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TEEN: Like No One Ever Was

UB-01 Kenobi

If she's UB-01, I'm UB-01
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
2,810
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389
Author's Note Boring and Skippable Rant
Sup guys! It's been forever since I've really been around here in any serious capacity, I have no idea who's frequenting this subsection anymore and thus none of you likely remember me, but once upon a time I was a relatively frequently-posting reviewer here and a relatively terrible author as well. It's been forever since I last wrote for Pokémon, but I did like 2 chapters of a relatively well received MLP comedy fic (no link b/c off-site advertisement :p) before dropping off of FiMfiction with a promise that I'd eventually finish it. I do still plan on it. >>; Anyways despite my serious issues with too-short chapters and writer's block and commitment, I swore to myself that I'd write something and finish it and have it be at least only slightly below average and I intend to follow through with that. Twice, preferably, both this and the MLP thing, but once would be good enough. xD So anyways, recently I've been getting the writer's itch (you guys know what I'm talking about, when you just sort of get the urge to sit down and write something regardless of how dumb it is) and I decided to do a slightly more serious fic, and my first one to be told in the first person. So yeah here we have it, the prologue to Like No One Ever Was, clocking in at 1224 words, which will hopefully be around half to a third of the length of a normal chapter. I'll try to update weekly or biweekly but no promises :)

i wanna be
the very best
like no one ever was

Prologue: Début

“Don’t you see? I’m the narrator and this is just the prologue.”​

Lumiose City, Kalos

Jean-Claude Legrand was ten. Well, ten and three quarters, as he’d tell anyone who listened. The point is, he was of age, and training season was starting. The boy woke up at five thirty AM, before even his alarm clock - he had been too tired to even sleep the night before. Skipping breakfast, he had biked through Lumiose’s alleys to the world-famous Sycamore Pokémon Laboratory, the workplace of Augustine Sycamore, a prodigious student of the famous Professor Rowan of Sinnoh and an authority on Pokémon evolution and Mega Evolution. When the lab opened at six thirty AM, Jean-Claude was ready and waiting at the front of the long line of ten-year-olds that had formed in front of the lab. He was shaking with anticipation - this was the day he had been waiting for his whole life. He had everything planned out in his head. He would pick Chespin, who resisted the Electric types used by Lumiose’s Gym Leader. That would save him the time of trekking to Santalune or Cyllage like the kids who chose Fennekin or Froakie were likely to have to do. He’d of course catch a Gible in the badlands north of Lumiose to counter the Magnemite Clemont used against new trainers. From there, he’d head to Cyllage and beyond, and he’d become a Pokémon Master.

I can honestly say I didn’t mean to kill him. The wall of the Lab exploded as the armored car crashed through it, a Chandelure floating above the vehicle spewing a Flamethrower to deter my pursuit. I jumped off of Harvey, my Gogoat, and returned him to his Nest Ball, swearing. Regardless of how many times he’d proved himself in battle, he was still the baby of the team - and I didn’t want him out facing a Fire Pokémon. I had been hoping to avoid property damage, but honestly the smoking wreckage of the best research facility in Kalos put us way past that point already. Not to mention the police station that had been destroyed when the SWAT truck was stolen.

Giving up on the idea of avoiding collateral damage, I reached down to my belt and grabbed an old Poké Ball, red paint scratched and faded from years of uses, and pitched it as far as I could. The ball landed near the now-smoking entrance to the Lab, bursting open in a flash of light to reveal a titanic theropod plated with steel armor, a headband tied around one of his horns and flapping in the convection currents caused by the flames. The Aggron had landed in the midst of the crowd of ten-year-olds, unceremoniously squashing the boy at the front of the line. He looked down apologetically and the smeared carcass beneath him as the crowd of horrified kids began to scatter, screaming. I wasn’t particularly impressed with my aiming skills, but I had no time to deal with the Trainer-wannabes.

