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Thread: Anyone got tips for writing about the PokeWalker?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone got tips for writing about the PokeWalker?

    So, I'm writing this ficseries called Parasitic Trio, which has started with three different stories happening simultaneously.

    One of these, about Jamie (a.k.a. Gold, Jimmy), is going to involve the PokeWalker. I liked the variety of routes that the real one had to offer when I played SoulSilver in 2010, but on the other hand, I do remember how primitive that thing was in terms of gameplay compared to the games proper.

    Given how little I can think of right now to make happen when Jamie visits a PW route, and also how this ficseries is planned to reflect the games, I'm thinking of keeping any actual events that take place on PW routes offpage and letting readers fill in the blanks from there. I mean, the PokeWalker itself was used separately from the actual game while interacting with it, and whatever goes on in the subworld that Jamie explores via the device could take place between consecutive chapters.

    A friend of mine disagrees, saying that there's no point behind it if I'm not gonna show anything. So, if anyone's got any tips on how to properly integrate it into the story and actually flesh out what goes on in the PokeWalker subworld, I'd appreciate that.

  2. #2
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    Awwww yeeeah, fics covering things that rarely get touched upon!

    That being said, I'd hate to say it, but I kinda agree with your friend there. One of the novelties of your fic seems to be those PW adventures as well as the "three stories happening simultaneously" concept you've got going on. This is still part of Jamie's story; it's just taking place in a separate side world. Thus, it would be odd if you just didn't touch on that part of it, especially if it happens frequently enough to be notable. (If this was a one-time deal or an extremely infrequent occurrence, then that might be another thing.)

    And that's probably the best way to think of it. Imagine Jamie's story as being a line. When you get to the part where he enters the Pokéwalker side world, he doesn't just disappear, and he doesn't stop thinking, feeling, or doing. For him, from his perspective, his experiences still continue. So the best way to handle that is just, well, keep on writing what's going on with Jamie. Talk about what he learns from these experiences or how he grows. At the risk of phrasing this overly bluntly (because omg, I wrote it and then realized it's the only way to describe this, yet it's kinda eeeh), don't stick so close to the game script that you forget the story is meant to be about your characters, not about the plot of the games. We already know what the plot of the games are, after all, so what we're more interested in is your character and how they interact with the world around them.

    In short, yeah, definitely cover those PW scenes, and handling them is just a matter of shifting your perspective and thinking about it in terms of what your characters are experiencing. If you're still having trouble covering all of the times Jamie goes into the PW world, try limiting yourself to a handful of trips. Either way, make sure they're as necessary to Jamie's story/as plot relevant as possible. Otherwise, those trips may stick out as odd and out-of-place, even if you do take care to describe them.

    Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    Well, it all really depends on what role you want the Pokéwalker to play in the story. Why is it that you're interested in having it play a role in the story? If it's just, "the Pokéwalker is fun and I want it in my 'fic," then it's perfectly fine to make the use of it entirely offscreen. A quick reference where, e.g., another character says to Jamie, "Hey, your dragonair seems really upbeat today, what's up?" "Oh yeah we were just out walking in Rugged Road for a while, she loves that place." would be enough to make anyone who got the reference smile, without being weird enough to confuse people unfamiliar with the Pokéwalker. It's not uncommon for routine trainer stuff to happen offscreen in a story, so it won't be out of place. This only works if you make but the occasional small reference, though, not if you keep on bringing it up but not talking about it at all--that would turn it into a sort of weird noodle incident (noodlescape?) where stuff keeps happening but for whatever reason you won't show it to the reader. So, I wouldn't say it's pointless to include at all if you have nothing particular to show with it, as long as you don't make a huge deal about it, and as long as you're content with being nothing more than a detail. Fun little details and references can be a lot of fun for readers.

    But if you want to make the Pokéwalker play a larger role, you'll need to nail down what exactly you're going to do with the place. Is there anything special about Pokéwalker routes that makes them work differently than normal routes? Or is the Pokéwalker literally some kind of virtual world thing the pokémon gets sent to for a bit? The latter would be a bit harder to work with, I think, because to "show" anything you'd be limited to pokémon POV, which would be very strange if your story is otherwise only from the perspective of human characters. With the former, you could think of pretty much any scenario that could otherwise be set on a normal route and have it take place in a Pokéwalker location instead, while the characters are out for an item-finding stroll or whatever. It doesn't matter if it's not something that happens in the game, or if it's something that happens in the game but takes place in a different location/slightly different way; an angry mob is not going to come after you because you did not literally transcribe the exact game plot, perfect in every detail, especially if it makes the story more interesting to read! What would probably be best, though, would be to think of how the Pokéwalker might work differently than normal pokémon training, and how you could use that difference to stage some kind of scenario that you couldn't have happen anywhere else.

