This entry in my playthrough of Pokémon LeafGreen will be less directly related to character building/discovery and more metaphorical, exploring what interests me about Pokémon and other media along with their relation to what I want to create. The way I see it, all media are tools to teach or entertain, but it’s a matter of finding that which teaches or entertains what is relevant to you. You can do that with defining and refining.
Novel Spoilers?: Minor [Interests directing novel’s path]
Game Spoilers? None
Let’s start with defining and refining.
When I collected the movies I wanted to learn about in college, or when I play the videogames I want to learn about now, I am defining the variables of my interests without knowing it. Subconsciously, I am trying to define patterns that interest me. I like character-driven, plot-light, and maybe uniquely-told stories in any media. I wouldn’t have known that, though, were it not for me exploring all these games that are fun or not fun for me. I’ll drop the games I’m disinterested in, maybe without even knowing why. That’s where the defining part starts, because you’re gathering all this evidence to begin to define what it is you’re looking for, before you can refine your search based on what you’ve learned.
Something like Pokémon lets me tell these stories in macro situations.
I can create my own characters, somewhat, and place them into a pre-established world where as long as they fit certain guidelines like having a name and maybe tying in somehow to the Pokémon whose name they’re given, then they can exist in that uniquely-told [from a visual perspective, I guess] media. Then what I did today was define the cast of Novel 01 to help me with scoping out the characters of Novel 02. It was purely by accident that Sammohini/Raichu became the first Pokémon I started to seriously train. My John/Venusaur and Trishna/Golbat Pokémon were underperforming, but will that mean that don’t make any significant appearance in Novel 02?
I’m not basing my media around the media of others.
I will, however, take inspiration as I please from any source I please.
That’s where, for me, it’s important not to waste too much time on matters that won’t help me tell my own stories. For something like this session of Pokémon, where I ground all but four of my potential Elite 4 Contenders, I wasn’t focusing too much on character development in the sort of arbitrary sense. I didn’t think about whether a character would have this attribute or that hairstyle. What I was after was more of developing the sort of world that they’d be in. It will still be Sammohini’s perspective of Eville Medical, but I had thought about the cast.
Just when I think I’m running out of names of relevant characters, new ones pop up.
Sammohini has been the main character of short stories before I wrote Novel 01 for years now, and there are plenty of short stories you can read here with some digging. What’s interested me about her? For one, she’s an empathetic and honest character. I can write from her perspective and she’ll tell the truth as best as she can. Someone like Fairydust is more manipulative along with Hank, so they’ve got enough roughness around their edges where it’s not as easy to write from their perspectives. But Sammohini is just a hardworking girl and I guess I like that most about her character. She’ll do the work that she needs to do to get what she wants.
Do I seek out characters like Sammohini and the others I write about?
That’s where it’s important to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing – to define those variables to then refine your current and future media consumption. I play Pokémon when I want straightforward grinding that I can do while watching videos. I used to something similar ENDLESS WAR, but what its role will play for me soon depends on how much time I want to spend on a PVP MUD, because I know that once I return to work I can’t put in the time I did into mastering it. For FF7, then, I do like its grinding parts, but there’s enough good dialogue and story to where I can’t just pause a video when I get to a scene.
Let me define those three elements as meditative, competitive, and narrative.
I like the meditative and competitive aspects of Pokémon. I like the competitive and socially narrative aspects of ENDLESS WAR. I like the narrative and sometimes meditative and sometimes competitive aspects of FF7. When I feel like actively meditative on something, I’ll play a game and watch a video, letting my mind rest while it soaks in new information. When I feel competitive, I can release that tension. When I want a good narrative, I can sit down with something that has a confident lore baked into it.
Novel 02, similarly, will have elements of all three.
When I have meditative moments, I realize important things about myself, which is what Sammohini will have to do more in Novel 02 than in Novel 01. By its very nature, I will have a competitive spirit throughout the novel, as I did with Novel 01, because it explores a challenging narrative. For me, I’m less concerned with stories that have large, overwhelming worlds with verbose details describing each scene. My favorite narratives are the ones where characters learn and grow, whether psychologically or physically, to accomplish tasks.
When I grind my videogame characters’s stats, I build up their lore in my head.
Adriana/Kingler was the standout Pokémon from this session. She probably won’t make a significant appearance, even if she’s one of the Pokémon to go up against the Elite 4, unless the character herself makes an appearance in my imagination, well after all the character planning happens. But still, to know what inspires me to keep playing, to keep naming these Pokémon after bit characters, is important, too, along with actually working on those character sheets.
I’ve added that onto my writing calendar.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Writing about my thoughts on why I played Pokémon today. I was going to call the essay “Exploring My Interests” but when I decided on the three elements I like in media, “Meditative, Competitive, Narrative,” I went with that title. It’s order of thought rather than order of importance. It might be like a triangle.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story,” and other Sammohini Arc and Media Meandry essays.
Pokémon LeafGreen Series:
01 – “Easy Mode Living”
02 – “Real Life Grinding”
03 – “Had To Play”
03.5 – “Fiction Inspiring Fiction”
04 – “Videogames Aren’t Ambiguous”
04.5 – “Level Up Yourself”
05 – “Catching What’s Next”
06 – “Recatching Escapist Tendencies”
07 – “Inconsequentially Building Characters”
08 – “Incidents Build Characters”
09 – “Generic Character List”
10 – “Meditative, Competitive, Narrative“
|Screenshots: My pre-Blaine party. All I did was get Gjergj and level up for like three hours.|
|Written On: 2020 May 16 [8:46pm to 9:31pm, while listening to Kvervandi on repeat.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 May 16 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|