Halloween Reviewing! (19)

It’s Halloween!

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13104109/1/Encountering-shades (Just St Elmo’s Fire and a Hybrid of Fate sock.)

Happy Halloween! You asked first, so you’ll be the first one reviewed.

[ If you’ve got time, please read it and find the awful grammatical mistakes (I’m sure there are some of them) it flaunts, in order to help me improve my writing. As the french student I am, I’d be very grateful.]

While your grasp of English is a million times better than my grasp of French, there are a lot of problems, and they don’t look like one-off typos. What you really need is a beta reader who can go through and explain everything line by line. For grammar, there’s a guide linked in my profile that covers some things, although I’m afraid it’s aimed at native speakers so it probably doesn’t have perfect overlap with the problems you’ll face.

I can just about make out your story – a girl at night with her pokemon, she sees someone who is N and it’s spooky, her pokemon has a fit due to the fact gothitelle can see the future of their trainer. Going by how slowly that’s told and how much time you spend on descriptive words, I get the sense the French version has far more to it, atmosphere and spooky implication and all that, that doesn’t come through in the translated version. I think your best bet here would be to try to find someone biligual, because even if I tried to correct things, I wouldn’t know what you were actually going for so I wouldn’t be able to find the particular English word to match it.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13081630/1/Good-That-is-Evil (One.)

Happy Halloween!

[On its own terms, pumpkaboo had come to visit and never left. ]

You seem to be referring to a single pokemon here. When you’re using a pokemon’s species as its given name, you capitalize it like any other name.

This feels very incomplete. You have a reason for the pumpkaboo to show up, but if they’re attracted to large amounts of death, why hasn’t a different disaster attracted it away again? And it seems unlikely that these pokemon could both permanently blight an area if left alone and be impossible to drive off. Something more moderate would feel more plausible, like the idea that the earthquake happened much more recently and the pumpkaboo then stuck around because of the pumpkin patch, but it’s not going to be around for years and years but just until winter or something. That’d also give a better sense of this fitting into the world and people reacting to a distinct situation, where right now it has a really disconnected feel.

A lot of your wording is a bit off – something like [the new moon clearly allowed the stars to shine] doesn’t really make sense and should presumably be “the new moon allowed the stars to shine clearly” or something.

[Pumpkaboo noticed a small, white shape in the distance. It waved its arms and sailed towards it. The ghost turned—a sniffling child—before it was vacuumed up into pumpkaboo’s pumpkin. A final wail resounded as the soul joined the others, the spirits fighting for room, the newest addition pushed into the fray of confused spirits.]

Also, I know a crying child is the most pitiful thing for Pumpkaboo to hoover up, but you just finished explaining this place doesn’t have much accidental death and it doesn’t seem like this kid’s ghost could’ve avoided the pumpkaboo for the last few years. Shouldn’t the ghosts at this point be largely made up of old men and women who died between last Halloween and now?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13082415/1/What-Uxie-Knows (Just St Elmo’s Fire and a Hybrid of Fate sock.)

Happy Halloween!

So, I really love horror that’s so horrible it can’t even be known, and I also like the meta of this. However, I don’t feel the frame of this story really maximizes the horror as well as it could. A lot of space is given up to Azelf and the questioner’s rather neutral chatter with a bit of Mew being super-silly, to the point you don’t even get into the fact there even is horror until the story’s almost entirely done. Something like the questioner asking more directly after that which man was not meant to know, rather than just asking a general question about how much knowledge the knowledge pokemon has that turned out to secretly be horror, could’ve put the issue at the forefront better.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13086638/1/An-Eevee-s-Misgivings (Five, shadowkiller168 giving crit, a Hybrid of Fate sock showing up right after, a guest review that hates crit but maybe isn’t Hybrid because it sounds lucid, the author, then another person disputing the basic idea of criticism.)

Happy Halloween!

I’ll echo the first reviewer about general corrections. Also,

[I made a sound of happiness and scampered toward her. My name is Ribbon, I’m a mute Eevee. Yes, Pokemon can be mute but it’s very rare. Apparently, I was born like this, I didn’t ask to be mute. ]

So, how does it matter? There’s humans who can make some sounds but are considered mute because they can’t actually say words, but that’s irrelevant to an eevee because their trainer can’t understand their speech regardless.

It seems very important that Ribbon is mute, given it’s in both your summary and your opening, but it’s unclear why. If Ribbon was completely unable to make a sound, it’s easy to see how there could be a situation where Ribbon tries to get someone’s attention and can’t. But Ribbon can do that already, and a non-mute eevee would do exactly as well at communicating any specific information as Ribbon would.

