12/23/2018: Commentary: chapter 29Chapter 29: Stormblade and Shadowdart
In the most self-indulgently Scyther-focused chapter yet, I use a truly torturous number of ellipses, Stormblade and Shadowdart swap concerns, there is a very annoying patch of grass, we have a random conversation about the animal world yet again, and I muse lengthily on the precise way I rearranged the contents of the UMR equivalents into this chapter.
Commenting on: chapter 38
Altissimo (12/24/2018 07:30:02)
TBH while it doesn't make much sense that Mark just stands there and does nothing while Scyther takes his blade to his neck and mutters about being pathetic, I think in a future rewrite something you could do with the Mark/Scyther dynamic (and I guess part of Mark's characterization as a whole) would be to have him struggle a lot at dealing with the issues of his Pokemon, because in his characterization in the first few chapters it seems like he's just overexcited about going on a Pokemon journey without necessarily understanding what that really means for his role in the process, and the way he interacts with his Pokemon can be reflective of that - Scyther tries to kill himself and he doesn't know what to do or how to respond because what, nobody warned him that Pokemon training would be like this.
I know the fanfic isn't really *about* Mark per se but I think that could still add an interesting element to the story. It could then go into explaining how Mark is able to puzzle out Waraider and Mewtwo2 later on - he's grown a lot by his experiences with mentally unwell Pokemon and that helps him to develop new perspective on how to deal with others.
Plus there's the scene in the beginning where Mark dramatically announces his suicide plans over not being let out. I know you decided that should probably go, but if you left it in you could have Mark reflecting on it later when Scyther is *actually* suicidal! Everything ties together
Butterfree (12/24/2018 09:47:13)
Definitely - Mark developing his sense of empathy and so on, and gradually coming to the realization that everyone around him is a person with their own problems and empathizing with what's going on in their heads and trying to support them through their problems, absolutely is a major theme of the story. In the next revision I expect Mark would probably freeze there and not know what to do (if that happened) - but it'd be written as him freezing and not knowing what to do, not just standing there like "Um, okay."
Not sure I'd go quite as far as keeping the chapter two suicide threat, though. :P
Altissimo (12/24/2018 10:48:19)
Yeah, freezing up makes sense for him. That's kind of his response to a lot of things as is, and especially so for a child confronted with a suicidal person (as it were) that they're supposed to be a supportive force were. No kid knows how to deal with that! Especially not when the suicidal person is an adult and you'd think they would have it together. Seems like both Mark and May got a lot more than they bargained for when it comes to actually taking care of Pokemon as sentient beings.