Yes, I'd say that's likely due to pivoting the overall focus of the story as I was putting out the initial chapters. The tone of the first five episodes isn't too far deviated from what I originally had in mind but everything from episode 6 on is very different.The story overall does a good job of replicating the whimsical and surreal feeling of the games, with a cast of colorful characters and a story that, if simple at first, has a lot of interesting concepts and implements the elements introduced in Gen 7 in a very unique way. This is all coupled with the deconstruction aspect I mentioned before, such as the story going out of its way to showcase that Shane isn’t a hero just because he’s a human and that his assumptions about his destiny only work to hinder him.
That's good to hear! I've come to learn that, as far as PMD stories go, I'm really sticking my neck out by making a story that relates to the canon games, but is mostly original. Most of the time people choose to just adapt the games or write a story in a purely original setting. I might've bit off more than I could chew for this first story. ^^;It’s in these aspects that the story starts to change as it goes ON. The more we learn about the plot, the darker and more serious it becomes and the less conventional it becomes as well. Aside from trying to break away from PMD clichés, the story also takes a look at each of the characters, their actions and the world they live in and how that’s influenced it. Particularly interesting is how the story grabs elements from past games and refurnishes them to adapt them to this one, as well as how it has a sort of generational feel when later chapters reveal that things have been working in the background since before Tessa’s generation.
I understand. The episodic nature is, indeed, me trying to make it feel like a game. Or, I suppose a more apt comparison would be an anime in that one episode = one anime arc. This was undoubtedly a very "FanFiction.net approach," for lack of a better phrase. I realize that's not good for putting on a forum like this. But it's too late, the damage is done. Nowhere to go but forward. @_@If I had to give a complaint is that the plot moves somewhat slowly. While the story has quite a few chapters published already, and there are a lot more chapters incoming as we speak, the story’s overall moved relatively slow in regards to developing the plot, with only a few hints being given here and there. We do get some more information on what’s going on and what might happen, but overall the story is content with sticking to the pacing you’d expect from a mystery dungeon game.
I admit, I really have enjoyed putting in the Gen VII mechanics and we will be seeing those playing a bigger role in the upcoming episodes, I promise.Horizon is an interesting continent all things considered. Much like the story, a lot of Horizon’s culture and feel is inspired by Alola and concepts introduced in Gen 7. However, Amby’s been able to craft a pretty interesting extension to the PMD world with different areas and zones, one thing in particular is the way in which it tackles Dungeons in that they’re not ever-changing environments but rather get shifted around by the Tapus every once in a while.
Oof. Yeah, I've tried to spruce up the descriptions of the early episodes, but I guess this is a case of improvement with practice in the craft. For what it's worth, later episodes will be expanding on this stuff a lot, including more lore stuff. Some of the upcoming bonuses will also (hopefully) flesh out the world and some of its inhabitants a bit more. Assuming I do my job right.That being said, there’s not much to it besides that. The story doesn’t really go too into detail about Horizon’s mythology, at least not yet, and a lot of the interesting aspects from its world are things that it borrows from the games or that are carried over. That’s not to say it doesn’t make a good interpretation, it does, it just doesn’t really go beyond that.
This is exactly what I intended. I did write a lot of characters in a way where your first impressions of them were meant to be incorrect... and that you'd soon start second-guessing exactly what you're thinking about each character and why.Guiding Light’s characters are more than meets the eye. It’s true that a lot of them fall into very specific archetypes, particularly the bizarre ones that are explored in the PMD games. However, as the story goes on and we learn more about the characters we realize that things aren’t quite as they seem. Shane for example at first comes off as an arrogant but unaware guy, someone that lets himself get carried away because he doesn’t know any better.
However, as the story goes on we start to see more of his insecurities, particularly the ones he had in the real world. Stuff like his possessiveness or obsession with wanting to prove himself or disregard for others because he thinks he’s a hero easily catch up to him and make him an interesting character.
Glad to hear it! The feedback for the special episodes outside of Bulba have been... mixed. For what it's worth, it'll be a long time before the next one comes up.I particularly liked the side stories for how it showed more personality for the members of team MIB and Tessa’s mother as well as Team Captivate. Metagross and Braviary are treated as strict mentor figures who’ve seen a lot during their years and Crystal herself is shown as Tessa’s idol and the pinnacle of an adventurer, while Team Captivate also fill a role of big sisters and mentors for the younger guilds. So it was interesting to see how these characters were in the past and how they interact when not surrounded by the other guild members respectively.
That's definitely fair. Scout's honor, I'm gonna shatter this complaint in a big way with the next episode! Or I'll try. I hope I can live up to your expectations. ;~;Where I do think the story fails a bit is with its antagonists. So far we have five regular antagonists, two being jokes, two being more serious but only appearing regularly and one who we’ve only seen once and don’t know much about besides what the other characters say. Of these Espy and Umbry are the most interesting but so far they’re pretty one note villains.
Well, you can't win 'em all, I guess. I know the showing of multiple characters' thoughts rubs people the wrong way.Guiding Light’s style isn’t really anything to write home about. It’s not bad, in fact it’s pretty good at conveying the character’s emotions and particularly good when it comes to action scenes. However, it’s nothing particularly special outside of getting its job done.
Oof. So, I'm pretty sure I've got this billed in the directory as an action story, because it is. I fully admit, again, that I probably had more of an FFN mentality with writing this. Longer chapters with somewhat long action scenes. For what it's worth, in the first seven episodes I tried to make sure no action scene was longer than half a chapter. That... won't hold up for some of the later episodes, but I'd like to think I'm making up for that by having more variety in what happens. But, yeah, I know you're really hated these chapter lengths. They're not gonna go down, so I won't blame you if you stop reading. I'm pretty sure this'll be the only awards rendition this story's going to appear in because of the length issue. ;~;Where I do take a couple of issues is with the length of the chapters. Now, long chapters aren’t bad in and of itself, but a lot of the time it feels like the chapters are unnecessarily long, characters might talk a lot more than needed or maybe, and in most cases, battles end up becoming way longer than they should. I get that the reason for this is that amby wants to recreate the feel of battles in the game, but it can drag the story down a bit.
That might be a result of me taking dp's advice to not explicitly name moves in battle. Tried to go back and apply that to the early battles.Tied to that is that the description can sometimes become a little frenzied and hard to really detail, particularly when scene becomes more uncontrolled.
Well, I fully admit that dialogue is my favorite part to write, so I'm glad I'm at least doing that right. ^^Where I do think the writing excels, again, is at conveying character interactions, particularly heavy emotions and feelings, which is always a plus.
You hit the nail on the head here. I had started with the intent of making Shane a self-insert parody of sorts, but the more serious shift warranted changes to his overall character.A good character isn’t a likeable character and that is very true for Shane. Shane is your typical nerdy protagonist who dreams of being a hero one day and who gets his wish by being taken to the Pokemon world…only that he doesn’t realize that just getting sent to the Pokemon world doesn’t make him a hero, that past heroes regardless of how destined they were, had to work hard and acclimate themselves to the world rather than assume that the world would bend over backwards for them (even if the games kind of do that in some aspects).
I did draw from real life in making Shane's character, along with Tessa, and a third character who I won't name b/c spoilers.All of that is coupled with Shane’s issues from his life as a human, his lack of confidence in himself, laziness, possessiveness towards others, a judgy and confrontational personality and occasional disregard for others when it didn’t suit his needs.
They’re all genuine character flaws that come up again and again and screw Shane up on multiple levels and it makes him a deeper character because it makes him feel more realistic. Sure, they’re not aspects we want to accept about ourselves but we all have a little bit of Shane in us.
Yup. I admit that, I have a lot of trouble with change... especially positive change. I wound up incorporating that into Shane's character. "Write what you know," right?Shane’s development is another interesting part about his character. So far, every arc has had one confrontation between Shane and Tessa due to Shane constantly pushing Tessa around and not thinking about her feelings in some way shape or form. Shane does try to improve, but every time he fails or doesn’t get what he wants he ends up reverting to his old self with even more intensity.
Some might say that this is an annoying part about Shane because he can’t learn the lesson but I actually think it’s something that brings out the more realistic aspects in him. It’s hard for us to accept and overcome our flaws, heck it’s hard to overcome them even when we accept them. Shane himself hasn’t learned humility, which is the biggest quality he needs.
And, don't you worry, his behavior will get additional call-outs down the road, even as he starts to improve.He knows he can step out of line and he knows that he can ignore other’s feelings, but all of that gets outdone by his own sense of entitlement that he doesn’t lose because he keeps thinking that he’s in a game. All of that makes Shane a good example in character regression and how a character can develop and regress in a human way simply due to the fact that they never learn the real lesson of the story.
