident.

The Pokemon I love too. Have to say my favorite is Sunny because of him being a showoff, and being a cute one at that. :3 Also Spoons because he likes jazz and I like it too, heh.

Okay, now some things I want to bring up. First off, grammar and spelling you did fine as far as I can tell. However, there are a couple things I found:

“Lion-O! Why’d you do that?!” I asked appalled. Lion-O didn’t respond, he just stuck his nose up at the Charizard and waked back to my side proudly.

“This is our final stand, Pikachu! It’s do or die! Thunder!” The trainer said, turning his hat backwards. The Pikachu responded to his inspirational by crackling with more electricity than ever before.
The sentenced bolded sounds like a word is missing (after “inspirational” ). Perhaps speech between inspirational and by?

“Sunny! Swoop down and fire your Hyper Beam!” I gambled, hoping I would pull triple 7’s and KO Snorlax.
This next part is more of a language problem. I don’t know if ”…I would pull triple 7’s and KO Snorlax” would be something a person say in a normal conversation. I get you’re going for a gambling reference and the main character is the narrator so he can say whatever in his narration, but that part would be weird for someone to say. When doing first person narration, sometimes you have to make sure that narrator doesn’t sound too formal (unless that person is very stuffy and such), nor have him or her say unheard expressions. You don’t have to change this if you don’t want to, though.

Another thing is description. For the most part you did the physical and emotional descriptions well. However, the problem is you described the physical appearance of the Pokemon too much. I know you’ll say, “but what if someone doesn’t know how that Pokemon look like?” Well, here’s the thing. Would I read Bleach fanfiction if I have never read/watch it? Same goes with Pokemon. The readers already know how a Pikachu looks like, so you don’t need to describe the Pokemon in huge detail . That and also the huge block description slows down the story. Here’s one example:

I inhaled deeply, and then exhaled, hoping to regain my composure. Reaching for a fresh new Pokéball, I caught my reflection in it; I had the same shakiness, though I looked more determined and adult than before. That face of the child who had held this ball many months ago was replaced by the cold and hardened face of someone who was ready to win at any costs.

Much like a catapult, I launched my Pokéball into the air, hoping it would get enough altitude and allow the Pokémon inside the advantage it needed. The obvious strategy used for flying-types proved effective as high above the battlefield the red stream of data took shape. The unidentifiable mess of red data took form as it sprouted two wing appendages and a protruding head. Its head sprouted three similar spikes. Much like its simple design, its color pattern was basically a creamy white with a few speckles of red and blue. The creature shimmered in the daylight entering through the gaps in the ceiling.

“Alright Sunny, Sunny Day!” Just as oblivious as ever about the corniness of her name, the Togekiss followed the command and made the beams of sunlight which broke through the cave ceiling turn harsher and brighter. The trainer simply watched in indifferent silence.

Okay, here I can understand you want to describe the Pokemon a bit so that you have the readers know that’s a Togekiss. However, you just bombarded a whole description of Togekiss in one paragraph. Instead, do it gradually. Describe the Pokemon while it was doing its actions. For instance, you can described the Togekiss’ flying high with its wing appendages and titling its protruding head with pride, etc. I would recommend reading purple_drake’s entry on how she was able to describe the Pokemon and letting us know what Pokemon it is without giving a full blown description and also doing it gradually. Heck, she didn’t even mention the names of the Pokemon, so that’s saying something.

There’s one other thing I want to mention about this quote. If you read it back, the battle is put to a halt. True, the character is releasing his next Pokemon, but you don’t have to go through the whole description of the Pokemon being released and then explain how the Pokemon looks like. When doing a battle story like this, the battles have to move at fast pace with little to no interruptions. The battles were halted when you have a long description of the Pokemon’s entrance. At the same time though, the attacks and emotions have to be described too. This part I assure that you have done well. Again, the way to have the battle not pause like that is to describe the Pokemon step by step like I mentioned a million times already. Woops, kept repeating myself. XD While I’m at it, though (sorry D: ), the flashback scenes did also slow the battle down too (remember my explanation of Naruto? XD), but again love them because of the interesting changes the trainer and his Pokemon had gone through.

Next is Suicune. I always get iffy when a trainer is able to get one, or any legendary for that matter. True, canon shows trainers having legendaries, like Brandon. Also, true the main character is already experienced and all, but I´m left wondering how he´s able to catch it. XD I guess part of me wants a flashback of how he´s able to catch and train a Suicune, like how you did with the other flashbacks. Part of me also said you have done a lot of flashbacks already, even though I loved them. :x

I did read Breezy’s explanation about why would Suicune go to you in the Crystal game. The truth I haven’t played the Crystal game, so I can’t actually pinpoint if you messed up Gold’s character (this is the assumption the main character you’re talking about is the main protagonist of the games) if you go with that route. However, if you instead go with Gold/Silver route, then I agree with her that yes, Suicune is damn hard to catch because it’s fast (only able to catch Entei with a Master Ball I was saving for Ho-Oh in my Gold game XD; ).. Liked I said, part of me would like a flashback of how he’s able to catch up and might be interesting how much of a struggle getting that Pokemon is.

Have to say, very impressed with this one shot. This battle maybe big, but it kept me onto my seat the whole time. Some of the problems though are a couple grammar-spelling mistakes, the language, and Suicune. Also, remember the audience doesn’t need a full blown description of the Pokemon. When doing a battle one shot, the battle has to keep going at a fast pace, but you should also describe what is going on so that it doesn’t look too rush.

My bicycle skidded to a stop as I neared the entrance of the cave. The entrance seemed so large and overwhelming, and at the same time too narrow to enter.
Um ... how? Lol. Physically? Or was one physical and the other mental? Like “the hallway was short, but the walk felt so long as I made my way down toward the doctor's office” or something?

My previous wave of nostalgia overtook me as I began to vividly think back to the day I met Spoons.
Battles are pretty heart-pounding, adrenaline-rushing events. Would this kid really risk his battle (despite his supposed upper hand) by not paying attention to the battle all for some nostalgia trip? That being said, it wasn't even a short nostalgia trip; it was a pretty long one due too all the detail that this trainer apparently remembered. I also think it was quite nice of the opposing trainer to give your main character just the right amount of time to finish his thought coherently instead of being rude and abruptly breaking your main character's thought like most trainers would have done.

I recalled my flashback and once again fiddled with my PokéGear before issuing the next attack. Luckily a DJ was playing some of the music Spoons loved. Clicking the radio on, Spoons looked back at me with a rejuvenated smile.
Pokémon worlds sometimes break the normal rules of the real world, but even in the game, you couldn't access the radio or call anyone within a cave. No reception or whatever. Small nitpick, though.

“One Espeon, Quick Attack! Another, Psybeam!” The fake Espeons to the right and left of the real Espeon ran toward Spoons, one ran towards the Light Screen, and the other positioned a Psybeam at the Reflect.
Well, ideally, double team are illusions rather than “fake clones.” Canon wise (least in the games and anime), I've never seen a pokémon that used double team able to use two different attacks like that , and it seemed like they were going to actually HIT if Spoons didn't do something. I mean, it's creative in its own right, but it kind of sounds fishy.

“Swagger!” I called, raising myself out of the bushes. F-Zero released a thin blue smog from its flame. The smog made a beeline for the Scyther and flew around its face and into its nose and mouth.
Lol. Interesting interpretation of swagger. Swagger, if you look the definition up, kind of means to walk arrogantly, conceited, a show off, if you will. It's not, um, blue smog that confuses the opponent (the “blue smog” in the game animation is more like a puff of breath). If you think about the action in the games, you notice that your pokémon puffs out, which then the opposing pokémon copies, boosting its attack, and then confuses it. Confusion is probably due to the rage from seeing its opponent act cocky like that or its so cocky that its not clear in the head, thus causing confusion. That's how I see it, anyway. You're free to imagine attacks in any way so long as its plausible. Just found the blue smog kind of funky. XP

Releasing the stream of data, it took the form of another quadruped, though this creature had many different features: This creature had a large main and a diamond shaped appendage atop its head. Across the sides of its body streamed two tassels. Its purple mane flowed majestically across its baby blue body. My most famous accomplishment stood ready to serve its master.

The trainer watched in silence as the Suicune’s main flowed, even though there was no breeze.
The bold word should be “mane” inste– waaaittt a minute. What the heck is going on? You know what, I guess I do need the random nostalgia scene to explain this one ...

And there is none not unless I somehow missed it (only thing I caught was that he didn't nickname it). So how can a kid not find an abra in the wild yet somehow captured and tamed one of the fastest pokémon in the world? Are you telling me that Suicune decided to stop, battle, and somehow lost even though that goes against all the characteristics of Suicune? I really don't get what made you think, “Hey, it seems plausible for my trainer to capture a suicune.” Because, well, it's not logical in any way, shape, or form.

“Well, you could battle and catch it in Crystal,” you tell me.

Not exactly. Your character in Crystal, Gold (Jimmy) or Kris (Marina), managed to get the suicune to trust him/her by showing it that he/she was a strong trainer (actually, there really seems to be no reason why suicune has a fondness for the trainer, but I assume it ties back to manga where Suicune was looking for a trainer to help it free Ho-Oh), and it saw that he/she was a good, powerful trainer, and someone that might have enough honor to train it. In G/S, that thing would run, and fast since you never really had encounters with suicune (like in the burned tower in Crystal). I really doubt that this kid is THAT good in battle that it could stop a suicune, get it to battle it, not get beat up, AND catch it. Let alone find it due to its incredible speed.

I did read this from you in the contest thread:
I wrote about the final battle between the main character and Red. 28 pages of battling, development, and conquering demons.
And I thought “Okay, well maybe he's talking about Gold then, which would make more sense if I were to use Crystal game canon.” But then again, there's problems with that. For starters: A) You never described your character as Gold, or gave hints or signs that this was Gold. And B) if it were Gold, you'd be messing up his character because you wrote your character as someone who had forgotten about himself and his inner strength, something that suicune saw in the game protagonists throughout the entire game, hence why it let him battled it. And if this change occurred after it was caught, I'm pretty sure the suicune would sense it and perhaps not battle for this new “person.”

And besides that, you really show no reason WHY your character needs a suicune other than to ... have one. Why couldn't it have something else, like a dewgong, or a golduck, or something?

... Okay, done. D=

So let's start out with what I did like. Your battles, although longer than I would have liked, were detailed well, and you're very creative with your interpretation of attacks. Like I said, although the double team maneuver doesn't sit well with me, I found it interesting nonetheless. The random, nostalgia scenes were blocky, but they were telling of the pokémon. It was nice that you put a lot of detail into giving your pokémon a distinct personality and made sure it showed during their battle. I think you could have handled these scenes better (again, I found it odd that the opposing trainer gave your main character just the right amount time to finish his thoughts without attacking him), but the detail was nice. I thought the fist bump was a cute little quirk, and I'm glad that you managed to make that a key feature of your story, representing your main character's innocence/child-like wonder. I found the first one with your character and cyndaquil cute, btw. =P

However, while your description was great, you have to be aware that you're writing in first person, not third. Would you yourself think this descriptively?:
Releasing the data from its pokéball, a large and lanky creature emerged. The creature had an irregular shaped head in the shape of an upside down star. A long mustache grew around its nose. Its armored chest took shape. Finally, a set of two legs and two arms emerged. Its hands held two spoons.
especially if it were your own pokémon? People, when thinking, don't really describe things like that in their head, and only would describe like that if were giving a report or something. Even in third person, you don't need to overdo it with character description that it forms into this chunky paragraph. Write out the key features of the pokémon (like an alakazam's spoons and that its bipedal, or something); you don't need to get over detailed with it.

Despite the nostalgic scenes being a little bit too lengthy and randomly thrown in, I thought they also showed well of your character's growth as a trainer, his child-like innocence being replaced by a hardened maturity, eventually leading with the inability to nickname his suicune or fist bumping Lion-o. I did think that maybe this new found “maturity” could have been strengthened throughout the battle (or his childhood strengthened in the nostalgia scenes), because his new personality and his old personality seemed to be a little too similar in battle. Maybe more doubt in battle instead of cockiness, like how most new trainers are cocky about winning.

I will admit the battle did seem a little too drawn out, and I wish that you did throw a little more personality from your character into the mix just to keep things interesting instead of the mechanic “pokémon did this, pokémon retaliated, pokémon dodged, nostalgic scene.” Again, I did enjoy the individual personalities you gave your pokémon and how you incorporated that into your story. I thought the ending scene was done well, and I'm glad he came to a resolution that would better himself as a trainer and as a human.

The extended flashback form of this story doesn't really work with the battle you're trying to set up. The thing is, the action in the battle keeps grinding to a halt as soon as it gets going so that the main character can reminisce for a couple of pages. This robs the battle of a lot of its momentum; using shorter flashbacks, or framing them in some context other than a battle, would work better. The battle isn't helped by weird pacing, either--at one point the trainer's togekiss launches at the beginning of a paragraph, and the attack doesn't actually strike until the beginning of the next. This is an extremespeed attack, and as the name would suggest, it is extremely speedy. And yet, somehow an entire paragraph's worth of things manage to happen beween when the attack is started and when it actually hits its target. In general, the battle just reads as being too slow; to an extent, this is because you spend a lot of time describing each attack as it is used. It can be difficult to strike the proper balance between keeping a battle moving along at a decent clip and making it look pretty, but at the moment you're leaning too much towards the latter. In order to stay tense and energetic, and give a real sense of the chaos of an actual battle, battle scenes need to stay snappy.

Probably my biggest problem with the one-shot was that it seems to really want to pound its message into the readers. The main character agonizes explicitly over his path as a trainer, pointing out not only that he failed to nickname his Suicune, but what that means in terms of his development as a trainer, or, in general, reflect on his life while he should be preoccupied with strategizing for the battle at hand. At the end of the story you come right out and drop the "hang onto your childishness" message on our heads, just in case we somehow hadn't managed to get it after it had been spelled out repeatedly in the preceding pages. This one-shot would have been more effective if you'd gone in for a bit more subtlety; make passing mention, perhaps, of how the trainer had stopped nicknaming his pokémon at some point, or just note how bloodthirsty he acts at times, and let the readers draw their own conclusions. As it is, constantly outlining important character points in flashing neon lights gets old pretty fast.

Problems with the battle have already been mentioned; there are a fair few typos/general errors in here, and you have problems with showing instead of telling--this is tied into what I was talking about before with the constant talking at the readers about what they should be drawing from the character's attitude. Your prose is a bit clogged with unnecessary descriptives.

Overall, bloat is probably the largest problem for this 'fic; expanded flashbacks to try and drive the message home and pauses to talk about the main character's thoughts drag the battle down, and the writing is a little sludgy, too. In general, paring things down a bit and cutting the telling would make this much less of a slog.

