Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

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    Default Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    I mean, considering how we have easy access to Bulbapedia (names being linked in posts even), would it be needed of Author's to provide a description or no?

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    Registered User Nereus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    I think tat this is the thread you are looking for Is it ever okay to "spell it out?" :) and personally, I think you should describe every character at least slightly.

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    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    FWIW stuff doesn't get auto-linked in the Workshop. Either way, it would break the flow of the story to have to click out in order to see a picture/description of a Pokemon/character.

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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by AetherX View Post
    Either way, it would break the flow of the story to have to click out in order to see a picture/description of a Pokemon/character.
    Yeah, there's that. But considering what this forum's about, it wouldn't be wrong to assume that your readers know what a Charizard or a Dewott is.

    I'm not saying there should be zero description period, I'm just questioning how much. I tend to gloss over them when I see them, thinking, "Yes, yes, I know what they look like blablabla."
    Last edited by matt0044; 5th July 2013 at 09:13 PM.

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    What I usually do is describe the character's best known feature (eg. Ash's hat, for example)
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    East Unova Resident SuperTrainStationH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    I really don't think its nescessary, just provide a suitable introduction or establishment and in most cases thats enough.

    However, say if you had a long running fic that was nearly 100% original characters, and then you wanted to introduce a canon character for a guest apperance, you could describe them in detail like they were a new character to enhance the surprise of that character making an appearance.
    jjl2357 likes this.

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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    I don't think you really need too, unless there's been substantial change in an appearance, such as; a new outfit, evolution, general aging, etc. However, I always throw in small bits and pieces of description, to break the monotony of (insert name) did this, or (insert name) said. Such as substituting 'the bipedal, orange Pokemon' or 'the reptilian Pokemon' for 'Charmander.' However, I don't think they warrant nearly as much attention when it comes to getting an appearance across as OCs, for obvious reasons, and almost never deserve a paragraph describing them (under most circumstances), though that applies to all characters.

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    Registered User Stratelier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    My short answer is: Yes.

    Visual descriptions of characters and Pokemon are absolutely necessary ... most of the time. There are exceptions.

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    Legendary Pokemon クリスタル's Avatar
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    My rules of thumb: Always treat the readers as someone who don't know anything about your fic, nor the fandom you are writing in. Therefore insert the descriptions of characters, whether it is human characters, Pokemon, any other living beings and/or objects.

    But remember: Don't overdescribe it. Don't insert a whole page of paragraphs just to describe what this characters wear, what his/her face look like, what all those unnecessary fine details like the shoe he/she wears is the Nike brand. Don't make the description a purple prose, such as describing the yellow electric mouse as something the rodent more closer to the hamster species, with short soft amber fur luster golden light under sunshine, release electricity from its round cherry cheek that is such high voltage enough to stun an Indian Elephant in a instant.

    Just describe the character with the most outstanding feature(s) he/she has, where such feature(s) can used to single that character out from the group.
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by クリスタル View Post
    the yellow electric mouse as something the rodent more closer to the hamster species, with short soft amber fur luster golden light under sunshine, release electricity from its round cherry cheek that is such high voltage enough to stun an Indian Elephant in a instant.
    That's the best description of Pikachu I have ever seen :D The funniest was the Indian Elephant :D

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    Registered User Stratelier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by クリスタル View Post
    My rules of thumb: Always treat the readers as someone who don't know anything about your fic, nor the fandom you are writing in. Therefore insert the descriptions of characters, whether it is human characters, Pokemon, any other living beings and/or objects.
    Yup, I think along those lines too. If I introduced a major story character to the reader by describing them only as a "Shinx", I'm not really describing the character, I'm just tossing out a label and whether the reader knows what it means could be another matter entirely. (Remember in Peter Pan when Wendy offers Peter a "kiss" ?)

    On the other hand, if I introduce a "blue lion cub with yellow eyes, black hindquarters, and a yellow star on his tail" then that's a description you can sink some teeth into.

    As for the actual length of description, I say it should match the context (and pacing) the character is introduced in. If the main (viewpoint) character has the time to actually observe them, then you can go into full itemizing mode and drop a paragraph-long description of them. On the other hand, if the surrounding context is fast-paced (such as a Big Damn Hero dropping into a heated battle) you should only spend a second or two to describe only the most prominent visual details your character is likely to notice first. For example, if you spot a Lucario rushing by in a blue blur, are you really going to notice the white metal spikes on its chest or hands, black rings on the shoulders, or the exact number of toes per foot? I think not.
    Last edited by Stratelier; 6th July 2013 at 05:57 PM.

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by クリスタル View Post
    describing the yellow electric mouse as something the rodent more closer to the hamster species, with short soft amber fur luster golden light under sunshine, release electricity from its round cherry cheek that is such high voltage enough to stun an Indian Elephant in a instant.
    Best. Pikachu Description. EVER.
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    I always describe canon characters and places and such in my fanfiction. The reason is that my stuff can be viewed by absolutely anyone and not everyone plays Fire Emblem, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, or Pokemon. I also have posted works of one fandom in a place that's more so for another fandom. Bulbagarden is one such example. You can see my FE, Zelda, and Mario fics here, and I've gotten some readers for them that haven't played one of those franchises.

    If I recall, Legacy has never played FE, but he did read my fic and understood it pretty well because I described all the characters and stuff.

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    Revert & Reverberate Miar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    It depends on your target audience's knowledge. If I expect mine to know Pokémon well, I do not describe the monsters or the better-known humans like I should.

    Otherwise, if you don't expect them to know as much, go into detail. (Same if you're writing customizable characters like Cmdr Shepherd)

    In crossovers, particularly if your target is both fandoms, I wouldn't advise skipping anyone. There's a chance one does not know anything about the other

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    Default Re: Description of Pokemon and canon characters: Necessary?

    I don't think so. I mean it's already given in game, or which ever media. In the Pokemon anime it states trainers are eligible to become Pokemon trainers at the age of 10, or must leave home to go on a journey. Whereas in the games it says no such things, and it's obvious since the Pokemon games have a time-based, non-linear story unlike the anime. It also says in the manual in the first Pokemon games Red's age is 11 and such, so if someone wants info on characters they could come to Bulbapedia, or read the manga or play the games.
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