Yeah, initial positive reception to Shane's jerkass tendencies actually resulted in me ratcheting them up significantly from what I had in mind. Heck, initially Shane's jerkishness was unintentional, but all the early reviews loved it.Shane isn’t exactly original per se, at least not to what you might expect. Shane’s character base is that of your nerdy relatable protagonist who is supposed to represent those self-insert characters for people who just want to escape to a fantasy world. He’s a nerd who’s played the games almost religiously, he understands every aspect and cliché of them and he’s treated as a loser in the real world and wants a new lease on life.
However, what stands out about Shane is how Guiding Light deconstructs his character mold. Not only does he get a Pokemon that, while not weak, can be pretty hard to work with. His character flaws and personality problems hinder him even more than they did in the real world and it’s those very aspects of himself, the aspects that these types of stories usually emphasize, that end up screwing him over. All of that culminates in the latest arc where Shane basically gets on everyone’s bad side due to his (might I say racist?) remarks that end up causing trouble for everyone in the guild.
That's good! I do like putting him in humiliating situations. It's fun. Does that make me an evil author? Oh well... *shrug*All of Shane’s flaws and occasional annoyance aside, he’s still…kind of fun to look at. He makes for a great comedic relief character if anything and it’s fun to see the kind of crazy and weird situations he ends up in missions due to either his own stupidity or the fact that he can let the Vulpix part of him get carried away.
And well, I guess you can say that seeing all the drama and turmoil he brings up is also pretty entertaining in and of itself. I’ve pretty much already said everything I could about his entertainment value in the past categories.
Alright, I got that across okay. All the revisions worked!While not as much as Shane, Tessa also breaks out of the mold her character is supposed to represent. She isn’t just the shy character whose life gets better and becomes badass as she lives with the protagonist, in fact, part of her wishes she could be like that. Instead Tessa has a severe lack of confidence and anxiety courtesy of essentially losing her family and always feeling like an outcast as a Riolu.
The bit about her expectations were in the latest revisions that I slipped in before the deadline. Looks like they did the job. As for the lack of noticing, drawing a bit from real life here, in that someone with depression can fool people around them (especially someone who's socially inept like Shane) by trying to put on a happy face where it's appropriate.To add to that is the fact of how she unconsciously relies and puts her own expectations on others as well as her own fears and insecurities in regards to her mother’s whereabouts and brother’s sanity. Of course, Tessa’s flaws aren’t as easily noticeable and she’s still an overall nice Pokemon who tries her best to get along with everyone and who wants to improve herself, even if part of her expects it to happen in one day.
Glad to see that stuff's paying off. I think severely limiting their moves at the start (something most PMD fics I've seen completely ignore) helped in this department.I think Tessa’s had the most development of our protagonists all things considered. While not much, she’s gotten more confident in herself and has even improved as a battler. She’s also learned to interact more with other Pokemon and is improving as an explorer. Similarly, all of her missions with Shane and her clashes with him also made her more self-aware, allowing her to realize her own flaws instead of blaming all of her problems on Shane. Well, sure, a lot of them are on Shane but if it weren’t for him she also wouldn’t have even taken a step into the guild.
I promise, you'll be seeing another moment between them in a couple of weeks.Another interesting development is her relationship with Null and how she’s relying on him more. From the start she always took more of a caring eye for the patchwork Pokemon out of both curiosity and pity, but as the story’s gone on the two have become confidants of one another and maybe there’s something more, you know, assuming Tessa isn’t just projecting into Null how she does for her mother and tried to do for Shane.
This is something I also hope to shatter in a big way... as early as this Saturday and then again with the next episode. Assuming I do my job right.While Tessa does break from her mold, she also sticks to it more typically than Shane. Her character follows a similar trajectory to what you might expect, just that her growth comes from all the problems she has with her companion rather than her success. That being said, I do think Tessa has a lot more agency that normal companion character in PMD stories and the fact that she’s the daughter of a human turned Pokemon adds a lot of interesting twists to her. Granted, I’m sure that won’t mean anything in the grand thing but it’s still something crazy to think about.
Those scenes she has had to herself will all be very important down the road, trust me!All that being said, Tessa’s still pretty entertaining to see. However, most of the entertainment from her characters comes from her interaction with Shane and how the two bounce off each other. She does get a few good scenes that are also plot-related, such as when she goes to her mom’s room to find out she basically went on a rampage.
Glad to hear it. Her presence for plot revelations is very intentional beyond just being the deuteragonist in the story.Tessa however, does live up to her role as a Deuteragonist. She and Shane have an interesting rapport with one another that helps drive the plot and she herself is tied to at least two characters who are important to the story in some way. To add to that, Tessa’s also the character who’s been present at the time of big plot revelations, mainly ones dealing with her meetings or discoveries of her mother. It also helps that her general character arc is essentially an underdog story, which makes her easy to root for and the flaws that she has to overcome are also given a lot of attention and make her more relatable without completely overshadowing Shane’s role.
I continue to be amazed at how much people apparently like their relationship, because I'm always nervous if I'm being too cheesy or cliché or uninspired.Shane’s and Tessa’s relationship is fraught. At first you’d think that they’d be a group that’ll have some rocky patches but will eventually grow to become great together and understand each other. However, the two continuously clash because of their very own flaws and contradictions, causing them to constantly argue and be at each other’s throats because they’re unable to see the other’s points.
These gives their relationship a lot more depth, especially since, when they’re able to see eye to eye, they actually function pretty well as a team. Shane gives Tessa the push she needs to move forward while Tessa acts as a good conscience meant to keep him in check and stop him from just doing whatever he wants, even if he still ends up doing it a lot of the time.
This is true. After shifting the story direction, I wanted them to spend time fighting each other before they could fight the big threat.Their relationship’s growth is pretty fraught as well. Things are definitely in a one step forward, two steps back scenario for Team Radiance, as every time they are able to overcome an issue they quickly end up falling behind because of something that ends up pulling them apart, usually tied to Shane.
Don't worry, it's gonna stop reeeeeal soon. I promise!The two do try to cooperate as much as possible and Tessa herself continues to give Shane the benefit of the doubt. However, it seems like their team is reaching a point where they either finally manage to see eye to eye with one another or they just let each other fall apart. It would certainly be a good thing to put a sort of cap on that, not necessarily for the team to stop growing but at least for us to know whether they’d actually stick together, as it can be a bit repetitive for them to constantly go through the same issues.
Right. I'm hoping that, once we move past their, uh, "pattern," so to speak, that I can introduce some ripples in their dynamics that further complicates everything. At least, those ripples have gotten positive reception elsewhere. But you guys have very high expectations. ;~;Shane’s and Tessa’s relationship isn’t really anything special overall. Shane’s a hothead is balanced by Tessa’s more calmed and cautious demeanor, it’s a tale as old as time and they’re conflicts are also an integral part of that dynamic. What does stand out is how they can sometimes change roles, with Tessa becoming more hotheaded when she gets mad or passionate about something and Shane becoming quieter and more reserve when he messes up and fails to do something.
Well, I hope you'll stay on board, because there are some really heavy chapters coming up. But I know the length issue is big for you. I don't want this to feel like a chore for anyone, so don't feel like you have to read it. Thank you for taking the time to judge this and leave all this feedback. I really appreciate it. ^^Like I said, their relationship very much works as the core of the story and the two are heavily tied to the main plot in some way, shape or form. I’m also curious as to how it’ll progress in the upcoming chapters considering that it’s currently falling apart at the seams.
What is the essence of one's being?
What magic ingredient fills us with life?
And sets us apart from plants and bacteria?
You’re giving me Bulbasaur? I wanted Riolu!
The taste of iron filled up his mouth, and the scent of motor oil assaulted his nostrils.
"Sure am! I'm Growlithe. Say, aren't you Lucario's daughter?" he responded.
She scooped up a handful of sand and gently poured it onto the back of her head.
Unless you're modest-natured, of course, which will make you one heck of a Lucario when you evolve.
"Huh… well there was that one Ninetales in the Air Continent.
Tessa looked up at her assailant, eyes freezing on the black crystals covering Espy's chest and shoulders.
'I should've refused to help him. But I didn't. Because I'm an idiot! A weak... pathetic idiot who can't even stand up for herself!' Tears welled up in her eyes.
