Fic of the Month - Striking Back: Memoirs of a Clone-Dai - Page 4

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Thread: Fic of the Month - Striking Back: Memoirs of a Clone-Dai

  1. #46
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Different Eyes - unrepentantAuthor

    I love the sounds of that fic! Looks brilliant @unrepentantAuthor;

    I certainly will have to check this out!
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  2. #47
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - The Journey Never Ends - Waras

    July's FOTM is Waras' "The Journey Never Ends"

    Ash traveling with an OC has been done before (in fact, I'm even doing this with a story of mine!), but many times Ash, the OC, or sometimes both end up as Mary Sues/Gary Stus. What did you do to keep this from happening?

    It’s a story that’s been told and retold many times, so it’s important to do something in the story that hasn’t been done before. I’m working really hard at balancing old and new characters to keep the journey varied. Each chapter is quite different, and each location has a unique situation. It’s tricky sometimes, because most authors want their characters to be successful. It’s about striking a balance between the characters’ accomplishments and their shortcomings. Allie’s gotten very lucky in her battles, mostly because I don’t like to write rematches. That’ll be something very different in the next part of the journey: Allie’s in the big leagues now.

    How did you create Allie?

    I was just trying to come up with a likeable character, who ended up being an innocent, highly motivated young girl. To account for her age (16) and past, I chose to give her a tragic childhood. It handled why she was relatively unacquainted with the Pokémon world, and also gives her something to rise above.

    It was funny. As I looked at my descriptions of her, it turned out her personality is very similar to some of my friends. Without doing it on purpose, she was inspired by real life.

    How was the plot inspired?

    I’d spent a lot of time reading fan fiction before I attempted it myself. I knew I wanted to do something of an epic. Part of my issue with the anime is that character development and any real danger are basically nonexistent, so I turned up the stakes a bit. “The Creature,” whose identity will be revealed soon, served as the basis for my story. But there is something darker moving, and in the most recent chapter, Ash finally received a clue as to what it is. I came up with most of the plot on a two week hike when I had plenty of thinking time, and I fill in the details as I go. Ash was originally going to be a much darker character, but I wanted to preserve the integrity of the anime’s characters. The Pokémon world is different in my fic, but time accounts for the changes.

    Will Allie be teaming up with any other existing characters in the sequel? Will she gain a party of her own?

    The first story isn’t finished, not quite yet. If I do a sequel, it would probably be set in the Hoenn Region and include some familiar faces. I’ve got some interesting plans for that, but it’s still going to take me forever to get through the rest of Kanto, so that’ll depend on how the rest of Allie’s first story goes.

    If you’re referring to the ending of my most recent chapter (24), Allie will be joined by an original character she’s already met. In Ash’s absence, existing characters will serve as “characters of the day.” I would consider adding another existing character to Allie’s group permanently, but it would depend on feedback from readers. More and more characters will return as the story continues, some for extended stays like Forrest did.

    Any advice for aspiring authors?

    Write the story you want to read. Even if your first attempt doesn’t receive much reception, it’s great fun to contribute to such a fantastic fandom and you’ll gain writing experience that can help in other parts of your life. Pay attention to details and always put your best effort into every chapter.
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 1st August 2012 at 01:10 PM.
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  3. #48
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - 404 Error - Missingno. Master

    August's Fic of the Month is Missingno. Master's "404 Error".

    1. Was it particularly challenging to write a story featuring the glitch Pokemon?
    Not too much. I've always had this idea in my head as to how the anime could portray Glitch Pokémon, and I just put that into the story.

    2. How do you think this story stands out among other Glitch Pokemon fics?
    The few fics I've seen that feature Glitch Pokémon usually feature Missingno. as some evil abomination, and generally just portray Glitch Pokémon in a negative way. Mine's one of the few, if not the only, fic to treat them like any other Pokémon (unless you count the beliefs of Team Debug).

