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What do you want to see/not see in a Worm fic? (aka, everything I think is wrong with the fandom)

Discussion in 'Worm' started by Anarchy, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Okay, if we're getting this pedantic in our whining, would you prefer the term storyteller to writer? Because I assure you most fanfiction writers are as bad at storytelling as they are at writing, if not worse.

    Which is the major criticism against the Worm fanfiction community, is it not? Do you really think I'm defending them?


    While I agree with your premise, you're assuming that me describing the issue facing the average fanfiction storyteller/writer with the AltPower formula, who I'm sure we can all agree is very shitty at what they do, is me believing that's the only way Worm fanfiction can be written. Breaking any of those assumptions violates the formula, and more importantly, the goal of the formula which is specifically butterflying the story out from Taylor having different powers. My contention is this: the AltPower!Taylor formula sputters because early on, Taylor really has little to no agency in what causes canon events to occur. This causes everything to kind of look the same when the writer is new/shitty, since she either becomes a functional copy of canon Taylor, or nothing really happens because the writer has no real ideas beyond "new power."

    But, there's pretty good fanfiction with the AltPower!Taylor premise, like Monster or Starry Eyes, but because Ghoul King and helnae are better than average storytellers, they are actually able to tell a reasonably engaging story on its own merits. Heck, in Starry Eyes, I don't think Taylor has actually gone up against a supervillain yet, and the story is still enjoyable because what makes the story work is the dissonance between Taylor's fluffy relationship with her 'friends,' and the imagery of what's actually going on. If the writers wanted a clear bit of space to just tell a street level story that's canon compliant, there's Taylor's adventures in the Wards to explore, like with Weaver's Adventures in Philly.

    Of course authors can write whatever the hell they want- that has nothing to do the issues with the Worm Fandom. The "stations of Canon" is endemic to any fandom, but they're more visible because of how small Worm's following is, and how undeveloped the fandom is. You can see something markedly similar with the Fate/Stay Night fandom in the US.

    Nope. We're going to have to agree to disagree on that point. As a case study, consider how Dumbledore was usually portrayed in fanfiction during 2008, compared to 2015. That is what it means to have a developed fandom. The good writers try to one-up the others at getting to the core of what makes a particular universe enjoyable, the mediocre ones learn how to be better from the good writers, and the bad writers drop some of the truly fucking stupid shit, like mindless bashing, as time goes on. The general quality of fanfiction does improve over time.

    Here's the thing, while I agree that having the fandom so centralized in SV/SB is causing it to get inbred, there are plenty of reasonably decent fics despite this. I don't think they get as much traffic as the shitty Alt!Taylor fics, because Worm is a pretty small fanbase. Obviously, they're not as good as the pinnacle of Harry Potter fiction. It's just the nature of small fandoms.
     
  2. Tasoli

    Tasoli Headmaster

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  3. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    No. No it isn't. It just avoids most of the obvious pitfalls in plotting. That does not make it a good story.

    It's basically this: https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/dreaming-of-foxfire-worm-league-of-legends.327864/reader but with worse prose, dialogue, characterization, and no real conflict.
     
  4. Tasoli

    Tasoli Headmaster

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  5. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Err... what exactly is fun about A Little Help? I got five chapters in and I just about fell asleep. It's barely readable, the characters are completely OOC from canon in ways that are boring, and there is no plot. If you want a fluffy Alt!Taylor, Silencio is the best of the bunch despite following "the stations of canon" everyone is bitching about.
     
  6. Bernd

    Bernd First Year

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    It's my opinion that the current state of Worm fanfiction is caused by a self-reinforcing cycle between a lowest common denominator audience and a risk-averse author pool. The masses flock to Altpower Taylor fics whose plots satisfy their basic desires:

    • Desire for power fantasies. Manifested in fanfiction in the form of the overpowered protagonist.
    • Desire for justice. Manifests in vengeance against bullies like Sophia, Emma, and Principal Blackwell. And conversely, rewards woobie characters such as Danny Hebert or Amy Dallon.
    • Desire for optimization. A rational, competent protagonist who acts sensibly and with no room for sentiment, who always makes the optimal decision to right the wrongs in canon. Eg, Competent Panacea who takes over the world instead of sulking in the hospital because her sister doesn't have gaylove for her.

    Once you observe what patterns appear in the most popular Worm fanfics, you can replicate the popularity by following that formula... or in most cases, by copying the structure of already popular fics. It's enough to guarantee your fic popularity, if you have passable writing chops and can update on a schedule. It may not be an instant hit, but it gives you access to the widest group of readers, the lowest common denominator.

    What I'd like to see is a non-standard fic that becomes popular because of the quality of prose and narrative structure than adherence to superficial crowd-pleasing desires. It's so easy to avoid writing a formulaic story by cutting out Taylor as a protagonist altogether; it takes away the need to "solve" the bullying problem which appears all too often in fanfic. I have no need to re-tread the Winslow High School arcs of Worm, which were the dullest and most juvenile/YA sections in my first reading.

    What I want: Non-Taylor fanfics, original characters and non-Taylor canon charactres. Fanfics that don't rely on a crossover or altpower for their main premise, AU fanfics breaking off from a timeline divergence before Taylor was born, or allow Taylor to make a different decision than the one she made in Worm canon. Fanfics that fill in the gaps in between canon, and before canon. After canon too, with Ward fanfics, of which we have very little.

    The Timeskip was made for people to tell their own stories... and yet, fanfic after fanfic begins with a girl triggering in a dirty locker.
     
  7. Cxjenious

    Cxjenious Supreme Mugwump

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    I always wanted to write a story chronicling the rise of Moord Nag. I've even got a half-ass outline. I have several of those though.
     
