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some questions;

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by はるひ, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Is it wrong to kinda draw inspiration from say, a video game or such? The story that I am planning is going to inspired from that Mario game (Super Princess Peach)... somewhat but yeah.

    The more important question is, is it okay for be to portray a legendary Pokemon as not being strong? Meaning the Pokemon can only save the day with help? It's Palkia. The thing is... like the game where Peach defeats Bowser but only with the use of the magic parasol, Palkia defeats Ghetsis and rescues Dialga, but she can only do so with the use of the Adamant Orb; which this orb contains some of Dialga's strength. Which he lends to Palkia to guide her. And with the last villain, Palkia can only defeat him with the move Assistance, which she needs to use Dialga's Roar of Time to defeat it.

    tl;dr, how can I make Palkia reliant on others' powers or portray her as weak without readers looking at me weird?
  2. CuriousHeartless

    CuriousHeartless Well-Known Member

    It's your story. If you do it right, people will never question why Palkia seems so qeak. I fyou do it wrong, people will yell at you about it. Just try your best and do hat you want.
  3. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    As long as you don't outright plagiarise... should be fine.

    And it does depend how you do it but if Palkia is canonically portrayed as a strong legend in the games/anime/etc, then I can't say it'd be easy. =/
  4. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    Palkia is supposed to be pretty much as strong as Dialga and he also has spacial manipulation. I'd think he/she'd be able to crush a petty human into dust without any trouble. I feel like people might raise eyebrows unless there was a good explanation. There might also be some flak on the concept of a female Palkia being weaker than a male Dialga.
  5. Well alot of people think Dialga is stronger. In canon, I think Palkia feared him because he can very well OK her with his powers.
  6. Fixed. (I'm such a grammar nazi, aren't I.)

    Anyway, if I was Dialga, I'd be the one doing the fearing, but that's just me. On topic, in canon is not the right word. In fanon, it is. The only reason Palkia was sheltering was not fear of Dialga's powers. The gem on its shoulder getting scracthed was.

    This is your fic, so your ideas.
  7. Dialga was injured as well, but he still wanted to kick her ***. He saw Palkia as a coward for running away from him so that's why he was angry.

    Another thing and I missed this, why would people give me flack about Palkia being weaker than Dialga? Because I made Palkia a girl and Dialga a boy. However, why is it okay for girls to be overpowered and beat boys and be all like "GURLZ RULE! BOYZ STINK!!11!" but when a male Polkemon is stronger than a female Pokemon, then it's wrong?

    Stats, anime and fandom all point to Dialga being stronger than Palkia. Actually it points to Palkia being the weakest, regardless of her having the same BST. So in my story, Palkia is going to be as weak as she is being protrayed in canon.
  8. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    Where are you even getting your canon/fanon? :/ In the movie, Palkia was the one who was seriously injured, not Dialga. There was nothing that stated Dialga thought Palkia was a coward, and to top everything off, I'm pretty sure most people think that Dialga and Palkia are equal-footed in terms of power. I have yet to find a lot of people who say otherwise.

    No one's saying you should have your girls be overpowered. However, most of your girls are weak. Giratina's childish, Hydreigon is a stereotypical (and potentially delusional) damsel in distress, and Palkia is basically Princess Peach. Sure, we have Gothitelle from you, but she's not a prominent character in your work. She's also only one true strong female; the other "strong females" are all basically background characters. Instead, we get either cutesy females or females who insist on being the damsels in distress, neither of which are realistic or something real girls can relate to.

    Even Princess Peach could help herself out of a situation. Think about it. In her game, she might have had a magic parasol to help her, but ultimately, she won the day using her own (literal) inner strength. Mario didn't step in to stop Bowser for her, and he didn't lend her his power to do it. She did it on her own. Moreover, she went out with self-confidence. She insisted on taking on the mission to rescue Mario. She didn't simply sit around and wait for someone to push her into action or for someone to save the day.

    That's the problem most people are having with your characters. They're pretty much sexist. Two of them would rather wait around for a man to save them instead of act on their own, and then you have Giratina and the other cutesy ones who imply that women are only good when they're being cute or femme. You don't have to be overpowered to be a strong female character. People fight their battles in different ways.

    For example, look at the characters of Sailor Moon. Sure, you have some of the girls (like Moon herself) who dream about being frilly princesses who will be whisked away by princes, but then you have characters who kick tail and take names, not necessarily literally. Sailor Mercury is probably the prime example of this. Check this battle out. She doesn't fight against that particular monster with brute force. Instead, she calmly thinks things through and outsmarts her opponents.

    Another example? The only character who ever equaled Sherlock Holmes in terms of intellectual prowess (besides Moriarty) was Irene Adler -- a woman.