    It's a bit hard to give more specific suggestions without knowing exactly how you plan to implement the Pokéwalker, and again, it's all down to why you hope to feature it. Whatever you choose, there are definitely ways to make it an integral part of the storyline, but I wouldn't feel obligated to do so if you're just including it because you think it's a neat concept and want to give a shout-out.
    Last edited by Negrek; 10th June 2016 at 8:17 PM.

    In which an undead trainer, a bloodthirsty super-clone, and an irascible ex-Rocket grunt set out to rescue an imprisoned Mew--if they don't end up murdering each other first.

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  4. #4
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    Thanks.

    I will be honest here: Character development was not the first thing I had on mind when I conceived the ficseries (although I am definitely open to it), and here's why:

    While the actual inspiration for it was different, what I focused on the most between 2008-12 (after which I slowly lost interest up until only days ago) were all manner of variables as a way to symbolically re-live the games.

    You see, I used to love the games, and had a rather eccentric way of playing them. Unfortunately, things eventually took a bad turn when I started to get frustrated with a million things I'd realize about the games, the worst of those being that the A.I. is known to cheat (especially in the Battle Towers et al, some of my favorite parts of the games).

    While I do not wish to return to the games since abandoning them four years ago, I still find everything about them rather unique. I remember being fascinated by all kinds of stuff while reading the player's guide for Black/White (shortly before posting Ellen's first chapter), and had to figure out why that wasn't the case with those for subsequent games upon coming back to this just the other day (which I only did as a substitute for two other projects that just haven't been going anywhere lately).

    So, basically, this whole thing is about writing the events of the games much more naturally than how they're depicted in said games, with certain things changed according to my personal preferences, even though these are not straight novelizations of them.

    Here are some links to my blog for more information:

    h t t p : / / dmxrated . livejournal . com /2008/08/21/ (How I used to play the games, along with some characterization for each of the main characters)

    h t t p : / / dmxrated . livejournal . com /424577 . h t m l #cutid1 (Everything I'd deem wrong with the games since late in 2011; posted just before finding out about the aforementionedly crooked A.I.)

    h t t p : / / dmxrated . livejournal . com /2016/06/03/ (Details on how the games became so special to me overtime, before everything went to hell.)

    h t t p : / / dmxrated . livejournal . com /2016/06/07/ (First of three consecutive entries of introspection, in which I examine why the ficseries used to interest me so much and then waned as I turned my attention in October that year to a Lucky Star fanfic I had conceived a year earlier. I also talk about three of my favorite parts of the games and how they'd apply in the story.)

    h t t p : / / dmxrated . livejournal . com /2016/06/08/ (The actual inspiration for Parasitic Trio, followed by a cut containing ideas and thoughts I had while reading my Black/White guide and how I realize this was barely the case with those for BW2, X/Y, and ORAS.)

    (Please excuse the formatting here; the site won't let me post any links whatsoever, even via the Link button under Advanced Options. I already spoke to someone about that, and was told this applies less the more legitimate posts you create.)

    So, now that I've divulged all that, I would be glad to receive help with character development or anything else necessary to actually make the story interesting.

    Okay, so I was still busy with my previous post when Negrek posted here, so here's the deal with the PokeWalker itself:

    Basically, it's a device that allows Jamie to teleport to any location of his choice currently available. In order to work, five full Pokeballs need to be inserted each into a spherical chamber, and then a screen lights up presenting all available routes. Once he selects a route, both he and his remaining Pokemon are sent to what's more than likely a virtual environment emulating the real world. And, like with the real thing, the longer he spends in its different routes, the closer he comes to unlocking a new route.

    The routes themselves would operate just like the real world, as opposed to being so simplified as the real PokeWalker was. Pokemon and items are found and obtained normally, rather than having to find them in patches of grass. (I should note that Pokemon in the fic's real world don't usually hide in grass either, unlike in the games.)

    And, as per my old playing style, I would like for him to choose a different route each time he decides to utilize the PokeWalker, although actual reasoning might also factor into this.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 11th June 2016 at 7:10 PM. Reason: Merging posts.

  5. #5
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    Okay, so it sounds like you want use the Pokéwalker as more than a passing reference, in which case, yeah, I think you probably won't want to put it off-screen--or at least not all of it. You don't need to detail every Pokéwalker excursion or anything. But since it sounds like you've put a fair amount of thought into how it would work in your world and probably want to give some of it to your reader.

