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Old November 5th, 2015 (6:31 PM). Edited November 22nd, 2015 by SeleneHime.
SeleneHime's Avatar
SeleneHime SeleneHime is offline
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but I'll take both just to be sure.
    Join Date: Feb 2011
    Location: Somewhere in my mind ...
    Age: 23
    Gender: Female
    Nature: Quiet
    Posts: 124
    “Story should be a descent -- the feeling that there is an intense gravity to the narrative that draws you down, down, down.” - Chuck Wendig.
    There, now we have the obligatory writing quote out of the way. But I do like quotes, so we’re going to be seeing more of those later.

    The Pokemon universe has expanded at a steady rate since it’s release, and even if you have been with us since the beginning, there’s still quite a bit to wade through to figure out how to write for the fandom. A genre unto itself, it has countless subgenres and niches inside those genres - canonized epics, journey fics, Mystery Dungeon, pokemorphs, rebirth, original region, and more. Since listing the entire spectrum would probably leave us with the biggest run-on sentence in history, I’ll be brief and cross that bridge when we get there.

    All the same, I’d like to make a distinction on how this guide may differ from other popular resources in the fandom.

    Fanfiction is a sandbox. I’m not going to police the fact that you might want to explore popular ideas, or that you might like a popular pokemon for your story. Fanfiction is a learning tool, a hobby, and sometimes just a creative outlet. We own nothing but what we put into the world, but without the setting, our fandom wouldn’t exist. Let your fellow writers grow. The only way you get better is to make mistakes, and those mistakes will be made regardless of how often people go for the jugular. Make your criticism constructive, and leave the dreaded cliche witch hunts in Europe.

    * * * * *

    1. Writing Basics
    1.1. Word Processors and Basic Resources
    1.2. Grammar
    1.3. Language and Style Rules
    1.4. Misspelled and Misused Words
    1.4.1. Numbers in Writing
    2. Point of View
    2.1. Description
    2.2. Dialogue
    3. Plottage
    4. Setting, World Building
    4.1. Culture: Japan
    4.2. Culture: France
    5. Framework
    5.1. Titles
    5.2. Synopsis
    6. Characters
    6.1. Mary Sue, the Phenomena
    6.1.1. Underdeveloped Characters, Common Pitfalls
    6.2. Protagonists
    6.3. Antagonists
    6.3.1. Rivals
    6.3.2. “Big Bad”
    6.4. Supporting Characters
    7. Battles
    8. Pokemon (General)
    8.1. Popular Pokemon
    8.2. Unpopular Pokemon
    8.3. Legendaries
    9. Mature Topics
    9.1. Abuse
    9.2. Suicide
    9.3. Drug Use
    9.4. Psychological & Medical Conditions
    10. Religion in the Pokemon Setting
    11. Science and Technology
    12. Fantasy and Magic (AUs)
    13. Original Regions
    14. Fandom-specific Genres
    14.1. Journey Fics
    14.2. Rebirth
    14.3. Pokemorphs
    More is liable to be added, be it on request or if I realized I forgot something. (Also note that updates will be slow, since I'm a pre-med student.)
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    Old November 5th, 2015 (6:39 PM). Edited December 20th, 2015 by SeleneHime.
    SeleneHime's Avatar
    SeleneHime SeleneHime is offline
    The pen may be mightier than the sword, but I'll take both just to be sure.
      Join Date: Feb 2011
      Location: Somewhere in my mind ...
      Age: 23
      Gender: Female
      Nature: Quiet
      Posts: 124
      “I then go miserably enough to the typewriter and I edit with tiny little pen scribbles until you can't read it anymore. And then, I put it into a word processor.” - Campell Geeslin
      At some point or another, all of us have realized that writing directly online (and not into a program like GoogleDocs) is a bad idea. Be it because your power went out and you lost your work, or simply because you realized that there was no efficient way to track what was going on in your projects, a different approach needed to be made.

      Because what works for one writer may not work for another, I’ve hunted down additional options outside of what I use. These will be categorized into sections (paid, free, online, and novelty), and I’ll post commentary on the ones I have used enough to be familiar with. If you’d like me to quote your experience with a program, I’ll be happy to edit it in if you contact me.
      • Carrots (^) denote the programs I’ve used.
      • Asterisks (*) denote personal favorites.

      * * * * *

      • Scrivener [^*] - As a word processor, Scrivener is my personal favorite. It has a mountain of features that serve different uses depending on what kind of writing you’re doing, supports imported fonts, and most importantly, supports parent files. You can hoard your entire project under a single name in your hard drive, and then compare scenes with side-by-side file viewing. As you might imagine, this program is fantastic for organizers and planners, and it lends itself well for novels and long fanfictions.
      - For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, Scrivener also supports a sale every November. The normally hefty price ($40) is halved for winners, but anyone can get a free 30-day trial to see if the program works for you. The best thing about the trial is that it only counts the number of days you actually open the program, so you don’t waste time if you happen to get busy.
      - For Mac users, Scrivener 2 has recently become available, and supports online use now.
      • Microsoft Word [^*] - Kind of a no-brainer, here, but the prices go up with every release of updated software. Nevertheless reliable, even if the grammar corrections try to make you sound like an idiot half the time.
      • OmmWriter [^] - I actually have Dana I, the original free release of this program, but it works well for minimizing distraction on “Oh, squirrel” days, as a full-screen program with few options. Dana II is supposed to be the same base program with a few more bells and whistles, such as different background images or ambient music. Support is available.
      • NewNovelist V3
      • PageFour
      • Zen Writer

