Re: The line between a Mary Sue and a great character and the risks
Well, you wanted a reply so... here you go.
Yeah, I guess I did do a piss-poor job on explaining her since I'm still working on the first three chapters with vague ideas of the plot from then on and, once again, I'm afraid of spoiling some of the ideas I've planned for chapter near the story's end. I have vague ideas but nothing really solid.
Originally Posted by unrepentantAuthor
She's not an "expert" but in order to become a Pokemon Trainer, one must be able to find his way around the wilderness between cities and town. It's a requirement than not exclusive to Hilda so other Trainers are adept at camping out and roughing it in the great outdoors. Of course, she's not going to spend WEEKS in the wilderness or she'd go nuts after that long but goes outside to train her Pokemon.
-Hilda is fourteen. It is believable that she could handle herself in the wild for a few days with supplies, but being a full-on survivalist is near impossible. You call her a protege: "A person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced person or mentor." I think you meant to call her a prodigy: "An extremely talented person, especially a child." In any case, being a prodigy does veer towards being uninterestingly good. Kicking ass without a pokémon could mean a number of things, but if you literally mean that she can fight people, that's not believable either. Hell, she can communicate to pokémon in a world where this is unusual (not in itself a bad trait, but made worse when she has so many other things going for her).
Her ability to communicate with Pokemon is something that connects her to N as well as to serve a contrast. N can communicate with Pokemon and because of the woes he hears from misfortunate Pokemon (that Ghetsis would only let him see in isolation), he grows to detest human beings who use them, as he believes, for their own benefit. Hilda, however, was NOT isolated from humans nor Pokemon, she has both human and Pokemon friends and is enthralled by the aspect of battles and training any Pokemon she likes. She cannot possibly see the downsides of Pokemon Trainers and THAT is where the wedge between her and N is put.
I... wasn't intending on making her realistic. I was sorta using inspiration from the protagonists of Pokemon Special/Adventures where each character is already good at battles from their debut and rarely go the Ash Ketchum route for her character. Red and Crystal are my primary influences and, like Crystal, Hilda was trained by her mother to be stronger and more advanced so to say. If you disagree with this, then fine.
-Hilda 'often lands in trouble,' but I do not know why. She always gets out, too, so that's not even a real obstacle. I don't know if there's any reason for someone to dislike her. I don't know how she's going to change as a character. I don't know what part of her persona is a hindrance. These are the things that make a character worthwhile to read about. I'm not even talking about "sometimes, x thing will lead to failure!" No, I'm talking about giving a strong battler some personality fault like hubris, or rashness, or inconsideration. Hilda appears to have no such characterisation. No, her recklessness doesn't count, as it doesn't detract from her abilities, and can be considered bravery instead, especially as she succeeds. Even worse, she makes a few mistakes 'here and there'. This is a begrudging acknowledgment that she's not entirely perfect, not an assurance that she's actually realistic.
I kinda skipped out on the part that was bolded because, once again, I've yet to finish writing even the story's beginning so that part hasn't been worked out yet. I'd say that she'll turn out to be different than you'd expect. Thanks for giving me some food for thought anyways.
-Hilda is sometimes serious! Hilda is sometimes playful! Hilda likes cute things! Hilda likes pokémon! (That last one is basically gratis for any protag, no?) These are not sophisticated personality-defining traits, and are common to the vast majority of people in her demographic. They tell me nothing about her beliefs, attitudes or worldview. They do not differentiate her whatsoever from most journeyfic protags. They are not interesting.
Okay, the rest I read thoroughly but I'm skipping on replying to them since I've got many ideas and to take most of your suggests would compromise my hard work so far. Not saying that I'm making a masterpiece but I'm personally fine with what I'm writing and I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with your suggestions. I guess to show you my story and how the characters are present rather than attempting (and failing) to merely tell you would be a better option since there's more to just Hilda in my fanfic. Believe me, I've got many variables in my story that would turn this post into the forum's biggest wall of text so excuse me if I don't feel up to explain what plays what role. If it turns out that my story is utter crap (not that you or anyone said it was), then at least I tried and can try again. And hey, it's impossible to please everybody.
I respect and appreciate your thoughts but I think I'll take the risk. I'm confident that Hilda's personality will come through well enough if I give it my best shot. Thanks anyways.
And with that, I think I'll take my leave from this thread. Bye.
Re: The line between a Mary Sue and a great character and the risks
And by the by, other Trainers like Cheren and Bianca are shown to have skills and knowledge like these prior to becoming a Trainer as they took Pokemon Training courses in school with Hilda who herself is more athletic than them both (though they can run fast too and tend ride bikes to go even faster). The thing is that all Trainers in my fic are educated on Pokemon, battles and training prior to going out into the world so, you know, they don't get killed. They're also taught how to get around in the wilderness and the big cities. They're also made sure that they're always fit and in shape (Hilda herself tries to resist sugary treats to stay healthy but the temptation is so strong). They're not bodybuilders but they at least avoid teen obesity and work out to maintain their health as Trainers (lucky them). At fourteen years of age, they're then tested with a written exam and a vocal exam to know if they're real Trainer material and if they get at least an 80% and up (standards are pretty high), they get their license, can pick their starter and head out the region to hone their skills and knowledge. As well as to possibly find their place in life.
So I'll retract that "Hilda's a protege" line of mine since many beginning Trainers are at her level at the story's start. They start out "good" and they travel to get better in refining their skills. So really, when there are others who are either as good as her, she's not really a sue in that respect.
Sorry about the double posts. Had to get this out of my system.