Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

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Thread: Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

  1. #1
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    Default Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

    What do I mean? Well, I seem to find that amongst the Pokemon fandom (this is my experience though), characters that start out like a novice Trainer (like Ash Ketchum as a Trainer) but get better as their character develops. While characters who start out pretty competent with good skills and strategic minds (and smart and sensible in other areas) for the start of the series (like Yugi Moto, Lina Inverse or others outside Pokemon) aren't very well received by everyone. Unsually they're claimed they're bland or uninteresting with the potential to be Mary Sues (this has a bit of truth to it but still...). At least by idea alone. Not that they can't get better and are already "perfect" but they're not a Monkey D. Luffy or Ash Ketchum (Kanto-wise and BW) by far.

    The former is understandable and even I like such character arcs, being very profound and touching (especially when one can relate to them). But for the latter, I feel like that it can be done well if the story presents it in a good way. How they interact with others, how their traits are balanced out, how they can be flawed and how likable they can be. You wouldn't hand over Pokemon, creatures with extraordinary powers, to a kid who'd get killed with one step into the tall grass, would you?

    I'm pretty confident in this belief of mine but I'd like to know about what your stances are on all this. Assuming you get the gist of this.
    Last edited by matt0044; 26th February 2013 at 02:19 PM.

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    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

    I totally get what you mean. It's simple to develop newbie trainers because they're a blank slate. The author gets to make up the trainer's strengths and weaknesses as the story goes along. Veteran trainers are a little bit more difficult, but it can certainly be done. You just have to do a little bit more planning. It's easy to forget to have the character change over the course of the story when you already have an idea in your head of what they're like, but then things get boring.

    When designing a veteran trainer, you have to leave room in their character for improvement and make that fit into the story.

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    Default Re: Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

    Quote Originally Posted by AetherX View Post
    When designing a veteran trainer, you have to leave room in their character for improvement and make that fit into the story.
    That's very true. Though the kind of character I have in mind is a one who has gone to classes on Pokemon Training for two years (so says my fanfic ideas) and knows a lot of the basics enough but still has quite a way to go once he/she begin a journey to hone his/her skills to get better. He/she is smart and pretty mature (which helps when you're raising six Pokemon at a time) though isn't at all infallible.

    Still you did make good points.
    Last edited by matt0044; 26th February 2013 at 04:56 PM.

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    Good Bad Bug Glitchipedia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

    Generally, I prefer having my characters grow as people rather than as trainers, be they newbies or veterans. Although, of course, it is desirable for a newbie's skill to gradually increase.
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    Default Re: Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

    Quote Originally Posted by Glitchipedia View Post
    Generally, I prefer having my characters grow as people rather than as trainers, be they newbies or veterans. Although, of course, it is desirable for a newbie's skill to gradually increase.
    You hit the nail right on the head.

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    Default Re: Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

    I myself don't have much of a preference either way. Off the top of my head, both @some color no doubt; and @Misheard_Whisper; are both writers of very good fics where the protagonist is already the champion. I'm not sure WHAT to count @Gama;'s Brotherhood as, either lol.

    Of course, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

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    Hex Mistress NoirGrimoir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

    Like Glitchipedia said, the idea is to make them grow as people, not just as trainers. What makes a good journey fic is actually how pokemon training teaches the trainers lessons that help them grow as a person, rather than merely as a trainer, and those lessons can be learned at any skill level. In my fic, I have four protagonists traveling together of varying levels of experience and skill level. The older trainers definitely aren't really learning as much about pokemon as the younger one's are, but they are certainly learning about mentoring to younger people. Also, all the main characters have their own ways they are going to grow in the story, strong trainer or not.

    So far my older trainers seem well-received but then its only two chapters long so far...
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    Fanfic Writer some colour no doubt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Developing Trainers vs already developed Trainers

    I agree with what has been stated here, but i'll go into what i think on the matter:

    With a new trainer, you have a lot of room for development, particularly as they are generally quite young hence their journey tends to be what defines them as a character, maturing them over time. Whilst they may start with a certain personality, it is normally works well if this isn't too dominant or is quite naive, and then a event either matures them quickly (such as in @AetherX;'s fic Unpredictable, which is worth a read) or they bond with the pokémon they catch and by the end can almost stand for entirely different values through what they have experienced and how the writer has had them react to it.

    With an experienced trainer, who is typically older, they should already have a well defined personality and way of reacting to things that doesn't change quite as much, as they have already experienced the events which define them. This is interesting in a a way, and means you can write a much stronger character from the offset and their growth might effect their world views or fix personality faults, but in the end they are still ultimately the same person. This gives a reader less empathy with the character but it can also make him/her more likable as they have a very distinct way of dealing with things.


    Just my two-cents on the matter. :)


    (also @Prof. Lugion; i'm British, hence why the spelling you used made sure the mention didn't work :P )

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