The dangers of writing offbeat
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  1. #1
    I feel so much spring... Cabaret's Avatar
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    Default The dangers of writing offbeat

    As some of you might know, I don't particularly write stories with any sort formula. I try to be a little experimental with my writing when it comes to actual story contents. In all of my pokemon fanfic writing there has only been one actual pokemon battle. My stories explore the people of the pokemon universe rather than the pokemon themselves. So as to my question...

    Do you read pokemon fanfiction because of the evil vs good aspects? The pokemon battles, and the formula that the games and television show present, or do you read pokemon fanfiction simply because pokemon are in it, regardless of genre?

    If that wasn't clear enough, what I'm meaning to say is, would you bother read pokemon fanfiction that isn't about battling and such? Fanfiction about people within the universe?

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    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    A large part of the reason I read stories here is because I think the Pokemon world given to us by Nintendo has an enormous amount of potential and depth and it's interesting to read the infinite number of interpretations of it.

    There's nothing specific that I look for in the stories that I read here, most of the time I'm just looking for something interesting to read and I know that I can usually find something good here. It helps that I'm incredibly familiar with the Pokemon world too, obviously.

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    Can I have a snack? Kihote's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    That in itself is a good question, why do I read pokémon fiction instead of other kinds? I guess its because I want to see the world the way others imagine it. I used to (probably still do) imagine myself being part of that world, going on adventures, or sometimes just going around regular life but in a world where dangerous animals can become friends. I like seeing what others would imagine how it would be like. Battles are obviously a big part of most of the ones I read, simply because I like action scenes, but the action doesn’t always have to be a battle, in fact most of the time I quite enjoy the psychological turmoil which comes with using(fighting alongside depending on your view) pokémon (one of my recent ones from my replay of platinum is whether a trainer uses pokémon as tools, gives them strength, or makes their strength their own).

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    I personally read stuff for the interactions between people, which also plays out heavily in the stuff I write. So yeah, I'd read it.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    I kinda do this myself--imagining the Pokeworld as a completely different world and focusing on that world's lore (which explains why minstrels and storytelling pop up a lot in my work) Imagining the Pokeworld with magic (be this traditional sword and spell fantasy, magical girls and boys, or lightsabers and psychic powers) is another motif I enjoy working with too (since the Wave Guider in movie 8 struck me as a kind of mage)
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    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    There is a lot to expand on and, well, I just like the Pokémon franchise.
    What are the Legendaries really like? Find out in The Life of the Legendaries

    Humans and pokémon no longer live in harmony. Hear their tales in The Poké Wars Chronicles: Tales From A World At War

    Cynthia once had it all: powerful pokémon, fame and hordes of adoring fans. But Ho-oh's campaign tears her life asunder. Now to survive this deadly new world, she must do the one thing that she never wanted: kill. Follow her trials through a world at war in Poké Wars: Downfall of a Champion

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    you can breathe now. x diamondpearl876's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    I grew up with pokemon. But I grew up thinking that people lived happily ever after with pokemon after raising them with no problems, after defeating evil teams that aren't too intelligent or really evil at all, and after traveling the world without facing any intense dangers being thrown their way. So I guess I read pokemon fanfiction for a more realistic, meaningful, and darker view of the series. It's also interesting to see some of the ideas people can come up with aside from the normal "get 8 badges and become a champion" storyline.

    Also, there's nothing wrong with not writing battles. One of my favorite pokemon fanfictions so far rarely ever described battles (not even gym battles, when gyms were an important part of the plot).

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |


    | love and other nightmares |
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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    So long as it is well written, why not? There's tons of non-action stories elsewhere in literature that's awesome, writing that within the pokemon universe isn't any different - so long as pokemon actually play a role. If pokemon or the concept around them is reduced such that it could easily be replaced with normal animals, then that's where the line goes, IMHO. Everything else, 'tis good.

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    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    Since the thrust of your inquiry is whether pokémon battles are an essential part of fanfiction, I'll answer that first: No. No, they are not. There's a lot more to pokémon han fighting, and there are a lot more franchises with fighting in than pokémon.

    What do I read it for, then? Honestly, the pokémon themselves. Adventure, fighting evil and so on aren't exclusive to pokémon, but it does have a veritable monopoly on the theme of "raising intelligent, lethal animals", so to speak. I believe a great deal can be done with that premise even with the restriction of battling. Without that limitation, a thousand fics could be written about pokémon and their aspects and implications without running dry on ideas.

    I feel I should admit I have no particular attachment to most human characters, however. Any given story about Ash is nigh on certain to lose my interest. The manga's Drake or B&W's N interest me because their characters are inextricably linked to the implications of a world with pokémon and their ideas - a world without humans, ending training - fascinate me far more than an obnoxious boy who wants to be the very best.