    3. What was the most enjoyable scene for you to write? The hardest?
    Most enjoyable to write? Quite a few different scenes come to mind, and I find it hard to pick just one. First, the scene where Orange tried to catch A, but it shoved a Spearow in front of the Poké Ball instead. Second, the part where Orange's LM4 evolved into Clefairy, and then into Nidoking, I just liked that part. And then there was the part where Koffing used Mimic to copy Migraine's Submission, I had to chuckle at the mental image of a Koffing sprouting arms of smog and wrestling a Psyduck into a tree with them. Actually, I think the scene I had the most fun writing would have to be when Red first ate numbers. It was kinda fun deciding which numbers would taste like what and so forth. As for hardest to write, I don't really think any one scene in particular gave me that much trouble.

    4. How do you make the glitch Pokemon believable?
    I'm not entirely sure how I do it, to be honest, I've always envisioned them in a more believable fashion in my head, and I just portray them the way I've envisioned them.

    5. Any advice for aspiring authors?
    Don't be afraid of criticism. Even if it's not phrased in a particularly constructive manner, the point of criticism is to help you improve your writing. Many times, people who criticize your work make excellent points. Also, not all authors are proficient in all kinds of writing. If it turns out writing, say, something dramatic isn't your strong point, that doesn't mean you're bad at writing altogether. For all you know,you could be better suited to writing more comedic works. Most importantly, don't be afraid to go with ideas just because you think nobody's going to like them. Believe me, you never know.
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 2nd August 2012 at 01:12 PM.
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  4. #49
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - 404 Error - Missingno. Master

    Just a reminder that there will be no FOTM for September due to the awards--October's FOTM will be the overall winner of the awards
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  5. #50
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Brotherhood -Gastly's Mama

    Apologies for the long delay, but the overall winner of the awards has been chosen--Gastly's Mama's "Brotherhood"

    1. What inspired you to write Brotherhood?

    The central theme that I wanted to explore with Brotherhood was, as the name would suggest, the relationship between three brothers. I've been thinking a lot recently about how enormously what position you are in a family affects your personality and how you see the world. What I tried to do with the three central brothers was take three characters who are, but for the order in which they're born, essentially exactly the same person. Will and Max in particular share almost identical personalities except that they've been warped by their experiences of each other and the world. Obviously there's a lot in the story outside of this central relationship but I would say that was the main inspiration.

    2. Which scenes do you find particularly enjoyable to write, and why?

    I don't know what this says about me but I find the scenes with Spike, Chubby and King the easiest to write - they just seem to flow a lot more easily. I think it's partially because these tend to be the fastest pace scenes. Although Will's battle with Morty was higher calibre than anything involving the street gang (so far), there's just so much more at stake with the gang and that's what, for me, makes them so damn interesting: if Will loses against Morty, it's really disheartening but he'll go home and try again; once you're at Spike's mercy, anything that can happen.

    3. Was there any particularly challenging scenes to write? Why?

    Scenes involving Anna and Becky have a tendency to be more challenging than other scenes. As characters they can be a little over the top but at the same time I want them to be believable and realistic. I think there's a lot to their personalities but, to Max in particular, they can just seem like two crazy girls, particularly Anna. The chapter were Max and Frankie first arrive at Becky's house was particularly challenging. There were four distinct characters running about but no events taking place: it became a little difficult to keep the story moving while preventing it from becoming suddenly ridiculous.

    4. Which of your characters is your favorite?

    My favourite character is probably Spike because he just doesn't react to things in a normal way. He's just so crazy. He has absolutely no patience for anything. He is unable to react in a reasoned and measured way to anything that happens around him. I think the few times he's been featured so far, it's been obvious just how little it takes to make him completely explode but up until this point in this story he's had certain reasons to control himself... It's not going to long before we see a Spike who is even more volatile than the one that's been in the story so far.

    5. Any advice for aspiring authors?

    My main piece of advice is to just keep going and never give up. It sounds cliched and unhelpful but it's really really important. The biggest barrier to being successful in writing is doubting yourself and not putting in the constant effort required. Actually, I've been failing at that a bit myself recently - I ought to go put that right!
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  6. #51
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Plasma's Folly-Ahnyo

    November's Fic of the Month is Ahnyo's "Plasma's Folly"!

    BW and BW 2 are probably the darkest and deepest stories yet in the Pokeworld--so would you describe your story as a retelling of BW (with elements of BW 2), a remix of BW, or something else entirely?

