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Creative liberties with your Pokemon fanfic

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by matt0044, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. ChloboShoka

    ChloboShoka Writer

    Would any of these count as creative liberties?

    Action Replay/Game shark and cheating devices being illegal and dangerous drugs.
    Hacked pokemon = Unhealthy pokemon at a higher risk of cancer and complicated health issues.
    Mixing gameverse and animeverse together.
     
  2. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    For whatever reason, my brain just... doesn't really notice off-region Pokémon, at all. Every single time I see a review on a story I've read comment on Pokémon being in regions they shouldn't, it's something that never even began to occur to me when I was reading it. Like, I'm generally a very nitpicky reviewer and would probably comment on stuff like that if I noticed it, but I don't, ever. Certain Pokémon not living in certain regions just doesn't register as a thing for me until somebody else points it out. So no, I couldn't honestly say that off-region Pokémon bother me. If my trainer fic didn't happen to take place in an original region I'd probably write misplaced Pokémon all over the place without thinking until called out on it (and even in my original region trainer fic there tends to be no logic to what old Pokémon I throw in there, for similar reasons). It's definitely a legitimate complaint for someone who's pulled out of the story by it, but personally it's not something that would put me off.

    However, as Negrek said, if you are thinking about it but are feeling compelled to bend the rules anyway, it might be worth examining your motivations - regardless of whether off-region Pokémon are in themselves an issue for any given reader, whatever is making you actively choose to ignore canon rather than work with it might be.
     
  3. matt0044

    matt0044 Well-Known Member

    What do you think of ignoring game stats for Pokemon? Personally, it's for the best since you want them to be like living creatures that can be as strong or weak as they can be.
     
  4. Subzero Dragon

    Subzero Dragon Resident Muse

    I like to give Pokemon personality in favor of stats. To me, stats are meaningless in a story but, certain other quirks make it amusing. For instance, a Zigzagoon with a foul temper (high attack) makes for a better character. Don't tell me the Zigzagoon is good at attacks: show me with his attitude. That's how I roll.
     
  5. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    Well, exact stats are rarely ever going to be relevant in-story, but they do serve as a nice guideline to pokemon's general strengths and weaknesses. I'm not going to complain about a machoke who's a little tougher than the averge, say, but if you have an alakazam beating down on her opponents with physical attacks or an ivysaur who's faster than an aerodactyl, unless there's a really, really good in-story explanation for it I'm going to have to call shenanigans. Pokemon are all individuals and living creatures, sure, and have the ability to train themselves to be better at something they'd usually be bad at or ignore their strengths. But they're limited by their physiology as much as any other living creature. To me, a raticate being a wizard with special attacks seems as weird as the idea of a real-world rat writing an essay.
     
  6. Venia Silente

    Venia Silente [](int x){return x;}

    Pretty much what Negrek says. I see stats not as absolute values, not even a range or a relative value, but rather as a mere descriptive comparison - All other variables being equal a Burmy should be, by all accounts, more physically resistant than a Surskit, even if not necessarily by 13 units (units of what?) in about the same way that the Surskit is more specially resistant than the aforementioned Burmy. But no exactness is needed, I guess it'd get in the way of the story.

    Given the various Pokémon canons I take elements from and the definition given by Dragonfree and others about "creative liberty" vs "headcanon" / "worldbuilding", etc, I'm not sure of any thing I do that definitively counts as a creative liberty, though I do have my suspects. For example: I consider Master Balls to not be a guaranteed catch, but rather a Pokéball that has a vastly different release mechanism than a common one; or the sizes and weights given in the in-game Pokédex from which I deviate a good lot, if only to make things like Fly and Surf be sensible given the Pokémon-riding component.
     
  7. I can understand what you mean, but it's not a matter of laziness. and yes the particular Pokemon are rather important in that each of my six trainers needs a Pokemon from each region, and each Pokemon does serve a specific purpose on the team, I was just worried that this many off-region Pokemon would become repetitive with an explanation each time.

    DOn't worry, I wouldn't want to make it easy on my characters, they need to grow up and stop being jerks and write themselves before I would do that.

    I can respect that, That's how I am with travel times or evolving/catching off-screen

    I've been turning around this idea for awhile, and tried every combination of Pokemon that are in-game naturally to make the teams, but like with Sinnoh where two regions have been added since then, that's where the creative liberties really come out to play.



    That was my mistake of oversimplification. I meant that an in-depth account of how a certain Pokemon appeared in a region almost every time just seems very repetitive to me. I'm taking care of many of them via Fossils, eggs, winning competitions, abandoned Pokemon, fishing contests, game corner prizes, catching in their habitat or a reasonable equivalent, and of course gifts; but all these seem like a deus ex machina seeing as too many of these would be more detrimental to the story than having them ll be caught. It really makes more sense why they need a Pokemon per region when the story is over, but it's hard to describe without the actual story present.