“Theodosius!” I called, catching my starter’s attention. I pointed at the car. “Head Smash.” Theodosius lowered himself onto all fours and charged the car as it careened onto South Boulevard. While his speed was far from unmatchable by a motor vehicle, the massively bulky vehicle was slowed by trees, garbage cans, people, and Pokémon - flattening structures and brutally crushing any person or Pokémon who lacked the foresight or reflexes to escape its path. My Aggron was quickly gaining on the truck, running through the now-clear swath of destruction that the careening car had cut through the street, and his steel skull was beginning to glow with orange and blue light.

"Oi, back off!" A man had swung open one of the SWAT car’s doors and crawled on top of the vehicle and began to direct the Chandelure atop it. It began to pepper Theodosius with Shadow Balls, the onslaught of necrotic energy causing his armor to begin to crack, but he didn’t slow. The man sitting atop the car swore and returned his Pokémon, ducking down inside the vehicle when he realized a collision was inevitable.

Theodosius slammed into the armored vehicle headfirst, a sickening crunch audible as the armor plates of the car bent inwards and broke as the Aggron ran straight through the vehicle, shearing it in half. A flash of light could be seen before the thunderous explosion was heard, a mushroom cloud billowing into Lumiose’s sky as the punctured gas tank exploded into a massive fireball that rose into the air. The police vehicle had an explosion resistant fuel tank, as far as I knew, but most police cars weren’t built to withstand an Aggron’s Head Smash, especially considering that Theodosius had a Choice Band to juice up his power. I shook my head at what I knew would be an incoming shitstorm from the League and began to jog towards the site of the explosion.

The conflagration was still blazing by the time I finally reached the wreck, panting and out of breath from running. Theodosius had sat down with a facial expression that I knew from years of working with him was a self satisfied smile and had begun to scratch himself with his foot. He gave a happy, metallic creak as he saw me approach and wagged his tail, sending a trash can flying into a storefront and shattering its windows. I cringed, then just sighed and returned my starter to his ball with an utterance of, “Good work, Theo. Return.”

I tore a strip of cloth off of my shirt and wrapped it around my face as I approached the smoking wreck, popping open an Ultra Ball to reveal a dark red lobster like Pokémon - a Crawdaunt. “Knock Off, Bates,” I said as I gestured toward the wreck and began to make my own way towards it, as my Water Pokémon shunted aside the scorching metal with his hammer-like claws in order to clear a path for me. When we reached the crumpled mass of metal that was once the main hull of the vehicle - or at least half of it, considering the extent of the damage that Theodosius had caused - he brought both of his claws down on it to widen a hole opened by the explosion, then helpfully doused me in water as I ducked inside.

The heat was unbearable, even with the impromptu bath - I could feel the water evaporating off of my skin within seconds of entering the wreck. I only needed seconds to confirm my suspicions, however - there was not a corpse to be seen in the vehicle’s wreckage. They’d gotten away, again. I stepped out of the car’s remains, coughing. I removed my improvised mask and returned Bates as I pulled out my cell to call the Pokémon League and let them know what had happened. As my phone rang, I began the walk to the Magenta Plaza Pokémon Center - South boulevard's had presumably been destroyed. I bit my lip worriedly as I walked - they were getting bolder. Smashing into Lumiose’s police station and commandeering an armored SWAT car as a getaway vehicle was awfully ballsy, even for them. Of course, the truck wasn’t our real concern - we were worried about what they’d taken from the lab. On the third ring, my phone died. Of course. Just another day in the life of a Champion.
 
