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Thread: 2012 Fanfiction Awards - planning thread

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zibdas View Post
    Oo, how exciting~
    Why would we need a nomination cap though, just out of curiousity?
    I was initially against one when I first started running the awards each year (this is my third) but over time I came to understand that without one, there would be a tendency for some nominations to crowd out others for a variety of reasons.

    So I think we're all good on categories, right? Only establishing the minimum and maximum caps should be left, I think.

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    So was it agreed upon that PMD fics get their own category? I don't write PMD fics, but I also believe they should have an award all to their own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    So was it agreed upon that PMD fics get their own category? I don't write PMD fics, but I also believe they should have an award all to their own.
    I'm going to need some more time to address that; I didn't even notice all those posts at the end of the last page and I can't work it out now. But I would tend towards the personal choice of saying no on my part right now.

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    Do you have a guess as to when the Nominational Thread will be up?

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    Start of next year as before, I imagine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zibdas View Post
    Do you have a guess as to when the Nominational Thread will be up?
    bobandbill is correct, I'll work on it as soon as the year is up.

    I'm really not feeling in favor of a genre award strictly for Mystery Dungeon fics. I'd like to hear some more arguments in favor of it, because I'm just not seeing the need yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Butler View Post
    I'm going to need some more time to address that; I didn't even notice all those posts at the end of the last page and I can't work it out now. But I would tend towards the personal choice of saying no on my part right now.
    If it would help sway you, I'd also like to throw my support behind a Mystery Dungeon fanfic category. In my experience, PMD fics tend to be very different in terms of tone and content, and as such, it may not be fair to judge them on the same level of Trainer's Journey fics and the like. Plus, the genre could probably use a bit more love.
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    The way I see this whole PMD situation is thus:
    There is a trainer-centric category, and a pokemon-centric category. The trainer-centric genre is very broad, and encompasses many different story types. The pokemon-centric does the same. Last year, the idea to have a journey fic category was vetoed because it fell under the heading of a trainer fic. A PMD fic is technically a pokemon-centric fic, and therefore falls under the umbrella. While it has become a large part of that genre in the past year, at least on these forums, it still is pokemon centric, and therefore belongs under the category.
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    I think part of the problem on both sides of the PMD-as-a-category argument is that the terms are rather vague. For example, what is "Pokémon-centric" fanfiction? What exactly separates that from PMD fic? Is PMD fic actually a subgenre of Pokémon-centric, or can it be considered a standalone concept (which was what my original comment on the subject of PMD fics was trying to ask)? Granted, yes, I was subtly proposing the category in the first place, but I was also hoping people would think about it in more detail, especially since discussing it would kill two birds with one stone (i.e., discuss whether or not a PMD category would be viable and tackle what I thought was a vaguely-defined category all in one go).

    But because I'm terrible at outlining my thoughts, lemme just make my opinion clear by saying this.

    On the one hand, we've had an inordinate number of new PMD fics this year. Either that, or I'm just noticing them this year. I can't quite tell without spending far more time on research than is probably healthy for discussing awards on a fanfiction community. In any case, it seems like we'd have quite a selection if we wanted a category for them.

    But because that's not a good argument for having categories (because by my logic right there, we could have fanfiction categories for any random fad "genre" that ambled along -- like having a category for self-insert journey fics if we held the awards in 2006 or something), there's also the argument that PMD fics are "out there." So what is out there? My fics are typically "out there," if I do say so myself (which is why I don't have massive fan followings, besides having the update schedule Microsoft would envy), but does that mean my fics occupy their own genre? The answer, unfortunately for my egotism, is no. So in order to better argue whether or not PMD is a viable genre, we'd need to actually define it as a genre. Specifically, I mean. So in other words, beyond just saying that PMD fics are "out there" or "different from the rest."

    So, what makes PMD fic a PMD fic? What does the term "PMD fic" mean? To answer that, let's establish a rough definition: PMD fics are fics set in the PMD universe (read: no humans in sight), in which Pokémon (usually a human turned into one plus fully Pokémon companions) go off to save the world. Okay, so first problem is exactly the question I asked earlier: what separates that idea from other genres?

    That leads into the other hand. One could easily argue that PMD fics are basically members of other genres. Which one that is tends to be up for debate. It could be in the TF "genre" (because a human transforms into a Pokémon and goes off on their own adventure like that), and I'm pretty sure that's traditionally what the fandom tends to group it under. TF, of course, is barely its own genre; it's generally a concept belonging to sci-fi and fantasy. As such, PMD (being a subgenre of a subgenre according to some people) ends up grouped under either fantasy or sci-fi -- usually fantasy. Alternatively, it could be considered a subgenre of adventure, considering it usually involves that and a few other elements. ...Which in turn means that it might not be viable for it to get its own category because of how vague adventure is as a term.

    So this is probably where the grounds that PMD fic = Pokémon-centric lies. See, Pokémon-centric is more or less a catch-all concept. It applies to all fic that focuses on Pokémon, including PMD fic (considering the fact that PMD, by definition, focuses on Pokémon). It's a sister category to trainer fic, which is itself a catch-all concept that includes not only journey fic but also fics that are generally about trainers. Just like it's safer to say "trainer fic" instead of "adventure fic" (because "adventure" is vague), it's safer to say "Pokémon-centric" instead of "PMD" until PMD fic is thoroughly defined.

    Another thing to think about, of course, is the fact that removing PMD fics from the Pokémon-centric pool may render that category as either redundant (because you have two categories for Pokémon-centric fics, just slightly different ones) or not viable (because we don't have a large enough selection of non-PMD Pokémon-centric fics to maintain it). So if we do have a PMD category, we may be looking at a one-or-the-other scenario.

    But then again, PMD fics are like trainer fics in that the older that concept gets, the more and more it gets a solid definition, so back on the first hand, it is a solid fandom idea... if we bother to define it thoroughly. It's just a question of whether or not it's solid enough to be a full genre that deserves its own category, not to mention whether or not it'd render a category we've already got as redundant.

