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  #1    
Old November 25th, 2007 (03:48 PM). Edited November 26th, 2007 by Dogar The Brave.
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Ok, one of the hardest things to do in any Pokemon fan fiction is to choose when to evolve your character's Pokemon. I know there is already a section here for this but it's a paragraph long and trust me, this is way to hard to explain in a paragraph.

So let's start!

Yamato-san wishes to note:

Quote:
I think it's worth noting that not everyone is going to follow the games when it comes to the level of wild Pokemon. Remember, it's just a game, there's clearly meant to be a difficulty curve. As with most RPGs, there'll conveniently be low-level enemies around the area that you start off in, and higher level enemies as you go along. In a more realistic setting (which most fic-writers go with, as well as official media like the anime and manga), you're capable of finding all manner of Pokemon, evolved and unevolved, powerful and weak, old and newborn, almost completely regardless of location (I say "almost" because one could take into account that certain Pokemon can migrate and be given specific nesting grounds by the writer, thus a different distribution of age, strength, and evolution that's logical). Thus, the evolution of a Pokemon shouldn't be gauged by how long they've been with their Trainer and battled on-screen. Rather, since most writers will just display a Pokemon's strength and skill as is instead of using numbers to represent level and status, how long they've got until evolution should be more or less determined by how strong they seem to be by the time the Trainer catches it (said strength being in comparison to other members of the same species... obviously, you don't need a Caterpie to be at a stage where it can smash boulders with Tackle before it can become a Metapod). Since I brought it up, I also highly advise that you keep the Pokemon's strength consistent. This is a problem which plagues the official media, especially the anime (though, I don't believe the manga's exactly innocent of this neither).
First off, there are a lot of factors you have to put into play when evolving a Pokemon. Like where to evolve the Pokemon? Well, we all know that Pokemon evolve at different levels, right? Well, there really isn't a point (in a fan fiction) of getting a Caterpie and Dratini in Viridian Forest and to evolve them both as soon as your character beats Brock because Caterpie evolves at level seven, and Dratini evolves at level thirty. You have to have paitience when evolving a Pokemon. If you don't, then I'm afraid you aren't going to get anywhere. Face it, nobody likes it when a Pokemon evolves too early - it's stupid and ilogical. Some people say you should stick with the way it happens in the games, your starter should evolve around the second gym and should evolve again around the fifth or sixth. Personally I don't go with that sort of thing because really it depends on the lifespan of your story. So don't rush things, you'll know the right time for your Pokemon to evolve when it comes.

Jax Malcolm replied:

Quote:
And, well, what happens in the story and how often the starter is shown battling. In some stories, the trainer doesn't get to the city with the second Gym for twenty or so chapters because he or she is constantly distracted or ends up doing little "side quests" where he or she might be running around with their starter a lot. So, in that case, the starter might evolve before the second Gym. Likewise, there are some stories that follow the games' line exactly, so they may evolve after the second Gym. Or alternatively, the Pokemon may simply choose to not evolve right away. It all depends, as I've said, on what you're doing in the story.

Although I do agree that you shouldn't rush things, that advice holds true with anything you do in a Pokemon fic anyway.
Of course, the amount of time you have had the Pokemon doesn't really matter until it has it's fair share of Pokemon battles, right? I mean, you could catch a Geodude in Mt Moon and walk all the way to Cinnabar Island without letting him battle, then you use him once and he evolves? No, time obviously isn't the only element here. Make sure your Pokemon has battled a couple of times and that it hasn't been neglected.