Thanks for entering, .Bright Side. You should teach the judges some jazz moves. :p


Second set of ties: FlamingRuby and Llama_guy for 17th place

17th Place Tie
FlamingRuby, "The Mystery of the Emerald Suicune"

Bay: 19th Place (17 points)
Breezy: 14th Place (32 points)
Negrek: 17th Place (23 points)
Total: 72 points

"Are you SURE that what you saw was a green Suicune?" Officer Jenny asks Maya.

"Yes, Officer--no Suicune I know of is electric green in color." Maya replies. "If it were green at all, it would be a shiny sea green."

Officer Jenny brings up the analysis of the prints she has collected and compares them with a set of actual Suicune pawprints--and gasps when the two sets match. "You may be on to something here...but that still doesn't answer our main question of why a Suicune would want the award jewelry."

"Morty told us that the green Suicune could be a means to an end--so that could mean there's someone that owns or is controlling the Suicune behind the scenes." Crystal notes.

"Well, you have given us some headway in the investigation, at least." Officer Jenny replies as she finishes writing down the group's testimonies. "We'll keep analyzing your tip, and if you find anything new, please let us know." With that, she returns to dusting for fingerprints.

Lin sighs. "You know, that wild encounter has left me not in the mood to do anything else today..."

"That, and it's getting hot." Hiro agrees. "Lita would probably love a nap back at the hotel."

Man, why you have to leave me hanging at the middle of the Emerald Suicune story? I demand to know what happens next! XD Yes, I was actually getting into the story. :3 Well, in short, if I were Kaitou, I would come and demand the statue back, even if I’ll be killed (Kaitou did say he’ll do that). Speaking of that story, I like how you have one of the Kimono girls question the audience if they have been paying attention to the story and have them think what happens next. Also, the creativity of it, like the regions having different names in the past. Would like to know which region is which, though (Johto better not be the weak region :p ).

One other thing about the story is its lightheartedness. I know that you’re making this mystery story in the vein of Scobby Doo (the series which I loved very much :3)—basically a mixture of comedy and investigation commentary. Also, I thought you did well actually making this your own also because in the Scobby Doo shows most of the time Shaggy and Scobby Doo will act silly. However, you have Maya and Lita act composure during the investigation. Lita did act silly but cute during the storytelling scene and at the end, but that’s what I love about her. :D

Another thing I love about this fic is the clues you put here. Like any good mystery story, there’s always those! Nice mention of the Emerald Suicune spazzing time to time later on and also how that frozen maiden is actually powder. Shows you put some thought on how you’ll go by putting the clues and have the mystery be solved with each one. Great work here!

There are some things I want to point out. The first is the layout. There have been a couple places where you didn’t double-space the paragraphs, but not a lot as if I can’t be able to read it coherently if reading it on the forum, like a couple other entries.

Another thing I want to mention is grammar and spelling. I see you’re using present tense, which you did well as far as I could see. However, I found two tense mistakes:
"Other stories were used to teach lessons--that patience was a virtue, hard work was valued, and crime did not pay." a girl wearing a leaf print kimono continues.
Tense mistake in dialogue. The saying would be “…and crime doesn’t pay.”

She sighs and walked over to the windowsill, where Lita is snoozing peacefully inside a small basket with a green thunderbolt print blanket draped over her.
I think it’s supposed to be walks.

One of the other grammatical problems you have here are a couple awkward sentences.
"Chu..." Lita pictures a large table covered in her favorite foods: grilled Combusken, Berries of all kinds, mashed potatoes, and cheeses of all kinds.
“…covered in her favorite foods” doesn’t sound right if you read it aloud. “…covered with her favorite foods” would sound much better.

"As I was watching a movie, I heard a female scream and Suicune roar coming from our floor, so I returned and found one of the maids frozen like this and Suicune pawprints around it."
Suicune roar sounds weird in this sentence. Perhaps Suicune’s roar to indicate that roar belongs to Suicune. Another phrase you can use is “a roar that sound like Suicune’s” to show that Lin isn’t exactly sure if the roar is indeed Suicune’s.

"Friend or foe?" Crystal stammers--the last thing she wants is for a Rocket to gain her trust and then jump her.
Jump her also doesn’t sound right if you read it aloud. It would make more sense to use jump at her as Crystal is scared someone will suddenly come and get her. However, something like ram her or tackle her sounds fine.

There’s one grammatical problem though that you keep making mistakes on: the dialogue.

"I asked Hiro, Kamon, and Crystal to meet us here, Lin." Maya replies.
Whenever you have a sentence like, “I love you” and then you want to say something like he said it in a timid manner, you use a comma after the quotation like this: “I love you,” he said in a timid manner. So the correct way for your sentence would be this: "I asked Hiro, Kamon, and Crystal to meet us here, Lin," Maya replies.

Cheers go up from the crowd as Kuni begins "There was once a boy--let us call him Taiyou--who was known throughout his village for being a hard worker and never without a smile on his face.
Same thing with this type of sentence. If you’re going something like, Kelly took a deep breath and replied you have to put a comma before have the speaker says his/her sentence. The correct way to do this sentence is “Cheers go up from the crowd as Kuni begins "There was once a boy…”

One other problem is the “Heroic Beedrill” story. I actually like the story and the message it’s sending, but I thought it’s a bit unnecessary and it slows the story down. I know you’re trying to put how the Kimono girls’ stories are of values, history, and entertainment, but the Emerald Suicune story is fine. In fact, you could have finished the second story instead, considering it is relating to the history the gang will need to solve.

Last problem is I too think the conclusion was a bit rushed. True, many mystery stories have it like that, having everyone figure out the mystery and then in the end they put the pieces together, even some things that weren’t shown. The end where the gang finds out about an undercover cave comes to mind. You could have probably have the gang find out more about the cave and analyze more what they have find so far instead of Officer Jenny telling them about the passageway.

Overall a nice lighthearted mystery story there and also love the Emerald Suicune story (I seriously want to know what happens at the end :p ). Also, love the detail and effort you put on the clues. However, really watch out how you punctuated the dialogue and also look over the grammar mistakes (you didn’t have too much though as far as I could see). Perhaps get a beta to be a second pair of eyes to look over your work. Also, the ending felt rushed. I have to say, you have some creative stories over here. I would like to see both of those stories in prose form one day. :)

"Here we are..." a brown haired girl smiles as a majestic brown and cream bird circles around a garden filled with flowers and blooming cherry trees that overlooks a bustling city dotted in stages and tents.
The line after the little bit of a dialogue is WAYYY too long.

A brown haired girl smiles as a majestic brown and cream bird circles around the flower-filled garden. Its wing grazes the leaves of the cherry trees that overlook a bustling city ...

I'm not sure I necessarily get the “dotted in stages and tents” part due to awkward wording. The city is dotted in stages and tents or dotted across the city is stages and tents?

Grammar wise, your major error was punctuation in dialogue. It is one of the trickier rules because there are a few rules for it, and it does take practice to get it down. I won't go into my long, rambly rant on it for the sake of space, but I'll give you some tips:

When your dialogue ends with a speech tag (he said, she replied, they screamed), you end your dialogue with a comma, not a period. When the part after the dialogue can stand alone as its own sentence (this usually means that there is no speech tag), you end your dialogue with a period and the following word would be capitalized.

"Arigatou, Sakura-san." the girl in deep blue replies.
Read this part without the part in the quotations. Does the girl in deep blue replies sound like a complete sentence? No, because you're wondering what the deep girl in blue is replying. Hence you would use a comma to connect the two: ”Arigatou, Sakura-san,” the girl in deep blue replies.

"Pleased to meet you." Lin smiles as she shakes the black haired boy's hand.
Again, separate the quotation part from the rest of the of the “speech tag.” Lin smiles as she shakes the black haired boy's hand can stand alone as its own sentence, so you properly punctuated here, whether you know it or not.

It kind of took us awhile to get to the actual meat of the story, which I assume is the actual story telling part. The beginning scene was just meeting of the characters and seemingly pointless conversation about filming where and a whole bunch of smiling in order to juggle around multiple characters talking in the same scene. I understand that this scene was important as it introduces the characters, but it seemed longer than it needed to be, and I kind of wondered if you could have included all this information in the second scene (with maybe the exception of the jewelery stand). If I recall correctly, the intro was your hardest part, right?

Once we do get to the actual story telling scene, I was actually pretty enthralled with the stories by the Kimono Girls. They were extremely creative (I'm not sure if they're based on real folk tales, but even if they were, you transformed them and adapted them to the pokémon world quite well). The paragraphs did get a bit chunky, though. I do appreciate you trying to break it up with dialogue from the other characters, like Lita, but even then, that sometimes isn't enough. When you feel your paragraphs are getting a bit too windy but you don't want to have another character butt in, simply start a new paragraph. For example:

Pretend there's dialogue here. A lot of dialogue that it forms into a big text block and makes it difficult for your reader to, well, read. But what if you don't want to have another character interrupt? Well you don't.

“Continue your same character's dialogue in a new paragraph. Notice how the last paragraph doesn't have a closing quotation mark but this paragraph has an opening one? This shows that the dialogue from the same character is continuing even though you started a new paragraph. When you want to stop, you simply stop it like any other dialogue line.”

Ideally, you're saying the same thing, but it makes it helluva lot easier for your audience to read.

That being said, I still think this is one of our more creative entries for this contest, and I love how the “emerald suicune” came to life and the story smoothly transitioned from something airy to something mysterious. The Team Rocket plan about making fake ice statues, the robotic emerald suicune and the underground caves is classic Team Rocket as I can see them actually doing that, though it kind of makes me wonder how Team Rocket knew that the Kimono Girls were going to tell that story. The ending did seem a little rushed with all the scene jumps (not sure why you didn't have a line or two to transition from finding the cave to actually exploring it, but eh), and the ending was a little ... er, corny. But in a cute way. I personally enjoyed Lita; she's quite the adorable little character. =3 I am a little concerned about Kamon's character since he is a little too helpful that I thought he would be, but it's possible, especially if he already went through his transformation after being beaten by Lance. That's game canon, but that's all the canon Kamon really has. Lol.

Mm, dialogue was kind of your weaker points as I pointed out and description kind of stuck out in a few places, especially when you used adjectives like cinnamon brown. Why not just brown? Or black? Or blue? Or hell, cinnamon without the “brown” attachment. It would have been nice to see a tad more description since this is a very dialogue heavy story, but don't stress yourself out over it. Try not to dedicate one paragraph or line to each person's description or only spend on paragraph on setting; spread it out via action or dialogue.

Hiro picked at a stain on his jeans as he waited for the story telling to take place. He looked toward the mountains, green and fertile as he asks, “When is this going to start?

Or you know ... something better than my example.

Other than that, very intriguing and very creative (I'm sure I made that point clear by now haha). If I were to suggest some changes it would be to maybe cut down on the introduction scene and spend a bit more time near the end as we jump to conclusions a little too quickly. The ending also kind of alluded that you didn't know how to end it, so you threw together something small and called it day. Other than that, I enjoyed your piece quite a lot.

I was actually kind of disappointed that this story didn't really end up focusing much on the Jotho stories the way that I thought it would at the beginning; they seemed to be well-suited to the way that you write. The actual plot--the Rockets and the suicune robot--just seemed rushed. A plaster statue of people encased in ice? You wouldn't be able to get plaster to make an even passably convincing rendition of ice. The random hidden room in the hotel seems awfully convenient. Why would the Rocket grunts be following around after their robot (and why were they trying to make people think the suicune was attacking the hotel, anyway?). It just seems too easy to wrap up the conflict, which in and of itself doesn't hold a lot of excitement. I don't believe it's ever explained why the suicune was after Maya specifically, either.

You don't punctuate dialogue correctly and you seem to be going to absurd lengths to avoid the use of the word "said." You also seem to have a weird fixation on the color of things ("hunter green" backpack, "cinnamon" carpet); it's not a huge problem, but it sure does look weird to see those outlandish color words cropping up in the narration all the time.

It's always interesting to see something kind of lighthearted and in the spirit of the anime. I think that you capture that essence quite well. Unfortunately, you also capture some of the anime's most crippling flaws--namely things that don't really make any sense and no real sense of conflict.

Thanks for entering, FlamingRuby. Scobby, scobby dooooooooo! :p


17th Place Tie
Llama_guy, "Distance "

Bay: 14th Place (32 points)
Breezy: 16th Place (25 points)
Negrek: 20th Place (15 points)
Total: 72 points

I do not know how long I have been travelling now. At least one moon cycle; that I do know. I find myself a quaint spot under a tree. The shadows protect me from the burning sun; today it is too hot for even someone like me to travel outside. That is the payoff for being more accustomed to the darkness under the moon.

“Hey, let’s go this way! I’m certain, it’s over here”

What was that? A voice? It sounded like one of those wretched beings. Has it not been scared away by my constant howling? No, maybe it has been attracted by it. It is out to brainwash me, so much can I say for sure right now.

A rustle. It is nearby, walking slovenly and ungracefully through the grass, notifying me of its presence long before it can see me. I run; silently I slip into the tall grass around the tree.

I watch as it comes closer. Its frail eyes scavenge the terrain, most likely for me.

“Okay, Houndoom, come out!”

Houndoom? That was the name given to us by those creatures. A flash of white light. Then I see a figure, which to an outsider’s eyes were similar to bee. But I can see them. The small cracks in the bones, the different texture of the fur. But… no! It cannot be! Yet, it is! The figure standing there… it is my very own brother!

A story about a Pokemon that despises humans, hm? I admit, there have been thousands of stories about those, and even I did a couple of them in the past. However, I always say execution is much more important than how original an idea is. :)

One thing I love about this fic is how the Houndoom refers to the attacks Fire Energy and Water Energy. It shows how the Pokemon actually doesn’t know the specific name of the attack they used until they’re trained, which I thought is neat. This is like in real life with the difference between wild/untrained animals and trained animals. When you train the animals to listen to your command, most of the time they’ll obey.

There are a couple other highlights I like. One is how you connect the Houndoom not wanting to cry because of tears being water to getting hit by the Blastoise’s water attacks. I thought it hits home how much the Houndoom hated water.

Another highlight is the twist to the ending. The first three-fourths of the story the main character is all, “I hate you humans!” and then the last quarter he went, “I love you, Crystal!” Usually those kind of endings can be tricky to pull off well because they can be seen as rushed. However, I think you did well here because of the suddenness of it, how the pokeball changed the Houndoom’s personality dramatically in a split second. I always liked stories that theorize how the pokeball works (people have different interpretations about that) and I like your portrayal of it. Already some stories that did the same thing, but you did it very, very well. Also, I felt sad and went, “awwwww!” when the Houndoom’s mate is sad to see him with a human being. Poor her.

