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Thread: Battles

  1. #1
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    Default Battles

    How do you write your battles? They're quite the main form of action of the Pokemon franchise and often add a lot of fun and tension, how do you write yours? I'm quite interested in finding out everyone's styles.

  2. #2
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    I try to merge the best aspects of anime battling and game mechanics. Also, to me, action is very important - if the Pokemon just stand around shooting attacks, it's not interesting. I think it's better when there's constant motion and action. This can be hard to write since it requires transferring visual material into writing, but if you can pull it off, your battles will be better for it.

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    And you have definitely pulled it off
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    How many threads have there been about writing battles? Anyway, like The Great Butler, I believe there has to be motion at all times. Even when not using attacks. This way it lengthens the battles and makes them a whole lot more interesting to read. I also think it would be best to describe more than just the attacks. You can go for a good while without an attack description. Again, this adds length.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PokeHawke View Post
    And you have definitely pulled it off
    Was this directed to me?

    Continuing on from my own point and from Shadow Lucario's, my trick is to always try to visualize everything. I ask myself, is this a battle/action scene I would be entertained by if it was in an episode of the anime or one of the movies? That's what I try to aim for.

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  6. #6
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    I really try to describe all that happens in my head in the moment of writing, I put all my imagination into words.

  7. #7
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    I find that an effecive manner of writing Battles is not for the Trainer to shout moves out every single time. And when Pokémon attack, for example, don't be tempted to put
    'Arcanine used Flamethrower, which caused a lot of damage to the Foe's Venusaur'.
    Instead, be descriptive, so using the former example, I would write that as
    'Arcanine inhaled deeply, before exhaling a stream of searing flames which struck the Venusar directly, causing it to recoil in pain'.

    See the difference?

    Also, refrain from being technical. Focus on visualisation rather than stats. So this means HP is gone, and instead include that the Trainer can tell a Pokémon is weak or tired. Putting 'Now the Venusaur only had 2HP left' or something seperates the reader from the story and makes it sound less exciting.

    Basically, be visual and describe what can be seen as if it were real life, not viewed as Pixels on a screen.

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    Things should always be in motion, and while there should be clear "turns", it's not just "Pokemon A used X move. It hit Pokemon B who retaliated with Y move." Watching the anime to see how battles work there is always a good idea, especially when considering how pokemon move and react to attacks. Also, if it's an important plot battle, an ethical/verbal battle between the trainers is always good to have in the background. While the pokemon fight it out physically, the trainers are dodging the shrapnel from the attacks while locked in a moral conflict (similar to how N and the protagonist of BW had different ideological stances. So, imagine that being written into a battle as the protagonist's Samurott fights it out with N's Reshiram)

    I once had an idea that would take the moral battle to extremes. It would be the traditional journey fic, gathering badges, but in the gym battles trainers could not command their pokemon verbally. Those battles would test the strength of their bond to see what nonverbal cues the trainer and their pokemon discover through strengthening their bond. At the same time that the pokemon are fighting, the trainer and gym leader hold a debate over an ethical quandary, posed to the challenger before the battle like a zen koan. The trainer has to focus on that as well as the battle.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feralninja View Post
    Things should always be in motion, and while there should be clear "turns", it's not just "Pokemon A used X move. It hit Pokemon B who retaliated with Y move." Watching the anime to see how battles work there is always a good idea, especially when considering how pokemon move and react to attacks. Also, if it's an important plot battle, an ethical/verbal battle between the trainers is always good to have in the background. While the pokemon fight it out physically, the trainers are dodging the shrapnel from the attacks while locked in a moral conflict (similar to how N and the protagonist of BW had different ideological stances. So, imagine that being written into a battle as the protagonist's Samurott fights it out with N's Reshiram)

    I once had an idea that would take the moral battle to extremes. It would be the traditional journey fic, gathering badges, but in the gym battles trainers could not command their pokemon verbally. Those battles would test the strength of their bond to see what nonverbal cues the trainer and their pokemon discover through strengthening their bond. At the same time that the pokemon are fighting, the trainer and gym leader hold a debate over an ethical quandary, posed to the challenger before the battle like a zen koan. The trainer has to focus on that as well as the battle.
    Interesting point. I expect that this could work to effect in battles. For example, an idea relating to a verbal fight while the actual battle takes place would be an act of bullying. A battle between the victim and the bully, with the bully gaining the upper hand. As the victim's last Pokémon is ready to drop, it learns a new move or evolves and efefctively turns the tables.

    Having the battle reflect the verbal battle works wonders for imagery and mood. Just be sure not to include the whole '(Pokémon) wants to learn (Move), but it already knows 4 moves'. Make the Pokémon expand on the moves it already has to make sense. So rather than going straight from an Ember to a Blast Burn, have the Trainer order an Ember attack, only instead for the Pokémon to use Flamethrower. The trainer would then ideally notice this move change, alogn the lines of 'Wow (Name)! You used (Move)!' therefore intertwining the move learning and forgetting into a small space of writing.

    Battles are obviously an important part of a Pokémon Fic.

    As for Battles in a Mystery Dungeon fic, think of what it would take if you yourself would attack. So for example, an 'uppercut' action would mean a Stone Edge, or 'focussing on the opponent until the air rippled' would be a Psychic Attack.

    Above all, be imaginitive in writing, it'll help you so much!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeekerofLight View Post
    Interesting point. I expect that this could work to effect in battles. For example, an idea relating to a verbal fight while the actual battle takes place would be an act of bullying. A battle between the victim and the bully, with the bully gaining the upper hand. As the victim's last Pokémon is ready to drop, it learns a new move or evolves and efefctively turns the tables.
    No, it's more along the idea of battles are supposed to test the resilience and adaptability of a pokemon, and the struggle with ideals would test the adaptability of a trainer, and force them to consider other idealisms. In a gym battle, it would be more like a structured debate, in a friendly battle it would be banter, and in a key plot battle, it would be a clash of wills. Like, a character fighting Maylene would debate something along the lines of humans training their bodies alongside pokemon, or Fantina would force the opponent to think of ways to bond with pokemon outside of battles. However, when fighting Cyrus atop Spear Pillar, the debate has much higher stakes, trying to convince him there is no need to remake the world.
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