Yamato-san had to make input here:

Quote:
On the matter of timing being convenient.... personally, I'm planning to bend the game's rules of evolution just a little and make it so a Pokemon's health completely recovers after evolving. It's much like they do in other monster-raising franchises, like the Digimon anime, or the game Jade Cocoon 2.... it actually makes sense when you think about it. Seeing as evolution is most often indicated by a glow and shape-changing, one could assume it's triggered by a release of pure energy, accumulated in the body over time, powerful enough to completely change the Pokemon's bodily structure and, subsequently, instantly heal any wounds and bruised tissue in the process (the same could apply to evolution items, namely the stones which are stated in canon to contain a type of radiation). Evolution can be used as a trump card meant strictly for when the Pokemon is pushed to their very limits. With that said, I can logically have a Pokemon evolve in my story when it's really convenient (but conversely, it can be really hindering to the Pokemon or Trainer, who's choosing to deal with a weaker body until that critical moment comes... though in contrast to that, a Pokemon that kicks a lot of ass in its unevolved form, clearly having far exceeded the level of strength required to proceed to the next stage, will become godly the second it evolves).
Jax Malcolm Replied:

Quote:
This I tend to sway back and forth with. It depends on the evolution, really. Happiness evolutions don't necessarily need battles to trigger, and the anime has shown us that there are cases where evolution can be triggered by the amount of experience a Pokemon has gained, even by using its abilities for other, non-battling purposes (although it may have one or two battles just before it evolves). It just depends on what your storyline calls for.

Of course, that isn't to say that everyone needs to go out and model after the anime. I'm just saying that there may be room for different types of experience.
Bonding. Personally I hate it, but as everybody else loves it I may as well put this in too. In the anime, you normally have to be close to your Pokemon before it can evolve - which is pretty thick, if you ask me. Because it more or less defies all logic, I mean, you have a level thirty one Dragonair and it goes up one level and evolves because you had a vacation with it? That's just ilogical and a waste of a paragraph to me.

Why, none other than Yamato-san:

Quote:
That same rule could apply to any Pokemon, really. They can seem strong enough to evolve, but just aren't doing it for whatever reason, leaving their evolution open for a convenient moment (I'm sure several writers prefer making evolution seem dramatic and in the heat of a moment rather than evolving when they're just out in the open, having finished off a random wild battle with a Rattata... for that matter, I'm sure there've been several complaints that the games don't allow Pokemon to evolve in the middle of a Trainer battle). Aside from that "full recovery" rule I'm adding in, I also intend to feature a Pokemon that, somewhat in-synch with its Trainer, doesn't evolve until the Trainer becomes enraged at a gang taking him lightly. Essentially, it stops being in a cute and playful form the second its Trainer acts serious about trying to be strong (though, I don't intend to outright say this in the story, instead leaving it to subtle interpretation).
Of course, Jax Malcolm had to reply:

Quote:
Not necessarily. Charmeleon evolved out of pride, not because he liked Ash. In fact, he got right back to torching Ash's rear as a Charizard after he tried to prove he was the better dragon compared to Aerodactyl.

Also, please note that bonding with the Pokemon does not mean the same thing as having fun. Really, what people imply by allowing the Pokemon to evolve out of a feel-good moment is because it's the Pokemon's choice to. (You've actually put this in a separate category, although I really think that it's the same thing. By the time the trainer-Pokemon bond is strong enough, the trainer respects his or her Pokemon as a living thing, meaning the evolution is left up to the Pokemon, particularly due to...) The Pokemon may evolve to defend its trainer, to prove that its trainer is a decent person (see the way Ash won the Cascade Badge in Electric Tales of Pikachu), or generally because it's had enough time to learn how to trust the trainer, which circles back to what you were saying about how time + battle experience = evolution. (As in, during that time that the Pokemon learned to trust the other trainer, it was also serving as its partner.)
Pokemon and trainer relationship is another factor. Some say it's the same as bonding, I do not. As taken from my friend Glajummy: If the bond is strong, evolution will soon follow. That's more or less it really, I mean, if you have a character who kicks his Eevee all day and then the Eevee wins a battle and evolves into an Umbreon, that fan fiction wouldn't make any sense.
Alter Ego wanted to point out:

Quote:
Alter Ego interjected:

Quote:
As for evolution...I'd like to add symbolic value to the mix as well. It's sort of a less than ideal example, but when writing for a character of mine (RP character, mind you, and one whose RP was shot down from beneath her, alas, but a character noentheless) I used her first pokémon, a Ralts, as an indicator of her personal development. My character was kind of an introverted intellectual type, so I made the growth of her pokémon dependent on her growth as a person, namely so that evolutions wouldn't occur until she learned to open up to others and express her emotions. Since pokémon from the Ralts line are supposed to grow when exposed to positive emotions from their trainer I sort of had a justification for it too.) It's a bit of a stereotypical example (I enjoy the occasional cliché, so sue me. xP) but evolutions do hold a strong symbolic value, so I see nothing wrong with an author making use of that. It's not like significant character development can reasonably occur in every chapter anyway, so the pace (in terms of accumulating experience etc.) shouldn't become a problem with that method. x3
Now, another thing from the Pokemon anime. Whether or not the Pokemon wants itself to evolve. Bulbasaur and Pikachu both rejected the offer and so can your character's Pokemon, I guess. But there has to be a lot of understanding there between trainer and Pokemon to work.

Alter Ego said:

Quote:
And...I'd add a small warning tag to the 'evolution by necessity' thing. Sure, if it's once in a while why not? But there's a danger of turning evolution into too much of a deus ex machina thing by having a handy new evolution manifest itself each and every time your character has their back against the wall. Not all evolution has to be triggered by crisis. I mean, these are not Digimon we're talking about here.
Of course, there are some authors who will want their Squirtle to evolve into Wartortle after route one. That's not realistic, but if it's the way you want to go I can't exactly stop you.

Ok, that's all I can think of for now, PM me if I left anything out!
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  #2    
Old November 25th, 2007 (04:03 PM).
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THANK YOU. That clears up a lot. If I ever write a fan-fic I'll consider that, even though the part about the abused Eevee evolving into Umbreon and the entire fan-fic being locked seems a tad extreme.
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  #3    
Old November 25th, 2007 (04:07 PM). Edited November 26th, 2007 by Dogar The Brave.
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I know, but I had to make a point... It was meant as a joke, really... Well, not really. I was just making a point... Nobody would believe that! It was a figure of speech!
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Old November 25th, 2007 (04:13 PM).
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Albeit there are a few spelling/grammar mistakes, you get right to the point and for that, I applaud you! *claps*

Quote:
As taken from my friend Glajummy: If the bond is strong, evolution will soon follow.
Yay! New friend!

Quote:
even though the part about the abused Eevee evolving into Umbreon and the entire fan-fic being locked seems a tad extreme
.

The thread won't get locked but there's a good chance that you'll lose a lot of readers.
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Old November 25th, 2007 (05:12 PM).
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To answer the latter question...

Quote:
and Dratinini evolves at level thirty
Dratini. Although this is amusing nonetheless. XD

Quote:
Evolving them both as soon
Technically, evolving is not a term that's generally capitalized in the Pokemon fandom (whereas a lot of other things are... which is strange).

Quote:
You have have paitience when evolving a Pokemon.
Patience. Also, probably need a "to" between those two haves.

Quote:
it's stupid and unlogical.
Illogical.

Quote:
Some people say you should stick with the way it happens in the games, your starter should evolve around the second gym and should evolve again around the fifth or sixth. Personally I don't go with that sort of thing because really it depends on the lifespan of your story.
And, well, what happens in the story and how often the starter is shown battling. In some stories, the trainer doesn't get to the city with the second Gym for twenty or so chapters because he or she is constantly distracted or ends up doing little "side quests" where he or she might be running around with their starter a lot. So, in that case, the starter might evolve before the second Gym. Likewise, there are some stories that follow the games' line exactly, so they may evolve after the second Gym. Or alternatively, the Pokemon may simply choose to not evolve right away. It all depends, as I've said, on what you're doing in the story.

Although I do agree that you shouldn't rush things, that advice holds true with anything you do in a Pokemon fic anyway.

Quote:
Of course, the amount of time you have had the Pokemon doesn't really matter until it has it's fair share of Pokemon battles, right?
This I tend to sway back and forth with. It depends on the evolution, really. Happiness evolutions don't necessarily need battles to trigger, and the anime has shown us that there are cases where evolution can be triggered by the amount of experience a Pokemon has gained, even by using its abilities for other, non-battling purposes (although it may have one or two battles just before it evolves). It just depends on what your storyline calls for.

