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Discussion 2017 Worm re-read

Discussion in 'Fiction Discussion' started by Evil Plan, Jan 10, 2017.

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  1. Evil Plan

    Evil Plan defconstructor

    You can find Worm here. It is complete. I want to refresh my knowledge of it, and especially the more niche/esoteric parts, so I am re-reading it.

    If there's at tag you think this thread should have, feel free to add it or let me know. Likewise if you think there's a way to improve these first two utillity posts, please tell me.

    Schedule

    The plan calls for reading one chapter a day. I expect to be taking a 14 to 21 day hiatus starting around mid-May.

    By my count, Worm has 312 chapters. This means if we I manage to stick to the schedule, we I'll finish just in time for the holiday season! Oops. Sorry.

    January
    Jan 10th: Gestation 1.01
    Jan 11th: Gestation 1.02
    Jan 12th: Gestation 1.03
    Jan 13th: Gestation 1.04
    Jan 14th: Gestation 1.05
    Jan 15th: Gestation 1.06
    Jan 16th: Gestation Interlude 1.x
    Jan 17th: Insinuation 2.01
    Jan 18th: Insinuation 2.02
    Jan 19th: Insinuation 2.03
    Jan 20th: Insinuation 2.04
    Jan 21st: Insinuation 2.05
    Jan 22nd: Insinuation 2.06
    Jan 23rd: Insinuation 2.07
    Jan 24th: Insinuation 2.08
    Jan 25th: Insinuation 2.09
    Jan 26th: Insinuation Interlude 2.x

    Summary?

    I'm not sure what to put here without spoilers. Those who already know Worm don't much need this; and those who don't I want to intrigue without unduly scaring off. (As opposed to reasonably scaring off, which would be good.)

    Worm takes place in an original setting with all the superhero trappings. Despite the superpowers, I'm not entirely sure it's a superhero story. At any event, it's plenty dark.

    Warnings: Lots. I'll make specific callouts for bullying and for insects, arachnids, and all other such creepy-crawlies. Oh, and character death; that only comes up rarely, but come up it will.

    Participation

    Obviously, you can post in this thread. That's what it's for.

    Worm is published on Wordpress with open comments. I go by "toafan" there, and I'll check comments on "yesterday's" chapter. You could just email me, of course, but I will assume that I can reach you at that address for discussion.

    Feel free to add appropriate tags, or call me on spoilers.

    On Spoilers:

    There are a couple people joining who haven't read Worm yet, and I'd love to get their raw initial opinion, so I want this thread to be "no spoilers". That means:
    1. Use [spoiler=context][/spoiler] tags for anything ahead of the thread-current chapter.
    2. Seriously, pay attention to your spoilers.
    3. Naturally, there will be unmarked spoilers up to and including the thread-current chapter.
    4. The comments on Worm proper likely contain spoilers out the wazoo.

    I'm considering also starting a thread on SB with spoilers allowed. I'll link it here if I do.

    J-/
    Siberian
    SS
    the true nature of powers (both in general, and of specific powers)
    C
    other C
    Z and all eight of the Es, and the relationship/s between them

    Whatever you do, do not point out the E.2 link on Worm's table of contents page. You'll have to trust me on this; why is itself a spoiler.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017 at 11:31 PM
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  2. Evil Plan

    Evil Plan defconstructor

    I'm reserving this post for indices as I feel they are needed.

    For example, one thing I wish Worm had that it seems to lack is a list of all character tags. Thus:


    I don't know if "X first appeared in" will be useful, but I thought it'd be fun. Feel free to suggest/point out stuff for it.
    Taylor -- really :eyeroll:
    Emma -- 1.01
    Madison -- 1.01
    Taylor's (mom's) flute -- 1.01
    Sophia -- 1.01
    Mr. Gladly -- 1.01
    The bullying -- 1.01
    Taylor's house -- 1.02
    Nature Camp -- 1.02
    Taylor's cape notebook -- 1.02
    Taylor's costume -- 1.02
    Lung -- 1.03
    the ABB -- 1.03
    Lung on fire -- 1.04
    Lung's super senses -- 1.04
    Angelica -- 1.05
    Bitch -- 1.05
    Bitch's critters -- 1.05
    Brutus -- 1.05
    Grue -- 1.05
    Grue's motorcycle helmet -- 1.05
    Judas -- 1.05
    Regent -- 1.05
    Tattletale -- 1.05
    Taylor's scary costume -- 1.05
    Vulpine grin -- 1.05
    Armsmaster -- 1.06
    Armsmaster's Halberd -- 1.06
    Armsmaster's EMP gun -- 1.06
    The Wards -- 1.06
    The Protectorate -- 1.06
    Tinker specialties -- 1.06
    The word/classification "Tinker" -- 1.06
    Danny Hebert, Taylor's Dad -- 1.x
    Danny's anger -- 1.x
    Taylor's mom -- 1.x
    Scion -- 1.x
    Taylor's hospital stay -- 1.x
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017 at 11:26 PM
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  3. greendoor

