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Written Story Voice Work Fan The Writer's Locke: Episode Eight!


Conqueror of the Ecruteak Gym
Pokédex No.
Jun 9, 2019

Welcome back to The Writer’s Locke, a Nuzlocke Reading Project! We’ve got a bumper episode this time around. We’re bidding a fond farewell to Running Hot, which makes way for Ashes to Ashes. On top of all that is an absolute banger of a discussion segment, covering a perennial favourite topic: protagonists!

This episode, we'll be hearing from:

We've prepared a full transcript for your convenience.

We release episodes every three weeks, on Mondays at 6PM EDT. That means upcoming release dates are as follows:

  • August 31
  • September 21
  • October 12 (season finale!)

Your interest and support has gotten us all this far, and we're incredibly grateful for it. If you have any feedback about the transcript or any other aspect of the podcast, we'd love to hear from you! Feel free to drop a post here, in the main Writer's Locke thread, or to send a message direct via forum PM or Discord DM to a member of our crew!

And hey, if you want to discuss the discussion, why not think over a couple of these talking points, or hit us up with your own!:

  • Which approach do you prefer -- building a story around a character, or a character around a story?
  • What factors do you prioritise when it comes to a character’s backstory?
  • How far is “too far”, in your opinion, when it comes to inserting your own traits and qualities into a protagonist?

The Storylockes:


Poppy is a Flabebe in search of evolution, ascension, to become one with her lifelong companion: a yellow flower. Captured, far from home, and among strange 'mon, she will make the journey her own. Friendship and love and that incessant bee's buzzing all be damned.

Running Hot

Sometimes in order to move forward, you have to look back. Or at least that’s what Latios says. So when the latest in a series of catastrophes sets her adrift, Ren tries to square with her demons and everything else, good and bad, that led her to this tipping point and plunged her over the edge.

Ren’s story, as she tells it, is about love in all its many forms and permutations. How it soured and broke her, how it warmed and healed her, how it inspired and drove her, and how it’s carried her through—and may well again before the end.

Ashes to Ashes
Bowser’s Family Vacation

A young girl named Ashley faces an impossible challenge. Her adoptive father is missing, and potentially in danger. Against the wishes of her guardians and of the local professor, she steals away in the night, hoping to find some way to reach him. But before she can, a chance encounter with the rainbow-colored Pokémon of legend grants her the gift of being able to speak with Pokémon--not to mention the weight of a new, remarkable destiny.

The Knife Ridge Scrolls
For hundreds of years, the scrolls found sealed in an urn under the Knife Ridge of the Indigo Mountains have gone untranslated. Written in an ancient script in an unknown language, they have been one of the great mysteries of Kanto and Johto's shared history. Then one day, a prominent historian receives a very strange email...

The Knife Ridge Scrolls is a unique take on Pokémon Gold. Framed as a translation of ancient texts, it details a war-orphan's desperate attempts to survive in the Pokemon equivalent of feudal Japan, including the thefts of some very rare Pokemon.


We'd also like to extend a very special thankyou to @glancesherlock, Narximba, Gamaliel, SeaMaid, and YOU. ❤
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Kitten of Lore
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
Jun 30, 2019
Gatto Region
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Which approach do you prefer -- building a story around a character, or a character around a story?
  • What factors do you prioritise when it comes to a character’s backstory?
  • How far is “too far”, in your opinion, when it comes to inserting your own traits and qualities into a protagonist?
Okay, from first to last:

I'd have to say that I prefer building a story around a character. With Ori's Gift, I knew the basic gist of the story before I started the run, but when I saw that my starter Eevee's nature was "Sassy, likes to thrash about," I knew that he would be a joy to write, and the story grew around him. And I was surprised to see how many people liked Jet's character, so I gave him a larger role in the story than I'd initially planned.