    Oh boy, I’m actually not sure what type of story Plasma’s Folly is supposed to be. As mentioned in the fic’s introduction, it was inspired by a role play I made for my friends and I. We all decided that we wanted to play as Pokémon hybrids, and since Black and White had just been released in America, I thought it’d be cool to base the plot around the storyline of those games. The half-Pokémon, half-human concept seemed to work especially well in contrast to Team Plasma’s motives, which was a bonus. At that point, the plot was just built upon a “what if…?” scenario, that being the idea of how Team Plasma would react to such a dangerous and controversial matter. The role play was mostly based on the hybrids’ side of the story—in fact, Team Plasma had very little involvement until we were a good way into the story. However, the fanfiction strays very far from its inspiration (the only things that were kept the same were the basic concept, a few of the characters, and a couple of scenes mostly towards the beginning). The fanfiction is much more balanced between the hybrids and Team Plasma, and one of my main focuses is to explain why certain events in Black and White occurred (ie. what compelled Ghetsis to raise N and create Team Plasma, why N turned out the way he did, why Genesect was created). My explanations aren’t intended to be legitimate theories as to why these things happened; rather, they’re directly related to the original “what if…?” scenario involving the hybrids. This might not make much sense now, but I feel things will begin to come together as I advance farther into the plot. So, yes, I guess I would say Plasma’s Folly is a retelling of Black and White with my own twists thrown in. Of course, elements from Black 2 and White 2 are present as well—for example, it’s been inferred that Kyurem and its ability to fuse with Reshiram and Zekrom will be relevant to the story. I actually had the “Great Dragon” idea in mind before Black 2 and White 2 were announced, and the revelation led me to change some details in order to fit in with canon and make the story more believable. I’ve borrowed a few other ideas from Black 2 and White 2, but other than that, Plasma’s Folly is solely based around the original Black and White.

    What parts of the games are different in your story? Was there any reason you changed them?

    Well, first off, we have the whole issue with the hybrids. As a result of this, Team Plasma has slipped under the radar and its presence in the Unova region has seemingly vanished. Thus, the majority of Black and White’s plot has been avoided. Of course, N isn’t aware of this—but unlike the games, he aspires to reassemble the “Great Dragon” instead of using Reshiram or Zekrom. I do not plan on having N use any other Pokémon, and I’ve made it so that the only Pokémon Ghetsis has is his Hydreigon. Like I said in the previous question, I’ve also been playing around with both of their histories and ambitions. I’m not exactly sure how Genesect’s story was handled canonically, so I made up bits of that. Most of these changes were made for the purpose of the plot, or to tie in with certain elements of the story—for example, Genesect’s involvement deals with the issue about genetically modified creatures, and N’s pursuit of the Great Dragon references the idea of hybrids or fusions.

    What scenes were particularly challenging to write? Why?

    I had a really difficult time writing the chapter Altered Destination (which was originally supposed to be fused with Secrets and Sorrows), and I believe this was mainly due to poor planning. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to introduce Genesect—in the original role play, Dragon was caught eavesdropping on Ghetsis’s meeting, and so he was brought to Genesect and given to it as a dummy so Ghetsis could test its strength. Given the circumstances of the fanfiction, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to pull this off. In one of my rough drafts, Ghetsis immediately led Dragon to the room Genesect was being held in as a reward for capturing the first hybrid! Once I had figured out how I was going to handle that, I had trouble figuring out what kind of character Dudley was going to be and how he’d react to seeing a couple of kids walk in on his top secret project. Altered Destination gave me such a hard time that I ultimately ended up taking a hiatus that spanned more than three months. I’m still not particularly pleased with how it and Secrets and Sorrows turned out, but I suppose they’re better than some of the options I could’ve gone with.
    I also struggled with the scenes leading up to Colby’s death in Chrysalis. That was pretty frustrating, since I had been looking forward to that part for a long time. I didn’t know how to make Colby respond to finding the formula. I originally made it so he was very excited about finding the formula and he used it without hesitation—I know he’s characterized as a naïve individual who rarely thinks before acting, but the idea of someone injecting himself with a mysterious syringe that had been sitting in a shifty-looking paper bag seems off. I later made him go with an extremely careful approach, but that wasn’t like Colby at all. I finally decided to conduct a poll on one of the websites I’ve posted Plasma’s Folly where I asked fans which approach they’d like best, and I used the results in the story. I think the readers chose well—it turned out much better than it could have. After that mess, you can bet that I was extra happy to kill the little twerp.

