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Thread: The Nidoran’s Dilemma

  1. #1
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    Default The Nidoran’s Dilemma

    i wrote this cause I want nidoking. And more importantly, to give people a nice example of the new system in place.

    TEEN

    Capture: Nidoran (M)
    MCR: 10k
    ACR: 10,048
    Comments are allowed

    The Nidoran’s Dilemma.


    The cold weather carries itself through the air, chilling everything it touches. A light shine of dew paints itself over the grass surrounding everything. A high pitched whistle echoes through the valley. The small herd of Nidorans, shivering, yearn for warmth. Longingly, they stare at one another. The cold air creating an immovable obstacle between them. Sad eyes scan one another. Was that all though?


    Two make the impossible plunge to one another. As they collide together, a glow of bliss dances in their eyes. Quickly, the bliss turns to shock, and shock into agony. They real back from one another, sorrow filling their eyes once again. Blood seeps from a small hole in one of them. The cold air once again creates a wall between them. Their spines are too sharp for something as small as warmth. They can love each other all they want, but sometimes getting close means getting hurt.


    The cold air laughs mockingly as it presses against everything. Running its way between small purple ears and rubbing against nearby trees. The wind skids across the planet’s surface, free to be with whoever it pleases. Its existence is freedom.


    The herd of Nidorans listen closely to the howls of the world. Looking up to the gray winter sky, a question lingers. How can they brave the pain?


    -


    Aden reels back from the cold surface of the wall that his bed rests against. His blanket surges to life as his legs contort inwards. Pale hands fold inwards to the deep crevices of the large blanket that holds him like a cocoon. Sleepy eyes stare off into nothing. The glow of the moon peaking between trees and onto the floor of his bedroom. He traces his tongue inside of his mouth. Slowly, his eyes close and drift to sleep.


    An hour passes. In the midst of the fog inside of his dream, a rhythmic tapping follows him. An empty valley stretches out in front of him. Eyes scan his surroundings. Skeletons of small creatures rest atop the ashes of the once living plants. Aden stands there, staring blankly in his pajamas. Shivering ever so slightly, his body steps forward. The sky is pitch black. The glow of the world emitting from the Earth itself. Cautiously, his foot dances over one of the skeletons and his toes rest in the ash. He swears the head of it moves. Shaking his head, he can feel the fog of the dream weighing down on him. He has no choice but to move forward.


    The valley begins to twist and turn like a hallway. A buzzing echoes through the valley. He looks around, his head rolling on his neck as he stares to the blank sky. Buzzing consuming his thoughts. All senses but sight are now gone as the buzzing goes on and on.


    He begins to walk forward again. At the end of the horizon, a figure stands. Flowing black hair and an unforgettable smile stare back at him. He can feel his face warm up. Another step forward. He cannot move. Cold air throws him back. His body tumbles onto the ground as the ash rises up into clouds of smoke. Bones crack and snap as they break his fall. The buzzing grows louder. The black sky begins to descend upon him. The light of the Earth fades, leaving nothing but black.


    Sleepily, Aden’s eyes jolt open. The moon glares into his room still. A small rectangular light sits in front of his head, glowing bright. His entire bed quakes slightly at the vibrations emitting from the light. His heart begins to flutter. Hand launches out, forgetting his exhaustion and pulling the phone to his face. Dark circles hang low, but a smile begins to appear.




    NEW MESSAGE!
    Marie
    [Get ur ass out here]


    Aden tilted his head sleepily. Fingers slide up on the screen bringing up a small keyboard.


    [plz]


    NEW MESSAGE!
    Marie
    [Cmon dude you gotta!]


    [fine]


    He let the phone slide from his hand as he rolled his legs onto the floor. Sitting up, blanket still around him like a cocoon, he yawned. Slowly he rose to his feet and grabbed the hood slumped over the chair next to his bed. Staring hazily at a wall, he stared out his window. A girl with black hair and unforgettable smile leaned against a tree, facing his house. The light of her phone making her face glow in flickering colors. Aden’s heart fluttered. In a quick motion, he thrust the window open on his first floor bedroom and flopped out onto the driveway pavement. Even out here, the moon made the street glow.


    “Sup?” She spoke, without throwing a glance his way.


    Aden pressed his hands into the jacket of his hoodie. “I was asleep.”


    “And?” She smirked. “Not like we got school tomorrow.”


    “I like sleep.” He was now a few feet in front of her. The heat of his breath dancing in the cold air.


