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Woodclaw

Woodclaw

Tuesday, 17 May 2022 12:24

We Have a Winner!!!

The votes are officially in and the winner of the Spring 2022 Workshop (with pretty significant margin) is

Building Beaches by Robo

Congratulations, you've won the prize of a free render from... well... Robo.

Huh.

We'll let Robo handle how they are going to sort this one out.

(I'd like to remind you all that Robo has a page on DeviantArt, one on Patreon and one on Gumroad)


Meanwhile, if anyone has an idea for another workshop, you can contact Woodclaw and Rjjt via private message or drop a line on the Discord Server.

Tuesday, 03 May 2022 01:32

Spring 2022 SWM Workshop Voting

The stories are here.

The stage is set.

It's time to cast your votes for your favorite story in the Spring 2022 workshop.

The pool will run for two weeks, ending on Monday 16th May at 23.59 GMT.

Due to massive influx of storeis and new writers, we decided to allow you peopl to cast three votes this time.

The order of the votes won't matter, but you have to cast all three of them, no more no less.

Please, leave any comment, compliment and feedback under the individual stories or in the forum. Meanwhile the votes goes down here.

See you on the other side.

Saturday, 09 April 2022 11:18

Spring 2022 Short Workshop

Spring.

Heat.

It's that time of the year when you start to feel a bit more relaxed.

And we all start dreaming of going on vacation. Maybe just for a few days and just relax in the sun.

Well, it's not just us.

Sometimes, even superpowered people need to cool down and take it easy...

Or maybe they have to be there to prevent a disaster... or cause one.

Whatever the case, let's take a big dive and see what happens when we have:

"A Supergirl at the Beach"

A 2000 words short-format workshop to celebrate spring.

Here we got the rules:

  • Each entry MUST work around the theme.
  • No entry can be longer than 2,000 words (give or take a few).
  • All characters must be over the age of 18.
  • SWM reserves the right to withhold and/or disqualify submitted entries based on their sole discretion of the content.
  • Entries must be received no later than April 29th, 2022 at 11:59 pm GMT.

The workshop start toda, to you all, happy writing!

For any further question you can ask the Admin staff via PM or the forum thread.

Great News Everyone:

Our friend Robolord123 offered to make a custom illustration for the winning story.

If this doesnt' wet your appetite to write, I honestly don't know what will.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022 10:19

Admin Story Spolight Theatre #51

One would think that writing this spotlight is easy, but the truth is that, as time went by, you either have to change the parameters or start to lose steam.

Then, out of the blue, a question comes that help you reframe and realize that there are more stories that you completely forgot about.

I have to thank tSuper who, on the Discord server, asked: "Has there ever been an alien abduction story where the lady taken gets turned into a superheroine?" This immediately clicked several buttons in my brain and I remembered one story I really liked when I first joined this community... but I didn't remember the title.

It took a while to finally zero it down, but here we go:

Lady Nyx Part 1 and Part 2 by Jabbrwock

What I really enjoyed about this story is how Jabbrwock mingled elements  of two very different genres to create interesting interactions. Nyx doesn'tt have the frame of reference to imagine or comprehend what is happening to her, which makes for some really interesting writing. We can literally see the gears in her mind turning as she tries to understand the events and put them in a context that makes any sense from her perspective.

At the same time her "antagonist" (I use this word in a very broad sense) is so dispassionate, distant and alien that I hesitate to event call them "cynical", because they don't seem to follow normal pattern of thinking. In actual fact in the first draftt of this brief introduction I described this entity as a "it", almost an object rather than a living creature. Hats off to the autthor to be able to pull such a writing stunt, which eludes even some professional writers.

Now, on to the negatives... the story is unfinished. Like many others tales, we never got a really satisfing conclusion. Part 2 provided some much needed context and some really great bits of Nyx interacting with the world, trying and failing to adjust to her new body, but this was not enough. Part 1 ended on a great cliffhanger, teasing a great conflict to come and, evern after 11 years I still hope to see it one day.

Wednesday, 01 December 2021 16:17

Admin Story Spolight Theatre #49

There are stories that are long-winded epics, with so many ideas, situations and novelties that you simply don't know where to start looking... and there are tiny stories that hit you right on the head with exactly the kind of content that you love and you can't help but re-reading them time and again without ever getting tired.

