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The Fan Fiction Mafia

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OceanicLanturn

Non non non!
How do you open your stories?

It depends. I don't know. I usually start with a dialogue, though. I've noticed a trend that I tend to start with dialogues in most important chapters. As for opening the fic, also dialogues. I think that if I don't learn some new ways of learning how to open a chapter, my readers (if any) are gonna get bored XD

Also, I'm having a hard time coming up with a title for adventure fics. Bleh.
 

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
I can't believe I am just now requesting to join. I have shamed and brought dishonor upon my family.

Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow. *SHOT*

How do you open your stories?

It depends. I don't know. I usually start with a dialogue, though. I've noticed a trend that I tend to start with dialogues in most important chapters. As for opening the fic, also dialogues. I think that if I don't learn some new ways of learning how to open a chapter, my readers (if any) are gonna get bored XD

Ha ha, I start with dialogue sometimes, too, both as chapter openings and opening transitions xD. I have no idea why, exactly, but I need to stop doing that, since I feel it's pretty distracting. I don't know how my readers feel about this, but I haven't gotten anything telling me, "Stop opening everything with dialogue," so I guess no one seems to mind. *shrugs*
 

Quilava42

Blazing Flowers
Another topic:

Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

How do you open your stories?

Usually I start with text of a person who's telling the story. Dialogue seemed weird to me when it comes out of nowhere. Not dialogue. It seems to make more sense to me. Starting with scenes is the hardest part since it starts it all.
 
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Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

Good question.

Yes. If there's too much of it, even if it's rather realistic given the situation, it can get very distracting. Movies, as much as they can get away with swearing like sailors, can have too much of it that it turns an audience off. There's always going to be that niche that doesn't mind if every other sentence drops the "f" bomb, but the vast majority can only take so much at a time, even if they go see R-rated movies all the time.

The same applies to writing, especially when it comes to fan fiction. You have to keep in mind the fandom you're writing in, and the rating--the demographic you're shooting for is especially important in this case. If you want to have Pikachu and friends swear up a storm, go ahead, just make it for mature audiences and be reasonable with it. Not sparingly (unless you want to)--reasonable. Too much of it at one time is extremely annoying to read. I personally groan a little whenever I see a bunch of swear words in one place hurr hurr hypocrisy because Deoxys swears up a storm anyway but it's nothing that harsh, but I will hit that back button if I reach my limit with the swears. That's just me. I don't know about the rest of you folks.

Can a curse word affect the atmosphere to where it benefits the scene? Depending on who you ask, it can. If you're looking for a specific mood to the scene, you can have a precision f-strike happen from a character who normally doesn't swear, or doesn't talk, whatever will help the story along and hit it home. You just have to be clever with it, even at the risk of some of your readers.
 

Brutaka

Ignition
Why have I not joined this? I don't know.

Why you like fanfic/writing: Because honestly, I want to find out what happens in this story just as much as everyone else. I have NO IDEA where any of my characters are going are what theyre gonna do. I'm just sorta along for the ride. Salvage Springs burned down? Oh, okay. N showed up and has taken a curiosity to Amy? Alright then. Arceus manipulated a poor human? Awesome. A Cloyster decided to cheat at a friendly battle? tsk tsk.

Does age really matter how well you write? How did you start out when you first started writing?
Not really. It's sort of an individual jurisdiction. You don't need to be old. Just experienced/talented or have good friends to help you.

EDIT
Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?
Yes and no. It depends on what kind of story you're doing. If it's super realistic and set in our modern time, chances are there will be lots of cussing. Not from everyone, but it'll be there.
Though it needs to make sense and have a place. And it needs to be approached with tact. No overusing it. Or at least make it so that if you do use it a lot, make it so that it doesnt sound forced. If it sounds natural, people tend not to mind as much.
 
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Shadow Lucario

Lone Vanguard
Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

If it's just over the top then yes. I feel that cursing should only be used in a situation where that certain curse word describes it better than any other word. If you have someone running around dropping F-bombs, that just doesn't look good, but the occasional damn isn't distracting at all. I'm not saying don't use the F-word, just pick the right moment.
 

