You're here?! Oh, you have no idea how happy that makes me. I love your stuff, but owing to a combination of profound laziness and continual efforts to do as much writing, drawing and gaming as possible, I don't review it as often as I should. Hell, I haven't for a really long time now. I must fix that sometime.
I've just spent five minutes attempting to formulate a coherent response to that, and finally I must concede I can't. The best I can offer is thanks, but it seems a mite inadequate.
This is a world I've been building for a long time, and it's continuous right through my other stories. I've never had any truck with the theory that the Pokémon world basically replaces Japan; the individual regions have different climates, ideologies, and, to my mind, different people that indicate that while they might be situated somewhere near Japan and taken in cultural influences from it, they're definitely nations in their own right. Which gave rise to my decision that they were island states in the Pacific Ocean (except Unova, which I view as somewhere between the Canaries and Iceland, give or take a few hundred miles), which gave rise to... well, to these reimaginings of the stories. Things flow naturally on from that point: Unova is probably distantly related to Europe, and since I've placed it quite close to Britain and Ireland culturally, I thought I might as well stuff it full of Anglo-Saxon paganism. I view Hoenn as being close to South-East Asia, so I made the dominant religion Buddhism and the climate tropical. And so forth.
As for Pokémon and animals... I just think there aren't enough Pokémon to create a viable ecosystem, and that Pokémon themselves have so many details and features that are left open to interpretation in the games that it'd be a criminal waste of resources to leave them all as they are in the official vision of their world. Besides, a great many Pokémon don't really seem suitable for farming. While probably useful for making electrical wiring, I can't see Ampharos wool being used in clothing (except as an incredibly devious way of murdering someone), for instance, so people must need to farm sheep.
To begin with, in any kind of art or literature I am fascinated by the concept of dualism - which is one of the reasons I loved Black and White so much. I can imagine the whole 'truth vs ideals' thing coming into play here, but who knows? I basically love you to bits for blending the two Unovas like this. I want to know more: do the Unovans in Jared's world have alternate dream lives like Lauren's do? He didn't mention it, but he probably wouldn't have cause to. Maybe he will when Halley wakes up tomorrow. :B
I always try and recreate the spirit of the games in the stories I write about them. Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald were all about the clash of titans and the balance between artifice and nature, so I stocked the story full of fights, ended with a titanic conflict and made the crux of the matter a terrible natural disaster that was not at all inspired by Matthew Reilly's Temple. Diamond, Pearl and Platinum were less conflict-driven and much darker: in the end, the protagonist fails to save the world, and only the intervention of a higher power saves the day. Everyone loses: Giratina's world is stuck with Cyrus, Cyrus fails to change the universe, and you fail to stop him. So I made that story darker, more serious and more driven by character and mystery than by action.
Which brings me to Crack'd. Black and White tell a story about old and new, truth and ideal, the clear-sighted and those blinded by visions of what should be; they also present two distinct versions of Unova, each of which is just as valid as the other. I couldn't decide between one or the other without sacrificing the heart of the games themselves, so I went with both - and that, in fact, decided the main thrust of the story in one go. It gave me Jared and Lauren, told me what the significance of N should be, and most importantly, gave me a reason to bring some of my favourite (and, I think, the most overlooked in terms of potential for stories) Unovan Pokémon into the things. I shall not yet reveal the precise species, since that would be far too big a hint as to what's coming, but I have a real soft spot for them.
Reilly. Awesomeness. He's a big influence on the way I write action, as you might have noticed from the preponderance of long dashes that keep cutting sentences off, and while The Six Sacred Stones wasn't in my head as I started this, key elements from his thrillers do keep turning up in my stories - namely, big angry animals (preferably mutants), escalating consequences, ridiculous stunts and a few ancient traps.
But that's not really relevant: the answer is yes. Lauren and Jared are different people with very different skillsets, as you've pointed out - and more differences are yet to come. Halley will need both of them in order to get through this.
It will. Halley's concept has changed a lot since I first thought her up, and to be honest I'm still not entirely certain how her storyline is going to end, but whichever option I choose, it will all make sense in the end.
If only I'd been reading King Lear while thinking up Cordelia's character. She would have turned out so differently. I do want to get some Lear references in there somewhere, but it's not going to be easy.
Actually, that reminds me of a wonderful piece of dialogue I read once. It's when someone is saying something incomprehensible to someone else.
"You're talking complete Lear," says the someone else, frowning slightly.
"King?" asks the first someone hopefully.
"No. Edward," replies the other crushingly.
Ah, that was a good book. A good, good book indeed.
So peace out.
Everything needs mentioning, just like everyone needs a butler. There's just no arguing with it.
Thank you for stopping by and reading - seriously; I write for pleasure and to please, and it means a lot to me that I can make people happy by doing so - and I hope I can fulfil your high expectations.
Also, it seems I posted a new chapter just as you posted your review, so... enjoy!