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Tips/Advices for Adventure Fics?

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by OceanicLanturn, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. OceanicLanturn

    OceanicLanturn Non non non!

    Once upon a time...

    I'm writing another adventure fic right now. Then I realised, snap, I have problem thinking up a name. I realised that my adventure fic is rather... flat. It's very typical: challenge gyms, battle team evil... What's worse is that I'm adding Dawn as a main character. So it seems more of a DP Anime Rewrite (the main character does gym) in another region. They travel in groups, side main char does contests while main char does gyms.

    Do you guys have any tips or advices on how to make adventure fic stand out? I've read Proving Grounds and I was really impressed by the way how the author made the adventure fic stand out much more. I'm not sure what to do...

    So tips, advices in general regarding Adventure Fics?
  2. Blue Saturday

    Blue Saturday too fly

    #1.Be realistic, what are the chances your trainer just so happens to find a Riolu or manages to come across a Charmander or Bagon? Starter/early route Pokemon are common for a reason because they're easier to control and train. Also rookie starters shouldn't know moves such as Fire Blast and Flamethrower right off the bat either imo. So many people try so hard to be "cool" that I come across an influx of Eevees, Garchomp, Weavile, Lucario, Blaziken, and Charizard. If anything a new trainer that is excited about being on a journey and catching Pokemon isn't gonna be too picky because they have a gym to challenge and need more Pokemon to train and utilize, a Starly, Poocheyena, Sentret, or Ponyta being caught makes perfect sense to me.

    #2.Try not to make it a game walk through the whole time, don't be afraid to break the mold a bit and try different things. It can show off your creativity as well.

    #3.Make sure your set-up is half decent, almost every journey fic. I've come across has had a rushed set-up and the main character has a cookie-cutter, typical personality. The set-up seems almost always rushed to get to the "exciting" part.

    #4.I cannot stress how good description and clean grammar can make a great first impression on a reader.

    I would write more but I'm currently in class right now unfortunately.
  3. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Yeah, what he said (she said? I dunno)! Keep in mind that adventure fic does not equal game walkthrough. What constitutes as an "adventure" is as plentiful as there are species of Pokemon (so, as of a few months ago, exactly 649). Perhaps this adventure is about someone going around snagging Pokemon? Or finding a legendary Pokemon to take a picture of? Or maybe, just maybe, catching the ever-elusive Spiky-Earred Pichu? It doesn't have to be "get badges, beat Team Evil, become The One."

    Another advice: don't confine yourself to steadfast rules of Pokemon. In other words, saying that Pokemon only live in the areas they live in in the games, and that the ONLY difference between Ember and Flame Wheel is base power. Ember is shooting small bursts of fire. Flame Wheel is cloaking yourself on fire and tackling. Also, if a Pokemon has used Ember for years but just learned Flame Wheel, it's reasonable to assume that the Ember attack might be more powerful than Flame Wheel simply due to experience and being comfortable with the attack. The anime has shown many times people with more than 6 Pokemon on hand, so game rules aren't universal rules. So just because the anime and games and manga say something is such a way, doesn't mean you can't turn the rule on its head for the sake of your story.

    Another advice: hey, remember those magical things that you briefly mentioned in the first chapter? What were they called...Dijimanz or Pokeymans or something? Yeah, those. Don't forget about those things to focus exclusively on the humans (unless, of course, your adventure fic is also set in the PMD-verse). The games invented natures and characteristics for a reason as well. The magical killing machines are more than literary devices to further the plot along.

    Welp, that's all I got for now.
  4. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    I'll add on this that it doesn't mean you can turn a rule on its head for the sake of it. It will still have to make sense story-wise, and also make sense to the reader (so for sake of example, it may well be buyable that a Pokemon that doesn't learn Tackle can still go and ram its body into an opponent, but not for a Charizard to use Explosion). With attacks as well, their portrayal needn't be restricted to how they appear in the games/anime. You can come up with other ideas on how to execute a move, or say multiple applications for Ember and Flame Wheel.

    (Also note that anime and games (and mangas) are different canons; created by different groups of people to begin with. So naturally they tend to have differences between each other, and maybe some contradictions between each other as a result).
  5. Air Dragon

    Air Dragon Ha, ha... not.

    *Cries tears of joy* Thank you... THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    Please do not forget: the main reason anything is written at all is that it can be READ. The Bible, warning signs, even chicken scratch notes for your reference... EVERYTHING is written to be read. Even more so, on a public forum board where you write so it can be read. Bad grammar can make this essentially a nightmare for anybody trying to read your work. Even yourself.

    Basically, Doryuzu and The Teller have you covered. (Aside from the Riolu clause from the former's first point. Game Freak made them possible to catch before you fight Cheren. ;) ) But in addition I'd add this: follow the rules of a canon (if you're presenting a Fan fiction). Sure, some creative liberties can be taken as long as they make sense (like Machamp using Shadow Punch although they cannot do so in the games, or a single type Pokemon gaining a second type to help the plot along: say, having a Luxray double as an Electric/Dark type due to its nature, or a Volbeat being a dual Bug/Electric type due to its lighting up the sky) Basically, your fic is your world. Just make sure that if you base it off a fanbase canon, follow the rules.

    bobandbill beat me to this, so I guess you can disregard it if you deem it necessary.