    greendoor Losing in avatar related threads since 2012

    Interesting, I was wondering if something like this was gonna happen on SV. i'm in for rereading.
    Edit: Especially relevant with Worm 2 coming out sometime soon in the not so distant future.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
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  4. Threadmark: Worm's first great hook
    Evil Plan

    Evil Plan defconstructor

    Gestation 1.01

    I love the hooks in this first chapter. We have Taylor, who first comes across as jittery, asociable, a loner; contrasting herself to popular girl Madison Clements. We have the bullying. We have this supernatural element, in the crackling Taylor hears and the way the bugs just...show up. The power is brilliantly developed over the course of the chapter -- I remember the first time I read it, I saw the bugs and I went "wait, what?", but I looked back and the clues had been there all along I just missed them. We have the betrayal. And we have "I'm going to be a superhero".

    Madison has her own friends, check this out:
    There's a bunch of stupidity around fandom Madison, so I'll probably be coming back to her quite a bit.

    Wildbow has a rep for not being descriptive, but every time I re-read part of Worm I don't see it. Madison's outfit, the smell of the juice. The Triumvirate biography (!!). The frequency (occasional) and types (amateur, local catalog) of Emma's modeling. The sound Taylor hears.

    Note that the bullying isn't ubiquitous, the way some fans make it out to be. Taylor goes basically ignored by the girls already in the bathroom when she arrived there. It's "merely" crushing, which it is perfectly capable of doing without being ubiquitous.

    The shear number of capes in Brockton is insane. Look at this off-hand line:
    Firstly, let's be generous and assume this is accurate. There's the Protectorate and New Wave. There's also the Wards, somewhere between Junior Protectorate and Boy Scouts; you could count them, although that doesn't fit some of what Wildbow later claims/implies they're supposed to be for. If you don't count the Wards as separate, that leaves a third team unaccounted for! There are two main halves of New Wave, but if we count them separately then why aren't we counting the Wards?

    And then there's the solo heroes. Later on, we'll meet up to three people I could maybe believe match, or once matched, Taylor's description. All of them are associated with an organization at that time, and very iffy for other reasons.

    And that assumes that only superheros can successfully investigate a superpowered crime. It doesn't even mention the police or the PRT!
     
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  5. greendoor

    greendoor Losing in avatar related threads since 2012

    Yeah, overall 1.1 is pretty fantastic-which makes me sad when people think the early chapters are bad.
     
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  6. Reveen

    Reveen Dunked On

    Wildbow tends to give a handful of distinct traits and let the reader visualize it for themselves. He might not remind the reader enough, but the approach of minimalist description itself isn't inherently bad.

    I mean, Im pretty sure a big part of why people bitch about it is because they want to write fanfic. Which I personally consider an invalid complaint.
     
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  7. When I first read it, I came out of the early chapters with a few unusual thoughts. That thing with the Distinctive Traits made me think that Taylor had prosopagnosia, a mild case, but...

    Part of that comes from the fact that my roommate is a Face-Blind artist, and their coping mechanisms match a lot of the narrative. They remember one or two things about a person, because the face itself doesn't make sense. Usually it's the shape of their nose, or the way they wear their hair. He's got story of his best friend getting a haircut, and just not being able to tell who they were for two weeks.

    As such, he focuses on providing distinctive traits for other people. Like dying their hair, or wearing the same general outfit. So Taylor's sort of obsession(I say sort of, because it was no where as pronounced in the story as it is in fannon) with her own hair just made it seem more real for me.

    Also, for some reason when I first read it, I assumed Taylor was Hispanic.

    One thing that pops out in the reread(so far) is this:

    From the first chapter, there were indications that there was something Wrong with the people in power. That there's something hinky with them. This line doesn't really pay off until Scourge, but it's nice that it's there.

