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[PW] Mute Point, Plan A

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Anonymous
April 25, 2004 1:23:08 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

About as soon as Mason "Mace" Adams arrived in Team Magma's base in
Fallarbor Town, he was escorted to the office of the commanding Admin.
As Magma Grunt Mason took a seat, he could not help but sense a certain
level of distrust and disrespect one does not usually associate with
being one of their top trainers. It was if they thought of him as a
rookie, which was probably understandable given his amnesia and foreign
citizenship.

Mason noted, after a breif and decidedly compulsory-feeling
introduction, that all of Team Magma's Admins he had met so far had
feminine names regardless of gender and that this one was no different.
Jennifer explained that it was merely a code name and assured Mason
that his real one was far more masculine and impressive. To this, Mason
voiced his opinion on the rather absurd notion of giving code names to
operatives with desk jobs. Jennifer defended the position by merely
stating that explaining the reasoning behind the code names would likely
take all day and Mason argued that he was in no hurry.

Changing the subject, Jennifer passed Mason a file folder containing
information on his next mission. His target was to be an
average-looking young man about his age named Lute with rather
unremarkable Pokemon who had done something quite remarkable. Despite
being completely mute and apparently lacking psychic talent, he had
found a way to train Pokemon without saying a word. Rather, he
commanded his Pokemon with a red flute made of glass. Lute the mute and
his flute had been making headlines recently as a public interest story
about a disabled person overcoming adversity. The official story was
that Lute had trained for years to overcome a disability that would've
otherwise prevented him from training Pokemon, even with a translator,
but the Magma brass had a differing and on the whole wildly fantastic
theory.

Even without the mention Mason knew that they meant the Legend Siren, an
artifact so powerful it had to be disassembled and scattered across the
Pokemon World. Clearly, Lute had somehow come across the Siren's Ruby
Shaft, which evidently had the power to control Pokemon. Why or how
this came to be was irrelevant. All that mattered getting a hold of the
boy's Shaft.

Jennifer found Mason's laughter at this point to be both immature and
inappropriate and insisted that he get a firmer grasp of the situation.
This didn't abate Mason's jocular reaction, who inquired as to what
Jennifer wanted done to Lute's PokeBalls. The Admin didn't consider it
an important matter, but Mason insisted that focusing solely on the
Shaft would only bring them so far and that taking his 'Balls would make
for a more satisfying climax. Jennifer told Mason that, whatever his
obsession with another man's 'Balls was, he should handle it on his own
time and not Team Magma's.

The plan was, currently, to merely steal the flute, which Lute was
almost never seen without. While this could be accomplished by just
about any gang of thugs, the power of the Ruby Shaft had to be taken
into account. Should it come to a Pokemon Battle, they would need
someone like Mason, whose control over their own Pokemon would cancel
out the flute's magic. It would be a long shot, but they were working
on the assumption that someone had a magic flute so they didn't exactly
have betting odds in the first place.

Where Mason was to be the muscle, the actual stealing of the flute was
to be handled by the rest of his unit whose profiles were found in other
folders nearby. One was Cher Raud, an expert con artist and pick pocket
who practically made a killing stealing people's wallets and then
returning them for the reward money. Second was Penny Trate, an
infiltration specialist who could sneak her way into anything
undetected. She once attempted a string of daring break-ins that went
flawlessly aside from the fact that she always wound up trapped inside
what she had snuck into and once had to be rescued by the fire
department. And last by not least was Cad Avers, known as The Sniper
of a Thousand Faces because of his preference for headshots and his
frequent cosplays at anime and video game conventions. Mason objected
to use of an assassin, deeming it excessive, but Jennifer assured him
that Cad would only be used as a last resort. This failed to alleviate
Mason's discomfort.