Griff4815

No. 1 Grovyle Fan
Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

I think that depends on the reader. For me, personally, if it's in a character's nature to swear, then I'll have them swear. For example, one of my characters who's a rebellious mercenary who doesn't care what anybody thinks of him isn't afraid to swear. However, when people use swearing to try and make their story more "edgy" or use the f-bomb like its a punctuation mark, then it can get kind of annoying and tiresome. Swearing also kind of has to be consistent with the overall tone of the story. Like, it's jarring when subbers make the characters of the Pokemon and Digimon anime, for example, swear when the characters are supposed to be kids, pretty much for the purpose of making the show seem more mature. It just seems out of place in certain situations. The reverse situation is also true, like when gritty, savage pirates use words expletive replacements like "gosh" and "gee-whiz". It has to be realistic given the characters, the tone, and the situation.
 

Bay

YEAHHHHHHH
Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

Me personally it depends on the story, characters, and fandom. For instance there is one series with the characters cursing a lot, so the swear words in the stories for that fandom didn't bother me that much. With Pokemon cursing once in a while I'm fine but overused yeah that'll be a bit much.
 

Meeker

It needs a fence.
Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

Depending on what it is. I don't suggest using the "f-bomb" in a Pokemon fic much, if at all. It all depends on what your atmosphere is. If you've got a hellish war zone or a post-apocalyptic wasteland, I feel that it should be fine, given that something like that will do things to people's heads and brings out the worst in them. However, please, don't make a guy swear in something like a Disney movie (excluding The Avengers or something similar) or something along those lines. It also depends on the character. I expect a hothead to use more explicitives than some one who's relaxed more often. There are so many different situations that can make these things work, and stop them from working.
 

Flame Mistress

Well-Known Member
Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

I think it depends on the character and the situation. If they're a gangster-type person, or otherwise very rebellious and stubborn or something along those lines, then I'd say it's perfectly fine, since it would practically be in their nature to swear. If they're in a dangerous situation, like a war zone or an emergency that could result in deaths, then I'd also say it's fine to an extent, as long as they're not the kind of character to never swear. For example, you wouldn't expect a Victorian, tea-drinking, stiff-upper-lip gentleman to swear, even in the most dangerous situations. It just wouldn't work out. Also, in this case, I think single swear words would be more atmospheric than an f-bomb. It would make the characters in that situation look even more shocked and afraid.

You should keep in mind the demographic and general feel of the story as well, obviously. I wouldn't particularly like to see f-bombs in light-hearted Pokémon fanfics.
 

Dilasc

Boip!
How do you open stories? The best way possible! PUNCH! If your first line doesn't tell the reader something very big, dire, funny, awesome or wordplay-ish, then what is there to keep someone reading. I feel, very adamantly, that the very first line must... have... WHAM! It needs a hook, and what better way to hook that by making it dire. Hell, put some stakes right in the first line if you must.

I remember my favorite opening sentence I ever wrote: It rained in blood! WHAM! I loved it so that in my current Dust to Deceit Remake, that line is still there and unaltered.

Suddenly, audiences are interested because something dire is happening and they wonder what will happen. You've hooked them... at least, that's what I want to do. Doesn't always work though... hmm.



Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

I'm not too sure. It depends on what the swearword means. After all, what is a swear word if not but a word that has a clearly defined meaning that, in and of itself is considered taboo, but equally taboo words are not bleeped out. I can have clear disdain for racially inclined words as they have a hateful connotation. But the F word just means the act of baby making... and who can call that bad unless you accidentally make the baby... what were we talking about again?

I guess overuse of the same swearword CAN get repetitive, but it's the Said paradox where showing a limited vocabulary can ALWAYS be boring if people only respond with 'said.'
 

Negrek

Lost but Seeking
Well, I had a giant post with answers to some past questions almost all the way done, and then of course I went to change tabs and accidentally hit my school e-mail button instead. So I guess I'll just jump back in here--about the only really significant thing I wanted to say anyway was to tell Dragonfree that omg I totally remember that kadabra 'fic. It had to do with you being angry about the bumping rules in a spriting forum somewhere, didn't it? (From the same era, I also remember The Trainer With No Dreams, or whatever it was called... too bad you never decided to continue that; it could have been cool!)

Anyway.

Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

Heh, wow, I didn't actually realize so many people were turned off by swearing. (...uh-oh.) In any case, it's pretty much been stated--the kind of tone you're trying to convey is going to determine, to an extent, how much swearing is likely to go on. It's entirely possible to have a very gritty, dramatic setting without much cursing if you'd like, though. The effect is obviously that the more of it you have, the less any particular instance of cursing is going to have an impact. If you have a whole lot of "****s" flying around, they're just going to kind of wash out to a kind of background noise, for the people who aren't turned off by them and stop reading in the first place, I guess. On the other hand, as other people have noted, the very uncharacteristic curse from a character can have a huge impact. One of my high school teachers went on a long rant about how the most important line of dialogue in A Separate Peace is one in which a character who previously had a serious perfect-guy image going on has an accident and ends up not showing any emotion over it until finally he lets out this one explosive curse, which of course shows that his perfect image has come crashing down around his ears and he's become a broken person, etc etc. The class then proceeded to have no clue what she was talking about, and after some confusion it was discovered that the "crucial line" had in fact been censored out of our school-issued editions of the novel.

It's also worth it to note that, like most other elements of dark 'fics, you really have to be careful that you're not going too far with the cursing. Like, a "gritty" person in real life might swear pretty frequently, but if you have sentences with multiple f-bombs cropping up a great deal, for example, it's going to start coming across as laughable rather than "hardcore", or as if the character is trying too hard. "Holy ** on a ** sandwich with ** on top," and all that. A little bit of creative swearing can be great comedy, I think--just make sure I'm not snickering over something you were intending to be serious!
 

Dragonfree

Just me
Does age really matter how well you write? How did you start out when you first started writing?

Not age in itself, but statistically, younger authors are generally less experienced and less experienced authors are generally worse at writing than more experienced ones, which creates something of a correlation. It's not a perfect correlation, though - writing or aspects of writing can come more naturally to some people than others, so they may get the hang of it before somebody who has more experience, and some people start young and thus have more experience when they get older than people who start older.

If you're young and feel like your writing isn't as good as other people's, it may be because of your lack of experience, or it may just be something that doesn't come as naturally to you, but the answer to that is always just writing more and getting more experience - you should never worry about whether other writers are better than you when they were your age or had your amount of experience.

Either way, I started out writing hilariously awfully. When I was describing my first story in my first post here, there wasn't much paraphrasing. There was literally a page that went "But soon it became apparent that a rock had gotten stuck in Faxi's eye! But soon it fell out." Meanwhile, my first Pokémon fanfic contained a lengthy explanation of why my ridiculous legendary bird had no weaknesses, followed by a realization that oh wait actually it did. And battles that consisted of the Pokémon making their cries at one another until the narration declared that one of them had fainted.


How do you open stories?

Usually the opening is one of the first things to come to me about a story, so it's not that I consciously go about opening my stories in some particular way. Generally I've started by introducing a character and the general theme of the story, I guess, but that's about as generic as you can get.


Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

Any element of tone can get in the way of atmosphere when misapplied, but that depends on what the atmosphere you're actually going for was in the first place. If you're going for something fairly gritty and realistic, and the story happens to have characters who would swear frequently, then by all means have them do so - but if they start doing it to an unrealistic degree, then that doesn't work in your realistic atmosphere. On the other hand, if you're going for a crass comedy kind of thing, then swearing can be pushed to ridiculousness and still work fine in that atmosphere (which isn't to say it's automatically funny or whatever, just that it wouldn't be out of place). And conversely, if you're writing something similar in tone to something like the Pokémon anime, a lot of swearing would probably be out of place. Most of this is common sense.

I don't think swearing in itself is ever a problem - only when it clashes with the story it's in or the characters whose mouths it comes out of. It's your choice as an author whether you want to include it in your work, of course, but I don't think "Thing X that's common in real life shouldn't be in fiction" is ever a justifiable statement to make.


Negrek said:
about the only really significant thing I wanted to say anyway was to tell Dragonfree that omg I totally remember that kadabra 'fic. It had to do with you being angry about the bumping rules in a spriting forum somewhere, didn't it?
Not bumping - they had a rule that every post had to be more than three words and closed my sprite thread because I posted some sprites without also including comments of four words or more along with them. For some reason I felt like being argumentative about this, so I complained and asked if they really thought a post adding artwork to an art thread is spam if it's accompanied by a message like "Gold version Misdreavus", but not when accompanied by, say, "This is a Gold version Misdreavus". The mods answered basically "Yeah, because the rule says posts have to be more than three words." So I ragequit and wrote that.

