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The Evolution of the Fandom

Discussion in 'Worm' started by Halt, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    So I recently updated my story and I was surprised by how insistent SV was that I not go on the Ward!Taylor route. When I asked a friend, he speculated that SV (and SB too, I suppose) believe that Ward!Taylor has been explored to death and that it offers nothing new.

    Honestly, this is a shock to me. The only good Ward!Taylor story I remember is Memoirs of a Human Flashlight.

    Has the Fandom simply evolved past this trope? Or is it because there are so few good stories that feature it that makes them believe nothing can be done with it?

    Tangentially related, I've noticed that a lot of good (recommended?) stories lately feature non-Taylor characters prominently, if not as the main character altogether. I think that the Fandom will never truly supplant Taylor completely, but its a mark that we're moving past her a bit and getting to explore other characters more.
     
  2. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Personally speaking, it's less "done to death" for me, on the Wards issue but rather than I can only think of one or two stories where Taylor joining the Wards didn't kill the story.

    There are a few trends in Worm fanfics that make most stories worse when included.

    1. Danny playing a bigger role in the fic, let alone be a part of Taylor's cape team in some fashion. This was kinda discussed in the main thread some while ago, and I concur with the conclusion there that Danny's best served role is as an impotent parent who can't exactly deal with what his daughter has become and his reaction to her deeds. Not the kiddo-nator, who sorta joins the team.

    2. Joining the Wards. I can't exactly say why, but so far, it was almost always bad. Whether it is the incessant legal stuff about punishing Sophia, the clashes with Piggot, the fact that it mostly results in moving away from the street level stuff or due to the fact that the Wards themselves are often not handled that well. Some fics write individual Wards well, but haven't seen all of them written good at the same time.

    Clockblocker, for example. Fandom ruined him for me, with all this "bullshit!" thing.

    So, Wards, for me, doesn't exactly work. It takes momentum out of the story, Taylor on her own is almost always more interesting and the Wards enter all the other heroes in as well.

    That said, have nothing against Ward centric stories, without Taylor or the OC joining.
     
  3. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'm pretty "meh" towards Worm but I hate the idea of those idiots on Spacebattles telling someone what to write, so I say if you have an idea and you think it's good, then just write it.
     
  4. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I don't think that's the issue at hand, RA. Of course everyone is free to write what they want.

    Thought this was more of a springboard to discuss which tropes and story ideas work better than others, rather than trying to censor stuff.
     
  5. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff Prestige DLP Supporter

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    All right. Well, regarding both those points, I know when I was initially reading Worm I was hoping that Taylor would eventually become a hero and that she would repair her relationship with her father. I doubt I'm the only one who was disappointed on those fronts, so I understand the appeal of both those ideas. (Well, maybe not her father "joining the team," that sounds weird.)

    I don't know, is the lack of appeal to Spacebattles because of the ideas themselves, or just because most of the writers there seem to be really shitty and oversaturated the fandom with crap?
     
  6. VanRopen

    VanRopen Auror

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    Yep. It's not really about which tropes inherently work better than others though, it's about fatigue in the readership.

    Like, Taylor has massive issues with authority but truly does start off wanting to be a hero. You'd think joining the Wards would be fertile ground to play with the tension between those instead of having her strike out on her own and come into direct conflict (and inevitably show up those evul plebs).

    But nope. Shitty drama instead.
     
  7. Mutton

    Mutton Auror

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    I think a Wards story could be interesting if you somewhat inverted Taylor's general mistrust for authority. Put her in a situation where the authority actually is listening to her (you could even work with the standard kick out Sophia for Taylor setup) and she's respecting it... but this alienates her from her peers. Taylor's defining trait which leads to her disrespect for authority is her bullheadedness, but she's very malleable early on in how that stubborness is applied.
     
  8. Puzzled

    Puzzled Professor

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    There's a one shot where almost everyone is killed by Leviathan and Taylor joins the Wards. I think it could be done pretty well.

    I think the hatred for the wards is from the innumerable one shots where the only thing is a power testing scene, it gets old quickly.
     