Didn't know you were a writer my man! I have to say it was a great story, and I'm certainly looking forward to the next part. I do have one question though. Why would the champion kill a kid? I feel like missed something, or I'm just being dumb. :p
 
Didn't know you were a writer my man! I have to say it was a great story, and I'm certainly looking forward to the next part. I do have one question though. Why would the champion kill a kid? I feel like missed something, or I'm just being dumb. :p

A bad writer, but yeah :p It was an accident - the Aggron landed on top of the kid. There was supposed to be a joke in there somewhere but it was mostly for the bait-and-switch opening :p
 
Oh I hear you. I guess he just couldn't handle the weight of the situation. *puts on glasses*
 
I kind of liked it. The descriptions of the action were well done and tense, and it was kind of exciting, even.

The beginning was rather jarring, to say the least. You start off with this 10 year old kid, and then, he just suddenly.. dies. The transition between perspectives really threw me off, and I had to re-read that section just to clearly understand what happened. It just doesn't flow, when you switch from 3rd person to 1st person so abruptly. I understand that it was probably the protagonist describing the kid in the first paragraph, but it needs to be more apparent that it's being told from the perspective of another character, and that it's not just a 3rd person perspective.

Now, even though this is just the prologue, there are a lot of unanswered questions in here. I understand it's just the prologue, and obviously, everything doesn't really need to be explained, at least not in detail. The only problem, at least for me, is that there is almost nothing explained at all. Who are these villains? What do they want? Who is the protagonist? What's his name? While I'm not saying you have to spell it all out for the prologue, at least some kind of explanation would help. Right now I'm pretty much clueless and have no idea what is going on.

Anyways, that's my opinion on it. You have a great writing style, and the action scenes are top-notch. I'll be waiting here for chapter one, whenever it's ready. :D
 
I kind of liked it. The descriptions of the action were well done and tense, and it was kind of exciting, even.

The beginning was rather jarring, to say the least. You start off with this 10 year old kid, and then, he just suddenly.. dies. The transition between perspectives really threw me off, and I had to re-read that section just to clearly understand what happened. It just doesn't flow, when you switch from 3rd person to 1st person so abruptly. I understand that it was probably the protagonist describing the kid in the first paragraph, but it needs to be more apparent that it's being told from the perspective of another character, and that it's not just a 3rd person perspective.

Now, even though this is just the prologue, there are a lot of unanswered questions in here. I understand it's just the prologue, and obviously, everything doesn't really need to be explained, at least not in detail. The only problem, at least for me, is that there is almost nothing explained at all. Who are these villains? What do they want? Who is the protagonist? What's his name? While I'm not saying you have to spell it all out for the prologue, at least some kind of explanation would help. Right now I'm pretty much clueless and have no idea what is going on.

Anyways, that's my opinion on it. You have a great writing style, and the action scenes are top-notch. I'll be waiting here for chapter one, whenever it's ready. :D

Sorry for the confusion but the point was to confuse you, if you know what I mean. Obviously it could have been pulled off much better, but the bit from the kid was to pull you in and then the abrupt transition was meant to shock the reader. I called it a 'bait-and-switch' opening just a couple posts ago, and to explain that term, it was my intent to set up an expectation - that this will be a standard journey fic - and then quickly tear it down in order to interest the reader and get them invested. No idea if it worked or if it was even a good idea to begin with xD And then obviously everything about the protag, villains, etc is left pretty ambiguous on purpose in order to get them interested in wanting to know what's up so that the first chapter's exposition dump is less boring since it will answer the questions you already have instead of just setting up plot that won't come into play until later. Right now the only things you know are that the narrator is the Kalos champion, has an Aggron as a starter, and also owns a Crawdaunt and Gogoat. The antagonists are a terrorist cell. It was my intent to get readers asking questions like "What did the terrorists steal? How do they have they resources to steal an armored car from a police station? What are their ultimate motivations? Who is the protagonist? What time period is this set in, since the Champion is clearly not Diantha?" Etcetera. It's obviously a pretty unorthodox opening but I sort of did it on purpose after experimenting with more traditional prologue styles and finding them (or more accurately my ability to pull them off) less than satisfying.
 
