I admit, I am a huge nerd when it comes to Pokemon. I was in a trading card league when I was a kid, the first video game I ever had was Pokemon Yellow, and yes, I still play the games.* I recently got White 2. If you know anything about Pokemon, you know about regions. Regions are sort of like states or territories and, as of this new game I got, there are sixteen regions in the Pokemon world (though only five are in the main games). This new game takes place in the same, albeit expanded, region as a previous game. To me , this expansion was the greatest gift the creators could give. Why? Because I love exploring new things in familiar places.
This is as true for writing as it is for gaming. As a reader, I love stories that take place in one world, but different parts of that world. This is the reason that I’ve developed the world in which Quest for Salvation is set to the extent I have: because there is always something new to explore. I love the thought that, even if you think you know everything about a place, something new can happen and suddenly you aren’t so knowledgeable (and I just have to say, that word looks like it shouldn’t exist). Sure, it can be disorientating and scary, but once you push that fear away, it’s a whole new exciting world.
In the Pokemon games, you can explore new places as you advance in your skill. This is like writing in that as you become a more practiced writer, you have new ideas, you expand old ideas, and you can experiment with new styles or genres. Each time I try something new, I feel a rush of excitement and readiness for the next step.
The most important lesson I’ve learned from Pokemon? You aren’t always going to win. Sometimes I have massive failures in the games and I get frustrated. It’s the same with writing. When I have writer’s block or completely ruined the perfect scene by writing it down, I get frustrated with myself. Okay, let’s be honest, I get pretty darn angry. BUT! I keep going. In Pokemon I don’t give up after one loss, so there is no reason to give up on my story. After all, I can fix the writing more easily than I can train my Pokemon to higher levels.
Here’s the thing: don’t give up. No matter what your dream is, don’t give up. In Pokemon the dream is to become the Champion. In writing, it is to be published. Maybe you want to be an actor or a politician or an artist. Go for it. You can do it.
Take care, fellow travelers.
*I’m even writing a Pokemon fan-fiction with one of my best friends. At least I know I’m not the only one who still loves Pokemon 🙂
- Being An Adult Pokemon Trainer Must Suck (kotaku.com)