Of course, that isn't to say that everyone needs to go out and model after the anime. I'm just saying that there may be room for different types of experience.

Quote:
In the anime, you normally have to be close to your Pokemon before it can evolve -
Not necessarily. Charmeleon evolved out of pride, not because he liked Ash. In fact, he got right back to torching Ash's rear as a Charizard after he tried to prove he was the better dragon compared to Aerodactyl.

Also, please note that bonding with the Pokemon does not mean the same thing as having fun. Really, what people imply by allowing the Pokemon to evolve out of a feel-good moment is because it's the Pokemon's choice to. (You've actually put this in a separate category, although I really think that it's the same thing. By the time the trainer-Pokemon bond is strong enough, the trainer respects his or her Pokemon as a living thing, meaning the evolution is left up to the Pokemon, particularly due to...) The Pokemon may evolve to defend its trainer, to prove that its trainer is a decent person (see the way Ash won the Cascade Badge in Electric Tales of Pikachu), or generally because it's had enough time to learn how to trust the trainer, which circles back to what you were saying about how time + battle experience = evolution. (As in, during that time that the Pokemon learned to trust the other trainer, it was also serving as its partner.)

Quote:
there Squirtle
Their.
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  #6    
Old November 25th, 2007 (05:29 PM).
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Originally Posted by Lord94 View Post
Thanks, Malcolm, I edited most of it in... If that's ok?
No problem. And to add, it definitely depends on the writer/storyline. Some of my advice definitely doesn't work for some stories (like the experience through other means idea), and for others, it does. ^_^;
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  #7    
Old November 25th, 2007 (06:20 PM).
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I think it's worth noting that not everyone is going to follow the games when it comes to the level of wild Pokemon. Remember, it's just a game, there's clearly meant to be a difficulty curve. As with most RPGs, there'll conveniently be low-level enemies around the area that you start off in, and higher level enemies as you go along. In a more realistic setting (which most fic-writers go with, as well as official media like the anime and manga), you're capable of finding all manner of Pokemon, evolved and unevolved, powerful and weak, old and newborn, almost completely regardless of location (I say "almost" because one could take into account that certain Pokemon can migrate and be given specific nesting grounds by the writer, thus a different distribution of age, strength, and evolution that's logical). Thus, the evolution of a Pokemon shouldn't be gauged by how long they've been with their Trainer and battled on-screen. Rather, since most writers will just display a Pokemon's strength and skill as is instead of using numbers to represent level and status, how long they've got until evolution should be more or less determined by how strong they seem to be by the time the Trainer catches it (said strength being in comparison to other members of the same species... obviously, you don't need a Caterpie to be at a stage where it can smash boulders with Tackle before it can become a Metapod). Since I brought it up, I also highly advise that you keep the Pokemon's strength consistent. This is a problem which plagues the official media, especially the anime (though, I don't believe the manga's exactly innocent of this neither).

On the matter of timing being convenient.... personally, I'm planning to bend the game's rules of evolution just a little and make it so a Pokemon's health completely recovers after evolving. It's much like they do in other monster-raising franchises, like the Digimon anime, or the game Jade Cocoon 2.... it actually makes sense when you think about it. Seeing as evolution is most often indicated by a glow and shape-changing, one could assume it's triggered by a release of pure energy, accumulated in the body over time, powerful enough to completely change the Pokemon's bodily structure and, subsequently, instantly heal any wounds and bruised tissue in the process (the same could apply to evolution items, namely the stones which are stated in canon to contain a type of radiation). Evolution can be used as a trump card meant strictly for when the Pokemon is pushed to their very limits. With that said, I can logically have a Pokemon evolve in my story when it's really convenient (but conversely, it can be really hindering to the Pokemon or Trainer, who's choosing to deal with a weaker body until that critical moment comes... though in contrast to that, a Pokemon that kicks a lot of ass in its unevolved form, clearly having far exceeded the level of strength required to proceed to the next stage, will become godly the second it evolves).