    “Me too.” She sighed, putting lower her hand and phone to her hip.


    “Then why have me come out here?” Aden yawned.


    “Dunno. Felt like it, y’know?” She looked up the tree standing over her. The leaves rustled in the wind.


    Aden sighed and shrugged. “Well, where are we going?”


    “You pick.” She was looking at her phone again.


    “Fine.” Aden stepped forward. In the darkness neither noticed, but both took a desperate grasp at one another’s hands, missing. Both pairs of eyes lost in something else. Aden walked onward towards the mass of trees behind his house. Marie followed.


    Twigs and leaves cracked under each one of his cautious steps. It was almost as if stepping on bones. Adens voice vibrated in his throat as he got the confidence to speak. “How was your weekend?”


    “It was pretty chill, y’know?” She sighed. “Nothin’ eventful.”


    “Cool…” Aden’s voice trailed off as he stared into the trees. This journey had become habit. His body went into autopilot. Thoughts raced. He dared not to share them, but many involved her, and the way she looked. Everything felt wonderful.


    The moon was soon swallowed by the treetops now towering over them. Forest trees with thick bark and aged leaves swayed gently in the wind.


    “So. I picked the place, you pick where we sit.” Aden stretched.


    “Kay.” She stared at her phone still.


    He could feel it in the back of his head. That sleepy dreamlike feeling. The fog of his dreams was coming down in him once again. Wide eyed, he slowed his pace, letting Marie take over.


    She walked ahead of him, face still locked onto her phone. Aden yawned.


    Eventually the sky overhead turned pitch black. The smog of the nearby factory swallowing what little stars they could have seen back at home.


    Marie spun around to face Aden then sat on a small log. There was just enough room for both of them. Aden inched towards her, taking his seat. His arms scrunched up, leaving space between the two of them.


    In the distance, underneath a fallen tree, Aden saw two small creatures walking around one another. Their purple spikes surging up and down with every breath. The cold air whistled through the forest. Aden inhaled sharply. The two creatures tried to get close, but both had to launch back, yelping in pain. Aden’s eyes watered slightly in the cold evening air.


    “Hey.” Aden said quietly.


    “Hm?” Marie stared at her phone still.


    “Can uhm…” His fingers pressed into his stomach as they hid away in the pockets of his hoodie. “Can we talk?”


    She says nothing, but sets her phone to the side of her.


    “I uhm.” Aden looks to the creatures, sleeping with eyelids shut in sadness. “I uh.” His heart shook. The visions of skeletons plaguing his mind. The valley in his dream was certainly reality. She stood there at the end of the long trek, staring back at him. Her eyes now clear as day in his mind. Piercing him, piercing the bleak sky above.




    Yes. He wanted to do this.


    “I like you, Marie.” He said lungs shaking out of rhythm. The wind howled by. “Like, I like-“


    “Oh.” She spoke flatly.


    “I’m sorry I… I had to get it out.” Aden scratched his head with a shaking hand.


    “No… I.” Now Marie stared at the two sleeping creatures. “I guess. I do too.”


    “R-really?” Aden’s voice gained new life.


    She crossed her legs and folded her hands. “I think so why else did I feel like I needed to run to you?”


    “Run?” Aden tilted his head.


    “Yeah. Run.” Marie continued to stare off.


    “From what?” Aden leaned forward.


    She leaned back. “From… everything.” Swallowing, she continued. “From these feelings.”


    “So you hang out with me? To run away from feelings for me?” Aden scoffed. “That doesn’t really make sense.”


    “I guess I just. I was scared to bring it up.” She closed her eyes.


    Aden bit his lip. “Why?”


    “I don’t want to get hurt… again.” Marie brushed her hair behind her ear. It was almost as black as the sky.


    “Why would I-“ Aden’s eyes widened.


    “I don’t think you would… but the idea scares me.” Marie looked away still.


    “If we… both followed these feelings, you fear we would hurt one another?” Aden removed his hands from his pockets and rested them on his lap.


    “Yeah…” Marie reached for her phone. But was stopped by a stronger force.


    Aden grabbed both of her hands and pulled her towards him. His face was crimson. His heated breath come out sporadically. “Then… I want to get hurt.”


    “Huh?” Her eyes went to her hands then to his face. She began to blush too.


    “I want to…. I want to love you, more than anything.” Aden’s hands became fists as his heart raced.


    “But… I can’t-“ She gasped as he cut her off.