Meeting his team wasn't what he'd call an enlightening experience.
Almost as soon as he entered the loungue, Penny greeted Mason with the
professionalism and restraint of a lovesick Furret on a sugar rush. To
say Penny was excitable was like saying Electrodes were suicidal.
Within seconds, she had moved from a death grip of a hug to an
unwarranted piggy-back ride, all the while asking Mason a bazillion
questions about the Orre Region that he probably couldn't answer even if
he didn't have amnesia. The bit about Shadow Pokemon caught his
attention, but Penny wasn't so clear on the subject herself.

It was just as well, as Mason didn't consider her to be all that bright.
Mason had to wonder how she could be any good at sneaking into places,
but wasn't too surprised that she couldn't sneak back out. Cher Raud
assured him that Penny was far more talented than she let on and helped
extricate her from his back. Penny pouted for a second before moving on
to play "what does this button do?" with the sniper rifle Cad was
cleaning. With an air of annoyance, the assassin silently snatched
various components out of her hands as he reassembled his weapon.

Cher seemed genuinely curious about Mason's amnesia, like how much he
could remember and for how long. He assured her that while he had no
recollection of his past prior to waking up in a Magma medlab in Hoenn
he was making new ones just fine. Mason caught Cher's hand as she
attempted to filch one of his PokeBalls. Cher was reportedly quite
impressed with his skills of perception and handed him back his wallet.

Cad Avers seemed the strong, silent type. His sole answer to Mason's
various prompts was an icy glare. Before Mason could taunt him into an
emotional response, the sniper shot a fly out of the air with barely a
sidewise glance. Cad chambered another bullet, a challenge to even
think of making a snide remark that Mason declined to answer.

With introductions out of the way, the team got down to business. The
first plan was simple. Penny Trate would intercept Lute when he passes
through town to the ash fields on Route 113 for his usually morning
training routine. While she distracts him, Cher Raud would secretly
pick his pockets and steal his flute. Cher had recently purchased a red
flute almost identical to the one Lute had and planned to leave it in
the original's place. Lute would never know it was gone.

When Mason asked her where she managed to get an identical red, glass
flute, Cher informed him of the glass blower on Route 113. The old man
uses the ashes collected by various trainers to make various items for
them, including flutes and furniture. The flutes contained special
properties, mostly ones that cured status conditions, but none were on
the level of the Ruby Shaft. The red ones in particular merely snapped
Pokemon out of a state of infatuation. Mason made a mental note to do
some shopping when he got a chance.

Morning soon came and Mason's crew disembarked for Fallarbor Town.
While the base was in, or rather under, Fallarbor Town, they were to use
the entrance on Route 113. The elevator opened to a flurry of volcanic
ash, which Mason learned came from nearby Mt. Chimney. The ash was
almost like snow, and similarly a chilly wind greeted the crew outside
the elevator. The combination of northerly winds and sky-obscuring ash
conspired to simulate a winter wonderland. Mason half-expected to see a
snowman as the elevator receded back into the ground to be concealed by
mounds of falling ash.

Mason caught glimpses of small figures darting about the trees and
mounds of ash. He remained wary, although Cher assured him that the
Ninja Boys weren't likely to be a threat. They knew better than to
challenge Team Magma, at least not until they could figure what Team
Magma was planning. Even then, Mason's skills were such that he was
likely to drop their entire team with a single Pokemon. Mason felt that
was an exaggeration, but not one that was too far off.

Penny and Cher had disguised themselves in civilian clothes while Mason
and Cad kept themselves hidden. There was every need not to draw
attention to themselves. If Lute even suspected that Team Magma was in
town, they would never be able to get close enough. The Magma Grunts
got themselves into position and waited for their quarry to show.

Right on schedule, the silent trainer made his way down the street with
a Jigglypuff on his shoulder. Penny, in her cutest outfit, casually ran
into him and almost immediately began gushing over his Jigglypuff. The
Jigglypuff was quite flattered and Penny squealed with delight when she
discovered it could talk. This particular Jigglypuff was specially
trained to speak not only in human verbal language but Hoenn Sign
Language (HSL) as well. Penny, of course, had already known all about
this from an earlier breifing but pretended to be quite fascinated.