    Then, if you're not interested in writing a genius (who isn't necessarily perfect or the strongest physically), there's plenty of other female characters who aren't weak and aren't overpowered. May's actually a good example in Pokémon canon because she can win her own battles and stand on her own without Ash's help. Iris is another one, although she's not exactly excellent at battling (outside of game canon). Heck, most gym leaders in general are actually prime examples. (You could even go one step up and look at Cynthia, Karen, or the other higher-ranked League members.)

    Point is, it's possible to be a female character who can work things through on her own without being overpowered. However, most people have problems with your characters because at least two of them only want to be rescued by other people, and a number of the others just act like children. In other words, at the beginning, they're extremely weak. The strong or otherwise capable females either get pushed off to the side or (in the case of Giratina's mother) are portrayed as sociopaths. It's the males in your fics who kick tail and take names from the get-go.

    Then, your story ideas don't even really imply that a female character ever actually becomes strong. For example, in this fic, Palkia never uses her own power to defeat Ghetsis. She has to borrow power from Dialga in order to do it. This differs from Princess Peach, who has everything she needs within herself. Peach doesn't need to call on Mario's jumping ability or Mario's other forms in order to take Bowser down. So, Palkia never truly gains confidence in herself, and she never truly gains the power she needs to get the job done. She's only reliant on Dialga, which sends readers the message that women can't do anything without the assistance of a man. (As a side note, Palkia can't learn Assist, so there's that as well.)

    In other words, the final answer to your original question is... you can't. Not with the kinds of trends you've been showing in your work. In this case, you're implying that there's very little character growth, and there's nothing really to be learned. Palkia starts as a damsel reliant on men, and she ends as a damsel reliant on men. Considering that's basically one of the three major types of women you have in your fics (the other two being the background characters and the naive ones) and considering the fact that many of your men are knights in shining armor or warrior characters, yes, it's wrong.

    Or in shorter, having one or two of these kinds of characters is fine so long as you have the character gain enough strength (inner or outer) to stand on their own. Having an entire universe of stagnant characters or walking tropes who are always reliant on others is not fine because the world (and character growth) doesn't work like that.

    Or in even shorter than that, the point isn't to have female characters who always defeat boys. The point is to have believable characters who eventually experience character growth, regardless of gender. Except you have a tendency to hamper your females' abilities to grow for frankly ridiculous reasons.

    And I do apologize for how biting all of this is, but I will have to be frank and say that I have an inner feminist who gets bitey at these kinds of things.

    Um... no.

    Base stats of both dragons add up to 680. Both of their base Attack is 120, and their Special Attack stats are both 150. Dialga's Defense is 120 and Special Defense is 100; Palkia's is reversed. Palkia's Speed is 100 and HP is 90; Dialga's is reversed. So, literally, they have the same stats in different distributions, and Palkia can score just as hard hits faster. Moreover, both are considered uber-tier Pokémon, and it should be noted that whereas Smogon (the competitive battling site) states that Dialga is hard to counter, Palkia has no true counter. (Granted, this is in Gen IV, but still.) The only leg-up that Dialga has over Palkia, really, is the fact that it's Steel/Dragon, but Palkia has counters for that.

    In fanon, as I've said, Palkia and Dialga are typically seen as equals. That's how they actually are portrayed in canon. The anime simply had Dialga score a lucky shot, but otherwise, there's absolutely nothing that indicates one is stronger over the other.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  9. Antithesis

    Antithesis Well-Known Member

    All of that is true, but you've disregarded the all-important fact that Palkia is cuter and thus weaker.
  10. ZoruaBoo

    ZoruaBoo *slaps younger me*

    If you make Palkia look weak to start out with, okay. But the only way to not offend people is to make it so she learns something in the end. So she can be weak and need a lot of help to start with, but then in the end, Palkia learns how to deal with things on her own, but also learns that others help should be accepted.
  11. I would like to say that..... wow.... my characters are sexist? That... kinda hurts my feelings because it's implying that I'm sexist and I'm not. I'm a girl, but I want my characters to have different personalities and such.

    Like take Gothitelle. She's strong, but she also lacks emotions. Meaning she doesn't... cry or laugh. She will reason with you and she'll care about you, but she won't be affectionate with you. She also kinda lacks flaws as well. When I wrote her I didn't even think about flaws. I can't say she's perfect, because shes written by a writer that isn't herself. I can say she's a warrior character.

    That's a good personality but if every female that I bring into the story had that personality, then it would all be boring and you would say "mary sue!11!". That's why I had characters like Giratina and Reuniclus to balance it out. They are childish, yes and they arent warriors but they can fight.

    As for Palkia and Hydreigon, yes they are damsel characters and the only damsel characters. The difference between the two is that Hydreigon is confident until she gets captured. Also, she doesnt care whether there is an opening for her to escape that was close enough to slap her three heads, she wants Haxorus to sweep her off her feet out yonder window and carry her away. Because it's romantic to her.

