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Judas Martel's latest writing project!~:

[up][up][up]

  • It doesn't matter, really. If your team is small, write your games with that in mind.
  • Have the male character be the coach. Or a childhood friend. Maybe a childhood friend who's also a popular guy and has a fangirl network which your protagonists can tap into for information about the opposing teams? (Wow, that was one heck of thought explosion)
  • Oh wait, you already decided. Hmmm. Research on various fractures.

[up] I would like to know what do you think about the balance between making games realistic enough for readers who know the sport and making them interesting for readers who don't.

The easiest answer to this is: choose your audience. For whom are you writing it for?

A good compromise would be to basically let your high school kids perform NBA-level plays. You know more about basketball than me; draw from that knowledge ==> what are the most awesome moves/skills/etc that you've seen? Put those in the story, and then it becomes a matter of how you present them.

 27 judasmartel, Thu, 7th Feb '13 5:47:12 AM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
Well, the most awesome skills I have seen in both the NBA and the WNBA are pretty much the same (always has something to do with speed, power, and/or tactics) except for one thing —- slam dunks.

Slam dunks are so common in the NBA while it's so rare in the WNBA. Now, allowing my female characters to dunk on a consistent basis might come off as unrealistic (only four female players in history were able to pull off a slam dunk) and could make them too athletic to be considered female athletes (considering the physiological differences between the sexes), but not doing so might come off as uninteresting to some ("WTF no slam dunks, just all jump shots and lay-ups!")

edited 7th Feb '13 5:49:43 AM by judasmartel

[up] All those issues can be overcome by good writing. Surely there's more to a basketball game than "just jump shots and lay ups".

Plus, I wouldn't worry about realism too much.

edited 7th Feb '13 6:58:55 AM by fillerdude

 29 judasmartel, Fri, 8th Feb '13 7:27:23 AM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
Chpater 5 is out!~

I apologize for the lack of pictures for this chapter. I was not able to find the appropriate ones for this.

I'm having a little problem with inserting the male character into this part of the story. In other words, Plot Hole. So if he really was stalking Ryoko, where the hell did he go now?

You already mentioned the guy was stalking Ryoko, so readers will assume he's somewhere watching. No need to insert him into the chapter itself, just make sure to tie up that plot thread by, for example, commenting about what he saw in the park in some other scene.

Your writing's improved! I will as usual point out stuff.

The third one is a blue-haired girl with a haircut so boyish she could easily be mistaken for a boy at first glance.
Put better as: "The third one could have easily been mistaken for a boy."

As they prepare to play at the open court, they were discussing a certain matter of interest which they are trying to settle on that day.
"While preparing for the game, they continued their discussion on a certain something that had to be settled on that day."

"But say, was it really bad that we can’t use the gym for the meantime since we don’t have a coach yet and the boys are preparing for the division tournament?” asked the spunky-haired girl.
Remove the red part. "Say, is it really bad that we can't use the gym? The boys need to train for the division tournament, and besides we don't have a coach yet."

“Hm, not really, Momo-chan. This way, we can try to recruit more girls at our choosing instead of leaving it to the coach for the final say, ” answered the blue-haired girl in a slightly boyish voice.
"At our choosing" is not something a modern girl would say outside of literary discussion or dramatic plays. You're also pointing out blue-hair's boyishness too much.

That said, I think the gist of that part is that they're not allowed to get more members without the approval of the coach, correct? If so, I'd suggest structuring it like so: "That's the point, I don't want to leave our cute little recruits to that strict old man." Something like that.

It was really a loss for us when he left, but it doesn’t mean we have to show it. All we can do is hope that our new coach red: would]] be as good as Hazama-sensei.
Not "would". "Will".

An ominous wind was gently blowing
That is a weird way to put it. Maybe you're looking for something like "an air of anxiety"?

She opened it to examine the notes written on it.
Unnecessary line. Himeno talks to the glasses girl right after, so it can be assumed that glasses is reading her notes.

One of them will be sure to come here.
"One of them will definitely come."

"Then let us go and see, "
Awkward. Makes it sound like they're just gonna go watch. Say something like "That doesn't look good." Since you mention them running towards the scene, it can be assumed they're gonna break up whatever trouble's going on there. Remember: show, don't tell!

The three former Fujinosawa students were gathering together at the open court as per invitation of Hazuki Horio, who wishes to teach her friends Sakura Minamimoto and Kotori Konno the game of basketball in gratitude for their gesture of friendship two years ago.