    Sorry if this is a little disjointed, but it's been along day.
     
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  8. Reveen

    Reveen Dunked On

    Eh, that's not super-fanon. We don't get any actual confirmation on her ethnic background aside from what you can infer from surnames (not much). Hispanics can look really white, and don't always identify as non-white.

    There was that scene early on where a black bookstore owner was acting suspicious to Taylor like she would steal something clearly due to her race. That can be even more fitting with a hispanic Taylor than a white one.
     
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  9. Evil Plan

    Evil Plan defconstructor

    Huh, that wouldn't have occured to me. Interesting though. Nice!

    Well, I mean, they're capes. They have secret identities. Of course the biography is going to be full of half-truths, incomplete truths, and utter baloney. It's not like the Triumvirate eventually went public with their identities.

    It happens to also be [spoiler spoiler], which in retrospect is "wow, huh", but there's a perfectly legitimate in-universe reason for it to be utter malarky, and believed to be utter malarky.
     
  10. Oh yeah, I'm not saying it's really out there, but at the same time, I'm not a hundred percent on when I picked up this idea.

    Like, I hadn't read any fan-work at that point.

    Honestly, I figure it's just when and where I grew up that "Danny" and "Ann" sound like nice middle class Hispanic names.
    Sure, but there's a difference between "They're concealing stuff" and "None of this feels real". I'm not saying that Taylor's a genius, but she's had some experience with Lies. She's actually kinda paranoid. For good reason, mind, but...
     
  11. Hey thanks for posting this thread. I'd been planning on rereading Worm soon, so it'll be fun to pace myself and have some discussion to go along with it.

    This passage struck me as particularly interesting, because I think I forgot how much Taylor actually emotes, physically. Maybe I've been infected with too much fanon, because she tends to get portrayed as somewhat inward-facing and passive, whereas here we see a significant thread of repressed anger and frustration, which I think gets left out of a lot of fanfics. I'm learning so much!

    And then there's this... foreshadowing? of Taylor's self-destructiveness. She's being bullied and basically shit on by everyone in her life, but the way she reacts to that bullying isn't super healthy either. Not that I'd expect her to be totally fine after a year and a half of pretty awful treatment

    Overall, I'd say Gestation 1.1 is better than I remembered. There's basically one character so far, but she's got layers and shit. Like an onion.

    Yeah, this way my reaction as well. Wildbow isn't an enormously descriptive writer, but he's descriptive enough to give you a sense of what a character or setting looks like, and lets you build up your own world around those descriptions. I especially liked the description of the bathroom mirror as cracked, scratched, and bolted onto the wall. After that, you don't really need to know any details about the rest of the bathroom, and you get a sense of what Winslow is like, as a school (i.e., kinda shitty).

    This is a sneaky little detail I missed. Regardless of what Taylor means by her statement, it's a clever little nugget of foreshadowing.
     
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  12. Evil Plan

    Evil Plan defconstructor

    But I mean, that is plenty descriptive. He's got a lot of stuff to describe. There is stuff he's pretty thin on description of, but all the instances I can think of are stuff that's supposed to be hard to describe so he's actually doing a good job in those.

    Welcome, nice to have you.

    Gestation 1.02

    Okay, so stupid thought, timeline. Actually...

    Because The Locker hasn't been mentioned yet.

    This chapter takes place in April. I don't recall if a date has been established yet. The Locker was "in January" -- that is, the first day back from winter break. I also don't recall what specificity there is on that; I know basically the entire fandom says January, but I don't recall if either Wildbow or the narration ever does. So I'm wondering about January now.

    Taylor bought her just-ruined backpack "four months ago", after her old one had been taken from her locker. Depending on how you count months, "four months ago" was either early January or early-ish December.

    Two paragraphs down, Taylor refers to her last backpack being stolen in a manner that implies she already had powers when that happened:
    So here's what I'm seeing:
    • Taylor gets powers
    • Taylor starts keeping a cape journal
    • Taylor's last backpack gets stolen; long enough to be "four months ago"
      • Somehow, it gets taken from her locker, but didn't she stop using her locker after The Locker Incident? I suppose this might just be before Wildbow settled those details.
    • Taylor converts her cape journal to cipher
    • The Juice Incident is in April
    But:
    • April is the fourth month. Four months before April is January.
    • Wasn't the Locker Incident in January?