Speaking of pokeballs, Breezy mentions how she’s iffy about pokeballs brainwashing Pokemon because of both game and anime showing strong minded Pokemon, like Ash’s Charizard and Pikachu. Heck, there’s examples of Pokemon getting out of their pokeballs like Jessie’s Wobbefet and Misty’s Psyduck. Also she mentions about Pokemon not forgetting their roots. All of that is true. However, I’m opened minded when it comes to someone’s interpretation of the pokeball, so this isn’t much of a problem for me. Besides, the pokeball debate has been done to death. :p

Grammar and spelling, I don’t see any mistakes, but I’m not the best person to be dealing with grammar. ^^; I did notice one typo, though.

Then I see a figure, which to an outsider’s eyes were similar to bee.

Now, onto some areas you could improve on. First off, the Houndoom seems to keep repeating how bad humans are and that the pokeballs they use are evil. That could be cut back so that the main character doesn’t keep repeating the same thing over and over.

Another problem is the gap between the Houndoom battling his brother and him able to find a mate. I feel that you could have done a couple more scenes with the Houndoom and his mate meeting one other and them together. With those scenes you could develop the Houndoom a lot by showing how much the two love each other and him very happy to be able to have company instead of just telling.

Last thing is I feel that part where the Houndoom said, “I’m actually curious about humans all this time,” is all of a sudden. The story went on about how he dispises humans and then just that one sentence he says he is curious about them. Perhaps if you give more subtle hints about it, then it would make more sense. That might be hard to pull off though considering it might look like he contradicted himself on his beliefs over humans.

Overall you did the pokeball are evil type of story very well and I enjoyed it a lot. The only problems are to expand a couple of scenes and to not keep repeating the same emotions over and over. Nice job here!

Pokémon. That is what we are all called by them. Those weird creatures who walk around everywhere on their two weak feet, without the strength to do anything but travel around. They can’t even attack or defend themselves using Energy. Only their frail, weak bodies, whenever they use them. That is not often; instead, they entrap us in weird capsules, and use us for battling.
This introduction is a bit confusing. You first start out by what humans call pokémon, and then start describing what humans are, even though the last sentence was talking about pokémon, not humans. So it makes sound like the “weird creature on two weak feet” are the pokémon, not the humans. You might want to fix this a bit and maintain your focus on what a human is without changing terms like that.

I quickly run towards it. Now I will not wait. My dear is waiting for me, so I will have to be quick. I plunge out of the bushes, towards this human.
So his mate is waiting for him, and he knows that she needs him, so instead of running back to her, or running away period, he runs TOWARD the trouble? Strong or not, you would think a pokémon, especially a wild one, would run back to protect its loved ones and would only battle if it really had to.

On the front of it, I can make out the letters I have learned by watching human writing: “C-R-T-L”.
He learned how to read? Lol. He might be able to recognize the curvy shape of a c, or the long form of a l, but I doubt he could put two and two together and know that curvy shape is the letter c.

Oh! I now realize something. I… I have always been curious at these humans, not always raging mad. I wanted to find out more about them. That was why I was really stalking them all the time.
“Oh?” Really? This is just a sudden transition, especially for an important one. You keep reaffirming the reader that your main character hates humans, believes that they brainwash them, even SAW his own brother brainwashed by those pokéballs, but suddenly, out of the blue, for no reason whatever, decides to go, “Wait. I don’t hate them! I’m just curious!” It’s rather unbelievable – implausible, if you will. I saw you attempted to have the houndoom character be a little curious with his want to go back, but it wasn’t really a morbid curiosity. Just a, “Oh, I’m kind of worried about my brother” instead of being curious about the human and the process of being captured itself.

The idea of pokémon being brainwashed by being owned, tamed, or captured in a pokéball was always a little skeptical to me, because the anime has a few examples of strong minded pokémon disobeying their trainers because they felt the trainer was too weak and they too powerful. One example would be Ash and his charmelon/charizard, who, as most know, disobeyed Ash for about the longest time ever until he saw that Ash was a worthy trainer. His personality never really altered to fit Ash’s; in fact, it seemed like Ash had to change his own ways. Another one would be Pikachu in the beginning of the anime, who absolutely hated Ash, and only respected him when he saw Ash almost get pecked to death by spearow (or whatever the hell happened lol) to protect it. These pokémon have strong qualities about them that didn’t drastically change just because they were captured or under a trainer’s control. Of course, this can be debatable. What is really Ash that changed for his pokémon, or the pokémon changing? Or both? And would that actually be considered brain washing?

You write your houndoom character as something strong, with scenes of it defeating “tamed” pokémon, and being the alpha male. A dominate, strong creature who seems to stand firm for his believes albeit maybe a little curious. But he got captured, something that he clearly did not want to happen, and he just gets brainwashed right away even though it’s a strong, hardheaded creature. Seems improbable with evidence in the anime (and games somewhat). Of course, this is opinion; nothing necessarily wrong with it. Another opinion, I suppose, was the houndoom character forgetting about its mate entirely, when it has been noted in the anime that a captured pokémon doesn't forget about its roots. For example, Ash’s squirtle recognized its team of wild squirtle that used to cause havoc. Ash’s butterfree was still instinctual in the sense that it knew it had to breed soon. Ash's bulbasaur knew about the ritual about his evolution, even though captured for quite some time. A pokémon does not necessarily who he is or his rituals/traits just because he's owned. Game canon, there are NPCs in most of the games, G/S included, that could measure the happiness of your pokemon, showing that a pokemon can hold grudges against its trainer or isn't exactly a ball of sunshine once it gets captures. I digress, though, and this is opinion anyway.

Your description, for being in first person, was decent, though certain segments when you were describing a character were awfully blocky and awkward:
But before that, I want to see my superior. It stands tall, with a strange, blue fur atop its head. It moves down, then goes up and ends with three points. A paler, still blue, covering conceals most of the rest, apart from the sides and the front. She has white and red coverings on her body. Also, she has a container on her back, which she now sits down, and inside she gropes for something.
I have no idea what you’re trying to describe here. I think it’s the trainer. Besides, Houndoom is close to fainting, isn’t it? How would it have time to focus and detail whatever this is out? Why did the blastoise and its trainer give the houndoom time to describe it? Describe when necessary and when appropriate: if you’re writing in first person and your character is running, it won’t have time to focus on the setting. If it’s in a fight, it won’t really care that the tree is a good few feet over his head. When you do want to describe something, and your character is in too much of a hurry or busy to stop and smell the flowers, you want to try embedding it with action.

The rough bark of the tree scratched up my backside.

Or something that is not crappy like my example lol. Be careful with adjectives when doing this, though. Too flowery or too wordy will interrupt flow and make things stick out.

I do think you should revisit it and rethink some things if you do choose to post it for the public. Ideally, I would rethink the entire brainwashing premise; it’d probably be more believable if you lengthened it out and showed your houndoom character as something strong and quick to disobey, and then slowly obeying its trainer the more it realizes that the trainer isn’t half bad. *OR* continue to show the toughness of the houndoom and how it hates humans and then make the switch to liking humans quick, ignoring this lame “I was curious, I swear!” stage. The transition from “hating” humans to “okay they’re decent” to “I wuff you” was too fast for me. *OR*, if you want to keep this “curious” stage, you might want to work on the houndoom character itself and sort of hint more at its morbid curiosity. There was maybe one line that hinted at it being curious before its “realization” scene, and it wasn't strong enough to support the Houndoom switching sides like that. The thoughts themselves were done well, especially at the end where Houndoom did get captured. I liked how it thought the wild pokémon were barbaric and dirty while he was sophisticated now, especially after his thoughts about tamed pokémon being weak. I also liked how you incorporated one of the G/S/C pokédex entries about a Houndoom’s howl scaring away other pokémon back home. In general, it’s a decent fic even with my whiny nitpicks. =P

Hmm, the whole "pokéball as brainwashing" thing is one that isn't seen explored too often, and you do a decent job of the pokémon POV. Ultimately I don't really come away feeling a whole lot from this story; to an extent, I feel that this is because your narrator doesn't really do a whole lot to put the reader into the narrative. The houndoom seems to just be reporting on what his feelings or events are and what happens--"I am lonely/I see a trainer" sort of thing. This doesn't really help us connect with the houndoom on a visceral level, though; emotions are not a purely cerebral thing; when he sees his brother, what does the houndoom really feel on a physical level as a result of this? How does he react, in a vsiceral sense?

Your prose itself has a tendency towards the awkward and perhaps slightly melodramatic. Phrases like "if my bone necklace could move, it would...be crying" are odd, because what does movement have to do with tears? Similarly, lots of "No, it cannot be!"s get kind of stilted after a while. You use a lot of simple sentences, and it causes the prose to come off as a bit jerky and uneven.

This one-shot would be more effective if statements like "Right now, he is feeding my brother! Unforgivable!" weren't forced to carry most of the emotional impact for the rest of the story. Rather than just saying what emotion(s) the character or characters are experiencing, you should attempt to get at how they experience them, and perhaps why. Right now this piece just doesn't have much impact.

Thanks for entering, Llama_guy. A supply of pokeballs will be coming your way. :p


16th Place
PocketmonMaster, "Animal"

Bay: 17th Place (23 points)
Breezy: 17th Place (23 points)
Negrek: 15th Place (28points)
Total: 74 points

“Nakata! Step away from it!” Harrison stood at the gaping door flanked by two dark and beefy grunts ready to take charge. The sight of Nakata and the snivelling animal in a comforting embrace boiled Harrison’s already pressured blood. Harrison roughly grabbed NE-34 and pulled her from the consoling Nakata, throwing the girl to the burly guards’ feet, coldly stating, “Take it outside.”

Nakata unsurely got to his feet, unsure of what was happening. All of a sudden, a whole host of questions ran through his mind; did they regain the connection with their cameras? Did they see the Ditto? What was to happen now? First he had revealed too much to the girl, and now the surveillance system – He knew he was ****ed.

Harrison angrily grabbed slammed Nakata by the scruff of his uniform and slammed him into the closest wall, pinning the sensei as he grew more eager to shred the captive into strips right there and then. Harrison’s eyes bulged, his veins throbbed and pulsed in clear view, and his once neat playboy hair was as unkempt and grubby as a shaggy dog. His maniacal face became twisted and distorted in an orgy of rage in front of Nakata’s bewildered eyes. Nakata remained powerless in an attempt to show his compliance, hoping for leniency – the jig was up.

“Why are you blatantly disobeying my strict instructions?!” Harrison bellowed at his trapped prisoner, “You are not to treat her like a child!” There was something – Nakata could feel it – something wrong with what his enraged tormentor had said. Quick-minded as ever, Nakata could only think of one defence: Keep him distracted and feign ignorance.

Oh my GAH, I just love this story a lot. *_* Okay, end of review here. XD

*coughs* Hm, where to start? I guess I’ll start out with Harrison. I just love him as the antagonist of this story. He’s ruthless, selfish, and won’t let anything get in his way. Nice background history too of him wanting to keep his father’s legacy going. I also love his line, “Welcome to my legend.” Probably sounds corny to some people, but I thought he’s cool just by saying that and that line sooooo fits him. XD

EN-34 I also like here too. Yeah, I can tell that there are some childest qualities in her and that’s what I love about the clone. I also feel sorry for her sometimes when Harrison snaps at her. Would hug her but am afraid of that katana and her awesome karate moves. XD

The description of the action in this story just rocks. The nitty gritty carnage here reminds me a lot of the way my favorite writer Tim O’ Brien writes the blood and gore that happened during the Vietnam War. Some might say it’s a bit too much, but to me you didn’t go overboard and also if you edit the blood and gore out or put less it would cheapen the action and dark tone you’re going for this story. Tim O’Brien didn’t dumb down the gory description because it’s a war history and knows that is needed.

Quick question- is Nakata Lance’s grandfather? If not, then that’s fine. ^^; Either way, I love Nakata. He’s very compassionate to EN-34, very spiritual, and also quite strong headed and wise.

Have to say, this is my favorite entry in terms of plot and the action you have here. The twist of the Maghony underground you have here is done very well. In fact, I remember from anime canon there’s a short movie about how Mewtwo is cloned and even the scientist tried to clone his dead daughter. Don’t remember if that’s Rocket related, though. :x At first it went slowly, but I still love the background information you put about EN-34 and also some history on Harrison and Nakata. Later on though, things kicked off and I love the action and suspense you have there, especially at the end where Harrison runs away from the Rocket grunts and is able to get EN-34 but gets his butt kicked. XD Haha, your story made me wished the Rockets would have done that instead. XD

Last thing- EN-34 saying “Animal” at the end just kick butt. :3

There are a few problems I want to discuss now, despite me liking this piece a lot. First, the way you did the punctuations in the dialogue. For the most part you did fine, but there were a couple small mistakes here and there.

Standing above Nakata’s assaulted body, Harrison “You’re sliding on thin ice, old man.
In this dialogue missing a word between Harrison and the start of the speech. You can use said, yelled, screamed, or any other action verb to describe the tone of his voice and such.

“God, I hate this vacuum” Keane grabbed the nearest swivel chair that was within reach, dragged it to his rear-end and effortlessly slumped into it, despondently reflecting on the situation at large in the Rocket climate. “Someone has to become our leader, or nobody will.”
Comma after vaccum in the first part of the dialogue.

“I will register some help for you, if you want it.” he waited for an answer to his suggestion, correctly doubting the fact that he was to to obtain one; it wasn’t Harrison.
This one since you have Keane stopped speaking, the “h” in he should be capitalized. There might be a few more dialogue problems you have, but I’m not actually sure about them, so I’ll let the other judges comment on the more complex ones.

Another problem is if you’re going with the timeline of GSC (basically the time the Maghony incident occurred), then Chuck is the gym leader, not Desmond. However, if this story takes place sometime before Chuck became the gym leader, then you can ignore this comment. ^^;

Speaking of that, I’m having trouble what kind of canon you’re going for. I know both in the anime and games, the Maghony incident is the same, but one difference is in the games there’s the Electrodes (which you referenced) while in the anime there’s no Electrodes. Another thing is in the anime Giovanni is still in control of Team Rocket while in the games he’s not. One other thing is in the games Mewtwo is created from Cinnabar Island while in the anime it’s New Island (which you mentioned). If going anime route, then Mewtwo is created from New Island and Giovanni is still around. If going game route, then Mewtwo is created from Cinnabar Island and Giovanni is not leader anymore. Now, I’m fine if you mix some things from anime and some things from games, but you also have to be careful of things like which place a Pokemon/person is born and also who’s the leader of what as game and anime contradict each other many times. I brought this up because I’m not exactly sure if Giovanni is still the leader during the events of this story and also mentions of both New Island and the Electrodes gave off alarms. Now, I didn’t mention manga canon because I’m not familiar with that, so for all I know, you might have used manga canon. I don’t want to criticize you misusing canon since I’m not actually sure if you’re mixing a couple of them or just sticking to one, but some clarification would be nice. Sorry. ^^;

While we’re on the subject of Team Rocket, this didn’t come to mind until after reading Breezy’s review. I too now begin to wonder why Team Rocket would do human clones now. True, nothing can stop the organization from doing that, but basically what is their motivation for doing so? Then again, in the anime there is this one scientist who actually tried to clone his dead daughter, Amber, but was unsuccessful.

