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Old August 13th, 2007 (5:18 AM).
doctoracula's Avatar
doctoracula doctoracula is offline
Pokémon Doctor
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Birmingham, a horrible city in England.
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Posts: 8
About three weeks ago, I came up with an idea for a fanfiction, which I have spent a good third of my day, every day, planning. However, after logging onto forums and seeing the guidelines, I'm now starting to have second thoughts about my fanfic.

While I make clear at the start of my fan fic that the story is NOT intended to be canon, and actually works similarly to a Marvel Alternate Universe, it involves probably three of the biggest clichés possible in a fan fic, i.e., characters from the anime gathering together, diabolical plot, journey to save the world. Reading over my summary, it actually sounds like a cross between an episode of the anime and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. (I admit, I'm probably not selling this very well.)

I personally believe that what I am writing will be seen as more than just a cliché riddled dump. I've been planning this fanfic for three weeks, and now that I'm actually starting the write up, I just hope that I'm not going to be flamed to death.

When I'm done with Chapter One, is there someone I can send it to who would be able to give it a look-over and decide whether I should stop wasting my time?
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Old August 13th, 2007 (1:19 PM).
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Astinus Astinus is offline
Remember NovEnder
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Connecticut, USA
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Gender: Male
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Having self-doubts about your writing is normal. Many many writers have been in your position times before. I know that I have.

Generally, with Pokemon fanfiction, I tend to overlook the clichéd openings. I mean, most starting trainers start out the same way: going down to the laboratory to get a starter. It's what happens later on in the plot that makes a difference. How do you distance your story from the "get all Gym Badges" plot?

For me, it's also a matter of writing ability. If all that one is writing is a version of the games/anime with a self-insert as the main character, then I might press the back button. But if your character doesn't wake up late and gets special fourth starter Pokemon, I'll continue to read your story. If your character reads like a real person, then I'll read it.

It's the small ways that you distance yourself in the beginning. Making the world real through description, having normal characters...these all give you points with readers and they'll stick around. And the amount of effort you're putting in is also a plus.

I'm also available to look over your chapter.
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Old August 13th, 2007 (9:40 PM).
doctoracula's Avatar
doctoracula doctoracula is offline
Pokémon Doctor
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Birmingham, a horrible city in England.
Nature: Calm
Posts: 8
Ahhh, cheers. I've finished the first chapter, I'm just doing spelling and grammar checks, and then if I'm still not entirely confident, I'll send it your way.

Thanks again mate.
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Old August 19th, 2007 (12:02 AM).
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SBaby SBaby is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Posts: 2,006
Here's my stance on cliches. It's impossible to avoid all of them in Fics (well, good ones anyway). Pokemon itself (both games and Anime) is full of them. Only having three major cliches in a Pokemon-related Fic isn't too shabby. Go ahead and post it.

If you're afraid of canonity, just put a disclaimer saying that it won't be canon. That should solve any issues you might have with that.
If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you will never get it done.

- Bruce Lee

The worst thing you can do in a business is blame the customer.

- Willie 'Jack' Degel
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Old August 19th, 2007 (2:01 AM).
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Frostweaver Frostweaver is offline
Ancient + Prehistoric
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canada
Age: 27
Gender: Male
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Posts: 8,246
I am opposite and believe that you probably should just leave it as it is, without any disclaimer... if the story is not intended to be canonical, then the story will tell the reader itself. I hate disclaimers that talk about plot instead of ratings (PG, G, etc) or other things that actually belong to disclaimers...

It's fine to start out with professors giving out Pokemon or something "unoriginal" like that. The guidelines are intended for people who don't have the most experience in writing. They are acceptable, but I'm sure everyone will admit that it's harder to pull off a story that starts off with some trainer picking up some Pokemon from some professor than an original start. You are going up against the tide, but if you succeed to keep your readers interest with the tiny information or writing style, the payoff is usually better. If readers endured the "standardized OT beginning" then you got a very good chance that those readers will stay with you until the end.

It's a gamble. You do have it harder for yourself, but are you confident in your writing skills to go for the bigger payoff? If it works now, then it's a great indicator that as long as you keep up the same writing quality, the entire fanfic will probably work.
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