That was the intent, unfortunately. Was drawing from real life in that, in my younger days, I was so bad at "reading the room" it lead to awful, douchey instances where I brushed aside how someone was feeling. Only I didn't have the moment of realization Shane did.This chapter was very emotional to say the least, though I'd say Shane was acting severely douchey in this chapter, to the point that his sudden shift in character might feel a little jarring considering how much he was belitting Tessa even up to before she told him about her family situation.
Well, that was the plan, but he didn't bring along the stuff to make it official. So, before it could happen, Tessa ran off.Outside of that, the first part with Metagross is a bit confusing, though I think that's mostly on me since I thought that them passing the test would mean them getting ranked up as a Team, but the team would still be broken up regardless.
Ach, I was worried it might be too melodramatic. You're actually the first person to say that, though. The idea wasn't that it was a huge revelation... the revelation was that Tessa blamed herself for everything that happened.Either way, the scene where Tessa finally tells Shane about her family was pretty eye opener and helps finally give Shane the kick he needs. What I would correct about it would probably be the fact that it does veer a little into melodrama at points and yet at the same time I feel like it doesn't pack quite the punch you'd think it would, mainly cause it's something the audience had already been privy too for a while now.
Glad to hear it. There might be something similar for the other member of the trio coming in the next chapter.Similarly strong was Shane admitting his mistakes and actually cooperating with Null, and in general Null's pep talk to Shane was touching and it's nice to see the two finally have a heart to heart.
The first question you should ask is if anyone will even be willing to help him with the bridges he's manages to burn. ^^;I'm curious as to what'll happen in the next chapter, like I said, I'm sure Shane's party won't be enough to really make up for anything, but I hope it can at least help him and Tessa see a bit eye to eye.
If I answered, I'd just be spoiling things. Gotta leave you on the lamb. Thanks for reviewing! ^^Also, I'm intrigued by Shane's flashback, could it be that his childhood friend actually got killed and that's why Tessa's stroy brings that to mine?
I'm not sure which version you were reading, but generally speaking this version (on Bulba) will always have the most up-to-date version of chapters, since I do a fresh round of revisions before putting it here.So, as is tradition, I always said that I was going to review your stories by episode until I catch up. However, just this once… I’m gonna review the prologue and first chapter, because, as we all know, those are the most important chapters. It’s what introduces the reader to the story and—more importantly—the make-or-break for most of them sticking around to begin with.
Well it wouldn't be mystery dungeon if you knew exactly why, m i rite? *laugh track plays in the distance*So far? I like what I’m seeing! But I can’t quite place exactly why specifically.
That was deliberate. It does mirror Explorers a lot to set up a deliberate bait and switch for when Shane wakes up and starts... well... being Shane.There’s a bit of lightheartedness to it, and I’m getting some Explorers vibes from the way Tessa is presented at the start.
Yeah, she's not starting out on the best foot, but she's going to grow quite a bit in a number of ways, I promise!I have vague ideas about things to come, though I know very little in terms of actual spoilers. But I know Tessa is one of the squad, and she’s got problems. So far, though? She just seems like a Riolu that can’t quite get things right.
Glad to hear it. I'm always a bit worried that this part will completely alienate interested readers, but I wanted to go forward with it anyway and just kind of skip the usual beats for humans turned into 'mons.The star of the show, despite Tessa being the main perspective for most of chapter 1, is Shane. I feel like this can be overused a lot, but I think you executed Shane’s predicament well. It’s so meta. And that’s hard to execute while still being taken seriously, or in general, for me to enjoy it. It’s just the right balance of Shane being aware of the history of the world he’d entered, while still not making it a reference-fest.
His preconceptions are a big part of all of this. I'm not sure which version you saw, but the most revised version does state he's from the year 2015... so knowledge and a lack of knowledge will be colliding.I particularly like how Shane’s own preconceptions of his circumstances is leading him into those very circumstances—a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. I thought that was a clever way to get the ball rolling.
Yeah, this chapter was much shorter before revisions, but I couldn't just randomly split it after finished them, so I had to take the bullet and leave it as is. No other chapters will reach this length... except for an old April Fool's joke.Minor nitpick: As someone who generally works with shorter chapters, I felt that the moment Tessa knocked Shane out could’ve been the end of a chapter. But that’s just me, and the chapter as it is feels just fine. Perhaps that’s because I’ve had to deal with 15k+ word chapters in the past, so now suddenly your chapters feel short.
*adjusts nerd glasses* Excuse me, I'll have you know there wouldn't even be ATP if your body didn't have DNA to synthesize the machinery necessary to produce ATP.Adenosine triphosphate?
I wasn't even aware of the trope, myself. That part of the prologue is actually far more important than anyone realizes... but you won't be finding out for awhile.You know, it's kinda funny. I've never actually watched or read a show or book that started off in this way, where the hero runs into lethal trouble and then wakes up in a new world, and yet I feel like this opening has been done a thousand times. Still. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Stay tuned, there might be an answer waiting for you.Random thought whenever I see stuff like this, but, for towns with a high population, how exactly does this work when there's more than one of a species running around? "Oh, which Lucario?" and all that is probably rampant in civilizations like these.
Oh, trust me, she and Shane will be getting much messier.This... that's never coming out. Ever. Like, ever ever. Even a bath isn't getting that sand out. I feel like this should be mentioned throughout the entire story, every so often grains of sand just falling for no reason from her head. Because it will never completely get out.
I see you are a man of good taste. *tips fedora*I'm more of a Jolly or Timid sort of guy for them. Speed > offense. Still, appreciate the competitive nod~
Not quite. She may, however, have a cousin who serves much the same purpose in Horizon... who is an ice fox.Ohhhh if that one is still around, I hope you retconned Ninetales to be Alolan. It fits too well.
I don't explicitly state the ages, but in-universe they're still on the younger side. Espeons and Umbreons average a 120-year lifespan in this world. Certain typings lead to longer lifespans, including psychic and dark. Espeon's slasher behavior is supposed to be unsettling and is a very deliberate about-face from how she was in Gates....How old are they? I'm pretty sure with the cards and all that, these are possessed versions of Umbreon and Espeon from Infinity. Like, so, if I have my timeline correct, the Dark Matter incident happened some time before Tessa was born. I'm imagining that Tessa is at least a teenager. and perhaps she wasn't born instantly after the Dark Matter incident ended. And while I suppose it's not explicitly stated how old they are in the games, they were quite seasoned explorers and researchers, so I imagine they'd've been at least middle-aged, right? Or maybe prime-ish.
I realize it's probably repetitive but, uh, that's kind of the idea. She is written as having depression. Like, if she were human, a psychologist were diagnose her. And I can say with experience that that kind of circular thinking and constant beating up of yourself is par for the course. It may not be pleasant to read, but I'd rather be true to what I know. If that makes sense. Sorry! ;~;Okay, Tessa. We get it. Ya hate yourself. But please, girl, I don't know how long you can last if that attitude persists. At least to the point where I'm reading it every other screen.
Jangmo-o tackled Tessa, but she maintained her balance. Her arms glowed red and she swung both fists at her attacker. She socked Jangmo-o right in the snout. He stumbled back in a daze.
And with the knowledge of where things are going/after reading the most recent chapters, your response there (that the dark undertones were intentional) makes sense -- if I'd realized how seriously you were going to handle some of these arcs (Tessa ditching to form her own rescue team, Shane FREEZING HIS TEAMMATE SOLID WHAT THE FUCK SHANE), I think some of the hints to how mature this was going to be would've been a lot easier to handle. But I didn't know where this was going, and re-reading some of the intro chapters, I'm not sure if I reasonably should have -- the undertones feel like relevant foreshadowing in hindsight not really in foresight?This could be a dark tale about emotional manipulation and true friendship, but there's so much quipping laced in the narrative that any urgency/seriousness doesn't really hold up.
he soon found himself gulping down saliva.
Shane harrumphed. "Now let's stop lollygagging
Cause that expression could make an Ursaring blush
Shane suddenly gripped Tessa'
Hey… waaaaaaaait a second.
You wouldn't happen to know any suspicious-looking Nuzleafs, would you?"
"Whoa, whoa, take it easy," Shane coaxed.
Shane laughed. "Ha! That's a good one. I've stared at Riolus on my computer screen for hours and the only way they look different is if an artist decides
Fact: the recruits are Riolu and a human.
Guess you'll just have to learn about Horizon dungeons the old-fashioned way
I swear this fic won't be following a constant pattern of alternating plot/interactions and battles between chapters. These are just easy breaking points for the earlier chapters.