Next is there are a few instances you wrote in Japanese. The problem with that is I don’t know Japanese (and I don’t think the other judges do either). Perhaps if you still want Nakata to speak in Japanese, have the dialogue be in English and then at the end put, “he said it in Japanese.”

One other thing is you keep switching the clone’s name from EN-34 to NE-34. Kinda unsure which codename you want to use (even though I’m using EN-34 for now :X).

I also want to mention a plot hole you have here. What happened to the Ditto? I love that little blob. If that creature died… ;_;

Last thing I want to mention is some parts you have center a sentence or paragraph. Like Ibuberu’s entry, I explained how those kind of aesthetics (having lines centered, bolded, righted, change fonts, etc.) can actually be distracting instead of helping to emphasis certain parts in your story. When writing, you’re telling a story, not trying to make a trailer (or a written one in the case of those trailer for your fic threads) or poster. You don’t want to make it as if you’re focusing to have every line be emphasized and trying too hard.

Once more, I just love the suspense and action in this story and also really love Nakata, Harrison (as the antagonist mind you :p), and EN-34. Also, out of all the entries, this is my favorite overall in terms of plot (though Chozo’s is a close second). There were some canon inconsistencies and dialogue problems, mostly on the punctuation front and the few times it was written in Japanese. Also, you don’t have to center certain lines as you still emphasis the importance of them with words and not bold and righted tag lines. I’ll end this by saying this is how suspense and action stories/movies should be like. :D

The first part of this review is going to seem very nitpicky (though I did throw in a few good comments here and there, too). This is because I was responding while I was reading. I'll write a more coherent review at the end
As two of the black-clad men rushed to put the final touches on their task, tightening the already restrained subject’s arms with a third Velcro strap, further diminishing the meagre chance of a possible escape.
Using longer sentence structure means for a closer inspection of your sentence. Since it's so long, it's easier to miss mistakes, such as making sure your sentence is sufficiently complete.
“Hmm... Teeth are in good condition,” he spoke to nobody in particular, “But the gums... Not so much.” each word tinged with distain.

You're a little bit shaky with dialogue punctuation (which I will explain fully later). You have a few ways of fixing this.

“Hmm... Teeth are in good condition,” he spoke to nobody in particular, “but the gums... Not so much,” with each word tinged with disdain.

The “speech tag” continues even after that bit of dialogue, hence why I replaced the period in the dialogue with a comma.

Anyway, I do like this scene with the teeth evaluation. Good use of description. Smalll nitpick/confusion on one bit, though:
Harrison gave an equally spiteful smirk, removing a single heavy leather glove from the pink and subtle skin of his right hand ... Drawing the gauntlet across his torso in a threatening pose, Harrison promptly brought it down and slapped the girl’s face with a deafening ‘smack’. Her head snapped violently to the side as bloody spittle flew from her mouth, landing a little over a meter away.
Latios. a gauntlet? o_O Gauntlets are like ... armor, for your hands, worn in the medieval times that extent to the wrist (usually). While they can be leather and flexible, most of them are hard and made out of metal. I mean, I guess I can see why he would wear one to demonstrate his power, but I think it also could be a misuse of the thesaurus. D= And crap, that would HURT if you were hit in the face with that. Like more than just a “stinging wound, dribble of blood” sort of way.

I like how you were quick to jump to Harrison's character of judging this ... “human” (I'm assuming it's not lol), by calling the girl an “it,” and his muttering of the end sentence to this section.

Desmond held on, eventually drawing out the ‘competition’ to a point where a decision had to be made by their captors as to who would continue on.

Neither Li, nor Desmond’s bodies were sent back to their families.​
I'm kind of wondering why you're choosing to center sentences (hopefully there's a pattern to it other than just to emphasize things), but this was a very powerful line. Simple but ... haunting. I also liked the dialogue between Nakata and Harrison; it was a strong scene that portrayed both characters as strong but hard-headed characters.

It’s at the tip of my tongue. Who was it? Nakata?

Protect Nakata?



Protect EN-34.​
I'm pretty ... anti formatting on prose (I think Bay referenced the thread I dedicated on the subject), but I'm glad to see you did it for a reason. From what I've experienced with awkward, jarring formatting, the author usually does it purely out of aesthetic reason, but you did it to differentiate between the actual narration and EN-34's thoughts. While I still thing the same emphasis could have done by keeping it all aligned left, ( ;P) I do appreciate that you did it for a reason. It does kind of hurt the eyes, though, bear in mind.

Kay, well now that all that is out of the way, I do have to say that this is a very well-described story with well-developed characters. I thought your build up of Harrison's character was done extremely well. His back story with his father's death explained a lot about his character and how circumstances near the end of the story came to be. He's a real cool-headed hard ***, and you kept him as such (with maybe a slight anger problem) which helped emphasized how powerful the “snapping” scene was when he got fired. One of my favorite bits of Harrison's character:
In Harrison’s mind there was no need to watch the protracted conflict of interest. He just needed to see Andreas’ motherly face cry at the contorted sight of EN-34 cowering in fits of fear and agony – It served them right. The cries of the beasts’ pain echoing down the limitless halls that consumed the underground world did little but warm his heart.
I also liked the thought process that went through EN-34's (you typed her name as NE-34 a lot, btw, so I'm not sure what her name really is o.o) head, and it was intriguing to read how a character that was treated more as a weapon than a human would react to “strange” things, like the ditto. I found this part very telling:
Since she was little, the clone had been groomed to accept the strength and solidarity of the individual while rejecting the dangerous ideals of friendship. Desires of men and women were weakened by the evils of camaraderie – That was why the Rockets were superior and set to inherit the Earth once the time was right. There was nothing more that EN-34 regretted more than her investigative actions of the Ditto.
I also like how you gave a reason why people might join the Rockets. She, too, was a strongly developed character despite lacking a personality. Again, her thought processes were interesting to read about.

You weren't kidding about gory description. o_O I was a little ... iffy about the scene where Harrison loses it and decides to kill everyone (head exploding was kind of an extreme since it sounded like the head actually exploded in one big boom), but it was described well. You did tend to overdo your description with windy sentence structure (as I pointed out earlier), but I appreciate the effort you put into detailing your story out. Some paragraphs were a little bit chunkier than I would have liked (though this might be due to my own writing style), but it's a very detailed piece.

It was pretty good grammar wise, though a more thorough proofread could have helped. You also seem to have issues with semicolons, though I'm not sure if it's just typos:
With her emerald green eyes intent on her target and lengthy dark hair tousled from hours of sweat and exhaustion; EN-34 battered the swinging pendulum with nothing but the power of her finely trimmed body.
The semicolon here should be a comma since the “with her emerald green eyes ...” can't stand alone as its own sentence. You do usually use semicolons correctly, but you did slip up a bit.

You also seem to be confused with punctuation in dialogue:
“So what? You’re not going to congratulate me in return, eh? I would have thought that after all of these months you would have spoken at least one word to me,” EN-34 slowly turned her neck to face Nakata with a featureless look on her face as her sensei busted his gut to produce the punchline, “And no, ‘Hi-Yah!’ doesn’t count.”
The part after the quotation (EN-34 slowly turned her neck ...) is its own sentence and doesn't relate to the dialogue before it, so you would end the dialogue with a period.

So what? You’re not going to congratulate me in return, eh? I would have thought that after all of these months you would have spoken at least one word to me.” EN-34 slowly turned her neck to face Nakata with a featureless look on her face as her sensei busted his gut to produce the punchline. “And no, ‘Hi-Yah!’ doesn’t count.”

To make it short as possible, you only use commas to end your dialogue when you're connecting it to a speech tag (speech tag being words like “said,” “asked,” “declared,” “yelled,” and so on). When the bit before or after your dialogue doesn't include a speech tag, you usually would punctuate with a period since it can stand as its own sentence.

That being said, it was a wonderful piece. Again, I applaud your wonderfully developed characters, your attention to detail, and the rising action that lead to one hell of a climax scene. I actually did like how Harrison kept referring to EN-34 as “it” and “an animal” and other derogatory terms; it was little things like that that helped develop his character. In fact, the smaller things in this story seemed to combine together to represent your character, such as Nakata and his prayer mat (representing his spiritual side and that even though he was kidnapped, he wouldn't lose his old ways) and EN-34 and the belt she was given where it showed her thought process of how something so soft could represent sturdiness, a logical fallacy according to what she was taught. Everything combined together wonderfully.

I, however, was concerned with your opening statement:
With previous experience concerning the cloning of Pokémon (Mewtwo), what would stop them from taking it all one step further and attempt to create a human?
That's fine and dandy and all, but why? Why would they care about making a human? A weapon to take over the world? Great; however, they would clone a pokémon to do that, not a human. I kept that in mind as I read this story over, and the closer I got to the end, the more this quote kept bubbling up. Then the story ended, and I'm still not sure why Team Rocket would care to make a clone of a human. I mean, sure, the technology is there, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they would want to make a human clone to do their bidding. They'd want to make a pokémon clone again, I'm sure, for the sake of the power they'll be able to wield. Even if this girl is trained underneath a strict martial arts schedule, she'd probably have difficulty fighting a monster that is able to breathe flames or control her movements with its mind. Not unless I missed something in the story, I don't think it would make sense for Team Rocket to clone a girl. This is Team Rocket's slogan as seen through their hideout (in fact, it's probably in the Mahogany Hideout):

Steal Pokémon for profit. Exploit Pokémon for profit. All Pokémon exist for the glory of Team Rocket.
In a nutshell, Team Rocket's goal is to take over the world ... using pokémon, not necessarily humans. And let's think about this logically; what good would having a human clone do for Team Rocket? It can fight what? Other humans? Other humans have pokémon that will destroy her. Just because they wanted to test out their technology? I'm not going to pretend to be a Team Rocket expert, but I'm pretty sure Team Rocket will do something so long as it profits them. Broadcasting a signal to evolve magikarp isn't cheap; however, selling the gyarados the magikarp evolved from will benefit them. I'm not sure what evidence you're using to explain why Team Rocket would want to test genetics other than, “Well, there's a lot of room down here, so something besides evolving magikarp has to be going on.” That isn't to say that this isn't creative, and the fact that you came up with this entire idea to clone a girl and make her do Team Rocket's bidding just by looking at the size of the Mahogany hideout was unique. Odd ... but creative nonetheless.

So I did find the entire plot fishy, and I think Team Rocket would have stuck to cloning pokémon as that would have benefited them more, but to each his own. That being said, you did marvelously well at developing your characters and progressing through the story at a steady pace, developing each character wonderfully. I did like it, and it's obvious you spent a lot of work on it. If you do choose to post this, I suggest rethinking why Team Rocket would want to clone a girl, and how this would benefit them.

This is pretty similar to most pieces about Team Rocket creating some kind of supersoldier, and unfortunately suffers from many of the same problems. It just doesn't make much sense to mistreat a project on which you've spent inordinate amounts of money and time, especially when all you're doing is increasing the chance that it turns its enhanced fury back on you the second you show signs of weakness. It was made more puzzling in this story by the fact that Harrison was apparently the only really sadistic member of the team--and yet he wasn't removed even when he was clearly severely mistreating NE-34. Keane made some halfhearted overtures in that direction, but the fact that Harrison wasn't removed immediately, or at some time far in the past when he was first found to be abusing the project, would be a sign of serious management incompetence in the real world. Further, there's stuff like the "trigger scent" that would actually be an enormous inconvenience to any real organization, as exemplified in this 'fic by how easy it is to turn against the project's owners and the fact that it's about the most unsubtle way to have your weapon go about killing things ever.

Further, things seemed to be a bit contrived in this story--things like the video cameras going down conveniently for Nakata in order to slip in the ditto (although the ditto thing never really went anywhere), despite that that sort of security should be given highest priority and everything possible should be done to get the cameras running again immediately, by diverting power from other areas of the base if necessary. You also overdid the gore a bit here; all the descriptions of blood, blood, and more blood got a bit tiresome, and at some times outright laughable--the amount of gore that managed to get sprayed around the practice room from the disembowelment of one man, for example, was a bit silly (less silly than Harrison being able to hear the "gnashing of teeth" through a couple of feet of steel, though). You really belabored the bloodiness--sometimes understatement is much more effective than reveling in gratuitous violence and bloodshed.

This piece could really use some proofreading; there are plenty of easy typos lurking around, and it might have helped to smooth your prose out a bit. As it is, your writing tends toward the awkward as a result of weirdly convoluted syntax, large vocabulary words tossed in where they don't belong, and an abundance of unnecessary descriptors that sometimes lead to outright redundancy. A particular problem of yours is misplaced modifiers, which leads to a great deal of awkwardness; take the sentence "Designed like a generic boxing ring, the sensei and student would exchange blows..." for example. I don't know about you, but I've never met anybody designed like a boxing ring, generic or otherwise. You also don't punctuate dialogue correctly and appear to have some difficulty with semicolons. All in all, it's a bit of a rough read.

Overall, this read like a fairly standard "Rocket Genetic Experiment" 'fic; it would have been better for less melodrama and wallowing in gore, but other than that it's not especially bad. There just isn't a lot to recommend it above anything else in the genre, which tends to be rife with problems.

Thanks for entering, PocketmonMaster. We'll watch out for that experiment, then. :p
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15th Place
Dramatic Melody, "Death"

Bay: 12th Place (38 points)
Breezy: 15th Place (28 points)
Negrek: 24th Place (9 points)
Total: 75 points

It wasn’t the best place to stay, but Ilex Forest was peaceful enough to run away from most of the world. The ground was almost always damp, moisture present from the omnipresent dew. Sunlight never seemed to dominate, the ridiculously common trees completely blocking it out, plunging the forest in an unpleasant darkness.

My mom – wherever she was now, whoever she was infatuating, that ***** – said that traveling would make me stronger. I beg to differ – the past eleven months that I have traveled, not once did I feel any stronger than before. The Solarbeam attack I did to those two assholes was the strongest attack I could ever possibly conjure; now, I could barely conjure anything half as strong as it.

I vowed not to love, ever. I met much more beautiful Pokemon, some even liking my lone-wolf status, but I rejected them all, without even thinking twice. And I did so not only because I wanted them to feel my pain, but also because love wasn’t something I could simply trust.

