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trainer fics...

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by はるひ, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Trainer fics... they are becoming increasingly popular. I mean if you post one, you will get a friendly or in between review in five minutes or less.

    That is one reason I've been wanting to write one. However, I don't have the time to write 30 chapters about one person's journey. Can they be one shots or like short simple and to the point?

    I also know that trainer fics can have canon characters in them. Like there's one that everyone flocks to and it involves Max or whatnot from the anime I believe. And because the idea I had in mind also has a canon character (points to the lovely girl in the avatar) but I don't want to copy her fic just because it's popular.

    Oh and on to trainers and plots, do the characters have to be 10? I mean the girl I'm writing about was 19 (this is kinda a past fic because I'm writing this right after she quits her job which was two years ago) and she travels to the new region to start her journey (before she goes back to her job 2 years from now).

    Well I know the formula for these kinds of fics. 10yr old trainer leaves home, picks starter, fights gym leaders, becomes champion. My fic has the girl debating on whether to get herself "stronger" because the way she comes off, she comes off as someone who thinks she's all that and a bag of chips. But she then decides to challenge one leader and then decides from where whether she wants to do this kind of thing. She does learn that she isn't the strongest thing out there like she think she is, so it has a lesson like other trainer fics.

    I mean it's not traditional so people might have a problem with that but can I pull such a trainer fic off or it it going to be too much like someone else's? How can someone pull of something this short?
  2. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    It'd be a pretty neat fic if it was set up like a typical Trainer fic, but then ended after the first Gym when the Trainer realizes they're not up to it. Don't worry about doing non-traditional Trainer fics. I've done a couple myself. Make sure that your writing is of good quality, that the plot is interesting, and that you enjoy it.

    Anyhow, the typical Trainer-journey fic seems like an easy one to start up: you already have the plot structure ready, so it seems like you just have to dress it up your own way. But yeah, Trainer fics are going to be long. Thirty chapters is a reasonable estimate, I think (mostly because one of mine is of that length). And the Trainer doesn't have to be ten. Some canon Trainers are 11 when they start, actually, and the B/W PCs are of 15-17 year range. And Wes from Coliseum is 17. Whatever you pick, make sure that it is reasonable and makes sense within your plot.

    Edit: on second thought, you could make a short version of a journey fic too, if you focused on important scenes. Also, a one-shot would be reasonable too if it focused on the big event. Say like, from your example, that one Gym battle that causes her to rethink things. Do some build up to it, write out the battle, and then write out what happens afterward. That could still qualify as a story on its own.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  3. Kaiserin

    Kaiserin please wake up...

    The setup kind of reminds me of Bianca, actually.

    Having the main character of a journeyfic like this turn out to not be cut out for traveling/battling like everyone else would be a great springboard for development and overcoming her problems, even if she has to do it through a means other than the usual. It doesn't have to be long, though -- something like that, with proper planning, could easily fit into five chapters if you really wanted it to, depending on what ending goal you set for this trainer. The ones that tackle the entire league of a region usually do go that long, but since you don't have to stuff in that much content with a more freeform plot like the one you're talking about, it would be easier to adjust the length to suit your abilities.
  4. Now that you say that, it kinda does. However this character doesnt want to be a coordinator or whatnot like most female rivals in the games. I mean she WAS commander lol

    But I kinda get where the person wants to be this like A or this like B.
  5. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly Staff Member Moderator

    Myth #1: Trainer fics have always been popular. (Though people will often be more inclined to hop on the trainer fic-writing bandwagon if there's currently a very popular trainer fic.)
    Myth #2: There is never a guarantee that you will get a review by writing X. (If you're crazy popular of have a lot of friends, it's another story.)

    If that's the reason you want to write something, you're in the wrong place. It simply doesn't work that way, so don't delude yourself.

    Sure, though it depends how much you want to squeeze in. But there really is no length requirement (aside from what's in the Fan Fiction Rules, of course).

    Nobody has copyright on a popular concept like "writing about canon characters," so don't obsess over that. It would be a different story if you tried to directly copy Max's Hoenn Journey, but you're obviously not in this case.

