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Old September 3rd, 2017 (9:34 AM).
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Publications Publications is offline
     
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    I've been writing a lot these days but figured I could use a break to talk about some of the basics of storytelling, tropes.

    For those that don't know, a trope is a storytelling formula that the audience can recognize between different stories and mediums. An example would be something like the chosen one saving the world from darkness. It's an idea that has showed up in stories since as far back as we have written records. However, tropes don't necessarily have to be timeless, they're simply patterns that show up in storytelling.

    It's also important to note that tropes aren't good or bad things, it's up to the author to determine how to use them best. If a story is too tropey/cliched it can become predictable and boring to read, on the other hand a tropeless tale is simply impossible to write. The mark of a good story/character is using tropes in creative ways.

    With all that done and said, what are your favourite plot tropes? Character tropes? Which ones are you tired of seeing, or never really liked in the first place? What's a really creative use of a trope you've seen? What about tropes particularly in the Pokemon fandom?
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      #2    
    Old September 3rd, 2017 (10:36 AM).
    Vragon
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      Well my favorite character trope would have to be a somewhat protagonist that starts off weak and I guess scarred a little. I've always liked characters that can change a lot, but keep the same ideals and well these kinds of character seem to do it well.

      Plot would probably be adding allies. This may sound a bit broad of a trope, but I'm not talking about recruiting, but like journeying together for certain reasons. Seeing the character learn more from and about each other is something I really like to see.

      I don't like the "Chosen One". Some stories do it well enough that it doesn't sour it, but ones where our hero has to do everything and everyone else is just supporting cast, then I just get bored with the OP hero winning the fight or the hero barely winning when his allies could have helped him out.

      I believe a pretty creative trope is the start of Xenoblade Chronicles. The start is your typical revenge story, but it evolves into something more as you meet different characters and learn things. You can definitely see Shulk grow and somewhat question why he's doing this and if he should. I like protagonists that are realistic and struggle with decisions like me.

      Pokémon trope would be starters. I've never found a starter I didn't like and well they have been a great way to start the game.
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      Old September 4th, 2017 (8:20 AM).
      Rick Gastly Rick Gastly is offline
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        For cliches/tropes I like and don't like in Pokemon TF Stories:
        - I don't like when the people who transform lose their human mind, it kinda renders the change moot if they don't remember their past life.
        - I like when it describes the sensations and feelings of the change as opposed to just describing the differences.
        - I like stories with a "realistic" school setting because it makes the changes stand out more
        - I don't like when the character dies and is reborn as a Pokemon, it also kinda renders it mootish
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        Old September 8th, 2017 (1:36 PM).
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        Publications Publications is offline
           
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          Quote:
          I believe a pretty creative trope is the start of Xenoblade Chronicles. The start is your typical revenge story, but it evolves into something more as you meet different characters and learn things. You can definitely see Shulk grow and somewhat question why he's doing this and if he should.
          That actually sounds really interesting, I've always been interested in the franchise since I saw Shulk in smash (backslash spam), I might finally get around to checking the game out then.

          Quote:
          I don't like when the character dies and is reborn as a Pokemon, it also kinda renders it mootish
          I 100% agree with this. To me it seems that being a human before is useless if it doesn't have any implications. Same with losing memories when transformed/transported. You might as well just write a pokemon in the first place.

          One of my all time favourite tropes is, more of a meta trope than a narrative one, the title drop. When you're thousands of words into the story and invested in the world and then all of a sudden the author uses the title in the narrative. I guess it's double the points when the title seems obscure, or you aren't quite sure how it relates to the story, but when it is mentioned everything makes sense. Apart from just being a cool thing to see, I think that it demonstrates that the author put real care and thought into their work. to set something like that up.

          In terms of character, I've always been fond of hard asses with a softer side. It's cheeky and done quite often, but in my experience these characters are so wholesome that you just want them to succeed. A great example would be Knuckle from Hunter x Hunter. Character tropes I don't like would probably be the person that's crazy just for the sake of being crazy, I'm sure it can be done right-- I just haven't seen it yet.

          In the pokemon world, I'm a sucker for journey fics; if they follow the cookie cutter model or do something completely different, it doesn't matter. I think that pokemon just inspires this feeling of adventure and discovery that I always enjoy reading. The scope of the world is huge and holds so much potential, I think that's largely why I always find myself coming back to my pokemon stories.
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            #5    
          Old September 8th, 2017 (2:45 PM).
          Vragon
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            Originally Posted by Publications View Post
            Character tropes I don't like would probably be the person that's crazy just for the sake of being crazy, I'm sure it can be done right-- I just haven't seen it yet.
            I agree, while I am a fan of the insane characters, I don't like it being there. I need a good reason or cause to believe it. Also, a 100% crazy character isn't ideal.

            I do have 2 characters I plan to write that are insane, but there are different things about them. One isn't a complete person in that he's more of the rawness of another character trying to bring this character back to himself. A hunger to once again join with this character. Though his uniqueness will be his methods (I won't spoil). He isn't insane to the 100'th degree and actually shows reflections of his (target) in subtle ways to draw a good connection between him and his target.