    So tl;dr, main issue with the PMD argument on both sides is that the arguments for and against it are incredibly vague right now. In my opinion, on the one hand, it has a specific definition and plenty of fics to serve as examples of that definition. On the other, that doesn't necessarily make it a standalone genre, nor does that necessarily mean that Pokémon-centric wouldn't be a fitting category for it. If we're going to proceed with arguments for or against it, we'd have to address the original question: is it or isn't it considered a Pokémon-centric fic? (Please note that there's nothing in the category's definition that says a Pokémon-centric fic has anything to do with humans or the human world. The question is not meant to make you compare PMD fics with other fics that could be in the category; it's meant to make you think about what that term means.)

    ...And yeah, the against camp should probably be specific too. (Besides Feral, anyway. Feral's summed up a pretty valid point as clearly and specifically as that point could probably get.) I mean, seems like there's a lot of voices for it already, so... yeah. As someone who doesn't even write (or read all that often) PMD fic, I don't really mind either way what happens. I just threw out the suggestion in the first place to generate discussion because I was bored.
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    Leave it to JX to write an essay about the problem (which is quite true in my opinion). For me, I'm all for trying to see if it does work. After all, it doesn't do any harm. To me, I know that there is one category that always gets only one fic nominated (actually, I think that it is JX's fic, but don't quote me on that). So even if the population is low after a split, it's not like it's an outlandish concept. However, in that same breath, I don't think I've seen many fics that focus on a non-PMD style. I don't remember if the perspective one-shot contest posters were this year or last year, but aside from those, I don't think I've seen an actual non-PMD poke-centric story.

    So, like I said, I don't see a problem in at least trialing PMD fics as its own category and seeing how it turns out. My only hesitance is that I'm naive as to whether there were stories that could fit into poke-centric fics if it does get segregated.
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    Wow JX. You make a good point. You see though, I could probably define a PMD story, seeing as I write it. Heck, all you have to do is play the game.
    First, the main character turns into a Pokemon. The Pokemon itself could be anything, though it's usually small, basic, and non-legendary. I say 'usually', because I've seen a Charmeleon, but it's close enough. Shortly afterward, they meet a partner Pokemon, also usually small and basic. Together they decide to start an 'insert type of team here' team. They go on their first mission. Tour of the town. The beginning of the major plot points begins to unfold. New members of the team may or may not join. Go on more missions. Somewhere down this line, they fight their first legendary, usually having to do with the plot. The story follows this path until the plot is revealed full out. Team goes off to fight the final boss, all most always legendary and extremely powerful, which is preceded by a large, very hard dungeon. Then, when they win, the main hero begins to disappear for whatever reason. Partner hero becomes depressed. Hero somehow comes back. Partner is happy. Team picks up where it left off and continues missions. A second story ark can occur now.

    However, as with any fan fic genre ever, any step can be skewed slightly or largely, or not used at all.

    So that's defined. I'm still a little uneasy on exactly what the pokemon-centric category covers. Is it any fic that features a Pokemon as it's main character? If it is, I think that may be a tad too broad, honestly.

    And I agree with Agent Tectonic, I think, in that testing the category out would do no harm at all. If anything, that'd allow the non-pmd pokemon-centric people a better shot, really, seeing as how nearly all the pokemon-centric fics as of right now are, in fact, PMD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Another thing to think about, of course, is the fact that removing PMD fics from the Pokémon-centric pool may render that category as either redundant (because you have two categories for Pokémon-centric fics, just slightly different ones) or not viable (because we don't have a large enough selection of non-PMD Pokémon-centric fics to maintain it). So if we do have a PMD category, we may be looking at a one-or-the-other scenario.

    But then again, PMD fics are like trainer fics in that the older that concept gets, the more and more it gets a solid definition, so back on the first hand, it is a solid fandom idea... if we bother to define it thoroughly. It's just a question of whether or not it's solid enough to be a full genre that deserves its own category, not to mention whether or not it'd render a category we've already got as redundant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Tectonic View Post
    I don't remember if the perspective one-shot contest posters were this year or last year, but aside from those, I don't think I've seen an actual non-PMD poke-centric story.
    This is also a good point. A really quick sweep of the archive shows that there really aren't too many non-PMD pokemon fics this year. Now, if I understand correctly, PMD fics are very much like journey fics, which take a considerable amount of time to write. If this is the case, likely many of the fics eligible this year will also be eligible next year. It might be a good idea to see how many get nominated, and if they are a sizable block, consider the category for next year's awards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Tectonic View Post
    To me, I know that there is one category that always gets only one fic nominated (actually, I think that it is JX's fic, but don't quote me on that).
    If we're just talking about genre categories (because there's one under other fic awards in which I end up being one of the only nominees for annually, if not the only), then yep, that's actually and sort of hilariously true, and it's sci-fi/fantasy. However, that's also a horse of a different color. One of the main issues that was brought up between Feral and yours truly is the fact that PMD fics could be nested under Pokémon-centric because of how broad that category is. (And there's not really that many non-PMD Pokémon-centric fics out there to put under that category, so you'd end up having basically a redundant category because PMD and Pokémon-centric would basically have the same nominees unless we redefined the latter category or took it out altogether.) Meanwhile, sci-fi/fantasy can't really be nested under anything because it's a distinct genre. Whereas you could argue that PMD fics share elements with Pokémon-centric fics (i.e., both focus on Pokémon), sci-fi/fantasy doesn't really share its traits with anyone except adventure, which is too vague a genre to have a category in the first place. So whereas PMD could potentially be a redundant category, sci-fi/fantasy won't. That's why it's a horse of a different color despite its low annual nominees: because you can't take every nominee in the category and dump them into a single other listing the way you could with PMD fics, if that makes sense.

    But honestly, the easiest way to solve the redundancy is just to look at which type of fic gets more entrants. If we have mostly PMD fics and not enough non-PMD Pokémon fics, it probably wouldn't hurt to scrap the -centric category (recategorizing anything that might've fallen into it but not within the realm of PMD as any of the other fic types) and go with the more specific category, especially since a number of people are excited about that idea. Last year's pool for the -centric category wasn't that amazing either (although the fics in it were), so it could be a workable option to do without.

