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Thread: Grittiness

  1. #1
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    Feb 2009
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    Default Grittiness

    So this has always kind of plagued me...but how gritty can the Pokemon world before it seems really disjointed?

    Allow me to elaborate. I think the vast majority of stories we see posted on SPPF are inspired by the Pokemon canon but on a much more epic scale. Typically, this is achieved by making the world more gritty (perhaps I need another adjective by now) so that the criminals/bad guys/ Team Antagonist are much more diabolical and the hero has even more at stake.

    So I guess what I'm wondering is, what are your guys thoughts on perhaps going overboard with it. I don't typically see it on these forums as much...but some other ones such as PE2K and fanfiction.net tend to come down pretty hard if it diverts too much from the anime's feel (at least in my experience).

    I mean obviously, you have to have an antagonist and a protagonist...but let's say you took Pokemon and threw it into the world of The Watchmen...is that too much?

    Hopefully, I got my question across in the midst of all that rambling.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    Oh trust me, anything you can think of that fits your definition of gritty...someone has written a far grittier tale. So don't sweat it ^_^

  3. #3
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    Default

    To be fair, Pokémon Colosseum and XD were gritty, probably the grittiest in Pokémon canon outside of Pokémon Special (the closest to realism in canon). So if someone is able to out-do Cipher and/or Special in harshness and grittiness, they are automatically awesome, and we have a few of those awesome people on these forums. It's a pretty popular choice, writing gritty Pokémon fics. It's a personal favorite of mine as much as I do like the fantasy/innocence of the series.

    Anyway, if you make it believable by keeping the dynamics of the Pokémon world and the characters in-character (this applies to both canon and original characters), you can pull it off by adding your own dark twists to it. There's nothing wrong with this as long as you keep that in mind. Is it possible to go overboard? Of course, which is why many writers who go down this route walk on fine lines, and not all of them keep at it. But if you can, like you said, combine Pokémon with Watchmen and make it work, then you can pretty much write anything honestly. You just have to be confident, precise, and consistent in order to keep it believable, and that takes a lot of time, effort, and skill.
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  4. #4
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    I don't really see how "disjointedness" is the problem with gritty stories, nor that they don't feel like the anime. You can go overboard with grittiness if you're prioritizing gritty for gritty's sake over little things like the world making any kind of sense or the ability to get invested in the conflict and characters, but then the problem isn't that it doesn't feel like canon, but that the execution is poor. Obviously readers' tastes will vary as to how gritty they like their stories, and your Watchmen-with-Pokémon example would probably turn some people off, but others would be all over that premise, so long as it's well executed.

    I mean, personally I've written a fic that barely even includes actual Pokémon, is about religious fundamentalists trying to murder a bunch of Pokémorphs in a modern-US-inspired world while everyone is miserable and having mental breakdowns, features copious amounts of swearing, and opens with an abortion debate. Obviously not everyone is going to want to touch that concept with a ten-foot pole, but others really like it - it has way more favorites on FanFiction.Net than my more standard, canonical-world only-slightly-gritty trainer fic, for example, despite not having been around as long. There's plenty to criticize about the execution, of course, and again, that kind of thing is definitely not to everyone's taste, but merely being nothing whatsoever like the anime in feel clearly hasn't stopped it in its tracks.

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