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Thread: The Favourite (a simple One-Shot)

  1. #1
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    Default The Favourite (a simple One-Shot)

    I’ve never really written in this sort of style/with this sort of narrator before, so this was sort of an experiment. The story took on a mind of its own to an extent, but it still flowed out pretty decently, and though it’s not one of my best stories, I’m satisfied.

    An even bigger shout-out than usual goes out to my great beta, purple_drake. I didn’t even finish that thing she wanted help with, and here she is being awesome for me. Biggest thanks to a great friend.

    As always, all opinions/criticism is welcome and appreciated.



    The Favourite


    I am Master’s favourite.

    I am proud to be his favourite.

    He gives me the most food. He lets me out the most. He spends the most time with me. He gets me massages and nice baths. He uses me in the most battles.

    It is good to be the favourite.

    The other Pokémon are not Master’s favourites. It’s sort of funny; I’m not totally sure why I’m the favourite anyway. It’s not that hard. But they’re just not.

    I am happy about that. That means that I am the favourite. I get to be the favourite. They’re just missing out on being the favourite. It makes me giggle sometimes.

    Openpetals confuses me the most, though. He was Master’s first Pokémon. I thought the first was always the favourite. I wasn’t Master’s first.

    I look at Openpetals, and I don’t understand. I don’t understand what I see in his eyes when he looks at Master. I don’t understand why he looks away from Master. I don’t understand why he ignores Master during a battle, why he doesn’t do exactly what Master commands.

    Master says that when he wins those battles, it’s just dumb luck. Master says he should have used me instead. Me, the favourite.

    I love being the favourite. I know I belong to the team. I am the most valuable to my Master. He says I am strong, very strong.

    So the other Pokémon are not the favourite, because they are weak. They are not me.

    He caught me from many, after all. There were lots of us grazing. He battled me. He knew what I could do. He chose me, and now I have changed. I am older and stronger, and I am the favourite.

    I see the way the other Pokémon look at me. They stare at me all the time. Sometimes they seem angry. They are jealous that I am the favourite. They are frustrated, because they want to be the favourite, too. But only one Pokémon can be the favourite.

    They don’t really talk to me. They seem distant. I try to be friendly and talk about Master with them, but they don’t like that the favourite is talking to them. The other Pokémon ignore me or walk away, then talk by themselves.

    Openpetals once said he didn’t like being called “Meganium.” I remember seeing the sun reflecting in her crystal eyes as Crystanellia nodded her head. But that seems silly. When Master didn’t call me by my herd name I didn’t mind. There’s nothing wrong with being called “Meganium” or “Sableye” or “Girafarig.” That’s what we are, so that’s what Master calls us.

    Master says I am very good at battling. He says the other Pokémon are not. I am always very proud of this, because I bring Master pride. I always listen closely to what he says, because Master knows best. We don’t always win, but Master still says I did a good job and he is happy.

    Sometimes he is happier when I lose than when the other Pokémon win. He would pat me when I do well, and the orbs on my head and tail would glow with pride. He is proud of me no matter how I do, because I am the favourite. I love and respect him, and I will do anything for him. I will always do what he wants. I am the favourite.

    After one time Digger won a battle through luck, Master had had enough. Digger wasn’t the favourite. Master held up her Pokéball in the middle of a busy human place shouting “Parasect up for trade!” Someone gave him Growlithe. Growlithe is young and not very good at battling, but she listens to Master, and he loves her very much.

    Sometimes I think Growlithe might be the favourite.

    Well, not now. Now I am the favourite. But Growlithe is much like me. Master uses her a lot, too, even though she is not very strong.

    The other Pokémon seem worried. They fear that Growlithe will take my place. They are used to me being the favourite. They are uneasy about this change. Or they wish they were Growlithe.

    I don’t need to be worried, though. Master loves me very much, no matter what. Maybe there will be two favourites. But there won’t be more than two, because the other Pokémon cannot be favourites.

    This means Master can replace them like he replaced Digger. It will make him happier. I want Master to be happy. The happier he is, the better he is to me. I want to make Master happy. I want Master to be happy.

    And if it makes Master happy to change his Pokémon for more favourites, I will be happy, too.

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  2. #2
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    Simple indeed. While the emotional impact was there at the end, I don't think you wrote to your full potential with this piece. This could have been a real tear-jerker if you maybe added some more background and a little more depth with the other Pokemon. But as you said, it's a simple piece, and fine just as it is.

    So, it didn't necessarily tug at my heartstrings, but all in all it was a sweet little one-shot.


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    Very interesting style you used here. I have to agree you can do better, but all the same it was an interesting one-shot. It was a bit repetitive, but it worked out just the way it should have, so no worries.

    I found myself feeling progressively bad for the Pokemon (it was a Girafarig?) the farther I read. You portrayed it spot-on, that I can say for sure. It flowed very well, just as thoughts generally do. I think it's that element of it that got me the most. The entire thing fit together, read right, everything pointed to great flow.