    At first blush, your story sounds a lot like the Mewtwo arc--what steps did you take to be sure your story didn't tell the same story, but with Genesect instead of Mewtwo?

    Yikes, this is going to be hard to answer without giving out any spoilers! I’ve always found it disappointing how Genesect’s background is basically a sloppy remake of Mewtwo’s story, especially since it’s such an interestingly designed Pokémon with a lot of potential. The details given about its history in the games are rather vague, which leaves me plenty of room to play around with it. At this point in the fic, Genesect’s portrayal doesn’t stray too far from canon, but I assure that things won’t stay like that for long. I suspect that some readers may be wondering, “Why is Genesect even involved in the story?” While I’m afraid I can’t say much else without revealing major plot details, I promise questions will be answered within the next few chapters.

    Any advice for aspiring authors?

    If writing is your passion, stick with it no matter what! I know that it hurts when you submit a chapter to FanFiction.Net after pouring your heart and soul into, only to receive not even a single review. You probably feel worthless when you check your story’s traffic stats and find that your first chapter has accumulated hundreds of views, while only a few visitors had moved onto chapter two. I know far too well that it’s easy to succumb to jealousy when you’re browsing through other peoples’ stories and comparing the amount of posts and favorites they’ve received to the amount you have. You might look at some of these stories and think to yourself, “Why is this so popular? My story is better than this, isn’t it? No, I must be doing something wrong.” You might begin to doubt yourself and your writing skills, or perhaps you’ll even go as far as to contemplate giving up. I’ve been through all of these things, and I can promise you that quitting won’t do you any good. It doesn’t matter if no one reads your stories; it doesn’t matter if you’re not the best writer in the world. Don’t let these silly setbacks deter you from your passion. If you love doing something, it’s worth doing. And maybe, if you’re confident and can show others that you truly love and care about your writing, you’ll receive some recognition. If not, who cares? If you enjoy writing, your drive and motivation shouldn’t run on fame and attention.
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 11th November 2012 at 06:43 PM.
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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Jouto Redux-Jesse GS the II

    December's Fic of the Month is Jesse GS the II's "Jouto Redux!"


    Why re-imagine an anime arc (besides the fact Johto needs more love and the anime version wasted so much potential)?


    One of my big influences was the Pokémon Special manga. The fact that Hidenori Kusaka was able to build such a gripping epic out of the world of the Pokémon video games made the filler-ful anime look that much lamer by comparison. I was also heavily influenced by the writings of the late Takeshi Shudo, former head writer for the Pokémon anime, who always said he wanted a more adventurous series that could be enjoyed by everyone instead of the plotless kid-centric toy commercial it eventually became. I really wanted to see a Pokémon anime like that, but the Jouto saga was just the complete polar opposite of what Shudo wanted, so I decided to take a crack at rewriting it myself.

    Was it particularly hard to re-imagine classic episodes? How did you decide which episodes would stay and which ones would be cut?

    The most challenging part was coming up with a story to tie the whole thing together. In the anime, there was no climax to the Jouto saga - Satoshi just wandered around and earned badges until it was time to go to Houen. I wanted to have a narrative, with protagonists and antagonists and a clear beginning, middle, and end. Something big and epic like the Plasma-dan arc in the Shinou saga, a tale that's driven by its characters and the legends of the region. As it stands, I've outlined the entire arc, and it's 75 chapters long, cut down from 157 episodes. Any filler episode that existed only to show off a Pokémon for half an hour either got the ax or got reworked into a part of a character's arc. Since Kasumi and Takeshi barely did anything of consequence in Jouto, I made it a point to give them clear goals, as well as personal obstacles they had to overcome. I wanted to enrich the cast and make people care about them all, something that was sorely lacking from the anime's take on Jouto.

    What were some ideas you considered, but didn't work?