    Palkia is very insecure about herself. She's insecure about her body and her powers. She knows that she has her powers, but she doesn't believe that she is strong enough. In fact, Palkia sees the other characters as being better than her and stronger. Dialga makes her feel like she is just as good as everyone else, however she doesn't feel like she is. Pretty much, she's somewhat confident around Dialga but when she's away from him, her insecurity comes back.

    So that's why the plot is how is it. Because Palkia doesn't belive that her Spacial Rend, Bubblebeam or Whirlpool is going to stop Ghetsis or his robots. Dialga's power gives her not only confidence but makes her feel like if she was powerful
  12. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    You can be sexist and still be a girl. It's about the philosophy, not your gender.

    You can have characters with different personalities without giving off a sexist vibe. However, that's not what you're doing because most of your characters have pretty much the same core personality with very slight differences.

    ...That's not what "Mary Sue" means. :/ In fact, if every character was like that, a reader would be less likely to cry Mary Sue because individual characters would seem ordinary by comparison. Take Ace Sanchez's Pokemon MASTER, for example. Every single character is ridiculously over-the-top, but that's just normal for that universe. Granted, he's not exactly the king of characterization anyway, but his readers are a little more apt to buy them because pretty much everyone is a badass.

    For a better example, take Pokémon Special. Every character is pretty awesome in some way, but no one really cries Mary Sue (except in the case of Yellow, who really overdoes it) because being awesome is normal for someone in that universe.

    A Mary Sue, meanwhile, is a character around whom the universe bends. They're the characters who everyone either loves or hates, depending on whether you want an angsty character or the overly awesome character. To be a bit clearer, canon characters are OOC around them, logic doesn't apply to them, and the universe goes out of its way to make everything go great for them or go horrendously wrong. Being a damsel in distress doesn't keep you from being a Sue. In fact, if the attractive knight-in-shining armor goes out of his way to save you regardless of whether or not it makes sense, then you're a Sue.

    Point is, a universe of developed characters would not make a reader cry Mary Sue. Moreover, you can have more than one interesting, developed personality without resorting to sending the wrong message about girls.

    Except you never really have them fight. Giratina relied on her mom in one story, and in another story, she spent more time hiding and running away than doing anything productive. Reuniclus, meanwhile, only seems to be the comic relief.

    Point here is that actions speak louder than words. You can tell me that these characters can stand up for themselves all day, but it doesn't mean anything to me if they don't actually do it within your story.

    Except not really, considering she would rather just have Haxorus come to her rescue. That's not confidence. That's hiding behind someone else whenever real danger comes along, even if she's only doing it because she thinks it's romantic.

    That's the point, though. It's okay to have a character like this if she grows out of it. In your fic, she relies on Dialga's power from the beginning to the end, so she really never learns how to believe in her own power or how to gain enough strength to stand up on her own. She's just a stereotypical girly girl who needs to rely on someone else to be strong -- artificially strong, no less. I mean, really. She's relying on Roar of Time, on the Adamant Orb, on all of Dialga's strength, not her own. Where's her lesson? How does she become a developed character who can look past her insecurities and become something more than just a damsel in distress?

    And that's why I stand by the thought that your portrayal of women carries some unfortunate sexist undertones.
  13. Oh. I apologize. I'm not sexist. I can say that. I'm no woman hater. I want the characters to be treated equally and not get free passes because they are female or male.

    How can I make it so that it's okay for Palkia to rely on Dialga? I do want the Adamant Orb to be there but maybe the ROT was a bit of a stretch. How could she become confident in her powers when she doesn't believe she's strong?

    For the record, I don't think Palkia is cute, her smile is but no. So that stereotype is gone.

    EDIT: I can't help thinking that if it were the other way around, Dialga would be the one relying on Palkia's strength. If it were that you would be okay with that wouldn't yall? Because it says "gurlz are bettur than boyz". I dislike feminazi characters and I don't want them being protrayed that way.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  14. Ememew

    Ememew Emerald Mew

    "Sexism" isn't necessarily about "hate" either, it can also be about relying on gender stereotyping rather than giving a character their own unique personalities. It can also be when characters of a certain gender are disproportionately cast as "strong" and the other gender disproportionally cast as "weak" (meaning eight out of ten characters of either gender always fall into one end of the spectrum or the other, especially in cases in which eight out of ten of their opposite gender counterparts always fall into the opposite role).

    Anyway, about the "if Dialga had to rely on Palkia it would be OK" comment, no it wouldn't. I think what they're trying to tell you is that your characters shouldn't rely solely on another character's power in place of their own from start to finish regardless of their gender.