    Although there's not a whole lot I could suggest for you to do differently to it, it did seem to lack the power it could have had. It's hard to put a finger on it, but it just didn't hit as hard as it potentially could have. That said, however, still a good one-shot and certainly an interesting view and style.

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    I really liked this. The narrator (oh, the Ampharosness!) is so very, very simple-minded, and so innocent in his arrogance, and so cluelessly honest in his desire to please his master, that behind the simplistic style it becomes a very chilling sort of examination of abuse from an original point of view. Normally fics about abuse are all angst from the abused's point of view; to see it from the point of view of the favorite who has nothing to fear, and above all while interpreting Pokémon intelligence (or at least this particular Pokémon's) as lower than usual, is pretty refreshing, and gives a take on it which might after all be a more effective way to portray abuse, even aside from the insight into the favorite's spectacularly insensitive feelings about it all (which is of course also interesting).

    I already told you on MSN and mentioned it briefly, but I feel I must mention again how extremely every line of this screams Ampharos to me. Did anybody else get that impression so strongly while reading this (i.e. from the narrator's character, not by inferring from the little there is in the way of description)? Just curious.

    When I first read this this morning while in a bit of a hurry, my primary issue with it was that the Growlithe was rather randomly brought up near the end and that it led to an anticlimax as the Ampharos turned out not really to be worried about being replaced by the Growlithe at all, but I'm starting to not really mind that as I read it more often, as both seem to fit well into the style (particularly the latter - so deliciously naďve to just figure there will be two favorites and everything will be okay because Master loves him so very much!).

    So yeah, I like it more as I look over it more often. The style really works, and I enjoyed the subtle take on the subject.

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    Honestly I'm not feeling it. It seems like so many other "blind devotion" type stories that it was pretty cliched.
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    It was an Ampharos? No, I didn't notice that at all. Although I'll admit I'm usually pretty oblivious to any clues about different Pokemon characteristics, I don't think it was obvious. Or at least I couldn't tell.

    Cliched, though? True, this type of story has been done, but I think Psychic did a good job differentiating it from the norm. Like I said, the flow really brought it together well. The vast majority of these kinds of fics tend to be a bit jerky in the thoughts, which this isn't at all. I do see where you're coming from, though.

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    I liked the perspective you used in this, but it did feel a bit lacking in something... I assume it was supposed to be simplistic, and it does that job quite well. Reflecting this Pokemon's blind devotion I guess. I did enjoy it though.

    I'm gonna go with Ampharos too, judging by this:
    the orbs on my head and tail would glow with pride.

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    Eh, it seems that some people missed the point a bit here, which I had feared. You see, this is a case of what we call the unreliable narrator, because the favourite isn’t perfect, being incredibly simple-minded, and doesn’t really understand everything correectly. Sometimes, especially when you see hints such as what style was used, you have to question what the narrator is telling you, because being the narrator doesn’t result in always being right, or even intelligent, for that matter.

    Stories aren’t just about what you see on the surface, and oftentimes one read-through isn’t enough to fully grasp and digest what you’ve just read. You had to look beyond the simple words to see what’s really going on here.



    . IC Ghost .: This story was not meant to be emotional in any way. It’s supposed to make you think – to consider the situation and rethink it from an unbiased standpoint (because the narrator is biased).

    The fact is the favourite just doesn’t care about the other Pokémon, so they won’t be overly emotional about what happens to them. I am not trying to make you cry over Openpetals not being the most liked or Digger getting traded away – I’m trying to make you realize why. What I wanted was for the reader to come away considering what they’ve just seen, and understand what makes the favourite the favourite, and what that says about trainers.


    duncan: I made it repetitive on purpose; it’s a part of the writing style. Like I said, you need to consider who the narrator is and how they think. Some writers portray Pokémon as being absolute animals, or having near-human intelligence. Notice that this isn’t at either extreme; clearly the favourite has a basic idea of what’s going on around him/her, but this story shows their actual thought process, and it’s a very simplistic one. That’s just the way this Pokémon thinks (I’m glad you thought it read like a good train of conscious, though).

    o.O You felt pity for the favourite? They’re treated really well, and the other Pokémon don’t so much hate them as see them to be an annoyance. The only reason I could think to pity this narrator would be because he/she just so oblivious to everything around him/her.

    Either way, this wasn’t so much about having a powerful impact from the beginning, but more about making you think.

