Article: Story Writing for Beginners
Stories are a crucial part of the URPG. Even with the National Park, auctions, and tournament prizes, there is perhaps no better, more certain way to obtain rare Pokémon than by writing for one. Still, not everyone is an experienced writer and very few beginners have the money to pay for a Story Deal, so the following step-by-step guide has been designed to help these new, inexperienced, or rusty writers get a story started.
- The first thing you should think about is the Pokémon being targeted. Learn more about the Pokémon’s appearance, abilities, moves, behavior, and characteristics early on so as to better implement it into your story. Bulbapedia and Serebii are both excellent sources for this. Remember, it’s often best to start small; go for an easy or simple Pokémon if you’re not certain about writing skills.
- Once a target (or targets, in the case of Multiple Captures) Pokémon has been chosen, the next step would be to come up with a plot. For simpler captures (Medium and below in most cases), a generic plot (such as trainer goes into forest, battles Pokémon, and then catches it) is considered to be acceptable by most graders, though more complex ones are usually preferred. When thinking of a plot, remember that the target Pokémon must be incorporated into it somehow. For example, having a trainer run into a Magikarp in the middle of a desert is unlikely- although just about anything can become an interesting story if elaborated on enough.
(Some questions to ask yourself: What genre of story am I writing? What sort of audience is the story aimed at? How will the character(s) be introduced? What major problem will the protagonist(s) face? How will the protagonist(s) solve this problem? Is the plot long enough to meet the character requirement for the targeted Pokémon? How is it unique?)
- After a suitable plot has been created, try making a brief (or not so brief, if you so desire) outline encompassing all events that will occur in the story from beginning to end. This can act as a clear set of guidelines to follow as you write.
- With a plot picked out and an outline set up, it’s time to begin the actual writing. Creating something from nothing can be difficult and time consuming, but the best advice I can give is to just write without worrying about how bad it is at first. Getting yourself into the habit of writing tends to help speed up the process, and you can always go back and edit out any problems later on.
- If, for any reason, you get stuck at some point while writing, try going back and reviewing what you’ve done so far until you’re able to continue. Key things to look for include spelling and grammar mistakes, poorly written or illegible sentences/paragraphs, and weak points in the plot, detail, or dialog.
- Just because you’ve finished writing doesn’t necessarily mean that your story is ready for grading. You should thoroughly read through it several times while keeping an eye out for any issues mentioned in Step 5. Expect to rewrite several decent sized chunks as you will most likely find a few weak portions here and there. After each major edit, make sure to go back and review the story again just to make sure that the plot flow, detail, and prose is acceptable for the story’s rank.
- As the story’s author, there may naturally be things that you don’t notice while others do. For instance, as you read through it you may picture everything in your head as you imagined it when you began writing- not realizing that the details are not actually sufficient enough to plant a similar image in the minds of other readers. To fix this, try asking a friend (preferably someone who knows a thing or two about writing) to look at your story as well and share any issues he or she may have come across. If you don’t know anyone in particular willing to do this, you could simply post a link to it in the URPG Stories Chat & Feedback thread and ask for feedback. There are plenty of graders who would be more than happy to lend a hand.
- Once you feel that your story is good enough to warrant a successful capture, you may note somewhere in its thread that it is ready for grading. If your grade does indeed result in a capture, then congratulations. If it doesn’t, don’t fret; simply go back and rework any issues that the grader pointed out and then double check to make sure that the story’s plot and prose is still flowing properly. Ultimately, you will find that each rework gradually improves your writing skills and prepares you for higher difficulties.
Finally, I would like to note that this is just an example and is by no means the only story writing process out there; there really is no ‘right’ way. If there’s another method that works better for you, then use it.
April 15th, 2011.
Review: NFE Pokémon
Basic Pokémon are seen in quite a lot of forum battles. NFE Pokémon are rarer in forum battles, but they are still used in them. However, the Pokemon dominating gym line-ups are fully-evolved Pokemon. Fully-evolved Pokemon are often seen as the strongest, but some NFE Pokemon are strong too. (This doesn’t mean Magikarp has the ability to pwn your opponents, though) I will be reviewing some of those Pokemon.