    Also, what happened to her backpack during the locker incident?

    Here, Taylor is using a two-block radius. That's different from what she usually uses for most of canon. (I don't think that's a spoiler?)

    Oh, here's that timeline thing! I don't even need to mention spoilers to bring it up!
    So Taylor was back in school before she'd finished recovering from the manifestation of her powers? I guess she took a while ("In the second week after I’d figured out my powers, when I still wasn’t entirely sure what was going on"), but still.

    I wonder if Wildbow even noticed this. It's not the only time he did it, apparently.

    Here's a cool thing, though: manifestation of powers is something you need to recover from. That doesn't tend to be something you see. So that's a neat bit of foreshadowing.

    Apparently it's possible to buy costumes online, even if you're independent. I have no idea how that could work. (Not very well, in Taylor's opinion.)
     
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  13. Not sure how to respond to this chapter... We learn a little bit more about Taylor's backstory, expanding on last chapter's revelation, and we see Taylor preparing to be a super hero. Wildbow weaves some worldbuilding into it, talking about cape teams, buying costumes online, researching becoming a hero on the internet... It feels very organic to me. We're not learning this stuff through direct exposition, it's more like we're seeing these assumptions being taken for granted by Taylor, and through those ideas, we learn about this super hero universe. More of a worldbuilding and establishing chapter, I suppose.

    One interesting thing I did notice was dearth of dialogue in these early chapters. Taylor speaks 3 sentences in the first chapter, and none in the second. Even her bullies don't really say anything. So far, Mr. Gladly the ineffectual teacher has the most lines of dialogue out of any character.

    In fact, I'm not sure we're going to get more dialogue until Taylor's first run-in with Lung.

    Partly, the lack of dialogue builds up a sense of isolation. We don't really get to see how Taylor interacts socially, and spend most of our time with her thoughts, rather than watching her interact with people. Helps us connect with her as the main character, I suppose, and emphasizes just how alone she is.

    This is a particularly interesting passage on my second reading, given what we later learn from Lisa about Taylor's motivations early in the story. Reread these specific sentences with Lisa's insights in mind:
    • Somehow, I suspected that I’d hurt myself before I hurt them.
    • It was like having a loaded gun in your hand at all times
    • It was hard not to think about using it when things got really bad
    Oooof. Looking back, this reads to me like a pretty clear undercurrent of suicidal ideation in her inner monologue.

    I expect there's going to be more early installment weirdness of this kind. I'm not sure how much content editing Wildbow did before he published these early chapters, so we might see more continuity weirdness.
     
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  14. Evil Plan

    Evil Plan defconstructor

    Yeah, that sounds about right. I don't think we even meet her dad until the interlude. For that matter, are there any references to her mom in the first arc?

    What really gets me about this is, you could have scrubbed that spoiler. Look at it this way:

    Given ...well, everything, but for sake of example let's bring up Lung, this is weird to see. I mean shades of Scott, once she gets going she is vicious.

    Gestation 1.03

    Geography note: apparently the Boardwalk and the "good parts of town" are to the east side of the city. I feel like north vs. south is going to come up as a divide later, too.

    I'm going to want to draw a map of Brockton at some point. Well, "map" might be overstating it, but sort of a sketch with major streets and landmarks. Someone remind me and I'll put up an example. (Not tonight, I'm up too late as is.)

    Is it just me, or does the PHQ scan like something out of Star Wars? I'm picturing a shimmering bubble forcefield and stems with missle pods on the sides of them. And what do they figure they might use the missles for?

    Something silly I was pondering earlier today: All these villians come to Brockton Bay, but if Brockton is such a broken-down wreck, how do they fund themselves? Is it possible the average villian is bringing more money into Brockton than they get out of it?
    I mean, we know Coil is, but he's weird IIRC.

    How bad Winslow gets is a topic of some debate (tagging @Cyclone 's arguments). For now I'm just note, Taylor says this in regards to the ABB:
    And hey, it's Lung! Say hello, everyone. When I first met this guy, my thought was "oh, so he's discount fire Hulk. Cripes."
     
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  15. Oh, man I totally do not remember Lung showing up this early. Would it be a tired meme at this point to say that this escalated REALLY quickly? I mean, chapter 1 is basically Mean Girls 2: Mean Harder, and chapter 3 is Fire Hulk. (Alright, admittedly I'm being a little flippant about the bullying, but still...)