And yes, this is far, far too short. Literal length isn’t the issue. The issue is nothing’s actually happened. You need to keep writing until you get somewhere, then post.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13097841/1/Lullaby-Pokemon-Horror-Grimdark-Comedy-One-Shot (Zero.)

Happy Halloween!

But this really needed another few passes.

You’ve got the narrator as a character inside the story telling a story, but instead of having him just recount an event that happened to him, you have it go back a step to be told in third person. It’s also too short and not really done in a horror style, so there’s no real gotcha of the story suddenly shifting to comedy because it was never building toward horror. I think the ending could’ve been a funny reversal if there’d been anything to the leadup, but as it is the whole thing’s just bland.

[a small pink ball-shaped creature with two small feet, wings, a curly mane, small mouth and large blue eyes.]

Also, it’s clefairy that have the wings and neither of them have a “mane”.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13099986/1/The-Impassive-God (One.)

Happy Halloween!

[It was hard to tell when the smartphone that he’d sworn he’d placed on the rickety bedside table last night had apparently vanished into thin air. The same could be said for his briefcase which, unlike the phone, Phil knew one-hundred percent that he’d placed it against the only chair in his cramped hotel room with the sole purpose of being in his line of sight when he had to get up. Then to add insult to injury, the map of Hearthome he’d purchased from the tourist bureau had been put in that same briefcase, just so he wouldn’t lose it.

His eyes darted frantically around as he pulled his socks up then proceeded to turn the room upside-down for the fourth time that morning, muttering and cussing all the way. Had the briefcase fallen off the chair? Nope. Had he put it under the bed? Nope. Had he even been stupid enough to put it in the drawers or the wardrobe? Nope and nope. Phil pinched the bridge of his nose and slid his scuffed shoes on. ‘Damn it,’ he said under his breath. He was going to have to go to this meeting without his notes]

I know you’re going for things being wrong but the character not realizing how wrong, but…an entire briefcase disappearing is hard to overlook, especially in a tiny hotel room. I don’t think anyone could just accept that it’s frustratingly lost when the only rational explanation would be someone else removed it. If all his stuff was on his phone and he planned to use the phone map as well, that’d be more plausible – especially because, if his phone is missing, it could mean his alarm didn’t go off so he doesn’t have time to look.

[There, running across the sky like veins in a body, were thick, black lines – thousands of them. Every so often a vein would swell as if it had become clogged and was about to burst, then shrink back down to the size it had been before. Surges of white electricity danced across the lines, relaying out of his view as quickly as they had entered, and the colour of the sky itself made Phil’s heart drop down into his stomach. It was if someone had taken someone’s muscle tissue and had stretched it out as far as it could go without being torn apart in a gory display of pinks and reds.]
[But just like the air, the silhouette felt… wrong. It was in the movements – twitchy and jerky – and the lumpy shape of the body pretty much ruled out the thought that it was another human being. And if it was a pokemon, then it was probably a pokemon that Phil had never heard of before – there wasn’t a single pokemon he was aware of that spasmed like that.]
[What little colour remaining in his face finally drained away as he looked up at the monster squeezing through the ruined doorway. The only way he could think of describing it would be that it was essentially a writing ball of what he assumed to be tentacles, and from where it was standing it had to be at least six feet tall. There was also a slit going vertically across where Phil assumed its abdomen would be, and this slit kind of looked like lips – the kind of lips that had been so crammed full of Botox that it was almost comical.]

So, this is solid horror description but I feel like this doesn’t really work well as pokemony horror. Pokemon has a lot of really weird magic creatures running around already. Horror about weird things being weird requires a pretty grounded universe where those things are a complete violation of the natural order, but in his world complete violations of the natural order are discovered every other year and people’s only reaction is to sprint at them to keep them as pets.

And indeed, the monster spitting acid just got hideously injured by the other monster spitting fire. There’s really little to distinguish the houndoom from the mystery creature beyond that the mystery creature was threatening and the houndoom helped him out, and the fact there’s equally if not more terrifying monsters who are on his side is a bit like how a game isn’t really all that horrory if you have a pile of awesome weapons.

Also, please use ” for speech. Aside from the fact ” is standard quotation marks and easier to read for that reason, people on this site also insist on using ‘ for things like thoughts, which is the exact opposite of what you’re going for when you’re trying to communicate that someone used his voice to say words out loud that everyone could hear normally.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13099986/2/The-Impassive-God

Still Halloween!

