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Advice on Capturing Pokemon and Chapter Length?

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by TheBlackDuelist, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. TheBlackDuelist

    TheBlackDuelist Well-Known Member

    Hey guys I've been thinking about this problem for awhile. I've been planning on writing an adventure fan fiction for quite along time and my favourite region has always been the Sinnoh Region. (Loving that Cynthia :p). So back to my question, I've already set up my main, sub, and side plots and have my OT characters ready I just need to know know how a good way would be about capturing the main protagonists team?

    I've come up with a couple ideas so far but aside from that I'm stuck.

    Also, I've looked around here quite alot in this past week and I've noticed that most of the chapters that are written are neither too short, and not tediously too long. Do you guys follow like a set amount of how much information you want to reveal to the audience? Or is it that you guys can calculate exactly how much is needed for a chapter to be in that perfect balanced area.

    Thanks :)
  2. SeekerofLight

    SeekerofLight He's everywhere...

    Hiya there.

    I find that chapter length, particularly in my own work, fluctuates as the story progresses.
    For example, my most recent chapter of Seekers of Light is only about 3000 or so words, while the previous chapters were near 5000.

    The key is forward planning. Say if you want to include a Prologue. The prologue shouldn't be overly long, as its purpose is to draw the reader into the story, without boring them. You also need to be sure to include drama or suspense in it.

    On that subject, if you plan ahead, deciding on the length of chapters is far easier. By planning the events in your story, you can choose which events chapters end and begin with. this is best kept to either cliffhangers to create tension, making readers want to return to your thread for the next chapter, or instead at a point of peace and relaxation, say after a Gym battle or leaving Mt.Coronet.

    In other words, chapters can be long or short, as long as its not too extreme. Plan ahead and decide on suitable breaks in your story, and its easy!

    Hope i have been of assistance


    Oh, and sorry for the double post, but i should be answering your other question regarding pokémon capture.

    The starter is a given, but if you want to add your own originality compared to being given one of the Sinnoh starters, by all means do so.
    Say perhaps the first Pokemon is a gift from a parent, relative or friend? Or perhaps that the Protagonist has befriended a wild Pokemon?

    As for capturing other Pokemon, really all you need to do is incorporate Battles into it. Have battles first, and then use suspense and tension while the Pokeballs are being used.

    To be honest, its down to how you want Pokemon to be caught, whether easy or not.

    I do apologise if i haven't been too helpful, I am currently working on a Mystery Dungeon story, not an adventure, so i am not too sure on how to write these parts.

    Happy writing

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2013
  3. TheBlackDuelist

    TheBlackDuelist Well-Known Member

    Hey Thanks for the Reply Seeker. I've been reading you Hero story and I must say it's looking pretty nice.

    Yea you answered my first question on chapter length perfectly. I was trying to decide on how long I should make each chapter and what I should/should not include in them to make them or suspenseful. Thanks for everything, I look forward to reading your story :)

    As for capturing Pokemon, I just realized that I can make each capture relatively the same but just add on a backstory or a twist to it. I initially thought that each capture should be completely different.

    Thanks again :) I'll have my fan fiction up soon, I "Hope" you'll check it out. (Ah you see what I did there...)
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  4. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    ^I'll merge them for you - in future please use the edit button instead of double posting as that's what it is there for.

    Well, the thing is there's a lot of good ways! I think one way to answer the question is to avoid making it a bad way. =p

    In a less annoyingly vague manner - first come up with some ideas. Brainstorm away. Then try to fit one to the Pokemon itself, as well as context of the situation, etc. Water Pokemon for instance make more sense to be found via fishing than during a trip in a desert. You can then build it from there. How does the battle/event go? Does the Pokémon's nature (personality or due to its species, etc) play a role in how it is caught/how the battle goes? (E.g. is it a friendly Pokemon, or just very aggressive?) Note that there needn't be always a battle required to get a Pokemon (e.g. they are gifts, family inheritance, just found and it was willing to join, etc), but how you get it should be believable (ie the trainer just didn't happen upon a rare abandoned Pokemon that was unloved with no consequences coming into play with that).

    Also, if the story itself isn't about the trainer getting Pokemon then there's also no need to show us how he/she got each one.

    As for chapter length, beyond the 'extremes = generally not a good idea unless well executed' deal there's no real sweet spot. Basically a chapter (and story for that matter) should be as long as it needs to be to tell the story, nothing more or less. No need to extend a chapter too much with filler or stuff that does not add to the story itself, and at the same time you don't want to undersell the events by telling a cutdown version of what happens. It's a skill that takes a bit of time to pick up though... iirc there's also a bit in the Advice for Aspiring Authors thread which compares it to an episode on tv which is not bad advice in itself, so you may want to check that out.
  5. TheBlackDuelist

    TheBlackDuelist Well-Known Member

    ^ Thanks for the great advice. I sort of know understand what you're saying about capturing pokemon and how long a chapter should be. Ok so basically what you're saying is that I shouldn't include unnecessary information that goes on unless it has something to add on towards the plot while at the same time including enough information to inform the reader on what is happening and how it will build it towards the conflict?
  6. SeekerofLight

    SeekerofLight He's everywhere...

