Posts tagged "Romance"

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Butterfree

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There is a thread at the Serebii.net forums about characters' hypothetical reactions to reading fanfiction about themselves. I replied to it and got a little carried away:

Let's see. For The Quest for the Legends and especially Scyther's Story, I'll bet you anything that people would slash RobxScyther like crazy. I think Rob is a little too insane to care who writes what about him, but Scyther would most likely be rather repulsed and weirded out.

Now, of course the MarkxMay and MayxAlan would be abundant, mostly because Rule #2 (after "Every male is gay") of fandom is that any two people of opposite genders who spend any time with one another must be in teh twu wub; given that Mark is twelve and rather at the immature side of the puberty spectrum, he would almost definitely find this gross and disturbing, and May would rant a little bit about stupid people who obsess over making up romances between other people, while Alan would most likely laugh at it and start pointing out specific instances of the almost-inevitable OOC-ness while avoiding any discussion of the truth of the shippings.

When we get to the hardcore shippers, we'll start seeing pairings like Molzapart/Chaletwo, Mew/Chaletwo, Chalenor/Chaletwo, Chalenor/Mew, Mark/Mew and probably Mark/Chaletwo as well. Chaletwo would definitely just get a bit ticked and point out that fic canon explicitly states that legendaries are sexless and do not reproduce, ergo no genitalia, ergo no hormones, ergo no such thing as romance, and deal with it that way. Molzapart would do something similar, although he'd be more weirded out than ticked. Mew would say something cryptic about not concerning himself with the imaginations of humans. If Mark saw fanfiction slashing him with Chaletwo or Mew (or in fact any legendary), he would be disturbed for life, so he'd better be kept away from that.

Then we'd have Rick/Taylor for some gaycest, which would squick them both and probably make Rick strangle whoever was responsible; we'd have Rick's Horrible Angsty Sexual Abuse of Mewtwo^2 which would probably make Rick's lips twitch a little (Mewtwo^2 isn't really self-aware enough to read anything); definitely May/Taylor hateshipping (which would make her at least attempt to strangle whoever was responsible and Taylor look blankly at the screen wondering how anyone could think he was in love with this random girl he's met twice); some ThunderyuxVolcaryuxPolaryu semi-incestuous hatesex-threesomes (or foursomes with Chaletwo the abusive father figure coming in, in fact - somebody would doubtless manage to link the whole locking-them-up-in-caves-and-keeping-them-sleeping thing to sexual abuse) which the dragons would be too busy tearing one another apart to care much about and which would make Chaletwo weep at the idea that there are actually people with sick enough minds to not only imagine that but want to write it down…

Oh, yeah, SuicunexGyarados, definitely. Which would make Gyarados murder whoever thought of it on the spot and Suicune shake his head wearily.

Hmm. MitchxScorplack. Somebody would find all sorts of uses for that tail. I can see Mitch's eyebrow twitching at that, but he's not really the type to judge anyone based on the fanfiction they write. Scorplack wouldn't really care.

Ooh, Charizard/Carl's Charizard. Maybe even threesomes with Charlie thrown in. Oh, my, that would produce a lot of lizardy blushing on Charizard's part. And Charlie would laugh himself silly. And Carl's Charizard would start grinning and being flirty, just because of how much she loves to tease.

Somebody might write Sparky/Nurse Joy of Stormy Town if it had managed to escape them that Sparky actually is gay or if they're just homophobic and desperate to make something heterosexual out of it. Or just because they're about the only people in town, and there isn't really anybody else Sparky could be shagging if one were particularly interested in writing about his sex life. Either way they would both laugh like hell and look for more of it to entertain themselves over on boring evenings. I can really picture that, you know.

Somebody would do something with Fury the Hitmonchan/some human, I'm sure. He would be mildly amused.

If we bring The Fall of a Leader into it, oh, all the StormbladexShadowdart. Stormblade would find it a little disturbing, and Shadowdart would have a bit of a hard time comprehending just why somebody would write that but not particularly care. And the last part would bring about some StormbladexNightmare, which I doubt either of them would care particularly much about although Stormblade would want to clarify that she's definitely no Pearl to him at this point.