Lute eventually managed to get enough of his translator's attention to
be able to talk with the peppy young lady himself. As it turned out,
Penny was also quite fluent in sign language herself and the two of them
struck up what looked like a very engaging conversation. Mason couldn't
tell what they were talking about, but assumed it was one of those
topics that became all the more fascinating as it got easier to picture
the other person's clothes laying on your bedroom floor.

As Mason pondered the level of difficulty in reading a girl's hands and
t-shirt at once, Cher Raud made her move. Having spent a good deal of
time and money in a nearby grocer, she was now totally encumbered with
grocery bags and fully prepared to blunder into all sorts of people.
With the grace of a drunk Donphan, Cher toppled into Lute. Groceries
and Jigglypuffs spilled everywhere.

Mason and Cad froze as the Jigglypuff bounced into the alley they were
hiding in but remained calm. The Jigglypuff eventually rolled to its
feet and took stock of its surroundings. Cad nearly went for his gun,
but Mason stopped him. Killing it now would blow their cover and botch
the job.

The Jigglypuff dusted itself off and bounded out of the alley, picking
up groceries and apologizing profusely as he returned to his trainer.
Cher, Penny, and Lute had already gathered up most of the groceries and
Cher and her cargo were soon off for whatever imaginary location Lute
assumed she was heading for. Once the trainer and his Jigglypuff were
suitably distracted again, Cher ducted into the alley and dropped her bags.

Her mission accomplished, Cher triumphantly produced a novelty tube of
candy. Mason was astounded at the critical error, but was enlightened
to know that Lute had yet to notice the disappearance. Unfortunately,
he was bound to get suspicious when he would later discover that his
M&Ms had magically transformed into an extra red flute. Cher was not
ready to move on to plan B just yet and put on a large overcoat.

It had been fun and Penny was going to have to see Lute later when Cher
made a signal from the alley. Penny started making plans to meet Lute
at a later time and segued that into an entirely new conversation. Cher
then shuffled out of the alley in her new disguise, completely with a
fake cold. She hacked and wheezed her way back to Lute, bumped into
him, apologized, coughed, apologized again, and shuffled back into the
alley.

Cher had a red flute, all right, but Mason inquired how she knew it was
Lute's flute and not the replacement. Cher looked at the flute and
sighed heavily. She was about to head back out when Penny stepped in.
It seemed that Lute had already left to continue his training.

A quick test of the flute on some feral Pokemon showed no sign magical
abilities. Chances were this was not the Ruby Shaft at all and it was
still in Lute's possession.

That night, they were going to move on to Plan B.


To be continued...


[NS: This post was an experiment in writing without using dialogue. My
plan is to write that way in any post that includes Lute, so as to
convey a sense of silence. I probably failed to have any sort of style
here, though. Feedback would be appreciated.]

--

Chet "Tech" Weaver

AIM: PanGatomon
MSN: Nichirasu@hotmail.com
eMail: zeroohki at netscape dot net
Yahoo! Messenger: tech_weaver
ICQ: 122744531
Webcomic: http://desperadocoyote.keenspace.com

My Adventure Quest character:
http://www.battleon.com/aq-chardetail.asp?temp=131213
You can play Adventure Quest at http://www.battleon.com

Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the
occult?
A: We both do.
Q: Voodoo?
A: We do.
Q: You do?
A: Yes, voodoo.
-- Actual court testimony

More about : mute point plan

April 26, 2004 12:34:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

"STEFFAN HEDD ALUN" <sha3@aber.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:1082892612.697071@leri.aber.ac.uk...

> Writing without dialogue does not convey a sense of silence. I read the
> whole thing through and had to scan it again when you explained that there
> was no dialogue in it.

I noticed it had no dialogue from early on. It was obvious, considering how
often Tech normally uses dialogue. I didn't know WHY he chose to remove
dialogue until he explained it at the end, though.