    If you actually looked at a couple trainer fics, you'd see that a lot of writers like bumping the age up from 10. There is no such thing as "have to" in writing (aside from "have to write well"). :p

    So she has a huge advantage over other trainers not only because she's much older, but also because she's already strong and has strong Pokemon. Since she was part of an evil team, she would probably also be more likely to fight dirty and not be nice or fair. And I don't get it - she quits Galactic, then goes back? So is she supposed to be evil in your fic or not? I mean, she can't just suddenly stop being evil for two years unless there's some kind of drastic event that makes her change completely. This would definitely be something you would have to figure out, since it makes things waaaaay more complicated.

    My main concern is that you are taking an important and powerful Team Galactic Executive who is likely feared and hated into the equivalent of a newbie who doesn't know Scratch from Growl. As I said, she would have a huge advantage over other trainers, and considering she was a high-ranking member of an evil team, people passing her on the streets and important people like Gym Leaders would likely know who she was and assume she's up to no good. And besides, she must have been a trainer by the time she joined Galactic, so wouldn't she already have gone through all this "get starter, challenge Gyms" stuff?

    That said, you can still do this story, but you'd need to take everything I just said into account. Apart from it being important parts of her character and backstory, writing about her facing people who are afraid of her could be really interesting! After all, ignoring all that would kind of defeat the purpose of writing about an evil person gone good, and you'd just be able to switch Jupiter with any other character.

    Also, not all trainer fics have or need "lessons," but it would be cool to see one.

    Your trainer fic would actually be vastly different to plenty of others, specifically because you're writing about an established, skilled, ex-evil trainer. But, as I said, if you ignore the fact that she is already a skilled battler or that people would know and hate her, then your story becomes a lot more pointless.

    My point is, you can't just make this a story about "character thinks they're awesome, then realizes they're not" because you're writing about Juniper, and that automatically makes it a lot more complicated. You can still write about that, but you have to take everything I just went over into account. So it may not be as easy as you'd like. :p

  6. Firebrand

    Firebrand Indomitable

    Let's not get our hopes up here. It's just as hard to get reviews on trainer fics than any other fic. *points to Hero's Path* Yeah, I got reviews from two or three dedicated followers, but even then I'd go weeks without reviews. Don't go making any quick judgements.

    While you could, the idea of a trainer fic is to follow the journey of one specific character, and watch them grow and develop. Much like epic fantasy novels, one of the cornerstones of trainer/journey fics is that personal growth and maturity.

    Hero's Path was about a gym leader and war veteran who got sick of his fame and prestige, deciding to run away from his duty and see the world again, like he did when he was a kid.

    So, like my earlier remark, the protagonist of Hero's Path already has all six pokemon in his team at the start of the journey. He leaves home with a very amorphous goal in mind, to find Keldeo and make sure that he's safe. He figures that will keep him away from society long enough to do some soul-searching and not open up the wounds of his past. This isn't really the case, but the point remains that not every journey fic has to be a little kid getting their badges and challenging the league.

    In short: you could do a series of one shots and things about this character, but if you really want to give a sense of personal growth and maturation, the best medium would be a longer fic. The most popular or common journey fics are about kids having their generic badge quests, but it doesn't have to be like this. Many writers have raised the age (as Psychic said), because an older adolescent can have more personal baggage and be a more interesting multifaceted character.

    And remember that journey fics tend to be long, especially compared to other fics. The idea is to give a character a large goal and have them work towards it. That can take a long time. My plan for Hero's Path was to have about 40 mid-length (which for me is 5-8 pages, times new roman, 14 pt font single spaced) chapters. The final count was 63 chapters, some as long as 13 pages.
  7. Sorry, I was doing something important so couldn't comment, just kurk. Now that I am at a computer, leeetsssss comment!

    Too much to quote so I'll say it here. I never saw Team Galactic as being evil, just horribly misguided and mislead. Good intentions but. And then I have my own theory about the female commanders and why they jumped on in the first place but yeah. So anyway, yeah I saw Jupiter as being a mean girl who's strong. So when she quits, she's still going to be herself. So yeah when she meets two trainers, she's snippy towards them and shoves her win in the girl's face when she won against her. I'm trying to like slowly make her more... humble and well rounded but still a *****. Oh a remember she's in Unova and not alot of people will know her.