No need to apologize at all! I really don't ever want reading this to feel like a chore. The episodic nature is meant to help any willing reader pace themselves. And I do love seeing people's thoughts as they read... even if the early chapters continue to have their issues.I'm soooo behind! I've only read Episode 1 of all this good stuff, but hopefully you can find this review still helpful in some way!
Thanks! Dialogue is, by far, my favorite thing to write so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that I have a lot of it. It's so much fun.Opening up, just want to say that you REALLY own the while dialogue scene. The portions flow so seamlessly from character to character, really providing the reader with a window into Tessa's mind or Shane's antics. Your thought style for each character follow the dialogue format as well, so kudos there too! That's a very solid strength that I'm excited to see you explore for further chapters!
That is what I was going for with the opening. It draws a lot from Explorers as the bait, but the switch is in Shane's general behavior and actions. He's about as far as you could get from a PMD protagonist in terms of personality.Moving into your plot, you certainly communicate that feeling of PMD whimsy. The Oran berry passed from Tessa to Shane, of course, Tessa's scarf, the characters falling and struggling to walk and the whole "whoa i'm a Pokemon..." perfectly captures the opening wow moments of the franchise. You really sent me 10 years back here with my DS and the first Red / Blue rescue team package!
Oh god, I feel the pressure already. I hope it can live up to your expectations. ;~;Of course, it also leaves you with somewhat of a tall order to fill. The PMD story line is known for being a heartbreaker with plenty of twists and turns, so I'm excited to read further and see how you both deliver that heartwrenching feeling yet also innovate the storyline to make it wholly your own!
Glad to hear it as, in the first several chapters, anyway, he tends to be the primary factor driving people away from the fic (see unrepentantAuthor's review for chapter 3 if you don't believe me). That's on me, I guess, but this is what I wanted to do with his character.Your characters are cuties. Shane's RP comment, dovetailed with the Super Smash bros one, makes him the instant crowd favorite. Beyond being relatable, he also owns a foolishly bright perspective that's just dang contagious. When he says him and Tessa can take on the whole world... I really want to believe it! And that's the type of main protagonist that plays with the heartstrings while really hearkening back to the hope of the PMD franchise.
It's going to be quite the process, I tell you.Tessa is a cinnamon gumdrop too. Overall, with both of them, I'm eager to see how their faults and strengths will not only grow individually but also in tandem with one another.
You're absolutely write with those early chapters. I've kept going back to make changes but it's not enough. Early chapters received initial feedback that they were too "clinical sounding" and, coupled with my desire to implement @diamondpearl876's feedback that I should describe each move better, probably led to some of those sentences.Your writing style! <3 It's certainly a joy to behold! Your prose is clear, clean, and easy to read. Though perhaps for me it feels sometimes... a little too safe. The same sort of sentence syntax is used, or something is not elaborated upon that, in my opinion, could really use a certain gravitas to really bring that scene further to life.
I'd like to think my descriptions and my fight choreography get better as the story go on, but I'll have to leave that to you to judge. Thanks for reviewing and I hope you continue to enjoy!Bare bones subject-verb structure that is honestly very helpful - I know exactly what's going on in this scene, who's hitting who and how, but it doesn't really put me at the edge of my seat. Certainly nothing wrong here at all - but I can tell you're dedicated to this, and seeing as you're experienced already in writing, I think a promising step could be to really experiment more with your prose. Break some rules of English, chuck some powerful verbs and adjectives in there, make the words sing. That would be my only piece of advice!
In other words, you did thing the Shane way. XDA general note: I read this in a really haphazard way, and by that I mean I read all the recommended chapters for the whole fic, and then the recommended reading for the characters, and then the most recent two chapters as of two weeks ago, and then I remembered that I actually was supposed to count "last two chapters" as the ones from before the Awards deadline closing, and then I went back and read the parts I'd been missing.
Oh well, what can ya do?All this to say that the plot twists and foreshadowing probably would've been really interesting for a reader who wasn't completely butchering your chronology because she accidentally read it for a defunct category.
I take pride in those funny moments, since, despite the dark turns PMD games can take, they are humorous at their cores and a lot of PMD fics tend to forget that.There were a ton of quotes/moments that I flagged as "man, this line is hilarious", though -- reading this was a really fun ride.
That's perfectly fair. Though, you might be quite surprised with some of the stuff you see in the later episodes. I mean, I'd like to think chapter 29 is pretty melodramatic. Flaze sure thought so. And there are definitely going to be a lot of chapters that are just characters hashing things out verbally. As for the villains, well, you'll have to wait and see, but I'd like to think that'll be an improvement going forward.Final note: this genre isn't my schtick. I realize that now. It's cutesy episodic style and characters not learning from their mistakes over and over again and a clear-cut dark vs light battle and anime-style episode titles and mustachio-twirling villains and chapters where the focus isn't the story in the chapter and no one stopping to be a melodramatic shit with a cut of "suddenly, emotional". And these are things you're perfectly welcome to write about
I'll take it! :Vbut despite all of that, I really, really loved reading this. LIKE. A LOT. I had to read all of this in a compact timeline and it never felt like a burden; I genuinely enjoyed it.
Neither did I when I started drafting this, to be honest. ^^;Right... so the story that began with a loveable asshole protagonist quipping constantly to break the fourth wall escalates to a mother being forcibly mutated into a monster and then murdered in front of her child in self-defense. Can't say I saw that coming.
Correct. Though that might be unintentional, as I'll be explaining.I think for the most part your descent into madness is pretty subtle, which is good -- slowly boiling the frog rather than jumping straight to Buzzswole. Espy and Umbry are recurring and creepy enough in the early chapters that we don't really blink when they start doing progressively more awful stuff, until suddenly they're doing PROGRESSIVELY AWFUL STUFF AND THE SIGNS HAVE BEEN THERE THE WHOLE TIME WOW.
Right, so here's the thing. The story was not originally going to be like this. I drafted Episodes 1-4 and Special 1 in their entirety before posting anything, just to prove to myself I had the motivation and was enjoying this enough to fully commit. The original story direction was a ridiculous parody, of sorts. And then I dropped the first chapter and initial reviews on Serebii gravitated toward how Shane's irrational behavior and jerkass attitude were different in a good way. And I didn't even intend for him to come off as a jerk!And with the knowledge of where things are going/after reading the most recent chapters, your response there (that the dark undertones were intentional) makes sense -- if I'd realized how seriously you were going to handle some of these arcs (Tessa ditching to form her own rescue team, Shane FREEZING HIS TEAMMATE SOLID WHAT THE FUCK SHANE), I think some of the hints to how mature this was going to be would've been a lot easier to handle.
I totally understand. I think it falls back on what I said above. When I started off writing this, I don't think I was approaching it like a story, but rather like the plot and script for a game, just without any visuals. Things were made very quirky to try and match the PMD games even if it didn't gel perfectly with the new direction the plot was taken.In the early chapters, when Tessa and Shane are having their squabbles, their fighting/room for growth feels really out of place in the rest of the plot outside of what specifically revolves around them. Not just because the Guild brushes them off a ton anyway (which, canonically, fits with the "Shane stop thinking you're the center of the universe" theme), and not just because it does have a lot of impact on their personal plot (them fighting baddies/lack thereof), but because no one else seems to have struggles of a remotely similar caliber. The supporting cast here is limited in their role to the services/interactions they provide to Shane/Tessa
Right, it makes sense. It really all falls back on me. I'm pretty sure I could go back and outright remove certain chapters (or episodes) and, coupled with some revisions, it might fix this stuff. But, at this point, I think I just need to see how the final product turns out before even trying something like that. In the meantime, I think I really do work to fix this in the coming episodes. The supporting cast shifts away from those quirkier characters and to ones who, if I did my job right, will have problems like Shane and Tessa and will be going through arcs where they have to confront their demons, so to speak.But at the same time, as a supporting cast, they don't really reflect the level of conflict that the main cast is feeling. Or, in other words: when Tessa rolls in with years of emotional baggage from being abandoned and is willing to tank missile herself in the foot if it'll maybe help her climb the pedestal she put her parents on, but the only other characters who are visibly struggling are Magearna's vocabulary banks being a bit off or Togedemaru being angry that Shane makes fat jokes -- the contrast makes it hard to recognize if Tessa's really supposed to be having this struggle, or if she, like the rest of the universe/characters around her, should be reduced to a more simple representation of her problem. No matter how dark the substance of the story gets (how shitty the Prism Virus becomes, how many outlaws arrive, how many corrupted gods are going around eating people), the emotional core starts to feel imbalanced, if that makes sense.
