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Supervillains versus superheroines

06 Nov 2019 10:57 - 06 Nov 2019 11:01 #65501 by Whatever
Replied by Whatever on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
I can of course only speak for myself, but I've found that I prefer stories that gradually escalate the protagonist's strength and invulnerability feats, i.e. break a glass and don't get cut first, throw tanks and survive a nuke later. 

I suppose that some of the best stories for our genre follow this structure that I oversimplified, and I can attest to the fact that the more natural the escalation is, the more fulfilling it is for me to read. Similarly, the greater the "late game" feats, the better. 

I believe it takes a better author to pull this off with a "good girl" than a villainess, as it's far simpler to establish why people try in vain to escalate an arms race they don't know have already lost against  someone whose goal is to literally kill everything and has fun doing it. A lot of heroic characters, I feel, stay a bit stuck fighting bank robbers and the likes until the end of their stories, with similarly "reduced" methods of presentation, as the self- absorbed villainesses all too often get a lot more introspection and, well, enjoyment out of it. 

However, I have to note that when done right, a story that can provide similar grand-scale scenes with a heroic character is much more fulfilling than the umptieth killing spree. I would really like to see more "good girl" action where the protagonist truly enjoys herself and pushes her (non-existent) limits. Lethality and maliciousness has very little to do with it, if I'm honest. It's the "toying" that I'm looking for. 

And quite honestly, Shadar, the way you described what you've got in the pipleine, I can't wait to read it.
Last edit: 06 Nov 2019 11:01 by Whatever.

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06 Nov 2019 13:34 #65502 by Woody
Replied by Woody on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
If anyone has read anything I've done you'd pretty quickly work out my stories are on the good girl side of things here; but I think that the wrong question is being asked

Whether you write good or you write evil as a writer what I want to see is people enjoying it. On this forum at least (and it's been going on for a bit) it seems like that bad girl stories get the feedback to show that the readers are liking the stories more than the stories of the good girls 

One thing I've learnt here is that most readers will read but not many will comment / favourite etc (I think Woodclaw mentioned that earlier). and it appears that those that comment seem to comment on the bad girl stories more. But that's not to say that good girl stories aren't getting comments; I got comments on all 3 chapters of Hyperwoman.for instance and only 1 comment on my villian story (Which had nothing to do with the fact she was a villian and ore ideas on where to take it (thanks Shadar)

I"m in the write what you want and post what you want (good or bad) camp. From my number of reads people are reading the good girl stuff, and i'm sure they read the bad girl stuff too.

If you have an idea get it out there and see what sticks, whether or not the protagonist is a good person or an evil one (which would make them an antagonist I suppose)

Woody 

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06 Nov 2019 13:52 #65504 by d_k_c
Replied by d_k_c on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
I can’t help but notice the timing of this thread.....Granted we’ve had more than a couple evil stories timed in with a Halloween WS....Which of course, is all going to be evil. And WS stories traditionally get the most feedback. 

at the end of the day, some people like extreme muscle growth, others don’t. Some people like bondage, others don’t. Blondes vs brunettes good vs evil....SWM is a mixed bag. 


my recommendation, is simply having a like button for the story. So for those people who’ve read the story, and don’t care to comment, they can simply hit “like”

I mean cmon - no one cares so much to leave a review - and the few that do, God bless ya =)
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06 Nov 2019 13:54 #65505 by Woody
Replied by Woody on topic Supervillains versus superheroines

d_k_c wrote: my recommendation, is simply having a like button for the story. So for those people who’ve read the story, and don’t care to comment, they can simply hit “like”


There is one - no one uses it - hence the discussions i think

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06 Nov 2019 16:40 - 06 Nov 2019 16:43 #65509 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
If you look at the story bank, I think you will find more good than evil, but not by much.  Many good stories have both like a bad supergirl fighting a good supergirl.  And sometimes you have good supergirls doing bad things and occasionally, bad girls doing good things.  A story where the bad supergirl destroys the school, the hospital and then the town will not hold anyone’s attention for long, but a bad supergirl that carefully plots out revenge against people in the past who have wronged her may.