    Speaking of Lung...

    Yeah, I had a similar reaction, followed by "how the hell is she going to fight him?"

    All of my hype for Lung, though. He's such a ridiculously iconic villain for the series. Easily one of the coolest powersets, too. It's on my shortlist of Worm powers I'd want, even if it might be less abusable than some others...

    Lookin' at you, Contessa, you cheater.

    Taylor also mentions in earlier that the city transitioned from shipping to banking and tech, so I think it's less that the entire city is a mouldering shithole, and more that it lost a big source of middle class jobs, so while most people in the Brockton Bay are doing ok, there's a significant subset of the population who are destitute and desperate. So, enough money for villainy to pay, plus plenty of people desperate enough to hench for you (is that the right verb?) Plus, I'm sure drugs and protection rackets are still profitable.

    See: The Merchants

    Taylor: I don't think I have that killer instinct

    Three Minutes Later....

    Taylor: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Guess I was wrong. Who knew!
     
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  16. There are 'maps' of Brockton Bay floating around. Not terribly detailed, but locations of some major landmarks/areas are noted. ... Admittedly, I'm not very sure on the accuracy, but short of them being WoG'd, I'm not sure that can be claimed with seriousness.
     
  17. Jemnite

    Jemnite Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.

    Worm's greatest weakness was it's lack of a coherent plot that could hold up to scrutiny and a large setting beyond Brockton Bay (which also didn't actually hold up to scrutiny now that I think about it), and its greatest strength was that the narrative was always good at making the reader sympathize with Taylor. Looking at Worm's writing, it's often complained that it's bloated (which I feel is mostly due to the strange ass chapter formatting and Part 2 which all good men and woman and other nonbinary gender-identifying individuals should not talk about in much scrutiny) but most of that bloat is merely Taylor's thoughts and feelings. What does that mean? It means by basically detailing every single thing that goes through Taylor's head, he managed to enforce upon the reader a very good simulation of her mindset, her thoughts, made them sympathize with her values and ideals. Taylor is a villain protagonist written with exacting precision, so that the protagonist will overwhelm the villain the mind of those who read Worm.

    Basically, by following Taylor's thoughts line by line, you get a really really good feel of what she's thinking.

    Unfortunately it sort of gets... too verbose? as the story goes on. I mean, in the beginning her internal narrative is what we kind of expect from like a 16 year old or whatever, but as the er, webnovel sort of progresses it gets really cumbersome and clunky, like she's trying to work in new little used vocabulary, but into her internal narrative instead, which just makes it sound really alien and unnatural. Malfeasance, copacetic, how often do you use these words in your own internal narration? (Malicious sure, but I've never actually use someone use Malfeasance in normal conversation let alone in their internal thoughts) Most people usually cut to the quick with their own narration and when I went into Part Two I found myself somewhat turned off by the strange purple prose that had worked its way into the story.

    Unfortunately that only got worse with Pact :/
     
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  18. Numby

    Numby Blood of Biggles

    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    It took me the longest fucking time to realize that her name was Taylor Hebert and not Taylor Herbert. As in "months after I finished reading it".
     
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  19. I'm not sure I totally agree with you on quite how bad Worm's plot is overall, although I agree that the post-timeskip period was definitely a major step down in terms of plot coherence and general story quality.

    However, I think you're pretty much spot on in terms of your comments on the writing style. I actually think this is why people get so caught up in Worm morality debates: they've spent so much time in Taylor's head that they've internalized some of her judgements about the setting.

    You know, I've always wondered why I couldn't really get into Pact. I think I just figured it out. Thanks!
     
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  20. Evil Plan

    Evil Plan defconstructor

    When I started this thread, I wasn't planning to be writing a post a day. I actually kinda like it, though, I'm going to aim to keep it up.

    I mean, I knew he showed up in 1, but I wasn't expecting him until .04 or something. Worm itself really jumps right into the deep end; makes me wonder where so many fanfics pick up the "shitty power testing scenes" thing from.

    You totally called it on the dialogue, though.

