Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V1.0

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Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V1.0 

Message par Ryu Ushiromiya » Dim Jan 16, 2011 7:18 am

Creative Writing For Ace Attorney (And other things!) Ver. 1.0

By: Ryu Ushiromiya

Warning: This guide may contain very brief, non-game destroying spoilers on all games. Read at your own discretion.


Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Creative Writing: What is it?
III. Important elements necessary to a great story
IV. Characterization: It's a big deal
V. Useful exercises and tips for ideas
VI. Ace Attorney Basic Character Breakdown
VII. Conclusion

I. Introduction

Welcome to this Guide for writing great stories. It's not meant to be an absolute source you must obey to the letter, but is rather a general guide you can easily access for reference. A lot of research and investigation went into creating this guide, so I hope you find it very useful! Please let me know posting in the thread how it's helped you, be it an AAO trial, a story, a game, anything! Enjoy, and God Bless.

II. Creative Writing: What is it?

Creative writing is exactly what the phrase says. To be more specific, it's the act of creating something entirely original using only words. It doesn't necessarily have to be a story or a novel: writing has no limits, rules, or prerogatives. It can be a hilarious haiku about Phoenix Wright's pitiful luck with women, or it can be as solemn as a soliloquy about Viola Cadaverini. There are no limits with regards to what you can write about. However, stories and writings usually need many things that are necessary (most of the time at least), and they are discussed below.

III. Important elements necessary to a great story

Writing in general needs a lot of things when it comes to creative writing. These are a lot of things, so if I had to enumerate them all, I'd need about 5 threads. However, I believe that as long as the following are in a story (again, I speak in general and depends on the case) then they are sure to be compelling reads:

    Near-impeccable grammar, spelling and such.
VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. READ IT BEFORE YOU START ANYTHING.

I cannot stress this enough. Unless a character speaks or writes "incorrectly", you will make sure that you follow conventional grammar and spelling rules, regardless of the language. It doesn't matter what you write. Sure, there's always a mistake or two that worms its way in- we're not perfect. We're not God. We're not Shakespeare. But one universal rules applies: J00 d0nt write leik dis. You write like this! :D

    A great, polished plot.

In my particular case, I'm not picky when it comes to details like plots. I'll use as an example shounen animé and manga. These usually follow a similar pattern: underprivileged main character learns in the first episode that he is destined for great things, and by chance unlocks a legendary power stored within him which he must then train to destroy the evil villain that has caused havoc. This doesn't necessarily have to follow the same pattern: there are exceptions, like in the manga Hikaru No Go where Hikaru Shindo learns how to play Go from Fujiwara no Sai (great manga, by the way.) Is this pattern bad and should be avoided? No, of course not! :D That's just one way to begin a story. But that begs the question: why not do something different? You could start with an already trained character who must then traverse the world on a quest, like in Final Fantasy XIII or VII. It doesn't matter how you execute the plot. It doesn't matter how familiar or overused it is. Just keep this in mind: give us a great read! :D

    Good structure.

Basically, this means the story should flow naturally, not just a jumbled mess. For this one, I'll use an actual book that is in my eyes one of the worst pieces of garbage I've ever laid my unfortunate eyes on: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a novel written by Dominican author Junot Díaz. Yes, it's a bestseller. Yes, it won a Pulitzer prize. But I just didn't like it. What is the major flaw I saw in the story? Quite simple: it was the most disorganized mess I've ever seen in a book! The plot follows a Dominican boy growing up in New Jersey who basically deals with a lot of troubles, a curse in his family and the Dominican Republic's trouble with dictator Rafael Trujillo. Sounds compelling, but Diaz made a major mistake: he thought it would work if he wrote three chapters about Oscar Wao, then four chapters about X throwaway character abruptly and without warning, then 3 chapters about Y throwaway character and then 3 more about Oscar Wao. It just doesn't work that way: organize yourself first.

Before I continue, however, I have to make something clear with regards to structure and technique in general. Structures are always preferential and debatable. There has been great debate among writers and literature buffs about what is right and wrong- and there will always be. I prefer to work one way and others prefer to work other ways. The best advice I can give you is this: investigate, research, and find out for yourself what you can work best with. :D

    A major theme you connect with.

As a rule of thumb, writings are always ingrained, whether consciously or not, with a central theme, ideal, or idea. Remember those seemingly pointless questions you were always asked in school, like for example, "What is the central idea of the story?" That's what I mean, and they were asked for a reason. Writings can have more than one theme or idea, but do it only if you know what you're doing.

