Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

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  1. #1
    East Unova Resident SuperTrainStationH's Avatar
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    Post Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    I mean I understand fully how essential battles are given the nature of the source material, but somehow I just find the process of writing out Pokémon battles very tedious and leaving me anxious to get through to the end of the battle.

    I find most other forms of action, dialog, and scene setting fun to write, but battles have always been a pain in the butt to write, even as my skills have improved.

    I now find myself having to write a three on three battle in a fic where not all that many Pokémon battles will be observed in their entirety, but the few that are depicted really matter.

    Just wondering if I was the only one who felt this way. A well written battle is good to read I just find writing them to be one of the least exciting aspects of writing a Pokémon fic, even if he end result reads well and works great for the story at hand.

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    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    Writing battles can get very tedious if you have to do a lot of them, but I find them quite fun from time to time.

    One of my new pieces of advice for new Pokemon fanfic author's is to never ever do a tournament arc. They seem really cool at first, but writing battle after battle does get somewhat tiring (my personal experience with this resulted in only churning out four or five chapters over the course of a year). Battles are only exciting to write or read if you can come up with ways to make them unique. If you have trouble coming up with cool stuff then yeah it can get boring, but battles can also serve as great showcases (or turning points) for character development, which is always fun.

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    What I find helps is to script the battle before you write it--what you do is write out the battle as if it were being played out in the games (or any turn based RPG, for that matter), Then, fill in anything notable that happens and on what turn it occurs on.

    Next, write out the script with the appropriate level of detail. That said, the script is not set in stone--you may add from it, delete from it, or change events around at any time
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    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    I haven't written any Pokemon stories that have battles in them, but I can tell you that I rather frequently have trouble with the battles in my other stories. It's not that I find it boring, it's that I find it difficult to put it into words. >_<

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    East Unova Resident SuperTrainStationH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    Hey, I'm not entirely alone. That's a relief. :p

    I was afraid I'd be dismissed as a lazy writer.

    I'll take some of the tips mentioned here into account.

    It seems like I'm already on the right track in terms of not having too many battles.

    Honestly, I think even the anime writers have somewhat of an issue with writing battles, and I think this played significantly in having Team Rocket battle Ash in every episode for over a decade up until Unova. It provides a very "easy" excuse to have a Pokémon Battle in nearly every episode which the protags are guaranteed to win, and with the writers not having to create a team and "moveset" for one time character's Pokémon who Ash&Friends might be battling every time.

    Meanwhile, actual "casual" battles are far less common and might perhaps happen in every third episode or so.

    I do think one of the most challenging aspects of writing battles are doing research on Pokémon I've never raised before and making it seem like the person my protag is battling actually has something of a coherent team with carefully considered moves rather than random Pokémon and moves picked from a hat.

    Though in my case it helps that I'm not holding fast to the "only four moves per pokemon" mechanic from the video games.

    Alright, back to writing. :o

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    Platypus Saleswoman Ahnyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    Glad I'm not alone, haha. Although my fic usually strays from normal Pokemon mechanics, I ended up having to write a typical battle with a Gym Leader a few chapters ago and it was horribly boring. If I thought that was exhausting, I can't imagine what it'd be like to write some kind of fic that revolves entirely around battling. I'm currently grappling with a scene involving a trainer having his Pokemon fight a wild one... for some reason, I find Pokemon vs. Pokemon or trainer vs. Pokemon battles easier to write than trainer vs. trainer, but they're still a pain.



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    Legendary Pokemon クリスタル's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    Wow. In this case, seems like I'm the one that is "irregular" from this thread.

    I love to write battle! It is the easiest piece of work for me. Whatever kind of battle (wild Pokemon battle, trainer-to trainer battle, Gym battle, double/triple battle, or even massive battle royal), I can do it in the most creative way you can ever imagine, or the most boring way that you don't want to imagine. It just doesn't give me any problem.