    Yup, it was an Ampharos (Girafarig don’t have orbs on their head and tail, but I think that’s an indication that I should have actually given the trainer’s Girafarig a small part like the others). (I was surprised when Dragonfree got it even without the description, but that’s because we realized we’re psychic twins.) It wasn’t insanely obvious, but if you consider a couple of the hints, I don’t think it’s too hard to figure out. Plus that blank face, tiny little eyes…just doesn’t seem like the smartest creature to me. X3


    Dragonfree: Mah (new) psychic twinneh, yayz. I’m still impressed that you seemed to know it was an Amphraros from the style alone (impressed at who, I don’t know XD). Looks like so far, you’ve been the only one to guess the species, description or not, though. XP

    Still don’t know if it’s a male or female (so far there seems to be one vote for each, but I think we’re leaning more towards female), but either way, I’m glad someone gets just how utterly clueless he/she is. ^^

    Though I was disappointed to see that you got the impression that there’s abuse here. I never really considered that, because the trainer doesn’t actually treat the other Pokémon poorly – it’s just that they’re not treated nearly as nicely because they don’t respond to Master like a bunch of robots. This is more about actual favourism than cruelty. :P

    I actually got the same impression when I was rereading it yesterday, and I began to rethink whether or not it works. I’m still not sure, because it makes sense in theory since not all Ampharos’ thoughts are completely linear, but I really don’t know how realistic the sudden jump is. And to be honest, if both Growlithe and Ampharos obey Master like good little sheep, I don’t think there would be an issue with having two favourites. Growlithe is, after all, there more to highlight how the other Pokémon are expendable and about Master’s want for Pokémon who won’t be independent rather than to scare Ampharos into thoughts about not being the favourite.

    Still, I’m glad at least one person received it well and really got the idea. Thanks a ton for the review. ;3


    Blackjack Gabbiani: The favourite isn’t devoted, though – not exactly. In reality, they’re just too stupid to even consider not doing exactly what Master says. The narrator only wants Master to be happy so that they will be treated nicely. The favourite doesn’t actually grasp the notion of loyalty, just doing what their trainer says.

    Honestly, I have never seen another fic that was written in this sort of way, so I don’t see where you’re pulling “cliché” from. If you’ve seen other fics like this, though, please feel free to send me some links so I’ll have a basic idea of what not to do.


    otaku-dono: Again, it’s not so much devotion as it is not knowing any other way, but thanks. But yeah, that’s the main indication that the fevourite is indeed an Ampharos (since the other ones are a fair bit more subtle).

    If you ever get an idea of what might be missing, please do tell me, though! ^^


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    First thing I want to mention is that I thought you did a really good job on the main character. o.o I really enjoyed reading from such a different sort of perspective, from such a simplistic one. And I furthermore personally found the Ampharos's personality to be a really interesting mix of funny, cute, and also kind of creepy. What can I say--the blissfully, unquestioningly obedient "sheep"-type personality creeps me out anywhere I see it. X3

    And given that the narrator here is a member of a line of Pokémon that are based on sheep, having that type of personality does seem very fitting, indeed. So yeah, I thought the choice of species used for the narrrator in this was brilliant. ^^

    Oh, and there's a quote in this that I just can't help but love to bits:

    They’re just missing out on being the favourite. It makes me giggle sometimes.
    XD I loved that.
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    Absolutely wonderful Psychic! I love these stories that don't take for granted the deeper levels of what people tend to take for granted in the games and so forth. I especially enjoyed the diction of the narrarator, it probably was hard to write like that, but I believe you pulled it off with elegance. Very well done!

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    I agree it was a good read. Interesting, repetitive and a little disheartening, but once you hit the end, it comes together. I would never be able to guess the pokemon they were, for i am not that extremely knowledgeable of them all.

    Almost a bit too tired to analyze anything. But being the favorite reminds me of in game. People have a favorite, and they use it all the time, and don't think much about the others. A few favorites might be so, but usually we have one or two, then the rest are backups in battle. Almost sad.

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    Simple indeed. I found some cuteness coming along here. Something about this narrator seems unreliable. However, it's very thought provoking. The narrator seems to be very happy, although there is something that sounds twisted. I did have a feel it was a Mareep/Flaafy/Amporas. When Growlithe was mentioned, I had a feeling it was Vulpix.

    They’re just missing out on being the favourite. It makes me giggle sometimes.
    That's why I feel some twist to it.

    The last few lines surprised me because of the lack of jelousy, on the other hand that adds to the simplicity even more. I like the simpleness here, doesn't sound to devoted at all. Looks like a nice fic about a happy pokemon who likes it's master. It's something rather refreshing about it. I think it's something a lot can relate to, everyone has a favorite.


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    Sike: ...I swear I had intended to reply to you. I just...I got...there was...procrastinate...a ninja beat me up. It was awful. And now, two months later, I have finally recovered enough to reply. Yes. Damned ninjas.

    XD Thank you – I enjoyed writing it. It definitely wasn’t something I was used to. But I see what you mean there – the thing’s just so completely clueless, yet so sure of him/herself, and so blind...heh, I do see what you mean by that. >3 And thanks, when I saw the possibility of an Ampharos, I saw it was just perfect.