            Another one is a person raised to be a weapon. The thing with this guy is that he's practically what you could classify as having lost his identity and become more a being of destruction that loves his job. He laughs at almost anything. Pain, murder, fear unfunny jokes from others. The thing about him though is that he will be with the protagonists (and is indeed one of them). He starts off in this character, but slowly one of the others makes it her objective to "bring him back" or basically make him his person. It goes on but it does show signs of her working on him as they form a good connection. An example would be when she gets hit and he think she's dead. He instead of his insane laughing state he unleashes a fury against his opponent as if to avenge her. His tope is of a character that while won't be rid of the demon that is his madness, he starts to understand that his self before he was torn apart (mentally) is still in there and moves towards that a little more. Basically, he'll be insane still and laugh, but not as much and much more clever about it.

            I don't like 100% crazy characters, but I do like a crazy character when you seem that their more than just insanity focused and have more to add to their characters or hidden parts (the former), or being likable, having someone to balance with in interaction and start to see himself as more than just a crazed weapon (like the latter).
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            Old September 25th, 2017 (7:57 PM).
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              Brace yourselves...

              I'm going to start with the things I don't like to see, for the sake of ending this on a positive note. My first point is going to be about stories (this includes visual media) that on many occasions, ret-cons major events to keep a status quo. This is one of the reasons why many slice of life shows annoy me, they'll have a huge situation occur, only to dissolve it at the last second or simply forget all about it in the next episode. One example I can give is in Proud Family: the lead character Penny ends up becoming a star singer. However, she comes to dislike the fame and quits, which results in her losing her fortune. Nobody EVER mentions this again. The world doesn't just forget about a celebrity the second they retire!

              This is somewhat related to aforementioned point, but I really dislike when a series makes multiple continuity snares without bothering to justify or explain the change. Brock's mother is a prime example; she's clearly stated to have passed away early in the Pokémon animé. However, a few seasons later, she's magically alive and its like she was always present. May I add being the parental figure to his siblings was a big part of Brock's character earlier in the series? He had to sew and cook because those skills were required of a parent in that family. I could keep ranting, but I think I made my point clear enough. Having a few snafus happens sometimes, however, making a habit of doing so for important elements and/or on a regular basis is very rarely a positive thing.

              I really dislike the "new, beautiful but doesn't know it" girl falling for either the "mysterious seemingly bad-boy but just misunderstood" guy or the "popular, attractive jock that seems out of reach but is actually quite down to earth and nice". Add 100 sad points if said beautiful girl is in a love triangle with these boys, and double that if the incrowd hates her for some dumb reason or another. "Ryan, who I've been crushing on since forever but never made meaningful conversation with, spoke kindly to you once. Therefore, as a stereotypical mean-girl, I will assume you're planning to steal him from me, so I'm gonna make your life here heck, and I'll get everyone else to do so too! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA". Things like this happen way too much in YA, and having been a compulsive YA reader for some time, my tolerance to crap like this is very limited. If the author can do it in an authentic, interesting, and engaging way, I may be swayed, but it would take near masterful levels of writing for to yield that result.

              Now, I think I should address the positive tropes I enjoy seeing in action. Because my fingers are sore from all the typing, I'll keep things shorter and simpler (but will bring up more points to compensate):

              -Misfits banding together to form an epic team
              -Meaningful names (either played straight or subverted)
              -Motifs for characters, factions, clans, ect (again, either played straight or subverted. For the later, think of someone that is represented by dogs, but proves to be disloyal).
              -Watching a meek character develop into a strong person, and seeing them stand up for themselves in an awesome way
              -Childhood friend romances. Don't ask why, I'm just a sucker for this if its done right.
              -Educative content. I like learning new things, so if a story can weave facts into the narrative, it gets brownie points from me.
              -Tragic Villains, to an extent.

              List is a WIP, haha.
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                #7    
              Old September 27th, 2017 (6:21 PM).
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                I second the misfits banding together to save the world/do something awesome, and add the "want to be the very best at whatever"

                "I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was" is Pokemon's mantra, and it is (at least to me) one of the very few series that does this trope right. True, Ash does do some harebrained and off the wall things to win, and often does something because the plot/destiny/fate/whatever said so, but he does have flaws, he does make mistakes (even if it takes a while for him to learn the lesson), and he does grow as a character--and that's what (at least to me), makes the trope work for Pokemon.

                Far too often series have a "wanna be the very best" character that hardly ever loses, doesn't seem to have any flaws, and only makes mistakes as the plot requires--those series get boring very fast.

                So if you're making a "wanna be the very best at whatever" type story, have your character that wants to be the very best have flaws, let them struggle on their quest, and let him/her make mistakes. This way, when they DO become the very best at whatever, it makes their victory that much sweeter knowing the long and often bumpy road they took to get there.
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