    ...Or specify the definition of -centric fics in a way that makes it clear it's for PMD fic as well as any other 'mon fic. Either or. I just really think that category needs discussion.

    Meanwhile, back to the horse of a different color, sure, it's a different color, but I'll admit it's a horse. Unfortunately, I can't really offer up my opinion on whether or not sci-fi/fantasy is a viable category because I'd be an *** if I did (either by being ungrateful or by unintentionally blowing off the other sci-fi/fantasy authors on the forum), so I'll leave that up to other people's opinions.

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    This is slightly going out on a limb, but I still would like to see what the response is on it, but what if the categories were broken down into trainer fics, non-trainer fics, and MD fics. Unless I'm missing something glaringly obvious, but this should encompass just about everything without a huge room for debate as to where a fic goes. 99.9% of the time, trainer fics are exclusively human-based (I'm not saying 100% since I've considered having a fic where a an actual Pokemon tries to train a team for the League, but that's another story). On the flip side, MD fics are self-explanatory for almost the same reasons trainer fics already is a genre. Then you have the non-trainer fics which is the middle area. As I see it, it doesn't really matter what perspective is being written if the whole premise is just some adventure story that doesn't involve the other two.

    Just an idea I thought of since reading up on this, so I don't mind if this gets taken negatively.
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    In my personal taste, I'd say my preferred heroes on my story would be the actual pokemon themselves. I'm not a huge fan of human heroes from the anime or manga or movie. Its not my cup of tea. One way to convince me to enjoy a story with a human hero/ine is if the human is self created.

    This is why PMD is as popular as the main series to fanfic. i myself can be considered as a PMD writer yet also, I can make a pokemon centered story without the PMD brand.

    The system is okay as it is. so when will the voting start?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jireh the provider View Post
    The system is okay as it is. so when will the voting start?
    Next year once the nominations are all up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    While it is very reminiscent of a lot of journey trainer fics, it held my attention. It stands out among a lot of the other fics I've read lately and I'm excited to continue the story.

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    Oh boy, well, time to cause some controversy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feralninja View Post
    The way I see this whole PMD situation is thus:
    There is a trainer-centric category, and a pokemon-centric category. The trainer-centric genre is very broad, and encompasses many different story types. The pokemon-centric does the same. Last year, the idea to have a journey fic category was vetoed because it fell under the heading of a trainer fic. A PMD fic is technically a pokemon-centric fic, and therefore falls under the umbrella. While it has become a large part of that genre in the past year, at least on these forums, it still is pokemon centric, and therefore belongs under the category.
    This is the basic position I am taking. Just because Mystery Dungeon fics are the predominant Pokemon-centric type this year is no reason to dispose of an entire category, I feel, because there are still people who are not writing Mystery Dungeon fics who would be placed at a disadvantageous position if "Best Pokemon-centric" was removed. Conversely, if the Mystery Dungeon fics are so high in number that there aren't many regular Pokemon-centric fics this year, then what reasoning is there to get rid of the category in favor of a new one?

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    But because that's not a good argument for having categories (because by my logic right there, we could have fanfiction categories for any random fad "genre" that ambled along -- like having a category for self-insert journey fics if we held the awards in 2006 or something), there's also the argument that PMD fics are "out there." So what is out there? My fics are typically "out there," if I do say so myself (which is why I don't have massive fan followings, besides having the update schedule Microsoft would envy), but does that mean my fics occupy their own genre? The answer, unfortunately for my egotism, is no. So in order to better argue whether or not PMD is a viable genre, we'd need to actually define it as a genre. Specifically, I mean. So in other words, beyond just saying that PMD fics are "out there" or "different from the rest."
    This. Quite frankly, if Mystery Dungeon fics somehow should get their own category based on how many there are this year and how "different" they are, well... what if next year a new Pokemon Ranger game comes out and the forums are flooded with fics inspired by it? What if Pokemon Conquest or Pokemon ReBURST suddenly erupts in popularity?

    I am incredibly apprehensive about the idea of dropping and creating categories simply because a certain thing is a fad at the correct time. And honestly, I mean absolutely no insult by this, but it seems like a lot of the people in support of adding the category are Mystery Dungeon authors themselves, so I'm not really seeing all that much of a wide demand for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Tectonic View Post
    So, like I said, I don't see a problem in at least trialing PMD fics as its own category and seeing how it turns out. My only hesitance is that I'm naive as to whether there were stories that could fit into poke-centric fics if it does get segregated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brutaka View Post
    And I agree with Agent Tectonic, I think, in that testing the category out would do no harm at all.
    "Testing" a category can potentially cause confusion and delays if it doesn't work out. When does it get dropped if it doesn't work out - after the nominations but before voting, creating confusion to try and fix where the nominations it had go?

    If anything, that'd allow the non-pmd pokemon-centric people a better shot, really, seeing as how nearly all the pokemon-centric fics as of right now are, in fact, PMD
    I don't find this logic sound. What does it matter if a certain type of fic fills a category in which they fit? It's like suggesting that there should be separate categories for fics in which the trainer starts with Eevee or Pokemon Colosseum fics if there were a lot of trainer fics one year where those criteria applied.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    One of the main issues that was brought up between Feral and yours truly is the fact that PMD fics could be nested under Pokémon-centric because of how broad that category is. (And there's not really that many non-PMD Pokémon-centric fics out there to put under that category, so you'd end up having basically a redundant category because PMD and Pokémon-centric would basically have the same nominees unless we redefined the latter category or took it out altogether.) Meanwhile, sci-fi/fantasy can't really be nested under anything because it's a distinct genre.
    This is very much the reasoning I am using.