> There's a reason most works of fiction contain dialogue; narrative-only
> stories are dull as ditchwater. Dialogue helps explain the story more
> concisely and keeps a sense of dynamic going.

Throughout high school, I'd become very annoyed with authors who would spend
their time using description to depict something that could be better
depicted with good dialogue. I'd be quite relieved whenever the characters
would start talking with one another. While I have a strong preference for
dialogue, I'm careful to not use TOO MUCH dialogue in my own stories,
realizing there is a place for description too.

> 1) "said X." There are other speech tags. This isn't as important as
most
> people believe, but it's nice to occasionally vary the style by using,
say,
> "replied X" or "snarled X" or "laughed X". I'm going through a phase of
> having "[random word for 'smiled'] X" myself, but that's just me.

I have noticed Tech try this before. It becomes obvious when he has many
characters make brief comments.

> As a guide, I try not to omit more than two tags in a row, except in rare
> cases. As the amount you omit increases, tension is also increased, so
you
> should only omit when writing a quick, snappy argument. Even THEN, four
> omissions is definately the maximum limit, or the readers will both lose
> track of who's speaking and interest in the discussion itself.

I know I've gotten lost trying to follow some of the exchanges that Tech
writes. However, by watching how other authors omit tags, I've made attempts
to do the same when appropriate. I'm tempted to ALWAYS specify who's
speaking, but sometimes it really breaks the flow of the conversation. The
way Adrian Tymes handles tag omission is much better than Tech's way, but I
sometimes get confused when reading some of his dialogue too. I try to
follow this guideline: only omit tags when only two characters are speaking
with each other and only AFTER specifying who's speaking. The moment a third
character interrupts the conversation, you really should start using tags
again.

> Recommendations: Read Rendfeld's stuff in particular, but ignore the
story
> and focus on the style. His use of dialogue, I find, is very effective.
> Also, check over the various tournament posts Rob's written, where he's
had
> to incorporate a lot of different characters in a short space of time.
Note
> how dialogue destroys potential tedium and keeps the thing flowing.

I just think personalities are most clearly and efficiently expressed
through dialogue, provided it's well-written dialogue. That's why I throw
characters conversing with each other into the mix during events, as opposed
to trying to write down the "Personality" segment of each character's
Writer's Guide. Besides, an event is supposed to bring characters together
for socializing, and talking is the main mechanism of socializing. By
writing an actual conversation between two characters, I intend to help
readers get a better idea about the characters. That's why I don't write
something like: "Robert talked with Andrew. Nothing exciting happened."

> > My plan is to write that way in any post that includes Lute, so as to
> > convey a sense of silence.
>
> Don't.
>
> > I probably failed to have any sort of style here, though.

It's nice that you're trying to do something innovative, Tech, but new ideas
aren't always good ideas. There's a reason people have been using dialogue
since ancient Greece. It works. You said that you probably failed to have
style in this story. That's not true. Not using dialogue is a style - just
not a particularly good one.

> Show, don't tell. This is the cleverest style of writing there is.
Saying
> "Jeremy was very embarassed. He wanted to run away, but decided not to"
is
> fine, of course, but it's much more interesting to say "Jeremy felt heat
> coming from his cheeks, and avoided looking anyone in the eye. He glanced
> briefly at the door, but remained still".

Normally, one uses the former style when writing a short story and the
latter style when writing a novel. Interactive fanfiction should try to
strike a balance between those two styles. Basically, it boils down to what
you want to accomplish in a post and whether that post is going to be
stand-alone or a minor part of a major story. If you're one of ten authors
participating in a thread, the short story style might be more useful
sometimes. If you're writing a story that's supposed to delve into the
intricacies of your own character, you may want to use the novel style.
Opting to always use one more than the other is limiting and should be
avoided. There are times when being blunt with your writing conveys a
certain mood. Jose Solano is very good at using the short story style
effectively.