They were about to start playing when a short, pale-skinned girl came at them, part out of curiosity. Hazuki was shocked to see her. The pale-skinned girl is actually the transfer student Ryoko Ichinose.

Hm? You seem to have repeated this part. This one's better written than the one at the start of the chapter though.

I'm pretty confident with my abilities, you know.
Not "with", "in".

Well, yeah, I did, but that was about a week ago. I did plan to come here as stated in the note, but I didn't want to come here alone. So I took Sacchan and Kocchan here.

"Um, yeah. About a week ago. I would have gone sooner but I didn't want to come alone. I ended up taking Sacchan and Kocchan with me."

Look, I even had these custom-made jerseys as my surprise gifts for them! It's my wish to fulfill my promise to them, that I will teach them how to play basketball one day."
This messes with the flow of the dialogue. Reread that part and you'll see that this part is just a tangent, Hazuki has no reason to tell Ryoko about it, and frankly these two lines have no point to make, especially since it's an infodump on stuff we already know.

 31 judasmartel, Fri, 8th Feb '13 9:55:33 PM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
[up] Thank you for the impressive review as usual.

I am actually behind schedule now. I'm supposed to finish this intro arc by the next day (since we have to move out), but ideas are coming at a slower pace as I get closer to the first game of the story.

So maybe the game proper of the intro arc has to wait until after we move out.

By the way, I plan to release chapters from the Training Arc onwards on a regular basis once we are done moving out. Maybe one, two, or three particular days a week could work. Though I'm inclined to do it once a week so I could give myself more time to save up for computer rental since I won't be using my laptop until a replacement battery could be secured.

edited 8th Feb '13 10:03:11 PM by judasmartel

 32 judasmartel, Sat, 2nd Mar '13 9:44:43 PM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
Whew, sorry for the long break. It seems introducing the male character too early into the story destroyed the momentum I had the last month. I am considering rewriting the whole thing, but instead, I will introduce the male lead during the Training Arc. The "stalking" plot really got in the way, so to speak.

So any more ideas?

edited 2nd Mar '13 9:45:04 PM by judasmartel

If you're planning to rewrite the thing, I would suggest making the first chapter about motivation:

  • In Kuroko no Basuke, it's established that they want to beat the Generation of Miracles and become number 1 in Japan. That's the usual.
  • In Slam Dunk, Sakuragi trains in basketball to impress a girl.
  • In Haikyuu, the lead wants to be like his idol.

And so on. Even my own volleyball story has the lead trying to fulfill her pact with her grade school friends to meet up and fight at Nationals.

Bottom line, it's a good idea to start with establishing the character's motivation.

(Alternatively, you could start with how the lead gets dragged into basketball)

 34 judasmartel, Mon, 4th Mar '13 8:27:40 PM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
If I think about it, I can't think of a motivation for the lead character so far. It's as if she's been dragged into it but realizes later that she has the potential to be great at the game.

Hmm, let me think about the motivation. Thanks a lot.

edited 4th Mar '13 8:30:06 PM by judasmartel

Accelolita's Butler
Hmm, it's really hard to come up with a motivation for a sports story lead with no prior experience in any kind of sports. Sure, Hanamichi Sakuragi had a good motivation (to impress a girl he liked), I'm not sure how to translate that kind of motivation to a 6-foot schoolgirl.

For now, I gave her "to be able to do something I wasn't able to do" as the motivation, but I don't think that's not good enough. It's the only one I can think of atm or a lead with no prior experience in basketball, much less any kind of sport.

I have pretty much laid out the road for the hero team to the Prefectural Championship. Here it is atm:

  • Round 1 - Win vs a team with many bigs
  • Round 2 - Win vs a run-and-gun team with many small players
  • Round 3 - Win vs the second strongest team (kinda like Shoyo)
  • Final Four Game 1 - Loss vs strongest team (kinda like Kainan)
  • Final Four Game 2 - Win vs cannon fodder team (though I'm interested in expanding this team's role ni the plot)
  • Final Four Game 3 - Win vs Rival Team, the latter will not qualify for the Nationals as a result due to a differential tiebreaker system in place. (Differential = Points Scored - Points Allowed)

Now, another set of problems I have is:

  • 1. I don't know how to hype up a match between the hero team and another team that is not the rival team.
  • 2. Single-elimination, the most used tournament system in anime, does not allow the hero team to lose games if the author intends it to win the championship.
  • OTOH, a round-robin tournament would take too long, and I don't feel like making up a lot of matches. I have 7 teams so far, including the hero team. I guess there are practice games for that, but I would prefer the hero team to lose one or two official games.
    • Slam Dunk used a modified single-elimination tournament system where the Final Four play a round-robin tournament instead of continuing with single-elimination.

tl;dr: Should I use single-elimination, round-robin, or a combination of both?

edited 28th Mar '13 1:09:45 PM by judasmartel

"to be able to do something I wasn't able to do"

You'll find that this is actually a common motivation. You actually can use this until she grows to like the sport; basically, this is something Character Development will address.

