Posted in 2018, Fiction, LfaAW, World Builiding, Writing

Lessons from an Amateur Writer: Setting as a Character

From this day forward I will not include the month or the week in the titles of these posts. To be honest I kept on forgetting how to format the titles with the months and weeks in them so I had to keep going back to the post of the last week. It was annoying and the titles look nicer this way anyways. I may even go back and change the earlier posts to this format.

Anyways on to this weeks topic. The setting of any story can easily be in of itself a character which changes as the story progresses in the same way a person would. If you think about it in terms of a city which is about to have a municipal election then it can be easy to see how this can be. There are two mayoral candidates each with their own ideas of how best to lead the people of the city. In order to be elected mayor one of these candidates must have over 50% of the votes. All the people who live in this city are kind of like a personality. They all have ideas and people with similar ideas and standards of living tend to clump together. No matter what happens there is almost always going to be a main idea of the city which is represented by the mayor since the voting process in this city makes sense. The main idea can change if the mayoral candidate with the other idea is elected, however up to that point the voters are all contemplating who they want to vote for and as a whole they are already deciding ig the main idea is going to change or not.

Now I just explained how the setting can be a character using a long tedious metaphor which may or may not actually work. Anyways what I was trying to say was that settings change like characters do as the story progresses. Maybe the setting even has its own personality. This is something that you should probably think about before you write your story, however you don’t need to think about how your setting changes until you get to that point in your writing.

Now for the activity, all you have to do is ask yourself this question, “how does the plot affect the setting in this story, and is there any perceived personality?” Remember you don’t actually have to do this activity, nor do you need to do it. The whole point of this is to get you thinking about your own writing.

Posted in 2018, Fiction, gaming, Pokemon

My Top Five Pokemon Memories

Since Pokemon day was this past Tuesday I was inspired to write a post about the series. I could have easily done a post on my top five Pokemon, but if I did that I would have ended up with a pretty boring post. For the record my favourite Pokemon is Greninja. Not because it’s good in battle, has protean as a hidden ability, or it was cool in the anime. No, I like Greninja because it’s a frog-ninja, a mixture of two things I really like.

Anyways there was a tweet sent out by the official Pokemon twitter account asking fans what their favourite memories were from the series. That tweet is what inspired me to write this post.

Now before I actually start the list (it’s strange how this is my first actual list post) there are a couple things I want to set straight. I didn’t really get into Pokemon until generation 4 with Pearl, though I did play quite a bit of Pokemon Snap growing up and I watched someone play Pokemon Yellow. Also these memories are all my personal memories, though I shouldn’t have to say that because that is literally in the title of the post. Also there may be minor spoilers for some Pokemon games. Now onto the list.

5. Defeating the Elite Four (Pokemon Black)

Isn’t N so cute? This picture is from the Pokemon website

Pokemon Black and White are the black sheep (lol) of the series. The developers decided that the best thing they could possibly do was to create a region with a completely new pokedex and the focus was set heavily on the story. I personally loved this aspect of the game, though I do understand why some people might not like this detail. Now the region champions had had a big part in the plots of Pokemon games before, but this was the first time where the entire elite four was a major part of the plot.

After getting the stone that held Reshiram, going through Victory road, and then defeating the elite four I was greeted by something unexpected. N was talking about how he was going to challenge Champion Alder to a battle so that he could get people to release their Pokemon, but I did not expect an entire castle to suddenly appear behind the Elite Four which I then had to explore in order to defeat Ghetsis. It was insane and I loved how sudden yet believable it was. Too bad I never played Black 2 because then I would have gotten a continuation of this plot.

4. Beating the Elite Four (Pokemon Platinum)

From Pokemon Platinum

The elite four in Platinum isn’t anything special and was like the elite four of all the games before it, but despite that this is one of my favourite memories. I knew that I had somewhere to be shortly after I started the champions battle, but I attempted the battle anyways. I left it plugged into the wall with the ds on so that I could save my spot in the middle of the battle since I didn’t save beforehand. I then went to make chocolates at the local library. The chocolates were good by the way.

The entire time I was making chocolates I was hoping that nothing bad would happen to my game by leaving my ds in sleep mode for so long. As soon as we were done with everything there we returned home and I finished the battle. I won and it was great.

