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Pokemon Fanfic Ideas and Cliches

Discussion in 'Creative Zone' started by Zenaku, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Zenaku

    Zenaku Youngster

    Sep 2, 2018
    Hey y'all! I'm new here so in case I do something wrong like post in the wrong section or whatever, please excuse me and feel free to point it out for me!

    Basically, I'm working on a Pokémon Fanfic. The premise of this fic is a generational epic that chronicles each generation whilst leaving things for the next to improve upon in their own direction (I plan to write up until Unova, and depending on whether I still got my muse at the time, further beyond). It's going to include OCs as main characters in this fic, and I have kind of sorted out what I want the main plot to be about for the first saga; it's a journey fic with the protagonist battling his way through Gym Leaders, an egotistical rival, and a villainous organization (Team Rocket) on his conquest to fulfill a seemingly impossible dream. Speaking of the setting, I try to incorporate realism in darker atmosphere to shape a dangerous world full of monsters and dire consequences.

    Outside of the basics, I haven't put much thought about what the story will include besides your traditional Pokémon Journey and Gym Battles, so I was hoping for some ideas. I want to make sure that my plot isn't generic as I figured out you can only write journey fics with the hero steamrolling Gym Leaders *so* long until it's starting to get stale. Not everyone dreams of becoming the Champion, I guess. I really want it to be a breathe of fresh air, but I need help finding out what plots have been popping up continuously and what I should avoid. Which Pokémon are overused by fic writers for their main character OCs (starters, pseudo-legendaries, etc)?

    I'd really appreciate your help in this matter! Thank you!
    #1 Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
  2. Friskian

    Friskian Hex Maniac

    Enemy Stand
    Level 1
    Jun 17, 2018
    Hello Zenaku!,Welcome to Lake Valor
    Also , thats some great ideas
    And Cliche
    You should introduce yourself in the Intro Lobby ^_^
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  3. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member of the Charicific Valley

    King Crimson
    Level 41
    May 29, 2018
    Hey, welcome to the lake! I’m a (bad) writer and a semi decent artist. Hope you enjoy your stay.
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  4. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Level 19
    Mar 17, 2015
    This sounds like a very ambitious undertaking. Do you plan on doing city-by-city, gym-by-gym; or just focusing on the highlights? Also, I totally agree that steamrolling every gym leader is not a good tactic for the story, that would get bland very quickly.

    Speaking of cliches though, an egocentric rival seems like an overused one. Have you considered mixing it up a bit? Maybe your protag could be over-the-top confident and needs to get knocked down a few pegs by a more down-to-earth rival foil every now and then, or something else that changes up the formula a little bit.
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  5. Zenaku

    Zenaku Youngster

    Sep 2, 2018
    Hello there and thank you!! I've been having these ideas for some time now, so I thought I might share it with you people! ^u^

    Hiya, and thank you!! Hopefully, I'd get along with the members on this forum. I'd also love to see your works someday! ^w^

    A mix between the two. The problem with focusing solely on the highlights is that anyone who has played the games will already be familiar with the meat of the story. A straight-up novelisation of a game plot can work, but I think it really needs to be supported by detailed characters and especially with a detailed world, that's where the city-by-city, gym-by-gym gets to shine. To me, they capture everything that I love about Pokémon: adventure, exploration, friendship, and growth as a person! Good characters with decent motivations to be on the journey, paints a region of choice in pretty colors.

    I actually had this one in mind for a good while during the development! What I had in mind for my protag is a fulfillment of Son Goku's (DragonBall) character potential. He's got all the basic ingredients, he's an orphan raised in the wilderness, headstrong, optimistic, but also pure-hearted and animalistic to the verge of being downright cruel and self-absorbed. While he does love his friends and Pokémon, cares for them and their well-being, at the same time, he's got a selfish streak going to him and lets his urges for a thrilling challenge cloud his better judgement and creates more problems than he really intended as a result. As a dramatic foil, while my protag is a hero by virtue of "If you threaten my family, friends, or the Earth, you're going down", he is also extremely proud of his hard work and talents, and that makes him extremely arrogant in the progress because anytime his abilities are challenged, he feels as if he has to prove his opponents wrong, and sometimes he fails to think things through, leading him and/or his Pokémon to be fatally injured.

    For the rival, I never really gave it a serious thought besides the basics. He's a mix-up between Kai Hiwatari (Beyblade) and some Seto Kaiba (Yu-Gi-Oh) who is willing to sacrifice everything to get what he wants, which he usually gets through hard work, sweat or steel-hard determination, though he doesn't seem to mind stepping on some toes on his way up. Initially, he has always acted alone without making friends and appeared to not know the meaning of friendship after being alone and friendless most of his life, with the closest things he had for friends were his Pokémon, grandfather, Prof. Oak and sister, Daisy (in my fic, the protag and his rival are Red and Blue's equivalents in their continuity). Although, I really like the idea of a humble rival, it's a rarity among the Pokémon fanfic community and it plays a perfect foil to my protag! It also makes him a more emotionally driven character!
  6. Wings

    Level 100
    Jun 11, 2017
    Hi there @Zenaku, and welcome to the lake! If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you some questions about your writing ^_^

    Is this your first multichapter fanfiction? If you mean to take on five whole regions (from what I understand) that’s going to be a whole lot of chapters! It’s not impossible to write a fic that long, but it will feel a bit tedious. A lot of writers struggle with keeping up their inspiration for one region, so it might feel hard to find inspiration for all five. I would suggest starting with Kanto for now, then deciding later on if you’d like to have sequels, which you can add onto the same fic if you want to, or post as separate fics.