Why you have to kill a Hoppip, the cutest Johto Pokémon? I hate you for that! :O Nah, just joking. :D Anyways, this is one of the most tragic one shots we have so far in this contest. I actually feel sorry for the Hoppip that he feels that way and is unable to recover from that heartbreak. He did good narrating what had happened to make him feel all miserable and I actually find it funny that he thought some of the Hoppip are hot (sorry if that’s not supposed to be funny). Maybe it’s just me not thinking Hoppip are like that and instead very innocent. XD;

Another thing I like a lot about this one shot is the references on Hoppip’s light body. *suddenly imagines Hoppip just floating around a river* Okay, that image is too cute, even though I know cute is the last thing you want to hear about this one shot. XD However, Hoppip/SkimloomxVenusaur? That took me by surprise, considering Hoppip/Skimloom are very small and Venusaur are very large. WAILORDxSKITTY then? D: *gets shot*

Lastly—awesome beginning quote. ‘nuff said. :D

There are a couple problems, though. One, I feel the Hoppip was going on and on and on about how the world sucks and how he hated it until he reveals that he lied and that he only hated that Hoppip that broke his heart. I can understand he’s all “screw you, world, screw everyone” because of that incident, and that can happen to some people who are extremely depressed. However, I felt that drag the one shot a bit because the readers did not get into the real reason the Hoppip is angry until much later. Taking time to develop the emotions is good, but in my opinion sometimes a whole page with nothing but a rant can slow the pace done greatly. For instance, the end where the Hoppip confronts the hunters you did both the emotions and pacing of the action well.

Another problem is there have been a few words that are a bit too formal for a Hoppip to use. Reason for this is because I find it weird one minute he would be cussing and use offensive words a lot and the next say some words not even humans would say in everyday language.

The scenery was exquisite – a serene, freshwater pond, coupled by a lush field filled with a variety of beautiful flora and fauna. It was a perfect setting for romance.
I had to look up what fauna means. ^^; I think just saying flowers and animals instead of flora and fauna is better. You don’t have to change this if you don’t want to, though.

My mom – wherever she was now, whoever she was infatuating, that ***** – said that traveling would make me stronger.
This is what I’m talking about. You have him say “infatuating” and then talking about how she’s a *****. And yes, I know what infatuating means actually. :O You don’t necessarily have to change this either, but in my opinion this part would work better with a more common word or phrase than that word.

Overall, this is one tragic one shot there and you actually did well incorporating that into the Johto theme of this contest. Mostly watch how your character speak (if there’s inconsistency like going from using formal to informal words) and also not to go too overboard with emotional description. Good luck on any other projects and contests you’re thinking of doing!

Ah, an emo, foul-mouthed, hornball hoppip. Interesting yet kind of odd as well. =3 I suppose that's what you were trying to aim for, though, being that it is a hoppip, and no would dare think it would think such suicidal and depressing thoughts. Anyway ...

“Interesting[,] I’ve never seen a Hoppip in Ilex Forest before.”
“Uhh, guys, maybe we should leave it[,] it looks pretty angry.”
Both of these sentences are comma splices. The first one probably would be better off with an exclamation point (“Interesting!”) and the second one would probably be best suited as a period, though a semicolon could work as well.

A solitary tear began flowing out of my eye; that was the first time I felt true sadness.
Is the single tear thing possible? Lol. Just makes things sound more dramatic than they really are. Teary eyed sounds more plausible and less, ahem, corny.

I left them, firing a Solarbeam along their way.
So hoppip can't learn solarbeam naturally; they need a TM for that or some form of human intervention to learn it. Its evolutions can, but not hoppip. And you write it so ... airy. Like this puny thing could fire solarbeams like a weak razor leaf attack, or something, even though solarbeam is a pretty powerful move that also requires time to charge. Anyway.

When I jumped off the cliffs near Cianwood, I was too light to feel the impact of the waves. When I angered a Hitmonchan, my skin was too soft for me to feel his punches.
I doubt it even could reach the waves, not unless that what you meant, because ocean waves usually mean there's wind, and hoppips, as we know, are carried away by wind. And even if it did reach the waves, it's more likely that it will be crushed. Humans have trouble in rip tides; I'm not sure how a one pound hoppip would not get crushed or pulled down. While I get that a hoppip probably would just float backward in the wind if it were punched, I'm pretty sure a hitmonchan could have just smashed it it if were THAT annoyed. Nitpicksss.

Needless to say that it was different and your choice of hoppip, a happy-looking creature, was certainly unique. It's obvious you put a lot of emotional depth into your character to the point that I felt for it ... or its attitude made me feel certain ways.

However, your character is, in my honest opinion, annoyingly whiny – make of that what you will. If that's what you aimed for, you did great, if it's not then ... maybe I just get annoyed easily. Lol. “Woe is me, everyone is vain, and selfish, and heartless, and they only care about outside appearance, and it's 'effin lame, and I hate, hate, HATE it.” I'm not sure if you were trying to pull the hypocrisy card with your main character, but when it says things like:
They were, in human terms, “cute” – the girls were ****ing hot – but all those positive qualities were bound to be equated negatively.
She was one of, if not the, hottest Hoppip there was in the group.
it's really hard for me to pity it. It also confuses me on how your main characters hates how all the other hoppip are concerned with outer appearance when it seems to me that your main character only liked this girl because she was “hot.” He acts like he is better than them, when he really isn't. Was your main character vain like the rest of its group and then realized the wrong of its community once its heart was shattered? Then again, these thoughts were after it left the community, so it's still pretty vain anyway.

Another concern of mine is that you seem to throw a hoppip's traits out the door:
It was a simple philosophy: “I mind my own business, you mind yours. You **** off, and I **** off.”
This is hard for me to believe, because hoppip need to be tight knit just to stay in their habitat as seen here in this pokedex entry:
Gold pokedex entry said:
To keep from being blown away by the wind, they gather in clusters. They do enjoy gentle breezes, though.
Other pokedex entries state that they often link leaves together when a strong gale approaches. So separating themselves in “cliques” is not only dangerous for them as an entire community but also seems unnecessarily, dare I say, human-like.

She was alone in a field, next to a pond.
Once more, this hoppip is doomed if a strong breeze blows through. I doubt it would separate itself from the group, or would at least bring another hoppip along so they could link together. In fact, the only times you use a hoppip's traits is when you're describing its attempts to kill itself (two of them I pointed out earlier).

I screeched as I charged towards the same fried Hunter, giving him my most powerful Tackle ever. I landed on his head, and he landed face-front towards the ground.
This scene shows how you neglected how heavy a hoppip actually is, lol. I mean, you're telling me that it was soft enough to endure a hitmonchan's blows, but hard enough to knock down a human man? Wasn't Hoppip tired from traveling as well, and didn't it exhaust most of its energy in that human-made solarbeam? How did it have the strength to pull off a tackle so strong that it knocked the hunter off his feet?

The main character did intrigue me albeit annoying me a little with his whining. I like how you make him naïve, even to the point where it entered deep depression or anger or whatever, confusing his lust for that hoppip as love. I'm not sure if you intended that, but that's how I personally interpreted it. It really is a strong 'fic emotionally wise, and while the plot itself is a little cliché (lost love, deep depression, etc), the character surely makes up for it. I'm quite fond of your way with words; the flow was smooth, and you're quite skilled writing in first person; none of the description stuck out and was very fluid, something that a lot of fic writers have trouble with when writing in first person.

However, certain scenes were just too human-like for me to be comfortable with, particularly when Hoppip was still around his community. All these cliques, and laughing at him because he's not “cool” or “hot” or whatever just sounds ... odd coming out from a pokémon's world, let alone a hoppip's. It's certainly not a bad 'fic, of course (in fact, it's well done), but it did, on occasion, seem so outlandish and otherworldly that it kind of was hard for me to remember that this was from a pokémon's perspective, not a human's. It was like you just picked a random emotion (depression/anger), picked a random pokemon, and then inserted thoughts that, well, it probably wouldn't have. It's nice to give a pokemon a personality, sure, but it is just overkill when it seems so human-like that you can't even SEE the pokemon anymore. I digress, though. It's structurally sound and a good piece overall, but I would suggest thinking over your entire premise and incorporate the actual hoppip character (physically, at least) into ALL aspects of your story.

Well, you've certainly got the characterization of your stereotypical melodramatic, self-absorbed teenager down pat. Can't say I found it particularly enjoyable to read from the narrator's point of view--really, I just wanted to throttle him--but his characterization was at least consistent. However, I didn't really find this story to be very convincingly pokémon-centric--it plays out way too much like a typical high school drama for that to be the case. Surely pokémon as different from humans as hoppip and skiploom have a rather different way of life and way of viewing the world than teenagers; the characters in this 'fic were all very human.

The story itself feels very melodramatic. Appropriate, I suppose, as the narrator certainly feels important and he's the one talking, but it kind of goes to the point where it doesn't make sense. Would a bunch of people just after some rare apricorns really shoot a hoppip just because it was kind of annoying? It's a freaking hoppip--it would be as easy to just knock it out with another pokémon, or even just walk away kind of quickly; they're not exactly all that fast. It seems a bit contrived that the human would get so enraged as to actually kill the hoppip after it attacked him--weakly--a couple of times.

Further, I don't really find it probable that the kid would actually be having some profound revlatory experience as he lay dying. Anybody that torn up becuase their crush was flirting with some other guy obviously has serious issues, but the only impression I got from the hoppip was that he was hostile and petulant. Platitudes suit him, I guess, but I didn't really find his death touching or profound. If you had meant for him to be kind of messed up and pathetic, it would have made him more sympathetic if you'd given some greater indication of actual hardship in his life. As it is, it's kind of like "GOD that really hot hoppip I like totally doesn't love me, **** the world." It's more eye-rolling than moving.

The prose itself is pretty decent. Mechanically, you have few problems, and your phrasing is generally clear and well-organized. The writing suffers from the same problem as the plot in general, though--you tend to get rather melodramatic in your descriptions. At one point, the main character actually cries a single tear--this is the sort of thing that gets played for laughs in parody 'fics. You also tend to do a lot of telling; it's sort of like "this happened, then this happened" and so on. The narrator certainly doesn't hesitate to express that he's ANGRY ANGRY ANGST WOE, and that's certainly reflected in his actions, but it's not the most engaging way to get the story across.

The pure writing of this isn't too bad, but I'm afraid I didn't find the narrator sympathetic at all. I also didn't find him to be a very convincing pokémon, and the ending really just left me cold. I don't think you're an awful writer, but this story underwhelmed.

Thanks for entering, Dramatic Melody! We'll never think of Hoppip the same thanks to you. D:


14th Place
Ejunknown, "Giovanni is Dead"

Bay: 19th Place (15 points)
Breezy: 20th Place (17 points)
Negrek: 10th Place (44points)
Total: 76points

Fighting the slight resistance, fingers sticking to the clotting blood, his nails clawed to find something to anchor them- and his grip slipped slightly as he managed to secure it. As he bit down on his tongue and pulled, screams strangled in the empty rush of air, he fought to ignore the fact that there was no way the Rockets could plan something like this.

The pressure reprieved a little, before, with a muffled grunt, he finally managed to tear the thing away. He inhaled sharply with a gasp, barely able to hear the clang of metal as the device hit the ground and his fingers tore away the blindfold, before he was doubled over in a dry wretch. His muscles trembled, and he fought away the virulent cocktail of shock and pain convulsing through his system as he threw his head back, gasping huge breaths of air. Taking control of his thoughts again, he managed a cough before opening his eyes, swimming through the waves in his vision until he finally recognised the cold stone of the room.

It took him a second, though, before the full implications of the slightly dated marble tiles scorched through his mind.

He was in the basement of the Psychic Gym. The basement of his gym.


Have to say, love that you have Giovanni died by ghosts. That’s a very creative idea, actually. Also, the scene where the ghost Pokemon had its hand go through his skull is awesome. :D And oh, the end where the ghosts kill Morty at the end is lovely too (or at least, that’s what I assumed ^^; ).

I also thought it’s interesting Morty has lost his voice, most likely so that he won’t mention the incident. I’m a bit confused though if it’s the ghosts doing or Team Rocket (more on that later). ^^;

The references of Team Rocket sprinkled here and there throughout this story I like also. Gives an idea that Team Rocket might be the one involved in the takeover of the gym and also of the reasons why they would do that.

All right now, a few things I want to mention. The first problem I want to mention is grammar and spelling. For the most part you did fine here (as far as I can tell), but there were a couple typos I saw.

Everything was still, and he felt his heart beat soften a little; the bare minimum of furnishings he had chosen to decorate the place didn't offer an spaces big enough to hide in.
I think that’s supposed to be any.

He frowned at the sight of the ghost pokemon, until it stretched open its hands to caress the body before it, igniting a quiet moan- before it thrusted its hands deep into the mans skull.
First bolded part should be thrust. Second bolded part should have an apostrophe before the “s” in mans.

One of the other problems is a couple canon mishaps. First off, like katiekitten, you got the timeline wrong. The Radio Tower incident happened three years after the disbandment of Team Rocket, not ten. I already explained about this to her, so I’ll just say watch out if you’re going to change the time gap than what stated in canon as you would have to compare and contrast what changes can happened in three and ten years. Another canon problem is Morty is a ghost gym leader, not psychic. I can understand the mixup though because Morty has psychic powers (or something of that sort o_O), but he’s not Sabrina. :x

Another problem is despite I commend you for giving depth on Morty’s emotions and even describing the little details like him sweating and his body shaking, there were some parts I was confused because of the vagueness of it. Part of the reason is having too many adjectives and adverbs in one sentence. One example:

He blinked through his automatic frozen position, hand raising once again as he took another breath to touch his throat, ignoring the sting as he brushed the jagged edges where the blood had begun to clot. He tried to speak again.
Wasn’t able to understand what was going on until I reread this part a few times. Here there are quite a few adverbs and adjectives that you could have gotten rid of to make the sentence be read faster and also to have the emotions be said much clearer. Sometimes too many words can slow reading down for the audience, and you don’t want that to happen. Then again, I write mostly suspense and comedy, and those genres require actions to be fast paced. :x Hence, I can’t be able to judge if you’re able to pull Morty’s personality right because some parts I was confused what was going on and how he was feeling.

However, like I said to KK, if you feel this writing style is better to you to convey to what you’re trying to say, then that’s fine because I actually hate making the writer change their writing style. Everyone has their own voice. Just mentioning this to give advice and also have you think about this. Leave or take, if you will.

In general, you have an interesting fic here and seems like you’re going though the psychological aspect of the events unfolding (Morty trapped, sees Giovanni dead, realizes he’s under his ghosts’ trap), which I thought it’s very cool. However, the writing style is vague and I was confused of what was going on at times. Again though, you don’t have to change the writing style, but it’s something to think about. Don’t worry, this is not a waste of an entry and there are a lot of things I love about this piece. :)

Well, there's no doubt that this is a very structurally sound, detailed piece of writing. I thought it was an interesting, creative interpretation on how a gym leader, in this case Morty (Mortimer ... that's his French name, if you didn't know (which you probably did =3)), has the ability to control ghosts with them being otherworldly (or spiritually) creatures. You described well, especially for the pained scenes that Morty went through (though I do have a nitpick on that which I will poke at later). And I over did it with the parentheses. Oops.

