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  #1    
Old October 22nd, 2011, 11:56 AM
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I am writing a journey fic (I know I know groaannnn) but it is not just a retelling of the games or anything it could fit as the anime more than anything but the storyline isn't near the anime it just seems more like the anime. 4 chapters in and I already have filler Joking aside I need some advice from you wonderful writers!

1. I have a bias already... My story takes place in Sinnoh with Lucas, Barry, and my Protagonist (an OC). Anyways Barry is already shining like a star... Is it possible to make your rivals too glamorous therefore in the end when you beat them it just seems forced? (like the anime?) I mean maybe my OC won't ever beat Barry but if he does I just want to know, would that seem unrealistic since Barry is proving to be more competent than Yuki (my OC lol) and Lucas?

2. Gym battles. I know the anime pulls of winning with type disadvantages but I find it hard to write this, how can a Geodude withstand a mega drain from a grass type? How would I implement something to give the battles a nice feel while still making them last long enough to seem like gym battles?

3. In my 4th chapter it shows Lucas and Yuki battle Roark is that a thing you should avoid? Like two gym battles with the same gym leader or would the reader still keep interested if the battles are different? Like with Roark you know he is just going to attack attack but if the two challengers approach it differently does that make it readable?

4. The villainous team. I know you guys hate that the OC always seems to go after the team for no reason, well my OC has a reason to go after them in the first chapter an incident occurs kind of immediately pitting him against them and in future chapters Team Galactic plays a larger role as do legendaries. Now the question I am posing is this, if the OC somehow stumbles onto this huge evil plot and is thrust into a struggle involving legendaries is this inherently bad or is it the fact people make too obvious? My story by no means will end cookiecutter but so far the start feels a bit cookiecutter to me will people even give it a chance if it starts like this?

5. Pokemon battles, I feel like when people write out detailed descriptions of attacks it feels clunky and the flow doesn't well flow. So my question is is description of all attacks really necessary? I mean if someone is reading my fan fic they don't need detailed descriptions of anything Pokemon related right? So far the only thing I tried to describe in more detail was my OC because he is not a fixture of the series. Also following this same thought process is a lack of detail going to hurt my story? I am writing this fic, which I plan to be a series of about 6, to get this thing of a journey fic from starting trainer to end out of my head before I write my real fic.

Lastly would anyone here be willing to beta read the first 4 chapters for me and let me know what they think so far and what I should add, and take away?

Oh and before I forget feel free to give me tips like what you think I should avoid with this fic and what you'd actually want to see in a journey/OC trainer fic!


Thanks in advance everyone!
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 07:34 PM
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I'm like half-asleep with a headache and frozen fingers, so I'm not going to give a lot of advice. But I didn't want to leave you with nothing. So I'll just cover what I can explain now. And feel free to ask for any clarification!

1. To me, having a stronger rival will give your OC something to strive for, if that would make sense as one of his goals. Then at the end if your OC defeats Barry, it'll show how far he's come as a trainer. To use the anime as an example, it's kind of like how Ash couldn't defeat Gary at the end of the Orange Island arc, but defeated him at the Johto Conference. Showed in a way how far Ash had come as a trainer and how much skill he gained.

I mean, your OC just started his journey, right? So of course he's going to be a bit less experienced than Barry, whose canon back story would have him make sense to be a better trainer, given who his father is.

2. Remember that there's more to Pokemon battling than just type match-up. Take the Pokemon's stats, their "level" (how skilled they are battling), what attacks they know, how their attacks can combine, and how experienced the trainer is not just in general battles but also commanding the particular Pokemon.

5. While you don't want to stop the battle to describe the Pokemon's attacks, you'll want to describe them to make the battle interesting. Instead of just saying "The Arcanine used Flamethrower", say something like:

"The Pokemon charged towards his opponent. Fire licked at his lips, curling through sharp fangs. With a sharp bark, Arcanine unleashed the attack. Flames swirled and grew around the opposing Pokemon. There was the sickening smell of living flesh burning."

And it depends on what you mean by "lack of detail." I do agree that it makes sense to not fully describe Pokemon (here's an amazing post that gives better advice on that subject), but you don't want to completely skip on every detail. Doing that risks leaving the reader behind in confusion.

If you want, I'll take a look at your fic. OT fics are my favorite fics in this fandom. I'll be able to help you out more if I see how you're writing this fic, compared to what you're writing (if that makes sense).