Negrek said:
(From the same era, I also remember The Trainer With No Dreams, or whatever it was called... too bad you never decided to continue that; it could have been cool!)
I might! Someday. Maybe. I had some kind of neat ideas for it and if I were to write another trainer fic, picking up on that would currently be the main candidate, but meanwhile I have all this finishing TQftL/Morphic rewrite/Morphic sequel/inevitable Morphic sequel rewrite/more TQftL rewriting/DAVE AND MIA DISCUSS EVERYTHING to do.
 
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Agent Tectonic

From Ashes, I Come
I find myself wanting to be back int this club. I didn't post much in the last thread; however, I find myself finally getting much more involved in my writing. I been working on my own twist of PMD-meets-real-world fic, and I just recently got my second chapter up. While I don't plan on becoming a full time writer in the future, I do have a desire to eventually write an original fantasy-adventure novel.
 

Deadly.Braviary

Well-Known Member
How do you open stories?

I think about the openings a lot, and I mean it. You have to have a good opening. It doesn't matter if the end of your story isn't all that great, your opening should be fantastic. It's part of your hook, along with your title. So spend enough time on your opening, and I don't just mean the opening of the first chapter/prologue, I mean every damn chapter. Of course, you don't need to think those out that much, but they all matter.

The point isn't 'spend fifteen minutes on a perfect opening and then let the rest of the story go to hell'. It's 'make a good opening and don't let your reader down on the rest of it'.

Can cursing get in the way of the atmosphere in the story?

As with a lot of subjects, this is completely relative. It depends on the type of story, and what rating it has and such. You can't come into an R-rated story expecting people to say 'oh gosh' and 'holy cow'. (Well, you can, but they probably won't.) Similarly, don't expect people to drop F-bombs in a G-rated fic either. But yeah - you can find anything anywhere.

Back on topic, it depends on what you want the atmosphere to be. If you're basing a fic on the anime and have them swear a lot ... yeah, it's uncharacteristic, but given the right setting, it could work. If you have Ash in an AU as a 25-year-old murder suspect, with the fic set in the slums of Viridian, then you could work in the occasional swear or so. No one would complain, because if you're trying to set a darker tone, it would fit right in. So in short, using swearing depends on the atmosphere you're trying to set. People above me have said it much better, though.

And, on the subject of cursing, stuff like 'Holy Arceus!' and 'what the Latios?' - that doesn't count IMO. I don't like it. It sounds like they're trying too hard to self-censor and sound all cute and Pokemon worship-y at the same time, and most of the time, it's not done all that well. For those who do this, I'm not saying you should stop this (this is all my opinion only), but here's a tip, free of charge: don't try to mix up 'Pokeswearing' and swearing IRL. It. Doesn't. Work.

Wait a minute. Isn't the whole point of giving a tip is that it's free of charge? But it's actually an extra charge ...


I find it odd that nobody has given out a challenge yet! I'd love to give out/particpate in one, so I'll be asking a few questions. Anybody who knows the answers please reply.

~ Any member can give out a challenge, right? And can those who give the challenge participate?
~ What exactly do we give as the subject/topic? Just a short prompt like 'midlife crisis', or a slightly more elaborate one, such as 'a Gym Leader is going through a midlife crisis after meeting a mysterious young challenger'?
~ What's the recommended word range? Drabble length (1000 words or less)? About 4000-5000 words? Or even longer?
 

OceanicLanturn

Non non non!
Since this club needs a new topic, I'm gonna make a new one:

What are your takes on evolutions? What do they do?

Evolutions have been portrayed many ways in the Pokemon Franchise. In the games, it's nothing but a growth of level, which is the evolution into a new form, sometimes learning a move. However, the results of evolution aren't immediate. For example, a Lv. 22 Machop and a Lv. 23 Machoke would have little differences. This is shown to prevent evolutions from becoming to OP. In the anime, it's a completely different story. Anime portrays evolution as a 'max potion' and therefore Ash's *x pokemon* managed to defeat *y's pokemon*. It is a recurring scene in the anime. However, there are also times when evolution =/= good. For example, Ash's Turtwig was severely hindered by its weight after it evolved into a Grotle.

So what do you think of "evolutions"? How do you portray them? Are they immediate, or can it be something hindering?