However, I was a little confused. It just didn't sit well with me – the whole premise of Morty being choked or having his larynx ripped out or whatever happened to him. In fact, I'm not really sure what happened to him. o_O I know it had to do with his throat, but you went off on a tangent with his fingers touching and gripping and ripping that I wasn't sure what he was ripping or gripping (I assume his neck) or what exactly he touched and ripped off. It was detailed, of course, but ... I kind of got lost in the process.
His nails sunk into his skin, tearing it, and he could barely recognise the dulled streaks of pain - let alone be grateful for it – as his nerve endings dulled; after the fall of Goldenrod two weeks ago, he’d listened to their prophesised challenge of him, his gym. Those glorified biker thugs, in their stark white and black suits - who somehow had known how to find him, knew too much- he used his anger to dig deeper, and his mouth opened in an airless gasp as his sticky fingers broke through the surface, nails scratching against a small, rectangular object attached to his oesophagus.
This bit. Not that I want to try, but your fingers alone are able to tear through the flesh at your neck? I know the skin there isn't exactly tough (ideally, you can use something sharp to poke through it in extreme choking cases), but really? Fingers? o_O

The bold part is confusing structurally. You're using dashes in a parenthetical sense in this case – e.g. if I were to omit what were between the dashes, then your sentence should still make sense ... which it doesn't.

Those glorified biker thugs, in their stark white and black suits–who somehow had known how to find him–knew too much. He used his anger to dig deeper ...

Then we come to the actually ... choking part, or what I think is choking (you use the verb “choke” a lot, so I'm assuming something is blocking his airway lol). I really didn't get what happened to his throat, to be perfectly honest. I know there was some device used on or in his esophagus (oesophagus). Then there's the question of how was Mortimer able to stay conscious for so long, or at least be able to think clearly and coherently, whilst having something lodged in his throat or having something metal and hard pressed up against it. No, it may not have killed him, but even if he did manage to take off whatever was pressed up against his throat, he still probably would have sustained some sort of dizziness or lost consciousness – after all, he probably wasn't getting oxygen to his brain for quite a bit. It doesn't take long to die from choking, so not getting enough air for at least a minute is going to mess with your head a bit. The physical pain was there, obviously, but there was no internal repercussion, something that did not sit well with me. Mortimer was still able to function, was able to piece together what was happening, was able to remember the past, was able to know who Team Rocket was, even with his larynx ripped out and something lodged in/against his throat for awhile albeit a slight cough and blood.

He was in the basement of the Psychic Gym. The basement of his gym.
Purple_drake already pointed this out to you in the thread, but Morty's gym is a ghost gym ... hence all the ghost pokemon he has. o_O It kind of does bring up another problem where Morty's character (personality, his power, prestige) didn't seem to have an importance other than the fact that he uses ghost pokemon. So why use Morty instead of another trainer that uses ghost types if that's the case?

One thing I didn't understand was the “facade of the Rockets” that you're talking about, though that's probably my own fault, not necessarily yours. I do still stand by my choking/throat argument and you may need to clarify that or make it more realistic. Like I said earlier, it's an interesting interpretation on how Morty was/is able to control ghost types. Albeit my confusion with the entire neck ... choking thing, you did describe it well, and I thought the premise was unique and relatively refreshing. I did read your comments in the HG/SS thread, and you said that you found Morty to be flaky and kind of arrogant, though you never really showed it – or is was the entire point of this story was how Morty came to be so arrogant and flaky by uh ... becoming a ghost, or the soul of a ghost inside a body of a human or whatever? You also might want to make key points that this is Morty, not just some generic ghost type trainer because you didn't really show any attributes that made Morty any different from any other character that has ghost pokemon.

I did, however, love your ending. As you may or may not know, I love one-worded responses to things because I always found them to be more powerful than a detailed, gruesome explanation of what took place. And simply just stating “snap” explains, well, what happened. And that friendly line before that “snap” just made it even better. =3 I also thought you have a great handle on third person subjective, and it served you well when telling the reader about Mortimer's thoughts without him bluntly stating it out loud and awkwardly. Again, I do give kudos for your excellent description; you know when to put emphasis on things and when to keep it simple (again, I refer back to your ending).

I do like it, from what I understood, and as I said, it is a very structurally sound piece. Perhaps you could tweak some things around just to clarify things, and maybe think a few things over, like the choking ... thing. I know you're probably tired reading that, but I think that's what struck me odd the most.

I... have no idea what's going on here. If the premise is that Giovanni died, turned into a ghost,and then planned out an attack that would allow him to get a body back and carry out world domination, that's pretty cool, although there's no reason I can see that he would need to have anything to do with Morty, specifically. If you meant that the ghosts had seized on the opportunity of the Rockets attacking the gym, supplying them with a bunch of dead bodies, and they now intend to take over the world, cool, but I don't get how Giovanni's death really has much to do with that. You make Giovanni's death a kind of a big deal, so I can only hope that I'm not barking up entirely the wrong tree in trying to make it the focal point of the story's explanation. You appear to be hinting at something, but IMO you're not doing so strongly enough.

More than that, there's a lot of stuff that doesn't make sense just in the way that Morty was treated. Who was the "GAHH-- MORTIMER" guy that woke Morty up in the first place? How did someone manage to implant a device in his neck without his noticing this immediately upon wakening, and then how did a little box manage to... strangle him? In any case, such a device seems like a very un-ghost-like thing to do, unless the point was that the ghosts let the Rockets clear stuff out then attacked them once they'd gotten Morty out of the way? In any case, why would it matter whether he could talk or not, to anyone? Especially the ghosts, since they apparently just intended to kill him straight away anyhow. There's a great deal about the situation that just goes unexplained, apparently because it was all supposed to fall into place from some central revelation that went way over my head. At least, I hope there's some logical explanation for one extremely odd hostage situation.

For all the complaining about the confusion, this is actually pretty well-written; I don't have any real gripes about the prose (possibly because I was boggling over the premise the whole time I was reading). And it feels like you had a really cool idea going on here. I only wish I could figure out what it was.

Thanks for entering, Ejunkown! Morty's gym sure is something. o_O *runs away from those ghosts*


13th Place
xXPorygonXx, “Nocturne of Sorrow”

Bay: 21st Place (14 points)
Breezy: 22nd Place (12points)
Negrek: 7th Place (57 points)
Total: 83 points

The darkness had been one of the first things that they could remember; they had been born out of it, after all, their souls absorbing the shadows and twisting them. They could remember how it seemed to stretch on forever, the only color the single white circle that dominated all of their bodies. The single eye that stared from the walls and ceiling; the unblinking stares meeting, as if to convey some emotion that was only understood by them.

Time had no meaning in their dwelling. Day and night all blended together, no distinctions separating the two in the shapes’ minds. They had no idea how long they had been there, and knew it was pointless to wonder. The only conception of time was the faint feeling of boredom that accompanies long stretches of inactivity, and even then it was something that could be easily ignored.

After all, they didn’t truly feel. They were created – creations that existed only, like the corpse that remains after death. Sometimes they longed to escape, sometimes they were content. But these were feelings that were vague, and never thought upon for long.

There was no noise that filtered in from outside their abode. The shapes had no idea of what a bird’s chirp sounded like, or the greetings of a friend, or the trill of a phone. They only had their humming; a low, almost mournful sound that echoed throughout their dwelling, amplified and magnified by the countless other voices that would join in. The noise would crest and fall, conveying all the emotions they didn’t understand into a melody of anguish; a nocturne of sorrow. Their song had been song for eons, never ceasing or changing; merely continuing on, filling the chamber as it had for time untold.

This is a creative one shot you have here. I like the twist on the Ruins of Alph you put, in which there’s a tomb with the spirits (likely Unown) in it. Seems reasonable considering the Unown are trippy Pokemon, which have been shown in both games and anime.

Speaking of ghost settlers, I love the beginning. You portrayed the Unown/sprits’ feelings very well and with a nice prose to it also. And yes, warning—will be using spirits and Unown interchangeably. ^^;

One last thing is the ending. I actually love how the ending is of the spirits’ song not playing anymore and you leave the suspense there. I think it ties how since those settlers became Unown/spirits they have been singing that song for a while and then when the tomb is open, the song is over. I believe it resolves that little conflict you have going there—that the Unown were unable to stop singing that nocturne for a long time until now.

There are a couple things I want to mention, though. First off, grammar and spelling. For the most part you did well in that area (as far as I see, considering grammar and spelling isn’t my strongest point), but there’s one awkward sentence I noticed:

He frowned at the rock wall in puzzlement, remembering how the tour guide had called these “Ruins of Alph” were supposedly haunted by the ghosts of ancient settlers.
This sentence seems to be missing a word to make it sound more flowing. Perhaps and between “Ruins of Alph” and “were.”

Another thing is the second part of this one shot. It feels more like a huge summary of what happened. It’s like you just put there to bridge the gap between the beginning and end parts of this story. I can understand that, but the middle part could have been executed better. Instead of having as a summary in one huge paragraph, have the actions in the story be gradually shown. Yeah, you might add a few more pages, but that’s fine. Expanding on this part will give a better picture on what the beginning was about and what to expect at the end.

Arugh, sorry if this review is a tad short as there isn’t much to say here. ^^; However, this is a very lovely one shot you have here, but you could have expanded the middle part of the story and show it instead of tell it. Great job on your first entry! ^^

I thought the first scene with the unown was done well, especially since you never really specifically stated they were unown. You alluded to them and gave the reader hints, some more obvious than others (not that this is a bad thing). It’s an interesting perspective of how you think the unown would “feel” being clustered in the dark like that.

After all, they didn’t truly feel. They were created – creations that existed only, like the corpse\ that remains after death. Sometimes they longed to escape, sometimes they were content.
Corpse-like, though? I wouldn’t say they don’t feel. They’re at least capable of feeling emotions from other sources if not from themselves (unown in the anime were used to tell Ash how his lavitar was feeling and the unown responded to Molly’s loneliness in one of the movies). The movie featuring unown describe unown as timid and careful (hence why they are in such desolate locations, like the Ruins of Alph), so them thinking about “escape” is kind of odd. Of course, most of this can be countered by the following paragraph where you state that they couldn’t hear anything else but themselves. The only real nitpick here would be the unown long to escape as that goes against their nature.

... with little regard for either of their pokémon[. ..]it stunned him that someone could be so cruel. Gold reflected on why people like him existed ...
I bracketed the weird ... ellipsis thing you have here. I mostly think this is just a typo, so I won’t bother telling you how to fix it. =P The second bold part is awkwardly worded because it sounds like Gold is wondering why HE himself exists when I think you meant why people like Silver exist.

Gold reflected on why people like Silver existed ...

Not unless you really meant why people like Gold existed. o_O

Gold quickly ordered Rocky to tackle the base of the tomb, and eagerly stood aside as the Onix proceeded to carry out its’ master’s orders.
There's no such thing as “its'.” There's only “its” and “it's,” with the latter meaning “it is” or “it has.” “Its” is the neutral form of “his” or “her” and is also used as a possessive pronoun, i.e.“belonging to it.”

Anyway, even if Gold were the first person to discover the crack (which I doubt as scientists are pretty thorough about their work), do you really think its logical for Gold to just ... break a wall of an ancient area like that and not get in trouble? It’d make more sense if it were more accidental, like he leaned too hard against the wall and it fell through or he was in battle and his pokémon hit that wall and caused it to crack on accident. Purposely though?

The entire scene with Gold was chunky – just one huge paragraph. It was just listing from one key point to another without really giving Gold a distinct personality. Maybe you could have started off with Gold reflecting on his battle with Silver, just to give him more personality and a thought process, before he discovers the noise inside the wall. From there, you can still continue to run through Gold’s thought process, like how he’s wondering what’s inside the wall, or debating whether or not to run because of said noise, or something. Point being: Show some more personality from Gold, despite how minor his role is to the story.

I thought the following scene with the unown again was done well, as I pictured them scattering about in fear at the unknown (har har) source of knocking.

Overall, I thought it was an interesting analysis of the unown. I do kind of wish you went further into depth with it as it is kind of a limited view, but then again, I think it was the right amount to delve into the unown; after all they are “unknown” so there really isn’t much to work with. I do think you could have done more with Gold’s section as it was short and it was just listing of events. It was a nice, short read, though.

I'll admit to cringing when it was mentioned that all the unown could see in the darkness was each other's eyes (if it was all darkness, they would not be able to see, much less discern color, at all). Other than that, though, nothing really stuck out to me as being problematic; your prose is serviceable enough. As it is, though, there just doesn't seem to be much here. It's a short one-shot, which isn't bad thing (faaar from a bad thing in this contest), but nothing much seemed to get resolved. You spend nearly the first half of the story setting the unown up in their humming darkness, then proceed to bust them out of it in a single (somehat monstrous) paragraph. Sort of anticlimactic.

The thing is, though, Gold isn't really important to this 'fic at all. It doesn't matter how the unown are freed, just that they are. What is interesting, after the buildup you provided, is not how the unown are freed, but rather what happens when they are. How does it feel for them to suddenly see light for the first time, to hear sounds and... feel... time? I thought for sure Gold was going to play into it somehow, you know, the first meeting between the ancient pokémon and a human and whatnot, but as it is he just vanishes after he advances the plot a bit. That the unown's song stopped is cool, sure, but you don't really do much to explore the implications of releasing the unown on the world--for them or the world. It's not really a bad one-shot, all told, but it feels like it could have been a lot more.

Thanks for entering, xXPorygonXx. We'll keep an eye on the Unown. :p


12th Place
Ressficent, "The Goldenrod Radio Tower"

Bay: 16th Place (25 points)
Breezy: 13th Place (35 points)
Negrek: 12th Place (38 points)
Total: 98points

“Us at the S.P.S.A. have seen the pollution with our own very eyes. It turns out that the money that thousands donated to the tower out of pure kindness. Our very money, which they said was going to improvement of their radio shows, actually went towards a plumbing operation. The Radio Tower told no one about this but their own employees.”

Jern realized that the words were the truth. He remembered the plumbing crew working just a few months ago. Though he did wonder how much money the tower had for plumbing projects and the likes, he'd dismissed it as nothing of importance.

“All trash from the tower goes right into the Goldenrod River, right after being squished into a disgusting pulp.”

Jern had heard of the processing of their trash. The Manager said it was to... Conserve space, yes.

“That includes their paper. The Radio Tower has yet to make the small investment in recycling bins.”

Another truth. Jern had never seen...

