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Old 02-20-2007, 09:55 PM
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Default Pen and Quill :: A Fanfiction Writer's Digest

Pen and Quill

Index of Articles

Name / Subject / Publish Date / Author

And the Journey Begins: A new day dawns / Journeyfics / Feb 20, 2007 / Sceptile Frost

Index of Reviews

Name / Author / Genre / Star Rating

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Vol. 1 ------------- Edition 1 ------------- February 20th, 2007

::Editor's Forward

The time has come that my beloved forum, PE2K, has gotten an Author's Corner. I am eternally in debt to Jack for bringing this up and to Ryan for hosting the boards and approving this.

That said, I would like to extend a warm welcome out to you, good PE2K member. PE2K is a wonderful forum, and I congratulate you for joining, whether it was yesterday or four years ago. Also, I commend you for coming over to the fan fiction portion of this board. It is a vibrant community on its own and has many members that are loyal and skilled in both picking up the pen to write and to review.

Thus, I welcome you to Pen and Quill. Pen and Quill is based loosely upon Writer's Digest, a vibrant, enthralling magazine publish bimonthly that is filled to the brim with writing advice ranging from genre-specific to publishing to plotting to making time to write. It fills many of my hours with enjoyment, and I look forward to each issue.

However, WD is not fulfilling when it comes to writing fanfiction. Things specific to different genres of pokemon fan fiction are unique and cannot be applied to any other form, original or fan. This is why I have chosen to start Pen and Quill. I have started it so that we can share the knowledge that we have learned throughout our years, months, weeks, or days as writers of this great fandom.

Also, your welcome to add articles. Just run it by me first and then you can start writing. Whenever you finish, post the article and I'll link it in this thread.

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Here then, is the first article of Pen and Quill:

And the Journey Begins
A series of articles on journey fics.
By Sceptile Forst / antialiases.

A new day dawns...

The pokemon journey has shaped the fandom. It has transformed the idea of pokemon from a game to an anime to a manga and back again five times over. But there is much more to the journey fic, and that can be found in the fan fiction of this type.

It is obvious that the journey fic was where the pokemon fan fiction began. Since it was the only 'genre' of pokemon fan fiction that was presented in canon, it was to be the first. The journey fic has gone through many changes such as this, and most well-known authors across the various boards can boast at least a stab at a journey fic. Now, ten plus years since Ash's journey began, the journey fic has become scorned on by the crème de la crème of Serebeth. In truth, however, the journey fic remains the core of the fandom, as well as the most popular. It is the genre that holds the true aura of the fandom, presenting it as Satoshi Tajiri intended it.

Of course, the journey fic has evolved much since the first was penned and posted. Now, most journey fics consist of multiple subplots ranging from evil team members to pyschic powers to blooming teenage romances.

Now, how does this help you, an author with minimal or great experience, write a great journeyfic? To be honest, it only gives you a grasp of the journeyfic. Thus, let us dive in.

The beginning is considered by most to be the most important part of a journey fic. Why? The answer is simple. In the beginning, you tell the reader the setting, the main characters. Also, the core part of the journeyfic must never be forgotton: the motive that causes the character to leave his or her home and depart. This could be seeking revenge for a lost brother or sister, to seek out one that they are 'in love with' or to seek adventure. The character probably plans to hunt badges or enter contests, but that should not be their main motive. If it is their main motive, it is likely that you will be considered a bushy-eyed newbie by most. However, if you present these characters with agility, making them seem power-hungery and wanting while still shwoing their depth, you can certainly make it work.

That said, the beginning is crucial. How you start can prevent or encourage a reader from hitting the back button and browsing for a different forum. This is not as prevalent on PE2K, but once you hit Serebeth - the large, bustling forum - you will be in trouble.

To begin your journeyfic is to depart on your adventure. It can be either an enthralling, adventurous, enjoyable one, or a living nightmare. The first choice you must make when you get down to the nitty-gritty - the actual writing when the characters and motive have been already decided - is the time of day.

It is a sad fact that most stories begin in the morning. It is a good choice, as the morning is considered the beginning of a new day, a new attitude, a new adventure. However, it has been used so much that it has become cliche. You can still pull it off, but it may, possibly, turn of readers.

What other choices remain? Night could be an interesting choice. Say that your main character is doing some studying or playing a quick game of __________ (insert preferred console and game here) and then feels it the next day? These possibilites are hardly used, and could enthrall the reader if handled correctly.

So, you've got the day decided. But you certainly aren't ready to begin your writing, or ship it off to a board for posting. Not yet. Next, you need to get your time set for when the story begins.

Most stories begin, not only in the morning, but also the day the journey starts. This makes for a good time, as it is when the adventure begins. However, other alternatives might be better. Consider starting your fic a few days or shortly after your main character has recieved his pokemon. Though the adventure has already started, it means that your main character has a learned a lot already and even possibly is ready to challenge his first gym. The disadvantage of this is that it makes the trainer's skills harder to believe, and might turn off readers. The other alternative is before the adventure has started. This option can give your readers more information on the character. Most published novels start out with a short period of the reader getting to know the main character. This period is vital to show character depth, and the approaching adventure that will soon occur. If you give the reader a chance to show your character's depth, they will be even more enthralled by the journey when it does begin. Be mindful, however, that when this approach is taken, you must try to present the details with action intertwined. For example, I'm rewriting a journey fic of mine and now it starts just before a family reunion before my main character, Connor, goes off. His relatives hold a few battles, which sort of provides some action.

Use these tecniques and your journey fic's beginning will show more depth and encourage the reader to continue.
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