    Unique characters.

Characterization has its own category below, but I can tell you this here: if your characters are cardboard cut-outs, copies, references or other things, consider them ruined. If you do it on purpose for dramatic purposes, you better have a good reason. :)

    Originality.

I'll say this only once: plagiarism=bad. You need to be as original as humanly possible. Plagiarism is the act of copying something and passing it off as your own: in other words, it's stealing. Not only is it unethical, it's wrong. Don't do it. If you have to quote something from another piece of work by someone else, make sure to credit them accordingly.

    Cliches are your friend... IF USED WISELY.

Cliches come in all forms and sizes, and they can either make or break a piece of writing. Use them wisely and don't abuse them.

IV. Characterization: It's a big deal

Characterization, as the word implies, deals with the cast itself. In fact, I'll use Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney as an example. Why do you think Phoenix Wright became so famous and damn popular? The answer isn't because he's awesome. No. The correct answer is because he had an identity of his own! Phoenix wasn't just a generic attorney who does things because it's his job. He spent three years to learn what was a defense attorney, truly. He's always got a sarcastic quirk to certain traits in people. He's risked his life for, say, Maya Fey. He received a severe emotional blow in Apollo Justice when he lost his badge, and it was reflected years later in the game's first case. This, my friends, is called character development. It's all about their identity!

This definitely isn't easy to achieve, I know. Keeping in character is a really difficult thing to do, regardless of whether the character in question is from a videogame, for example, or is an entirely original creation. As an example, I have found that writing for Apollo Justice in Ace Attorney custom cases or fanfics is extremely hard to do. He's drastically different from most people. He's more realistic and logical, and also darker. As a balance, however, he's more insult-prone than most attorneys. That's where believability comes in. It doesn't matter if a character is a cliche.

As a final part, I will speak about "overpowered" or god-modding characters, I.E. Mary Sue. Mary Sue is one of many terms applied to this type of character, so you should know by now how much hatred and loathing it gets. Here's my two cents on it: it doesn't matter how many abilities, benefits or quirks a character has as long as said character has a number of limitations and "weaknesses" (such an ugly word LOL) to balance it out. It can be hard, but you can do it!

V. Useful exercises and tips for ideas

Need ideas or inspiration? Here's a couple of tips that work for me! But remember, don't limit yourself to these: do your own thing, and have fun!

    Go outside and take a walk with a notebook and pen, or a laptop. Go to a fairly quiet but secluded place, like a park or a garden. Pay close attention to your surroundings, and write the first things that come to mind. Also make sure to describe them as much as possible, but keep it brief. Don't rush nor worry about failing or succeeding: that's not the point of this! :D

    Attend writing workshops or classes whenever possible.

    READ! BUT READ WHAT YOU want to read! :D

    Get together with buddies and share writings! Do roleplay in forums or chat!

    Watch TV, listen to music to set the mood... the media is your friend. (Don't get addicted and become a couch potato! D: )If you need to write about a battle, go find a battle theme from a game, for example.

    Describe a photo in your own words, and make sure to use adjectives, similes and metaphors wisely. Doesn't matter what it is: poetry, essay, anything. Just do it and check the results!

    Write whatever comes to mind!

VI. Ace Attorney Basic Character Breakdown

Below is my views on some of the main defense attorneys and prosecutors from the franchise. It has spoilers, so be warned. Unlike Hodou Okappa's guide, this section will not deal with when you should use what characters when. Instead, I will speak how the characters are, well, built, in my eyes. You are free to take it with a grain of salt: under no circumstances do I mean to imply that this should be an absolute. Consider it... a reference, rather than a cheat sheet of sorts. :) Let's start.

    Phoenix Wright

Our titular main character. At first he comes off as a wimp and rather unreliable, but see him in court and your view changes immediately. He is often very lucky and is able to come up with outlandish and downright ridiculous explanations for contradictions that just... work. He also has very strong motivations for doing what he does and holds high esteem for his mentor, Mia. He almost always has a comment or thought to certain attitudes, behaviors and mannerisms in other people, and can often make mistakes when bluffing. But part of what makes him so compelling is the degree to which he'll go to help his friends and those in need. He has a tortured past, especially due to a certain woman that almost ruined his life. He also undergoes a drastic change years later...