    “So what if I get hurt, or YOU get hurt. The idea of never having a chance to truly love you is much worse to me, and far more painful.”


    “Aden…” She tried to look away, tears welling in her eyes.


    Aden leaned in and locked lips with her. Slowly, his grasp loosed and her hands fell to this sides. Unphased, the wind blew by them.


    In the distance, the sleeping creatures huddled close to one another. Their spines pressing into one another, despite this, they no longer had sorrow in their dreams.


    With his eyes shut and lips locked to hers, he could see it again: That place in his head. The bones seemed to be gone. The ashes giving life to vibrant green plants. And at the opening of the valley he could see it clear as day. The girl he had always dreamt of. Now, as he stepped forward, his body and mind could both feel her. His heart soared. He had braved his pain, because the world without that pain, would mean nothing. And she was his meaning now, and he couldn’t ask for more.
    "Take Care of Yourself"



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  3. #2
    URPG Staff evanfardreamer's Avatar
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    Claimed for grading.
    Resurrected stats (still under renovation!):
    http://forums.petalburgwoods.com/sho...3-Evan-s-Stats

  4. #3
    URPG Staff evanfardreamer's Avatar
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    Prologue

    You paint us a beautiful and dramatic tableau to start the story off. We can easily visualize the lonely, huddled lumps scattered across this desolate area. We feel stirrings of hope as two surmount the obstacles before them, and disappointment when it goes poorly. But while they fail, we are not left with the sense of futility – just of it being the wrong time.

    A couple of fragments or indirect object mixup here I feel detract from the experience.

    The cold air creating an immovable obstacle between them.
    Running its way between small purple ears and rubbing against nearby trees.
    I think in an poem, they could fit very well; but here they flow better with a little tweaking. Strike ‘creating’ from the first, find another adjective to replace immovable, add it to the line before and you have:

    Longingly they stare at one another, the cold air an invisible obstacle between them.
    It does change the feel of the sentence a little, but too many powerful adjectives can skew a story towards purple prose. For the second, the start of the sentence is abrupt – perhaps a semicolon to join the prior sentence is all it needs:

    The cold air laughs mockingly as it presses against everything; running its way between small purple ears and rubbing against nearby trees.
    Introduction

    Now we have our main character. He’s a little on the blank side to start, which isn’t necessarily a problem – it makes it easier for us to identify with. He’s having vivid dreams, giving us a peek into his mind and inmost cave. So far we have a lot of symbolism for emptiness and ruin with some death thrown in for flavor. Is he searching for something to fill that emptiness, or is he simply gazing out at it, accepting it is his lot in life? Are the skeletons referencing loss, or the sadder state of having nought to lose? In a longer story, things like this would be great to call back to as a recurring theme in some fashion, perhaps subtly (skull charms on zipper pulls, describing people as cadaverous, ways to reference death without it being overt).

    We start learning more about the main character by action, if not by description. He is the sort of person who will wake from a sound sleep for the text of a friend. He’s also the sort who thinks nothing of losing sleep for someone who means the world to them, even without the promise of anything but time spent with them. Young love is adorable and inspiring, and you’ve done a great job illustrating exactly that here.

    Again there’s a few odd tenses that jar a bit.

    The glow of the world emitting from the Earth itself.
    The light of her phone making her face glow in flickering colors.
    When you’re proofreading your stories, try to give each sentence a little attention on its own. Does it make sense in isolation? If it’s dependent on a prior sentence, then it may need to be more strongly associated with it, or perhaps it needs its own legs.

    Plot/Story

    Two kids who like each other can’t bring themselves to say so to each other. This is a common theme in a lot of shows, because unresolved romantic tension is gold when it comes to keeping people engaged in a story. I honestly think they got over this hurdle a bit too quickly. You show them having pointless small talk, and you show the antagonist distracting herself with her phone rather than facing the awkward situation she put herself in.

    While you don’t want to drag this out too far, I think you could have easily thrown another couple of related conversations in that were loaded with subtext. Have the characters talk about other things that aren’t really about those other things at all. Even better, give them a small argument. Nothing apocalyptic but make it seem less likely that one will get over their hang-ups and resolve the question of, will they get together. Let us wonder whether the story will end happily or not, because we’re going to keep reading to find out.

    I wanted to call particular attention to one passage I loved:

    Marie spun around to face Aden then sat on a small log. There was just enough room for both of them. Aden inched towards her, taking his seat. His arms scrunched up, leaving space between the two of them.