    Originally, I was going to keep Nanako (Casey) in the story, and flesh her out a bit more as something of a legitimate rival to Satoshi. But I also wanted to bring in Kenta and Marina, the trainers from Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, and I figured having Nanako in there too would just be too many characters to keep track of. Plus, I already had Shigeru, whom I'd devised a legitimate character arc for, and I decided Satoshi didn't need two rivals. So away she went.
    I'm still reworking the story slightly as I go. In fact, I'm currently at an impasse as I decide whether or not I want to dump the anime's conceit of giving Satoshi all three Jouto starters, since Kenta, Marina, and Silver also have them and it'd probably be redundant to have Satoshi get them all too. But I am very proud of the arcs I wrote for Satoshi's Jouto starters, Chikorita in particular, so I'm not sure if I want to lose all that material. On the other hand, though, keeping the starters off of Satoshi's team frees him up for a lot more variety, and I can't deny that Satoshi's Jouto team was pretty boring. Ultimately, I think I'll lean towards dropping the starters, though it will take a fair amount of rewriting.

    Have you had any particularly challenging scenes to write? Any enjoyable ones?

    Pretty much every chapter has at least one challenging scene in it. I sat on Chapter 5 for a very long time because I was struggling with the emotional connection between Takeshi and Hiiragi, and what it would be that made Takeshi realize she wasn't the girl for him, but ultimately, I'm pretty satisfied with what I came up with. I have a scene coming up in Chapter 6 that I don't think I wrote to its full potential, and I want to rework it a bit before I publish it. It's the scene where Satoshi meets up with Shigeru again at the Yoshino City Pokémon Center, and I think I can add more substance to it and make it a bit more emotionally solid.
    Probably the most fun I've had writing a scene was the big battle in the alleyway from Chapter 2. Picturing that in my head, I really wish it could be animated. Also, I got to use the line "Want to sit down for a second? That's a long sentence and you're probably tired," which is a shout-out to my all-time favorite TV show, "Mystery Science Theater 3000", so that was nice.

    Any advice for aspiring authors?

    Get to know your characters inside and out before you start writing them. And draw from your own personal experiences with people, including yourself, when creating characters. It's the best way to make them feel genuine, and to get the audience to connect with them. Also, have the ending in mind before you start your story. If you know where you're going, it'll be a whole lot easier to get there.
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 2nd December 2012 at 02:33 PM.
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  8. #53
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Jouto Redux-Jesse GS the II

    There will be no FOTM for January due to the Awards--but watch this space in February for the interview of the Best Overall Story!
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  9. #54
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Jouto Redux-Jesse GS the II

    The December fic of the month sounded brilliant!! Absolutely loved the interview and that made me so excited to read it! Here's to looking forward to actually giving it a read over. It sounds brilliant. I like the idea of reworking it all, and having a new scene to Johto and a new story and plot because that is what it desperately needs!
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  10. #55
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Jouto Redux-Jesse GS the II

    Thank you--it isn't often we get a fic set in Johto.
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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - The Girl Who Knows the Hearts of Dragons-Gotpika

    Here is the interview for the Winter Awards' Best Story--Gotpika's "The Girl Who Knows the Hearts of Dragons"!

    What made you decide to write a story about Iris?
    That's an easy question to answer. I've liked her design since it was revealed and liked that wild, childish demeanor she has in-game and version-exclusive Gym Leaders were something we hadn't seen before. She's Drayden's, Opelucid's mayor and Gym Leader in Black, adoptive child and apprentice and I just had a strong urge to sort of give some form of story on how she came to be the person she was in BW. Thus this fanfic was born, I also am a big Pokémon Animé fan and I do enjoy Iris in that too. I also always thought her ability to read the hearts of reptilian, fire-breathing beast needed some form of justification. Why was she adopted by Drayden? How would the stoic, mature Drayden mesh with someone like her in everyday situations? Why is she known as "The Girl Who Knows the Hearts of Dragons" in the first place? Why would a young girl have such a favoritism for such violent and brawny Pokémon? How did she become the Gym Leader? Where are her parents? In short this little project of mine is my way of putting the pieces together on her past.

    Was it particularly challenging to create Iris' character? Why or why not?
    Yes and no. The thing is when it comes to writing her I have to realize that personality-wise making her compelling might be a tad tough. I didn't want to make her "typical" so to speak, I wanted to make her stand-out while retaining the same childish traits and spunk she's known for. That does indeed get challenging, I just try to write her so she doesn't come off as a flat character at the same time. Drayden is easier to write for me, when it comes to Iris I just feel like I'm truly getting into the swing of things with her character and personality.