Hope this helps!
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 09:43 PM
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That'd be great if you could take a look at them although chapter 4 is being torn apart and remade at this point. So how should I send it to you?
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Lastly would anyone here be willing to beta read the first 4 chapters for me and let me know what they think so far and what I should add, and take away?
Well Astinus alrady offered but I'll just point out that we also have a Beta Reader thread sticky in this section for future reference.

As for some other things (for the stuff already answered I don't feel really needs any more) ...
Quote:
3. In my 4th chapter it shows Lucas and Yuki battle Roark is that a thing you should avoid? Like two gym battles with the same gym leader or would the reader still keep interested if the battles are different? Like with Roark you know he is just going to attack attack but if the two challengers approach it differently does that make it readable?
No, it isn't, as long as you keep the two battles interesting in thir own way. It really depends on how you write it, really, but it's not something that's a given to be good or bad, let's put it this way. Certainly has potential to show off how the challengers are going on their journey, how they battle, and so forth, imo.
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4. The villainous team. I know you guys hate that the OC always seems to go after the team for no reason, well my OC has a reason to go after them in the first chapter an incident occurs kind of immediately pitting him against them and in future chapters Team Galactic plays a larger role as do legendaries. Now the question I am posing is this, if the OC somehow stumbles onto this huge evil plot and is thrust into a struggle involving legendaries is this inherently bad or is it the fact people make too obvious? My story by no means will end cookiecutter but so far the start feels a bit cookiecutter to me will people even give it a chance if it starts like this?
TBH, one can argue that an OT fic doesn't need a villainous team at all. But anyways... it's not inherently bad; you just have to be careful with how you handle it. Be careful that your character doesn't become a Mary Sue/Gary Stu (in that everything goes right for them, the story revolves around them and everything works out with legendaries on top or whatnot). But it's not something that's instantly bad, no - but it's hard to say if it will work out or not given all we have to go on is a description, really. That's up to your story and writing.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 02:00 PM
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Thank you for the reply and advice! Also the evil team(s) play(s) a huge role in the arc this is going to start.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 11:17 PM
Charlie Kelly
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1. I have a bias already... My story takes place in Sinnoh with Lucas, Barry, and my Protagonist (an OC). Anyways Barry is already shining like a star... Is it possible to make your rivals too glamorous therefore in the end when you beat them it just seems forced? (like the anime?) I mean maybe my OC won't ever beat Barry but if he does I just want to know, would that seem unrealistic since Barry is proving to be more competent than Yuki (my OC lol) and Lucas?
Please, don't take anything I say here personally, but more as a general opinion I have of Pokemon-related fan fiction.

First off, be absolutely certain you want to mix original characters and established characters. I'm not saying I doubt your writing ability, as I have never read anything you've written, but make sure you know what you are doing. I have seen mixing original and official characters work... twice. One was written in a unique dairy-like style, and it involved May and an OC developing a complicated relationship. The main reason it worked for me was the complication. If your OC is straightforward about everything and never has a conflicted emotion, you don't have a character.

But I'm getting off-topic. From my first impression, this sounds like a standard, Gary Stu author-insert journey fic. Reading on, though, it seems like you are aware of this potential issue. You even offer up that you may never have your protagonist actually defeat his rival. That's a good line of thinking to have.

Continuing what I was getting at before, you have to make your characters complex. That will be what you need to work on to make your ending plausible. You have to expose Barry's weaknesses to the reader, at least, if not to your protagonist. Also, in my personal opinion, there aren't enough small victories in fan fiction as a whole. As another example, I once read a fanfic that ended with the protagonist losing a major tournament to his idol, and then later winning a rematch in private, earning the respect of his hero, which was all he really wanted all along, not a title or trophy. What I'm getting at is that I've read a lot of fanfics, and the best ones usually don't have a happy or tragic ending. There's something I once heard: The best stories are written on middle ground. It's something that's stuck with me. Without power shifts, conflicting emotions and morals, and riding that line between tragedy and comedy, there is no excitement.

If you build up in a believable way, and have Yuki learn and grow, as well as make Barry a real, complicated person and not a faceless, infallible champion, then your story can end how you see fit. You shouldn't decide to do something just to avert a cliché. Play the battle out in your head, without deciding who you want to win. Play through every scenario, and assess all the potential outcomes. In the end, you should know what outcome would be the most entertaining, and that's what you write.