Yeah, that's really what I'm going for with the later episodes... especially with showing off more of Horizon's locales and the problems they have, which dovetails with the overarching issues the world as a whole is facing. Of course, it'll be up to you to judge how good a job I did.And of note is how much of this actually gets fixed when we start seeing the other side characters have deep struggles -- Prisma's Christmas chapter, for example, does a great job of grounding stakes that non-Shane/non-Tessa characters are feeling. It gives the sense that the entire world is having problems of a certain magnitude, and that this magnitude is similar to the emotional stakes you're pinning on the protagonists. It gives the illusion of a larger world, which makes it more easy to believe that these choices were intentional characterization rather than accidental.
That probably stems from the early balancing issues I had with the plot, I'm afraid. ;~;And here, again, this goes back to the confusion I had when it was just Tessa and Shane having these deep fears/struggles. This isn't to say that you aren't hindered by writing from Shane's viewpoint most of the time, and he's not the most empathetic knife in the drawer, nor is it to say that you should carbon-copy your character's problems onto the rest of the cast -- it's just hard to juggle story arcs where one of the problems posed is as surface level as "I can't use Powder Snow good" and the other one is "sometimes I struggle with viewing those around me as sapient beings with a rich inner life because I'm used to just fucking with NPC's and that makes me a sociopath but I can't really help it, ya know?"
Glad to hear it could still entertain despite its flaws. ^^Block of text of rambling thoughts aside, I still really enjoyed the plot. There's a lot of subversions that you do to the standard chosen one quest, and there were a few moments in the more recent chapters when I was genuinely floored -- Tessa starting a new team/Shane freezing her solid, Null beating the shit out of Buzzswole, Prisma is a human??, Feraligatr is Necrozma... there's a lot. I was definitely invested; this was a wild ride.
D'aww, thanks. Special episode reception has been divisive and we won't be getting another one for a very long time (like, 30+ chapters long), but there will be plenty of little bonuses.I did really like the interludes that started stepping away from Shane -- they tended to add good backstory to the world, or nice worldbuilding in general. The Team Charm interlude was lit and I'd make some comment here about golly I hope nothing happens to them, but I accidentally clicked on "most recent chapter" on FFN a few months ago and ruined that one already.
Thanks! I really do think these upcoming episodes are of a much higher quality, but I am a bit biased.Point being. There are a lot of moving pieces here. I had some advice earlier up for how you handle the emotional weights of your plot, but the way that you handle the physical pieces of the plot is really masterful. Lotta fun to read, lotta suspense building, and overall I get the feeling that we're on a roller coaster that only goes up.
I really have had fun making PMD-flavored Alola, essentially.Not much to say here except that a) having never played a PMD game after PMD: Red, b) I love the setting you have here. Like sure you aren't going to answer if Vulpix sweat or why they can fist bump, but Magearna is best support and Guild Braviary is best Alakazam stand-in, so I won't question it.
That stuff is actually from Gates to Infinity, the game that split the PMD fandom, so to speak. Super has Dark Matter, so anything you see with Dark Matter in it stems from that game. Going forward, there'll be more dovetailing with the canon games... or, at least, this world's version of them.I also love the care you took to adapt the PMD canon into this -- the Entercards/Umbry/Espy thing was a little lost on me (I know that PMD Super has Bittercold and Bittercold is bad and that's about it), but I love the idea that Shane assumes the best of them 'cause in his game there were similar characters who were heroes.
And, don't you worry, they're going to come back in much greater capacities. ^^I was super excited when Latias was Zoroark all along. Gallian is an edgelord but he's bad-ass as hell, as are his parents.
That is also something I'd like to think I fix with the upcoming episodes.I don't really remember getting much explanation of Horizon outside of the Grass Continent and some of the legendary hiearchy/mythos, so forgive me if I'm wrong here -- I do wish we got to see more of how the world itself works. This setting is hard to keep a grasp on because the dungeons aren't super integrated into the plot. It's more of a "we're gonna do a plot and it happens to be set in [Dungeon Name]", and while it makes sense that every dungeon biome doesn't get its own magical and unique culture, it's a little hard to keep track of setting outside of "sand means beach" and "trees so it's probably a forest."
You can PM 'em to me, I don't mind. I've been trying to work in dp's feedback, as I said to PeaceSign, but I think the quality of the battles will be getting better, because they get a lot less conventional and much crazier going forward.I had some notes drafted up for style, specifically in how you craft tension in battles, but this review is stupidly long already and I feel like I busted my quota on walls of text already. Message me if you want 'em.
This is true, I enjoy writing it a lot, even if it can be a bit tiring to do and is turning out to be a much larger project than I imagined it. XPOn a final reflection of what I've read so far, I think the main reason I liked reading this story so much is because I really got the feeling that you liked reading this. You were writing what you wanted to write, and it shows, and that's a quality that I think is actually pretty rare in fanfic but that is super contagious, hence why I liked reading.
Here's hoping it can meet your expectations! Thanks for reviewing! ^^I can't pretend to offer feedback on how to continue doing that, but please continue doing that -- this has been a wild read. I promise to be better at keeping up to date now that I've finally binged through the backlog.
Whoops, looks like one of those old, awkward phrases that slipped by me. Will have to keep that in mind whenever I can go back to that chapter.This is just a very odd way to put that he's salivating. I had the mental image of him drinking huge amounts out of a container, and that's nasty, man.
Huh... I actually use that word sometimes. ._.These are pretty odd and archaic words considering that Shane is a modern American human and so is most of your audience and neither would likely use these words. I'd expect them to indicate that a character was an old-timey sort.
That's, uh, kind of the point. He's trying to "fit in," albeit not very well.He's not a native, so this is a pretty artificial expression for him to use.
Drat! I'll have to keep that one in mind.The use of the word 'suddenly' reduces the suddenness of the action in the mind of the reader.
Yeah, I think I took a very game approach to writing a story, which I'm sure is bad. I think I was trying to reduce that with revisions, but I can't remember. I'll try to tone down on it going forward if it makes sense to.I dislike the use of vowel reduplication to indicate that a word is drawn out, as opposed to narrating that it is so or italicising, or just leaving it to the reader. I usually feel the same way about writing out accents, but you've done a decent job so far so it hasn't bothered me. The point is that the emphasis should be on what is being said rather than on how something is said.
It's supposed to be a bit odd. This is, essentially, Shane blurting out a thought that immediately popped into his head, without pausing to think about whether it really made sense in the context of everything that was happening. It's a clear social deficit and something that is fairly common in individuals like him. I don't want to talk about it publicly in the topic but you can PM me about it.I think it's bizarre for Shane to assume that Nuzleaf from SMD would reflect whatsoever on other nuzleaf, that the accents would connect these characters, or that this is a sensible question to ask in any case. I also think it's absolutely mental of him to keep treating this experience as if it has anything much to do with his videogames.
I admit I didn't delve too much into those questions, but suffice to say the existence of the two worlds is coincidental, especially if you buy into string theory and there being an infinite number of universes and whatnot. As far as Shane, I know we talked a bit on Discord and it's probably awful for me to say this but that's the point. He is irrational and acting impulsively and is clearly unable to distinguish reality from fantasy. I'm drawing from person experiences with these being other social deficiencies seen in Shane's condition. I fully admit that this is probably not the best approach to making a main character (in a first fic, no less!), but I chose to do it anyway. Part of it might have to do with the shift from full-on parody into a more serious story and the early chapters not properly reflecting that.In fact, every time Shane makes specific references to the game franchise, it really bothers me. It reminds me that for some reason, there are canonically both our human world with PMD videogames and an actual PMD world where humans from our world have been transported in order to participate in the same stories as portrayed in the videogames made in the world they're from. Are the games based on this reality? Or do our games create this reality? In either case, Shane is both deeply irrational and unintelligent for approaching things with the attitude he has right now.
Oh, darn. I'd been really trying to strip those out, but this chapter must've slipped under my radar.This is when I realised that you use specific speech tags a lot. There were a whole bunch this chapter, and they really distracted me from the actual dialogue. I think they're often unnecessary.
It's exactly what you think it is.On the other hand, it's hilarious that he's clearly image searched riolu countless times. Dude is fixated. Makes me wonder which websites he frequented, wink wink.
You're not alone in thinking that, good sir.NICE. Guildmaster Metagross was an absolute delight this chapter. Instantly my favourite thing about the entire fic so far, and I loved every second he was in focus.
Don't underestimate my sheer enjoyment of Boss Metagross. He's the best. The best.
