An entirely Pokemon-related series of rambling articles. This weblog exists because I won a competition for it (somehow) so I'll try to make each article a high-quality affair in its own right. No filler here.
A Story Wot I Wrote For A Contest
Odd to put a story in a blog post instead of the creative writing sub-forum, but it's old stuff, I'm not going to change it in any way, or do anything stupid like write a sequel; it's shared memorabilia, if you like.
The given theme for the story was "Cast Aside". The first thing that crossed my mind was a scene with Tinkerbell and Captain Hook in Disney's not-too-bad adaptation of Peter Pan. But, never mind that for now.
Below the story itself are some notes about what I tried to achieve with this piece of work. It should illustrate why I wrote what I wrote, and why I wrote in the first place. But for now, on with the story!
The first thing I wanted to do with this bit o' fan-fiction was to avoid purple prose if I possibly could. He swept aside his long, darkened blond hair while his olive, viridian, jade eyes darted back and forth across the pure, white, open space of pixels where a world of imagination could be forever unlocked. You know, that kind of nausea-inducing stuff.
So I got to thinking about the narrative style of my favourite authors. JRR Tolkien. Arthur Conan Doyle. HG Wells. Robert Louis Stevenson. Though I'm sure I didn't succeed with any kind of consistency, I tried to capture the narrative spirit of their works, The War of the Worlds in particular. Something that helped was that while working, I read through what I'd written with the imagined voice of Richard Burton, remembering his performance in Jeff Wayne's excellent musical adaptation.
Secondly, I wanted this story to have a kind of revelation at the end, so that clues dropped through the narrative would have a new meaning, should the reader be desperately bored enough to read the story again. At the same time I wanted the twist to be completely unexpected, perhaps a little humorous, but also meaningful. I wanted, in a nutshell, Pokemon trainers to feel regret whenever treating their digital imaginary friends like dirt. I wanted the reader to think it was a young man with a flu, perhaps being a little over-dramatic in his agonies, and to realise later that these trials were endured by a Sandshrew, a small rodent-like creature to whom exposure to water can be deadly. The different context makes the story more engaging and meaningful, but because I didn't want to give away everything until the end, I relied somewhat on the reader being able to think about the story's events in a new light. It was a huge trade-off.
Finally, I wanted nothing to be written that didn't belong there. Anything that didn't advance the story I searched for and tried to cut out. I couldn't have made the story any shorter without destroying its narrative style. If I didn't feel it made real Ernest's plight, I would have cut out half of the scenes in Kurt's house.
Oh. Yeah. It was Kurt and his granddaughter he was with. In Azalea town. So he was released from the Goldenrod City Pokemon Centre into Ilex Forest. I did think about the logistics at least.
The brevity of the ending was actually the main criticism of the story, presumably because it required the reader to stop, think about it, and perhaps read a sentence or two again. But to me, this is one of the great things about books. When they catch you unaware, you can effectively do a double-take of what you've just read. Not so for films, which is probably why their plot-holes are made with impunity.
I'm not complaining, in any sense of the word. My entry came second in the competition, and was beaten by a story that had some actual character development in it.
Finally, why did I write this story in the first place? Because it's a contest. But also because I wanted to prove that older writing styles are a much, much better source of narrative embellishment than the purple prose I was half-expecting as competition. But nobody who read it noticed so I guess that was a fail.