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    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    Personally, I think even the cliché of starting at Professor Oak's lab has a lot of untapped potential in terms of originality. The only reason it becomes a cliché is because nobody who ever actually uses that scene is somebody who would use it in an original, interesting way simply because by the time they've learned to do things in that way, they've been indoctrinated into avoiding all clichés altogether.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    Quote Originally Posted by Smuglord View Post
    Personally, I think even the cliché of starting at Professor Oak's lab has a lot of untapped potential in terms of originality. The only reason it becomes a cliché is because nobody who ever actually uses that scene is somebody who would use it in an original, interesting way simply because by the time they've learned to do things in that way, they've been indoctrinated into avoiding all clichés altogether.
    Touché! I feel that clichés are overrated as the one demon of original writing (along with mary sues). Yes, too many clichés done wrong is horribly unoriginal, but no matter whatyou do, you end up having a cliché. Over time, it's a cliché to avoid chlichés, creating what I usually refer to as the "Hipster Paradox" (I hate mainstream things, thus I am hipster. But soon it becomes mainstream to hate mainstream things, thus hipsters are mainstream, thus they have to avoid being hipsters in order to avoid being mainstream, creating an ironic paradox). So no matter what you do, it's a cliché, and overdone either way (changing pokemon too much, or conforming too much) can simply end up horrible because of that.

    To make a short point: It's not what you write, but how you write it, that makes a good story. For example, the fanfiction Hoenn League: A Brendan and May Adventure is probably the best story I've read, but it conforms to nearly everything that happens in the Ruby/Sapphire games, keeps the pokemon trainer journey tropes and so forth - but it does it in a very well-written way, it makes it interesting and fun to read, even though it keeps with the clichés.

    And thus we return to the red thread; you can write whatever you feel like, do it however yo uwant, so long as you write it excellently. I recently probed for interest in the idea to make a fic detailing pokemon from a biological aspect; describing their physiology, how they can do all their fantastic things, and so forth. People were genuinely interested in reading stuff like that. And that goes for anything else as well I'd reckon - just write it well and people will enjoy it (heck, had Twilight been written by someone else, the series might have been good; the premise is, like any other, interesting, it was just poorly executed).

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    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    Quote Originally Posted by Smuglord View Post
    Personally, I think even the cliché of starting at Professor Oak's lab has a lot of untapped potential in terms of originality.
    I must agree with you. It's not so much that Oak's lab is cliché, but that the way in which it seems to always be handled most certainly is. There's more possibility in that fairly unrestrictive starting point than the regurgitation of the same opening that a majority of predecessors used. (The temptation to try revitalising that formula is enormous but I have enough projects as it is.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama_Guy View Post
    Touché! I feel that clichés are overrated as the one demon of original writing (along with mary sues). Yes, too many clichés done wrong is horribly unoriginal, but no matter whatyou do, you end up having a cliché.
    I'm not so sure you aren't confusing with clichés with tropes. A recognisable literary device or convention - such as the ubiquitous trainer who gets badges and catches every pokémon - is a trope. Such a device or convention that has been overused so much that it has lost its former impact or appeal - such as "it was a dark and stormy night" - is a cliché and to be derided.

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama_Guy View Post
    It's not what you write, but how you write it, that makes a good story.
    Now that is very true. No matter how drab the premise, a good author can make it gripping. No matter how stunning the premise, a bad author can make it dreary. Obviously there is a limit to this generalisation, or someone would have won a prize for literature for their inspiring novel about watching paint dry, but it is a reasonable truism.

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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    Quote Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor View Post
    I'm not so sure you aren't confusing with clichés with tropes. A recognisable literary device or convention - such as the ubiquitous trainer who gets badges and catches every pokémon - is a trope. Such a device or convention that has been overused so much that it has lost its former impact or appeal - such as "it was a dark and stormy night" - is a cliché and to be derided.
    I'm well aware of the difference, but yes, I seem to have gotten them mixed up. My point was, to word it anew, that avoiding tropes is something that happens so often that it becomes a cliché, thus you end up no better (or even worse) than what you tried to avoid in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor View Post
    Now that is very true. No matter how drab the premise, a good author can make it gripping. No matter how stunning the premise, a bad author can make it dreary. Obviously there is a limit to this generalisation, or someone would have won a prize for literature for their inspiring novel about watching paint dry, but it is a reasonable truism.
    Indeed - there is no such thing as an absolute rule (a paradoxial statement, but you get my point I hope). It would, however, be quite interesting to do such a concept. What goes through one's mind as a painting is drying? The excitement at seeing one part of the painting finally turn into a dry texture?

    Mmh, no, maybe not

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    Wordsmith unrepentantAuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama_Guy View Post
    I'm well aware of the difference, but yes, I seem to have gotten them mixed up. My point was, to word it anew, that avoiding tropes is something that happens so often that it becomes a cliché, thus you end up no better (or even worse) than what you tried to avoid in the first place.
    Your revised point I can agree with. It's foolish to believe that the quality of your writing rests on your usage or non-usage of tropes, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama_Guy View Post
    Indeed - there is no such thing as an absolute rule (a paradoxial statement, but you get my point I hope). It would, however, be quite interesting to do such a concept. What goes through one's mind as a painting is drying? The excitement at seeing one part of the painting finally turn into a dry texture?

    Mmh, no, maybe not


    Oh, if it was actually a painting then it would be easy. You merely have to make the narrative revolve around the way in which the painting relates to the artist's life, the connotations of its intricacies and the emotional investment placed in it. Watching blank paint dry - as in a newly painted wall or something - is a litle harder, but I might attempt a oneshot. Something to do with a smeargle whose art isn't appreciated perhaps~? Oh yes, the plot bunnies are now rapidly multiplying in my brain. Wonderful!

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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: The dangers of writing offbeat

    Looking well forward to such a story!

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