For me, it is all about the plot and the twists and turns and not to be overlooked, the imagination of the author along with their writing skills.  I love to be surprised by something I never saw coming, bad or good. The world is not black or white.  It is many shades of grey.  
Last edit: 06 Nov 2019 16:43 by ace191.
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06 Nov 2019 19:16 #65511 by smoki07
Replied by smoki07 on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
I agree with ace191

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07 Nov 2019 00:50 #65514 by Klaus
Replied by Klaus on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
I like Velorians because they're bad girls when it comes to having sex and good girls when it comes to almost everything else.
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07 Nov 2019 02:17 #65515 by Mynn
Replied by Mynn on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
Having been a Supervillain-- correction, an "evil goddess" character before, I can say from experience that's it's far more liberating to not have to play by the moral rules to get what I want. I imagine that it's for writers, it's easier to write about characters who aren't as inhibited as someone who is more "pure." Though "good" characters who are just flat our "pure" I'm not so sure they're interesting... 

That said, have any of you ever thought of seeking externally for female superhero stories that dive deeper on both sides? There are quite a few novels out there featuring more good, evil and neutral superwomen in novel length among other things and explore those moral dilemmas. 

Some examples I can think of with female superhero / supervillain leads: 

Wearing the Cape Series
Just Cause Series
So Not A Hero 
Forging Hephaestus
EVO Universe Novels, (The MC gets becomes very, very OP by ways of Saiyan-like Zenkai boosts but way more potent)
Super World (another woman who gets very OP via a virus that makes everyone on the entire planet gain powers.)
Villains don't date Heroes. 
Worm (this is actually a web serial -  https://parahumans.wordpress.com/ )

I try to keep tabs on the powerfully empowered women out there. Part of my political interests. Let me know if you seek something in particular, my darlings. 

Mynette. Obercosm - A fictionally strong, powerful, goddess!
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07 Nov 2019 16:39 #65518 by Ta
Replied by Ta on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
Personally, I prefer reading about a good girl that is however confident and is willing to use her powers for her own benefit as long as it doesn't involve doing something very amoral. So basically I'd prefer a chaotic good ubergirl.

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10 Nov 2019 20:13 #65551 by The Highlander
Replied by The Highlander on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
I'm afraid I'm one of those people responsible for someof these problems. I'm definitely more of a good girl fan but while I read a
lot of stories I rarely ever get round to adding them as favourites or  leaving a comment (mostly due to inertia)which helps to contribute to the impression that no-one likes them. I also have
to confess that I often forget or don't notice who the author is while I'm
reading the story, and sometimes I only find out when someone removes all their
stories and I suddenly discover I can't read one of my favourites any more. With regard to the main discussion I'd perhaps like toadd another small distinction between 'bad' girls (those who enjoy using their
powers to steal and break things for fun) and 'evil' (who kill and torture just
because they can). While I can sometimes enjoy bad girl stories (especially for
displays of power) I am generally revolted by evil girls, which is why I have
ignored the most recent workshop. To me 'Blind Date' was an excellent example of the difference.While Becky caused a lot of death and destruction none of it was motivated by any
great malice. She'd had a bad start to her life and never had anyone to guide
her, but when the opportunity presented herself she showed how good she could
be.
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10 Nov 2019 21:36 #65553 by njae
Replied by njae on topic Supervillains versus superheroines

The Highlander wrote: I'm afraid I'm one of those people responsible for someof these problems. I'm definitely more of a good girl fan but while I read a
lot of stories I rarely ever get round to adding them as favourites or  leaving a comment (mostly due to inertia)which helps to contribute to the impression that no-one likes them. I also have
to confess that I often forget or don't notice who the author is while I'm
reading the story, and sometimes I only find out when someone removes all their
stories and I suddenly discover I can't read one of my favourites any more. With regard to the main discussion I'd perhaps like toadd another small distinction between 'bad' girls (those who enjoy using their
powers to steal and break things for fun) and 'evil' (who kill and torture just
because they can). While I can sometimes enjoy bad girl stories (especially for
displays of power) I am generally revolted by evil girls, which is why I have
ignored the most recent workshop. To me 'Blind Date' was an excellent example of the difference.While Becky caused a lot of death and destruction none of it was motivated by any
great malice. She'd had a bad start to her life and never had anyone to guide
her, but when the opportunity presented herself she showed how good she could
be.


I actually didn't want to post here again as I feel like my presence drove the topic into a wrong direction, but Blind Date is a perfect example for Bad Girls being preferred. None of my one-shots featured a character as evil as Becky but it's by far the most popular of those stories.
Another interesting bit: It was written in the "Recycle an old workshop theme"-Workshop and I used the theme "A ubergirl changes sides". The topic allowed for either: good to bad or bad to good changes. None of the original stories had a bad to good change. It says something about the popularity of bad ubergirls if all the stories have a good girl go bad.