Double drat! Yeah, that is kind of an exposition dump that I may have to see about fixing in the (far) future.A huge amount of time was given over in this chapter to back-and-forth about what Shane does or doesn't know and how Horizon dungeons work. I infer that you were trying to explain this stuff to your readers through inline exposition, but I found it uninteresting and unnecessary. You would have done well to cut the whole of that stuff out and resolve it by granting Shane brief inner monologues where he goes 'oh okay things are different to the games I've played'. As it is, it's not worth the space it takes up. It's also a bit hard to swallow Tessa's confident assertions about foreign lands when so far she's been shown to be wholly ignorant of overseas territories.
Thanks. My general rule was that any character that's getting more than just a throwaway line has to be from the Alola Dex in USUM. I wanted Gen VII 'mons to get their time in the limelight as much as possible without it feeling like they're shoehorned into the story.I don't have a specific quote from the dungeon encounters, but I quite enjoyed the pikipek encounter and the yungoos/trapinch encounter. It's good to see more underused pokémon! I'm always glad to see some different faces, and these ones were entertaining.
It's okay. You're not the first. Episode 2 is typically the jumping off point for people who try to read this, but give up and it all comes back to Shane. Like I said, I'm happy to talk about it in PM because it involves a sensitive subject. But, like, don't feel pressured to keep reading or anything if it's going to frustrate you that much. Like I've always said, the last thing I want is for anyone to feel like reading this story is a chore. I want it to be enjoyed above all else... if that makes sense. ;~; That said, I'm thankful you took the time to offer the feedback. ^^I realise this may seem like an almost entirely negative review. I am sorry for that, but I think you need to receive this sort of feedback and this chapter was mostly exposition, so there's less actual story going on.
Sweat pooled in his tuft of hair. It collapsed, plastering slimy fur against his eyes.
Ice is, like, the most garbage-tier of all the types.
"And why would I do something like that? We're not friends."
For all we know… no, for all anyone knows, there could be dozens of humans-turned-Pokémon running around here that don't have legends about them.
"I don't know how to explain it. You give off a good vibe," Shane said, giving her a big smile.
His chest tightened and he clutched it with a forepaw. 'Accident?' he repeated. His jaw locked up. Sharp, pointed, invisible edges dug into his hide.
I think some of the other reviews I've gotten might disagree with that, but I'll take it. :VI think you've got mechanics down well enough that we can get to how the actual macro-writing goes.
This was a pretty good "Let's get started" episode. Shane was introduced to the world of Pokemon; some basics of the new region were given; some mystery--between the Eon duo and Shane's brief "episode" of a flashback in chapter 2 with "accident," and so on--established an overarching plot; and finally, we have a look at a clear short-term goal, which is to become a member of the Guild.
Oh, trust me, that is a big mystery and very important to the plot. So much so, nobody's been able to guess it correctly yet! But there is a big hint in chapter 2 and it's a word you harp on in particular.You have very basic groundwork in place. As far as the plot is concerned, I'm liking how it's getting set up. I'm most curious about why Shane is here in the first place, but I also feel like that's the most hidden question for a while, so I'll just keep that on the backburner.
Interesting guess.I have a vague theory that Absol is Tessa's father. Pretty sure that's the same egg group.
I think it mostly comes down to her actually doing something constructive with her time, so it's eating up her attention.Hmm, as for Tessa herself? I'm noticing that she's a bit less... mopey in this chapter compared to chapter 1. While a little jarring in my opinion, it's a welcome change regardless, because now she's at least a little more tolerable. She can start moping again when I actually know what's wrong with her; otherwise, it all feels unjustified. So I'm glad to see her actually picking up Shane's slack!
Aha ha... I, uh, might have some bad news for you on that Shane front. As stated in an early reply, Shane has... a condition. And part of it is characterized by an inability to separate fantasy from reality at times. Put him in this kind of context and it gets made exponentially worse.I sorta like both of them equally now--Tessa because she's less of a mope, and Shane because he's starting to be a little too thick. By now I feel like he should've caught on. Hopefully that "accident" episode sobers him up at tad.
No way! You've got Pinsir, Heracross, Scizor, Volcarona, Genesect... heck, Guzma can be pretty frightening with his bugs if you're not properly prepared.Bug, Shane. You're thinking of Bug.
*whistles innocently*Shane, my man... what in the world is giving you this impression? Not to be Lucarioist, but she radiates a negative aura. He's smitten, isn't he?
This isn't really a spoiler. Shane's somehow repressed the memories of his last day as a human. Which will be a recurring point going forward. Thanks again for reviewing! ^^Ahh yes, the first bit of mystery. Pretty sure that's either a memory of the crash, or he's literally dying and this is all a dream. If it's the latter, I'm going to be extremely displeased, but something tells me it won't be, or if it is, there's a twist that makes it 'real,' particularly with all that madness in the prologue post-crash.
"Oh, that's Crabrawler's Café. It's the main spot for Pokémon to gather and hang out,"
"Honestly, how can anyone back in the human world like Vulpix more than Growlithe? It's not even a contest."
Growlithe tilted his head. "I beg your pardon?"
Tessa stepped forward and cupped a paw over Shane's mouth. "Err, don't listen to him. He's, uh, new around these parts."
"If you're in a group of Pokémon of the same species you just make eye contact with the one you want to talk to," Tessa said. "Did your 'brilliant human mind' not think that one up?"
Warning: continued dwelling on your family will impair your path to success in this guild.
And second, everyone knows Mystery Dungeons out here don't work like them kooky ones they got overseas."
"The Land Spirits decide when to change them. When I was a pup, my parents told me they can terraform the whole continent using their signature move: Nature's Madness."
"Vulpix! Yungoos are very sensitive about their hair,"
Yungoos immediately raised up his forepaws. "I yield! I yield! Enough… enough… youse two passed da test."
Tessa's stance slouched. "Wait… this was a test?"
A cocky grin flashed across Shane's muzzle. "Ha haaaaa! See, what did I tell you, Riolu?" He confidently swaggered up to Tessa. "Nothing. To. Worry. About," he declared, jabbing her back with his forepaw for each and every word.
Tessa's expression fell. "I… I don't understand. Weren't we supposed to fetch a looplet for the guild?"
'No! It's not true. Tessa's wrong. I'm not here by accident. Null's situation is just… a coincidence. That's all.
(side note: you dropped the period from the last paragraph)"Oh yeah? Well, let's see how much you like it!" Tessa said. Her right paw glowed bright blue and she slammed her palm into the water. She gave a confident smirk, but it faded when her splash failed to make it to Null. He retaliated by sweeping glowing talons across the surface of the water. Tessa tried to avoid the wave, but the silt on the ocean floor weighed her down. The wave swept her up and pulled her under the surface again.
Null lumbered to his feet, water dripping off his underbelly. Tessa popped back up, trying to shake the water off her fur. "You're not going to get away from me!" she declared, charging after her teammate. Or, rather, she would've, if the silt didn't trip her up and make her stumble. She fall forward, disappearing under the surface with a tiny splash. Null's laugh rumbled through the air
Note how, structurally, this is pretty similar to the above quote, but the stakes here are a lot different. It still reads very calmly; it's a bunch of simple sentences describing events in a very methodical way that gives the impression of sequential action. Fights usually have a bunch of things happening at once -- to describe something this linearly for so long feels unrealistic, as if the narrator/reader is only watching things unfold rather than participating in the thick of the action."I'll freeze him. You hit him with an Air Slash," Shane directed. He stepped forward and smothered Parasect's attack in blistering air. Null skirted to the side. But before he could attack, a small seed whizzed past his face. Parasect only had time to glance in Null's direction. The seed struck him right between the eyes. It bathed him in a red light and turned him as rigid as a statue.
Imagine drowning, or being in a fight. There's a lot less room for rigid reflection here, for figuring out that "this proved a poor decision" or discerning if the splash is "small". The details that should happen here are the absolute key outlines of what's going on; otherwise, the scene feels a lot more stretched and loses the tension might be inherent from the main character avoiding drowning. We learn that the reeds/water are slimy twice, for example, while we really only get one indication that Shane is drowning.The ground slipped out from underneath the lower half of Shane's body. Shane started sliding into the water. He desperately tried to dig his forepaws into the wetlands to pull himself back up. But he failed to get a proper grip. In a matter of seconds, the remainder of his body slid into the water with a small splash.