And there would probably be random main characters x their Pokémon, which I think would squick everyone involved.

…yeah, I think I'll stop now before I think of more disturbing pairings that I'll never be able to wash off my brain.
Is it scary that I thought of all this stuff off the top of my head?



Commenting on: chapter 5

Butterfree

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No, you're misunderstanding it. See, people remember Mark, alive. They also remember that a guy was killed at the Pokémon Festival. It's the connection that is buried deeper - his parents don't really remember that it was Mark who died there, and the unconnected people who read about the death and meet him later don't realize that his name and appearance are the same as the guy who was killed, unless they see direct, undeniable evidence, such as in Crater Town where people could look at the newspaper article about his death and him alive side by side.

Alan: Huh?
May: …
Mark: Eh? That was a joke. o_O
May (again): What, should one have a problem with being named after a month?



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Butterfree

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…no, not really. o_O



Commenting on: chapter 5

Butterfree

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Letalgion: If you found out your father (and the rest of your shiny family) were dead, what would you do?
Letaligon: Why would they be dead?

In chapter 37, you charizard seems to fall in love. Does this (state) keep on, or does it stay only until chapter 38 when they leave carl and his pokemon?
Charizard: I don't know what 'chapter' stuff you're talking about, but, um, well, she is pretty… but it would be kind of hard to pursue anything serious with a Gym leader's Pokémon, wouldn't it?



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Butterfree

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Nightmare: …I don't remember anymore. It has been so long since then.

I participated, but it didn't go badly until after I was out. I only heard about it afterwards.

Charizard: Well, it was just battling - I couldn't exactly start holding a grudge for that.

Mark: Huh? Feelings? You mean… like romantic…? o_O I mean, I guess she's okay, but I'm not into romance and all that stuff. It's kind of weird and creepy.



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Butterfree

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Mark: …o_O I hope not.



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Butterfree

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Chaletwo to elyvorg: Well, how else do you think you could see it all written down?

May: …What the hell? No.

Chaletwo to dogsgofetch: My eyes can see through the fourth wall. I know all about this "fic" you've been reading.

Mew: In a book? I cannot say I pay attention to books. They are a human invention.

Letaligon: That is how evolution works. It's about the hormones released when you fight. That is how it works. And he would never let the rest of the herd assist him. He has too much pride for that.



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Butterfree

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Ouch, I've been neglecting this thread lately.

Razor to InnerDemon: Challenging Nightmare to that duel. It's what started the entire ordeal.

Nurse Joy to InnerDemon: *smiles* I had a Treecko as my starter, a Wingull, a Teddiursa, a Geodude, a Leta and a Numel as my main team - as time went by, they eventually evolved, of course. And battling first while he watched, yes, he would do that. Always under the pretense of being a gentleman, of course. The sneaky bastard.

Sparky to yllfll: She had ovarian cancer.

Sparky to elyvorg: Oh, I haven't given it much thought why I am the way I am. I do like your theory. 83

Alan to steele: Er, well, she's… twelve. o_O It would be weird.

Mark to steele: *freaked-out expression*

May to steele: Oh, sod off with the romance questions. I have better things to do than think about boys in the middle of the League. Besides, Mark is a wimpy plush toy and Alan is a preachy goody-two-shoes.

Raitwo to SandStormBuisle: He's Master.

Mewtwo^2 to SandStormBuisle: …

Funny things, those Clone Balls.



Commenting on: chapter 5

Butterfree

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Huh, I didn't realize it was past midnight on the server when I posted this. I mean, it wasn't even midnight in Iceland yet. Really, you people. I wouldn't joke about something like this. I can't believe so many of you would just jump to conclusions because you don't like what happened in the chapter. I mean, I get if you wanted May with Alan, but come on, he's fifteen and she's twelve. That's just gross.

Listen to Negrek. The whole fic has been carefully building up to this; it's been planned for years. Maybe you just didn't get it and need to read it again.



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Butterfree

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May: I can't believe I cared about something trivial like that before. I was trying so hard to make Mark notice me, but now… I don't care. I'm with him. That's all that matters.