    If they literally can not do something in a situation with their own powers, that's one thing, but such a situation would never realistically last the duration of the story. There would likely be an instance in which your character would be able to use their own power, even if they're under-confident in it.

    The point I'm trying to make is that your characters, regardless of gender, need to do some things for themselves. Yes, she can use Dialga's power to help her, but she shouldn't flat-out "rely" on it alone to get her through. Same thing if the situation were reversed. If the character cannot do something for his/her self, then what's the difference whether Palkia uses the Adamant Orb to save Dialga or if a wandering Lucario that just happened to be passing by did instead? Other than their motives behind saving Dialga, not much. Giving your character a chance to grow and do something with their own skills, even if he/she receives assistance from another character's power, is what gives them a reason to be a character.

    Anyway, on to the main point . . .

    If, say, she physically cannot use her own "space" abilities (whether through injury or through lack of confidence) and has to use Dialga's power, she would still have to use her own mind to channel the power. She would have to decide how to use it. She would have to be using her own strength, her own will, even if the attack is Dialga's. The point is that at some point, she will need to realize this fact - that she can do something on her own - and grow as a character from this realization. Even if for whatever reason a character cannot use his or her own attacks, he/she shouldn't "rely on" another's power, but rather "use" it.

    I hope this makes sense and that it doesn't sound rude.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  15. Antithesis

    Antithesis Well-Known Member

    You're not getting it.
  16. I see. As this is a fanverse of mine, I don't want it all to happen in one fic. There's going to be another one where Palkia slowly begins to get over her insecurity about her image because Dialga tells her something that he's been afraid to tell her.

    The thing is, confidence doesn't happen overnight. So yeah she might feel confident but not fully in tune with her own strength. She doesn't feel like she is strong, however she won't regress into her old ways. Palkia will start to be more in tune but slowly.

    In short, I want my characters to have flaws. if I rid them of them then they become flawless which I don't care for flawless characters. I want to still keep a little bit of Palkia's insecurities thoughtout any story I do.
  17. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    No one's asking you to have her gain self-confidence overnight. However, this is a chaptered fic featuring a quest. In every quest, characters grow and change because that's the point of having a quest. Fics featuring quests aren't just about fighting bad guys and fulfilling the specific goals for the fic. They're also about how a character grows and changes to complete the final task and reach their goal. Therefore, if there's no character growth shown by the end of the fic (as in, if Palkia doesn't get over her most major obstacle in completing her task -- that being the fact that she's not confident/powerful enough to stand up to Ghetsis), then your character will be stagnant, boring, and (because Palkia is yet another female who remains stagnant and weak) still sexist.

    It's understandable that you want a fanverse going, but that's really no excuse for not having your characters grow, change, and rise up to meet the challenges they face. I'd hate to bring in a really boring and potentially silly example, but look at the Kung Fu Panda movies. In both of them, the main character has a specific issue that he needs to overcome. (In the first one, one of these issues is actually a lack of self-confidence, ironically enough.) By the end of the movies, he learns enough from his training and the events of the plot to overcome his inner obstacles and grow to be a bit wiser and more capable. However, there's more than one movie set in that universe, and in the sequel, he tries to tackle yet another issue within himself. He still has issues to work through, but he manages to overcome his most important ones for each movie within a single quest.

    In short, doing things like overcoming self-confidence issues is called character growth. There should always be character growth in your fic. Otherwise, your characters wouldn't be interesting.

    Then why are you writing about a quest that would require her to overcome her insecurity? :/ While, sure, we all have self-doubts now and then (because that makes us human), this quest is about her standing on her own two feet and doing something by herself. She's going to have to become self-confident on some level.

    Besides, every character should have more than one flaw, so if you think you're going to make a character flawless just by removing this one tiny trait, then there's something seriously wrong, bluntly put. Characters, as I've told you at least once before, are like people. People are complex. There's good things and bad things about every person, and no one is just a list of personality traits. Think about yourself. How do you act? Is everything you do the right thing according to everyone else? Are there things you know you can't do? What kinds of issues do you face within yourself? What kinds of difficulties do you face on a normal basis? You should have multiple-word answers for each of these questions.

    Point is, you're not going to make a character flawless by having them grow and become better people. If that statement that I just said isn't true, then chances are, you really need to look at your characters and rethink how you build characterization.
  18. Now I see. I now understand. Also about Palkia actually using that power instead or relying on it makes sense. Along the way, she's going to use her own powers but amplified by the pieces of the Adamant Orb to help her out. Like how Arceus lent his strength to help the people build their land, Dialga lends Palkia his strength to guide her through the process. Also it gives her some kind of confidence since she sees him as being strong.

    I will not have her use ROT but use her own sig ablity, but when is enough with the Adamant Orb? Because that's one of her purposes for this mission, piece together the orb, defeat Ghetsis, rescue Dialga, defeat last villain w/o help.

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