For my future nuzlockes (most of which I'm still playing through, although I did finish the gameplay portion of Omega Ruby), the starter characters are pretty important. For my dual FR/HG lorelocke, we have a Wartortle that's an ancient scholar seeking a map to paradise and a vain Chikorita that seeks to conquer the region, and the two of them (or at least their teams, if one or both of them don't survive up to that point) are destined to clash. But both of them have to deal with the same evil team that's sprung up to threaten both their regions, and they do so in entirely different ways. The FireRed team acts for the good of all Pokemon in Aetherai, while the HeartGold team is far more selfish and even antagonistic in their goals. And when the two protagonist teams eventually go out against each other... well, that should be pretty heart-pounding to experience.

My upcoming Omega Ruby nuzlocke (Destiny's Shadow, not to be confused with Omega Wonder, which was my very first nuzlocke and can be read on my DeviantART but quite honestly, it's nowhere near my best work) surprised me in which character turned out to be the main character. At first, I thought of the main character as 'the female lead,' with the starter as the male lead. But as the run went on, it became increasingly obvious that this was her story, not his. And that story led me to completely change my plans for which runs I would do in the Aetherai saga, leading to a Moon run and an X run that serve as sequels to the Omega Ruby run -- all because of that one character.

Which leads me to the next question.


Character backstory is an important aspect of character building, but if I had to name a character in the Aetherai series that backstory was the most important to, I'd have to say it's the protagonist of Destiny's Shadow. (She does have a name, but it's a secret to everybody, so I'm just going to refer to her as the heroine.) For the first third or so of the story, the heroine doesn't know who she is. She remembers her name and she knows she wasn't always a Pokemon, but she doesn't know who she is or where she comes from. And her initial goal is to remember those things so she can find her way back home.

The thing is, knowing may be half the battle, but it is only half the battle. As the reader experiences the heroine's memories before she does (how exactly that works is spoilers in and of itself), they'll learn truths that the heroine isn't prepared to remember, and realize that the heroine regaining her memories isn't going to be a happy occasion. Sure, there are bright spots in her past, and she'll have good reason to want to find her way home. But there's a great deal of darkness in those memories as well, things that if the heroine remembered, she'd want to forget... harsh truths that the heroine might not even be ready for.

And I've been considering which parts of the heroine's backstory I'm going to prioritize in revealing, and which ones I'm going to save for the sequels. Obviously I can't go into details about it without revealing something, but I will say that in revealing the heroine's past, I want to show both the good parts and the bad parts. Show that she has something worth going home for, but that she also has both inner and outer demons that have to be dealt with. It's that balance of light and darkness that I hope to maintain throughout Destiny's Shadow, as light and darkness are recurring themes throughout the story, both literally and metaphorically (the cover legendary is the freaking sun behemoth, for crying out loud).


When it comes to putting my own traits into a protagonist, I'd say I'd go too far if I made a character that was just literally me without any differences or nuances to make them different. Because if all your characters are the same, there's no character variety, and the story just seems one-dimensional. Honestly, I don't really have as much to say on this topic as I do with the other topics, so I'm just gonna leave this here.

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
Jul 1, 2019
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Ah, it's out~ I can finally announce that, yes, I have been working with the crew of The Writer's Locke! (You are all lovely, by the way. <3 Too bad my tech issues were not nearly as kind. >_>)

  • Which approach do you prefer -- building a story around a character, or a character around a story?
  • What factors do you prioritise when it comes to a character’s backstory?
  • How far is “too far”, in your opinion, when it comes to inserting your own traits and qualities into a protagonist?
1) Oh, I've always been someone who starts with the character first. I think people read stories for their characters first, whether they're looking for someone like them, someone who challenges their ideas about the world, or even someone to be inspired by (Or crush over! :P). I know, when I read, that if I don't like the characters, the other parts of the story, no matter how good they are, struggle to make up for that deficit.

2) When it comes to character backstories, I prioritize relationships with other characters. (I think this is something you'll see in the coverage of Ashes To Ashes. XD) As readers look for figures to relate to (or be repulsed by), so do characters. Creating characters who your characters want to be like (or perhaps wanted to be like) helps inform the paths they'll take in their narrative present and future.

3) This is a tough question.... I guess when people you know read the character and can recall the backstory of those traits. Not that I have a ton of friends who read my novel-length Pokemon fanfiction, but I don't want them to be distracted by their memories of me!

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