-Rob
Anonymous
April 26, 2004 3:38:03 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

"Rob" <robfrompw@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1hVic.2310$g31.673@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> > There's a reason most works of fiction contain dialogue; narrative-only
> > stories are dull as ditchwater. Dialogue helps explain the story more
> > concisely and keeps a sense of dynamic going.
>
> Throughout high school, I'd become very annoyed with authors who would
spend
> their time using description to depict something that could be better
> depicted with good dialogue. I'd be quite relieved whenever the characters
> would start talking with one another. While I have a strong preference for
> dialogue, I'm careful to not use TOO MUCH dialogue in my own stories,
> realizing there is a place for description too.

Personally, I prefer narrative. Most jokes I make when writing dialogue are
in the speech tags, since that's where I'm most comfortable.

I have difficulty differentiating between characters based on speech alone.
I certainly had trouble keeping Misty consistent with anime Misty.

> I know I've gotten lost trying to follow some of the exchanges that Tech
> writes. However, by watching how other authors omit tags, I've made
attempts
> to do the same when appropriate. I'm tempted to ALWAYS specify who's
> speaking, but sometimes it really breaks the flow of the conversation.

Eh, as I said, that's really only an issue with quick exchanges between
characters, and you can't keep those going too long anyway. The difference
with Tech is that his dialogue tend to be longer than snappy, one- or
two-word answers, thus one gets lost reading it.

> The
> way Adrian Tymes handles tag omission is much better than Tech's way, but
I
> sometimes get confused when reading some of his dialogue too.

Agreed. The main problem there is that all of his characters are Dittos,
which means I occasionally have to double-take when he appears to suggest
that Bob can transform.

Oh, and Mecha seems to omit every single speech tag, but his stories feel
more like screenplays anyway.

> I just think personalities are most clearly and efficiently expressed
> through dialogue, provided it's well-written dialogue. That's why I throw
> characters conversing with each other into the mix during events, as
opposed
> to trying to write down the "Personality" segment of each character's
> Writer's Guide.

It's very effective. I reread the Silver Conference opener today, and the
compromise between serious discussion and comedic chats is pretty cool. I
miss SHAKK.

> Besides, an event is supposed to bring characters together
> for socializing, and talking is the main mechanism of socializing. By
> writing an actual conversation between two characters, I intend to help
> readers get a better idea about the characters.

Now that you mention it, I do tend to scan dialogue when writing a character
that isn't mine.

> That's why I don't write
> something like: "Robert talked with Andrew. Nothing exciting happened."

I miss SHAKK.

> > Show, don't tell. This is the cleverest style of writing there is.
> > Saying "Jeremy was very embarassed. He wanted to run away, but
> > decided not to" is fine, of course, but it's much more interesting to
> > say "Jeremy felt heat coming from his cheeks, and avoided looking
> > anyone in the eye. He glanced briefly at the door, but remained still".
>
> Normally, one uses the former style when writing a short story and the
> latter style when writing a novel.

What I've found recently is I tend to use the former with my own characters
and the latter with NPCs. Generally, I tell people explicitly what's on my
own characters' minds, so I stay with them and let NPCs do their own thing.

This makes Lauren and Diego quite challenging to write for, as it happens.
It's difficult to show what they're both thinking without dwelling too much
on one of them. I think I've been overusing Lauren, to be honest.

> Interactive fanfiction should try to
> strike a balance between those two styles. Basically, it boils down to
what
> you want to accomplish in a post and whether that post is going to be
> stand-alone or a minor part of a major story. If you're one of ten authors
> participating in a thread, the short story style might be more useful
> sometimes.

Oh, certainly. When I write, I'm constantly trying to strike a balance
between a good style and a good story without spending too long writing it.
Pretty much all the posts I've written this week ended differently to how I
originally intended[1], but I hope the style of them hides their spontaneous
natures and makes them appear planned.

When interacting, though, it all goes towards the story.

> If you're writing a story that's supposed to delve into the
> intricacies of your own character, you may want to use the novel style.