    I also have to take from the games and what I know of her and piece that together in a way that flows nicely while being consistent with what we know of her. I just looked at things from a few different perspectives and realized how this could be handled or how this could be changed. A good character needs fun interactions, depth, personality, good development, interesting flaws, and an overall a realistic demeanor. Even simple things like the character's favorite food or color shouldn't be ignored, it's challenging to make a character who truly can connect with the readers. It doesn't help that I don't have a plethora of experience with writing different types of characters in the first place. Either way, I think it's a bit more complex than simply writing the character. I like to really get into it with Iris, she is the main character after all and what is a story without a good main character? I also think the Pokémon are just as important as the humans when it comes to writing a story, that was something to consider heavily as well.

    What scene was your favorite to write? The most challenging?
    Don't really or never really have or had a favorite scene. Most challenging scenes for me to write are, without a doubt, emotional scenes, transition scenes, opening scenes, and battle scenes. Emotion, action, opening, and switching are things that can really make or break a fic. It takes a good battle or emotional scene to really get the readers on edge and invested especially, the slightest misstep could really just put them off the fic. forever. Transition scenes just kinda relate to pacing, pitch-perfect pace is a must for me. Too long or too short time on a scene and transitioning into and out of it in an entertaining way is something that I struggle with. Opening scenes are just the scenes that set-up the story or chapter but also set the tone and mood for the fic. in a sense.

    Starting out, what did you consider that didn't make the cut?
    A bit of a tough question to answer, nothing in particular that exceptionally stood out was dropped. Off the top of my head I do remember originally planning for Iris's caretaker to be female, I also planned for the story to give less exposition on Drayden's past, Ryuu originally was never going to have a daughter, Mira's name was going to be "Doris." Iris was going to be raised completely by Dragons in a Tarzan-like fashion, that probably is the biggest idea that was dropped due to the conflict it presents with the game canon and how there would be a ton of plot-holes and things to maneuver around and fill.

    Any advice for aspiring authors?
    I'm not exactly a pro myself, there are many many other much more talented writers on this site. I'll just say somethings I've learned and worked on since I started fanfiction. Read other people's stories, learning different writing styles can really help refine your own skills and gives you a more colorful pallet of ideas. Grammar, grammar, grammar, this can make or break a story in some cases, this really means taking the time to really clean up your chapters and working on making as few errors as possible in the final product. So many people underrate the importance of grammar but it can really break the flow of a story, if it's engrossing, to constantly come across grammatical errors. Make your main characters stand-out on their own accord, what I mean is, make your character interesting because of who they are and what they do.

    It's hard to explain in a way, don't force feed things onto your character to make them interesting. If character A is only interesting around character B then they can't really carry the story on their own if they're the main character. Dialogue, re-read that to dawn. Awkward and repetitive dialogue is something I struggled with in the past and still do today, realistic dialogue with variety is the spice of life. Without it a character's typical conversing can be bland. Work on making vivid, snappy description. Something that will stick in the readers' minds and they'll be able to look back on and remember clearly. Detail is also one of the most important aspects of a story in my opinion. I also think it's important to realize when starting a new story, just like Rome wasn't built in a day, a good story cannot be conceived and written in fifteen minutes. Really take the time to think about the idea and what will happen, so many get so eager to write their story but soon the story loses its purpose and is enveloped by fluff. Work on things for a while, you'll appreciate the results and patience when it turns out better than you thought.
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 16th February 2013 at 12:13 PM.
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  12. #57
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Birdsong-That Guy

    March's fic of the month is That Guy's "Birdsong":


    1. Is the title symbolic? If so, can you explain why (without giving too much away)?

    I suppose it is, in a sense. While the idea of birdsong is a recurring element in the monologue itself, it's also how the speaker believes they are perceived by others, and, really, the whole story is about them lashing out at that perception. In that regard, the title 'Birdsong' suggests that, despite all of the speaker's angry words, nothing has changed. There is still birdsong.