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11 Nov 2019 00:28 #65561 by Idylls
Replied by Idylls on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
I liked Blind Date because it touches upon the themes of redemption. I also love the reformed villain trope since I was 13 and would play it whenever I can. 

Back then I read her actions as something the author did just to contrast the change she'll go through. Something drastic to emphasize a point. It never occurred to me someone liked Bad Becky just because she was bad. If someone did shouldn't he be angry the author ruined a perfectly evil character. 

What really defines a good or evil character? For me it is the underlying motivation one does one's actions, each could encompass a very wide spectrum. And I want to see that. When someone doesn't make that effort it shows and it leads to a direction less story that leads to nowhere.

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11 Nov 2019 00:42 #65562 by Idylls
Replied by Idylls on topic Supervillains versus superheroines

njae wrote:
I actually didn't want to post here again as I feel like my presence drove the topic into a wrong direction


Why? Isn't it fun to rile up some feathers, rock the boat or shake up that pedestal. 

Seriously though, what wrong direction? Shadar made a valid query. There is nothing wrong in finding the pulse of the audience (or if you do belong with the particular community). To find out if you wish to cater to that audience or walk away. 

So I say post away. 

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11 Nov 2019 07:08 #65570 by ChaozCloud
Replied by ChaozCloud on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
I feel there is more good to bad than bad to good, because there are IMO less reasons for an evil character to turn good. There are hundreds of things that can happen in a persons life that can take them into dark places. But what is going to make an unstoppable machine of destruction see the light?

Don't get me wrong, I love a good Heel to Face turn, like for example most characters from the original Thunderbolts team (hopefully Moonstone gets a proper turn someday too).

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11 Nov 2019 07:56 #65571 by njae
Replied by njae on topic Supervillains versus superheroines

Idylls wrote: I liked Blind Date because it touches upon the themes of redemption. I also love the reformed villain trope since I was 13 and would play it whenever I can. 

Back then I read her actions as something the author did just to contrast the change she'll go through. Something drastic to emphasize a point. It never occurred to me someone liked Bad Becky just because she was bad. If someone did shouldn't he be angry the author ruined a perfectly evil character. 

What really defines a good or evil character? For me it is the underlying motivation one does one's actions, each could encompass a very wide spectrum. And I want to see that. When someone doesn't make that effort it shows and it leads to a direction less story that leads to nowhere.


Becky is only the most evil of my one-shot-characters which doesn't mean she can compare to other characters of the bad girl genre. She's essentially what happens when one of these characters have been around for several years. Everybody is scared of her and hates her while she's lonely at the top. She doesn't actively cause destruction but if you attack her, she will retaliate. By the end of the story she did one small heroic thing - but that doesn't clear her reputation. And a love interest only leaves her vulnerable. Now imagine something happening to him...

I think most "bad girl" fans got hooked by the initial confrontation with the police which was up their alley. "Come for the bloodbath, stay for the story".

Idylls wrote: Seriously though, what wrong direction? Shadar made a valid query. There is nothing wrong in finding the pulse of the audience (or if you do
belong with the particular community). To find out if you wish to cater
to that audience or walk away. 


I was mostly referring to the focus on my stories in a few posts as it gets close to being off-topic.

But I just remembered yet another hint of the site being skewed towards the bad ubergirl genre: Legends of SWM. That was a title that was given to a select few people several years ago that as far as I remember never saw any addition beyond that. But lets look at the members, shall we?
  • Conceptfan
  • Marknew742
  • Shadar
  • Dru1076
  • GeekSeven
  • Julievelor aka AK
Ignoring the fact that some of them have been inactive for a while, those authors are mostly known for their "bad girl" stories. Looking back at the old thread the first person that was suggested to be added was d_k_c - who tends to win pretty much every workshop with a selfish/evil ubergirl story.
Shadar really seems to be the odd man out in that list...

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11 Nov 2019 10:38 #65572 by Idylls
Replied by Idylls on topic Supervillains versus superheroines

ChaozCloud wrote: I feel there is more good to bad than bad to good, because there are IMO less reasons for an evil character to turn good. There are hundreds of things that can happen in a persons life that can take them into dark places. But what is going to make an unstoppable machine of destruction see the light?


This is something to think about. I don't really agree with the general assessment then again I could see arguments for both sides. People in general aren't and can't be pegged in absolutes. 

And while you are hard pressed to find heel faced turns in comics, I suggest you look to anime and manga. 