3. Seviper’s Venoshock Face (Pokemon Y)

Not the face, but I couldn’t find a picture of the face so this should do. From Pokemon X and Y

Pokemon Y was an interesting game to me for one reason and one reason only, I had a defective copy. This meant that whenever I played there was a good chance that my save file would corrupt whenever I turned off the game. This meant that I got to play the game all the way to Lumiose city several times (it wasn’t because of the game breaking glitch either, I tested that theory multiple times). The next Christmas my sister got me a new copy for Christmas since I had lost the receipt because I was young and foolish so I couldn’t get a new copy from Nintendo, which means that I did eventually get to play the game.

Anyways during one of the attempts at playing this game my sister decided to challenge me to a battle. We were in an airport waiting for our flight. She got some Pokemon that were about the same level as what I had at the time and we battled. I had an Seviper that knew venoshock and I used that move specifically and we both started laughing at it after my sister showed me her screen when venoshock was used by Seviper. This is because when Seviper uses venoshock in X and Y it freezes and spits venom or something. Its face when it does this is priceless because it’s so derpy. Because of this experience I remember that face every single time I see that move.

2. Beating Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness

135296-pokemon-mystery-dungeon-explorers-of-darkness-nintendo-ds-front-coverMany years ago I played Explorers of Darkness and I was reintroduced to the same type of world as the world in Red and Blue Rescue Team. My character was a Meowth and my partner was a Chimchar, and our team was known as Team Scratch. I played that game every chance I could. I enjoyed many aspects of the game. There were characters who were more than just characters based entirely off of pokedex entries. There was a fun minigame where you had to look at a Pokemon’s footprint and say who they are. The story kept on one upping itself and was way better than the story of Red and Blue Rescue Team. There are so many things I loved about this game.

I was so happy when I finally beat it, and also a little bit sad because despite the fact that I could still play it wouldn’t be as fun. This was truly an amazing game and I wished they made a better Mystery Dungeon game in the years that followed its release.

1. Playing Pokemon Snap

snap_en_boxartThis is a classic game. You play as a Pokemon photographer who is travelling all around an island looking for Pokemon to take pictures of. Professor Oak grades your pictures and if they are good enough you can go to the next area. This is a game that should have a remake or sequel but doesn’t. I’ve never heard anyone say they hated the game and as far as I can tell its a popular game. It would also be possible to make an amazing Pokemon Snap-like game with today’s technology so I don’t know why a sequel hasn’t been made already, but anyways I digress.

When I was little my family came into possession of a Nintendo 64 with some games. One of those games was Pokemon Snap and I swear that was the game I played the most because as a little 6 year old I didn’t understand Ocarina of Time (the save file was almost completed and I didn’t think to start a new game) or any of the other games we had. I played on a save file where everything was already unlocked so I could go anywhere without taking good pictures.

It was really fun discovering the secrets of the game after they had been discovered by the last player. It was also fun trying out the final level and getting a picture of Mew even though I wasn’t that good at the game at the time. The game also inspired me to try drawing Pokemon, though to be honest I chose one of the easiest Pokemon to draw with Vileplume. Pokemon Snap was a great game and gave many people great memories.

So here’s my list. If you could name one memory you have of Pokemon what would it be? Post them in the comments below if you want. Come back here later today for a video game review of a game someone else in the aniblogger’s community reviewed not that long ago. This was my first time playing that type of game so I hope the review turns out great.

Posted in 2018, Fiction, LfaAW, Writing, Writing Tips

Lessons from an Amateur Writer Month 2: Week 2: Differing Philosophies

In real life people have many different beliefs and philosophies which often clash and cause problems to become much more complicated than they would be otherwise. If this doesn’t happen in a story it tends to be less realistic than if you include characters whose beliefs and philosophies clash. Of course this doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to include different opinions, beliefs, and philosophies in your story, it just means that they will make your plot more complex than it would be otherwise.

Differing philosophies can also be used as the main conflict that drives your story. For instance one of the biggest conflicts in my WIP A Faerie Alone is between people who believe that magic is a good thing that is natural for people to have, and people who believe that magic is nothing but evil. There are also people who are in between these two viewpoints. Remember that in real life not everyone is at the two ends of the spectrum of beliefs, there are some people who are in between as well. This will help make your plot more realistic.

Now for the activity of this lesson. Simply take a look at your story and see if there are any clashing beliefs or philosophies in the people of your world. I already did this activity and wrote about it above. Remember you don’t need to post what you do if you do anything anywheres. You can simply keep it to yourself.

