Tag Archive: r

R – Rivals

RA high level of nostalgia means that this year my chosen theme for the 2016 A to Z challenge is Pokemon. Whether you yourself have a similar level of sentimentality or you’ve never really gotten into it, I hope that you enjoy this month of posts as I indulge myself.

Rival: a person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity. Oh boy, do you have rivals in the Pokemon world.

In every single game, you will be playing a Pokemon trainer, and you will have a rival, and you will meet them pretty soon into the game. In fact, they are almost certainly already known to you, having very likely grown up in the same town as you, often as your next door neighbour. They will have similar skills, goals, and achievements and will appear frequently during your journey, most of the time to battle you, but occasionally you team up and do some fun things together, which can make for some nice double battles.


Usually you meet your rival before or at the time when you choose your starter Pokemon. More often, when you get your starter Pokemon, they also get their starter Pokemon, from the same three that you get to pick. You choose first, and your rival will choose the Pokemon that type advantages against yours, and then you tend to have a battle straight off. The last game I played was White 2 (as I discovered I had never played it, somehow) so when I choose Snivvy, my rival choose Tepig. Not that it was hard to beat him, when all they have is tackle.

And of course, as he goes around and battles gym leaders, it levels up too, and my rival gets new Pokemon much the same as I do. Usually they will be the same level as you, or at least the level you should be for the town in which you are currently residing. Currently in White 2, me and my rival are both on our first stage evolutions, and I have four Pokemon, whereas he has three. Usually you don’t get a choice as to when they turn up and you have to fight them, but that’s fine, because it’s lots of XP and money when you beat them ^_^

Quite often they are one step ahead of you, and this is best illustrated in Red/Blue/Yellow, where they beat the Elite Four before you, become champion, and then you turn up and beat them to become the new Champion. In later games, the Champion is often someone different, but you usually have a rival Gary Oakbattle towards the end of the game when you’re both pretty powerful.


Sometimes you choose their name, other times it’s chosen for you, but either way, they are very much a big part of the game, and someone you can always count on to turn up and provide constant road bumps on your Pokemon journey. In the anime, Ash has a rival in most regions, starting with Gary, and I’ll let you watch the anime to see how that goes for them all!


RioluPokemon of the Day

R is for Riolu

A small, canine like Pokemon, it mixes blue and black fur and has a mask like face with red eyes. It stand on the toes of it’s two hind legs, and despite being tiny, because it is a fighting type it possesses superhuman strength, stamina and endurance. It is sensitive to a specail type of energy called ‘Aura’, but as a baby Pokemon, it doesn’t have the capabilities to fully use these powers. It can use the waves to communicate and sense people, but only in ripples. It will evolve into Lucario when levelled up during the day with high friendship.

I don’t know why, because it doesn’t really fall into any of my usual patterns, but I quite like Riolu. And Lucarios is pretty awesome as a Pokemon as well. It has a mega evolution, which is always useful. Riolu is quite cute, and actually, having a fighting Pokemon around is quite useful for type advantaging quite a few battles. So, it’s hard to pinpoint why I like this little guy, but I do like him. He’s also in quite a few movies, despite not being a legendary Pokemon, which is slightly unusual.


R – Research

Toothless Letter RResearch. All those hours on google or reading books, trying to find out facts that you can use or twist into your book.

All writers have done it, even if it is a quick google search for something. Why do we do it? Authenticity. It’s all very well creating a whole big world, but if you don’t have grain of truth and familiarity in there, then you’re likely to lose the reader.

I actually do a lot of my research on the second draft, or the first edit. Probably because I pants the first one, and if I really need to look something up I do a quick search and take the first result, making a note to come back later and double check things. Research does tend to interupt the flow of my writing. Maybe that’s why this editing is taking me so long.

What can you research? Anything really. Let’s take my current editing in progress – Mechanica Awakening.

The first thing I had to check when I came back to it was titles and proper forms of address. I’m dealing with nobility, or varying levels, so I need to know how someone would address a Duke in conversation, to their face, in reference. How does one address the children of a Duke? What is the actual hierarchy of nobility so that I can get the relative importance of various people’s positions right? How does someone with a military title fit into that hierarchy? I found this fantastic website for it, and now all I need to do is make sure that the forms of address are consistent through the book. Related to this there has also been a lot of research into coming of age in victorian society, since that forms a fair chunk of the plot for the first part of the book.

human head icons of science and gearsThe second thing I did was to go on google maps and take a long wonder around france. The novel is steampunk, so set in victorian like era’s, but rather I choose to go for more of a French influence in the setting. This includes names, such a Daphne, Esme and Rhydian, as well as places, La’vere, Reimess, Connaught to houses like Ariador and Terlais. Most of the places and houses are names that I have created, however, I’ve used a lot of symbols and letter combinations that you would find around France, by browsing the maps and then getting creative. I’ve also picked a town and used parts of it in the setting itself, for the home town of the main character, when I needed to describe an outing. I won’t say which one, but having a image of an actual french town hall and town helped me to build the visual imagery in my book.

What else. Oh, weapons. I’m familiar with swords, but I needed some research on guns that are appropriate to the setting, since one of my characters uses guns. This involved more browsing of steampunk boards and photo’s, since realistic guns aren’t quite in fitting with the theme I’m aiming for.

At one point they go to a scientific fair, so I’ve done a little research into what that would have been like in victorian times, since they were quite popular, and then just updated all the inventions to be in line with that of a steampunk level of technology. And looking up steampunk inventions as well to get some ideas. I’ll probably do more on this when I come to actually editing the scene.

Lots of pictures and examples of steampunk and victorian clothing are also in a file on my memory stick.

I am sure that there are other things that will need to be researched as I go along as well. But all of this is done to add a little something into my book, even if I only end up writing a line about it, it’s needs to feel real.

Anyone got any websites or other resources they find themselves using a lot?

And now we come onto the dragons that we know exist for sure! Although there are quite a few lizards that resemble dragons, these two examples which follow are the closet thing that we have to those mythical beasts.

baby-dragon-1Common Flying Dragon, Draco Volans

A species of lizard that lives in Southeast Asia, is a member of the genus Draco, which are gliding lizards. It spreads out folds of skin which are attached to its movable ribs to form “wings” that it can use to glide from tree to tree over distances of over 8 metres. However, it can only glide, not sustain its own flight.

It is brightly coloured with orange, red and blue spots and stripes, which do provide camouflage when it folds it wings. It can reach 23 centimetres in length and feeds on small insects, such as ants and termites.

Komodo Dragon, Varanas Komodensis

Dragon-Komodo-Komodo-Indo-AR-535Is the largest living species of lizard, growing up to maximum length of 3 metres in rare cases and weighing up to approx 70kg. They live in the Indonesian islands, including Komodo which is where they got their name from.

Because of their size, they dominate the ecosystem on the islands on which they live. They hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds and mammals, and they seem to have a preference for deer. They have a terrible bite, and it is disputed whether it is venomous or not, but it is certainly not something you want to be on the receiving end of, and they have occasionally been known to attack humans.

Komodo dragons hatch eggs, like other reptiles, and the young live in trees to be more safe from predators which could eat the venerable young. They take 8-9 years to mature and live to around 30 years old.


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I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.