[His houndoom sat by Phil’s side and yawned, drawing back his mouth so that he could see the dog’s dagger-like teeth. Phil’s skin tightened as he watched them. God, how little would it take for that mutt to bite down on his arm and tear it clean off? He tore his eyes away from the houndoom and cleared his throat. No, it wasn’t worth thinking about right now.]

I would say it’s even more than that. I guess you’re trying to get some horror back by having him feel unsafe around the only thing protecting him from the other scary things, but pokemon are absolutely everywhere. For something like this, I think you’d be better served to have Phil be someone from our world tumbling into this one – being actually unable to distinguish between tentacle-acidspitting-alienthing and demonic-firebreathing-hellhound would go a ways toward reclaiming the horror there, while someone familiar with pokemon should really not be freaking out about a friendly pokemon just because if it wasn’t friendly it would be dangerous.

I like the bit with the various characters human characters, they’re all distinct without being distractingly so and an emotional support kirlia makes perfect sense.

[It didn’t take long to find what he was pointing at – it was waddling across the pavement on bony legs. The monster’s figure was quite lumpy – it was as if someone had taken several spheres and stuck them together to make a body, and then given the body sticks for limbs. Phil watched as this particular monster approached the window of what appeared to be a storefront, its shoulders twitching irregularly. It pressed one of its large, fan-like hands against the glass and grew still, apparently blown away by either the barrier stopping it from entering the shop, or its reflection. Either reason was completely feasible.

he stared at the monster near the shop, which by then had begun slapping its bulging fingers against the glass. Now that he mentioned it something did look rather familiar about them – the first monster especially. It was the pair of horns on either side of its head that made him think that. There was a pokemon that had those horns – and it had large hands that it used to create barriers, didn’t it?]

I don’t think this really works. Honestly, your description of the thing is pretty close to someone just describing a regular unwarped mr. mime but scarily. Now, you have suggested they’re messed up, so there’s the horror-of-sympathy angle, but that’d require a much greater attachment to pokemon normally for it to be upsetting they’re warped and maybe harmed by it and he just seems to be viewing them as weird looking and dangerous, not suffering and upsetting for that reason. Maybe if he did have pokemon but they’d disappeared with his phone and briefcase, and then these things happened to resemble them…?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13105224/1/Random-Pokemon-Short-Story-Pikachu-Is-Dead (One)

Happy Halloween!

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello,” She said] or [“Hello” she said] or [“Hello!” She said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part IS considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. (“Speak” is also not a speech verb.) Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking out loud, which is confusing to the reader.

[“Yes,” answered the voice; then a light appeared in front of my view. “And thy pikachu, methinks, has died.”
I can only nod, “Team Rocket is the cause.” I told it, memory before us turning into a nightmare.]
[I had conceded with fain and took rest. As for tomorrow will be best for me with Pikachu back on my chest.]
[Rays of sunny day slipped through the crack of fabric and landed onto my face, separating it from the dusty and gloomy room. The room didn’t hold much but of a bed with a desk by it covered with a card collection of pokemon along with children drawn pokemon.]
[So, this is it, huh? ” Woah! Isn’t this place just crazy?” I told it, and it was true. White and yellow clouds, flying slowly around the area and laying on the said area was a—bunch of lockers?
“These lockers are what contain the souls.” Good to know, but I hope there are no dictionary books inside.
“Interesting, but my concern is. . . how are going to find Pikachu?” I consulted.
The mythical llama shook its head, “Easy, his id tag.”]

Your tone is all over the place. You describe this as “random” so maybe that’s somewhat intentional, but if so, that sort of contrast only works if done carefully and for a point. You seem to be throwing in Shakespearean English and five-dollar words simply for the sake of having them and not because you really understand how they work or have any greater purpose to their prescene in the story. You may find Mark Twain’s work, “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses” relevant on that and a whole number of other issues here.

Semicolons should only ever be used when connecting two complete sentences and even then almost never.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13105597/1/It-Follows (One)

Happy Halloween!

[Pokémon like Psyduck and Skiploom ]

So most of the fic is correct but at the start you’ve got pokemon species capitalized.

It’s interesting to have a twist on the caturne tale, but this really doesn’t make much sense.

For starters, well, this is Pokemon, people have pokemon. If there’s just one crazy murder plant wandering around, someone should’ve challenged it to a battle by now. And if this is a real, known danger, it shouldn’t be something only one guy knows while everyone else just tells her that hey, there’s this mysterious humanoid plant around, it’s her new friend right? It might work to have the kids be older and know of the story but not believe it – maybe have her go into the desert on a dare and see the cacturne but run off and assume she’s safe now?