Quote:
2. Gym battles. I know the anime pulls of winning with type disadvantages but I find it hard to write this, how can a Geodude withstand a mega drain from a grass type? How would I implement something to give the battles a nice feel while still making them last long enough to seem like gym battles?
Advantages and disadvantages should be an afterthought in creative writing.
"[...] the Bulbasaur quickly stood on its front legs, pointing its bulb at the seemingly distracted Geodude. A magical glow began filtering from the air into the tip of the bulb, suddenly releasing a green beam of energy towards the floating rock. The Geodude snapped back to attention and tried to avoid the attack, screeching as it made contact with its right arm. As the beam touched the rocky surface of the Geodude, it took on a red tint, which moved back towards its origin like blood pulsing through a vein. The tiny bit of stolen energy made a noticeable difference in both Pokemon, the Bulbasaur showing a newfound vitality, and the Geodude looking like it had taken a much more serious blow. If the attack had struck full-force, the rock Pokemon surely wouldn't stand a chance. [...]"
Now, of course, this paragraph isn't perfect, but you get the gist of what I was trying to show you. It's not like the games, where a mathematical equation that decides how hard an attack hits or if it even lands on the opponent, it's about two, living creatures with strategies and instincts and experience and motive.

Quote:
3. In my 4th chapter it shows Lucas and Yuki battle Roark is that a thing you should avoid? Like two gym battles with the same gym leader or would the reader still keep interested if the battles are different? Like with Roark you know he is just going to attack attack but if the two challengers approach it differently does that make it readable?
If you think you can manage it, then by all means, go for it. Though, if you're not feeling up to such a task, then by all means, time-skip over one of the battles.
"[...] The boy tilted his hat up, and grabbed his first Pokeball.

***

"Rampardos is unable to continue! The winner of this battle, and the Coal Badge, Lucas!" yelled the announcer [...]"

...or something to that effect. Unending, repetitive battles are no fun to read. Though, I would definitely encourage showing both battles, but not consecutively. Have a little side-plot between them, or something. If you make them different enough that it doesn't feel like the same battle played over with a different name, then it's definitely the preferable solution.

Quote:
4. The villainous team. I know you guys hate that the OC always seems to go after the team for no reason, well my OC has a reason to go after them in the first chapter an incident occurs kind of immediately pitting him against them and in future chapters Team Galactic plays a larger role as do legendaries. Now the question I am posing is this, if the OC somehow stumbles onto this huge evil plot and is thrust into a struggle involving legendaries is this inherently bad or is it the fact people make too obvious? My story by no means will end cookiecutter but so far the start feels a bit cookiecutter to me will people even give it a chance if it starts like this?
I have to say, I'm not a fan of villainous teams. I don't think I've ever actually read a story that does it well. It's so often a "been there, done that" feeling. Just the fact that it's a team bothers me. Don't arbitrarily make the local organized crime syndicate the antagonists. If you have a great, never-before-seen plot that must have Team Galactic behind it, then do it, but otherwise, I would avoid it like the plague. If another group of people or single person can be behind it, I would suggest taking that route. A faceless organization with 3 people of importance and dozens to hundreds of slaves to do their bidding... is surprisingly hard to make interesting. In my personal opinion, the second I think a fanfic is a cookie cutter journey story, I stop reading, and, sadly, I doubt I'm the only one. If you must use an evil team, don't reveal too much too fast. A bit of mystery can go a long way.

Quote:
5. Pokemon battles, I feel like when people write out detailed descriptions of attacks it feels clunky and the flow doesn't well flow. So my question is is description of all attacks really necessary? I mean if someone is reading my fan fic they don't need detailed descriptions of anything Pokemon related right? So far the only thing I tried to describe in more detail was my OC because he is not a fixture of the series. Also following this same thought process is a lack of detail going to hurt my story? I am writing this fic, which I plan to be a series of about 6, to get this thing of a journey fic from starting trainer to end out of my head before I write my real fic.
You have to find the right level of detail. A lot of the time, I find the clunky battle problem is usually due to the uselessness of trainer dialogue during the battles. It's very awkward to have one trainer yell "Geodude, rock throw!" and the other "Bulbasaur, dodge it!" then have a four-paragraph description about how the Geodude throws a rock. To answer your question, yes. You need some level of description. Something resembling a battle transcript from a game would be a definite no-no. You could probably get away with a fairly short summary of the entire battle, rather than a blow-by-blow. If you can't think of a way to make battles interesting, then be sure to consider all the elements. Your battle isn't limited to four moves. Most Pokemon should know how to punch or kick or throw things. Not everything has to be an official attack. Make up your own moves if you think they make sense.