The Pokemon I will be reviewing first is...
Trapinch is quite often overlooked by URPGers, but has quite a lot of potential. Its attack stat is the same as Flygon’s, which is quite impressive. However, its Speed is absolutely terrible, so the Ground Type probably isn’t gonna hit the opponent first. Its other stats are okay, but not as good as some other basics.
Trapinch can learn Earthquake naturally, so you don’t need to splash your cash to get one of Trapinch’s most useful moves.
Another physical STAB move Trapinch can learn is Dig, but unless you want to avoid an attack, Earthquake’s better. The Antlion Pokemon can, despite being a basic, learn Hyper Beam naturally. However, this move relies on Trapinch’s mediocre Special Attack.
Another one of Trapinch’s useful natural moves is Crunch. It doesn’t deal as much damage as Earthquake, but it’s good on Flying or levitating foes. Sandstorm can mess with your opponent quite bad, especially if they have a Charizard out.
By TM, Trapinch can learn Solar Beam. This move helps with the Water Types out to destroy Trapinch, but the charging turn allows them to get in another move. Plus, Solar Beam is a special attack, so it doesn’t run off Trapinch’s amazing attack stat. Rock Slide is another one of Trapinch’s good TM moves. It makes use of Trapinch’s attack stat and is helpful against Ice types too. Rest can be good, but Trapinch is more useful for sweeping than defense.
Gyarados is a Pokemon to fear when using Trapinch. Intimidate can lower Trapinch’s attack quite harshly, unless Trapinch has Hyper Cutter. Gyarados’ Aqua Tail can damage Trapinch quite badly too. It’s neutral to Trapinch’s Solar Beam too. An Electric Type would be better to use against Gyarados.
April 15th, 2011.
Report: Rustboro Gym Battle
Gym Battle Report
Pmanpman, the challenger, VS Ayotui14, Rustboro Gym Leader
The battlefield was set. On one side stood Ayotui14, the Gym Leader of Rustboro Gym. On the opposite side of the battlefield stood the challenger, Pmanpman. A sandstorm brewed, making sand fly around the battlefield.
The referee announced the rules of the battle.
"The rules of this Gym Battle are:
Challenger sends first."
Pmanpman sent first, throwing his Empoleon's Pokeball onto the sandy field. Ayotui14 responded with Tyranitar, and called an Earthquake. Pmanpman pulled a switch to Garchomp first, though. Tyranitar stomped the ground and triggered an Earthquake, which Garchomp dodged well because of the Sand Veil ability.
Pmanpman commanded his Garchomp to use Brick Break. But before the Fighting Type chop attack could make contact with Tyranitar, Ayotui14 switched to Gliscor. The bat resisted the Brick Break well, due to being part Flying-Type.
Ayotui14 decided that Gliscor needed to be faster for this battle, so he commanded a Rock Polish. Pmanpman decided he wasn't going to command a damaging attack either.
"Garchomp, Sand Attack!" he commanded. His Dragon/Ground type scraped sand off the ground and hurled it at Gliscor, lowering its accuracy.
Then, Gliscor glowed white, increasing its speed.
"Let's see how Gliscor handles a Dragon Rush," the challenger, Pmanpman, commanded.
"Swords Dance, I guess," Ayotui14 said. Gliscor's claws glowed purple. Then, Gliscor waved them about in a hypnotising fashion, increasing its power.
Garchomp then zoomed at the Ground/Flying type while enveloped in a blue aura. The might pseudo-legend slammed into Gliscor, knocking it back.
"Ice Fang," Ayotui14 commanded. Gliscor's fangs glowed blue and froze, before the bat dashed behind Garchomp. It crunched down on Garchomp's back fin, inflicting quite a bit of damage. Then, it glided back in front of Ayotui14.
Garchomp struggled to stay up, but it managed to withstand its pain.
"Dragon Rush," Pmanpman commanded. His Garchomp dashed towards Gliscor while contained in a blue glow. Unluckily, the Dragon Rush soared off-target, Garchomp crashing into one of the Gym walls instead.