    But honestly, the easiest way to solve the redundancy is just to look at which type of fic gets more entrants. If we have mostly PMD fics and not enough non-PMD Pokémon fics, it probably wouldn't hurt to scrap the -centric category (recategorizing anything that might've fallen into it but not within the realm of PMD as any of the other fic types) and go with the more specific category, especially since a number of people are excited about that idea. Last year's pool for the -centric category wasn't that amazing either (although the fics in it were), so it could be a workable option to do without.
    Dumping the people who had their entries in the "best Pokemon-centric" category out of it into categories where they may have to contend against opposition they can't tread water with simply because one alternate game universe somehow became a genre in itself (which still doesn't make any sense to me because games =/= genres) would be completely unfair to those people.

    Let me illustrate it this way. What if a group of people decided that the Pokemon anime is science fiction because it uses technology and magical fantasy creatures, then decided all anime-universe fics should be taken out of sci-fi and given their own category while sci-fi was removed as a category because there was only a couple stories or so left?

    ...Or specify the definition of -centric fics in a way that makes it clear it's for PMD fic as well as any other 'mon fic. Either or. I just really think that category needs discussion.
    A fic in which a single Pokemon or multiple Pokemon, not humans, are the primary stars. I submit that as a potential definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Tectonic View Post
    This is slightly going out on a limb, but I still would like to see what the response is on it, but what if the categories were broken down into trainer fics, non-trainer fics, and MD fics. Unless I'm missing something glaringly obvious, but this should encompass just about everything without a huge room for debate as to where a fic goes. 99.9% of the time, trainer fics are exclusively human-based (I'm not saying 100% since I've considered having a fic where a an actual Pokemon tries to train a team for the League, but that's another story). On the flip side, MD fics are self-explanatory for almost the same reasons trainer fics already is a genre. Then you have the non-trainer fics which is the middle area. As I see it, it doesn't really matter what perspective is being written if the whole premise is just some adventure story that doesn't involve the other two.

    Just an idea I thought of since reading up on this, so I don't mind if this gets taken negatively.
    I don't understand what you're suggesting. Are you saying that you'd get rid of all the genre awards and replace them with these three?
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    Whoops, no I meant if we separate the umbrella fic awards, poke-centric and trainer fics, into those three.
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    Alright, I have read the comments and I'll now post what I think.

    There are some fan-fiction works that have a Pokemon as the main character, but is in no way related to the Mystery Dungeon series. They were human before; they're just Pokemon.

    Also, there are some people that have written fan-fictions about Pokemon Rangers, Pokemon Breeders, Pokemon Trainers, and anything else (like a rare story of the story of Nurse Joy).

    So, what is the solution? I think it should be simple.

    I think it should be separated into two categories. One category being Human, in which it could be a trainer or breeder or whatever. The other category being Pokemon, in which the main character is a Pokemon and they are either in the world of Pokemon training with trainers, being a mystery dungeon of human into Pokemon, or the adventures of a Pokemon in the trainer world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario 50 View Post
    I think it should be separated into two categories. One category being Human, in which it could be a trainer or breeder or whatever. The other category being Pokemon, in which the main character is a Pokemon and they are either in the world of Pokemon training with trainers, being a mystery dungeon of human into Pokemon, or the adventures of a Pokemon in the trainer world.
    Isn't that like, basically, the exact same thing we have currently?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutaka View Post
    Isn't that like, basically, the exact same thing we have currently?
    Yes. I think it's fine as it is. Hence why I think this PMD argument is a little pointless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario 50 View Post
    Yes. I think it's fine as it is. Hence why I think this PMD argument is a little pointless.
    If you need a point, basically, the original was a question of whether or not PMD fics were a subset of Pokémon-centric or actually something that could stand on its own as its own genre. See, the logic is this. We don't really have a single category for human-centered fanfiction. Yes, even though this is the Pokémon fandom, there is such a thing as a fic that's centered on human characters. However, what we do is splinter that concept into multiple categories, including trainer fic and categories that can technically be shared with Pokémon fic. (Lookin' at you, canon character-centric.) We don't do that with Pokémon-centric; even though PMD is a massive genre (or subgenre, depending on your point of view), it's lumped under Pokémon-centric with non-PMD fics. The original question, therefore, was attempting to ask not only if Pokémon-centric is vague/an umbrella but also if PMD could stand on its own the way trainer fics do.

    Which brings me to my next let's-play-devil's-advocate point...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Butler View Post
    This is the basic position I am taking. Just because Mystery Dungeon fics are the predominant Pokemon-centric type this year is no reason to dispose of an entire category, I feel, because there are still people who are not writing Mystery Dungeon fics who would be placed at a disadvantageous position if "Best Pokemon-centric" was removed.
    Depends on what happens as a consequence. If you think about it, Pokémon-centric is really skirting the definition of the word "genre," especially given the fact that the only link between non-PMD and PMD Pokémon-centric fics are that they both contain Pokémon. This means you can have something like elyvorg's Three Heads nominated alongside any and all of Brutaka's fics. Those are two completely different stories that are technically classified under completely different (more cohesive) genres. So the main problem there is the fact that Pokémon-centric doesn't do much in the way of defining what a fic is. Neither does the other -centric category -- the canon character-centric one -- for that matter, but there's so few of those on this forum that the category actually means something. (That and a lot of canon character-centric fic tend to do a lot of character studies or relationship-focused work, so at least readers have a vague idea of what they're getting into.) Pokémon-centric, conversely, covers so many fics with wildly variant tones and premises that pointing to a list of them doesn't really tell a reader much about what it is. In short, it feels a lot like the oddball category because all of the other ones under the genre umbrella have connotations on this forum that allow a reader/nominee/voter to get a vague idea of what the fic is about, whereas the Pokémon-centric category could mean any number of things.