    Effectively yes.

    You could use captures to add humour or tension. For example, say if there was an exceptionally annoying Pokemon that the Protagonist really wanted to catch, but it wouldn't be caught even after 50 or so Pokeballs. Obviously you don't want to write out each Ball thrown, but instead use a short sentence such as ''Even after 20 Great balls, two Timer balls and even an Ultra ball, [protagonist] still could not catch the Pokemon".

    I dunno really, bobandbill has given some really good advice. Effectively, depending on the Genre of the story depends on how you write Captures. A comedic approach would be great and has lots of potential, while a darker story can make captures desperate.
    Its all up to you really. Once you get the hang of it, writing is a cinch!

    Good luck, I assure you I will be awaiting your Story with bated breath.


    P.s. excuse some of my posts. I have been using a tablet to write many messages, and it seems the Edit button doesn't work too well on my device!
  7. Firebrand

    Firebrand Indomitable

    On the subject of chapter lengths:

    When I'm writing original fiction, I shoot to make my chapters between eight and thirteen pages long. Bear in mind that I type in Times New Roman, 14 pt font, single spaced, so that's the point of reference I'm coming from here. However, back when I was writing League of Heroes and Hero's Path, I went for shorter chapters. That model just seemed to fit fanfiction better, and it helped me balance the workload with the other stories I was writing. So, my roundabout answer to your question is that my fanfic chapters tend to be between five and eight pages in the format I specified above. There were a few exceptions to this, especially in later chapters, where I made them ten to twelve pages.

    But just remember that the quality of a story is not directly correlated to the quantity of it. I could write a long-winded thirteen page chapter where nothing really is accomplished and the balance of content and exposition is totally off. But I could also write a six page chapter that is well-paced, has a good balance of action and development and is just far more enjoyable to read than the longer one. Don't worry so much about the length of chapters. Each writer is different, and the more you keep writing and discovering your style, the better you'll become at judging how long you want chapters to be. I knew one writer who didn't bother with chapters at all, she just wrote. Didn't bother dividing it up until she thought she had enough to merit posting and cut it off at a point she deemed fitting.

    Don't worry about it, is basically what I'm saying. If you keep at it, you'll eventually discover that "golden ratio" all on your own.
  8. Shadow Lucario

    Shadow Lucario Well-Known Member

    In regards to chapter length, make them as long as you need to be. If you only have three pages worth of information then that's good. If you need ten, then take ten pages. My chapters have usually been between five and fifteen pages. One of my chapters in my first completed fic Dedication through Light and Darkness, was forty+ pages long. There really isn't a set limit once you pass the one page minimum. If you try to set a certain page number for you to reach, then you'll either fall short or go way above it.

    For capturing Pokemon, you don't have to show how each one is caught like bobandbill already said, but if you wanted to then you could try a few things. The standard character sees a Pokemon, wants it, and then goes after it or a catching contest like the Bug Catching Contest. Gift Pokemon work as well. There's a lot of things you could do. Just do what comes natural at that point in time.
  9. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    Yes, although note that it doesn't have to add to the plot itself (although ideally you want to still keep the story moving in some way). Spending time to focus more on characterisation (e.g. showing an event that lets the reader know how the character may react to ___ and hence see more of their personality) is fine to do for example.
  10. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly Staff Member Moderator

    To clarify, the minimum length for a chapter is two pages, not one as Shadow Lucario said. After that, chapter length doesn't necessarily matter - as bobandbill said, avoid extremely long or extremely short and you should be fine. To help with this, you can try to get a rough idea of what you want to happen in a chapter, and try to end it in a good spot. See how long that would make your chapter, and decide whether it seems good, or whether should be longer/shorter, in which case find another place to cut it off. A good way to think about chapter length is by imagining your fic was a TV show, and aim for each chapter to be a half-hour episode. Do you have enough content to fill up a full half hour of screen-time or would it be too much to fit into a single episode?

    With Pokemon captures, you don't have to make every one the same, but you also don't need to go out of your way to make each one unique or special. If your character sees a Spearow and decides he wants it, the capture doesn't need to be a big, epic ordeal. Alternatively, you can come up with fun capture stories - like the Spearow he had his eye on poops on him and hops away, enraging the trainer and forcing him to go on a wild goose chase to find and capture the offending Spearow, stubbornly refusing to catch any other. Or your character can specifically be searching for a rare Pokemon that lives in the area, and he has to go on a whole adventure to find one. Maybe a Pokemon was terrorizing a nearby town/forest/whatever, and your protagonist captures it to eliminate the problem and trains it to be less mean. If you're ever stuck for ideas, you can always try to get inspiration from captures in the Pokemon anime. :>

    Good luck,

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