      • LibreOffice [^*] - My preference to Open Office when using a substitute program of Word. It may struggle with large documents (one such document is 700 pages and it takes two minutes to load all the way), but otherwise is a sound program with options comparable to the Microsoft processor and supports dyslexia-friendly fonts.
      • Open Office [^] - I’ve tried this one, but I’m personally not very fond of it due to frequent crashing on prior versions. It also struggles with behemoth files even more than Libre. It does offer similar features to MS Word, but the trick is getting the program to stay running.
      • FocusWriter [^] - Similar to OmmWriter’s Dana I and II, minus the ambient music. In return, it also supports customizable background themes, daily goals, and timer alarms. Perfectly functional and has been updated recently, I believe to version 1.5.5. Support is available.
      • Q10
      • yWriter5
      • Momentum Writer
      • My Writing Spot
      • WriteMonkey
      • Dark Room
      • AbiWord

      • GoogleDrive/Docs [^*] - Currently the only cloud system I use for my writing, and I find it works rather well - accessibility, the important features of word processing, and the key factor that nothing will be lost. Has fewer options than Word, but also can export into multiple file types.
      • LitLift
      • Yarny
      • Hiveword
      • Calmly Writer
      • Writer
      • Celtx

      Novelty (Not actual word processors)
      • Write or Die 2 [^] - A negative-reinforcement productivity booster that you can set to shock you with obnoxious alerts or to outright punish you for not writing by deleting what was already in the window.
      • Written Kitten [^] - A positive-reinforcement productivity booster that plies you with cute pictures every x-amount of words. It will temporarily save your work if you accidentally close a tab, but it isn’t meant to support file storage.
      • Storybook

      * * * * *

      Utmost Basics:
      And now for the generalized resources:
      • TVtropes - This site needs a warning label as a time sink. But the good thing is that you get a lot out of it, for the time you do spend. TVtropes is something of a writer’s wiki, and covers the innumerable facets of storytelling and from all angles. New writers will get the most benefit from browsing the stacks, and experienced writers still might find something new or an idea to chase.
        - TVtropes/Bad Writing
      • Mythic Scribes - General writing articles with a focus on fantasy fiction.
      • - General writing articles.
      • Wikipedia - Believe it or not, it’s actually not a bad idea to read a new topic here for a few hours, to get an idea of what you even need to learn and research more of.
      • Google - It is your friend. The best search results will come from this engine, but there is an even better one for official research:
      • Google.Scholar - Narrows down search results to credible sources.
      • MayoClinic - Anyone writing with medical references could probably use to double check their facts here. It’s no substitute for actually knowing the medical field, but it is a good start.

      Informative Blogs:
      Pokemon-Specific Wikis:
      Ambient Noise:
      - Alternate options on site: Epic Music and Relaxing Chill
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      Old November 11th, 2015 (9:59 AM).
      SeleneHime's Avatar
      SeleneHime SeleneHime is offline
      The pen may be mightier than the sword, but I'll take both just to be sure.
        Join Date: Feb 2011
        Location: Somewhere in my mind ...
        Age: 23
        Gender: Female
        Nature: Quiet
        Posts: 124
        My muse is a fickle thing and decided meta-writing would be amusing for this guide.

        The paper in his hand was red enough to have come from a crime scene. Ink bled over the mistakes, and Simon grumbled under his breath as he circled another typo. He did enjoy his job, but some days less so than others. This was one of those days. “Brigid, remind me why I said I’d teach secondary this year?”

        The meowth in question lifted her head and flicked a black ear at him. Brigid yawned as she rose from her pretty pink cushion, flexing every digit of her paws in an exaggerated stretch. Half a second later, she was seated squarely in the middle of her human’s graded projects.

        Simon bopped her on the head with his pen. “Off the papers.”


        “Move your tail, Brig.” Simon watched her from the corner of his eye, his stare increasingly bland. “Okay, how about this? You can move your furry tush, or I’ll sit on you and read every mangled word of this adolescent fantasy in full theater dramatica.”

        She moved.

        “Thank you.”

        His finicky feline bared her teeth in response. Just long enough to let him know the threat wasn’t appreciated, but it got the message across. Simon just snorted and lifted his arm. As expected, the tawny cat pushed into his lap and sat down with a huff. “Someone’s a cranky kitty tonight. Just imagine how miffed you’d be in my boots.”
        - - - - -
        “English is the sort to mug other languages in dark alleys and sift through their pockets for loose grammar and vocabulary.” - James D. Nicoll (Paraphrased)
        Linguists and conlangers can appreciate the fact that language is an ever-evolving thing, but that doesn’t mean that we can ignore or massacre the basic rules of English. Fortunately for you, I absolutely loathe sentence diagramming, so I won’t be getting into that. What I will do is cover the elements of applied style, and how they might be altered without detracting from the flow of the story.

