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SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments

22 May 2009 13:31 #15740 by admin
There were a total of EIGHT "Super Villainess" stories submitted -- one of the best showings in a while!

Many thanks to all our contributing authors.

Check out the stories here...

www.superwomenmania.com/storybank/index-d.html

...then vote for your favourite and post your comments on the stories on this thread. The poll will run for 14 days, and as usual, the author whose entry gets the most posts will win the coveted title of "Best Villainess Story Writer by a SuperwomanMania Audience Member Using a Concept Originally Thought Up By Berkhart"


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24 May 2009 12:50 #15757 by Berkhart
Replied by Berkhart on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Wow, good stories here, and a few there were great! Tough call to choose the "best", as I enjoyed a number of the entries. In particular though, these were definitely my favorites:

"Payback's a Bitch" by Argonaut, was excellent (not surprising), and I loved the villainess! The ending was a bit of a let down, but that's more of a personal preference thing...

"Chosen One" by Lfan. Without a doubt, the best super-breath scenes I think I've ever read! Great story all around...

"The Celebutante" by GeekSeven. What can I say? I'm a sucker for those self centered reality babes! Fun read from beginning to end...

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24 May 2009 16:07 #15759 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Indeed -- kudos to all the writers. It's obvious that everyone put a lot of time and effort into their stories, and the overall quality was first-rate!

Thanks for the props, Berkhart. I assume that what disappointed you about the ending was the "de-super-izing" of Stacie. Yeah, I'm guessing that'll cost me a few votes. Oh, well, I'm glad you liked my villainess. She was fun to write!

I'll start leaving feedback soon. (And deciding which story to cast my vote for.)

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25 May 2009 02:18 #15775 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Okay, going down the list ...

"The 10 Minutes That Shocked the World," by Anon

A fine story, Anon. Your English is sometimes a little "off," but the action and characters come through clearly and vividly throughout. For me, what makes the story stand out is your portrayal of Caridad Martinez. Her ruthless, Machiavellian intelligence makes her formidable even before she gains super-powers. Once she has those powers, it's clear that nothing will stand in her way!

Now that Caridad is the ruler of San Jeronimo, how will she govern? Does she have an agenda beyond her own ambition? Do you think you might answer these questions in a sequel?

(And for those who might not have known -- The title of Anon's story is a play on Ten Days That Shook the World, a first-hand account of the Russian Revolution by the journalist John Reed.)

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25 May 2009 03:33 #15776 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Next up ...

"21st Century Magic: Gotcha!" by YAGS

YAGS, you're a harsh critic of your own writing. You should ease up on yourself. This is a well-told story. The characters are believable, the dialogue reads naturally, and the action flows smoothly. There's a nice build-up as Lacey develops and extends her magical potential. The bedroom scenes are certainly graphic (and a bit dodgy in view of the characters' ages), but not gratuitously so, given the sexual basis of Lacey's power. (There's a long tradition linking magic with eroticism.)

Well-crafted though the story is, however, telekinesis just doesn't push my buttons as the more "canonical" powers do. Now if Lacey had been able to convert sexual attraction into super-strength, this story might have been a front-runner for my vote!

That said, I hope you do continue it. I'd be interested to see where your story goes from here, and especially how the Vicky sub-plot develops -- what her power might be, and whether it will enable her to stand up to Lacey. In a world where the rules of magic are only beginning to be rediscovered, who knows what might happen?

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25 May 2009 04:41 #15777 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Moving right along ...

"The Celebutante," by GeekSeven

[Full disclosure: I was a beta-reader for this story.]

GeekSeven, I love your stories. They're clever and well-written and over-the-top, and often quite funny, and they've given the StoryBank a much-needed shot in the arm. "The Celebutante" is a terrific ubergirl yarn that hits all the right buttons while taking some digs at celebrity journalism, with its sensationalism and triviality, and at a culture where the antics of a vapid "reality star" command more interest than an economic crisis, a looming war, or the imminent destruction of the planet. And you really pulled out all the stops at the end of the story, with Kenzie saving the Earth from a double asteroid strike, and being hailed a heroine (which she totally is not! By! The! Way!) A great ride from beginning to end. Well done, sir!