Also, how can she be sprinting and yet have it always right behind her? How can she get hit by a car and crawl off without anyone doing anything?

I was honestly expecting her to just be killed by the car – it’s a bit of a cliche subversion to have running away from something get you killed by something else, but it can allow for some nice ambiguity about if she was really getting chased in the first place or just panicked. As is, you seem to have a bunch of horror elements that don’t go too well together. A stalking, implacable horror is scary not because no matter how fast you sprint it’s right behind you but because it just keeps coming over a long period of time. Being there no matter how fast you think you get away is more a teleporty/ghost setup and very different in feel, and should probably have involved her often finding it in front of her. Trying to get to a place of safety only to find no one there is an isolation thing, it doesn’t make sense happening after she flees a crowd trying to help her. Even the horror story warning isn’t all that strong because she goes from not knowing it was ever a problem to being completely convinced with no evidence and things proceed from there – the build of finding out it really did follow her first is skipped, she goes from zero to blind panic right at the start so all the other things can’t really escalate the situation.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13107042/1/M-ng-NOAsh (Three)

Happy Halloween!

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello,” She said] or [“Hello” she said] or [“Hello!” She said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part IS considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. (“Speak” is also not a speech verb.) Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking out loud, which is confusing to the reader.

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

There’s a lot of other grammar problems in this, such as the fact you have only two periods and no commas. I’d really, really suggest finding a beta reader to help you.

Finally…you need characters to have proper motivation. You’ve got the very basics of a horror plot here – Ash is dying and they try to save him and it goes wrong. But why are they trying to save him? What about him is so special they try to do this risky thing that can and does backfire? Just because he’s dying isn’t enough, people die all the time and apparently they don’t save those people. Or if they do save random people all the time, then you need a reason why it goes wrong this time when it doesn’t normally.

[Yep I just turned Ash Ketchum into the Missingno am I insane maybe]

No, the most shocking and questionable decision is simply that you didn’t build it up well in the story you wrote.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13081621/1/When-the-Water-Recedes (Zero)

Still Halloween!

[ but palossand had plenty of time for that.]

So, when using it as the palossand’s given name, you should capitalize it like anyone’s given name. “Then the palossand slid around” or “Then Palossand slid around”, but not “Then palossand slid around”.

[ Creepy one shot.]

It’s more cute and naturalistic, I’d say, which works fine for a silly-looking pokemon that hangs out on sunny beaches full of happy people but is maybe not what you were going for. The biggest thing is make a point that the palossand doesn’t do real harm to anyone, even if it’s simply because that benefits it. If you want to go for real creepy, there has to either be more of a dissonance – either that it is doing major harm and no one knows, like that the kids are unaware that weeks are coming off their life with every minute they spend near the innocent sandcastle or it’s actually draining people to death but because they look like they’re sunbathing by the time anyone realizes the palossand has wandered off or something, or it’s more sinister in some other way instead of just being an animal that does this to eat, or, I guess, maybe expand the way it manipulates people for more dramatic ends than just tiring out one guy a little so he’d stick around long enough for kids to make a sandcastle.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13088920/1/Dystopia (Forty-seven, because when Hybrid of Fate does her whole “actually write dialogue exactly wrong!!!” thing someone takes issue with her bullshit and it’s just sockpuppets for days.)

Happy Halloween!

Wow, Hybrid of Fate really went sockpuppet mad on you, huh? Usually she only reviews with two or three accounts, and even when she starts in on anon reviews I’ve never seen her do multiple pages worth before.

So, St Elmo’s Fire covered the general stuff, so I’ll focus more on details that jump out at me.

[She, like most pokemon in the current age, was bipedal.]

So to me, this is frustrating because that’s weird so the explanation must be really strange and interesting. What about the current age has turned pokemon bipedal? How would that even work? And what does this mysterious pressure mean for the minority of pokemon that still aren’t bipedal? Having an actual reason for pokemon to start changing to be more humanoid could be really interesting, but it’s generally just a throwaway because people want to write humans in pokemon-themed fursuits and not actual worldbuilding.

[Seeing as she was a ice type, she had no need for bulky clothing, but she still wrapped her vulpix daughter up in a light blue blanket. ]

Now, I think you might have went with the blanket here because it’s good for a sense of vulnerability, but you just got through reminding everyone that ice types are a thing and that’s going to impact their temperature requirements. Saying her child was the fire-type vulpix would fit with this, or just not having them be ice types – you’ve having them menaced by fire, but there’s plenty of other pokemon that give you options other than an ice type or a fire type. Alternatively, you could do something else with the daughter, like putting her in a sling where the point is to carry her rather than keep her warm.