Commenting on: chapter 5

Butterfree

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*ahem* *cough* *pretends it's yesterday* *channels the Spirit of Bad Fanfiction*

Oh, but of course the story is going to be long! First there's the Mark/May/Alan love triangle to explore in detail, with plenty of angst on all sides. Then, though I shouldn't be spoiling this, Taylor will start pining after May too, and that's going to take some resolution. Then, after they've successfully caught all the legendaries and held hands around the Destroyer to make it evaporate, there are a few flash-forward chapters about how their relationship develops and is taken to the next level, if you know what I mean, and don't forget the epilogue where they're married and we get to see the names of their five children (as well as flashbacks to Ash and Misty's wedding, because they're Alan's parents after all).



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Butterfree

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First of all, I've added to a couple of character bios as well as the trivia in accordance with the real chapter 53. That means spoilers, of course, if you haven't read the chapter yet.

And now it's just the making-of-the-April-Fools'-chapter I talked about yesterday, for those who are interested. Read both the real chapter and the fake one before you read this commentary! It contains major spoilers!

This has been probably the most elaborately planned April Fools' joke you will ever encounter, because the idea for this is years old. Originally it sprouted from my desire in 2003 or so to write a little Take That to the shipping community as a whole - as planned, it would be an extra that would first explain parody "Rules of Shipping" such as "Pair up the main male character and main female character, because they are always in love", "Pair up all characters who have ever shown hints of liking towards each other" and "Pair up all characters who have ever shown hints of disliking towards each other", and then construct a list of ridiculous shipping names (such as NeverMetTheGuyButStillSomehowLoveHimShipping, for Alan/Rick) for more or less every conceivable combination of characters (except Scyther and Nightmare, because nobody cares about canon-ish couples).

Originally it was planned for the end of the fic, I think, but at some point after I ditched the UMR, I decided there was no reason to withhold it any longer than it would take for all the major characters to be introduced. Thus, I aimed to post this as an extra after chapter 31 of the ILCOE, where Spirit would make her debut, and waited patiently for my moment to strike.

However, as we know, rewriting all this took quite a while, and by the time I actually got to that part, I'd grown up a little and lost most of my desire to mock the very idea of shipping. Though I did start to write it - I'd started to write it several times, actually, with the beginnings of three very differently presented versions just in the final Word document alone - it just felt kind of childish and unnecessarily hostile towards a group of readers I really had nothing against beyond just not personally understanding their point of view. Although I'd been looking forward to it for a couple of years by this point, the appeal was mostly lost when I got right down to it, and I closed the document, sighed and vented my remaining annoyance with shipping when convenient forum threads cropped up.

I'm not sure exactly when, but it can't have been later than 2006 or so (and was probably much earlier) that I was going over the aftermath of Taylor's death in my head (that being one of the oldest relatively late-fic plot points still in the story; I think I knew Tyranitar would kill Taylor after the League before I'd even thought up the War of the Legends, though some of the details and context were different), and it came out as a really shippy-looking moment between Mark and May. Obviously that wasn't what it was meant to imply and I immediately knew I had to do it a bit differently, but at the same time it struck me that it almost worked. And that sparked the idea that maybe, once I got to that point, if the timing was right, I could write an April Fools' chapter that would actually play that moment straight and go there. It could be a funnier, more interesting revival of the basic make-fun-of-shipping idea, focusing specifically on mocking the actual cheesiness, out-of-characterness and poor writing that so often come with romance fics, built around my greatest shipping peeves of all: the clichéd and inevitable pairing of the main boy and main girl, and the characters involved being preteens (a particular squick of mine).

This was a really far-off possibility at that point, of course, so I didn't think much about it - I knew I wanted to do this, but I also knew the stars would really have to align to get the timing to work out that way when I finally got to this part of the story. Nonetheless, however, I did tell some people - most notably my friend opaltiger - that I would like to do a faux-M-shipping (M-shipping being Mark/May, of course) April Fools' chapter one day and that the ideal chapter to do it would be this one. opaltiger was always very enthusiastic about it and I continued to discuss it with him every now and then, but it wasn't until after I'd written chapter 51 that I realized there was a very, very real possibility I could pull this off - two and a half months for two chapters was quite reasonable, both as a deadline to accomplish it and as fairly normal writing speed for me that would probably make April 1st a natural, realistic, entirely nonsuspicious release date for chapter 53.