    This fic is different because she doesn't get the starter etc etc. She is actually strong already so it's interesting on how she goes against other people who are as strong. It's two years after this fic that Jupiter starts getting things like the Teachy Tv and the dexs from Galactic's new headquaters so it kinda results in fics like this'. So yeah she's strong, but not smart in that aspect because if you notice, evil teams arent that smart when it comes to battling. That's why I made Team Dark smart in battling.

    (but on the last note, since I am writing about the girls after the break up of Team Galactic, in Mars' story it's more so about battling stronger and smarter and mostly about how her confidence begins to dwindle due to the major losses and behind the scenes encounters with Jupiter and Saturn helping her to rebuild it)
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  8. Seijiro Mafuné

    Seijiro Mafuné Diogomainardista!

    Where do I begin...

    A 'trainer fic' is a fic about a trainer. Period. The term you're probably looking for is 'original trainer' or 'OT' which is how most of the fandom refers to, well, 'AHS CL0NES' where the plot is that you're trying to tell the story of your kid in a journey that, conveniently, involves Badge-collecting and fighting an EEEEEEVEEEEEEL team and becoming Champion.

    Now! You want to write one such story about Jupiter, post-Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. Or so, at least, I understand.

    ...well, why rip them off then and not work off your character's strengths, then?

    First of all, she's obviously going to be undercover - as in, hiding her identity. Nobody would want to be associated with a Team Galactic member, and they might even go 'she's a criminal, call the police!' as a default reaction. Even if you want to use Unova as the excuse ('NOBODY FROM UNOVA KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED IN NOT-JAPAN'), Looker still was an international police member, so as soon as she gets a reputation they're going to find out for sure.

    Second... what's the final goal in mind for this story?

    It's an important question, believe it or not. The final goal of the usual 'OT' fic is to become a Pokémon Champion, since that's the most obvious reason. But Jupiter's already a grown-up woman, and she probably quit that dream in the past if she chose to become a Team Galactic member. (Or maybe she's not that grown-up if you think she's 19, but eh.) What objective would be better for her? Capturing a specific rare Pokémon? Simply taking down the evil organization? Breaking into Heaven and fighting God? [lol]

    Probably the best path for balancing things out, as far as her power goes, is that Jupiter's overconfidence leads to her underestimating her opponents. While she probably knows her own Pokémon inside-out, Unova Pokémon are really weird and would probably lead to some confusion. Especially if the third abilities started to come up and make things more complicated...

    [...also, what exactly did you mean with that last paragraph about Mars? I can't make heads or tails of it.]
  9. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly Staff Member Moderator

    That's fair. But just because you don't see it as evil doesn't mean other characters won't. And I still don't see why she would quit a team and come back after two years. If all you want to do is write about Jupiter when she's not a Galactic member, especially if you don't want to talk about people reacting to her and so on, why don't you just write about her before she joins in the first place? This all seems way too contrived and silly.

    Why is it only ever about all the female characters? You look at everything in such a gendered way and it does weird and very noticeable things to your characters and stories. We were kind of hoping you'd stop that by now.

    This totally makes sense, and it sounds good. Seijiro also had a good idea about her cockiness making her underestimate others, too.

    Evil people tend to be pretty well-known, especially high-ranking evil people. People in Unova would still get the newspaper and tv news, so many would likely know a fair bit. Maybe some of the younger kids won't know as much, but considering how active the Unova Gym leaders were in B/W, I'm sure they and others would be fully aware of who she is. Unless, as Seijiro said, she disguise herself, which completely makes sense (because her hair is really memorable lol).

    Good point, that would help a lot. That said, how does she know which trainers are stronger or weaker? Also, she does kind of seem like the type who'd pick on someone knowing they were weaker than her. That's something to consider. (You can resolve this by, for example, having her battle a kid who is very clearly a beginner. But maybe she feels dissatisfied with beating him and decides she'll only fight people who have X number of badges or something. Could be interesting.)