    That being said, I wouldn't say that non-PMD fics would be put at a disadvantage as a result of the removal of the category; they'd simply be nominated for other categories, especially if we introduced new ones that specified viable genres. ("Viable" in this case means "not vague." So Pokémon POV is a possibility. Drama and basically most of the ones on the catalog are others. Adventure... not so much because that's still vague.)

    what if next year a new Pokemon Ranger game comes out and the forums are flooded with fics inspired by it? What if Pokemon Conquest or Pokemon ReBURST suddenly erupts in popularity?
    The main snag in this is the question of whether or not PMD fics are their own fandom-based subgenre in the same vein as trainer fics. PMD fics have been around since the first Mystery Dungeon games; it's just that they gained popularity on SPPf recently. That doesn't mean that they weren't A Thing beforehand, however, and in some parts of the fandom, PMD fic is considered a genre. However, these are also the corners of the internet that believe TF and reborn fics are genres, so... hence the question.

    (If you think about it, this fandom has very strange definitions of the word "genre," probably in part thanks to trainer fics getting their own.)

    "Testing" a category can potentially cause confusion and delays if it doesn't work out.
    On the other hand, the fanfic awards are always in beta. After all, part of discussion threads like these involves talking about what didn't work last year and what we can do to improve things this year, right? If I recall correctly, the ballot last year included a lot of new categories and was missing a few categories from the year before it because we modified it so heavily. We had no way of knowing whether or not it would work until the actual voting period, so in a sense, we're always testing out new ideas for the next year.

    Dumping the people who had their entries in the "best Pokemon-centric" category out of it into categories where they may have to contend against opposition they can't tread water with
    Now, now. I wouldn't be that dramatic about it. I mean, Pokémon-centric was the category that featured the winner of our last official short story contest, after all. Not to mention that fic was by elyvorg, and enough said there.

    Besides, weeding out the fics that won't hold a candle to other fics is what the nominations period is all about. You don't get on the ballot for being mediocre, so one way or another, there's a good chance that those fics are going to be extraordinary in some voters' eyes. That's all you really need to compete.

    simply because one alternate game universe somehow became a genre in itself (which still doesn't make any sense to me because games =/= genres)
    *motions to trainer fic*

    Let me illustrate it this way. What if a group of people decided that the Pokemon anime is science fiction because it uses technology and magical fantasy creatures, then decided all anime-universe fics should be taken out of sci-fi and given their own category while sci-fi was removed as a category because there was only a couple stories or so left?
    And then there were trainer fics. \o/

    Sorry. Had to do it again because, well, that's basically what happened when trainer fic became a genre according to fandom. It was no longer gameverse fic (or animeverse, if we go that far back); it became something bigger than that. That's what's happening to PMD fic as well. Sure, it was about the PMD games originally, but we're right now looking at an evolution of the (sub)genre. It's just not clear yet as to whether it's a child (of more specific genres -- namely sci-fi, fantasy, and/or adventure) or if it's a genre in itself.

    That and at the risk of taking your example literally, the problem is that animeverse and sci-fi/fantasy can't entirely be considered nested concepts. Sure, you can have a sci-fi fic set in the animeverse, but that's like the middle section of a Venn diagram. Sci-fi is a distinct entity; animeverse is a broad entity but basically operates independently. You can have sci-fi fics that are set in the animeverse, the gameverse, or no canon 'verse at all, and you can have animeverse fics that are sci-fi, romance, adventure, or others. Meanwhile, the main issue here is that PMD fics are nested inside Pokémon-centric (so you've got a circle within a circle, not two circles whose edges are linked), but the problem is that there's so many other fics that are also nested within Pokémon-centric that that umbrella doesn't entirely mean anything specific. (In short, instead of two circles whose edges are linked, you have a colorblind test.)

    A fic in which a single Pokemon or multiple Pokemon, not humans, are the primary stars. I submit that as a potential definition.
    Sure, that seems simple enough, but is it a genre?

    Aaaanyway, my opinion has admittedly still not changed, and honestly, I'm still actually indifferent. I just had to play devil's advocate for five seconds because I'm still bored \o/, hey, we can never have enough discussion.

    That and it's an interesting jumping-off point for discussions of other possible genre awards. I mean, like I said, we could have other categories if we could argue the case for them. Drama, for example.

    ...Which I actually sort of want now, but that may just be me.

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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    If you need a point, basically, the original was a question of whether or not PMD fics were a subset of Pokémon-centric or actually something that could stand on its own as its own genre. See, the logic is this. We don't really have a single category for human-centered fanfiction. Yes, even though this is the Pokémon fandom, there is such a thing as a fic that's centered on human characters. However, what we do is splinter that concept into multiple categories, including trainer fic and categories that can technically be shared with Pokémon fic. (Lookin' at you, canon character-centric.) We don't do that with Pokémon-centric; even though PMD is a massive genre (or subgenre, depending on your point of view), it's lumped under Pokémon-centric with non-PMD fics. The original question, therefore, was attempting to ask not only if Pokémon-centric is vague/an umbrella but also if PMD could stand on its own the way trainer fics do.
    Again, though, I'll raise the point - Mystery Dungeon as far as being a "genre" is very narrow a definition. "Trainer fic" can go any of a number of ways, but we've even seen a definition of "Mystery Dungeon fic" in this thread that's quite narrow. If we start considering Mystery Dungeon a separate genre simply because it got popular and is "different," again, what happens if the same becomes the case for Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Conquest or Pokemon ReBURST one year? This is a slippery slope to be going down.

    Depends on what happens as a consequence. If you think about it, Pokémon-centric is really skirting the definition of the word "genre," especially given the fact that the only link between non-PMD and PMD Pokémon-centric fics are that they both contain Pokémon. This means you can have something like elyvorg's Three Heads nominated alongside any and all of Brutaka's fics. Those are two completely different stories that are technically classified under completely different (more cohesive) genres. So the main problem there is the fact that Pokémon-centric doesn't do much in the way of defining what a fic is. Neither does the other -centric category -- the canon character-centric one -- for that matter, but there's so few of those on this forum that the category actually means something. (That and a lot of canon character-centric fic tend to do a lot of character studies or relationship-focused work, so at least readers have a vague idea of what they're getting into.) Pokémon-centric, conversely, covers so many fics with wildly variant tones and premises that pointing to a list of them doesn't really tell a reader much about what it is. In short, it feels a lot like the oddball category because all of the other ones under the genre umbrella have connotations on this forum that allow a reader/nominee/voter to get a vague idea of what the fic is about, whereas the Pokémon-centric category could mean any number of things.
    It is no more vague than any of the things you named. "Pokemon-centric" means it is a story that primarily stars Pokemon instead of humans. Conversely, "Canon-character-centric" means that it is a fic that primarily stars an existing canon character. Both have countless possibilities for their basic premises. Subdividing a couple of categories into numerous smaller ones will only result in spreading the same number of nominations over a wider number of categories, leading to more "First-place-by-way-of-being-only-candidate" categories. Is what you're saying that categories don't mean anything if they have a large field of nominees? If that's the case, I cannot disagree more strongly than I do.