    Rather, I find myself bored in writing conversation scenes. I always think too much on the speaking tone and atmosphere of the characters, how one character should response if another person ask a certain question, and how the response will differ according to who is the questioner.
    Really, I found that conversation scenes can be screwed up much more easily than action scenes in terms of character behaviours. Just one wrong response from one's mouth can become Out of Character, but one wrong action might not be that significant compare to spoken words. Though, of course it doesn't mean you can screw up the action scenes. You still need to think about actions and reactions of one character very carefully.
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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by AetherX View Post
    One of my new pieces of advice for new Pokemon fanfic author's is to never ever do a tournament arc.
    Oh dear. I guess I should abandon the six chapters I planned of a four round tournament, a gym battle and a rival battle, then? That does sound like it would get quite tedious not only to write but to read as well. Unfortunately, it is so utterly important that I have this tournament, as an incredibly important plot device is revealed at the end of it... Oh dear...

    I myself don't find battles to be too boring to write. I try to visualize what's going on, dump a whole ton of "ridiculously flashy" onto it and describe that scene that's going on in my head. I try to avoid the back and forth of "USE AIR CUTTER, OKAY NOW DODGE IT, RESPOND WITH IRON TAIL" with absolutely no description in between. Whenever I start to see that when reading something, I instantly skip ahead to see if I can find where it ends, because that is utterly trashy boring. I don't like reading it, so I try to avoid writing it.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 14th May 2013 at 07:58 AM.

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    It wasn't much! Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    Yes, never do tournament arcs, they're really tough to do after a while.

    I like to write battles and my battles come out pretty well, you know, ignoring the fact that I have to do research on moves cause I forget them but hey research is part of the fun. I do have to agree with @AetherX; that after a while battles can be really tough to keep up with, there's just so much a person can do when it comes to battles and there's just going to be a point where things are going to get repetitive or boring to you because making a battle interesting and engaging isn't easy after you've had to do it a lot, kind of like how you'd eventually get bored of eating cookies every day.

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    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    Just to give you an idea of my own experience with tournaments, the one that I wrote had one weird marathon battle, two 3v3s (plus another that I pretty much skipped), and three 6v6s (one of which was summarized and the last of which was a two-parter). Tournaments with well written battles are fun to read, but mind-numbing to write. What got me through it were the bits of character development and plot advancement squeezed in between the battles. Saying to never do a tournament arc was probably a little harsh. If it's important to the story then I don't want to alter your vision, just try to keep in mind that it's going to be exhausting and adjust accordingly.

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    Registered User Boreal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    The reason I started writing Pokemon fanfiction was to write bold and fast-paced Pokemon battles as an escape from the turn-based games and every good episode being disrupted by Team Rocket. I don't know what I'd write if not battles and displays of Pokemon ability.

    I've found that I can sometimes find a creative way to open near the end of a battle or fast-forward past unimportant aspects. The rest of the time I have a blast finding unique ways to use the scenery (rooftops of Viridian), Pokemon facts (Umbreon's toxicity), or attacks (Rapid Spin ricochet).

    Food for thought.
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  12. #12
    East Unova Resident SuperTrainStationH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    So I got to writing the second part of the battle that I was writing that drove me to make this thread.

    The fight between the first two Pokémon was fairly "straight faced", but the second two Pokémon were much more interesting to write about from the standpoint that the protag's Pokémon is a bit of a "ham" and does and SAYS a lot of cute/funny things during the course of the fight which is translated for the sake of the readers, so it was much less tedious to write through.

    Pokémon battles will still be a necessary evil for me to write through, but for me the Pokémon themselves having interesting dialog and interactions and not just the Trainers spiced things up for me a bit.

    I never wrote a tournament arc, I'd dread to write one, but I wouldn't go so far as to say to NEVER attempt one if you think you'll be able to tell a good story that way. I say give it a whirl and see if you enjoy it or not, and if you don't you can experiment with something else.

    I only "complain" about writing things I've actually attempted and know aren't my forte. :P

  13. #13
    So what's your wish? Yato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    Not boring, but extremely tedious.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    I think it can depend on the context. Like a battle between two characters on opposing sides with tension between them.

    Honestly, some people are great at writing fight scenes while others just aren't. One should write something more akin to their strengths.

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    Ghetto Biatch Toutebelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I the only one who finds writing battles boring?

    I find them boring too.

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