The Night Before The Big Day by JKIJ

is one of those stories.

First of all, I know I'm a minority, but I'm a sucker for "slice of life" kind of stories. Big events, epic scale battles and superwomen taking over the world are great, but I think they require a lot of preparation, a significant and constant build-up to get a really satisfying pay-off. Slice of life stories, on the other hand are little, self-contained (often charming) moments that show us the human behind the superhuman. For comics aficionados among you, yes, I'm a huge sucker for Roger Stern and Mark Gruenwald's work on Captain America.

Of course this a small story, written for one short format workshop aptly titled "A Superwoman Walks in a Bar", and I'm really struggling to keep this presentation spoiler-free and shorter than the actual story. JKIJ freely admitted that the original version was much longer and much more detailed, but he was forced to cut it down to fit the word limit of the workshop. Even so the characters are well defined in a few lines, the action has some really impressive moments and the ending uses one of my favorite twists ever (no, I'm not going to spoil it).

The story has a prequel, published roughly a year later called "A Healer's Origin", which presented the main heroine in a much more complete way. I consider these two stories to be inseparable (albeit perfectly readable on their own) and this brings me to one of the point of interest. It's an open segret that we, as readers and fans, often cater to a very small subset of powers we love. Super-strength is one of the usual suspects, invulnerability and flight are close behind, but the focus of this particular character is on one of the most underused powers ever: healing.

Think about it for a minute: how many supers can fly? How many have super-strength? But how many can heal?

It's truly refreshing to see this power displayed front and center (mostly in the prequel I admit) and I still hope to see another chapter of this character somehow, someway.

Tuesday, 02 November 2021 14:07

Halloween 2021 Let the Voting Begins

The spooky season is over and now it's time to cast your vote.

Which of the entries for our "Becoming the Costume" workshop is your favorite?

The pool will run for two weeks until the 23:59 PM (GMT) of Tuesday the 16th of Novemeber 2021.

After that the publication of our usual Spotlight feature will resume.

Please, leave any comment, compliment and feedback under the individual stories or in the Workshop Feedback thread. Meanwhile the votes goes down here.

Monday, 27 September 2021 17:56

Halloween 2021 SWM Workshop

Pop Quiz: what do superheroes and Halloween have in common?
Costumes.
Delightfully, brightly coloured costumes.
For one night we all forget who we are and pretend to be someone else.
So, to celebrate Halloween, we are going to ask you all writers another big question: what happens when it's not a one-night thing? What happens when someone becomes the costume?

The Halloween 2021 SWM Workshop
Theme: Becoming the Costume

Here we got the rules:

  • Each entry MUST work around the theme.
  • No entry can be longer than 10,000 words (give or take a few).
  • All characters must be over the age of 18.
  • SWM reserves the right to withhold and/or disqualify submitted entries based on their sole discretion of the content.
  • Entries must be received no later than October 29th, 2021 at 11:59 pm GMT.
  • Once submitted, entries will be voted on by the SWM user via an online poll.

The workshop start toda, to you all, happy writing!

For any further question you can ask the Admin staff via PM or the forum thread.

Thursday, 16 September 2021 12:37

Admin Story Spolight Theatre #47

How to start this?

That's a pretty good question for a story that is essentially an ending... of sort.

And a bad one for the world.

The Immigrant by  Dru

This is a pretty short story and some people might even argue that it barely fits in our genre. It features a superwoman for sure, but her being super isn't the main focus of the story. It's relevant to the plot, in fact the plot work only because she's super, otherwise the entire deal won't work, but that's not the key. It's a very tricky balance to achieve, but Dru pulled it out brilliantly.

The opening, if anything, reminds me a lot of the general set-up of the Aurora Universe: an alien superwoman assigned as protector to our little backwater rock and bound by a crapton of redtape. That's the real key of the plot: redtape, an opponent that you can't punch, burn or toss in the sun or submit... until someone makes a mistake. If this doesn't sound exticing to you, I won't blame you. This is a slow burn story that is all about the payoff and, knowing Dru, you can reast easily knowing that the payoff will be great.