Almost immediately after I decided I was really going to do this thing and started thinking seriously about it, however, I realized that unfortunately I couldn't actually do it quite like my original idea had it, simply because it would be an inevitable mood-killer; it would feel much less amusing than just inappropriate and cheapening if it were really placed just after what should be a very traumatizing moment for the main characters (remember, the idea was sparked when I was thinking about the aftermath of the murder). This realization could have been a killing blow for the idea, except that conveniently, what made the original moment work so remarkably well - that May was in a very unusual, vulnerable emotional state Mark had never really seen her in - also applied, if slightly differently, before the murder. Better yet, that would mean I could potentially create an altogether different mood whiplash effect, with the fake chapter shamelessly happy and sugarcoated in contrast to the real thing, which would be probably the most grim and cruel chapter in the entire story. This was still a bit of a gamble; it could just result in readers bursting out laughing during the real chapter as they remembered the events of the fake one, but if it worked right, it might also serve to highlight the brutality of the real chapter.

So, now that I knew I was going to do it, what to put in the fake chapter? Well, obviously, the first thing was Mark and May sitting around a campfire, with May in a bit of a broken state of mind, and it actually striking Mark that he wishes he could hug her or comfort her or something. That was basically what happened in that original unintentionally shippy scene; it wasn't actually an out of character thought, but it sounded like a typical hurt/comfort fanfiction precursor to romance, and the basic concept here was to use such a moment as a bridge into a fake Mark/May romance, which would otherwise inevitably feel blatantly out of character the moment it was even hinted at, but would like this be ever so slightly more convincing.

The deliberate mood whiplash I'd decided on, then, plus the fact the chapter would probably start with the real beginning of chapter 53, led to the idea that I might specifically include further minor parallels between the fake chapter and the real one - the next thing I definitively decided to include was Taylor making an appearance in much the same way as he would in the real chapter. The difference would be, of course, that because in the fake chapter Mark and May would have abandoned their characterizations for ~true love~, May would fail to challenge him to a rematch and instead just make a little speech - unknowingly preventing both Taylor's death and Tyranitar's departure in the process. And while I was at it, why not wreck Taylor's characterization as well and make the speech magically "redeem" him? I wasn't sure if this particular bit would work out, but it was at least something I'd like to try.

I also decided I should write the fake chapter first. It was vital, of course, for the fake chapter to be ready before April 1st, while it was merely preferable that the real one be ready before April 2nd so it could also be put up as soon as possible. This also led to the decision that while I would try to make the chapter derail reasonably slowly so as to get readers to take it seriously for as long as their credulity could be stretched, there would still be a definitive point at which I would consciously stop writing the real chapter and start writing the fake one - I wouldn't have the real one ready and just modify it from there.

So I started writing the fake chapter with just that being the plan - starts off like the real chapter, Mark and May get derailed by a sudden romantic plot tumor, and then Taylor pops up, only for May to give a decidedly unmayish speech that would, at least if I could get it to work in context, "redeem" him. The first bit of it, up to when May is talking about how she didn't do all that great, I'd actually written with the intention of it being in chapter 52; I just left it out when I realized it wasn't quite heading towards anything that would be much of a chapter end. Then I just went on from there with the real chapter; they exited the League grounds, they made camp, they sat down by the fire, Mark looked at May and wished he could help her. And I knew this was it, the moment where the chapter would stop being the real chapter and become the fake chapter.