I really enjoyed reading this prologue. While the confusion also persisted with myself, I actually was intrigued by it and it makes me look forward to the next part even more. Given the style of writing and the atmosphere, I know ill like it.

I also like the protagonist Champion. While there's still almost no background on him, you can tell he's not a typical hero of the story due to his reaction to crushing a 10-year old with his Pokemon. Its hilarious and better then having the common protagonist.
 
I think this needs some tidying up. The bait-and-switch I followed just fine, but the rest of the narration was confusing as to who the narrator was. You mention the armoured car going though the Lab, then mention that it's a SWAT van a the end of the paragraph, then mention later that it's stolen ... I spent more time trying to figure out whether the narrator was supposed to be the protagonist than following the action.

I'm not sure I like the casual death and destruction going on here. The "rookie trainers suck, get outta my way" bit has been done before, and while I guess it may be appropriate for your Champion to be that way, on top of a rampaging SWAT truck running down people it just felt a little tasteless.

All that said, you've got some good descriptions going on there, and the pokémon were introduced well
 
I think this needs some tidying up. The bait-and-switch I followed just fine, but the rest of the narration was confusing as to who the narrator was. You mention the armoured car going though the Lab, then mention that it's a SWAT van a the end of the paragraph, then mention later that it's stolen ... I spent more time trying to figure out whether the narrator was supposed to be the protagonist than following the action.

I'm not sure I like the casual death and destruction going on here. The "rookie trainers suck, get outta my way" bit has been done before, and while I guess it may be appropriate for your Champion to be that way, on top of a rampaging SWAT truck running down people it just felt a little tasteless.

All that said, you've got some good descriptions going on there, and the pokémon were introduced well

Thank you very much for the criticism! You are totally right, rereading this, the beginning paragraph or two after the bait-and-switch don't make it clear that the protagonist is not the one driving the truck. As for the tastelessness... All I can really say is that I was going less for 'casual destruction of human life' than 'if I try to deal with this right now rather than stopping them immediately, more lives will be lost'. That could stand to be more clear though, you're right. :)
 
I didn't know you were a writer! Plot-wise this was a strong and engaging prologue, but as others have said a few tweaks could really help it stand out. Specifically, let's talk about this:

Sorry for the confusion but the point was to confuse you, if you know what I mean.

This chapter is eliciting two different types of confusion: Plot-confusion (which was intentional) and Narrative-confusion (which should never* be intentional).

I'll list both as I see them - the narrative issues I would firmly categorize under "Things that ought to be addressed" while the Plot issues will come down to whether they were intentional or not.

Plot-Confusion:

  1. Who is our protagonist?
  2. Who is our antagonist?
  3. Has Theodosius killed trainers before? He seemed to take it in stride.
  4. What about this situation (or about our protagonist) justified human life as acceptable collateral damage?
  5. What were our antagonists trying to accomplish?
  6. Why did our protagonist tear up a perfectly good shirt instead of just pulling the collar over his face? :p
    (This is one of those things that sounds really macho and cool but in reality would probably be awkward and unjustifiably time-consuming in a crisis situation)

Narrative-Confusion:

  1. The first paragraph is written in Third Person Omniscient but the rest of the chapter is written in First Person Limited - either that or the whole thing is written in First Person Omniscient, in which case you have some explaining to do. ;-)
    (The first paragraph can't be the protagonist speaking without him knowing an awful lot about Jean-Claude - a revelation that would raise new plot queries)
  2. The narrator assumes the reader has background knowledge of Kalos' geography and Pokemon League (this assumption is pretty reasonable for fan-fiction but worth mentioning).
  3. The events of the second paragraph are very difficult to follow (as in, the reader is unclear on what's happening - not unclear on why it's happening).