I’m also not too clear on the dynamics of humans menacing bipedal pokemon. Did going bipedal destroy all their other abilities? If so, what sort of selection pressure was going on that being able to use moves and defend themselves in any way was less important than being two-legged and carrying groceries?

[a blood soaked, rusted gauntlet with a purple feline shaped skull gem in the back of the hand. She could tell it used to be gold.]

Gold, in addition to being a really poor metal to use for a gauntlet, doesn’t rust.

And now there’s another human and he has powers. Did humans get the powers from the pokemon? Because that might be interesting, the idea that pokemon got a bad deal where humans gave them bipedalism and wage slavery in return for taking their powers.

Anyway, mostly this seems like a power fantasy where some people get menaced and sad so that one person can badassedly kill evil dudes. There’s not any sense of why these events are happening or what the state of the world is. We don’t even have context for why one guy would have made this his mission – are pokemon oppressed and that’s why our opening was a bunch of humans menacing a pokemon and her kid for no reason, and he’s trying to counter that? Are there just random evil dudes wandering the streets threatening to do horrible things to whoever they lay eyes upon, but not like in a racist way?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13094857/1/Full-Moon (Five, one of the spam accounts and one Hybrid vaguing.)

Happy Halloween!

[He was sure it would be fine, because they were pokemon, they wouldn’t hurt him.]

This isn’t a very good justification, because a foundation of the games is that pokemon are dangerous enough no one’s allowed anywhere near them without their own pokemon for protection. When setting up your character doing something that’s a terrible idea, you want a good explanation for why it didn’t seem like a terrible idea. For example, it was fine because he loved lunatone and just knew they weren’t violent. It was fine because he wasn’t planning to do anything to bother them so there’d be no problem. It was fine because he was sure he could stay hidden. It was fine because he wouldn’t be provoking them with battles or catching. It was fine because the lunatone would understand he was just there because he thought they were cool and not to bug them. It was fine because there wasn’t even anything wrong with spying but people just said there was because they were scared of lunatone.

[They would have told him the best way to see the lunatone! The only ones who cared that he was here were his mom and Dr. Kina at the Research Institute. Dr. Kina only cared because the League had decided that no one should visit the cave unless they were qualified! Raymond was sure that the old man would have been fine with him going otherwise. He was smart, and he knew more about pokemon than almost anyone else in Fallarbor Town! ]

I don’t think you should have so many exclamation marks, particularly one after another like this.

[ It was so weird because no other pokemon even looked like them! There were records of them from ancient peoples but there weren’t that many, and they always showed the pokemon as being evil. He knew they weren’t evil though! It was just like how people used to think dark-type pokemon were evil because they acted differently than they thought they would. The lunatone were just different.]

It particularly undermines what I think is a pretty good use, the bit about evil. That’s both something it makes sense for him to be especially emphatic about and something you want highlighted to the reader, but in both cases it’s lessened by the fact it’s just one of many instead of standing out like it would if it were the only time you used an exclamation mark.

Similarly, your sentences tend to be pretty repetitive and simplistic. Varying them would help, as would getting a bit more out of his head to describe things more.

The ending of this isn’t particularly clear. Oh, I get that they grabbed him, but they’re clearly making a whole bunch of lunatone, so it can’t be that they need to kill someone to make a lunatone, and while the idea is presumably that he becomes the lunatone I don’t know how that’s a meaningful distinction when after his death there’s a lunatone with the same lack of memories as any other newly created one who also has the same personality and behavior as the others. Maybe something like, they make a couple from stored energy, they seem to be done, then he makes a sound and they use him to make one more, or if the ritual pauses halfway in and they start looking for “something” and he makes a noise and becomes the something, that’d be a more horrory element where the energy must be stolen souls and all lunatone are former dead people rather than now, where lunatone just make more lunatone out of rocks but will maybe murder you if you spy on them and get caught.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13107856/1/The-reaserch-diary-of-Professor-Cypress (Zero, but we’re now in ones that were just posted.)

Happy Halloween!

Your title should be properly capitalized, and also it’s “research”.