    I assume you mean "strong battler?" Because to be fair, in the games every team is pretty weaksauce. :p

    You never mentioned anything about Mars, so this is a little confusing. I'm not really sure how different it is to Jupiter's character development aside from having different levels of confidence, though.

  10. Firebrand

    Firebrand Indomitable

    As seijiro mentioned in the above post, and I'll elaborate on here, is the idea of the goal. In a trainer/journey fic, that goal is key. Most writers doing the "traditional" fic (by which I mean the badge/league quest) have that laid out for them. In others, it's searching for a legendary, or a vengeance quest, or fighting evil or whatever. As far as I can tell, you don't really have a goal in mind here aside from showcasing Jupiter having battles in Unova.

    Unless I missed something, what's Jupiter's goal here? What's her motivation, the thing she's fighting for? And once you've figured that out, how is she going to grow and change in pursuit of that goal? As mentioned in my earlier post, growth and change are the cornerstones of journey fics. The adventure takes a considerable length of time, and the experiences your character(s) has shape them in different ways. Leaping into this saying "I'm going to send Jupiter to Unova to battle some trainers and new pokemon and hope something comes out of it," is not the way to deal with a journey fic. You've got to have a goal, a framework.
  11. Sorry for double posting but I have a question to ask. If the character doesn't know certian things, can I provide an explanation as to why they don't know these things? Not to see she's a newbie because I'm not dumb, I play the games but yeah.
  12. Seijiro Mafuné

    Seijiro Mafuné Diogomainardista!

    Maybe people don't know things because they don't know things. You don't need to give an explanation beyond 'she's unfamiliar with it'. Maybe it's because she's from Sinnoh and never left Sinnoh before and doesn't know anything other than Sinnoh stuff. Does that work out for you?
  13. Yeah true. Its also because in the fic, she had trouble using the PC at the Poke center and she needed a trainer card because she only had her Galactic card and you need a trainer card to use the PC...

    Also she had trouble catching Pokemon of her own because she ones she has were from headquarters. She didn't catch those in my theory.
  14. RealRaymon

    RealRaymon Good series at last!

    Have you written about "Max's New Adventures?"
    if so, then thank you.
    About the topic. In my opinion, trainer fics can't be one-shots, because you can't develop much personality and action in one-shots.
    My advice, write the first chapter, and then, when you have a good plot in your head, write the next etc.
  15. Don't know i this falls under trainer fics but I'm making too many thread so here's a question:

    How do I decide what Pokemon to give them? I wanted to have the trainer catch a wingull or whatnot but yeah. Jupiter in game only has 3 pokemon. Oh and if I wanted help with this fic since I am having alot of toruble, can I post a bit of it here in hopes that someone might help me? :[

    What I got is at the start she goes through the Poke center and she needs a trainer card in order to box her Pokemon so she gets a blue trainer card.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  16. Ememew

    Ememew Emerald Mew

    Interesting question. Well, selecting a trainer's Pokemon is a multi-step process that shouldn't be taken lightly. Remember, you'll be writing about the Pokemon you selected throughout most of the story so it's a good idea to pick ones you'll be happy with. I'll answer in more general terms so this can help with any other characters, too.

    First: Are you working with a canon character or an OC? If you're working with an OC, you have a lot more leeway in deciding what 'mons they'd be likely to pick. When working with a canon character, however, you'll want to focus on what themes (if any) their known Pokemon team has. For example, Buck likes to use Pokemon with a high defense stat and Marlon would have ocean-dwelling Water-types. Also when working with canon characters, it's best not to remove a member from their team unless you have a good reason for doing so (set before they caught it, a Gym Leader using a different team against a more/less experienced challenger, etc.).

    Your focus, Jupiter, has (as of the Stark Mountain battle) Bronzong, golbat, and Stuntank. What do they have in common? Each of these has a type combination that helps cover weaknesses (Steel/Psychic with levitate leaves Bronzong only Fire weak, or with Heatproof leaves it only vulnerable to Ground . . . I can't remember which ability her's had. Stuntank is only vulnerable to Ground. Golbat avoids Poison's usual Ground weakness by being part Flying). She has some support moves like Reflect, Mean Look, and Smokescreen, but otherwise focuses on attacks. As such, she'd probably want good defensive typings with a range of attacks at their disposal (with one support move available on each as well).