    Heh, actually hadn’t been sure if that part fit, and it actually rather backs up your point. XD Thanks for the review, and happy (hopefully ninja-free) holidays!


    Tearen the Absol: Heh, it was a bit hard to get into, but once you get into a rhythm, it’s fairly easy to keep going (the problem is when you have to go back and edit once you’ve lost it XD).

    That’s rather true, in a way – I think you partly got it. The thing was mainly that the main character obeys their trainer perfectly yes, a lot like the way they do in the games. The other Pokémon, however, did not obey like perfect little robots, but the trainer didn’t appreciate that they acted independently, despite the fact that they won more battles that way. Ampharos was the trainer’s favourite because they obeyed without question – it didn’t matter that they were a stupid, mindless creature who kept losing. Ampharos obeys, and that’s all his/her trainer cares about.


    #Chimecho#: I don’t blame you for not guessing it straight out; it wasn’t very obvious. Though it wasn’t meant to really be encouraging, but to make you think.

    While that is true, Ampharos was actually the favourite because they obeyed without question, while the others remained individual, thinking creatures without obeying their trainer’s every single word like robots. That is, however, a good point, and it makes you think: even in that case, wouldn’t the other Pokémon notice the favourism? Hm.


    C.Gholy: Heh, cute in that completely clueless sort of way, I suppose. It is in fact that cluelessness that makes them so unreliable; they are happy, mainly because they don't see the full picture. The giggle thing is just meant to show how completely oblivious they are, though, and while it is a little creepy, nothing about this is especially twisted. But no; Growlithe is indeed just a Growlithe.

    In that regard you got that right; Ampharos is just too simple-minded to really feel any jealousy at this point. Though I do think he/she is right in thinking that the trainer can have more than one favourite, because, and this is really what I never properly explain, but the favourite is just any Pokémon that obeys without question.

    So you're not exactly right regarding the devotion bit. I pray that most people can't relate to this, because it's about a Pokémon who seems to have no mind of their own, who is nothing but a tool, a robot to their trainer who does everything exactly as they're told. No truly sane, individual creature does this, and that's what this trainer fails to understand and accept. It is for this reason that this particular trainer will never truly be great; he doesn't want his Pokémon to act by their own will.



    Well, I'm still rather dissapointed that so few people seemed to really figure out what was going on. I wasn't exagerating when I said it was something that required some thought and more than one read-through, because what's really going on isn't very obvious and requires more of a close reading to fully understand. Still, I tried, and I enjoyed using a new style and a most unreliable narrator. Even if people didn't get the message, I still got it out there, and I'm content about that much.

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    Hey, Psychic, long time, no see.

    Quite a story you have here. This kind of perspective has always been appealing to me as a writer, and I really like what you did with the whole "Pokemon's real names" thing. I think you've done a phenomenal job of portraying the true thoughts of Pokemon, and while you didn't portray them as completely stupid, you managed to give them some personality and reason for their obedience towards their trainers.

    I've never been one for writing from the first-person perspective, but I think you've shown a masterful command of it. This one-shot is definitely a good example of it, as you've really captured the limited perspective perfectly, and have shown everything you need to show to the reader while still keeping those rose-tinted glasses firmly placed on the Pokemon's face.

    I'd be interested to see something a bit longer using this perspective. If I wasn't already writing something (and trying to keep up with it unlike other works of mine), I'd love to take up something like this. That kind of look into the minds of Pokemon is intriguing to me, as I think it really helps us find that missing link between intelligent species and instinct-driven animals.

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    I love the connection of the pokemon between its master. Even though the pokemon will always be happy with it's master....the master may replace it. It reminds me of a Maiden Waiting for her man of her dreams to come....

    It reminds me of my actions with someone....in some wierd condeluded way....

    It also has a wide audiance range....the kids can read it, while adults can read it and understand the depth through the surface that the kids can brush....

    All and all

    Grade: A...(due to the personal connection of this story with myself)

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    Very, very, very thought-provoking. A near masterpiece that greatly utilizes the point of view. I see what you meant when you stated that the story took a mind of its own. This kind of fanfic deserves continuation. However, you need to elaborate. Almost nobody could guess that the favorite was Ampharos. The unreliable narrator concept is just a cover-up. You can state facts that would normally not come to the favorite's mind simply by stating them as quotes from other characters, or by implying them. You could also go more in-depth with the trainer(Does she give the Pokemon HP Ups, Proteins, and Irons for training, or does she really train?- That kind of stuff)
    Great job overall. 9/10 =)

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    I really enjoyed this. I think that too often writers who take pokemon's point of view assume they think the same as humans. I'm guilty of this, obviously. But the way you wrote this creature was very believable.

    It also had simplicity masking a deep depth, which made me enjoy it even more. Well done!

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