    In the distance, underneath a fallen tree, Aden saw two small creatures walking around one another. Their purple spikes surging up and down with every breath. The cold air whistled through the forest. Aden inhaled sharply. The two creatures tried to get close, but both had to launch back, yelping in pain. Aden’s eyes watered slightly in the cold evening air.


    “Hey.” Aden said quietly.
    Were the Nidoran real or a metaphor for his fear? Nothing else in the body of the story makes it clear that Pokemon exist. This may be a completely mundane universe that it takes place in, with the poison pin creatures nothing more than a coping mechanism his mind has conjured up. It is hard to pull off an unanswered question that still satisfies the reader, but I think you did it here because you did two things; you didn’t make the question overly important, and you kept it where the answer wouldn’t change the story either way. It is just left as one of those ‘life’s little mysteries’ moments that happen all around us.

    Grammar

    I called attention before to a few of your sentences that seemed incomplete, and there were a few more in the body of it. By the time I got to them though, the story was engaging that they were no longer jarring, but more of a bump in the road that I could move past.

    The heat of his breath dancing in the cold air.
    The smog of the nearby factory swallowing what little stars they could have seen back at home.
    Their purple spikes surging up and down with every breath.
    Environmental details add a lot to a story when used in moderation. I do think you’ve gone a little overboard with them, and you’ve passed that critical mass of having enough detail. It's related here but I'll dive more into it in the next section.

    You also will want to be careful of situations where your words echo too much in a short timeframe.

    Aden reels back from the cold surface of the wall that his bed rests against. His blanket surges to life as his legs contort inwards. Pale hands fold inwards to the deep crevices of the large blanket that holds him like a cocoon.
    Reeling back from the wall, and the surging blanket both do the job of showing he’s restless before he falls asleep, so they wind up feeling a little repetitive. You also use inwards twice in very close succession, one should probably be replaced with a synonym or even removed.

    The valley begins to twist and turn like a hallway. A buzzing echoes through the valley. He looks around, his head rolling on his neck as he stares to the blank sky. Buzzing consuming his thoughts. All senses but sight are now gone as the buzzing goes on and on.
    Buzzing occurs three times in this fairly short paragraph. Give us some extra detail if you are trying to repeat it for some reason (in this case, as foreshadowing). What kind of buzzing? Is it a high pitched whine, is it an intermittent grinding, does the tenor or cadence change or is it a constant? From there, you can find different ways to describe it to keep variety going while reiterating the same stimulus before he wakes up.

    Description/Detail

    Especially in longer and/or more polished works, you want to condense things down to where every detail matters to the story as something more than fluff. For instance, rather than the woods just being where this particular part of the story takes place, make those woods have an impact. What’s the difference between sharing a park bench and sharing a rotting log in a moonlit glade?

    Woods imply wilderness, or the opposite of civilization, especially in the night. Could a rotting branch split from a tree, startling one of them to jump into an embrace with the other? Perhaps the termites who’ve been working on that log have wrecked its stability, so instead of a firm seat they both fall into a pile of sawdust, to laugh at the bonding or to be further embarrassed in front of their crush as the story needs.

    You have some great description, but you also have some extra description. For instance:

    Two make the impossible plunge to one another. As they collide together, a glow of bliss dances in their eyes. Quickly, the bliss turns to shock, and shock into agony. They real back from one another, sorrow filling their eyes once again. Blood seeps from a small hole in one of them.
    The key details here are scattered. They charge, they collide, they hurt, they separate. Rather than five sentences to convey all this, you might trim it down to two:

    A pair brave the cold and the emptiness to crash together. The bliss they expect is soured by pain as their spines tear into each others’ hide, and they separate as quickly as they came together.
    Whereas very shortly it’s followed by a great paragraph to close your prologue:

    The herd of Nidorans listen closely to the howls of the world. Looking up to the gray winter sky, a question lingers. How can they brave the pain?
    You give us a vivid picture, an emotional impact, and a question. So long as they are eventually answered (or closed by knowing it won’t be answered), questions are great for a story, because readers want to read and find the answer.

    Verdict
    Spoiler:
    Nidoran M Captured! Even though we don’t know much about the characters, we see how much depth they have just in one interaction. At no point do you leave us wondering how a scene looks or what is unfolding, and the uplifting ending showing that love is always worth the chance at pain is sweet enough to warm even Monbrey’s heart.
    Resurrected stats (still under renovation!):
    http://forums.petalburgwoods.com/sho...3-Evan-s-Stats

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