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

If your story is about research on ghost pokemon, then a less-than-a-hundred words bit about how yeah your story is about research on ghost pokemon isn’t enough for a first chapter. It’s fine to open with an in-universe bit from Cypress but you need to have more than just that. Either you need to flesh out this substantially so that there’s enough here for this to be readable as an individual chapter (maybe elaborate on Cypress’ character, or throw shade at Cypress’ fellow researchers who are the ones “neglecting” such research, or get into why Cypress is sharing this and if there’s been a lot of incidents with people misunderstanding ghost pokemon that they hope this will prevent) or you should go directly into the first of your stories here.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13107594/1/A-Grusome-Halloween-Special

Happy Halloween!

It’s spelled “gruesome” as in, some grues.

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

[The two thugs wanted his money, Pokémon, and any other valuables. He refused, and they shot him, and stole everything. ]

Why didn’t he fight back with his own pokemon? This would make much more sense if he just didn’t have pokemon and even more if his attackers did rather than using a gun.

[Yes, she was able to eat meat; genetics of a Lucario got passed down so now she’s an omnivore.]

Uh – they’re based on a raptor dino and a gecko. I don’t think you need to say she’s hybridized with something else to explain it. If anything it’s her being an omnivore rather than a straight carnivore that’s a stretch, since leaf-tailed geckos are obligate carnivores and the pointy murder teeth of her dinosaur inspiration suggests the same was true for it. If you want the freakiness of something that shouldn’t be eating meat chowing down on people, you want like, sawsbuck or something, video of deer chewing on people’s rib cages always freaks the internet out.

[She laid the human down on the ground and was deciding. She had no choice, but she still didn’t want to. Her stomach growled in protest, she needed to eat. The Grovyle kept her eyes on the human, then spoke slowly, “S-s-sorry.”]

What? Why would it have been better for her to hunt down and murder one of her fellow apparently just as intelligent and capable of speech pokemon than to eat a human who died of other causes?

[The pleasure of the flesh was most delectable as the Grovyle ate away the whole body with no time.]

So, the horror of a creature who eats something then comes back for more is fine, but humans are not actually tasty except maybe for strict vegetarians because the higher on the food chain you go the more toxins and such get concentrated.

Now, a good place for inspiration here is actual man-eating lions and tigers. They don’t go crazy by eating one guy and then start eating another. Rather, they’re motivated to eat people because they’re unable to eat anything else. One pair of lions that racked up an enormous body count did it because they had hideously infected teeth that made it impossible to bite anything, so they could only eat by licking people’s flesh off the bone. This would seem a good fit – your pokemon is acting because she’s nearly starved to death but you don’t currently have any explanation for why. If instead of just being hungry because she’s hungry, she’s hungry because she’s badly injured and can’t hunt or even chew most food, running across a human corpse and learning they’re the meat pudding of the carnivore world could convince her to switch targets.

[Aside of that was a pile of organs and what was the body’s genital, meaning it was a male.]

No, those are one of the first things all carnivores eat because they’re soft, boneless, and easy to tear loose and swallow. You really don’t need for anyone to see identifiable features on the body if that’s your concern. The fact someone goes missing at right the same time should be enough for anyone to work this out if it’s important. Alternatively, just say the guy sees her in the middle of tearing off the body’s dick if it’s important to you.

[He died only seconds later as his attacker finished killing him, and dragged him off to her den. He was sliced up and eaten away as the Grovyle began to create medium sized pits to throw away bones, organs, and bits that she couldn’t chew or eat.
After this, soon trainers and their Pokémon slowly disappeared around that area and that photographer stated it was that Grovyle who did it. Soon it became accepted that it was the Grovyle… only…]

The photographer already knows exactly where her den is, and apparently he’s told everyone. Why, then, can she just keep bringing bodies back to it with no problem? If you want her to continue without getting caught, it’d make much more sense for her to notice the photographer and so realize that her den is compromised and humans know she’s hunting them, so that after that she moves around and doesn’t eat in the same place twice.

Also, how are pokemon disappearing? This whole thing happens because she couldn’t find and/or successfully kill pokemon prey.

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello,” She said] or [“Hello” she said] or [“Hello!” She said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part IS considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. (“Speak” is also not a speech verb.) Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking out loud, which is confusing to the reader.

Anyway, I’m also pretty underwhelmed by the rape. The fact you just brought up yet again that she’s part lucario means there’s no reason she’d need to get another sceptile in particular if she wants sex, and the fact you bring up that apparently she’s been fine with having corpse sex with human dicks just underlines how unnecessary it should be for her to stay within her own species.

