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Old August 8th, 2011 (07:47 PM). Edited August 8th, 2011 by JX Valentine.
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Quote originally posted by Dagzar:
To tell the truth, I do like it when the story starts out with trainers getting their starters. It doesn’t necessarily have to be from a lab or go in a cookie-cutter way, but there’s just something about a journey fic that starts off like that, that appeals to me. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but it’s a classic, even though writers should really be more original. Besides, people who write journey fics are rarely writing for the plot. They’re concern is the characters and the journey itself, and what’s more appropriate than starting something like that out from when the journey begins?

I know doing things like that is terrible from a story-perspective, but… I like it. *shrugs*
If you like it, that's okay for you, sure, but that's a matter of preference. The point is that it's not necessary for a story to start out that way -- as in, a story can really start out any way you'd like it. Moreover, starting off with a different kind of beginning doesn't mean that the author is less creative or hasn't planned as much as an author who starts off the same way as anyone else. As I've said in the middle of that earlier post, the vice-versa could be true in any situation. Like there are, naturally, fics that haven't been planned out at all that start in the middle of a trainer's journey, there's also fics that start at the beginning of a trainer's journey that have also not been planned out at all. Moreover, there are fics that have been planned out completely in both instances.

So, the real point is that it doesn't matter how you start a story so long as it makes sense to a reader. It's just that there's a lot of people who agree that it is a cliché to start off with the generic skeleton of trainer-gets-starter, and really, you'd use a bit more creativity to start it any other way. I'd hate to put it like that, but if you're not basically doing what everyone else is doing, you're more likely doing your own thing and creating a story as close to from scratch as one can get for the genre. So, yeah, there's that. Tiny pinch more of creativity, which in my personal book means that I'm more likely looking at someone who thinks outside of the box and is at least capable of writing their own story. This doesn't, of course, mean that every single journey fic I've read and actually liked starts off in the middle of a journey. Example: Ultimatum. But of course, Ultimatum's choice for a beginning makes sense for it, so it works.

But back to the point, basically, I wasn't talking about preferences. I was just stating that I have no idea how matt could say (as if it's a fact, not a personal preference) that the starter scene is important for journey fics in general regardless of what their actual plots are, that starting it any other way means that the author didn't plan their fic all the way through, and that an abandoned fic automatically means that the author didn't plan past the part where they abandoned their work. The last point especially, really.

As for the point about where a journey begins, that was one of the points I was trying to make: not every journey has to begin the same way. It depends on one's definition of "journey," and even with the journey fic genre, that tends to be debatable. If it's a badge quest, then the definition is "trainer goes on a quest to earn badges." There's nothing in there that has to say that the trainer needs to start at a professor's laboratory where they'll be selecting their first Pokémon. If it's also a Chosen One fic, then that all depends on the plot and what it means to be a Chosen One. In that case, the Chosen One's journey can begin months before he or she even selects a Pokémon. Yes, a journey fic should start at the beginning (quite obviously), but if we consider the idea that a journey fic is just about everything that happens between Points A and B, then there's nothing in the definition that says it absolutely has to begin with a character choosing a starter.

Moreover, I'd hate to sound snarky, but... Dagzar? The journey is the plot of a journey fic. You can't really have the character go out on a massive journey away from home and not have a plot to go along with it. I mean, if your character manages to reach an epiphany by sitting around and doing nothing but talking on a couch with a bunch of other characters, then okay, maybe you don't have a plot. But if you have your character go out on a quest away from home that drives their character development and gives them a sense of purpose, then you have a plot, and you're writing based on it, even if you're not thinking, "Oh hey! I'm writing based on my plot!" Even Mentor has a plot, and whether you're conscious of it or not, your characters' actions and therefore development are revolving around it. How can I say that? Because your characters aren't sitting on a couch reenacting Waiting for Godot. (And some critics even say Waiting for Godot has a plot, so maybe that's not a great analogy.)
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