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WIP Split by The Laurent - T - Worm

Discussion in 'Worm' started by Vira, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Vira

    Vira Order Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    Title: Split.
    Author: The Laurent.
    Rating: T.
    Genre: Alt!power.
    Status: In-Progress.
    Fandom: Worm.
    Pairings: None.
    Summary: Before the locker, Taylor triggers. She can copy powers, it should be great, but it's too bad memories come with them. Ten chapters.
    Link: SV.

    I'm two minds about this fic (ironically).

    This is an original spin on a common power that explores territory other fics fear to trend. The power sounds broken, but Taylor's victims aren't altered in the slightest, they don't lose anything. Sure, Taylor can copy any power with a touch, but she also gains the cape's memories, ideas, and morals, and a lot of villains have really shitty values. The author doesn't shy away, this fic is about Taylor trying to be a cape while dealing with foreign memories. The memories aren't wallpaper, they seriously effect her, and since the fic is written in first-person, you can read Taylor's thoughts changing to reflect that, even if she's consciously aware they don't belong to her.

    Like recognizing Sophia's mindset is stupid, but unable to stop herself from taking on a bitchy attitude both inside and outside her head. This gets worse when she accidentally takes Othala's powers and memories, and suddenly she has to take great steps to break herself out of a Nazi-mindset.
    This also happens to be this fic's greatest problem. This isn't Taylor. Her first copy victim especially warps her thoughts in unfortunate directions to the point that she's both in-story and out-story a mix of two people in every way. If you can't stand that, then you won't like this fic. And even then, the second victim (an E88 cape) is a challenge by itself because if you don't want to read racist rhetoric, even if Taylor is rejecting it, then best avoid.

    This fic is still fairly new, but it has a fast update rate and it's well written and original, even if the subject matter is sometimes uncomfortable. It's already diverging from canon, and I'm interested to see where it goes.

    3.5/5 -> 4/5.
  2. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

    Aug 9, 2009
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    Well, don't really have anything to add, like and dislike the same things in this as you, Vira.

    Author does a good job at writing the ever-changing thought process, with each added set of memories. It's interesting but it's also not Taylor and it is a bit exhausting to read basically all negative thoughts, since the actual memories belong to selfloathing Taylor, Shadow Stalker, who hates Taylor and through her influence herself, and an E88 cape, who also hates everyone else and who is, in turn, hated by the others.

    So, while interesting, it's also quit negative and depressing, so, it may not be everyone's cup of tea. Kinda hoping she gets a good set to combat this, to build herself.

    So, yeah, like this so far. Writing is great and that the author manages an idea this challenging so well so far, is admirable

  3. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Supreme Mugwump

    Jun 27, 2011
    Chester, England
    I can't add anything to the above, I'd just be re-stating it.

    That said, there's no glaring issues with spelling or grammar (at least, enough to make me stop reading). The story goes along, and it looks like it updates semi-regularly.

    As long as SB-style metagaming stays out of the story, it should be fun. But I'm not too sure how likely that is.

    4/5, but a hesitant one.
  4. ronin11

    ronin11 First Year

    Jan 16, 2015
    First 50-60K words were very promissing but after that the drop in quallity gets bigger and bigger as the fic progresses further.

    Character development basically stops, Taylor's quest to improve her mental health starts going round in circles and for some reason school kids seem to think ...

    2/5 and I want these last few days I've wasted on this story because of the strong start back.
  5. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

    Aug 24, 2010
    This is probably the most ambitious Worm story I've ever read. Not in scope or length or what have you, but in subject matter. I'll break it down:

    Grammar: 3/5 Middle of the road. Run on sentences are fairly common. Readable enough.

    Prose: 3.5/5 It starts out as a fairly decent rendition of Taylor's voice, and it slowly shifts as new personalities are added to the Taylor collective. It's a nice touch, really. The problem, like many of The Laurent's pieces, is that this guy can spend a thousand words describing a puke stain, and he does, whether it's a good idea or not. It actually helps a little in this piece because of how twisty the characterization can be at times.

    Characterization: 4.5/5 This is the meat of the story, and it's pretty damn impressive. Taylor is the lead, and is convincingly insane. I really can't give higher praise than that. The way Taylor shifts in response to seeing things from the eyes of her enemies is extremely well handled, and her reliance on a therapist is a great twist, at least compared to most other Worm fanfiction. The interludes from memories she's absorbed are interesting and fun reads. Taylor is slowly getting eroded as more and more information crammed into her with each new power. By my reckoning, this is probably the best mindfuck story written in the Worm fandom, if you can stomach introspection. Most of the other characters are reasonably well handled, and seem mostly in character, all things considered.

    Plot: 3.5/5 It's a character-driven story, and it shows. The plot is fairly predictable in the sense that Taylor gets to do whatever she wants. Her conflict is almost entirely internal, which may not appeal to everyone. That said, there's nothing really new or interesting in the plot section.

    Total: 14.5/20 averages out to 3.75/5, but I'll round up to 4/5. If you're looking for something crazy, you could do far worse than this.
  6. Vira

    Vira Order Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    Dropped this originally because I don't like to read Taylor continuously suffering.

    Saw the thread resurgence and caught up.

    It's gotten way longer. And better.

    The writer is excellent at characterization. You can follow the way Taylor's thoughts change whenever she copies a new person.

    This is especially visible when Taylor absorbs Tattletale. Taylor-suffering was in full-effect due to who she was: a depressed and lonely nerd, an angry thug, an oblivious nazi, a murderous and prideful dragon, and a closeted incestuous healer. But as soon as Tattletale was copied, who is stable and is able to appear normal, Taylor calmed down. Her mindset now looks up (therapy helped) and she's gotten control of her life to the point she's expanding to helping other people like Amy and Noelle. It's appreciated after all the shit she's gone through.

    I'm also surprised how far the story's gotten. It isn't a spark of an idea that was abandoned as soon as the honeymoon period wore off, the writer seems to have an ending they're going towards. I appreciate the writing quality in general, and I especially like Dissonance, a good OC who blends in with the canon characters.

    Raising my score to a solid 4/5.
  7. Stan

    Stan Order Member

    Aug 19, 2014
    The greatest strength of this fic is Taylor's internal conflict. This story certainly doesn't shy away from showing all the repercussions of absorbing the memories of another cape - whether it be issues related to morality or sexuality or inner demons. Taylor's personality and views and internal voice change noticeably with each addition, which is great. While the dialogue could be better, the story as a whole is fairly well written, and Taylor's issues are rather immersive.

    On the other hand, it is also fucking long - and reading a fuckton of words about Taylor's issues can get tiresome. I think I started getting a bit fatigued after arc 4 - after Taylor rescued her dad from E88. The least interesting parts of this story will seem familiar, because they are the worst parts of most Worm fics - the bullying, Danny and the Interludes. The initial Cricket interlude was pretty good, but since then they've mostly been used to showcase more of Taylor, which just makes the characters look like props to characterise the MC rather than real people. The bullying is just as tiresome as ever, because I really really don't give a fuck about Emma when Taylor is this super badass cape but is still a glutton for gratuitous misery for some reason - it is just repetitive and boring conflict. The Danny stuff would be well written in a vacuum, but the story doesn't exist in a vacuum, and I've read very similar stuff in too many Worm fics to care.

    It is still a good story - Taylor's characterisation is too good for it not to be - but I don't know why all Worm fics fall prey to the same issues. On the bright side, the Leviathan arc has revitalised my interest in the story quite a bit. I hope the story keeps it up.