Other (Minor) Things:

  1. Try to vary your adverbs.
    (Or, heck, avoid them outright. This scene's pacing can't afford to slow down for details the minds-eye infers on its own)
  2. Certain parts are a little wordy and bog down an otherwise fast-paced narrative.
    ("Theodosius had sat down with a facial expression that I knew from years of working with him was a self satisfied smile and had begun to scratch himself with his foot" is a very roundabout way of describing what was likely a 1-2 second event)


* Absolute statements about writing styles are dangerous but this one is just shy of being absolutely correct.
 
I didn't know you were a writer! Plot-wise this was a strong and engaging prologue, but as others have said a few tweaks could really help it stand out. Specifically, let's talk about this:

Sorry for the confusion but the point was to confuse you, if you know what I mean.

This chapter is eliciting two different types of confusion: Plot-confusion (which was intentional) and Narrative-confusion (which should never* be intentional).

I'll list both as I see them - the narrative issues I would firmly categorize under "Things that ought to be addressed" while the Plot issues will come down to whether they were intentional or not.

Plot-Confusion:

  1. Who is our protagonist?
  2. Who is our antagonist?
  3. Has Theodosius killed trainers before? He seemed to take it in stride.
  4. What about this situation (or about our protagonist) justified human life as acceptable collateral damage?
  5. What were our antagonists trying to accomplish?
  6. Why did our protagonist tear up a perfectly good shirt instead of just pulling the collar over his face? :p
    (This is one of those things that sounds really macho and cool but in reality would probably be awkward and unjustifiably time-consuming in a crisis situation)

Narrative-Confusion:

  1. The first paragraph is written in Third Person Omniscient but the rest of the chapter is written in First Person Limited - either that or the whole thing is written in First Person Omniscient, in which case you have some explaining to do. ;-)
    (The first paragraph can't be the protagonist speaking without him knowing an awful lot about Jean-Claude - a revelation that would raise new plot queries)
  2. The narrator assumes the reader has background knowledge of Kalos' geography and Pokemon League (this assumption is pretty reasonable for fan-fiction but worth mentioning).
  3. The events of the second paragraph are very difficult to follow (as in, the reader is unclear on what's happening - not unclear on why it's happening).

Other (Minor) Things:

  1. Try to vary your adverbs.
    (Or, heck, avoid them outright. This scene's pacing can't afford to slow down for details the minds-eye infers on its own)
  2. Certain parts are a little wordy and bog down an otherwise fast-paced narrative.
    ("Theodosius had sat down with a facial expression that I knew from years of working with him was a self satisfied smile and had begun to scratch himself with his foot" is a very roundabout way of describing what was likely a 1-2 second event)


* Absolute statements about writing styles are dangerous but this one is just shy of being absolutely correct.

First of all, this is amazing and I love you. Second, I do plan on addressing all of the things but the last under 'plot confusion' and thanks for the tip there xD. Third, thanks to Pavell's advice, I was planning to go back and edit to address the narrative confusion once I get motivated, but your list will be super helpful :) Fourth, thanks for the tips! I do tend towards not only excessive verbosity but also sesquipedalian loquaciousness :p

Last, have I mentioned that I have commitment and motivation issues? xD Chapter 1 is sitting half-written half-outline but it's getting there. :)
 
Nice start. I agree with the criticism given. You obviously have some talent at setting scenes and writing good prose. Just focus on the advice above and I think this can be a very good story.
 
Nice start. I agree with the criticism given. You obviously have some talent at setting scenes and writing good prose. Just focus on the advice above and I think this can be a very good story.

*squee* Thanks so much, you are one of my favorite fanfic authors both onsite and off. I read Pocket Monsters back before you decided to restart it and that was one of the stories that really got me into writing. :)
 
Nice start. I agree with the criticism given. You obviously have some talent at setting scenes and writing good prose. Just focus on the advice above and I think this can be a very good story.

*squee* Thanks so much, you are one of my favorite fanfic authors both onsite and off. I read Pocket Monsters back before you decided to restart it and that was one of the stories that really got me into writing. :)

Thank you for the kind words. I am honored. Keep up the good work!
 
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