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25 May 2009 12:39 #15778 by yaracyrrah
Replied by yaracyrrah on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Wow. Lots of good stories. But YAGS has written the beginning of a masterpiece, he gets my vote.

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25 May 2009 13:44 #15779 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments

A fine story, Anon. Your English is sometimes a little "off,"

As usual, I'm sorry for this, but, since I rewrote the whole story just a week or so before the deadline, I had little to no time to make the required editing.

For me, what makes the story stand out is your portrayal of Caridad Martinez. Her ruthless, Machiavellian intelligence makes her formidable even before she gains super-powers. Once she has those powers, it's clear that nothing will stand in her way!


Thanks, that was exactly the effect I was looking for. Unfortunatly I was unable to include another element, before her transformation she was already a very highly skilled fighter, now not only she has the power to rip a tank apart with her bare hands, but she knew how to use this power to maximum effect too.

Now that Caridad is the ruler of San Jeronimo, how will she govern? Does she have an agenda beyond her own ambition? Do you think you might answer these questions in a sequel?


San Jeronimo is not the name of the conuntry, I left the name purpotedly out, San Jeronimo is just the name of the revolutionary militia, based upon the village that was their first base.

I haven't planed it yet, but it's entirely possible to put together a sequel, there are some little notes that are worth considering:

1- Caridad was an extremly skilled and intelligent woman before the tranformation, now her abilities are increased hudredfolds
2- She is currently the only person who knew the complete formula of the drug that gave her superpowers, she potentially has the control over the existence of other superbeings
3- She wants power, but behind this limited definition her plans are quite nebulous, she is smart but have little to no experience of the possible implications of politics, so is equally possible that she decided to remain as leader of her country or find herslef some private shelter like Geekseven's Selene

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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25 May 2009 13:45 #15780 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
My personal comments on the stories (I haven't decided which one to vote yet)

21st Century Magic: Gotcha!

While I greatly enjoyed the other instalments of the "21st Century Magic" serie this one left me a little cold. Don't get me wrong the story is extremly weel written, the characters are well designed and characterized and the action flow very smothly (something I felt my own entry lacked). I think that in my eyes the problem is that this story looks too unfinished, a little too many strands were left pending and some characters deserved a little more time under the spotlights. Otherwise is very good work and I found interesting the choice to use something different from the usual kryptonian/powerhouse power suite.

The Celebutante

This is the funniest story of the workshop, the idea to use News broadcasting as introduction for the various scenes is simply brilliant, and the way you handled it, making the exploit of Kenzie more central than anything else is sadly realistic. Plus the final twist to make her the world new heroine is real fun.

Chief Executive Villainess

This story has a little problem, it is missing a few lines just before the end. Apart from that is good solid piece of ubergirl's fiction with a little extra at the end, the hostile takeover, that I liked very much (I had a similar idea a while ago but I never wrote it down). My only complain is that the trial/dome ripping scene, that in my eyes should have been the centerpiece of the whole looked a little too short poor on details.

The Chosen One

Well this is a real blast, while a little longer than others it's easy to read and hit almost every possible high note: a obsessed but quite believable villain, over the top power stunts and the right mix of humor in the mix. There are only two questions I have:

1- Considering Hannah's already absurd power level, how powerful is Ashley?
2- Facebook and Myspace granted powers, what kind of effect can possibly YouTube have?

DBUG

Admitedly Marknew choose the most difficult subject, the Dumb Blonde archetype is a classic, but is also very difficult to handle properly, especially if you are looking for a non-humorous effect. Even so I honestly didn't appreciated this entry, a pity since I found some of Marknew's old stories really intersting (especially Maryanne's Wish and The Pick-up).

My Turn Now

As with YAGS' story, Ace's looks more an introduction to a bigger narrative rather than a self contained tale. What I found very intriguing is that while Kerry isn't good, she not exactly evil either, an effect I tried to use several times but never succeded.