Continuing was like hitting a brick wall. "In the flickering firelight" wasn't so bad; it was pre-planned as a subtle mistake to start off with (while it would be reasonable in the evening, it's the afternoon and a small campfire shouldn't affect the lighting of the area like that; this was also a nod to that original unintentional scene, which did take place in the evening), and though it felt weird to include it deliberately, I've made plenty of genuine blunders that were worse. But the moment I went on, everything felt grotesquely off immediately. This was just not quite Mark. And when I got to May's "Do you think I'm pretty?" line, I felt almost physically ill. It was a remarkably disturbing experience; somehow, writing my characters acting that fundamentally off felt really… violating. (This goes double for the kiss. As I said before, I don't just dislike preteen romance; it actually really squicks me out. I'll write blood and guts if I need to, but two twelve-year-olds kissing? With tongue? God help me, that's the hardest thing I've ever written. Harder, in fact, than that one scene in The Fall of a Leader, which is objectively much worse in every way but gah they're twelve years old.)

…that said, that very fact lent an additional sort of sadistic hilarity to it, in a way I can only forgive myself for because they're fictional characters and don't actually have any feelings. It was hard to continue to write it seriously because, really, it felt genuinely awful, but my mind turned increasingly wacky in the attempt. Everything slowly became a bit more exaggerated, and before the end I was giggling like mad at pretty much every word I put in. And hey, since we're doing an April Fools' chapter, why not resolve the whole legendary plot while we're at it, in the worst, cheesiest, lamest possible way? Wild Mew appeared! Turns out the power of love is what they needed all along! And how about resolving Chaletwo's daddy issues, too, since Mew is here? (Of course, since Mew is inexplicably female in the narration in this chapter, that would make them mommy issues here, but hey.)

The line "And Chaletwo is not my boyfriend" was what made me stop and realize that I wasn't really writing this as a serious thing intended to fool people anymore; it had turned into the kind of April Fools' joke that's there to amuse in itself more than to make people take it seriously. And that was fine, really; I'd always liked that kind of joke better (see TCOD Solutions). The writing towards the end turned into something straight out of Faxi the horse, and I loved it. It would've been fun to seriously fool people and all, but this was too hilarious to resist. And, well, apparently some people somewhat fell for it anyway, which is always a plus.

I finished the fake chapter in one day. Later I went back and edited some of the most outrageous lines, just to attempt to strike something of a balance and maybe fool people for a bit longer, but otherwise it was definitely the quickest "chapter" I've ever written. Because it was fun. That tweet I made about the joys of writing? Yeah, that was the fake chapter. It felt disturbing as hell, as I said, but it was so very, very worth it.

Hope you enjoyed it and that it didn't ruin the real chapter for you.



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Butterfree

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No.



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Butterfree

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Which doesn't make any sense whatsoever, because Misty isn't even a character in TQftL and Ash had a cameo in about two chapters.



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Butterfree

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Pssh. It's M-shipping. I mean, the fact their names start with the same letter mean they are obviously meant to be.



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Butterfree

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May: If you were forced at gunpoint to date either Alan or Mark, who would you chose?
May: I'd disarm the guy with the gun. These sorts of scenarios are stupid.

Alan: Will you tell your dad that you left because May's Tyrantitar killed Taylor, or will you think up some lie to tell him about why you left?
Alan: I don't know. No, I guess I'll just tell him we're going to be training separately until we can battle the next legendary.



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Butterfree

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Thought I'd write a bit of an update. I'm on the seventh page of chapter sixty, as my signature says, and the going's pretty fast when I'm actually working on it. I don't know when I'll finish, exactly, because I'm still not quite sure how long it's going to be (I'm going to wait for how things evolve organically to decide whether and how certain things should happen), but I'm at least definitely more than halfway done.

I quite like this chapter so far. Writing it feels like writing Scyther's Story/The Fall of a Leader. I'm a little worried about how this chapter will come across to people who haven't read the spin-offs, though; maybe it'll just seem to be introducing a bunch of tangential stuff without going into it properly. Oh, well. It all does serve a purpose and I don't think it's confusing without having read the spin-offs, so it should be okay.

I dreamt something about Mark and May being engaged for an arranged marriage or something (it could also be that they somehow got engaged by accident or that it was necessary to save the world or whatever; either way, they were still twelve). They were having lunch somewhere talking about how annoying that was and how they're kinda friends and all but why do they have to get married? I really enjoyed that dream because they were delightfully in character about it and I just generally love dreaming about my characters. Also, it just amused me that even in a dream where they're somehow engaged, they're just there going "yeahhh no".



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