    This is just my own fault for not explaining further, any non-native Pokemon from the games that ends up in the story I consider off-region. Because If a random Ralts enters a Kanto journey-fic, I predict half a page of reviews asking about said Ralts, even if it's a minor character/character's Pokemon so when
    I have a character struggling with water types in Sinnoh visit around Lake Valor and finds Deerling and Sawsbuck WITH the native to that area Stantler I was wondering if that would be an okay thing to do

    So to sum up my thoughts on the matter, little explanation for small or innocuous liberties usually works just fine, but if you're going to do it on any larger scale you should at least try to think of a plausible reason for why things are what they are. Also, running into the need to handwave in the first place may be a sign of a larger problem with your story.[/QUOTE]

    For the first section I thank you, that's often how I feel, though it's more of noticing the Pokemon then ignoring it because the author has their reasons.

    As for the second part, that is the problem I have with doing this myself, if it would impact my stories popularity or credibility to be less explained than Ash's age I would be tempted to include in the Prologue something about mass migrations set upon by evens explained in later chapters (which now that I mention it, it would make sense for certain Pokemon to migrate in accordance with what's happening during the story)
     
  8. ZoruaGirl27

    ZoruaGirl27 Queen of Angst

    One thing that I just cannot stop doing without some serious editing after having already written a fic is messing around with moves.

    For example--and a rather large liberty at that--in my fics, Pokemon can learn more than four moves. Personally, I see this much the same as levels and stats. In the actual Pokemon world, were Pokemon real and all, you wouldn't have a "level seventeen Pignite", you would have a recently-evloved Pignite with not much expirience, but enough to have skills. A Pokemon wouldn't have a "base defense of 10", they'd be flimsy and unable to take a hit. Likewise, when a Pokemon learns a move, it isn't going to just randomly forget another move out of nowhere--in fact, if such a thing did exist, it would be inconvinient at best and disastrous at worst when a Pokemon ends up forgetting a move that you need it to know (because in the real world, a message won't pop up saying "However, so and so already knows four moves").

    Another move thing: I make the way that Pokemon learn moves mostly from training and battling, like normal, but they can also learn moves on the fly when in tight situations or under special circumstances.
     
  9. DANdotW

    DANdotW Previously Iota

    I think a lot of what I do in my fics plays with the canon of both the games and the anime.

    For example, in one of my fics I had a character fall down a ledge, injuring herself and creating a storyline that lasted about 20 chapters.

    Something I carry through all of my stories is that Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are real people, but they're actress's, shown on television and in advertisements as representatives of the Pokémon Centres and Police Academies.

    As the poster above said, I also let Pokémon learn more than four moves for sake of realism, although obviously I often have Pokémon stop using Thundershock once they learn Thunderbolt, etc.

    Something I've played with the idea of recently is altering the Pokédex a little. Making the Nidoran's one Pokémon is my main one, but also taking out Mewtwo and Porygon (since they aren't created by the beginning of my story; how would Professor Oak know to put them in there?) as well as the fossil Pokémon (since they no longer exist, and wouldn't be in a current encyclopedia of current Pokémon).

    I also change attacks often, mainly for realism's sake.

    One thing I love to do is include things from the game/show that wouldn't realistically make sense and tweak them so they come from a real place.

    Obviously since my main (and soon returning) fic is a remastered version of the Animé, I use a lot of canon in a lot of various ways, so taking creative liberties is something I have to think about often.
     
  10. Blackjack Gabbiani

    Blackjack Gabbiani Clearly we're great!

    I think out-of-region pokemon could easily be explained by trainers mass-releasing breeding stock. In reality, something like that could mess with an ecosystem, so trainers would probably be encouraged to catch the foreign species. Actually, you could explain swarms in much the same way.

    With levels, I think it's conceivable that they could exist as an estimate of comparative power or development. Like if it was observed that Pidgey tended to evolve with a certain degree of development consistant with steady advancement, that could be said to be a certain level.
     
  11. matt0044

    matt0044 Well-Known Member

    I plan to show Golett as Pokemon who cannot speak but have personalities. It makes for a more unique character.
     
  12. Ash_Junior

    Ash_Junior Irredeemable Nerd


    I don't really write a lot anymore, but I've come up with all kinds of headcanon and liberties.

    But I thought I'd share my two cents on off-region Pokemon.


    .....I just don't really care. When I write, I consider two things. What Pokemon I need for the situation, and what the current habitat type is.

    Kanto Pokemon in Hoenn that normally doesn't show up in canon? Sure.

    Personally, as long as it's a Pokemon that would normally live in the area where I'm writing (a field, a freezing cave, a normal cave, a forest, etc) I don't care.

    There may be a few Pokemon that are more rare/common in some areas than others, but if it works for the story I put them in.

    Although I have to admit that Poochyena/Mightyena are my go to for hostile pack animal encounters, and that Pidgeys are my go to for ambient birds.
     
  13. Nevans

    Nevans Well-Known Member

    Well I explane that off region pokemon are a result of trainers letting said pokemon go and then having kids making small herds of pokemon.

    Also you could have the pokemon given away by pokemon hunters that sell pokemon from other regions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  14. Nevans

    Nevans Well-Known Member

    For tm I just have them like a trainers manual that a trainer can use to teach a move with some practis first.
     