  8. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    yeah I would like some more character driven pieces, even if it's only slice of life stuff. Some of the interludes in canon give a decent teaser into things I would like to see more of.
     
  9. SmileOfTheKill

    SmileOfTheKill Magical Amber

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    I managed to mostly flesh out a story that I will never write but I wanted to share it here.

    This is all before the first chapter and is inferred/stated via Taylor. Taylor, in one of the many times she is bullied in school via the 'TRIO', is noticed. Heavily in fact. Sophia is smacked down and punished in a proper manner. Same with Emma and Madison. That is not important to the story per say but Taylor knows they are in trouble. As part of the reparation from officials, Taylor is offered and accepted into Arcadia.

    The first chapters arc starts here. Taylor wakes up and is getting ready for school. Taylor goes to school via Danny. The important thing is the first chapter has Taylor being a bit sad but mostly hopeful. Unlike every other story with Taylor going to Arcadia however, she doesn't really make friends. She just comes in and mostly via her being awkward, she just does okay. She goes home and does her homework and is saddened.

    Second chapter is the same thing. Same with the third. At the end of each she gets a bit more sad and a bit more depressed. I haven't fully thought it out on how I would want the interactions to go, but the main chapters before the end of this arc is designed to be morbid. She fails at making friends and fails at doing much of anything. She gets B's but that's it. The start of each chapter reinforces how far down she is going mentally. Every morning is the same, but worse. At this point her desire for her mother is slowly brought into the story like canon Worm.

    The final chapter of the arc is Taylor having the worst morning and having its payoff in the worst way. Danny is a mostly useless parent as in canon and lets this slide/doesn't notice. Taylor reaches full depression levels and refusing to get out of bed. At this point, Taylor triggers finally. I would make it not obvious if Taylor is even going to trigger in the story, but the more intelligent readers can guess it as the arc goes along.

    This ends up being a slight fusion with Mawaru-Penquindrum, but only in the sense that her trigger gives her the power to control 'fate'. What that means for this story is that Taylor can make actions magically happen but she is punished somewhat arbitrarily. The more serious the effect, the worse Taylor is punished. Damage and destruction are very easy but healing and creation is very costly in comparison. The core thing is that Taylor cannot bring her mother back to life. This is the first thing she thinks of and all she knows is that her death will be the payment. Also her hair turns pink as a reference to the anime, but this only makes her depression worse. The power she gains harms her further more so canon Worm exists still power wise and their side effect of making things not exactly better continue to fit.

    The end of the first arc is here and now it's the second arc. Taylor goes out to help people now! Yayyy. This is the part that I have planned out the least. I'm thinking the story might work out with four/five arcs in total. The last two arcs are planned out. Point being is that this arc is just about Taylor messing up. She helps people but doesn't feel connected to anyone or anything she saves. The end of this arc is tethered by Taylor talking to someone about why they do the actions they do. It would fit the theme but I have too many ideas here to say for sure.

    The second to last arc is Taylor going a bit insane and still keeping her depression. She is starting to feel like her actions are pointless and the end of the arc is Taylor instantly killing all leaders of the gangs for her city and planting their corpses on a pike in the middle of the city. I originally wanted the story to be a bit meta here and have her debate the concept of a timeskip. I've read too much meta stuff recently and I'm annoyed with the concept. Instead she would debate a regular adult non-cape. Taylor will be stating how even with these actions taken and the gang members dead, it's all pointless. Gangs will come back. The sane adult will be arguing that even if that is true, the people overall can hope and work for making the future better. Taylor could watch and help. Taylor is still a bit thick here and talks about how pointless the action is.

    Next and final arc. Disregarding what the adult stated, a year has passed. Taylor just makes a timeskip happen because she wanted to see if anything happens. New gangs have appeared and her town is in the same state it was before. Taylor is fully detached from the rest of humanity and doesn't care. She notices horrible things and doesn't do anything to help. From the simple like shopliffting to major assault, and even the worst things of them all, bullying. The end of the arc is her debating a 'terrible' person like Squealer.

    This ties the themes of the story. Taylor is a teenager and her own actions are damming her. While Danny is ineffective and reactive, Taylor could have asked for help. Even the start of the story Taylor could have made friends but she was more hopeful than actually doing the deeds. Squealer points this out. Taylor could have saved the city, or even just people close to her but she ignored them because she couldn't do it all. Taylor and her desire for control from canon is key here. She can't revive her mother or kill Endbringers. Therefor she thinks it's all pointless.

    I should state that this isn't designed to be victim blaming nor would I want it to be. Squealer does that but she isn't a perfect mouthpiece for the themes of the story. This story is designed more to be against fanon and showcases Taylors flaws from canon. Taylor isn't a great person and this story is her foil. I don't feel like nearly any Worm story includes the proper amount of Taylor punishment. Canon Worm has the amazing scene where Lisa/Sarah states she understands how Danny sees Taylor at the end of the series. Taylor and her desire for control damns a lot of her actions. This is what damns her cape work.

    The end of the story is Taylor snapping and revives her hope that has been in the story. Her idea of how great Annette is. She revives Annette but as from Mawaru, she dies by being split in half and burns up. It wouldn't be a DID SHE REALLY REVIVE ANNETTE? ending. She did, screw being vague. The story ends with Taylor dead.

    The reason I wouldn't want to write this story is that I don't have the talent for it. It doesn't have hurr durr actions scenes at all. It's all nuanced character building and more of a philosophical story. I would mess up in some manner and make it offensive when I really wouldn't want that to be the case. Also look at my grammar. I admit I'm super tired but damn it sucks.
     
  10. fire

    fire High Inquisitor

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    I like to imagine Moord Nag as Idi Amin with superpowers. So basically think Last King of Scotland but with less hope and more murder.