    What you want to think of, then, is why Jamie's interested in using the Pokewalker routes rather than ordinary training routes. Simple curiosity would probably get him through one or two go-rounds, but if he's going to keep visiting, there has to be something about it that's compelling him to go back (and choose a different route each time, if that's what you like!). So what about the Pokewalker appeals to him or serves his goals as a trainer? You want that motivation there, and clear in the text, so it doesn't feel like Jamie's taking these jaunts at random/just because you want to show off your cool idea. That's where characterization comes into this, really; you want to make sure that what you're having him do plays into his character well, and ideally tells the reader something about him.

    And then, what might happen on a Pokewalker route that would move the story along? You mentioned that you're probably going to go with some kind of virtual environment, so it might be cool to play with that, think of some scenarios you couldn't have happen on a "real" route. But since it sounds like it otherwise operates pretty much like a normal route (perhaps minus other trainers), you could also stage any of the usual trainerfic drama there as well. The question is what sorts of problems Jamie's going to run into in the Pokewalker, how it's going to challenge him--he's choosing to use it to fulfill some goal of his, but what's there that's going to stand in his way?

    However, moving the story along doesn't have to mean all conflict, all the time. Since the Pokewalker puts Jamie alone with one of his pokemon, it would make a good opportunity for those two to work through their relationship, whatever it is. If the pokemon aren't important characters in your story, you might go for more quiet introspection instead. All in all, the Pokewalker could provide a nice backdrop for downtime after more high-energy story events, when Jamie needs to process some of what he's gone through and you're looking to advance his character arc through more quiet means. Any of those things would make the time spent detailing Jamie's Pokewalkerventures interesting and worthwhile for readers.

    In which an undead trainer, a bloodthirsty super-clone, and an irascible ex-Rocket grunt set out to rescue an imprisoned Mew--if they don't end up murdering each other first.

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  6. #6
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    Well, here's the entire sequence of events:

    Upon taking out his PokeWalker, he then inserted one of his Pokemon at random into each space. A screen then lit up, presenting the following options:

    Refreshing Field
    Noisy Forest


    Hoping for a change in scenery, the boy selected the latter. His surroundings changed to what looked more like a jungle than a forest.

    He drew out his remaining full ball, and out came... Caterpie. Needless to say, the bug was taken aback by its suddenly different surroundings, looking around back and forth before turning to its Trainer.

    -----

    As Jamie and Caterpie walked through the forest, they spotted all manner of different Pokemon than he had come across so far. Too bad he had already filled up all his PokeBalls; he'd need to get some more in the next real-world town. But then again, he also needed more Pokemon than one in order to contend with each Pokemon he caught in the real world, and the ones here, including Bellsprout, were known predators to Bug Pokemon like Caterpie, as his Pokedex would have him know.

    "Spearow," his Pokedex emitted. "Type: Air. It flaps its short wings to flush out insects from tall grass. It then plucks them with its stubby beak."

    "Venonat. Type: Bug/Poison. Its eyes double as radar units. It catches and eats small bugs that hide in darkness."

    "Hey... Caterpie?" said the boy, looking down, only to notice a fragment of green stone of some sort. "Oh, what's this?"

    He picked it up and examined it. One side had rounded corners around three straight lines, clearly identifying the object as having once been rectangular. However, the other side was broken inward, and even sported a crack.

    "Is this part of an old civilization? Guess I should take this somewhere."

    -----

    It wasn't until dusk in the real world that Jamie would re-appear before Mesprit.

    "Took you long enough," said the pixie.

    "Bored waiting for me?" asked the boy.

    "Bored? Of course not. My brothers and I spend our whole lives each watching over a lake. We are guardians, y'know."

    "So what're you complaining about, then?"

    "Because we've barely gotten started on our journey, and already, you've just spent hours in some other part of the world. The fate of the world is kinda depending on you and the others right now."

    "Fate of the world?"

    "It's complicated, so I'll explain as we go along, but for now, let's just say that Team Rocket is going to be the least of your worries."

    "Okay, whatever. Anyway, check all this out that I found in the jungle!"

    Along with the green shard, Jamie showed Mesprit a small pile of powder and two round red berries with twirled green stems.

    "That stuff here," said Mesprit, pointing to the energy powder. "It's super-bitter, and you should only give it to your Pokemon as a last resort."

    "Guess I could've used a tip there. What about that green thing here?"

    "A shard. I'm sure Uxie would know what they used to be, but we could probably ask him when we all meet back up in Sinnoh. They don't seem to have any practical use today, but there are people who like to collect them for some reason. Anyway, Violet City's just up ahead, but maybe we should camp out here for today, whaddya say?"

    "Yep. Tomorrow's a big day!"

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