    That being said, I wouldn't say that non-PMD fics would be put at a disadvantage as a result of the removal of the category; they'd simply be nominated for other categories, especially if we introduced new ones that specified viable genres. ("Viable" in this case means "not vague." So Pokémon POV is a possibility. Drama and basically most of the ones on the catalog are others. Adventure... not so much because that's still vague.)
    I'll get to that first point in a minute, but... this has now expanded from simply asking if Mystery Dungeon needs its own category to suggesting that we need to reinvent large portions of the category list simply to accommodate said category?

    Again, all this is going to lead to is a larger number of categories spreading out the nominations, thus leading to less competition overall. That, and what's "vague" or "not vague" is subjective.

    The main snag in this is the question of whether or not PMD fics are their own fandom-based subgenre in the same vein as trainer fics. PMD fics have been around since the first Mystery Dungeon games; it's just that they gained popularity on SPPf recently. That doesn't mean that they weren't A Thing beforehand, however, and in some parts of the fandom, PMD fic is considered a genre. However, these are also the corners of the internet that believe TF and reborn fics are genres, so... hence the question.
    Then Ranger fics have existed since 2006 and Conquest and ReBURST since 2011, and just because they aren't widespread yet doesn't mean they won't become popular in the future. This is literally the logic I was using in the first place. Deciding what is and isn't a genre based on what's popular every year lessens the meaning of the actual awards because there is no consistency. What if the Mystery Dungeon fics stop being popular by 2013's awards?

    Like what I said earlier, would Eevee-starter fics or Colosseum fics warrant their own separate genre from trainer fics if they got really popular one year? No, I don't think they would, so there isn't much difference here.

    (If you think about it, this fandom has very strange definitions of the word "genre," probably in part thanks to trainer fics getting their own.)
    I'm sorry you feel that way. It may not be the dictionary definition of "genre," perhaps, but it does more or less work reliably.

    On the other hand, the fanfic awards are always in beta. After all, part of discussion threads like these involves talking about what didn't work last year and what we can do to improve things this year, right? If I recall correctly, the ballot last year included a lot of new categories and was missing a few categories from the year before it because we modified it so heavily. We had no way of knowing whether or not it would work until the actual voting period, so in a sense, we're always testing out new ideas for the next year.
    The new categories last year weren't really the same case we're seeing here, which is creating a new genre simply based on the popularity of one narrowly-defined type of fic and then reconstructing everything around it to accommodate it.

    Let's raise trainer fics as an example of a genre, if that's the one that comes up. Mystery Dungeon is a much more narrowly defined "genre" going by the definition we saw in this post. Yes, you can play with expectations, but the basic definition is there. I do not feel that it is right to create a genre award for something so specific that is, again, based on a fad.

    Now, now. I wouldn't be that dramatic about it. I mean, Pokémon-centric was the category that featured the winner of our last official short story contest, after all. Not to mention that fic was by elyvorg, and enough said there.
    Well, I'm glad I wasn't against her myself. I'd feel pretty bad right now. I mean, just because a certain author is in the mix for a category doesn't mean the others should be automatically written off.

    Besides, weeding out the fics that won't hold a candle to other fics is what the nominations period is all about. You don't get on the ballot for being mediocre, so one way or another, there's a good chance that those fics are going to be extraordinary in some voters' eyes. That's all you really need to compete.
    You're missing the point of what I said.

    The fics may very well be good ones. I never said they weren't. What I said is unfair is taking them out of a category where they are competing against themselves and dumping them against even better opposition than they should be facing, fics that actually were originally designed for the category and thus play to it far more effectively than fics that weren't originally for that category but got thrown there.

    *motions to trainer fic*
    That's not right, because "trainer fic" doesn't equal games either. Not only is there the anime but there's the countless manga adaptations as well. In fact, I would dare to suggest that the concept of a trainer's story transcends any one medium and instead embodies the franchise itself.

    Sorry. Had to do it again because, well, that's basically what happened when trainer fic became a genre according to fandom. It was no longer gameverse fic (or animeverse, if we go that far back); it became something bigger than that. That's what's happening to PMD fic as well. Sure, it was about the PMD games originally, but we're right now looking at an evolution of the (sub)genre. It's just not clear yet as to whether it's a child (of more specific genres -- namely sci-fi, fantasy, and/or adventure) or if it's a genre in itself.
    There is no evolution going on here, the number of Mystery Dungeon fics simply increased. If that was the same "evolution" that trainer fics underwent years ago, I guess I have to apologize for not being around for that. I don't know what else I can say.

    That and at the risk of taking your example literally, the problem is that animeverse and sci-fi/fantasy can't entirely be considered nested concepts. Sure, you can have a sci-fi fic set in the animeverse, but that's like the middle section of a Venn diagram. Sci-fi is a distinct entity; animeverse is a broad entity but basically operates independently. You can have sci-fi fics that are set in the animeverse, the gameverse, or no canon 'verse at all, and you can have animeverse fics that are sci-fi, romance, adventure, or others. Meanwhile, the main issue here is that PMD fics are nested inside Pokémon-centric (so you've got a circle within a circle, not two circles whose edges are linked), but the problem is that there's so many other fics that are also nested within Pokémon-centric that that umbrella doesn't entirely mean anything specific. (In short, instead of two circles whose edges are linked, you have a colorblind test.)
    The question assumed for the topic that the physics of the anime universe counted as science fiction.