Payback's a Bitch

A very good story, I put this on the same level of The Chosen One, with a nice fourth wall breaking final saver, I hope to see a narrative ending version one day, even if this will burn some of the charm of this tale.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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25 May 2009 13:47 #15781 by marknew742
Replied by marknew742 on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
I'll write my comments as I get time. My only general complaint is that the villainesses are not "dark" enough, and the same is true for my story -- Ella is stupid and selfish but hardly evil, at least not yet. But then, I had a bit of problem with the combination of dumb and evil. But enough about me....

21st Century Magic was very enjoyable. I liked the writing very much and especially the power stealing theme (a favorite of mine), although I agree with another comment that telekenesis is not my favorite kind of power. Hopefully there will be additional magic powers in later installments. I would have preferred more use of the cheerleader aspect of the character, although I accept that her Queen Bee personality definitely captures a large part of that.

Payback's a Bitch was another favorite of mine. Excellent descriptions, writing and dialogue, as we always get from Argo. I would have preferred a bit more texture to Stacie's going AWOL with the power, some more hints about the flaws in her character perhaps, and I thought Argo missed an opportunity to do something extra special with a "double helping" of the bracelets. I did like the descriptions of the rush of gaining the power, and that's why I was surprised that Stacie's power hunger didn't extend to taking the second bracelet for herself.

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25 May 2009 13:48 #15782 by marknew742
Replied by marknew742 on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
You Tube is for those who just like to watch!

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25 May 2009 14:37 #15783 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Next!

"Chief Executive Villainess," by Berkhart

First of all, Berkhart, thanks for providing the original inspiration for this workshop. It must be gratifying to see so many enjoyable stories grow out of your "Top Ten Super-Villainesses" postings.

I notice that a lot of contributors really pushed the envelope in coming up with memorable displays of ubergirl prowess, and having Lian use the Capitol dome as a bowling ball to knock down the Washington Monument is classic! (Although, like Anon, I felt that the scene could have been described in more detail.)

A fun story, like all your others. But most of the other entries set the bar pretty high as regards length and descriptive imagery. This is not to say that longer is necessarily better, but I did feel that Lian's transformation scene, and the aforementioned episode in Washington D.C, seemed a little perfunctory, especially in comparison with equivalent scenes in Anon's story, and Lfan's. Fleshed out with some vivid imagery, this would be another front-runner for my vote!

P.S. When the chairman declared that Lian has shown contempt for the commitee, I was half-expecting that she'd come bursting through the ceiling and quote Mae West's famous line from My Little Chickadee: "On the contrary -- I'm doing my best to hide it!"

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25 May 2009 15:59 #15784 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Skipping over the two front-runners for the moment:

"My Turn Now," by Ace191

Ace: As your collaborator on "The Supergirl of Smallville," with its sweet-natured heroine, I'm sometimes surprised by the malicious streak that runs through many of your "solo" stories! Like "Turnabout Is Fair Play" and "Hell Hath No Fury," this is a gratifying tale of a woman using her newly-gained super-powers to turn the tables on abusive or boorish men. Your prose is a little rough around the edges, but the sheer free-wheeling fun carries the reader along. (Paul Blart? lol)

I think you could have tied Kerry's actions more closely to her personal history, to make her behavior seem less inconsistent -- incinerating her pimp one minute, saving a baby from a fire the next. And I wish you'd done more with the "prostitute" theme by having her deal with, say, an abusive client or a nasty vice cop in addition to her pimp.

But it was kind of touching, after all the over-the-top mayhem in the other stories, to read about a woman who gains super-powers and wants little more than a long hot shower and a nice clean bed.

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25 May 2009 21:47 #15786 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
"The Chosen One," by LFan

LFan, you've been the front-runner since the poll opened, and deservedly so. I think this story ranks with the all-time genre classics. It features a clever and original "origin story" (I definitely see the Marknew influence here) and a never-saw-it-coming twist at the end (well, I didn't see it coming!) -- with not one, not two, but THREE of the most memorable and, uh, "stimulating" descriptions of ubergirl mayhem I've ever read. When Hannah uses her powers, she doesn't stop at the fenceline! The lovingly detailed imagery puts me in mind of Conceptfan -- and I hope that wherever he is, he's able to read these workshop stories. I know he'd love them all.