Detail is always your friend, though. Always. Just be sure to make those details fun to read.

Quote:
Oh and before I forget feel free to give me tips like what you think I should avoid with this fic and what you'd actually want to see in a journey/OC trainer fic!
I think that it's hard to write a good journey fanfic. Though, it can defnitely be done well, even with nearly every cliché in the book. If you're a good writer, you can make anything work. A good writer can make you love a serial arsonist who murders babies as a hobby. It's not what your story is about, it's how well you can write it.

Good luck. Also good luck in reading this incredibly-long thing. Also sorry if it got less helpful near the end, I've been typing this on-and-off for about 2 hours.
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Old October 24th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Thank you very much for the long and thoughtful reply I will keep all this great advice in mind what was most helpful was your advice on battles that has been a major problem I am rewriting chapter 4 again and it still doesn't feel right. I just can't see Roark as a major threat, I honestly see him as someone who got his position from being a gym leaders son... Also is it a good idea to give gym leaders more Pokemon or should I keep their original teams so the reader feels more comfortable?
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Old October 25th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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You can give the Gym Leaders different Pokemon. An explanation that I've seen the fandom give is that the GLs do have different Pokemon, and they battle with certain Pokemon based on the level of the challenging trainer. Since it's figured that not every trainer follows the same path that's shown in the games/anime, it's figured that the GLs expect this and have Pokemon ready to fight any trainer at any level.

That really doesn't answer your question, but it does show that people can accept the GLs having different Pokemon than just the ones shown in the games. In fact, having different teams makes sense for the GLs. Otherwise, their Pokemon would get tired from being in constant battles, so it's would make sense for them to switch around their teams.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 01:35 PM
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I'll try and give advice where possible.

2. There are various factors you want to consider. Will the battle be inside the actual gym itself, what does the battlefield look like, what do the moves look like and act like, besides doing damage/inflicting an aliment.
For a little bit of an example, here's a small bit from a fanfiction I'm currently writing about the manga version of Pokemon:
Spoiler:

Just so you don't get lost:
Red = Manga form of Ash
Yellow = An original character from the Manga
Poli = Red's Poliwrath
Peesk = Yellow's Butterfree

Red was first to attack. "Poli, use Ice Beam!" Poli put his fists together and a frozen spear flew at Peesk.


"Peesk, fly up!" Yellow ordered. Peesk beat his wings quickly, dodging the frozen spear with ease. "String shot!" The white thread wrapped around Poli, binding him on the spot.


"Strength!" The veins on Poli's arms popped and he burst the string.


"Peesk, Poison Powder!" Peesk flapped his wings and a purple haze filled the field. It grew thicker and eventually, Red and Poli couldn't see anymore.


The haze moved quickly, "Quick, back off Poli!" Red ordered. Red and Poli jumped back, hiding themselves behind some nearby trees. The haze cleared but Yellow and Peesk were nowhere to be seen. Where'd they go?

"Confusion!" Red looked up, his opponents were above him, standing in the tree's branches. Poli was covered in a violet light and his eyes became swirled.


Red weighed his options, and then held up Poli's Pokéball. "Return!" Red replaced the ball and tried to decide who was next. "You're better than I thought."


Yellow smiled, dropping from the tree with Peesk easily, the movement very natural to her. "Thanks. But you shouldn't underestimate your opponents."

As you can see, you have to think of every single option for the battles. Try imagining the battle in your head first. Even flip a coin if you want to decide the winner. That way, the reader won't expect the hero to win every single gym battle easily. I mean, Ash lost like what, a total of 5 battles? That's one of the reason's I stopped watching the show, it was too predictable.

3. Personally, I wouldn't keep reading if there were two battles right after each other. It would get a little boring, unless you described how the gym leader kicked both of their butts during the first challenge XD

4. Throwing the hero into an evil plot he discovers by accident. That's pretty much how all stories are formed. It's not bad at all. I mean, a story would lose interest if there wasn't some sort of problem. The whole thing is about how you have the character discover this problem and what the actual problem is.

5. Detail is NECESSARY. However, you need to find the right amount of detail to put into the story. Taking a whole page on describing how a character looks is an example for too much detail. I think you should still have some detail about the battles, just not bother to include too much about what happens. However, since this is a Pokemon fic you're writing, you're going to need some amount of detail.

So, is the story still on your computer, or posted on the site somewhere? I'd like to see how it's coming along.
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