    What is your main character’s goal? This is something you should think about at all times. If the goal is to become the champion, then in each chapter you would make sure your character is trying to do something to reach that goal. These events don’t just have to be battling! They could be:
    -catching Pokémon
    -exercising to help stay fit with the pokémon
    -journeying along different routes
    Additionally, the character doesn’t have to make progress towards the goal in each chapter. They could even fall behind! Showing your character struggling will make them feel more relatable and bring out their true colors. For example:
    -a wild Pokémon escapes capture after all the trainer’s hard work
    -the trainer experiences an injury like a sprained wrist while journeying, therefore making it more difficult for them to capture Pokémon
    -the trainer gets lost along the route
    -the trainer doesn’t make it to a city/Pokémon center before nightfall and is forced to camp outside with minimal supplies, leaving them to rely on their Pokémon and nature

    These kinds of obstacles might set your fic apart from typical journey fanfictions. Remember, if your OCs goal changes, you need a rational reason for that change. A typical goal change we see in Pokémon games is that the evil team captures a legendary. Suddenly the trainer’s goal changes from becoming the champion, to saving the world out of necessity to stay alive. Then the goal usually resumes to becoming the champion.

    Often, random goal changes happen because the writer doesn’t plan out their story and writes it along the way. If they realize they’ve made a mistake, they attempt to change it, but sometimes it won’t make sense because of the previous plot they already laid down. So what I would suggest for you is to:
    Map out all your major events. Then start filling in the blanks between them. Separate your story into arcs and write brief descriptions of each chapter. What’s going to happen in each one, and how does it go towards the main goal? This way you know each chapter is purposeful before you write it.

    Best of luck writing this! I’m here for any advice if you need it!
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  7. Talarc

    Talarc Swimmer

    Level 11
    Sep 9, 2014
    Journey fic, huh? They're very rewarding to write, but I should warn you that they are also probably the hardest kind of fic to write.

    You seem to have a good handle on the ingredients that can make journey fic work, which is encouraging. I also think that the outline for your protagonist seems fairly solid with a lot you can use to develop him. My concern (and this applies to the current rival as well) is that it sounds rather standard for that kind of story - the protagonist's main weakness is that he's reckless and impulsive, while the rival's is that he doesn't understand the power of friendship, both of which are common tropes.

    Breaking away from the usual rival setup is a good idea, be it through the 'humble rival' idea or some other personality that makes them more engaging and relatable. For example, in my story the rival is driven by his sense of inferiority to the more naturally talented protagonist and this leads into their shared arc based on natural talent vs hard work.

    And, actually, that's another thing to consider - what are you going to do to make your story unique? Lots of people have already written about Red and Blue taking on Team Rocket and so on, with plenty of others writing about Red and Blue but with different names and slightly altered personalities. There are lots of ways to break away from that though. My own story is based around ordinary trainers just travelling together, and anything to do with the evil team is just background information that they hear about but aren't involved in. This means I can dodge some of the normal cliches and offer a new perspective on the events of the games.

    The most important thing with journey fic is planning - you should know where your protagonists are going to end up eventually and ideally have a good idea of how they are going to get there.

    As far as pokémon are concerned, I think the issue is less how overused or cliche the pokémon is and more what you do with them. For example, maybe your protagonist lucks out and manages to capture a pseudo-legendary (let's say metagross) - by itself, that would be a poor choice, but you can develop it in ways that make it interesting. Maybe a powerful pokémon like metagross absolutely refuses to listen to the protagonist's orders, doesn't participate in battles, and even attacks him in anger on occasion. This creates an interesting problem for the protagonist to overcome and that's far more fun to read about. It also means that when he eventually manages to earn the metagross's loyalty, having a powerful pokémon on his team becomes a satisfactory reward for his persistent efforts instead of just a cheap attempt to make him look cooler.

    It's also a good idea to avoid having masses of popular pokémon on the same team - if your protagonist has got a pikachu, riolu, eevee and a pseudo-legendary, then that's a sign that something might be going wrong.

    If you're interested, then here's a writing guide written by a far better author than me. A lot of the advice there is very useful for writing journey fic, and there's also a list of pokémon sorted by how often they've been tagged on FFN to give you an idea of which ones are more common.

    I hope this helps. Good luck with your story!
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