His entire world went dark. Shane jammed his eyes shut and puffed out his cheeks, struggling to hold his breath. Slimy reeds suddenly brushed up against his backside. Shane couldn't help but gasp in surprise. Swamp water rushed into his mouth. Shane started to thrash about, utterly uncertain how to use his four limbs to propel himself up. This proved a poor decision. His struggling only succeeded in getting reeds ensnared between his tails.
Shane forced himself to swallow the swamp water and tucked his head into his chest. He felt himself sinking deeper into the swamp. 'I've only got one shot at this!' he thought. Shane tried to push the sensation of the slimy water and reeds out of his mind. He concentrated as hard as he could and then released a burst of psychic energy directly below him. The lack of traction underwater resulted in the attack rocketing Shane upwards.
I. Hmmm. I thought that the canon takeaway from the Lycanroc bit was actually that Lycanroc did have a bad disposition, and that even though Shane did bait him, Lycanroc did try to betray it + was outed. Which is a shame because Serperior actually has a ton of equally valid experiences to pull from with Shane being a dick to Tessa haha."Gods, it's the 'Lycanroc is evil' routine all over again. I can't believe you're willing to lie like that just because you can't make things work with your partner."
I... laughed way harder at this than I should've. Shame that you've gotten so good at mixing comedy and drama that it makes me a bad person.Mimikyu cried. But he was drowned out by Yungoos' and Togedemaru's shouts of encouragement.
RIGHT SO. This was my big question this whole chapter. They really do care about her, they've mentioned that she's been really sad for a while, and honestly it does make sense that Shane would say something utterly insensitive and just tip her over the edge. A manipulative shit saying that their friend is starving themselves to death for attention is one thing, and I get not trusting the manipulative shit, but surely that would ring some alarm bells? Why are they so quick to assume it's just Shane being stupid? Wouldn't one of them at least go check on Tessa and make sure that she's okay?"So, are you guys really going to stand here and tell me you'll let Riolu stay depressed simply because you're determined to hold grudges against Vulpix? That… um… doesn't really seem in line with your guys' philosophy."
I appreciate this line a lot and apologize for saying that Shane wasn't getting called out enough early in the story."Wanting to make up for how you treated Tessa is great. But, saying this is about how you treat her is self-centered. And frankly, you've come across as rather selfish since I've met you."
a) lmao, b) should be "fell"To Tessa's shock, she struck his side, unceremoniously bounced off of it, and fall back into the ocean.
OH MAN IT'S THE TWO DEPRESSED CHARACTERS ON A BEACH TALKING ABOUT LOSS FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE UNTIL SOMEONE FEELS BETTER, ISN'T IT."Hmm. Well… I suppose… I could've done… something like this…"
Every episode actually starts with a cold opening. It's just that Episode 1 had the prologue to fill the job. I realize it's very anime-esque of me and was probably a terrible idea but I had too much fun with them. XPI thought it was a little interesting that this chapter started with what’s effectively a cold open. I’m not exactly sure why, though. The above segment that had no real chapter associated with it was transitional, but it still… fit? Oh well. It’s a minor thing anyway.
There's gonna be a lot of bickering between them... neither are approaching things with a healthy, mature frame of mind.This is a classic exchange, isn’t it? Shane is still being dense as always, but so far it doesn’t seem to be very consequential. I’m waiting for it to actually bite him on the butt, though. At some point it’s gotta, since you had already told me in advance that he’s gonna be dense for a while.
'MURICA BIRB IS BEST BIRB. :VI’m also noticing that the Braviary has a particular accent. I don’t really know what I expected.
The idea is that it's totally supposed to be backwards and counterproductive. I'm working with a world of Pokémon... I don't have to make them entirely as sophisticated as humans. There'll be other backwards customs coming into play a lot later.Okay yeah but what about if you need to address a group or a list of people when they aren’t present or something? Ah—it looks like Shane more or less covers it, though that still makes it pretty awkward to list people as a group. “Thin Lucario, Lucario with tufts, one-fang Lucario…” Goodness, that sounds even more complicated than just doing names!
Yeah... I freely admit doing these quirk things was too "gamey" of an idea for an actual story... but I can't exactly go back and change them now.Metagross. That’s an interesting Guildmaster. His dialogue, uh, format is a little weird, but I understand why. I’ll let gimmicks like these slide since they’re so popular to do anyway, and it doesn’t really detract from anything. I call it shorthand.
It's not so much that he's quirky, necessarily, more that he has a gimmick and uses it to get straight to the point.Ho boy. Pulls no punches, huh? Despite being so quirky I feel like this Metagross has the most sane personality of the major players so far.
Well, the good news we'll almost exclusively be in Horizon dungeons, but the phrase "ley lines" have already been tossed around, so I'm drawing from, of all games, Gates to Infinity in explaining dungeons.Huh. You know, the sad part is, I’ve no idea how the normal Mystery dungeon overseas would work, either. Pretty much every fic implements them a little differently! So now I’ve got two versions of Dungeons to worry about. Oh well. At least we’ll find out how the first ones work soon, or whatever odd properties they’ve got.
I will admit that the way his character was written gave convenient excuses to do stuff like this.Ahh, there’s some world building to explain it! So they aren’t quite Mystery Dungeons at all—just huge areas. It’s a lot calmer, but that makes me curious about Shane’s own questions about what they actually did, if that was the case. But you know, that’s a good thing, since even though Shane is dense, he’s also acting as a sort of surrogate for someone familiar with the old games to question the new mechanics.
Aha ha... I hadn't exactly considered that. But, Shane letting his guard down at this point is definitely something he'd do. Huge rookie mistake and all that jazz.So, overall this story has been a little slower in pace in terms of how much actually “happens” as far as the story is concerned, and how many words are coming across. However, in this one instance? I’m kinda surprised at how quickly this reversal happened. I’d’ve expected at least a sentence or two of Tessa and Shane being suspicious, or something along those lines, until the two Guild members flash their badges. Prior to that? I don’t know, it seemed too quick for them to trust them, especially when they were running off the adrenaline of a fight, and then suddenly stopping.
Glad it worked out, though I will concede that whole scene might've been a really bad idea and I should've looked for ways to organically introduce these characters at more appropriate times. I... didn't really know what I was doing as far as pacing goes early on. ;~;Moving on, I don’t have any specific quote to grab from, but I like the general dynamic going on between the Guild staff. They’re familiar with one another, and I can see that, and in general, Shane and Tessa are just getting worked into the fold, in a way.
I did my research beforehand! :V…Did you just call Bruxish a triggerfish? It’s actually based on the Hawaiian state fish, called the—oh. Wait. Upon some quick research, it’s… also known as a triggerfish. Hm. Carry on.
Unfortunately the thing about a condition's like Shane is that, in the face of these types of revelations, there's a tendency to fall back and double down on what you're already familiar with. Probably not a great idea for a fic, but I'd rather be true in this circumstance.FINALLY! SOME DOUBT! Goodness, that took way too long, but at least we’re starting to see some cracks in the confidence so Shane gets himself some proper depth.
Err, yeah... I, uh, I think that really just comes down to the fact that battles much later on will have more participants and more stuff happening in general. That's all.I’m seeing in your author’s notes/comments that you’d make the next few battles longer, but honestly, I don’t think that’s necessary just for the sake of making them longer. I suppose that’s just a matter of taste and style, though.
As said before, I really didn't know what I was doing as far as pacing in the early parts of the story and I'm pretty sure it shows. <.<;And overall, I feel like the pace was a little slower in terms of, in retrospect, what actually happened in the story. Shane and Tessa joined the guild and met some of the members; they met Null in particular who, just from general meta knowledge and what I’ve seen around the forums, is important.
Well, that, and this is a world where people (generally) don't give themselves names. So any names you do see are significant.But! I’m particularly interested in these sides that are coming in. I can’t really get a feel (aside from Null) on who will be important, who will be extras, and who will just be supports or otherwise. They’re all being introduced so quickly that I can understand why you don’t put names to most of them. Looking forward to finding out more about them!
Oh, that, it's just a small omake. Feel free to skip it... it's only on Serebii anyway since it was time-sensitive. Thanks again for reviewing! ^^Seems there’s a bonus chapter after this one. If I have anything substantial to say, I’ll make it its own thing. Onward!
Oh, uh, thanks. o_o;Reading over your comments, and wow, this story came together a lot more cleanly than I'd expect from something that was initially pure parody. Excellent work.