I’d say for maximum horror, either she leaves one of the humans alive for raping (that would also allow her to feed them on the corpses and be particularly upsetting, instead of your claim that regular sceptiles, as grass types, can only eat grass and skip out on the corpse fun, in the same way that cows, being made of meat, live exclusively off meat) or, if the point is the horror of paternity, have her not finish off the gardevoir instead. Gardevoir make a lot more sense as being horribly traumatized by all this. They’re not in a compatible egg group but neither are lucario so I don’t think that’s a problem for the fic.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13108379/1/Lostlorn-Lilacs

Happy Halloween!

[ “Nate!” he said. “You finally got a Pokémon?”
Nate shook his head.”The Professor’s apparently sent some woman named Bianca to give me one though.”]

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

[“Hugh!” Nanami pleaded, “I know I saw it! A sort of fire in the woods!” Hugh sighed and knelt to meet her eyes. “Nanami. The woods aren’t on fire. If you’d seen a fire, it’d still be there now.” Hugh watched his sister’s face, waiting for a reaction. He didn’t get one. “Nate!” she yelled. Nate himself dashed towards them. “Nanami? What is it?” She hopped around Hugh, fixing her eyes on Nate’s with the most serious expression she could muster. “In the woods, just now, there was a fire! You must have seen it too!” Nate froze.
“I- I don’t know what you mean.” Nanami’s face fell.
“I’m not lying! I know what I saw!” Hugh took her hand.
“Nanami. It’s all right. If you’re just scared, I’ll walk you home, okay?” Nanami attempted to retain her tough facade, but she was frightened. “O-okay. But I am telling the truth.”]

Not only is it important to have dialogue separated by speaker, but it’s particularly important when you have a lot of actions mixed in that those actions are grouped with the same person as is speaking, because that makes who said what get even harder to follow. The paragraphing should be like this instead:

[“Hugh!” Nanami pleaded, “I know I saw it! A sort of fire in the woods!”
Hugh sighed and knelt to meet her eyes. “Nanami. The woods aren’t on fire. If you’d seen a fire, it’d still be there now.” Hugh watched his sister’s face, waiting for a reaction. He didn’t get one.
“Nate!” she yelled.
Nate himself dashed towards them. “Nanami? What is it?”
She hopped around Hugh, fixing her eyes on Nate’s with the most serious expression she could muster. “In the woods, just now, there was a fire! You must have seen it too!”
Nate froze. “I- I don’t know what you mean.”
Nanami’s face fell. “I’m not lying! I know what I saw!”
Hugh took her hand. “Nanami. It’s all right. If you’re just scared, I’ll walk you home, okay?”
Nanami attempted to retain her tough facade, but she was frightened. “O-okay. But I am telling the truth.”]

Another jumpiness problem is with what looks like missing scene breaks.

[“What?” He turned to Nate, fire roaring in his eyes. “I’m going back to Aspertia. Right now.” Without waiting for a response, he sped away. His mother glanced at Nate before following.

Nate stepped out of the Aspertia City Gym, holding his badge case out in front of him. The Basic Badge glimmered in the starlight where he’d planted it. One down, eight to go. His Pokémon Training career was certainly blooming.]

This, for example. I’m assuming there’s supposed to be something separating these two paragraphs but there’s no sign of it, making it really confusing what just happened.

Anyway, I appreciate that you need to have a slow build, but I don’t think you needed to include the standard OT opening scenes like their first battle. The bits focusing on events unique to your story are stronger anyway, and it’s hard to get a sense of looming horror when it’s retreading the same old ground. Maybe if you laced those scenes with something extra and ominous it could work, but I think what you’ve got right now holds together fine without them.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13108563/1/The-Allhallows-Manor

Happy Halloween!

[One Halloween night, a mysterious mansion appeared in Laverre City in Kalos, right in the open space that was meant for construction that year. No one knew the exact truth to where it came from, but reports from pedestrians, if they were to be believed at all from how shook they looked, were that they saw a black swirl suddenly appear in the sky and the mansion slowly faded into view after that. Everyone assumed them to just be caught off guard by its sudden appearance and just imagining things. ]

Mysterious buildings require a situation where no one’s paying too much attention. If it’s somewhere people go by all the time in a busy city on land that belongs to someone else in complete violation of the zoning permits for that area, it appearing literally out of nowhere is not going to be brushed off. Modern life is a ghost-strangling mass of red tape.

Also, this isn’t our world, it’s a world where there’s magic superpowered monsters running around, so their standards for weird are going to be a lot higher.