    Miles Edgeworth


Miles, being Phoenix's rival, is certainly no slouch in law. He was raised by Manfred Von Karma, and therefore knows prosecution as well as the latter. Sadly, this came at a price: Gregory Edgeworth, his father. Being the victim of the DL-6 incident has emotionally devastated him to a severe degree: so much that he now has a phobia of earthquakes. He is quick, precise and logical, always considering all possibilities and handling all turns of events in stride. However, he has a thing called patience, and it runs out when faced with silly or otherwise ridiculous situations, especially if Wendy Oldbag's involved. He might seem cold at first, but look beyond that and you'll see a tortured man, relegated to a life of pain and solitude... until he meets Phoenix Wright in court. Oddly, he's a closet fan of the Steel Samurai.

    Mia Fey

It doesn't look like it, but you get glimpses of Mia Fey's character in Trials and Tribulations: she often seems to get away with things, probably due to her gender. This is a disguise for her intelligence, however. She's also humble: she refused to be Master of the Kurain Channeling Technique, partly because, well, she didn't want to, but also because the last thing she wanted was to fight with her sister over it. In court, she's a genius. She often figures out people and cases quickly, and can easily get the court in her favor. She is very concise in her work, and cares deeply about her clients. This comes accompanied with a side helping of wits and sarcasm, which she will use. A lot.

    Apollo Justice

Polly is quite an interesting person. While he retains some of the biting sarcasm his mentor Phoenix Wright had, he also has his precious Chords of Steel (his voice.) As a drawback, he loses his cool much more quickly, and can be therefore a target for insults and contempt, especially from the prosecution. His partner Trucy doesn't help either. He also has some prosecutor tendencies, as he sometimes has a hard time defending certain people, like Wocky Kitaki. As a result, he's too overconfident sometimes, especially considering that he's just starting out. During his game, however, he starts to shape up, and learns a lot easily.

    Klavier Gavin

Klavier is really hard to explain. All I can say is that he's fun, outgoing, and actually wants the truth rather than winning. He seems to care more about the truth than winning or losing a case, which is quite a contrast when you compare him to his younger self who only wanted to win. He is also quite knowledgeable in music, and knows quality when he sees it. He also gives people pet names, like calling Apollo "Herr Forehead", and treats the ladies with utmost respect.

VII. Conclusion

I hope that this guide has been of use to you. Let me know if it's helped you in any way! Thank you for reading!
Dernière édition par Ryu Ushiromiya le Dim Jan 16, 2011 10:44 pm, édité 1 fois.
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) 

Message par E.D.Revolution » Dim Jan 16, 2011 7:52 am

I'm liking this guide very much. I haven't taken a creative writing class... in fact, this is my creative writing. Most of the basics are there... nothing out of the ordinary. But I think you could add more characters to the list to avoid OOC arguments, mainly Payne, Ema (both versions), Maya, Trucy, and Gumshoe.

Many things that you have for characters are pretty much the same in Hodou's guide (not surprised given that you had read his guide). This will help me refine Mia for my future cases. If you recall, Mia was slightly OOC in case 1, but I've already implemented the rest of her personality in 2-1 and 2-2.
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) 

Message par Ryu Ushiromiya » Dim Jan 16, 2011 7:57 am

I know, I plan to add characters in time. I just posted those since they were the ones mostly used. And also, this is just a quick reference, hence why I couldn't cover everything. But if something comes up in the future I'll definitely try to cover it. :3

I noticed when you mentioned it. But I tried to explain the characters themselves, rather than concentrating on when and why they should be used in certain ways.
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) 

Message par E.D.Revolution » Dim Jan 16, 2011 8:07 am

Yes, I realize that, Ryu. I'm just saying that you had a lot of similarities to the characters in Hodou's guide. But like you said, this is a guide for creative writing, not how to use characters.
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) 

Message par Ryu Ushiromiya » Dim Jan 16, 2011 8:10 am

I know, no offense taken or meant. ^^ I hope the guide is useful to you guys!
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) 

Message par mAc Chaos » Dim Jan 16, 2011 10:44 am

Add something about Kristoph. :3
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) 

Message par Ryu Ushiromiya » Dim Jan 16, 2011 5:19 pm

I plan to in the future. :3
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) 

Message par SuperGanondorf » Dim Jan 16, 2011 10:41 pm

An excellent guide. Great work!
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V 

Message par Ryu Ushiromiya » Dim Jan 16, 2011 10:45 pm

Thank you! I hope it's of help and use to you!
*looks at your avatar* Damn. I lost the game. AGAIN. XD But now so do you guys! :D
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V 