Yes... the might have something to do with the fact that calm moments allow for more dialogue, which I greatly prefer writing to pure prose. So, uh, it might've showed.So you do a really good job of writing calm moments becuase you're so thorough in your description -- you do a really good job of getting a tight focus on the scene. This helps us walk through the events in a pretty calm and methodical way -- each paragraph tells an interconnected sequence of events; it makes the whole thing feel very chronological and straightforward:
*sigh* I had a bad feeling about this. Originally I had gotten feedback saying I wasn't describing enough... and then there was the feedback I got here saying I should strike to describe the moves and avoid naming them unless it's absolutely necessary.Action scenes don't quite have that luxury. There's a sort of trick to emulating a ton of things happening at once, and part of the trick is actually not describing the exact sequence of events.
I think the biggest issue is really in the way I handled structuring the piece. There isn't really, truly, an POV character. The narration clearly jumps around however I think is necessary and the narrator is never inside a character's head because their thoughts are generally voiced like dialogue if they're important. And coupled with that is that I, as the writer, hate the narrator telling me things a character's thinking through exposition, which I feel like is what would happen if I tried to make adjustments. I'm sure I might be able to do that better if I actually had a pure POV character I was focused on, but I don't.Note how, structurally, this is pretty similar to the above quote, but the stakes here are a lot different. It still reads very calmly; it's a bunch of simple sentences describing events in a very methodical way that gives the impression of sequential action. Fights usually have a bunch of things happening at once -- to describe something this linearly for so long feels unrealistic, as if the narrator/reader is only watching things unfold rather than participating in the thick of the action.
So, my bet is that part of the problem stems from taking too much of a "game-like" design to making these action sequences, if that makes any sense. And that includes having far more participants than your "prototypical pokémon fight" which has either two or four competitors. I didn't think what I was doing was that different from the other PMD fics I looked at and, after the first few battles, I had gotten positive feedback on later fights and their choreography. But maybe I was getting the wrong impression the whole time and I just suck at writing action stories? Which, uh, probably means this whole endeavor was a bad idea. At least it gives me a good idea of what I should consider doing if I can finish this thing.Imagine drowning, or being in a fight. There's a lot less room for rigid reflection here, for figuring out that "this proved a poor decision" or discerning if the splash is "small". The details that should happen here are the absolute key outlines of what's going on; otherwise, the scene feels a lot more stretched and loses the tension might be inherent from the main character avoiding drowning. We learn that the reeds/water are slimy twice, for example, while we really only get one indication that Shane is drowning.
Especially because, later on, there are a lot of participants... and without following a POV character I kind of have to jump around and show whatever's happening. ;~;And picking what to keep/cut is hard, because the flip side is not having enough information and making your battles incomprehensible, so this is a tough thing to juggle.
<3it's a chapter where, yet again, Null is best boye.
No, the idea was that Lycanroc had noble intentions, but due to the fact that he holds irrational grudges, he kicked those intentions aside after Shane insulted him one too many times.I. Hmmm. I thought that the canon takeaway from the Lycanroc bit was actually that Lycanroc did have a bad disposition, and that even though Shane did bait him, Lycanroc did try to betray it + was outed. Which is a shame because Serperior actually has a ton of equally valid experiences to pull from with Shane being a dick to Tessa haha.
At least I did something right!I... laughed way harder at this than I should've. Shame that you've gotten so good at mixing comedy and drama that it makes me a bad person.
In Serperior's case, she's always had some massive blinders on, but the intention was to show that maybe not everything and everyone in the guild are necessarily as good as you'd think.RIGHT SO. This was my big question this whole chapter. They really do care about her, they've mentioned that she's been really sad for a while, and honestly it does make sense that Shane would say something utterly insensitive and just tip her over the edge. A manipulative shit saying that their friend is starving themselves to death for attention is one thing, and I get not trusting the manipulative shit, but surely that would ring some alarm bells? Why are they so quick to assume it's just Shane being stupid? Wouldn't one of them at least go check on Tessa and make sure that she's okay?
Well at least it happened! :VI appreciate this line a lot and apologize for saying that Shane wasn't getting called out enough early in the story.
Drat. >.<a) lmao, b) should be "fell"
I don't care if it's overdone, because I had fun with it.OH MAN IT'S THE TWO DEPRESSED CHARACTERS ON A BEACH TALKING ABOUT LOSS FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE UNTIL SOMEONE FEELS BETTER, ISN'T IT.
And don't worry, there will be plenty of breather moments in the coming episodes... just also crazy stuff, too. I think... I hope... I get the feeling it might not reach your standards. ;~;Anyway. I quite like this chapter. As a breather from all of the world-ending shit we've been subjected to pretty much since the Bewear chapter (and, if we're counting emotional spikes, it's been crazy since well before that), this chapter is a bit more light-hearted. And I appreciate that -- some good advice that I've gotten is that it's fun and games to put your characters through hell, but the real moments are when they actually have a chance to breathe and interact with one another. Amazing stuff! <3
I'm sorry! I couldn't have squeezed this all into one chapter without this arc's resolution feeling completely rushed. ;~;Damn, I wanted the party to happen in this chapter. You really like to make people wait a lot don't you?
Yeah, I don't know why I didn't really do it sooner, but this felt like a good time to give them some expansion. The Togedemaru stuff was actually newly-added in the revisions I made for Bulba, because I realized she had gotten left by the wayside in the old version.So what I liked the most is probbaly the fact tha tyou took some time to flesh out the supporting members of the guild, not much, but enough for us to at least have a bit more context for them than we did before. In particular I was surprised to see Togedemaru get some attention since I feel like she's even more of a background character than the others.
I had to do it. When you combine fire and the specie's stereotypical puppy demeanor, this is the result.Also, I always forget to point this out but I love Growlithe. He's a good pyromaniac boy. That and I wonder how he hasn't set fire to the whole town.
That's fair. I made the first scene go the way it did to reinforce the idea that Shane pretty much burned every bridge he had in Episode 6. As far as a win that sticks... well, maybe you'll get your wish this weekend.The way Shane gets the guild to agree with his plan isn't...ideal, and they do raise a good point that Shane's motives are still relatively selfish, but I'm hoping that he manages to at least clear his name around them even a little bit. As much as I like Shane getting called out, I think it's about time he manages to get a win that actually sticks or otherwise this fic would just get overly depressing.
That's one interpretation, yes. The other is that he was simply trying to keep decorum. It wouldn't look good for his staff to attack a Vulpix, after all.It's a bit intriguing that Braviary was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt so quickly compared to the others, it speaks to his and Metagross' ability to carry out the guild's motto by how easily the jump in to help others.
Well, perhaps her words, along with those from another character in the next chapter, will help to set him straight.However, I think Sylveon summarized it best by asking Shane to stop looking at helping Tessa as something he has to do to make up for his mistakes but as something he wants to do to help his friend out. In general Sylveon gives Shane a big hint here and I hope he takes it a bit once he's able to breathe properly again.
I see your point. I was mostly just having fun with the fluffy stuff. ^^;The other important scene what Null's and Tessa's and the beach. Here the two finally open up to one another and it's really nice to see them open up and allow the other to see their insecurities. Also, I don't know how you can expect people not to ship them with how easy you're making it by having them play around in the water. Just saying.
I see what you're getting at, I think. Part of the problem is with the writing style I'm using. Since I don't really stick to a POV, my fear is that showing thoughts would lead to random bits of exposition that bloat the chapter, especially since thoughts are presented a lot like dialogue. As far as feelings, I was told in feedback that I had a tendency to portray feelings like they were stage directions and that I'd be better served having characters show emotion through body language. Hence why the scene (and other quiet scenes) are the way they are. <.<;One thing that I do have to criticize is that the pacing felt a little off. In a way it was like the chapter was going really fast and slow at the same time. I feel like Tessa's and Null's scene also could've had a bit more emotion put into it. Honestly, it probably has to do with your description as your prose style relies a lot on quick sentences that convey what's going on. This works most of the time, but in quieter and more emotional scenes it can cause the story to pass really quickly and makes the scene lose weight. For example, you could focus a bit more on their emotions and what they're feeling as well as what's going through their minds. I think this would help a lot more with the last part in the water which felt a little uncontrolled towards the end.
Hopefully you enjoy the conclusion, as this weekend will be the last part of the episode. Thanks again for reviewing! ^^Aside from that, there's not really much to comment on, outside of the Null and Tessa scene the chapter was mostly build up, so I'm looking forward for how this arc will conclude.
A broad smile crept onto Shane's muzzle. "Go ooooooon…"
Tessa's muzzle went agape. 'Wait. He actually thought this through? Could it be Vulpix is actually listening to me?'
"You could say that. My team's having some… growing pains,"
Lunatone called, waving the string of pearls at them.