If you want it to appear in an obviously anomalous way but for people to not be as scared as they should be, you want to think up a good justification for why they’re about to stupidly get themselves killed. It’s on Halloween, maybe people think it’s the fun kind of “haunted house” getting set up by people who are really good at special effects. It’s a lot more interesting for people to give their own explanation over shrugging and just rejecting the fact it happened.

[but the Wild Pokemon and Trainer Pokemon were terrified alike]

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

[The mansion faded into view once more, but locals that were passing by when it did said they didn’t see any swirl in the sky. The mansion was made known worldwide when more children ended up with the same mysterious fate as those from Kalos: missing.]

Why did kids go in a second time? Why wouldn’t adults venture in when it reappeared instead?

[The third time it showed up on Halloween, it was in Hoenn’s Petalburg City, but what was strange about it this time was its appearance. It wasn’t a mansion at all this time.
It was a house.]

…so how did they know it’s the same one? The first one appeared on its own when there used to be none, so it doesn’t have to be the same one moving but could just be more of these things coming down. For that matter, they don’t even know the first two are actually the same building, it could just be a similar event. If people can’t investigate something, you shouldn’t give the reader solid information that no one in the story should be sure of.

[Just like before, the local kids in town who went trick-or-treating inside that manor never made it back, and the building vanished by midnight.]

Why do all the kids think you get candy by breaking into someone’s house? Why has it been years and still no one’s thought to just tell kids not to go inside impossible houses that weren’t there five minutes ago?

[That same year the name was bestowed to the terrifying estate, trick-or-treating starting ending worldwide for the safety of children everywhere. On that year, Kalos and Hoenn ended the tradition. After 2 more Halloween nights and more children ending up missing, the Kanto and Johto regions followed suit. Sinnoh ended it a year later, and Alola the year following.]

WHY. WHY CAN’T THEY JUST TELL KIDS TO STOP BREAKING INTO THIS ONE HOUSE. SINCE WHEN IS THAT EVEN HOW TRICK OR TREATING WORKS. HOW ARE THESE CHILDREN EVEN STAYING ALIVE LONG ENOUGH TO DIE BY EVIL HOUSE WHEN THEY MUST SPEND ALL THEIR FREE TIME SPRINTING INTO TRAFFIC.

[When it appeared in Anville Town and a child came near a house, the door was opened and a sign was posted saying, ‘Take as many treats as you want from inside.’ T]

I think we should just accept these children were never going to make it through Halloween alive regardless and stop blaming this one murderous house.

[The next year, adults tried to escort their kids safely, but went missing along with their children upon entering what they thought was their home.]

This, though, is great. Stuff rapidly escalating in power and compromising even known buildings that should be safe is much scarier than one weird place people should be able to identify but kids are just really dumb about.

If your goal here is just that houses eat people and it keeps getting worse and no one can stop it, I think you should’ve focused more on things like this, where the house is supernaturally unrecognizable or else able to completely replace existing structures, over just saying it shows up and kids keep wandering inside because somehow they think home invasions are a vital part of Halloween. Get more into how people try to deal with the problem and then each year whatever their plan was the house has changed so it didn’t work – so first it appears in a flashy way but people assume it’s just special effects coolness and go inside anyway, then next year everyone knows that spooky house materializing out of thin air is a for-real murderous ghost mansion but the adults try to get inside to find out what’s happening/what happened to the kids, then when that’s a disaster they decide to never go near a house looking like that again, at which point it shows up looking totally different… Decoupling it from trick or treating would also make sense because seriously, what sort of kids think you trick or treat by walking into an empty house? Since the issue is the house eats people who actually go inside, something like it being an apparently fake haunted house luring people in would make more sense. Alternatively, describe the house in a way where it makes sense people would need to partly enter, like, say, what looks from the outside like a screened-in porch with the the main door further in, but once someone goes through the screen door and it closes, they’ve disappeared. Play with the idea a bit – how could the house get people inside, okay how would people counter that, okay how would the house counter that, okay how would people counter that, okay how would the house counter that…

4 Comments

  1. Roc says:
    Are you going to post the author responses to these reviews (if there are any)?
    1. Farla says:

      Yup! People responded pretty quickly.

  2. CrazyEd says:

    You seem to be referring to a single pokemon here. When you’re using a pokemon’s species as its given name, you capitalize it like any other name.

    The one time a pokemon name goes uncapitalized in these things…

    1. Farla says:

      Oh, it’s actually pretty common for people to overcorrect like that. It’s the same reason my dialogue paragraph grew so large, I’d point out where they needed commas and they’d replace valid periods with commas too.

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