Message par Meph » Lun Jan 17, 2011 12:54 am

Writing is one of the funnest things that people can do (at least, that's what I think), and you've really touched that in this guide. :) I learned a thing or two from it, too. :D Giving characters weaknesses is something I never really think about. I do it anyway, but I never realised how important it is to the character.
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V 

Message par Jean Of mArc » Lun Jan 17, 2011 1:45 am

Ryu Ushiromiya: Cool guide! I would say that it is pretty general, but that's a good place to start so that people completely unfamiliar with writing can get familiar with the basics before considering anything else. It would be cool to have the outline expanded upon if you've got time sometime. :)
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V 

Message par Ping' » Lun Jan 17, 2011 2:04 am

Nice guide =)

One piece of advice I might give to writers, whatever the medium, is: know yourself, your strengths (in my case that would be structure and foreshadowing) and particularly your weaknesses (examples of mine are a tendency to use too many elements at once, as well as to think the average reader/ player will look for subtext / deep meaning in everything).

Always believe in your ability to craft a great story, but until you get there, be your harshest critic. Always look for new ways in which the story might NOT make sense, some character might NOT be well-liked, etc. By anticipating, you can correct your own flaws before they become irreversible.
People are naturally self-indulgent, and it's easy to get accustomed to your own writing without questioning it. Likewise, be prepared to accept constructive criticism.
It also helps a great deal if you have friends and / or collaborators with a good critical eye.
Most people believe they're too perfectionistic. Usually though, when you look at their writing, it turns out they're not (or they're focusing on the wrong things, like constantly revising what colour their Mary Sue's outfit will be).

At the same time, be careful not to fall into the perfectionism trap (much rarer than the self-indulgence trap, it primarily concerns those writers who already have good fundamentals).
Firstly, as I said, you also need to know your strengths, if only to be able to build on them (most people associate a story with a few memorable characteristics ; those are usually drawn from your strengths).
Secondly, at some point you need to write something. Therefore, a good, tested method (it's not the only one, of course) is to force yourself to write a certain quantity within a certain time, preferably short ("I need to write X pages today" or "I need to finish the part where Y happens today").
Tight deadlines, even imaginary, stimulate both effort and imagination, and they're a proven way to overcome writer's block.
Once you're done with your objective, go back on what you've written and be as much of a Von Karma as you need to be.

This makes it sound like writing is a pain, but remember it's actually one of the most exciting and fulfilling things you can do in your life no matter what way you approach it. Besides, it's even more fulfilling to be aware that your story can stand up to criticism than to be your own greatest fan, with the lingering, never quite disappearing fear that you might actually be terrible.
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V 

Message par Ryu Ushiromiya » Lun Jan 17, 2011 4:33 am

Oh my, I didn't think the esteemed Ping' would leave a comment on this thread. Thank you! :3 I have yet to play Turnabout Substitution though.

What you've just said I mostly agree with. However, I have one point I absolutely disagree with: being your own critic is not the wisest approach to improving your craft. At least not in writing. I originally believed this, and I even loathed myself and my talent over it. Detecting possible mistakes is one thing, but criticizing yourself is another. In my case, this actually caused me severe anguish and trauma to a small degree. That's why I prefer that writers find critique with honest people that can offer constructive, non-destructive criticism, as well as classes or workshops. Accepting criticism is important, but not if it's detrimental to your health.

Also, I don't believe in the "I shall force myself to write five sentences for absolutely no reason whatsoever" approach. Writing is meant to be fun IMHO. If you force yourself to write it won't be as good as if you write and you genuinely enjoy it.

But otherwise, you raise some very true points. :D
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V 

Message par Bad Player » Lun Jan 17, 2011 4:49 am

Well, when Frenchy said being your own critic, I think he meant more look over your work with a(n extremely) critical eye, not just flaming yourself.

Also the "force yourself to write" approach probably works for some people (ex. Frenchy) but doesn't work for others (ex. you). It's just one approach to overcoming writer's block that you may as well try, if you aren't sure whether it works for you or not.
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Re: Guide: Creative Writing for Ace Attorney (And others!) V 

Message par Ryu Ushiromiya » Lun Jan 17, 2011 4:52 am

Oh yes, certainly. I didn't mean to imply that it's not a bad approach. I just disagree with it. And when you put it that way, it makes sense. :3
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