    Second: Availability. What region is the character in? Does the character have access to other regions' pokemon? In this case, Jupiter can have any number of Sinnoh Pokemon at her disposal since she's from there. She could conceivably have brought others with her that she thought she might need beyond her canon three. However, since you see her as not having caught her own before, this is unlikely. Where is she now? Unova. What's available there? Quite a lot, actually. Try to make new additions make sense based on where she is though - finding a Deerling in the desert outside Castelia isn't going to make much sense, for example, but finding a Sandile would.

    Third: Team Function. What role does a character's team need filled? What is unique about one species that makes it useful over another? Think of these in fic-verse terms rather than just in terms of battle-use. The ability to fly for travel or scouting out areas is something good to have. Jupiter already has Golbat for that role, and thus may not need another flyer. Do you plan on her needing some form of aquatic travel, or will she only need to ride boats to get from point a to point b over water? Or can she just fly over via Golbat/Crobat or be levitated over with Bronzong's psychic abilities?

    Also in this, keep in mind what sorts of situations the character will face and what they already have. In this case, Jupiter has three highly trained Pokemon already, so she might be able to get past most problems with what she already has. She doesn't need a full team of 6 right away, or even by the end of the story, if she can get by with what she has. Typical trainer battles and, likely, most Gym matches can be overcome with her high-level original team. On the other hand, if she's wandering away from civilization for a while, she might need a water- or ice-type Pokemon capable of providing a drinking water source in case supplies run low. For this, she might consider fishing for a Basculin or a Poliwag. Which of these (or other waters) she'd want to go for might be based on what is special or unique about each critter, if you decide she needs one at all.

    Also bear in mind what makes possibility A different from possibility B, even when they serve the same original function. In my Basculin/Poliwag example, you'd probably want to consider whether the more fish-like Basculin could be used on land or not. Keep in mind you'll want to use something you'll enjoy writing about, since once you pick one, you'll probably keep it around for a while. Think about what draws you to certain Pokemon over others, or alternatively, look for a Pokemon you might not have necessarily thought about using and play around with ideas for how you could make an initially overlooked choice more memorable.

    For another example, let's look at a person deciding whether to give a Munna or Chingling to their character. They're both small Psychic pokemon that evolve once. What's different? Quite a lot. Munna are native to Unova, but Chingling are more commonly found in Sinnoh, so which would the character be more likely to have access to? If they have access to both (via fic-verse areas not having to match directly with game-verse ones or trading or whatever), then figure out what role they'd perform that the other could not. Munna are linked to Dream Mist - and the Dream World by extension - so a plot that focuses on the Dream World or Dream Mist might require this over any other psychic. They're also known for eating dreams, which could be used to read a person's thoughts while they're asleep if you interpret it that way. But what if you aren't planning on playing around with Dream Mist/dream reading? Chingling is a chime-based creature, so it'd be likely to have a lot of sound-based moves at its disposal. You can capitalize on the use of Astonish, Uproar, and the like to act as a lookout for the others (using it's sound as an alarm) or by making noise to disrupt a foe's thoughts. They also evolve differently, one via an item and one via friendship. Would you rather your character seek out a rare Moon Stone in order to obtain a Musharna, or have the bond between trainer and pokemon expanded on until such point as Chimecho could realistically evolve from Chingling?

    As you can see, two similar pokemon can be used in very different ways. Pay attention to what qualities they have in their 'Dex entries as well as movepools to decide what makes them better fits for a team or more interesting (for you) to write about.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  17. Wow, that's alot to think about lol

    Well it did get me not to really get rid of the other two Pokemon especially if I were working with Mars for some theoritcal reason. So I guess a team can have two of the same type and not really have 6 on their team. Don't people in the anime sometimes have more than 6 or is it up to 6?

    ooh and playing Pearl: Saturn has a kadabra instead of a golbat. maybe i can use that part to my advantage.

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