  9. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Power-testing scenes are like the Diagon Alley shopping trips of Worm. Mostly inconsequential and written to show how strong (rich) your character is. The only reason to justify putting it in is if the characters being interacted with play an important role later on and you want to foreshadow - even then it should be kept minimal.

    As for writing one, I think the sources of conflict boil down to two things:
    1) Internal conflict in Taylor - as VanRopen mentioned, Taylor has authority issues but does want to be a hero (i.e. be with the PRT). This does have the risk of falling into teenage-rebellion wank (the Piggot hate train).

    2) Wards drama - honestly, this seems like it's going to be a YMMV for DLP. Teenage drama isn't in our taste, it seems. It does irk me that most stories so far kind of assume Taylor would magically get along with the Wards, forgetting that Taylor hates Teenage Drama - which the wards are. It's also surprising that people think the wards would like Taylor immediately.

    Honestly, all natural triggers have serious issues and put a number of kids with them together over a long period of time, conflict is inevitable within the group. I think this is what annoys me the most, how people portray the wards as an almost perfect pseudo-family. The closest thing to a stable Ward is probably Gallant, and he cheats with his powers. (Side note, I think some of the other Wards might be resentful if they find out? become actively aware? that he's using his powers when interacting with them. It's a bit like pseudo-mastering someone.)

    Another issue alot of stories seem to fall into is trying to remove Shadow Stalker from the story too quickly. I don't see it as very realistic that Piggot would remove SS on Taylor's word. It's a matter of Your Word against Mine, and Piggot - the pragmatist that she is - won't be removing an experience cape for a newcomer (unless she was the second coming of Eidolon). Then there's the Youth Guard thrown in there and the whole thing isn't as simple as stories make it out to be.

    Would Taylor leave the Wards after she finds out about SS? Maybe. I think this honestly depends on how aware she is of her other options and how long she's been part of the team.

    The "best" (speaking personally) would be one where SS and Taylor come to grudgingly respect each other after a very long period of time. Taylor has the right kind of ruthless pragmatism that SS might come to respect. Not sure what SS has that Taylor might like.
     
  10. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    Honestly, a skilled author could always rejuvenate a trope, no matter how stale. Some shit is inherently stupid, of course, but I doubt this is such a case.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  11. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Some tropes are not necessarily inferior but just played out. I've read a variation of the Lung fight at least 30 times by now. No doubt, a skilled author could make it good and refreshing again but it would need to be amazing for me to get exited about that scene, simply because I have seen it so many times.

    For newcomers, it probably doesn't need to be that good, but if you start reading Worm fanfiction excessively, you are going to stumble upon certain things over and over again and a lot of it will blur together.

    Too many people start with the locker scene, too many new authors keep to the same formula for no real benefit.
     
  12. Pure Infinity

    Pure Infinity High Inquisitor

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    I would love a reverse-Worm style story where Taylor joins the Wards, becomes embittered with the system and ends up deciding she can do more for the world as a villain - maybe dragging a few heroes down along with her.

    It's probably already been done, I don't read enough Worm fanfiction, tbh.
     
  13. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Would love to read that, can't remember it happening though. At least not done well.
     
  14. Salted

    Salted Squib

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    They wouldn't try to keep Taylor and SS on the same team, that is an inevitable PR/legal nightmare.
    As soon as they know to look they have tons of evidence on her phone etc. SS would just be told she's going to another city or juvie, and the rest of the wards wouldn't tell a former ward's identity, so the problem would be solved.
    So if you want Wards!Taylor and no SS drama, just have her application strangely take 2 weeks to process, during which time SS transfers to Madison, and no one mentions her again.
     
  15. Biigoh

    Biigoh First Year

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    But have you read the Goblin Queen Lung fight?

    It occurs 139 chapters into the story. I left a chekov gun in chapter 14 in a "brief" encounter with Lung (plus Oni Lee and Bakuda), no names, no fights... then a second chekov gun in chapter 131 where a Lung encounter was filmed by Greg. And then a "Ken" encounter in chapter 136. A Ken POV chapter in 137. And then BAM, a Lung fight... but no rotting of balls, or destroying of eyes... instead... something else happens.

    So, yes... a good Lung fight can happen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016