"Dragon Rush," Pmanpman called.
"Quick Attack," the Gym Leader, Ayotui14, commanded. He knew that Quick Attack would finish Garchomp off, with it being at a low HP count. Gliscor began to speedily rush towards Garchomp, but soon bared left. The Ground/Flying type crashed into the Gym wall instead of Garchomp, before flying back in front of Ayotui14.
Garchomp glowed blue once again, before flying at Gliscor in a Dragon Rush. However, the Dragon Rush scored wide off-target yet again, inflicting more damage to the Gym wall. The Land Shark Pokemon flew back in front of Pmanpman.
"Quick Attack again, Gliscor," Ayoutui14 called. Gliscor shot an 'It's over' glance at Garchomp, before zooming at the Dragon type. The Quick Attack hit one of Garchomp's arm fins, knocking the weakened Garchomp out.
"Garchomp is unable to battle!" the referee cried out, "Pmanpman, your next Pokemon?"
After returning Garchomp to its Pokeball, Pmanpman hurled a Pokeball onto the field. A Scizor emerged from it.
"Scizor, Swords Dance," Pmanpman commanded.
"Fire Fang, Gliscor" Ayotui14 called. Gliscor's mouth was surrounded by red and orange flames as it zoomed towards Scizor and bit down on it. The fire overcame the bug Pokemon, defeating it instantly.
"Scizor is unable to battle!" the referee announced, "Pmanpman, your next Pokemon?"
Seeing that this was a 3v3 battle, Pmanpman realized he had no choice but to send Empoleon in. He drew his Empoleon out of his Pokeball for the second time.
"Earthquake," Ayotui14 commanded. His Gliscor struck the ground with its scorpion-like tail, shaking the ground. However, Empoleon managed to dodge by jumping into the air. From mid-air, Empoleon fired an Ice Beam at Gliscor. The freezing beam hit Gliscor on the left wing, defeating Gliscor.
"Gliscor is unable to battle!" the referee announced.
After recalling Gliscor, Ayotui14 threw a Pokeball onto the field, which revealed a Grass Type fossil Pokemon.
The gym challenger, Pmanpman, commanded his Empoleon to use Ice Beam, while Ayotui commanded Amnesia.
Empoleon shot a sub-zero beam at Cradily; the part-Grass Type taking quite a lot of damage from it.
Then, Cradily temporarily forgot about the battle, raising its special defence.
"Flash Can-" Pmanpman called, before being interrupted by Ayotui14.
"Wait, it's not your turn to send a move first. It's mine. Anyway, Swords Dance Cradily," Ayotui14 said.
"I guess I can send a move now. Swagger, Empoleon," Pmanpman responded.
Empoleon crossed its fins, like how a person would cross their arms, and stared at Cradily, trying to intimidate it. Meanwhile, Empoleon was glowing red. The Swagger powered up Cradily, but confusion struck it.
Then, the Grass fossil waved its tentacles about, like it was dancing. Cradily felt even more powerful after that, with an attack and special attack boost.
Pmanpman commanded a Swords Dance, while Earthquake was Ayotui14's choice. Pmanpman's Empoleon glowed purple before it waved its flippers about, raising its attack and special attack.
Cradily stomped on the battlefield, shaking it. However, in confusion, Cradily only shook the part of the battlefield it was standing on, thus hurting itself.
"Drill Peck," Pmanpman commanded.
His Empoleon's beak glowed white as it spun like a drill while Empoleon was rushing towards Cradily. The Emperor Penguin Pokemon pecked Cradily with its drill-like beak, injuring it.
But, this battle was drawing to an end, and Ayotui14 knew that. He commanded his Cradily to use Earthquake. Cradily stomped the ground once more, this time hitting Empoleon. The Water/Steel Type dropped down onto the floor, unable to battle.
"Empoleon is unable to battle! Therefore, Ayotui14 wins and Pmanpman loses," the referees announced. Both battlers shook hands, congratulating each other for a good battle.
April 15th, 2011.