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11 Nov 2019 10:59 #65574 by Idylls
Replied by Idylls on topic Supervillains versus superheroines

njae wrote:
But I just remembered yet another hint of the site being skewed towards the bad ubergirl genre: Legends of SWM. That was a title that was given to a select few people several years ago that as far as I remember never saw any addition beyond that. But lets look at the members, shall we?

  • Conceptfan
  • Marknew742
  • Shadar
  • Dru1076
  • GeekSeven
  • Julievelor aka AK
Ignoring the fact that some of them have been inactive for a while, those authors are mostly known for their "bad girl" stories. Looking back at the old thread the first person that was suggested to be added was d_k_c - who tends to win pretty much every workshop with a selfish/evil ubergirl story.
Shadar really seems to be the odd man out in that list...


There is a thread like that? I can't even ... Wow! I wish I can use emojis to reply to this. And I don't even like using emojis.

I would like to hear the reason.for the appeal of their stories especially from those who put them in this high stature. Honestly, seriously, with no judgement or sarcasm.

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11 Nov 2019 11:05 #65575 by ChaozCloud
Replied by ChaozCloud on topic Supervillains versus superheroines
There are indeed plenty of heel to face turns in manga and anime. However, the majority of them is an earlier villain teaming up with the hero to defeat a bigger threat and then mellowing out.
Don't think I've ever seen an anime where you follow a villainous character that then turns good.

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11 Nov 2019 12:13 #65576 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Supervillains versus superheroines

Idylls wrote:

njae wrote:
But I just remembered yet another hint of the site being skewed towards the bad ubergirl genre: Legends of SWM. That was a title that was given to a select few people several years ago that as far as I remember never saw any addition beyond that. But lets look at the members, shall we?

  • Conceptfan
  • Marknew742
  • Shadar
  • Dru1076
  • GeekSeven
  • Julievelor aka AK
Ignoring the fact that some of them have been inactive for a while, those authors are mostly known for their "bad girl" stories. Looking back at the old thread the first person that was suggested to be added was d_k_c - who tends to win pretty much every workshop with a selfish/evil ubergirl story.
Shadar really seems to be the odd man out in that list...


There is a thread like that? I can't even ... Wow! I wish I can use emojis to reply to this. And I don't even like using emojis.

I would like to hear the reason.for the appeal of their stories especially from those who put them in this high stature. Honestly, seriously, with no judgement or sarcasm.


The Legend status (which is no longer active) was awarded to people who either provided large amounts of content in the early days of SWM or were considered skilled enough to self-edit their own stories without any intervention from the moderators. Aside from that I would like to point out that only half of these writers are primarily "bad girls writers" (Conceptfasn, Dru and GeekSeven). Shadar's work span the entirety of the genre but has a prevalence of good girls, AK has stuff from both but had more good girl series as far as I can remember, Marknew tend to go for a very neutral ground with characters that can swing both ways easily.

(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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11 Nov 2019 12:51 - 11 Nov 2019 16:31 #65577 by njae
Replied by njae on topic Supervillains versus superheroines

Idylls wrote: There is a thread like that? I can't even ... Wow! I wish I can use emojis to reply to this. And I don't even like using emojis.

I would like to hear the reason.for the appeal of their stories especially from those who put them in this high stature. Honestly, seriously, with no judgement or sarcasm.


Well I linked it in my post, there's an explanation and a discussion even.

ChaozCloud wrote: There are indeed plenty of heel to face turns in manga and anime. However, the majority of them is an earlier villain teaming up with the
hero to defeat a bigger threat and then mellowing out.
Don't think I've ever seen an anime where you follow a villainous character that then turns good.


That's less heel-face-turn and more "Defeat means Friendship", a trope that's very frequent in Anime and Manga, not so much in western comics. One of the reasons for that would be that western comics run for a much longer time and go through reboots and retcons so that reusing the same villains is even possible and the idea of the villain coming back from prison for another round is still possible since killing them is a moral event horizon aren't supposed to cross. Anime heroes don't have that problem so a villain may actually get killed off. Even more likely if it's not the main character doing the fighting,

woodclaw wrote: Marknew tend to go for a very neutral ground with characters that can swing both ways easily.


It's been a while since I read his stories, but most of the ones I have in mind is about women stealing the powers from guys and flaunting their new status. While it can be discussed how evil those are I can't remember a single instance where the girl could be considered good in the end. Would like to see an example for that one.

Also: The status still exists. The people still have this special title, so it's a bit weird to call the status "no longer active".

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Last edit: 11 Nov 2019 16:31 by njae. Reason: Reacting to Woodclaws post

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