Re: problems

1) Good question! Building hype is, in my opinion, one of the more important elements of any work with a competitive element. And in your case, in order to know how to build hype, know the team! For example:
  • The Round 1 opponents are composed of many big players, and height is a pretty big deal in basketball, so play off that. Show them using their height to maintain an edge.
  • Round 2— simple. Show them racking up points with the run and gun.
  • Round 3: They're the second strongest team! Show whatever talents the members possess.

That's not counting all the other tricks you can use. Get some red barons out there. Display some cool feats. Have characters comment.

2) I think Slam Dunk's system works best (though for my own story, I'm using single-elimination) if you want to keep the results unpredictable. There's also the option of simply making things interesting enough that predictability is a non-issue.

edited 28th Mar '13 11:40:47 PM by fillerdude

Accelolita's Butler
Another question: One of my characters has an ability similar to that of Sadaharu Inui which I call "Data Ball". It allows her to predict the target player or team's (allies or opponenta) next move and its probability of success based on the data she gathered on the target player. When used on her teammates, it helps her to determine the best possible play for the situation. She uses a high-tech eye guard to do most of the calculations for her while she's playing on the court.

The problem I had with Inui's Data Tennis is that its predictions don't come true if the probability is less than 100%. I want Data Ball's predictions to still work even if the probability of success is less than 100%.

The limitation of this ability is that it does not work on players who are capable of playing beyond their (statistical) limits, and of course, on players she doesn't have data on. This includes the two captains of the hero team and the lead character (despite being a complete beginner, she shows rapid progress throughout the story). The latter problem is already solved since she can gather data on the fly due to her being an incredible genius.

How can I show how Data Ball fails on certain players so that I can use it as an opportunity to give a Crowning Moment Of Awesome to a lesser-used character?

edited 30th Mar '13 3:13:33 AM by judasmartel

How can I show how Data Ball fails on certain players so that I can use it as an opportunity to give a Crowning Moment of Awesome to a lesser-used character?

... just show it failing. Run simulation —> player doesn't follow simulation —> fail

Accelolita's Butler
After watching heroic moments in the NBA such as Dirk's flu game and Brandon Roy's comeback game vs the Mavs (18 pts in the 4th quarter AFTER he took an arrow in the knee), I wanted to ask when can the Game-Breaking Injury trope be a good thing and a bad thing?

I am considering giving one to either the MC or the captain of the hero team, though I'm more inclined towards the latter.

Game-breaking injuries are a staple of sports series, really, so it's good as long as it's interesting. Like if it lets a character go Determinator or if it becomes a vehicle for character development.

Accelolita's Butler
How do I show that a character has great potential to become very good at a game, but is still a complete beginner? I liked how they did it with Hanamichi Sakuragi, but his antics prior to the National Tournament Arc annoys me a lot.

I guess I can avert that kind of annoyance by showing the readers that the character is willing to learn and is willing to get better at the game for the sake of the team, but I want her progress to be at a realistic pace.

[up] What, exactly, is this potential? Is she particularly good at three-pointers? Jumping? Defending?

Whatever your answer is, the next step is, well, to break down that ability into parts. Say, like Sakuragi, you want her to become awesome at rebounds.

Show her having one or two great abilities that help with the ability you want her to have (in this case, maybe her height and a great jump).

Then all the other abilities you show that she needs to improve in. Make her jump at the wrong times, make her tire out, make her jumps predictable, make her nervous, make her sloppy at teamwork, make her amateurish in actually shooting, dribbling and other basketball mechanics.

Then it's just a matter of working out how to get around those problems.

Accelolita's Butler
[up] Hmm, I want her to have the potential to be awesome on defense (while still amateurish) but suckish on offense. But once she gets the hang of the game, she slowly turns into a reliable defensive anchor and a strong presence inside the paint.

Because, you know, it's so rare to see defensive main leads. Most of the time, they're either highly offensive or perfectly balanced. In the modern game, basketball centers don't get much respect like they get a decade or two ago. A lot of fans go on record saying that there are no true centers in the NBA anymore. So it's good to go back to writing a center player for a protagonist in a genre where most main leads are now point guards or shooting guards.