    Hell, let's expand it and change the question around a little. What if the basic physics of the Pokemon world in general - thus including anime, game and manga-verse - were decided to be "science fiction" simply because that definition became popular, thus making all trainer fics sci-fi? What if, then, there was a popular demand to get rid of the sci-fi category and dump whatever remained into drama or comedy instead? That wouldn't be right.

    Sure, that seems simple enough, but is it a genre?
    Maybe not by a dictionary.

    Aaaanyway, my opinion has admittedly still not changed, and honestly, I'm still actually indifferent. I just had to play devil's advocate for five seconds because I'm still bored \o/, hey, we can never have enough discussion.
    I see.

    That and it's an interesting jumping-off point for discussions of other possible genre awards. I mean, like I said, we could have other categories if we could argue the case for them. Drama, for example.

    ...Which I actually sort of want now, but that may just be me.
    Could we have that discussion without having arguments over what "drama" is?

    I guess a more productive way of my reasoning here is this. There's valid points for and against having PMD be a genre, and I'm not sure if we're getting to them or addressing them as thoroughly as we can to the point where there's no way to question the logic involved. (Feral's point is probably one of the few that was solid enough to be iron-clad in my view.)
    If there's an iron-clad argument already made, and any others are just not going to be as valid either way, isn't this matter settled, then?

    That's probably going to be problematic if we're going to discuss anything else, especially if the idea of new genres in general are brought up. (If anything, I do have the opinion that we could use more specific ones and fewer vague ones.)
    I would like to know more about your logic behind thinking we need a pretty drastic redesign in terms of categories. I was troubled by the earlier comment about the "so few of them [nominations] that the category actually means something" but I want to try and understand why you would say something like that.

    That was a problem we had with discussion last year, where we wound up going in circles because a lot of the arguments for or against different genre proposals were "I want it in because it's something new and would give ____ a chance" or "I don't want it in because of vague reasons and/or personal tastes."
    Now I'm going to be blunt, so please don't mind it.

    What is your definition of "vague reasons," first of all? I don't see much of that. I see some people not making very convincing arguments (not you) in favor of their position, and most of those people are the "personal tastes" you refer to. However, this is completely and utterly confusing to discuss because you're embodying both angles of this at once and driving this argument in a thousand different directions. It would be so much easier to discuss this and eventually resolve it if we could tell where everyone's position is on the matter in the first place.

    So as admittedly (and deliberately) confusing as my posts might mean, all I'm doing is presenting as many arguments for and against each issue as I can think of because, hey, if no one else says it. *le shrug* I mean, sure, we can say it's pointless to argue for PMD fics, but is it really? Likewise, we could say PMD fics are in their own genre, but are they really? All I'm saying is if we can just take it a step further and actually dig into the subject, we might really get to some kind of consensus that doesn't just involve one side or the other giving up (and does, instead, involve a solution that makes complete sense to both parties -- compromise, in other words).
    Unfortunately, that's exactly where this is going. To consider this a situation where it's not even possible for one side to convince the other before the issue has even been properly argued doesn't do anything but set that up.

    I asked for arguments in favor of it, some were given, I wasn't convinced and I argued my opinion. Debates don't get settled instantly. I might still be convinced if someone gave me a great argument in favor of it or a plan for making changes that actually works.

    In other words, on the one hand, after some thought, I've realized that I really don't care either way because I'm self-centered like that. I originally proposed the category because it would be nice to see something new on the ballot, and that seemed like the most viable choice.
    I thought "I want it because it's something new" was a problem last year? I'm confused.

    That and the PMD authors seem enthusiastic about it, and honestly, "just because I don't want it" isn't entirely fair as a reason for them.
    And conversely, "just because I want it" isn't entirely fair as a reason when it comes to everyone else. It is a dangerous precedent to set to begin creating new categories excluding everyone but the very people asking for them, because if you begin doing that, it might be with good intentions but where does it stop? Does this happen every year when people want categories that they can win and point to this as the example?

    I do not honestly see all that much enthusiasm outside of the authors who would be directly benefiting from this category, and I am not convinced that doing this is fair to everyone else.

    So what I'd like to do is offer both sides if possible: a logical argument against PMD fics (to help define the conversation and point us in the direction of what we'd need to talk about if we want to have it work) as well as a logical argument for PMD fics (to offer insight as to how one might build an argument for a new category). Not that I'm trying to be long-winded or egotistical (because I sure as hell am not offering myself as a voice or leader or mentor for either side), but I feel that if we're going to debate about new categories or make proposals about new things to have for this year's awards, we should at least discuss things thoroughly and with an open mind.
    Um... we're all perfectly capable of having a debate to resolve this, so what is wrong exactly?

    ...Because, yeah, there's other categories and suggestions I'd actually not be sitting on the fence for, and I'm hoping the discussions for those would be very interesting. And, well, not just shot down due to personal tastes. Not meaning to offend by putting it that bluntly, but.
    If you're honestly looking at this debate and chalking it up to that, you're not giving one side of the discussion a fair consideration.

    I want to be shown an argument that will convince me to change my mind and see this as a good idea, while I present my opinion and attempt to convince those who disagree. That's what a debate is. The alternative is one side giving up and yielding, not a debate or discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Butler
    The fics may very well be good ones. I never said they weren't. What I said is unfair is taking them out of a category where they are competing against themselves and dumping them against even better opposition than they should be facing, fics that actually were originally designed for the category and thus play to it far more effectively than fics that weren't originally for that category but got thrown there.
    Isn't this kind of an argument against lumping PMD fics in with general Pokémon-centric? What with PMD fics not having been designed for a general Pokémon-centric category and the measure of good in Pokémon-centric stories often being stuff like portraying a Pokémon's POV interestingly, which Mystery Dungeon fics more or less can't by definition because their Pokémon are so humanoid?