That same rule could apply to any Pokemon, really. They can seem strong enough to evolve, but just aren't doing it for whatever reason (like the aforementioned trump card), realistically leaving their evolution open for a convenient moment (and I'm sure several writers prefer making evolution seem dramatic and in the heat of a moment rather than evolving when they're just out in the open, having finished off a random wild battle with a Rattata... for that matter, I'm sure there've been several complaints that the games don't allow Pokemon to evolve in the middle of a Trainer battle). Aside from that "full recovery" rule I'm adding in, I also intend to feature a Pokemon that, somewhat in-synch with its Trainer, doesn't evolve until the Trainer becomes enraged at a gang taking him lightly. Essentially, it stops being in a cute and playful form the second its Trainer acts serious about trying to be strong (though, I don't intend to outright say this in the story, instead leaving it to subtle interpretation).
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  #8    
Old November 26th, 2007 (10:32 AM).
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Perhaps I'm being overly snarky about the whole thing because that's the person that I am, but couldn't all of this advice just be summed up with: "It depends on the writer and the story that they're writing"? Yes, I would tack on the "logical" part, but it is assumed that people do have logic. (But we all know what assuming does.)

For example, this part here: Of course, there are some authors who will want their Squirtle to evolve into Wartortle after route one. That's not realistic, but if it's the way you want to go I can't exactly stop you.

If the writer wants their character to train their Pokemon day and night because they think that that will give them an advantage against opponents, then yes, a Squirtle will evolve into a Wartortle on Route One. It depends on the characters, it depends on the story plot, it depends on the writer.

It's like the whole capitalization thing. Some people capitalize all Pokemon names, no matter what. Other people only capitalize the Pokemon names if they are used as a name for the creature. But no one is right or wrong, no one can say that anyone is right or wrong. It's just subjective.

Quote:
In the anime, you normally have to be close to your Pokemon before it can evolve - which is pretty thick, if you ask me. Because it more or less defies all logic, I mean, you have a level thirty one Dragonair and it goes up one level and evolves because you had a vacation with it? That's just ilogical and a waste of a paragraph to me.
That's your opinion about it though. For someone who wants that to happen in their story, they can write it no matter what. Maybe the Dragonair didn't want to evolve until it was sure that its trainer actually cared for it, and a break from the battling showed that. (By the way, you still spelled "illogical" wrong.)

It's a guide to how evolution could work in fanfics, but it's really not the end-all of all evolution guides. The main reason is because the whole process can be looked at in different ways. (Yamato-san writes his Pokemon recovering health after evolution, others might not.) It's just all up to the writer.

Quote:
That's more or less it really, I mean, if you have a character who kicks his Eevee all day and then the Eevee wins a battle and evolves into an Umbreon, that fan fiction wouldn't make it to the revision bin, it'd be locked.
I highly suggest that you edit this out, especially the "locking threads" part. I've had people ask me if this would mean that I would go on a thread-locking spree. You are not the moderator of this section, and so I would suggest that you do not make moderator-level decisions. Yes, I would think that that situation would be illogical, and I might not agree with it, but it is no reason to lock a person's fic.
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  #9    
Old November 26th, 2007 (10:51 AM).
Dogar The Brave
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Hanako Tabris said:

Quote:
I highly suggest that you edit this out, especially the "locking threads" part. I've had people ask me if this would mean that I would go on a thread-locking spree. You are not the moderator of this section, and so I would suggest that you do not make moderator-level decisions. Yes, I would think that that situation would be illogical, and I might not agree with it, but it is no reason to lock a person's fic.
That is what you said - however raichuchika said it as well:

Quote:
THANK YOU. That clears up a lot. If I ever write a fan-fic I'll consider that, even though the part about the abused Eevee evolving into Umbreon and the entire fan-fic being locked seems a tad extreme.
To which I replied:

Quote:
I know, but I had to make a point... It was meant as a joke, really... Well, not really. I was just making a point... Nobody would believe that! It was a figure of speech!
As for the whole:
Quote:
"It depends on the writer and the story that they're writing"
thing, we all know what happens there - and your argument about them evolving on route one after battling loads of battles there is a good side to the argument - all I'm saying is that all I ever see is a Bulbasaur beats a Pidgey, congratulations, your Bulbasaur has evolved. That's why I felt the need for this whole thread.
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  #10    
Old November 26th, 2007 (12:05 PM).
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On the Internet, it is very difficult to tell if someone is being facetious or not. I don't like receiving worried questions about whether or not a joke is going to become a new rule. You might just be making a point, but you have to be particularly careful about how that point is made, especially when giving advice.