  15. ShachonianX

    ShachonianX Spheal Lord

    What do you guys think of creating new Pokemon/mega evolutions for your fanfictions? Having started my own fanfiction involving alien Pokemon, I would like to hear your views on the matter. Do you do it only when you have to, do you do it for creativity, or do you never do it?
     
  16. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    @ShachonianX: I never do it. Making up new Pokemon means having to describe them in detail to the readers, which is too much work for me. But I don't mind other people doing it. My story doesn't have Gen 6 stuff in it, but if it did, I wouldn't make up new mega evolutions either, for pretty much the same reason. Again, I don't mind other people doing it.

    @Ash_Junior: "There may be a few Pokemon that are more rare/common in some areas than others, but if it works for the story I put them in. Although I have to admit that Poochyena/Mightyena are my go to for hostile pack animal encounters, and that Pidgeys are my go to for ambient birds." Try having a Pinsir show up in Sinnoh's Rt. 202. Both of my trainers were still newbies and had all of 2 Pokemon to them each and it took all 4 of them to take one Pinsir down. Though I didn't explicitly say that Pinsirs are rare in that route, I hope people got that sense regardless.

    Anyway, people who read my story know that I throw in any Pokemon I want, regardless of which generation it debuted in, regardless of where they're found in the games. Shelmet and Yanma found in Rt. 202? Sure. Wild Elekids roaming Eterna Forest? Why not? Slugmas on Rt. 223? Okay, now you're going too far. (Obviously it would be a Magcargo, jk.) The only real restriction is believability. No fire types on water routes, no water types near power plants (unless they're part grass or ground), no fishes on dry land, hovering above it in a swimming pose because of graphic limitations. Why do I do this? Because it's fun! It'd be kind of boring for people to read a story and either know from a very limited pool of Pokemon what the main character is going to catch, or have the main character magically get all his Pokemon as gifts from random strangers because he's the bestest and kindestest trainer around and is a special little snowflake and not at all Ash.

    As for my own creative liberties, I do like the "Bulbasaur used Dig!" thing the anime did so very long ago, so I made it so that, in a life-threatening situation (either to the Pokemon itself or its trainer), a Pokemon can use attacks that it normally can't learn, can't learn until later, level-wise, or use an attack much more powerfully than normal. Also, I think everyone likes the "different starter choices other than grass, water, and fire" idea, so I made my starter choices Beldum (a tank, but can only learn one move that damages itself; PokeWalker Beldum doesn't exist in this world), Ditto (best flexibility, but you'd need knowledge of every Pokemon in existence; not good for long, drawn out battles), and Tynamo (weak from the start, no type weaknesses, only knows 4 moves, evolves at a late level). Since logically not everyone's going to have a childhood rival to compete with, there's no "BUT THIS DOESN'T FORM A FAIR AND EVEN BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS TRIANGLE OF CHECKS AND BALANCES" whining going on.

    Also, this world's Batman is based on Bisharp, not Golbat or Gligar.
     
  17. ShadedSkies

    ShadedSkies Well-Known Member

    Creative liberties are a must if you're looking to make sense out of the world of Pokémon. Still, trying to retain as much of the original as possible is a virtue in itself, or you'll end up writing something that's not a Pokémon fanfiction at all!

    In my case, the origin of Pokémon being that they arrived from the moon in a spaceship which was driven by Clefairy and landed in Mt. Moon… Yeah, no. I suggested that Pokémon were introduced into the ecosystem when the alien Arceus arrived on Earth during the Cambrian period approximately 500 million years prior. He was disgusted by our ancestors' barbaric ways of killing each other for survival and genetically modified a few of the plants to supply them with nutritious Berries. However, many creatures found the taste revolting and continued eating each other, while those who adapted to the taste had their genetics altered to liken Arceus after many generations and became what we refer to as Pokémon. Hence why so many Pokémon look just like animals, but are only slightly different and in possession of outlandish powers, and also why Arceus is considered to be their god. You truly do become what you eat! (The idea that only Pokémon can enjoy berries is a vital part of the story.)

    Another notable issue is with evolution and skill progression in general, which had to be slowed down. If it were similar to the games where they evolve after like 5 hours of gameplay, there simply wouldn't be any pre-evolutions left in the world. First evolution at adolescence, second at adulthood. I think it's fitting. And every Pokemon would be at level 100 after a month, not to mention go from struggling against Brock to steamrolling the Elite Four in a few days, not by training but FIGHTING which isn't nearly as effective at building physique unless you're in an RPG. Or happen to be a Saiyan.

    That S and Y reminds me of an easily overlooked problem, namely Shinys. As rare and desirable as they are, you'd think every trainer wanted one… And they do, so a free shiny would either have to be extremely strong or very good at running to avoid capture. There are so many stories where Shinys are Shiny just for the sake of being unique and special, while I'd imagine it would be a terrible curse for those hoping to stay free since no single Pokémon can trump a well-organized team of six. All the social troubles of being a legendary with none of the benefits, all for carrying a skin of different color!
     

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