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  #1    
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:02 PM
Chaririley
 
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Although they may seem useless, our eyebrows are brilliant for conveying emotion. We arch them when we're angry, raise them when we're surprised, lower them when we're sad. However, Pokemon don't have eyebrows. I was writing a story, and I was about to write something about a Pokemon raising it's eyebrows in shock, but I realised I couldn't do that. What other ways can I show a Pokemon's emotions, rather than just tell.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 10:23 PM
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Luckily there's usually a lot more to a creature than their eyebrows. But the problem is that they're all so varied that you'd probably need to consider different ways for different Pokemon to express themselves. (For instance, ones based on inanimate objects like Magnemite or Gear won't be able to express themselves as easily as say a Lillipup).

On the subject of Lillipup, you can always look for inspiration on what sort of creature it is based off, in this case a dog. Dogs have a lot of body language such as say with their tails. Posture is another key - if you have a pet dog I think you'd agree that it's usually easy to tell when a dog is happy or sad and the differences in how they act between those. Another point for dogs I'd say is how their ears move - say for your eyebrows arched in shock' example, a dog's ears would perk right up.

I suppose youtube could even be helpful here if you don't have any to observe nearby, and there's likely a lot of info out there on how they behave. Same would go for cats, birds, and so forth.

Consider other ways one may react besides physical motion/position too in sounds made. A dog's growl means a very different thing to a whine or yelp.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 12:43 AM
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Mammalian Pokémon are likely to be lively and active when happy, as a general rule of thumb; reptilian and insectoid ones are based on animals that really don't show much emotion and don't, in some cases, have much in the way of emotions at all.

Most, however, will react to a shocking event in a similar sort of way - by giving a threat display. However, as bobandbill said, there really isn't much to be said in the way of generalisations, other than that often these warning displays are meant to make them look big - bears rearing up, cats bristling and arching their backs, birds of prey spreading their wings and ruffling their feathers (especially owls. It's adorable, if they're under a certain size, and terrifying if they're over it).

For specifics, and for what you want to show about other emotions, you're going to have to do more research, since animals, by and large, are a fairly varied group. If you're going to give emotions to a creature based on an animal whose emotions are difficult to read (Serperior) or possibly nonexistent (Spinarak) then you'll have to be more creative.

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Old July 16th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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Sometimes, it's the simple stuff like eyes widening, fidgety movement or uncontrollable rage.

Pokemon can exaggerate emotions through their natural characteristics as well. For example, a Charmander's flame can get brighter with joy. A Pichu can spark up with anger. A Roselia's roses can glow.

Doing a little pokedex research on a Pokemon can give you an array of different choices. Some Pokemon exhibit protectiveness, some cling to who they love most, etc.

Quite honestly, at times, I think there's more to Pokemon in the emotional range of writing than humans.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 03:46 PM
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As it has been said above, it partly depends on what kind of Pokémon you want to show the emotions of. Besides looking into the animals they are based off, there are some other ways you can show certain emotions, or levels of, depending on your setting.

However you don't have only the Pokémon itself to rely on, as social creatures as they are, it is a sure bet that they'll be interacting with the environment in some way to make sure their emotions are evident (if they want to make them evident, of course).

Gregarian Pokémon, I'm mostly thinking the ones based off of canids here, will probably express certain kinds of emotion by nudging each other in certain, specific ways. We know from the anime (not the best source, I know ) that mons like Pikachu will express certain emotions and social states (such as a welcome) by their readiness to cross tails. A Pokémon whose natural habitat is the caves or other enclosed spaces might react to a threat to their Trainer by assuming a body posture that "blocks" open access to them; this is easily doable with mons like Steelix or Excadrill. Pokémon like Salamence can be thought to consider their territory as everything they can survey when flying, so spreading their wings low and craning their neck to allow one to touch them can be interpreted somewhat safely as an acceptance or acknowledgement of friendship -- or of "Worthy Opponent"-ness. You can even take a page from some of the strangest behaviours of real life creatures, for example when a crow misses its partner, it "sings" its particular name repeatedly, as if trying to beacon it home; combine this with the ability of some other related birds to emulate varied tones - even those of human speech - for interesting emotional effect.

Inanimate or inorganic Pokémon are a bit harder to do, but you can still rely on their relationship with their environment to assist. Electric Pokémon as they are, Voltorb and Electrode likely have different buzz "tones" and frequencies to express different social states, probably a somewhat dull sound to merely announce their presence versus a shrieking sound to announce readiness to battle. Given their nature, Pokémon like Cryogonal or Litwick might be prone to clinging to a wall if they feel disoriented or threatened.

There is also the point of what you can do that looks "clear" most likely depends on what the source of the emotion is. If a Pokémon is trying to acknowledge another Pokémon's intentions or is enjoying what is clearly a great moment with its Trainer, and it can be shown more easily what the other member of the interaction is feeling, a convenient social shortcut is to have the Pokémon attempt some sort of imitation (if you have watched How to Train Your Dragon you might recall a particular scene showing how it almost works).

Last but not least, remember that Pokémon are not humans, and most certainly than not do not share the same scales or even scopes of what emotions to feel (if they do) or how to show them and up to what point (if they can). Use culturally-standar
d behavioural cues (such as scratching things as an indication of curiosity) or external cues (such as a Pokémon getting under its own Rain Dance to indicate sadness or depression) accepted for humans in as much as they could naturally do that, but be not afraid to just go ahead and have the Pokémon or someone else "tell" it if the signal feels like it could be incomprehensible to the other party. And be not afraid to switch the meanings of the cues around for some crosscultural teaching... after all, wouldn't a small personal rain be a thing that makes a Vaporeon feel actually happy?
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