    I kind of agree with JX that stuff like trainer fics aren't really a genre in the dictionary sense. But whether you want to call it a "genre" or not, I do think that the trainer fic category is an interesting category of Pokémon fanfics, in a sense that "Fics whose main characters have blue eyes" wouldn't be. We do want to avoid making award categories arbitrary: there's no reason fics about blue-eyed characters would have similar goals or otherwise be comparable. But the "trainer fic" category is not arbitrary: trainer fics have a similar basic concept and structure, and thus it's reasonable to compare one trainer fic to another and decide which of them is doing that concept and structure better. (Meanwhile, there's really no such thing as doing characters with blue eyes better than somebody else.)

    I'm the one who made the Pokémon-centric category in the first place, for the 2008 awards, and the meaningful category I was hoping to distinguish with it was the category of stories that explore the experiences of Pokémon - which generally share goals and themes such as portraying an inhuman POV, how Pokémon view Pokémon training, what Pokémon live like in the wild, and so on. (The description I wrote for the category was, quote, "Best story centering around Pokémon rather than humans - again, should be evaluated mostly for how it handles centering around Pokémon!") "Pokémon-centric" may not be the best word to encompass that - "Pokémon POV" is clearer, but might have sounded like it encompassed only first-person stories - but that's why it's there and why having a category for Pokémon-centric stories makes more sense than having one for human-centric ones: there are no such broad themes running across fics about humans in general.

    Mystery Dungeon fics don't really fit into that nonarbitrary Pokémon-centric category in the first place. Like I said, the Pokémon in Mystery Dungeon behave pretty much like humans, they're in an alternate universe where there are no humans and no Pokémon training, and they're living like humans in towns rather than in the wild. Their goals are completely different from how I originally envisioned the Pokémon-centric category. Meanwhile, among themselves, Mystery Dungeon fics do share meaningful themes, in much the same way trainer fics do; in fact, the Mystery Dungeon category mirrors the trainer fic category very closely, only with different source games. The quintessential Mystery Dungeon fic is closely based on the plot of the Mystery Dungeon games, much like the quintessential trainer fic is closely based on the plot of the main series games, and resembles the plot summary Brutaka provided. However, that isn't the be-all end-all of the 'genre', and they can have plots completely unlike the games while still keeping to the theme of being adventure stories about rescue teams in the PMD world - much like trainer fics can abandon badge journeys altogether, or just about, and still count as trainer fics because they're about trainers traveling the world with their Pokémon and generally growing and learning as they do.

    So yes, I do think that it is very meaningful to compare different Mystery Dungeon fics and how well they pull off the concept, in a way it they couldn't be compared to other Pokémon-centric stories. It's not an arbitrary category at all. If Pokémon Ranger fics suddenly became very popular, well, would they share themes to the extent that PMD fics do? If so, then I don't see why it couldn't be considered a 'genre', or whatever we want to call the not-quite-genre concept that the trainer fic category exemplifies. If not - if the only thing they had in common was involving Pokémon rangers in some way but they all had wildly different plots and concepts and themes behind them - then it would not be a meaningful category the way that PMD fics are, and there would be no slippery slope.

    Thus, I'm in favor of splitting. If there are too few Pokémon POV-ish fics to form a separate category with meaningful competition, that's too bad, but comparing them to Mystery Dungeon fics in the first place would probably have been awkward anyway. As an umbrella that covers both Pokémon POVs set in the canon universe and Mystery Dungeon fics, I don't think "Pokémon-centric" is a very meaningful category to have an award for at all, and that wasn't really how it was intended.
    Last edited by Dragonfree; 3rd October 2012 at 2:52 PM.

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    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Salvage Springs, Telmani
    Posts
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    Woah, woah, Great Butler, are you using my argument against me? >_>
    All right, sure, I made a very general summery of PMD Fics. However, Let's take my fic, TTL, and compare it with Knightfall's Overthrown, and then compare them with the games.

    My fic, Through the Thunder and the Lightning, or TTL for short, stars a human boy that had been transformed into a Pokemon and teleported to the Pokemon world/region when he was struck by lightning. Quickly, he met his partner, a shiny, female Emolga by the name of April, who he falls in love with. The idea of love isn't actually present in the basic PMD template, is it? Together, they form a team, but after barely completing one mission, the entire town is burned to ashes! Forced to migrate to another city, the two heroes are broke and living in a hotel. Sound different from the template yet? It should.

    Knightfall's fic, Overthrown, takes place in a world ravaged by war. The hero, a human turned Charmeleon(which, might I add, isn't basic), is then lumped with a seemingly random exploration team. His fic hardly follows the mold from there.

    What I gave before was a template. Silly putty. Play-doh, even. It's up to writers to take that mold and suit it to their fancy. It's a base. An unrefined material. In fact, I bet I could do the very same for Trainer fics. Let's see...

    Player starts in off in a small city. They live with their mom. They are tasked with finding the professor, who gives them their starter. They often meet their rival in that town, who is of the same age. They battle shortly after. The town after the next, there is a gym. They battle the gym. They *usually* win. The pattern goes on for another gym, with a rival battle thrown in there. First references to the villainous team. More gyms, usually the 3rd and 4th. More villainous plots. After gym 7, you usually have the major villain confrontation. The legendary battle can occur before or after the 8th gym. Then, the E4. Then champion. Then victory. El Fin.

    Think my description is too broad? Same as my PMD explanation earlier.

    In my opinion, Trainer Fics run parallel to PMD Fics. Same idea, just adapted for each species.

    Earlier, you had said that canon-character fics are just as broad as Pokemon-centric fics. That couldn't be right at in the least bit. The only thing that could be as broad as Pokemon-centric would be human-centric. One is where the Pokemon is the hero, the other is where the human is the hero. There is some serious anti-Pokemon discrimination going on here. All joking aside, Dragonfree actually made quite a few points that I think you should consider.
    ~Author's Profile ||~|| <Fly High Graphics> ~
    ~rTTL: Chapter 3: 31% ||~|~|~|| rAVT : Chapter 2: 0%~



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