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09/08/2019: Commentary: chapter 73

Chapter 73: Recuperation (commentary)

In this chapter, May has a breakdown, Mark is a good, and I tell you about the flight attendant who inspired Nurse Joy, my previous plans to kill off both Floatzel and Weavile, the slight nod to Rainteicune, Chaletwo ruining a scene until Mark shut him up, and a lot of rambling about May's emotional state.


Happy (09/09/2019 08:43:50)
Learning both floatzel & weavile survived the chopping block is as nerve-inducing as how rubyquest [spoiler]ended with three characters instead of one[/spoiler]
Happy (09/09/2019 08:47:04)
Oh jokes I guess fair enough you didnt change this backend when you added spoiler tag to the guestbook. Im extremely soz if you never read rubyquest & were considering it LMAO
Altissimo (09/11/2019 11:18:55)
This isn't really related to the overall chapter content but I did think of it and I've been thinking for a while. May and Mark are both equally competent at communicating with their Pokémon, on a linguistic level, like interpreting and responding to Pokémon speech appropriately. Makes sense for Mark since there's the whole thing about him excelling in it early on, but actually even if that was never established, I feel like it doesn't really make too much sense for May to be able to communicate so easily, at least not the way the story currently establishes the linguistics issue. Like in this very chapter she says she never saw the point of Pokémon knowing how to break out of balls, showing her (previous) lack of understanding of Pokémon as independent agents, but then from day one of having Stantler she is able to easily have these pseudo-philosophical conversations with a creature that, the story has established, is expressing these thoughts with two syllables and body language and voice tone. I know the fic stretches credibility with that as is, and that's fine, but May in particular being able to understand the meanings correctly seems a little off.
(Hell maybe Larvitar could speak and she just fails to understand he's not coherent, or something. :O)
Butterfree (09/11/2019 18:34:00)
May did well in school generally, and this is a thing that's taught in school, rather than something trainers would teach themselves based on how much they care, so I'm not entirely convinced May would necessarily be particularly bad at Pokémon speech. It's a subject, she learned it like everyone else, and she's good at learning. I was bored to tears by Danish at school but I still got very good grades, and that didn't even have the kind of overlap with any of my interests that Pokémon speech has with Pokémon training. (I mean, surely it's useful as a trainer to be able to ask your Pokémon questions.)

However, in general the fic just intentionally relegates the Pokémon speech worldbuilding to the background. I've said before that I basically just want you to pretend the Pokémon are speaking English; there is never any kind of instance of a human not understanding what Pokémon are saying because of the language barrier (not even Mark's parents, who would surely have significantly less reason to know Pokémon speech than May does), because what I wanted here was just everyone being able to talk to each other. To facilitate this, there's imaginary fantasy education that makes everyone fluent in Pokémon speech, done.

In the IALCOTN I gave the Pokémon speech worldbuilding more actual presence, and in that kind of setup it'd be appropriate to play with exactly how good each given human character is at Pokémon speech. It's fairly likely I'd do something like that in the next revision. But I think it'd probably distract from May's story if she were struggling too much with the language. It's not about the language, and though it'd be nice to show she's not as good at it as Mark, I wouldn't want to have a language barrier significantly affecting her thoughtlessness towards Larvitar, or getting seriously in the way of her talking to Stantler.

(And oof, maybe I should add a spoiler tag.)

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