I personally disagree with the way how evolution is portrayed in the anime. It's an uncreative way to finish off a battle, sometimes. However, other times, I find it to be especially DEM. I don't mind mid-battle evolutions actually, and if the foe still puts up a good fight after evolution, I wouldn't mind. However, sometimes I feel like X Pokemon evolved! Now, use Z move, instant sweep chain! Personally, I find evolution to be a new form, a new shape, so I would portray it as something to work on. However, when there's not much different (eg. Cyndaquil > Quilava), I don't see the need to put in a chapter or a scene or two to show that a Pokemon is unused to the new shape. I also enjoy disobedience through evolution. This spices up story, and I'm planning of incorporating one soon.

So yeah.
 

Dragonfree

Just me
OceanicLanturn said:
However, the results of evolution aren't immediate. For example, a Lv. 22 Machop and a Lv. 23 Machoke would have little differences. For example, a Lv. 22 Machop and a Lv. 23 Machoke would have little differences. This is shown to prevent evolutions from becoming to OP.
Uh, what? The results of evolution in the games are as "immediate" as they can get - there is no difference between a level 50 Machoke that's just evolved and a level 50 Machoke that evolved at level 28 (it doesn't evolve until then), all else being equal. The stats are updated immediately upon evolution to whatever the stat formula says the evolution's stats should be at that level with those IVs/EVs/nature. The game doesn't keep track of when the Pokémon evolved at all, much less try to compensate for overpoweredness somehow by making it weaker immediately after evolution.

Anyway...

What are your takes on evolutions? What do they do?

In the QftL-verse, evolution actually generally happens in the middle of a battle, because it's essentially triggered by the Pokémon version of adrenalin (once the Pokémon has grown to the strength and maturity to be able to handle it). It doesn't replenish their energy, though, and actually takes a bit out of them, so I've had a Pokémon evolve only to faint immediately afterwards, for instance (and another who purposefully overworked herself in an attempt to evolve early, only to be too weak to actually go through with the evolution by the time she'd managed to trigger it).

As for whether it can be hindering, it just depends on the circumstances - if something about the Pokémon's pre-evolved form is more suited to the battle (or whatever other situation) at hand than the evolved form, then evolving won't be such a good idea. So your Dragonair evolving into Dragonite might be generally a good thing, but if you're in the middle of battling an Ice-type, say hello to your shiny new double weakness. Your anime example works on a similar basis - in some situations it's good to be nimble, and if you evolve to become less nimble, then that's not going to be convenient. Strategies can also induce this - if your whole strategy revolves around being nimble, then immediately after evolving into something less nimble, you're probably going to be at a severe disadvantage while you figure out a new strategy.
 

Firebrand

Indomitable
I, um, just realized this existed. And I kind of want to be a part of it. So, I shall now begin the elaborate initiation ritual...

I like writing. I mean, I do it for the sheer pleasure of it. Honestly, I could go on for paragraphs about what I like about it, and sound just like every other writer does when they talk about what they do. So, the reason I like writing is because I derive happiness from it, and it's an enjoyable way for me to pass the time.

Most of you here probably know me as the guy who lurks around the Author's Cafe, or the OP for the Review Game. Or maybe as the architect behind the Journeymen universe of fics that went up around the forum last year. The only fanfiction I wrote was League of Heroes, and then Hero's Path (they're linked in my signature if anyone cares). Mostly I used them as a sandbox for my original fiction (also linked on Fictionpress). Yeah, basically I used my pokemon fanfiction as a crossover universe for my characters in original fiction. It was actually a lot of fun. I'm only working on original fiction right now, but when I finish one of the two projects I'm currently working on, I want to start up on another, a story set many years after Hero's Path about the protagonist's daughter, drawing from one of my recent Nuzlocke runs.

Um, I guess that kind of wraps up my intro post. Sorry for interrupting the discussion and stuff. I'll be sure to actually contribute to it next time I post.
 

OceanicLanturn

Non non non!
Uh, what? The results of evolution in the games are as "immediate" as they can get - there is no difference between a level 50 Machoke that's just evolved and a level 50 Machoke that evolved at level 28 (it doesn't evolve until then), all else being equal. The stats are updated immediately upon evolution to whatever the stat formula says the evolution's stats should be at that level with those IVs/EVs/nature. The game doesn't keep track of when the Pokémon evolved at all, much less try to compensate for overpoweredness somehow by making it weaker immediately after evolution.
.

GAH OKAY! I got my facts all messed up XD

Also, are we allowed to post fic ideas here, just curious.
 
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