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August 11th, 2011 09:06 PMJX ValentineIf you'd actually take the time to read what I have to say instead of shrugging it off as a wall of text, you'll realize I'm not saying that everything you say is BS. I'm explaining to you how your suggestions would be viewed by other people. Well, that and you missed the point of one of my comments.
Y'know, a healthy discussion is one where people don't just respond to one another in short paragraphs, so it's rather disappointing that you believed all I'd do to maintain the discussion is agree with you or otherwise not post my usual length. I mean, really, what did you think I'd do as soon as you "tried to clear things up with me"? You do know who you're talking to, right?
August 11th, 2011 07:23 PMJX ValentineQuote:
When did I say that making a lot of filler that prevents the plot from resolving is a GOOD thing?
If it helps at all, think of it like this. You proposed that in order to make a starter ceremony feel less generic, something should happen. Let's say it's Team Plasma stealing a starter. Then, even if the starter is recovered, the reader is going to expect more about Team Plasma because, let's face it, early encounter means it'll probably be in the trainer's mind because that sort of screwed up their starter ceremony. However, you also proposed having subplots in between a section that starts off the main plot and the rest of the main plot. In this case, it would be that we don't hear from Team Plasma until the first or second city. Your readers will wonder, then, why we should care about the trainer capturing a Patrat or getting character development when the main point of the fic has suddenly, in their minds, become all about Team Plasma and the character's fight against them. Even if you didn't mean to have it be about Team Plasma, it suddenly is on a level because your readers will think huge event at the beginning revolving around them = clearly, nothing else matters. That means that, because a fanfic is a lot like a novel, events that happen thereafter will in some way be related to the character's fight against Team Plasma. (See Ultimatum for an example. Farla's Lucki is another example.) That's because every word that goes into a fic needs to lend itself to an overall meaning. Going off on tangents (like the ones filler chapters present) will just make it feel like you don't have a particular focus.
This isn't to say that there's no such thing as a filler chapter in fanfic. However, even in filler chapters, there's always a thread of any unresolved plots in those chapters as well. I'd hate to bring up an egotistical example, but in my own fic, there's a number of chapters where the most important thing might be a conversation between the two main characters. Even so, there's always something important that's brought up in that conversation that eventually goes back to the main plot. So, no time is really wasted because everything links back to the main plot in some way, and it's clear to a reader that this is true. Moreover, these kinds of chapters don't happen until much later in the fic; the first several chapters are directly related to moving the plot forward in order to reassure the reader that, yes, there is a plot. You seem, as far as I can tell, to be proposing true filler, in which nothing directly related to the plot happens. That's unfortunately not how fanfiction works because of the whole "needs to hook a reader" problem.
As for the Team Plasma vs Team Rocket episodes, they were pulled due to scenes containing (artificial) earthquakes that could be related to the Japanese disasters at that time. NOT because they would resolve a plot. Or did you know that already? I can't really tell from your words.
Quote:Originally Posted by Yours trulyThat's also why a lot of people are having problems with the fact that the Team Plasma vs. Team Rocket episodes aren't going to air: because those two episodes would have resolved a lot of plot.
Moreover, to go back to the main point, I'm saying that if you have filler that early, it'll feel like you're dropping the plot in favor of something else. Moreover, if you do have any subplot in a fic, it should be resolved, or you should write it in a way that makes the reader feel like it's eventually going to be resolved. In other words, the main issue is the delivery, but either way, the beginning of a fic is no place for filler because it sends the wrong message (that message being "this writer can't focus on an important plot long enough to follow through on it") to a reader.
August 11th, 2011 03:44 PMJX ValentineAgain, as I've said, if you start off with something important in the first chapter, you'll need to follow through with that particular plot. Otherwise, it feels like you're going off on several different tangents, so the story loses focus. For example, if you start off the fic with Team Rocket stealing a starter, the next few chapters should be about the characters resolving that plot. If you don't resolve that plot and just go on to a chapter about how a character is afraid of Pokémon or how a character captures a Caterpie, then the story feels like it's lost its focus, and the readers will become disappointed because that first plot isn't resolved.
That's the thing about the anime that you're actually missing. Even if it goes off on different tangents between one city and the next, it will always resolve any plot it starts almost immediately. Even in Johto, the land of filler (and the least liked arc), the anime always resolved its plots. Team Rocket attempts to capture a Lugia? Turned into a several-episode mini-arc until it was resolved. Team Rocket tried to capture the Pokémon of the day? Always resolved by the end of the episode. It never left loose ends, and once a plot is started, we can expect at least a few episodes for the anime to tackle it fully. That's also why a lot of people are having problems with the fact that the Team Plasma vs. Team Rocket episodes aren't going to air: because those two episodes would have resolved a lot of plot.
Moreover, fanfic and the anime run on different forms of logic. A fanfic is like a novel, even if it's written in episodic form. So, your readers will come to expect you to follow plots on a logical basis. Starting off a plot like Team Rocket stealing a starter right in front of the characters and then having the characters blow that plot off in favor of catching a Caterpie in the next "episode" doesn't strike a reader as a logical path. As a result, they'll start to raise questions. Questions like "why didn't the character go after Team Rocket" and "why should we care about a Caterpie or this random character development when there's PLOT afoot?"
And even then, a lot more people actually don't enjoy filler. If you have a lot of it, it's called Filler Hell, and it's one of many reasons why the anime fell out of favor with fans these days (besides the apparent lack of character development): because too much filler made it feel like the anime has no plot. It's also happened with Naruto and Bleach, where there was just so much filler that the series felt like it went on forever with no actual point.
So, the main idea here is that filler without bothering to resolve important plot points will make it seem like the story has no plot at all, especially if the filler has absolutely nothing to do with the plot and if the filler is coming at the very beginning of the series. (Seriously, if you need filler at the beginning, chances are, that says to a reader you're already relying on the crutch that is the filler arc in order to get a story told. Even the anime didn't start relying heavily on filler until much, much later. All of the episodes at the beginning have a coherent plot in that they're portraying Ash pushing forward to become a Pokémon master. Even the second episode was just setting up a subplot that appears in almost every single episode from there on out.) Moreover, if you have a lot of filler, that's not going to look good to a reader. It's just not. The only reason why many anime fans put up with filler nowadays is because there actually are plots that get resolved pretty quickly (for the most part, given the Plasma mini-arc), and the questions that are posed are questions that we're supposed to be thinking about for the next few episodes.