Oh, and at the end, when Ashley sends Hannah tumbling head over heels into the stratosphere with a hair flip -- classic!

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26 May 2009 01:07 #15789 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
I would like to thank everyone for the kind words. I think that starting my story after the deadline had passed did not help it. Due to work and several other issues, I just could not get to it sooner, but I wanted to try and get something in. As usual, I had more ideas than time and I only got to about a third to a half of what I had planned.

Like Argo, I never saw it coming either with Lfan’s ending. I also like the exponential ending with Marknew’s story, but I think we may need to recheck the math in that one! I am still trying to figure Superman’s powers raised to the 3.2 power. 1 to the 3.2 is still one! If you rate his power as ten, then ten to the 3.2 is 1,585. Divide that by ten and she is 158.5 times stronger than Superman. That seems to fit the story, but her power level is as tough to calculate as is warp speed!

The bottom line for me is that it is great to have the site up, and new stories to read! Thanks to all!

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26 May 2009 01:14 #15790 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Laast but not least ...

"DBUG," by Marknew

Hmmm ... D, B, U, G are the initials of the four scientists, but I wonder if the title stands for "Dumb Blonde Uber Girl" -- and if that was the tag you gave the story while you were writing it?

Your recent stories ("ABX," "The Auditor") have been on the sombre side, so it was nice to read a Marknew story written in your more humorous, free-wheeling manner. But I guess a "dumb blonde" story would have to take a lighter tone.

Clever and well-written, like all your stories. You came up with some amusingly "ditzy" dialogue for Ella, and I always get a chuckle out of your portrayal of Superman -- a somewhat clueless blend of Sgt. Joe Friday and Dudley Do-Right -- and I relished his bafflement and dismay at the realization that a "mere girl" is (gulp!) mightier than he is. Delicious!

(Oh, and the way he kept using the words "irony" and "ironic." Silver Age writers and editors beat that word to death: How ironic! ... What irony!)

You felt that the villainesses in these stories weren't dark enough. I felt that Ella was too dark -- or at least that she turned too dark too quickly. I can see how sexual rivalry might make her strike out at Dora, and how panic might make her resist Superman's attempt to subdue her; but it seemed that her transformation from a sweet airhead to a malicious dominatrix was too sudden.

Aside from that, a fun ride. Only in a Marknew story could an underwire bra cause so much havoc!

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26 May 2009 01:29 #15791 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments

I also like the exponential ending with Marknew’s story, but I think we may need to recheck the math in that one! I am still trying to figure Superman’s powers raised to the 3.2 power. 1 to the 3.2 is still one! If you rate his power as ten, then ten to the 3.2 is 1,585. Divide that by ten and she is 158.5 times stronger than Superman. That seems to fit the story, but her power level is as tough to calculate as is warp speed!


Here's how I interpreted that: If Superman is, say, one million times as strong as an ordinary human, then Ella's strength has been boosted by a factor of "one million raised to the power of 3.2." That's 10 ^ 19.2, or approximately 15,850,000,000,000,000,000!

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26 May 2009 01:45 #15793 by yaracyrrah
Replied by yaracyrrah on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments

I also like the exponential ending with Marknew’s story, but I think we may need to recheck the math in that one!


The quantity that is raised to the 3.2 is the multiplier "Super", i.e. the ratio between Superman's power and a normal human's. "SuperSuper" = Superman squared = as powerful compared to Superman as he is compared to a normal. Etc.

HTH ;)

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26 May 2009 01:46 #15794 by yaracyrrah
Replied by yaracyrrah on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
(Bah, obviously Argo's post wasn't up yet when I hit Reply. Sorry for the redundancy.)

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26 May 2009 06:06 #15797 by marknew742
Replied by marknew742 on topic SGInc Story Workshop 1.12 Poll and Comments
Argo and Yara thought of it as I did, although I was more simple-minded.

S can lift 100 tons, therefore E lifts 100 raised to the 3.2 power.

S can burn 1000 lbs. of matter in .1 seconds with heat vision, therefore E can burn 1000 lbs. raised to the 3.2 power in .1 seconds.

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