  6. IJuggler

    IJuggler how much words

    I hate to be that guy, but how much you adhere to or deviate from canon really depends on what you're writing. If you're writing an OC adventure fic, you're going to rely less on source material than if you'd written about Ash in a new region, obviously; but then it breaks down to style.

    For example, Pokemon hatching from eggs is canon. This would probably break a lot of people's suspension of disbelief, however, if your first scene is a Tauros crawling out of an egg; these breaks from reality are pretty much only acceptable aesthetically, as background, to most readers. You could go in more depth, examining things like overblown Pokedex entries or examining the weird non-existent governments, but I think you get the point; canon is only important to follow when it makes the most sense, story- and world-wise.

    Just as with degree of description, the canon loyalty depends on presentation. Your 'style' is basically where your level of description (or degree of adherence to canon) falls on the scale, where each end is an extreme. Ignoring the ability to write altogether, different people will prefer different styles of writing more than others, and as a writer who shows their work it's pretty much a good idea to try to have at least some of those things that people like.

    In practice, this means that maybe you're a very able writer, but you still have to pay attention to how you're writing things. Your prose is good, but you don't really need two pages of exposition about the main character's clothes. Or maybe that you're looking for a level of grittiness, so you give greater representation to the cruelties of Pokemon battling, rather than the wonder-cure of a Pokemon Center (which may even be ignored or changed!). Basically, being able to write is more than just having technical proficiency.

    I didn't really get into it, but the biggest point here is that this is a fake world. Not all aspects of it are defined, and the ones that are tend to have enough leeway to allow for pretty much anything. As long as you're achieving your goals in writing, and your audience is happy (this tends to be a goal, but isn't always) then you can do pretty much anything you want.

    The original question was on how to find ways to make your story 'stick out'. My best general suggestions for that would be a snappy, quick-paced story, with well-thought-out but somewhat simplistic characters, and a plot that engages the reader in a suspenseful way. An enticing summary, title, and first chapter are practically a must to achieve the initial attention that will give you readers. But this advice is nearly useless; doesn't everyone want to write a story that other people will like? If there was a magic formula for it, you'd know it already. But you'll never know if your story will be well-received if you're too busy asking technical questions to write it. Or, er, answering them. I'm guilty of that one, here.

    Now that I've procrastinated, time to get back to studying.
  7. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Darkrai's Advocate?

    I'm GOING to be That Guy and say that the extreme end of this is to be avoided. If I'm reading gym battles in every (2,000 word) chapter, and vast parts of the adventure are boiled down to "And then Raven (because all female OCs of any fandom are named Raven) went through Route 12 and caught a Rapidash, Cherrim, Heracross, and Dunsparce," then I'm not going to be interested in your story. This type of pacing isn't too bad for other genres, but we're talking specifically about adventure fics, and "a trip to the grocery store down the block" an epic adventure it does not make.

    Another thing I'd keep in mind is making sure you don't "trick" potential readers into reading something they won't enjoy. In other words, don't make the first chapter an action-packed testosterone fest if the ENTIRE REST OF YOUR STORY is nothing but the Lake Trio contemplating their existence. You can build up, slowly, to a dramatic piece from an explosion-heavy starting point, but if explody is Chapter 1 of 40 and melancholy is chapters 2-40, then you're tricking people with false advertisement, and they WILL catch on eventually and resent you for it.
  8. OceanicLanturn

    OceanicLanturn Non non non!

    That's for all the great tips guys. Well, anyways, I still have trouble cooking up a title. Does that have anything in relation to how I'm planning/to be handling the fiction?

    Also, my chapter one is going to be action packed and introduce the villain. Is that bad? I can't guarantee every chapter is exciting. Should I delay my villain introduction till further though? As a note, my conclusion will be somewhere between Gym 5~6, so I either have to push the climax behind or leave it as it is.

    Well, nuff said. thanks guys!
  9. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    I'm not saying that ALL your chapters be action packed. I'm just saying that the first chapter shouldn't be one thing and the rest of the story a completely different thing. Introducing the villain in the first chapter is fine. You could even introduce him before introducing the protagonists if you want. If you're doing gyms, you don't have to do 8 of them. Five or six is fine, if that's where you intend on concluding your story. The climax doesn't have to be exactly three-quarters of the way in or placed at the very end. There's no set defining spot to place a climax at (how freaking long did the final LotR movie go on for after the ring was destroyed?).
  10. jireh the provider

    jireh the provider Video Game Designer

    You may want to watch a walkthrough of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates. It begins with a villain which is not so bad for a short prologue. The ideas you got ain't that bad
  11. IJuggler

    IJuggler how much words

    A chapter one villain is something I rather prefer, actually. In the Pokemon games the calm beginning is more useful due to the format of the storytelling, through a strategic RPG game; but with a story, if you don't have some kind of conflict then you need very compelling characters, and it's hard to do that in a first chapter.
  12. LadyLady

    LadyLady Well-Known Member

    I would say try creating new characters and gyms and such to keep the reader from being like 'we'll I know this person, I know this town I've seen it all before blah blah blah' you know what I mean, not that you have to obviously but it's just a thought like I personally don't like trainer fics were everything is recycled, originality is key in a story and the creative the more interesting it will be. Introducing your villain in the first chapter is a brilliant idea, purely because the trainer fic first chapter is pretty generic anyway and introducing the villain will bring more variety to the usual way :) that's just what I think anyway

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