Eh, I don't differentiate too much. It's why I don't often make short posts
to encourage interaction - if people want to interact, I'd prefer them to do
so by barging into the storyline currently running.

> Opting to always use one more than the other is limiting and should be
> avoided.

Thing is, though, it's very easy to switch back. I've never been a fan of
labelling the types of narrator any further than "first" and "third", so I
may sometimes hop into a character's mind and sometimes not go in at all.

One of my favourite techniques for getting a story started, though, is
starting with an NPC. I like to think it gives the opening scenes a "wtf"
feeling.

> There are times when being blunt with your writing conveys a
> certain mood. Jose Solano is very good at using the short story style
> effectively.

Yes, and that's the style I try to use with Karl, since he's a parody of
himself.

Most of what I've said applies mainly to Mike, since he's the only one with
a serious storyline.[2]

Steffan

[1] Karl was originally going to head for Slateport complete with squiggly
Unown, Lauren and Diego were originally going to start searching for Lynkeru
straight away, Mike's brush with Onix went through several different
versions, the faux-Gabby-and-Ty plot was originally going to end with a
Gulpin, and Mike's gym match was the biggest surprise yet.

[2] What with Karl's being "fix Unown, get some notebooks, piss about" and
Lauren and Diego's being "flog foreign Pokémon on the black market".
Anonymous
April 26, 2004 6:55:04 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

STEFFAN HEDD ALUN wrote:
> "Rob" <robfrompw@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1hVic.2310$g31.673@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>>The
>>way Adrian Tymes handles tag omission is much better than Tech's way, but I
>>sometimes get confused when reading some of his dialogue too.

More than once, I've faced the problem of having a three-way
conversation, often of short-to-mid-length sentences traded back and
forth - the very situation where one might want to omit tags, but not of
the standard format for one to do so. I'm not sure if I couldn't do
better, though. Any ideas?

And Aerie has also given me a new challenge: sometimes, she tries* to
make everything revolve around her - including responding to every
comment in a conversation. (Trust me, you do _not_ want to hear certain
of the pacing I've imagined for her speech if she were to try that IRL.)
This increases the amount of dialogue in addition to the other tagging
problems.

*(Yes, she speaks to me sometimes, telling me in her own words what she
would do in this or that situation. I'm told this happens to a lot of
authors who write a character for a while. I'm probably not even the
only one in PW! this has happened to.)

Mimic's tag-without-tag has been such a relief at times...

> Agreed. The main problem there is that all of his characters are Dittos,
> which means I occasionally have to double-take when he appears to suggest
> that Bob can transform.

That's occasionally been the effect I was deliberately trying for. For
instance, when the characters thought they were speaking to Bob (or
whoever) until the transformation proved otherwise. But I suspect it's
also happened when I didn't mean it.
Anonymous
April 26, 2004 3:59:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon (More info?)

"Adrian Tymes" <wingcat@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news:cS_ic.41175$ST7.33812@newssvr29.news.prodigy.com...
> And Aerie has also given me a new challenge: sometimes, she tries* to
> make everything revolve around her - including responding to every
> comment in a conversation. (Trust me, you do _not_ want to hear certain
> of the pacing I've imagined for her speech if she were to try that IRL.)
> This increases the amount of dialogue in addition to the other tagging
> problems.

In most three-way conversations, speech tags are needed. The way to convey
a quick debate would be to not decorate with adverbs or narrative and just
opt for a simple "said X", "said Y", "said X", "said Z" system. Repetetive,
yes, but it doesn't matter when read quickly.

> *(Yes, she speaks to me sometimes, telling me in her own words what she
> would do in this or that situation. I'm told this happens to a lot of
> authors who write a character for a while. I'm probably not even the
> only one in PW! this has happened to.)

No, of course not. And it's irritating when you've got a lovely plot worked
out, but, for instance, Mike refuses to do anything until Loudred shuts the
hell up.

Steffan
!