        - - - - -

        The basic components of grammar, both as review and for people using English as their second language.

        Nouns: We all know what these are, I hope. A word used to describe a person, place, thing, event, idea, and so on.

        Proper Nouns: The name of a unique person, place, or thing and always begin with a capital letter. Ex; Mary, Kanto, et cetera. (A point I will stress - ‘Pokemon Center’ will be capitalized as the name of a place, but ‘Pokemon’ will not be, by itself. Nor will the species names of pokemon - such as pikachu or mareep - unless the species is being treated as a name. Arceus will be capitalized if your POV regards it as a god, as no one would have the arrogance to give a god a name with more familiarity. Your partners, though? Most people would have the dignity to give them a name that offers distinction from the rest of their species.)

        Pronouns: Used to replace nouns in sentences and reduce the mechanical sound. She, he, it, they. (Grammar books will debate this, but agender people have claimed it and they as their singular pronouns. Respect that.) Alternatively for agender characters, you have ze/zir/zem or xe/xer/xem, or there are even those that still are willing to be addressed with gendered pronouns. It’s up to the individual.

        Adjective: A word that describes a noun. Ex; The forest is primeval.

        Article: The words a, an, and the are generally called articles and sometimes classed as a separate part of speech. In function, however, they can be grouped with the demonstrative adjectives that are used to point things out rather than describe them.

        Verb: Words that describe action. These come in two flavors, at least for what’s important to the guide. You have passive (Ex; I was being eaten by zombies) and active (Ex; The growlithe set the mailman on fire. Again). Actually, here’s a rule of thumb: If you can add “by zombies” onto the end of a sentence without it changing the mood or delivery, you have a passive voice.

        Adverb: Words used to modify verbs, adjectives, clauses, or another adverb. Or, simply, anything but nouns or pronouns, which are modified by adjectives. Three examples -
        • The growlithe was running fast.
        Verb. Fast modifies running.
        The above is also bad phrasing. It would read better as “The growlithe ran x-adjective or x-simile.” Or, better yet, replace “ran” with a more intense adjective.
        • She took a heaping helping of potatoes.
        Adjective. Heaping modifies potatoes.
        • Strangely, the thug backed down.
        Modifies the entire sentence.
        Also a note from editors or people who will be beta-reading for you: Adverbs often appear as -y or -ly words, and they will muck up your entire draft if you use them liberally. The best comparison I’ve heard is food-related. No one (usually) eats spices by the spoonful, you apply them as dressing. Adverbs are your spices, and editors will call it Adverb Hell if the story is riddled with them.
        Prepositions: Linking words that connect nouns and pronouns. The words linked together are called objects. (Ex; The meowth is under the table. Meowth is the noun, under is the preposition, and table is the object.)

        Conjunctions: A conjunction joins words or groups of words. It has two variants, coordinating (and, but, either, neither, nor, or) and subordinating (that, as, after, before, since, when, where, unless, if).

        Interjection: Derived from the Latin word ject, which means “to throw between”. (See, objection.) A word thrown into a sentence to express emotion. (Ex; “Goodness, how you’ve grown!”)

        Side Note: Punctuation will be addressed in another section to avoid overgrowing this one.

        - - - - -

        Other terms -
        Syntax: Although syntax is defined as “A study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language,” or “the study of the patterns of formation of sentences and phrases from words,” I’m going to refer to this in the practical use. Syntax is the flow of your writing, how easily it reads and how the sentence structures affect that.

        Morphology: In terms of language, morphology refers to patterns of word formation in a particular a language, including derivatives, inflection, and composition. This is an important concept when considering the cultural blending in the Pokemon world, and will be touched on in greater detail in the language chapter.

        Other topics -
        Can you start a sentence with “And” or “But”? The archaic grammar rule that denied this came from Latin, which didn’t have split infinitives. Now it’s perfectly respectable to use it here and there, when the words work better for your syntax than a formal presentation, as long as you don’t overdo it.

        Cannot or can not? Both forms are actually an accepted usage, although “cannot” dominates because of it’s place in the Merriam Webster dictionary. For the most part, though, “can not” as two words should be reserved for emphasis in a statement. Usually the “not” is italicized in that instance.

        It’s or its? One of the most common mistakes (and probably the easiest to gloss over - I reread drafts and find the misuse more than I’d like), but also one of the easiest ones to fix.
        • Everyone knows that “it is” is the long form of “it’s”, which would be used as “It’s going to rain.”
        • “Its”, without the apostrophe, is the possessive form. In a sentence, it could be used as “He put a raincoat on his growlithe and fastened its snaps.”

        Alright or All right? The usage of “Alright” has become more prevalent in other types of media (mostly music titles), but “all right” is the accepted academic spelling and therefore should be your go-to.

        - - - - -

        Grammatical Resources:
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