A Fourney Jic

Once upon a time, there was a boy named David who quite fancied himself as a Pokemon fanfic author. Unfortunately, the only fics he knew how to write were the same old rehashes of the Pokemon journey theme.

One day, David sat down at his computer and, in about half-an-hour, dashed off the following:

One day a trainer called Tom was going to get his first Pokemon. He had been looking forward to this day for weeks, but he'd overslept and, by the time he got to Professor Thorne's lab in Yellow Town, all the Pokemon were gone except one. It was a . . .

David paused at this point to flip through his game guide for ideas. Then, he continued:

. . . Sandshrew. But Tom thought it was a start at least. So he left Yellow town and set off on the road to Purple City. Along the way, he caught lots of Pokemon. He caught a Pikachu, a Weedle, an Eevee, a male Nidoran, a Sentret, a Teddiursa, an Octillery, an Elekid and so on. He also had battles with lots of trainers and beat them all.

Finally, Tom reached Purple City and went to challenge the Gym Leader. Her name was Cassie and she had a Marrill and a Seadra.

Sandshrew beat Cassie's Pokemon easily, although Tom did have to use a potion once. Then, Sandshrew evolved into Sandslash and Cassie gave Tom a Pretty Badge.

Tom moved on to Brown City, where he would challenge the next Gym Leader. But he hadn't gone far before . . .

David knew exactly what was going to come next; his fics never varied:

. . . two Team Rockets members appeared and chanted their motto.

"Prepare for trouble!" said the female.

"Make it double!" added the male

"To protect the world from devastation."

"To unite all peoples within our nation."

"To denounce the evils of truth and love."

"To extend our reach to the stars above."



"Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light!"

"Surrender now or prepare to fight!"

David paused at this point to read what he had written so far. He liked it - Kelly and Ned (named after a famous Australian outlaw) sounded cool and an encounter with Team Rocket was the perfect cliffhanger. He got on the Pokemon fanfic site he had found not long ago, and whose rules he hadn't had time to read yet, and signed in. His screen-name typified his ego - Mr Talented!!!!

David uploaded the story he had just been working on and sat back to wait for the accolades to flood in.


When David next got on the site, he saw that his story - which he'd titled "Tom And His Pokemon Journey" - had received fifteen replies. Scarcely able to contain his excitement, he clicked on the link to his reviews.

Then, his face fell; instead of praise, all he had received was criticism and comments which seemed to say to him, "Ha! I can write a story and you can't!"

I suggest you stop writing this and try something more original.

advised Electric Soldier Porygon

Too short - and the less said about the plot, the better.

was Master of Fire's contribution.

I don't think Tom's Sandshrew would have evolved so quickly and it would have been weak against Marrill and Seadra

commented Magideen

Work on adding a bit more detail.

suggested Sensational Sister Sophie


David didn't bother to read all his reviews, but he read enough to know that NO-ONE liked his story. And, after all the hard work he'd put in.

He decided to teach the offending authors a lesson and sent all of them the following "review"

Hi! It's Mr Talented!!!! here to say . . . your story sucks and so do you! You don't run this site so you can't tell me what to write and what not to write! I'm gonna report you for harrassment and I think you are a STUPID PIECE OF CRAP! So screw you! And screw your crummy story! They don't call me Mr Talented!!!! for nothing you know!


In another city, a girl named Katie was online. She was a mod at the site David had posted his "story" on - her screen-name was Pidgeot - and, if there was one thing she couldn't stand, it was arrogant jerks who thought they were above the rules of the site.

She set to work painstakingly deleting the rant David had sent the people who had criticised him, before going to "Tom And His Pokemon Journey" and clicking on the Comments button. In clear concise language, she began to make it clear exactly how stories like David's were regarded.

I agree with all the above comments and also wish to point out that there is a rule here which says any story less than three printed pages long is Spam. Therefore, I strongly urge you not to post any more chapters and to try something a little more original next time.


Needless to say, David took it as a personal attack on his writing. "I'll show you, Pidgeot!" he muttered as he found the story she was currently working on - a horror story called "The Tale Of Gengar" - and sent her the following reply:


True to his word, he got straight on the site's New Topic page and began to type the second chapter of his "story":

Tom easily beat Ned and Kelly, but they said they'd be back. They wanted to steal his Sandslash.