    2. How did this character wind up in the desert?

    As far as the narrative goes, I guess that's open to the reader's interpretation. When I was writing Birdsong, I didn't really have a setting in mind; the imagery of a desert just kind of worked its way in. You could say it's part of the metaphor for the speaker's feelings.

    3. Was there anything particularly challenging about writing something like this?

    The biggest challenge was, I think, making it interesting to read. I actually redrafted it several times, since, at first, the narrative didn't really seem to go anywhere. There was no real action, implied or otherwise. It was just some guy (or girl) shouting at some unidentified other person, but otherwise, not doing anything. It wasn't easy, but I managed to improve it into its current version without losing too much in the way of raw emotion, I think.

    4. If you had to write this over again, is there anything you would do differently?

    That's a tough question. I'd like to expand on what's there, since, when I first wrote it, I had a word limit to stick to, but the difficulty in that is, like I said, keeping it interesting. I'd still have the whole thing in direct speech, though; my goal was to supply just enough for the reader to make the story their own as far as anything that wasn't explicitly stated goes.

    5. Any advice for aspiring authors?

    The best advice I could give, based on my experience with writing Birdsong, would be that it never hurts to draft and redraft, and get others to read through said drafts, since it's never easy to judge one's own work objectively, and also that, when submitting works like this, be it online, or to a publisher, or whatever, just because you don't get a response immediately doesn't mean nobody's paying any attention.
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  13. #58
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Monsters and Men-Quirky Circuit

    May's FOTM is Quirky Circuit's Monsters and Men!

    Here's the interview:

    What inspired you to write the fic?

    Originally it started with a simple question from my little rugrat, Sylar; she wanted to know why Pokémon were only used for battles, and she thought that’s all they were, tools for a trophy. And I realized, crap, it sort of seems like that to a fresh eyed fan. So I sat down and figured out this little story that would challenge the concept of what a Pokémon was, and what they meant to their trainers. Then came the idea to split the main series up and present it, initially, like a comic book mini-series.

    It was going to be just a five episode series, but then it got an extra chapter and really started to develop on its own. And how it is now is exactly what I wanted it to be. A slice-of-life depicting three, if I’m successful, wholly unique trainers and their pokémon. But, me being the type of writer I am, there is an undercurrent of a larger arc, and the idea of growing up, finding out what you’re suppose to do with yourself, it honestly became this whole other thing.

    So, right now, it’s a look into growing up, and what you do with your responsibilities as a pokémon owner.

    If you had to write it over again, what would you do differently?

    You know, I’m actually quite proud of it. I already took enough time planning it out so I feel quite accomplished. As far as I am concerned, the work that’s in the wild is it, done.

    Were there any scenes you enjoyed writing?

    It’s so small, but I love the scene between Greg and the Ranger in episode six. The passing of the “hat”, which was an homage to Indiana Jones, as well as the fact that every important character in Pokémon has a hat, just fell into place perfectly. It’s cute, the humor works, and the homage is subtle so it doesn’t overwhelm the story. I love homages, and there’s plenty more. Most are far more obscure, though.

    What was the hardest scene for you to write, and why?

    The battle between Stane and Rosa in Episode Four “Alignment”. That particular chapter was originally a little scene in Episode Two “Intertwined”, which was supposed to all be Stane’s episode, but it ruined the flow, actually felt tacked on and it wasn’t working. So I hacked it off and it slowly developed into its entirely own chapter. I’m still iffy on that battle, but I am my worst critic, and duels of any kind I always second guess myself on. Eventually, and to stay on schedule, you just gotta release it!

    Any advice for aspiring authors?

    Always write for yourself. Never write with the intended goal of attracting a specific audience or obtained a raving review. Allow your heart and your passions to drive your imagination toward the story that is right for you, the author. The first thing you have to realize is you cannot please everyone, so don’t even attempt it. Write for you, and your story will find its audience.
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 6th May 2013 at 10:12 AM.
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  14. #59
    Registered User Eeveeforthebest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Monsters and Men-Quirky Circuit

    Love the stories you guys are writing. Very interesting :)

  15. #60
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Fic of the Month - Monsters and Men-Quirky Circuit

    As I'm sure you've noticed, there is no FOTM for June due to the Awards--watch this space for July's interview with the overall winner
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