For a second I thought Jun is the rival from the DPPt games. XD; Random. Anyways, this is an interesting piece you have here. Even though there has been another one shot that deals with the Goldenrod Radio Tower, this one is more on the suspenseful side while the other one is more psychological. Speaking of suspense, love how you slowly reveal one revelation after another over the truth of the radio tower. Seriously, I was glued to my seat when reading this as I want to know what’s going to happen next. :)

Want to say also that I love that you have Goldenrod Tower actually being held by Team Rocket for a while (thought quietly at first) and they’re the ones that caused the pollution. Would make sense they would do those things instead of just the other things they did in the games. Can’t help being sad though that they killed those Marill. D: Also, nice subtle clues of how the tower is involved with the pollution like the pipes and no recycle bins.

Like both Jern and Teal and their interactions with each other. Can tell Jern cares about him a lot and also knows a thing or two about him (Teal wanting to be manager). Also, can tell Teal worries about Jern after the incident with the woman and also after he got fired.

Nice emotions on Jern’s part when he realized that he may have saved many people’s lives by letting Pan know the truth about the tower, but that he also ruined other people’s lives too, like Teal’s. Also what I love about this is at the end Jern is not entirely a hero and his decision to have Pan know about this actually have consequences. Can’t win them all, as the saying goes.

Before I move on, gotta mention my favorite quote of this story:

Jern followed him. If it wasn't for the sleeping, then... Was he getting another promotion? He smiled. He could definitely use it.
Nice. XD

There are a few problems with this story, however. First off there were a few dialogue problems. I already mention this to a few entrants (mostly FlammingRuby and Diddy), so have a look at those. However, I’ll explain quickly here.

“I said it was interesting, right? With the Radio Tower news and all.” Pan said, now breathing over Jern's shoulder.
Hard to see, but the bolded part there’s supposed to be a comma after “all” and not a period. If you’re going to have the spoken sentence end without a question or exclamation point, but the sentence itself is not finish (say you want to mention the character yelled, etc.) you have to use a comma.

“Sir, stay back!” A policeman warned. His partner got into an aggressive stance, looking towards Jern and the crowd behind him.
In this one the bolded part needs to be lowercased. Also, each time after a spoken sentence the next word has to be lower cased ( there are a couple exceptions where you can capitalize like if the next word is the speaker’s name). I hope I explained how to punctuate speech somewhat. ^^; I think the other judges can explain this better than me and I know one guide written by a friend of mines that can explain this a thousand times better than me.

Some spelling and grammar mistakes, but not too many and they’re minor. First off, you misspelled Pidgeot as Pigeot. A couple others that I was able to catch:

But possibly he was just thinking to hard.

The man wore a ordinary Radio Tower uniform, with a name that Jern didn't really care about printed his shirt.
An. “Ordinary” has a vowel letter at the beginning.

Weird Jern doesn’t know the Manager’s name. Unless, Jern does know, but you didn’t reveal it to us. If so, my bad. ^^; Like the comment how Jern is glad he’s able to at least make the Manager remember his name. I heard stories of managers that don’t remember the people they hired/promoted. XD

The small group went into the third floor elevator, then rode it all the way to the top, sixth, floor.
This is the next problem. Isn’t the tower five stories, not six? Then again, the remakes might add a sixth one. XD Also, don’t remember if the anime version has the tower be six floors, so yeah.

Ending feels anti-climatic. Before I explain that, I have to commend you though that you didn’t actually go with Jern either be a hero and helping the trainer or dies a tragic death and also be a hero. In fact, it’s cool you have the ending have his fate unknown. However, the problem is the build up from that scene. First you have the Rockets getting the Tower, then after that Jern gets struck by an Arbok and that’s it. I think the one shot could have been better with a more tight ending, like maybe Jem finding out more what Team Rocket is doing with the Radio Tower and/or confront with Teal. Maybe even confronting that the boss and the guy he met with the elevator.

Overall, nice one shot here that kept me glued to my seat with the quiet suspense going on. However, there were a few dialogue problems, a couple minor canon problems, and the ending seems anti-climatic to me. Great work here, though.

Jern passed out, unsure of whether he would awaken again.
You know, others may disagree with me, but I really liked your ending. There was no sense of closure, you left the reader hanging, and it was abrupt. It was awesome. You built Jern as this opposing force to the evil of the Radio Tower once he got fired (and alluded that he was pretty iffy about the radio tower's motives while he still had his job), and you continued to build on his strengths and his “hate” for the tower, making the reader assume that he would be the force (or one of the forces that helps the game hero) that finally brings down Team Rocket and the Radio Tower. And to have it just ... just abruptly end like that before he could really change anything was ... awesome. Lol. I thought the build up was done well, and to have it shot down so quickly was so “what the hell” but in the awesome way. Yeah. I repeat myself. I still can't get over this, lol.

That being said, there are things that you could work on. While your grammar/spelling were decent, you could have done a more thorough job at proofreading:
“And also, Jern, 'are the rumors true?'?” The Manager roars cruelly.
Roared, instead of roars. Not sure about punctuation when you're quoting something else within a quote, but I think you only need the first question mark after “true.”

Though Jern, rushed, couldn't care less at the moment.
This is just an example of awkward sentence structure/incomplete sentence. I understand that you wanted to try the short, choppy sentence structure to make your point more clearer (maybe in not this example, but I saw you try to do it a couple of times), but you gotta make sure it makes sense at the same time.

Jern slammed the paper back onto the table, tilted his head back, and without a sip of his coffee, fell asleep. The man was overwhelmed.
I was a little confused by this action. He was so overwhelmed that he fell asleep? o_O

“Teal.” Jern calmed down and tried to think fast. He had to find some way to get Teal to go back to his job, even if the reason was false. Yes! Jern knew what he would do. “Teal. Please, keep my legacy going.” Jern tried his best to force fake tears into his eyes. “Go back to the job. Make people remember me for how I was.” Jern knew he would think back and laugh at these moments, but Teal seemed to be fully believing him across the room.
I liked this bit and found it to be one of Jern's strongest scenes in terms of personality. He's against the radio tower's ways, yet he still wants to help his friend with his dream of becoming the manager of the radio tower. T'was a nice bit.

I'm not sure if you meant this purposely or not (I would hope, lol), but I found the subtle hints that told the reader that this manager might not be the manager Jern knew but the Team Rocket executive that took over were done well.

Jern looked up at him. He never spoke like that.
Like that. That one was hard to pick up until I re-read it. I actually completely forgot about the “fake” manager in the games and was prepared to write this nitpick on how unprofessional the manager seemed while firing Jern (well, I guess I can still nitpick on that).

I liked your build up of Jern's character, from believing the radio tower, to doubting it a bit, to not trusting it at all. I liked the hero complex that came out from him, and I especially loved how it was ... squished in the end. Sorry, I keep gushing about that part. XP I just love endings that end like that.

The plot was certainly a creative and interesting interpretation on how Team Rocket came to take over the Goldenrod Radio Tower. I am a little bit confused on why Team Rocket would want to purposely pollute the Goldenrod river as that wouldn't benefit them in any way ... I think. That then brings me to another nitpick: How did the Radio Tower get away with two huge pipes sticking outside its building without no one noticing or anyone investigating? How is it that Jern was the only one that discovered them as an “outside force?” Ideally, if a company is being held under investigation under such serious accusations, you would have some sort of team/group investigating the grounds. And well, it's near the river – it wouldn't be hard to cross the river or float down it and not see the pipes protruding from the back of the building.

Honestly, the entire “water pollution” thing for a radio tower sounded fishy, if you pardon the pun. How does not recycling paper but throwing your trash into the river = black goop? Again, I suppose this can go back to whether or not Team Rocket already had agents working on the inside and were doing something that caused black sludge waste, but a radio tower doesn't really have any sources or reasons to pump out black sludge. If Team Rocket had secretly taken over, I think a few more subtle hints would have been nice. Like Jern noticing a bunch of new people inside the building that he hadn't met. Or the radio stations weird, recent trend of broadcasting missing people's (aka agents looking out for Giovanni. Subtle, though).

I was also confused by the “other man” in the elevator/office with the manager. Can't figure out who that is, lol. This isn't your fault (I think); I'm just slow.

Description kind of was bare bones minimum but really no complaints in that department. I thought the character interaction between the characters were nice, especially between the hearty, conspiratorial character of Pan and Jern and the mentor/student bond between Teal and Jern. The plot was at a nice, steady pace, not too fast where things rush by and not too tediously slow. I liked it, especially the ending. =3

Rather interesting--a story that centers on someone who isn't a trainer, isn't a pokémon, and isn't an important canon character, either, and confronting a situation that you don't normally see in fanfiction. The idea that Team Rocket was involved in operations at the Radio Tower before the final takeover is one that I haven't seen explored before, either. There are quite a few large logic glitches throughout the story, though--how is it just a rumor that the Tower's dumping garbage into the river if all anyone had to do to find the proof was go around behind the building? Surely some investigative journalist or troublesome trainer would have found that one out in no time. How does pollution from garbage from one building--which I wouldn't even expect to be very toxic, given that it's a radio tower and not a chemical plant or something--have such a serious and obvious impact on the environment? Pollution just doesn't work that way; newspaper isn't magically converted to evil black sludge in high enough concentration to stick to and kill wildlife just by being dumped into a river. How on earth did Jern's nose start bleeding just from being grabbed by the shoulders and pushed into the elevator near the end (and for that matter, why are the police being that rough with him?)? Things like this make the plot feel rather contrived at times.

You don't punctuate dialogue correctly, and I'm afraid there are quite a few typos and grammar issues throughout the piece. There are quite a few times when you end up with fragments instead of sentences, I think unintentionally, and your phrasing can be clumsy. Nevertheless, your writing at least tends to be clear and direct, so that even with mistakes it's rarely confusing or downright weird.

What really disappointed me about this, though, was the end. There was no resolution to the story--I get that you wanted to show what happened before the tower takeover, so having it actually happen was a logical place to stop, but after spending time developing Jern and Teal you gave no indication of what happened to them. There's no closure at all, and ultimately the story just grinds to an abrupt halt. It comes off as you not knowing what to write next and so just cutting it off there--I doubt that's the case, but it really looks that unfinished. Overall, I like the different approach you took than most of the other contestants, and I think you did a decent job of building up your characters, but the ending really left the story feeling directionless and incomplete.

Thanks for entering, Ressicent. You should make us aware of scandals like these more. ;)
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11th Place
Draco Malfoy, "Play With Me"

Bay: 18th Place (28 points)
Breezy: 15th Place (20 points)
Negrek: 5th Place (66 points)
Total: 114 points

Instantly, Jasmine woke up, eyes wide and panting. She couldn’t focus on anything in the moonlight for a while, and that made it longer for her heart to stop hammering against her chest. When she finally could focus, her heart leapt up all the way to her mouth.

For the doll was looking over the edge of the dresser, looking as thought it might topple over at any moment.

Jasmine jerked back, bumping against the wall with a small cry. The doll didn’t move. It remained on its front, facedown, and she could see that the legs were positioned as though it had fallen over. She put her hand to her chest to still the beating.

“You frightened me!”

Picking the doll up, Jasmine knelt on the bed to place the doll back in a sitting position. She then realized that she had spoken to the doll as though it were a living person, and then with a shiver, remembered the dream. It had seemed so real, so vivid.

Not to mention that the voice was downright scary.

“‘Play with me’, huh?” Jasmine muttered, smiling wanly at the doll while stroking its raven-black hair. “Don’t you know? I’m way past the age of playing with dolls.”

That doll is creepy. :O I just love how you incorporate not only the gym leaders and the Kimino girls (well, one of the girls’ dolls), but also Misdreavus (Miss Dreevus :p). Gawds, I love that little ghost!

Have to say, I actually like the writing style you use for this story to give it a horror tone. A couple of my favorites:

She didn’t know what woke her, but when she looked up, the first thing she saw was the doll. It was sitting where she left it, on her dresser. Staring at her. She shook herself, mentally reprimanding herself for rehashing that same ridiculo –

Jasmine sat bolt upright. She had clearly placed the doll so that it faced the wall at the foot of the bed… hadn’t she?

Then why was the doll looking to the left… at her?
Love this part because of the suspense of it. You did well with Jasmine’s confusion of the placement of the doll there.

At first the sound was quiet. A slight rustle, a small thump. Then it repeated again, followed by a dragging sound. Again… again… and again.

Thump, scrape.

Thump, scrape.

Jasmine opened her eyes. That sound was out of the ordinary.

Thump, scrape.

Thump, scrape.
The effect you conveyed here (the whole silence and then noises that just gets louder and louder) is perfect here. Actually, I loved the whole scene with the doll getting Jasmine. :3

The ending I love also because it’s a bit unexpected. I assume the doll will slash Jasmine with a knife or something, but instead you have the doll tug at her feet and have her die with a broken neck. Heh, that actually reminds me of how in my fic Nothing, Everything, Jacob murdered Ernest by punching him and then the poor man actually fell down the stairs and died of a broken neck and internal bleeding (you read that part :p).

My favorite part of the one shot is defiantly when Falkner joked about the doll probably a Banette. Jasmine’s reaction is priceless. XD

Okay, there’s one concern I want to point out. This is not exactly a criticism per say, but more of clarification, I guess. I don’t know, but I think you might have OOCed Falkner and Jasmine. Jasmine’s timid nature isn’t shown here and at the beginning she seems confident she won’t break down over the doll (for instance, the line, “play with me, huh?”). Yeah, she became very scared of the doll later on, but it’s moreso a typical reaction everyone would have if they have a doll suddenly coming at them to pull their eyes out. :p Then again, anime Jasmine is very confident in her battle abilities and is even aggressive towards both Team Rocket and Ash, so you might have based her character slightly on that. However, both anime Jasmine and game Jasmine I don’t see as acting like a school girl that gushes and thinks about her boyfriend a lot. As for Falkner, I don’t really see him too much as a perverted and joking but loving boyfriend (although I love the Banette line ^^; ). Don’t remember much how he was portrayed in the games, but in the anime he’s a bit of a snob when he criticized Ash using a grass type.

Oh man, sorry for rambling too much about this. ^^; I’m going by their personalities by the games and anime. You might be right on their personalities though if you based them off manga canon, but I can’t really be sure. Hence why I said this is more of clarification because I don’t really want to say you OOCed the characters if you’re basing them off manga canon and also I’m not one hundred percent sure what canon you’re basing the characters of. ^^;

Another thing is I want to mention is the story is pretty much a typical doll horror story, like Chucky. The minute Jasmine has her hands on the doll I knew she’s a goner. Eh, part of me wants a twist, like Falkner being killed instead. :D Still, the writing style and the ending made up for it.

Last criticism is I feel this story wouldn’t be any different if you switch Jasmine and Falkner with original characters. I feel you only put the two gym leaders because the theme is Johto. Part of it is I don’t feel Jasmine and Falkner are in character when you put them in this doll horror situation. It’s fun to put canon characters in different situations and write out their reactions while trying to keep them in character. However, I explained why I think both Falkner and Jasmine seemed to be out of character, so that is why I think this story would be almost the exact same if you have original characters in this situation.