But Tom made a friend. He met a girl called Anne who was also on a Pokemon journey and they decided to travel together. Anne's Pokemon were Dratini, Corsola and Ivysaur and she was very pretty.

They reached Brown City and Tom went to fight the Gym Leader. Anne didn't because she already had this Gym Leader's Badge. The Brown City Gym Leader was called Mike and he had a Fearow.

"Sandslash, Sand Attack!" yelled Tom.

This Attack lowered Fearow's accuracy by one point.

"Fearow, Drill Peck!" yelled Mike.

It was a critical hit, but Tom knew exactly what to do. He quickly gave Sandslash a potion and Sandslash was soon ready to continue the battle.

David decided to leave it there for today. He clicked the Send button and the chapter swiftly entered the realms of cyberspace.


Needless to say, this chapter also got bashed. Katie/Pidgeot left a long reply, in which she let David know how angry she was that he had continued writing a journey fic when he knew she'd told him not to.

Why didn't you take my advice and try a different story? This is totally unoriginal, even shorter than the previous chapter and lacks any kind of detail. What's more, you posted this even though I'd clearly told you I didn't want the story in question to continue.

Is it just me, or are you trying to push it as far as you can? Because, if you continue with this story and keep flaming people who are only trying to steer you away from such cliched plotlines, I will recommend you for a ban.

Just look around this board and you'll see which kind of stories people like. And is ANY of them a journey fic? No!

In future, I suggest you think before starting a story. Don't just dash them off and steer clear of plots which have been used several times before.

Annoyed by know-it-alls who won't listen to advice


But David stubbornly began to write the third chapter, trying to convince himself that all the flak he'd received was just teething troubles and it would be all right once the story really got going. However, he hadn't banked on developing a severe case of writer's block.

Tom and Anne . . .

David stared at his computer screen, struggling to come up with ideas for the next stage of Tom and Anne's Pokemon journey. All of a sudden, he felt himself shrink as he was mysteriously sucked into another dimension via the computer screen . . .


David found himself in a barren grey landscape. Two children, a boy and a girl, stood nearby - or at least David assumed they were children because all he could see of them was their shadows.

"Hi," he said, feeling he'd better at least try to strike up a conversation with them and wondering if they'd been sucked into their computers as well. "Who are you guys?"

"I'm Tom," said the boy.

"And I'm Anne," added the girl.

"My name's David," David told them.

"We KNOW - you created us, remember?" retorted Anne.

"But why can't I see what you look like?"

Anne rolled her eyes impatiently. "Because we're imaginary characters and we only take on an appearence when someone creates us. But YOU couldn't be bothered to say what we look like!"

David thought for a moment, struggling to come up with a description for his two characters on the spot. "OK," he said at last. "Tom, you've got red hair and you're wearing a black t-shirt and navy blue trousers. Anne, you've got blonde pigtails and you're wearing a red dress. And we're in a . . . forest."

As if by magic, Tom and Anne began to materialise, taking on the appearences David had invented for him. Tom emerged with a shock of red hair, dressed in a black t-shirt with a skull logo on the front and green denim trousers. Anne wore a red summer dress and had matching ribbons in her hair.

"What now?" asked David when his two characters had materialised fully and he found himself standing in a shady forest complete with a Pidgey perched in a nearby tree.

"How should I know?" retorted Tom. "We're just characters, remember? You're supposed to tell US what to do!"

"But - but I don't know what's gonna happen next!" David said desperately.

"That's your problem!" said Anne, speaking with an air of contempt. "You should have thought before starting to write such a lame story. Come on, Tom - we're out of here! Let's go find an author who'll treat us with a bit more respect."

"No! Wait!" David yelled. But it was too late - Tom and Anne were out of earshot and he was stranded in his own shoddily written fanfic.


Moral: Don't just dash off stories without thinking them through and don't skimp on describing your characters and locations. Most importantly, learn the difference between constructive criticism and a flame.