Pacing of Evolution?

View Poll Results: What's Your Rule of Thumb for Evolution Pacing?

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  • Game Like: Pokemon Evolve Every X-Many Chapters

    0 0%
  • Anime/Other Media Like: Pokemon Evolve When It Furthers the Story, No Earlier, No Later

    8 88.89%
  • My Own Way: I'll Post and Explanation Below

    1 11.11%
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Thread: Pacing of Evolution?

  1. #1
    Registered User Sadrina's Avatar
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    Default Pacing of Evolution?

    It's pretty self explanatory, how do you handle evolution? I noticed the games have a pretty consistent time of evolution, for example, most people's starters in Fire Red and Leaf Green evolve around the Pewter City-Route 4-Mt. Moon area. In the anime, however, there is a wide variety of time between evolution, with some Pokemon, like Ash's Caterpie, barely spending one episode as a Caterpie before evolving, while others, such as Ash's Pidgeotto, spent 78 episodes before evolving. So, how does everyone handle evolution in their writing? Is it closer to a game approach, where there's a measure, formulaic approach? Or is it more of an anime, and most other media, approach, where they evolve when it serves the purpose of your story?

    As an add on: How early is too early? (In terms after chapters, as a rule of thumb, barring specific instances.) And how long is too long? (Again, barring specific instances.)

    I'm just curious because I'm trying to figure out when my main character's starter should evolve, round about, and was wondering what approaches other people have taken.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Admittedly I haven't really written anything, but I would go with the anime an other media approach. Everything needs to work together to further the story, that's a writing rule of thumb. It is interesting how you pointed out how Caterpie evolved so fast while Pidgeotto took a long time. It makes me wonder. I think I remember from Biology I that bacteria and insects evolve (in the traditional adaptation sense, and not the Pokemon one, which is like metamorphosis if anything) at a much faster rate than larger and more complex creatures.

    Maybe Bug types are like that. Maybe Bug types spend less time in each life stage. Maybe it's a counterbalance to a relatively shorter lifespan?

    But back to the method, it really should be what's best for the story. And remember that for Pokemon, "evolving" is like growing up, so they have to ready to evolve and mature to that next stage. Or, like in many cases in the anime, a Pokemon could evolve when pushed, like when Chikorita evolved. It evolved because Ash was getting really hurt trying to save it, and she was so desperate to help him, she turned into Bayleaf.

  3. #3
    Legendary Pokemon クリスタル's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Mine might not be any useful reference for you, because the main characters in the story I'm currently working in are all either already highly experienced or in the middle of their training process, so they are no newbie trainers right at the beginning of the story. Besides, my story is not even a journey fic, but I rather categorized as normal adventure fic, therefore I used my own pacing of evolution. Simply speaking: when the story plot requires it.

    But however, that doesn't mean all Pokemon involved in the story will definitely evolve into their final stage when approaching to final chapter. I planned to have several Pokemons used by two of my five main character not evolving even up to the final, that is because 1) there is no need to evolve, by power-wise and plot-wise, 2) those unevolving Pokemons are not there for battling.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Nereus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    In my opinion, the anime approach is a better choice. Your pokémon should evolve when it is needed for the story or you think it is their time to evolve. Forget all about levels and this stuff from games (levels, stats and so on don't belong to fiction).

    I may contradict myself a bit, but you could also take into consideration what kind of pokémon it is. Bugs evolve relatively quickly, dragons on the other hand are creatures with a very long life span and it takes longer for them to evolve :)

    I don't have the answer for your first question, but for the second one: there's not such a thing. I mean, it is completely okay if a pokémon doesn't even evolve, there is never too long. :)

  5. #5
    Registered User Sadrina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Ha, it's great to see all the responses, which seem to have the same general consensus, leaning towards the anime, which I agree with. My dilemma came from trying to decide how to have a rematch with a gym leader a feasible victory without intensive training in between, which I figured out how to solve anyway, but I figure the concept leads to an intriguing discussion anyway, haha!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by reynard View Post
    And remember that for Pokemon, "evolving" is like growing up, so they have to ready to evolve and mature to that next stage.
    On the other hand, if Pokemon evolution is treated like the process of maturity (e.g. puberty) then it means each Pokemon has a biological clock and relative to that each individual will evolve like clockwork. Whether they are mentally prepared for it or not is another matter entirely....

  7. #7

    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratelier View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by reynard View Post
    And remember that for Pokemon, "evolving" is like growing up, so they have to ready to evolve and mature to that next stage.
    On the other hand, if Pokemon evolution is treated like the process of maturity (e.g. puberty) then it means each Pokemon has a biological clock and relative to that each individual will evolve like clockwork. Whether they are mentally prepared for it or not is another matter entirely....
    Good point. I stand corrected.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    "You're only young once, but you can stay immature forever!"

    ...but seriously, folks....

    For some species of Pokemon their evolutionary clock can be influenced by external factors, but for species who simply evolve 'over time', when they reach a certain point and their body declares "it's time to evolve!" into their mature form, they have literally no say in the matter.
    Last edited by Stratelier; 6th July 2013 at 02:10 PM.

  9. #9
    Good Bad Bug Glitchipedia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    I would tend to waver back-and-forth between game-style and anime-style evolution. Less-emphasized members of the team would be referenced as having evolved offscreen at some point, while more plot-important Pokémon would evolve onscreen when it is most dramatically appropriate.

    Although, an interesting twist would be to have a Pokémon fail to evolve when it most needs to. But I have a feeling that's a discussion for another thread.

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  10. #10

    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glitchipedia View Post
    ...when it is most dramatically appropriate.
    I still can't see mid-battle evolutions going on.

  11. #11
    Good Bad Bug Glitchipedia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratelier View Post
    I still can't see mid-battle evolutions going on.
    It's all about how it's handled. In my case, I'd depict battles more realistically, with the trainers mostly standing off to the side and only shouting orders occasionally. Removing the constant stream of shouted orders allows the action to flow better, and also decreases the chance that the opposing trainer will instantly counter an attack he knows is coming.

    If one Pokémon is on the losing side, and the stakes are high enough, it may induce evolution as a desperation tactic. This would be uncommon in friendly competition, but expected if, for instance, life and death are on the line. Which is why it would be shocking for evolution not to occur in such a situation.

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    On the other hand, I don't view Pokemon evolution like that. Evolved forms are almost universally larger than previously - e.g. just where does the extra size and weight come from? And it's not like some "power" they can just switch on and off - evolution is permanent, and this isn't Digimon.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratelier View Post
    On the other hand, I don't view Pokemon evolution like that. Evolved forms are almost universally larger than previously - e.g. just where does the extra size and weight come from? And it's not like some "power" they can just switch on and off - evolution is permanent, and this isn't Digimon.
    I'm not sure if you knew, but iirc, there is a Pokemon manga that allows switching between evolutionary forms.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mokoniki View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stratelier View Post
    On the other hand, I don't view Pokemon evolution like that. Evolved forms are almost universally larger than previously - e.g. just where does the extra size and weight come from? And it's not like some "power" they can just switch on and off - evolution is permanent, and this isn't Digimon.
    I'm not sure if you knew, but iirc, there is a Pokemon manga that allows switching between evolutionary forms.
    And of course, there's Flaze's Pokémon Academy series (Dragon's Roar and Second Year Rhapsody) with Chigon.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Pacing of Evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mokoniki View Post
    I'm not sure if you knew, but iirc, there is a Pokemon manga that allows switching between evolutionary forms.
    That is news to me. But it is still the games establishing the central canon....

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