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Thread: The Ekans and It's Tale

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    Default The Ekans and It's Tale

    The Ekans and It's Tale
    »»-------------¤-------------««

    Warnings: N/A
    Target: Ekans
    Rank: Easy (3k-5k) - Invitational 4-play
    Character Count: 5,102

    »»-------------¤-------------««

    Long ago, when men and Pokemon were not so different, and it was not so hard for them to understand one another, a man wandering through the woods came across a beast. It crawled along the ground on it’s belly, and nudged it’s nose morosely through the dirt as it traveled. It slunk past the man and settled on a nearby log, stretching itself out and watching the other beasts of the wood frolicking. Each one seemed to drag a new and heavier sigh from the creature, until at least the man could help it no longer, and went to ask it what was the matter.

    “Well, do you not see the other creatures of the forest? How special they are? How unique? They all have something about them that makes them stand out! But I? I have nothing; no limbs to leap high into the air like the Buneary, or wings to carry me above the clouds like a Pidgey, nor even a beautiful pattern for others to look and marvel at like a Butterfree.” The poor creature looked down in defeat, eyes half-lidded and heavy with self pity. “They all have something amazing about them, but I haven’t anything at all to set me apart. I’m just plain old Ekans.”

    The statement seemed to be final, and the man felt great pity for the poor beast. Surely Ekans must have something unique about it as well? It didn’t deserve to feel so poorly about itself! The man put a comforting hand on the Pokemon, and did his best to raise it’s spirits.

    “Do not be so hard on yourself dear snake, for there must be something about you for others to admire as well! Perhaps you simply haven’t found what that thing is yet? Think on it some, and it will come to you, I’m certain of it!”

    Ekans looked a bit more happy after the traveller’s kind encouragement, and gathered its coils a little closer in comfort.

    “You really think I have something worthwhile to me?” it asked.

    “I know you must”, the man replied. “Now let’s try to think. What things are you good at, friend Ekans? What sorts of things do you like to do?”

    The snake Pokemon didn’t seem to have a ready answer for those questions, and took a moment to collect it’s thoughts. This was the first time anyone had asked it questions about itself after all, and it wanted to find something important about itself very much.

    “I have many coils.” It finally said, after some time had passed. “And I like to squeeze them very tightly. It’s very useful when I have to catch and eat something, since they cannot get away. Does that count as something special?”

    The man considered this reply for a moment, before shaking his head.

    “I do not think so, dear Ekans, for I know that there is another Pokemon named Bewear that also catches and squeezes others. It doesn’t have coils but it’s arms crush just the same. It is not so different I think. Do not be discouraged though; see if you can think of something else.”

    So Ekans coiled a little tighter, and thought a little harder for a time, before excitedly exclaiming it thought it had something.

    “My jaws and fangs! I have a terribly deadly bite! Surely it must be special, that my teeth exude such a potent venom?”

    Again the man considered, and once more shook his head.

    “Nay, but there is a Pokemon named Seviper, who has fangs thrice as big and twice and venomous. It’s teeth are even colored red because so much venom resides in them. I am sorry but I do not think your bite is what makes you special. Keep trying! You will find something I am sure of it!”

    Now totally determined to find something about itself that was one-of-a-kind, the snake coiled as tightly as possibly, and thought the hardest it ever had. It’s scales rubbed against each other as it pulled its body closer, and it’s tail flicked as it concentrated. The sudden rattling noise it produced startled the snake and man alike, and they both looked at Ekans tail in wonder for a moment.

    “Why, friend Ekans! What a wonderful gift you have indeed! You’re tail makes such a lovely sound, like an instrument! I have never seen nor heard of another Pokemon or human that could do such a thing as that; a terribly great gift indeed!”

    Ekans was overjoyed, and wiggled around happily, now rattling his tail to show off his newly discovered skill. The noise drew the attention of the other creatures of the woods, and soon after, many came to hear the snakes wonderful sound and the music that sprung from his tail. It had found what made it unique at last!

    The man, happy to have helped the beast he’d stumbled across, listened to Ekans music for some time. But eventually he needed to return to his travels, and he bid his new friend goodbye. Ekans worried that the man man would not recognize him if ever they were to meet again, but the man only laughed at the idea.

    “Now, how should I ever forget such a sound as yours? Rattle your tail whenever I am near, and I will know it is you. Perhaps we will not always be friends, but know I will never forget you or your special trick.”

    And so it is, even now when men and Pokemon can no longer understand one another, and the man’s friendship with Ekans has long since been forgotten, mankind still knows when an Ekans draws near by the sound of his rattling tail.