Posted in 2018, analysis, Fantasy, Fiction, Fictional Legacy

Siegfried and Fafnir – Fictional Legacy

There are spoilers for Fate/Apocrypha, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and The Hobbit below. You have been warned.

This is a blog post series where I attempt to how different historical, mythological, and fictional characters are portrayed in fiction and modern popular culture. The whole reason I decided to make such a series is because my most viewed post is my Atsushi Nakajima post with 1,223 views total in 2017. That is close to being a quarter of all my views from 2017. I also enjoyed making that post and I learned a little bit about Japanese literature so I decided why not try making more research “heavy” posts like that one.

For this post I’m focusing on two characters from Norse mythology, the hero Siegfried and the cursed dragon Fafnir. The whole reason why I want to focus on these two characters is because I just finished watching Fate/Apocrypha where Siegfried plays a big part and the legend about how he slew Fafnir ended up being a pretty important aspect of the plot. Also Fafnir recently appeared in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid as one of the dragons and I think it will be fun to look at how the legend influenced his character in the anime.

Continue reading “Siegfried and Fafnir – Fictional Legacy”

Posted in 2018, Fiction, LfaAW, Writing, Writing Tips

Lessons from an Amateur Writer Month 2: Week 1: What Makes a Plot Complex

For this month I’ve decided to go over different forms of plot complexity. I’m sorry that this post is a week late but last week was weird for me. Whatever the post is here now and I will be posting the second lesson on Friday so that I don’t lose a week for this.

Many factors go into making a plot complex. These factors include character backstories, philosophy, scope of events, setting, and subplots. Basically imagine that you are making a quilt. Sure you can make beautiful quilts using only a couple of colours and a repetitive pattern, but they tend to be easier to make than quilts with more complex designs and these more complex quilts have more potential to be absolutely beautiful. Stories are the same way. They don’t need to be complex in order for them to be thought provoking and/or incredible though complexity can help.

A story is usually made with several plot threads and each thread combines to make it. A plot thread can be a character, a place, a subplot, or anything else. The way that the plot threads of a story combine and interact with each other is what makes a plot truly complex.

Now for the activity of this lesson, simply draw a plot map. The main plot thread will be straight and the others will interact with it and each other. I have decided that I won’t be posting my attempt at any of the activities for this month because of spoilers. You can do this activity of you want but you are not obligated to post what you make anywhere.

Remember the true post for this week won’t be posted until Friday since I got caught up in Valentine’s day and figure skating.


Posted in 2018, Challenges, Fiction, Writing

Alone in the Subway

She suddenly found herself completely alone in the subway. It was as though everyone had vanished without a trace in the cold grey light. Behind her she heard a sound that interrupted the silent buzz of the lights, she felt a prickle on the back of her neck.

This is a story written for Three Line Tales week 106. The goal is to write a story that is three lines long using a photo prompt. You can find the challenge post here.

Posted in 2018, Fiction, LfaAW, Writing, Writing Tips

Lessons from an Amateur Writer Month 1: Week 4: Character Personality

This is going to be a shorter post because I personally find the personality the easiest part of a character to figure out. When I do it I make a short list of character traits. Usually this list is only 3 or 4 traits long. This list is what I go off of to make sure my characters stay in character. This doesn’t mean that they can’t ever move away from this list or have their personalities change slightly, it just means that at their base this is who they are and if they move away from it they’d better have a pretty good reason for it.

These reasons usually have to do with trauma the character goes through throughout the story. An arrogant character may become a little bit less hot headed after their friend becomes seriously injured or even dies because now they begin to doubt if going in without thinking is actually the right thing to do. If another character does something really terrible to a quiet, thoughtful character they may suddenly become louder and more hot headed.

However these reasons also help to draw out the true personality of a character. This is because the baseline is only that, a baseline. People change as they grow as they experience new things and sometimes their true personality is clouded by social defense mechanisms and general social influence. The baseline is basically a characters true personality. So yeah personality is pretty complicated. That is why it’s not the greatest idea to do a personality test for your character because you will be generalizing way too much.

For this weeks challenge choose three character traits that best suit your character. For Nyfo I would have to choose arrogant, open-minded, and excitable. Remember that you don’t need to post your response to this challenge anywhere.