Take a look at Frosty's thread. He kept his opinions out of it, allowed for open interpretation about what he said. I did the same with my own thread, saying that I followed American grammar rules, but British English was also accepted.

It's a joke to you, but one that has people concerned, and it reflects onto me as I am the one with the power to lock threads. Don't joke about something that serious.

Quote:
all I'm saying is that all I ever see is a Bulbasaur beats a Pidgey, congratulations, your Bulbasaur has evolved.
To be quite honest, in all my years of reading Pokemon fanfics, I have never seen an evolution happen that quickly. I have seen other things that made me wonder, but that has never been seen by me.

Still, if an author does do this, and has no logical explanation for it, then they should be guided along. Yes, I would probably point them to this guide, but to be honest and perhaps snarky, I would be more inclined to just say "You know, it's just not logical for evolution to happen that fast." Then I would go on to ask if there was a good reason for it to happen that hasn't been revealed yet, like the Bulbasaur is actually older than other starters, or just had more experience, or the Pidgey was stronger than normal and gave more experience, or whatever.

And, you know, not joke around with the thread closing.

I still say that this is a matter best left to the people's opinion, and to not force one's own views onto everyone. Your "personally, I feel that..." and the fact that there's still no real guidelines to how to go about evolution continue to rub me the wrong way. Everything is still left up to an opinion. Even Jax said that "It all depends, as I've said, on what you're doing in the story."

It's a matter of opinion.

Other guides were written to set some form of standard for authors to shoot for. This one, however, is just people saying that there are different ways to approach dealing with evolution in their fics. No way is the correct way.
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  #11    
Old November 26th, 2007 (12:10 PM).
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My whole point is that it is opinion but that some people's opinions are crazy - like you yourself have pointed out. I didn't mean to anger you with my remarks, to be honest I can't beleive how anybody could think that what I was writing about in that sentence had any tone of seriousness at all.
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  #12    
Old November 26th, 2007 (12:36 PM).
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In my fic, evolution (not that any has happened yet) plays a big part in changing the actual character (and those around it) especially given certain circumstances. It can change the pokemon's personality and/or other's views of it.

Just wanted to add that, I dunno if it's relavent at all.
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  #13    
Old November 26th, 2007 (12:51 PM).
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Ok, all sorted out - but guys, could we delete the posts that don't really make a contribution to this?

and to grovyle42: Do you mean the Pokemon's personality changes and people act different towards it because it isn't what it used to be?
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  #14    
Old November 26th, 2007 (01:16 PM).
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Originally Posted by Lord94 View Post
Ok, all sorted out - but guys, could we delete the posts that don't really make a contribution to this?
Careful with the mini-modding.

I'm guessing that what Griff is talking about is how evolution could be seen as a process of growing up. Like maturing. If the Pokemon is old enough, after gaining experience with battles and learning about the world, then they could handle evolution. Maybe evolution doesn't even begin unless the Pokemon is mature enough, when they show that they can handle the new power that they will receive. That's how I see it. Perhaps I've just been playing with my Tamagotchis too long.
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Old November 26th, 2007 (02:18 PM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord94 View Post
and to grovyle42: Do you mean the Pokemon's personality changes and people act different towards it because it isn't what it used to be?
Yeah that's pretty much it.. even if the personality HASN'T changed.
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  #16    
Old November 26th, 2007 (02:24 PM).
Dogar The Brave
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Join Date: Oct 2007
@ Hanako Tabris: Was that mini modding? My bad.

@ Grovyle42: Ok, I quite like that point - I just need to figure out how to phrase it...
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