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  3. #2
    URPG Staff evanfardreamer's Avatar
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    Claiming!
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  4. #3
    URPG Staff evanfardreamer's Avatar
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    @Fenris;

    Introduction

    Your very first sentence starts painting a frame for the story right off the bat. In the first ten words you’ve told us that this is not necessarily the Pokemon world that we know; this is a very good thing to do in non-standard stories, because the reader is forming expectations as soon as they catch the title. The less time their wrong assumptions have to form, the less jarring when they realize it’s mistaken and have to shift their thinking. You continue with this sentence and explain another key feature of the story – that Pokemon and humans can converse normally. Setting it up front tells the reader that this is going to be an important point, which you make relevant in the very next paragraph.

    The first paragraph does feel a little long, however; especially the first sentence. You frame the story, set up a hook, and introduce the main character(s) individually. The first line of a story is one of the most important - it needs to draw the reader in so they don’t want to stop reading. One way you can do that is to combine some of those opening tasks, making words or clauses serve double duty. You’ll want to follow it up with more of the same, because plenty of readers will go through the first paragraph and then make their decision whether to keep reading. Make sure they decide yes!

    Long ago, Pokemon and humans were not so different and they could understand each other. A man in the woods came across a strange purple beast, sighing as it dragged its long purple body along the ground. It nosed through the leaves, pausing now and again to look at the other forest creatures; only to sigh louder and go back to rooting.
    When you start dialogue, even described rather than typed, it’s best to start a new paragraph. That lets the reader see that it’s no longer the opening, but instead the action is beginning.

    The man wondered about this morose creature and spoke. “Hello, friend; what is the matter on this fine day?”
    The dialogue here is charming, I would recommend finding a way to better distinguish the speakers though. Since Ekans is a snake, adding an extra S at the end of the word when it’s speaking helps the reader pick up on those sounds. Or using shorter words for the Ekans can show it spends less time speaking – rather than the beautiful patterns of marvelous Butterfree, it could be the pretty spots. Since the human is shown here to be the wiser, it’s probably better to give the more flowery language to them.

    Plot

    Lonely in the forest, Ekans seeks validation of its unique nature. When self-doubt rears its ugly head, can the wise traveller find something to restore its confidence?

    Keeping your story on recognizable themes helps the tale resonate with readers. At some point, everyone has struggled with feelings of their own value or adequacy. This makes Ekans’ dilemma relatable, raising the readers’ interest in it finding a happy outcome. It goes through several iterations of traits or features it knows it has, with the traveler winnowing away the ones that aren’t truly unique. This is an interesting way to both add description of the Ekans, but also expanding the world – we now know that Seviper and Ursaring exist, and are at least common enough to be known by this wanderer.

    Something to keep in mind for longer stories, is that it’s good to increase the tension as you go. When making multiple attempts to solve a problem, each attempt can ratchet up suspense if each failure is successively worse – whether larger penalties, greater losses, or even just dwindling resources. The stakes for Ekans aren’t that high, but for instance a chef were planning to cook it. Each time it tried to tell something great to keep the chef from turning it into dinner, it would wear out the chef’s patience more, and each time it would need a larger or more impactful response to try and sway them.

    Overall though, you have an active character in Ekans – it keeps pushing itself to find the answer, it takes negative feedback in stride and resolves more firmly to think of something, eventually solving its dilemma and going forth with head held proudly. Characters like that really make the story move along and lead to less contrived plots, which is great!

    Spelling/Grammar

    You had a few items here but nothing major – if you use a word processor, keep an eye on the green/blue underlines as well as the red.

    did his best to raise it’s spirits. (the apostrophe is for the contraction rather than the possessive.)
    “I know you must”, the man replied. (Comma should be within the speech quotes)
    coiled as tightly as possibly, and thought (should be possible)
    Description/Detail

    You work the detail about Ekans very well through the story – it describes its own attributes throughout so we have a fairly clear picture of what the snake looks and acts like. There’s a little detail given on other Pokemon – Butterfree, Seviper, Buneary for example. But all we know of the immediate setting is it’s a forest sometime in the past. Forests can vary widely – from spacious pine forests, to thick tangles of scrub oak and juniper, to the odd stand of larch.

    It would help to visualize the scene if you gave a bit more on the flora in this forest – are the woods flat and clear, or full of rolling hills and thickets of brush, for example. Are there clearings everywhere or do the thick trees loom over the inhabitants? It doesn’t have to just be visual either – forests are frequently loud, with crunching leaves, snapping twigs, wind in the treetops or just the hoots of animal life. Engage more than just one sense, does the log smell faintly of rot or sharply of sap? Is there a chill or humidity in the air?

    Finally

    Spoiler:
    Ekans Captured. A charming tale, told enjoyably. Enjoy your backwards snake!
    Resurrected stats (still under renovation!):
    http://forums.petalburgwoods.com/sho...3-Evan-s-Stats

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