Seriously, love the writing style of this story and how you featured Misdreavus without really mentioning it except for the ghost saying her name is awesome. A bit iffy about how you portrayed Jasmine and Falkner, but again I’m only going by the games and anime because I don’t know too much about the manga during the second generation. Great that you’re back writing as I always love your works. :3

Horror stories were never my forte, so I'm kind of wandering a little in the dark for this once. It was, however, kind of predictable. Not that that's a bad thing, of course, but ... a doll from a dead girl? Really? One of two things are going to happen: she's going to die or she somehow conquers the doll. The former happened. Again, horror stories aren't what I write, or read really, so the element of surprise probably doesn't always play a role in it. I guess it would have been nice if what I expected didn't actually happen. But eh.

Um, nothing major in terms of grammar albeit some spelling errors (breath instead of breathe) and confusion with punctuation in dialogue, but besides that, it was done well. I liked the character interaction between Falkner and Jasmine; you wrote the dialogue between them quite fluidly. Their chemistry was done well; they do seem like a plausible couple instead of one forced together just to meet the author's needs. Your description was nice and smooth, too, since you never used a chunky description text block to get details out, like Jasmine's hair color, or Falker's goofy grin. Your style of writing is actually my favorite style really. =P

I thought Jasmine's emotions were done well; you could tell that she was scared the first time she saw the doll (or slept it with in her room anyway), and you progressively built it to the last scene where she was, er, freaking out. You didn't rush through it, something that an amateur writer probably couldn't do. I actually was fond of Falkner the most (I always have a soft spot for these sort of characters), as the caring yet oddball sort of boyfriend; again, the two have a great chemistry together. Kudos to you on that.

The plot, like I said, was a bit predictable because nothing good ever comes out of dolls from dead girls. Yeah. I gud stereotype. That being said, you did progress through the plot well, each scene shift focusing on the doll getting creepier and Jasmine freaking out more. I think it was the right length; you gave just the right amount to show how creepy this doll is without overdoing it. The death of Jasmine was kind of confusing for me, though, but deaths in horror movies always confused me anyway. The doll somehow managed to push her forward hard enough to break her neck ...? Sounds kind of odd to me.

I noticed you made references to banette a few times. Since it wasn't the focus of your story, you won't be penalized for it, but honestly, I really think this story would have done better if it were a Hoenn/third generation story that didn't have to fit the criteria of this contest mainly because ... well, it'd make a whole lot more sense. Seemingly, all the events that happen in your piece happen “just because” with no clear explanation why, forcing the reader to either believe it or not. While, yeah, some horror stories are based on the supernatural and have things happen that don't really make sense, I think it would have been nice to be able to piece it together. And it kind of does seem like you wanted to use the idea of a banette, since your the doll in your story follows the entries of a banette's pokédex (abandoned, no one wants to play with it, strong feelings of hatred over being “junked”, etc) but you were forced to get rid of that idea just to enter into this contest. I think it'd give the story more closure to your readers if they do choose to research what actually happened and why. Besides that, it'd also give your story more of a connection to the pokémon world; the only connections we really have to the pokémon world in your story is that you used the namesakes of Jasmine, Falkner, and Olivine City, and to be frank, your characters didn't really reflect the personalities of Jasmine and Falkner either. If you were to replace those characters with new ones NOT related to the pokémon world, I'm pretty sure this story would still make sense.

But that's opinion. Nothing necessarily wrong with what you have now like I said (perhaps with the exception of adding more pokémon element into it). Overall, the actual mechanics of your story were great; I absolutely adore your writing style because it's very straight to the point and detailed enough for me to get the entire picture without overdoing it ... or boring me. The character interaction was done well, again. If you noticed, I'm repetitive in this review. I don't know why. I'm nuts. Er, anyway, if I were to suggest something to improve on, it probably would the plot itself, and that's only if you agree with what I said.

I suppose my biggest gripe with this is that there's just not much to do with pokémon in it. This story would not be negatively impacted at all if you were to change the names of the characters (including the doll) and removed the five or so references to pokémon/pokémon locales, at which point there would be nothing to identify the fandom it had come from. This doesn't strike me as a pokémon horror story so much as it does a horror story that happens includes the occasional pokémon reference.

Other than that, well, it's pretty much your prototypical "creepy doll" horror story. Character finds/receives doll, doll turns out to be haunted/alive, doll terrorizes character, character dies. You've got it right down to the usual "ominous sounds of something evil approaching" towards the end, there. You kind of see where it's going to end up from the very beginning, you know?

The prose itself isn't bad; you have your occasional misplaced modifiers (eyes wide and panting), awkward phrasing, and a tendency to tell rather than show, but it's certainly above average.

The writing itself is solid enough, but you just didn't really do much with the concept. You especially didn't take advantage of all the creepy things that ghost pokémon can and are known to do. I guess I really just didn't see much in this story that I haven't seen in others of the same type; it's a tried-and-true horror formula, but that does mean that there's not much about it that excites.

Thanks for entering, Draco Malfoy. Dang it, don't make us get scared of dolls. We already have Chucky. ;_;


10th Place
Air Dragon, "The Trails of Matt and Leafy"

Bay: 11th Place (40 points)
Breezy: 9th Place (48 points)
Negrek: 13th Place (35points)
Total: 123 points

Regardless of how much I turned a blind eye to my predicament, Tobias had a point. Matthew was another breed of idiot. Kinder Pokémon would call him a detached soul, but they’d be singing to a different tune if he’d spaced out on them in the middle of a match trying to recall the moves I knew like he did to me.

After three weeks of getting hopelessly lost, riling a horde of agitated Spearow and getting beat by the first gym leader’s Flying Pokémon twice in a row, Truck (his only other Pokémon at the time, a hot-headed and clumsy Phanpy) and I had finally won Matthew his first badge on our third and final attempt. This was to be the first of many more close shaves in our Johto League campaign, but the shame of losing to a Pidgey and Pidgeotto twice in a row was nowhere as bad as what was coming next as we left Violet Town to go south along Route 32 towards the Union Cave.

Matthew had begun the day by letting me out of my Poké ball for some fresh air as we walked along, fully healed of my injuries sustained in Truck and my fierce match earlier that week. I walked a little apart from Truck and Matthew, wondering what the young boy’s problem was, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something tubular and stripy flop out of the path surreptitiously into the boy’s path. A glowing yellow sphere adorned the end and Matthew, with his mind only Celebi knew where and before I could call out in warning, planted his foot right on top of it.

An alarmed bleat came from nowhere and a large discharge of electricity rose from the bush, blowing Matthew high in the air and heavily onto his back with a voluble SMACK.

“<Matthew!>” I called out in shock, watching the boy stir feebly and the owner of the thing Matthew had stepped on (one very angry Mareep) leap out of the bush and ignoring me, charged down Matthew as he rolled over, his eyes wide in fear as he saw the flashing fleece of the Mareep.

Love the very beginning of the story. Nice you start with Leafy getting his butt kick. XD

There are some parts I thought were funny and cute. I laughed at the part where Matt is pleading his brother to take him to the ranch. Oh gawds, the puppy dog eye routine. XD Also, never heard of anyone scared of Normal type Pokemon. This is a first. XD Sorry if that wasn’t supposed to be funny, but usually Normal type Pokemon are portrayed as harmless (usually :p).

Speaking of Matt, I like him a lot. Like his character development in which he learns to let go of his fears (for a while at least :p) and his determination despite losing. He’s also amusing sometimes whenever he gets clumsy. ^^; I too like Leafy. He’s a very smart Pokemon and also he has this snarky attitude whenever he speaks. For instance, her thoughts on the two other starters. I like that scene a lot. XD Also, my favorite line of his is this: “Whoever said ‘whatever doesn’t kill you made you stronger’... lied. Big time.” Love it. XD

The scene where Matt and Leafy are being rampaged by Mareep…first off, I find it funny you would have them be mad at them. XD Also, nice use of showing Matt’s fear of lightning there. The next scene after that I like how you have that fear expanded to Matt being fearful that his Pokemon will get hurt, but he then eventually realizes he has to overcome his fears.

Have to say I love the theme you have going on-- that no matter what, just keep going. You portrayed that well by mentioning despite Matt and his Pokemon losing many times, they still keep trying and trying, which eventually pulled off. Also that’s a nice wrap up how that relates to the trials the two have.

There were a few instances where there’s a run-on sentence, for example this:

The monkey’s usually smiley face which I vaguely recalled then to be something I’d seen out of a handbook in the library was gone, replaced by a look of hard, vindictive fury that gave it a dangerous look as I looked down and saw that the item I was clutching so hard that I had unwittingly caused it pain was none other that the Ambipom’s tail.
When reading that sentence, I’m like, “When will this sentence ends?” ^^; I think this sentence would be fine if you somehow break it into two.

Another problem is you could have expanded the Morty’s battle more. The first part Leafy tells how Matt suddenly got scared of lightning all over again. That part you have the opportunity to show that Matt’s still fearful over lightning and his Pokemon getting hurt. Also, the ending. I love how you have Leafy tell Matt that the two of them are in this together and the trainer was able to snap out of it, but I would also like to see the end result of that battle (even though I know later on Matt won the match). The ending I’m not that fussy over though compare to you not showing some of the battle the first time Matt went against Morty. ^^;

Last problem is perhaps you could have expanded Matt’s fear of Normal type Pokemon more somehow. Him getting hurt by Aimpom is a good one, but it seems after that there’s no mention of that again and also you overemphasized his fear of lightning. There’s also that mention of him getting the Plain Badge and Whitney uses Normal types (gotta watch out for that Miltank :p ). That might be a good place to expand his fear of Normal types and also even show that he was about to overcome that.

Overall like the one shot a lot due to the characters and the message you have at the end. Also, there are some memorable scenes. However, you could have expanded Morty’s battle more and also Matt’s fear of Normal types. Nice job on this entry!

It's actually pretty interesting to get to review one of your works after all this time of reviewing mine. ;P And let me say, you have quite an enjoyable little tale here with characters with great personality. I love how you gave all the pokémon, even the minor ones, distinct personalities. Leafy and Matt make an interesting duo. It's an interesting spin on a pokémon being the one that's in control while barking orders at its trainer to do something. ;P You have a nice mixture of writing style (very flowable; I especially love your dialogue) and character personality, making for a very nice read.

Some nitpicks, though most are typos:
And laughing aloud, turned to receive his ‘Pokédex’ and Toto’s Poké ball and left the room after the girl with a final sneer at the last youth left to pick.
such as this. This isn't a sentence, though I do get what you mean. You also want to reread when you tack things like “with a ____” because you might giving the action to the wrong character. Technically you're saying that the girl is the one sneering.

And laughing aloud, Tobias turned to receive his pokedex and Toto's pokéball and left the room after the girl. He gave a final sneer at the last youth left to pick.

Granted, we were still winning matches on our third and final tries, but with Vic and Poke on our side and Truck and myself growing tougher; we the Pokémon got stronger, and Matthew slowly yet steadily more steadily more self confident with each passing day.
This is ... er ... what? Lol. While we have a semicolon example (you have a few scattered in your story, some correctly used and some not), one of the times when you can use a semicolon is when both side of the semicolon can stand alone as its complete sentence. Semicolons are mostly used to connected similar sentences together; it keeps the flow going unlike a period which would make the flow choppy.

A small click told me that the call had been connected and a warm voice said, “Matt! Hi! How are you?
The phone conversation was awkward with all the bold and italics, and it was actually distracting because it stuck out like a sore thumb. You don't need to use special formatting to differentiate a phone call from regular dialogue. Reference that Matt or whatever character is talking to someone else on the phone and leave the text as it is.

“<Yes,>” Leafy said with a faint smile. “<It makes a nice change winning one try earlier that usual, doesn’t it, Matthew?>”

“You know,” I said, missing the sarcasm in my Pokémon’s voice. “You’re right. I feel so pumped, I say we move to Olivine right now!”
Well, you're not really missing the sarcasm in your pokémon's voice if you, well, note it in your thoughts.

So what I did like was how you connected everything and how your formed Matt character. Most writers usually dedicate a few paragraphs explaining a character's phobia, but I like how you developed a back story for it and actually showed the scene for it. Again (I'm probably being repetitive), but I really do love your characters and how you make them interact with each other and the environment around them. Matt is endearing in a weird, clumsy sense, and Leafy as a kind of brave, sharp pokémon make for a great duo.

Pacing ... is debatable. On one hand, I think you did well with it; you didn't rush past scenes but took time to develop Matt's personality, from curious little boy to a trainer with low self esteem, and you also used several plot points to delve on Matt's battle style and his relationship with his pokémon, progressively showing how it got stronger with taking three times to win a gym battle to only taking one time. Yes, rambly Bree is rambly.

But then again, it didn't really feel like Matt developed that much either or you neglected aspects of his character.
Back then there was only one thing I looked forward to, despite my phobia of lightning, loud rumbling noises and Normal Pokémon ...
You casually reference Matt getting his Plain badge, or the badge you get from Whitney in Goldenrod. Whitney's specialty is normal types. I do think this might be a typo since you referenced that he was scared of simians instead of normal types, but it's kind of a major one. You also write that Matt gets an eevee, a normal type, which he doesn't seem to have a problem with. If he really is scared of normal types, I think it would be nice or maybe even necessary to write about how he got past his phobia of normal types. If it's a typo, well, change it. XP

Other than that, it was a nice character-based fic. I was a little bit worried about all the character switching because most people overdo it and tend to confuse the reader, but you didn't do it that often. The end kind of got shaky with all the switching but nothing too bad. It was interesting to read how Matt developed, from something so brave, to something with low self esteem, to something a little more confident, all the while tripping and landing on his face. =P I liked that bit, mind you – t'was a nice little quirk. All in all, an enjoyable piece.

Hmm, seems a pretty standard one-shot about a trainer overcoming difficulties in his past and bonding with his pokémon. Nothing really exceptional about it, but nothing went horribly wrong, either. This piece didn't really work the POV changes as well as it could have; you did at least manage to make Leafy and Matt sound very different in their respective sections, but the shifts didn't really add much to the story. Other than that, though, no special complaints.

For the most part your prose is decent enough. There are plenty of places where it looks like your proofreading is lacking, with words being left out or repeated, and you have a tendency to word things strangely, but other than that it's not too bad. Jimmy's eyes also change color over the course of the piece (gold to "saffron"). What probably put me off the most the sweatdropping and facefaulting--these things are okay in anime, but in writing they just look silly. Unless you're trying for an expicit anime style in your writing, which this piece didn't have, you're better off replacing them with a more appropriate description.

The ending got rather cheesy and belabored the usual determination, friendship, etc. stuff, but it could have been worse. Pretty average one-shot, not a lot to say about it except that I'm glad you kept the tone light and didn't pound home the "friendship and determination" message too much.

Thanks for entering, Air Dragon. Now you made us scared of Mareep! XD