Besides, it's more interesting for me to write a team where the main lead isn't necessarily the best player on the team. Otherwise, main leads would be prone to Mary Sue accusations if the writer is not careful.

So, rebounding - great height and high leap. So is with blocking shots. Hmm, I'm more inclined to make her very good at blocking shots, though she might not be able to control where the ball lands at first (it may land to a teammate's face!).

Sloppy at teamwork... hmm, well, just because you're not selfish doesn't mean you can't be sloppy at teamwork, yes?

Haha, my research so far has been really interesting. I might actually start writing this on paper this week or the next, as I am preparing myself to go a full month without using a computer since I'll be going back to our country home in the mountains.

edited 23rd Apr '13 2:11:53 AM by judasmartel

Hmm, I want her to have the potential to be awesome on defense (while still amateurish) but suckish on offense.
Should be easy. Have her be great at blocking shots; I think you can make it that what she lacks in technique she can make up for in raw specs. Like even if a person gets past her she can catch up through sheer speed.

Because, you know, it's so rare to see defensive main leads
Yep. In fact, true for shonen in general.

it's more interesting for me to write a team where the main lead isn't necessarily the best player on the team
Hmm... I dunno, I think this one actually gets subverted a lot.

So, rebounding - great height and high leap. So is with blocking shots. Hmm, I'm more inclined to make her very good at blocking shots, though she might not be able to control where the ball lands at first (it may land to a teammate's face!)
Sounds good.

just because you're not selfish doesn't mean you can't be sloppy at teamwork, yes?
A thousand times yes. This is one point which I appreciate Kuroko for discussing, because most stories don't: teamwork is not mere selflessness. It's a skill.

Accelolita's Butler
Hmm... I dunno, I think this one actually gets subverted a lot.

Yes, I do agree with that. But I think it's nice to see a team leader other than the main lead once in a while.

So which body type should my main lead have like: Shaq (freakishly huge) or Dwight Howard (not too thin but not too big, just right to be a decent center player)?

edited 23rd Apr '13 7:37:01 PM by judasmartel

Freakishly huge would fit your character better if you want her to have issues about her height.

Accelolita's Butler
[up] You mean, like Shaq? Really? Oh, well, but if the issue here is height...

Accelolita's Butler
Say, guys, do you think I should use a Round-Robin system instead? It allows the hero team to lose some official games and still continue with the story, and at the same time, it allows other teams to shine.

But I know that most sports anime I have watched favor single-elimination, but that does not allow the hero team to lose a single official game without cutting the story short, so that means they can only lose in unofficial/practice games.

I also like Slam Dunk's system (Single-Elimination, Round-Robin Final Four), plus it's a good way to introduce the quotient tie-breaker system to the readers. However, I don't think Worfing the top team in the league is a good idea to do this.

About the National Tournament Arc, Japan has IIRC 47 prefectures, 48 if the host prefecture has an extra team, but that means some prefectures should have already qualified for the second round byes. If I should make it a 64-team tournament, then some prefectures can have more than one, depending on the size.

Another option I have is using group-stage tourneys all throughout the story. In the above Nationals example, 8 groups of 6 should do it, with 4 teams from each group qualifying for the knockout rounds, but that's too long.

So, what do you think? I am aiming to use a tournament system which allows the hero team to lose some official games (especially in the prefectural tournament) and still make room for character development. For instance, they still lose to the top team in the prefecture (not the rival team) despite everyone improving.

EDIT: Should I write a Guard/Forward MC instead, or write a Center MC anyway?

edited 16th Nov '13 4:45:18 PM by judasmartel

Accelolita's Butler
Say, which one is a better way to show the hero team losing to say, the best team in the league?

Situation: #10 player (starting PF) has a "heart problem" (if you know what I mean) so the coach elected not to let her play. So they're stuck with the MC (player #12) as the starting C while player #9 (starting C) has to play the PF spot.

In-game, Hero Team loses Team Captain (#4) and Super Rookie (#13) to injuries. Captain had a recurring injury (kinda like Tezuka's arm injury, except that hers was on her leg), while Super Rookie slammed her head in an attempt to save the ball.

BGM: "Black Paper Moon" (Soul Eater 2nd OP)

Kinda depressing, right? But everyone stepped up and the hero team led by the end of the first half. Then the Opponent Team showed everyone why they are the #1 team in the league. Hero Team tried to win it in the final seconds but came up short.

Thanks in advance.

edited 29th Dec '13 1:09:43 AM by judasmartel

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Total posts: 49
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