The result is a story that start familiar, develops in a prettyunexpected way and concludes with a pretty different premise. It's almost a perfect circle of our genre. Shadows of it resurfaced in some of Dru most recent work. I can totally see one or two details working their way in some of O-Girl craziest stunts.

Friday, 20 August 2021 13:04

Admin Story Spolight Theatre #45

Work...

Sometimes it's the bane of my existance and the reason why tend to forget to update this front blog in time.

This time, the occasion for this sharing is a bit more sombre than usual and it ties in with a a bit of sad news, the passing of actress Marjorie "Markie" Post, the inspiration behind the main storyline of our friend Darala Starr.

Darala Starr, Tau Ceti Superwoman by Darala Starr

I have to give Darala credit for one thing, very few authors in our genre really manage to capture that unique feeling that was proper of some 70s and early 80s TV show, like The Bionic Woman or Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman. Perhaps it's because our sensibilities shifted so much, but I sometimes wonder if we had traded too much of the very toungue-in-cheek humor for too much of the sexy. Many of Darala's stories (hosted on Wattpad) are a masterclass in recapturing that particular sensibility, but I think this one stand head and shoulder above the others because it's completely original. Despite being visually based on Markie Post's character in The Plot to Kill a City (an episode of the Buck Rogers TV series), everything else about the character is 100% a creation of Darala.

Aside from the humor, what really made me a fan of this story is how the main character is portrayed as genuinly good and as a fish out of the water. Although by the end of "Season 1" she has become very accustomed to how her body works on Earth, all the previous installment are a journey of self-discovery. This long origin story manages to keep everything interesting and fun by letting us savour each little bite, each minute discovery, each accident that the main character experience along the way, spicing it all with a bit of humor and sexiness, but never making either the focus of the narrative.

I do belive this is really a precious gift, a true example of how to write a story in a style that seem lost to many of us.

PS: if you enjoyed this story,please go to Darala's Wattpad page to catch up with the sequel, also inspired by one of the beauties of Buck Roger's fame.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 12:20

Admin Story Spolight Theatre #43

Transformations are one of the fundamentals of our genre. Some writers prefer to keep them to a minimum so that the character's powers are a surprise for the rest of the cast, but more often than not there is a changing element to the story, from a dramatic She-Hulk style change to a little amount of beautification.

In spite of this the means to achieve this transformation were as varied as humanly possible: blood transfusion, radiations, chemical mixtures, meteors, alien interference, magic, genies, err... kinky stuff (sorry this is visible to the casual audience as well). All of these and more can provide you with various results based on the amount of the resource available, the concentration and whatnot... but there is only one product that will grant you ever-improving results and beautification with 100% satisfaction guaranteed*.

ENERGIZE! Shower Gel by Monty (with a little intrusion by AuGoose)

I admit that my first reaction when I read Chapter 1 of this series was somewhere between the amused and the bewildered. Never in my mind, I would have even considered a shower gel as a viable means to start a superwoman story and transformation. Part of my reluctance I blame on the 2004 Catwoman movie (the one that won 7 Razzie Awards), where the main villain (played by Sharon Stone) became invulnerabl-ish after overdosing on a beauty cream. Although the equation of power = beauty is pretty common in our genre, the reverse isn't always true and the idea of a beauty product as a power source was always a bit of a sore point since I watched that flick.

Now, what did Monty do to change my mind?

In short: this story is insanely hot!

Like the top of the summer in a foundry hot!

All the superwomen in this story become incredibly beautiful and insanely powerful, even without considering how the gel keeps improving them with every use, creating a potentially infinite circle... or not. The idea of an ever-replenishing bottle of gel as the main prop proved to be a real stroke of genius. Being portable, semi-inconspicuous and easy to steal, it allowed many potential combinations and screw-ups first with Sarah's little sister Emma, their mother and later with Tiffany, who really pushed the story into high gear.

Moreover, Monty's narration truly improved over time adding more and more details and nuances to his repertoire but, unfortunately, the story kind of fizzled out at some point. It was really a shame and I still hope that Monty will pick this story up at some point.

* the SWM admin team is not legally responsible for any possible  side-effect of absuing the Energize! gel. Said effect includes, but are not limited to, increased libido, invulnerability, goddess complex, destruction of clothes and/or property, disregard for common decorum and abuse of metal and/or concrete items for the purpose of strenth-testing.

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