    There's an image floating around that I'm pretty sure I've seen called a WoG map. It's not the sort of thing I'm talking about, though. I'm thinking of a relative-location line drawing, as much to show major roads/coastlines/geographic features as locations. I was too lazy to draw on paper and then make a proper image file, so I banged together the below example in asciiart:

    Code:
                                                                  |
                  N -|-                                           |
                                                                  |
                                                                  |
                                                          Church  |
      <- College            North Street                          |
    ______________________________________________________________|_______________
                  |         Grocery      |            |           |
                  |                      |            |           | Cafe,
                  |                      |            |           | Bank,
                  |                      |            |  Library  | etc
                  |                      |____________|___________|
                  |                                   |           |
                  |                                   |           | M
                  |                                   |           | a
                  |                 Lewis Street      |           | i
                  |___________________________________|___________| n
                  |           |        | Plan's                   |
                  |           |        |  House                   | S
                  |          /         |                          | t
                  |                    |                          | r
                                  _____|__________________________| e
                                 /                                | e
                                /                                 | t
                               /\                                 |
                              /  \__                              |  || uphill
                                                                  |  \/
                                                                  |
    
    (If that looks familiar, PM me.)

    Worm actually had a pretty decent Galactus Event. It fit really nicely with the setting design, where powers come from and all that, and fit the foreshadowing. But the timeskip was both poorly thought out and poorly written, and everything after it was this weird thing completely unlike the early parts of Worm. Like it should have been a completely separate fic or something. I didn't want to go quite so far as to say the writing was shite, but well, that was the first thought that popped into my head :V

    And, well, the Wards Taylor stuff wasn't so hot either. I wonder where that started seriously going downhill. After the Behemoth fight? After killing Alexandria? After the Echidna fight?

    I guess I better go start that SB thread huh.
     
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  21. Evil Plan

    Evil Plan defconstructor

    Gestation 1.4

    And woo, fight scene! Not much else happening in this chapter, so I don't have a huge amount to say.

    Really character-sparse for the first bunch of chapters. There's a lot more than two characters I think of as being "at the Lung fight", but only the two have shown so far.

    I do notice that Wildbow talks about Lung getting armored, and controlling fire, and "being on fire"; but he hasn't referred to Lung as a dragon. So that's pretty fanon.

    Somewhere in one of Cyclone's threads, another poster mentions... how can I phrase this from memory. Mood whiplash, at seeing Taylor go from the beat-down defeated non-fighter of the first two-three chapters to the vicious, fairly competent commander we see reveling in her power and in dishing out pain here. (Pursuant to that general point, I find the dismissal of bystanders (innocent and gang-member) interesting.) I'll go look for a link to that post (edit: found that link, turns out to be full of spoilers, see below), but: discuss.

    Edit edit:
    Relevant pull quote version:
    Whirlwind Productions (Cyclone's snippets & update announcements) | Page 34
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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  22. Heh. This chapter is still reminding me of how much I love Lung as an antagonist. He's got such a vivid, unique, colorful power. The descriptions of scales bursting out of his skin, the weird, uneven transformation of his body, the explosions. So. Cool.

    Wildbow can be a little spotty with his fight scenes sometimes, but this chapter, man. This chapter has the good stuff. The bug swarms, the asymmetrical warfare, THE CLIFFHANGER ENDING. Plus, this fight has serious stakes. Some of the less interesting fights are more "will Taylor win?" and less "will Taylor survive". This one falls into the latter category, and that tension really makes a difference. Definitely gets my blood pumping, anyway.

    Sorry, I really like Lung.

    I think it's just a side-effect of the Wards!Taylor craze that the fandom is going through (went through? It seems to be dying down...)

    And yeah, you'll notice that almost all those fics die after a couple chapters, probably because the author didn't actually insert any compelling sources of conflict into the story, because apparently they can't suspend disbelief if Taylor does anything irrational, irresponsible, or risky. To which I say... Read Gestation 1.1-.14?

    I... I'll get down off my soapbox now.

    Hmmm. Yeah, I can see you this could be considered an inconsistency, especially Taylor's competence in her first fight, but I think the viciousness and enjoyment are actually pretty believable given her character. Remember, she's been forced to sit there and take all the shit the world can throw at her for YEARS. In 1.1, she mentions how easy it would be to "go Carrie" on Winslow, and I've brought up her repressed anger before. She's "pathologically shy" because she's been kicked in the teeth every time she tries to make friends, she's "withdrawn" because the alternative is being mocked MORE, and yeah, she's "repressed". And this fight is her releasing some of a year and a half's worth of repressed anger and frustration at the world. She hasn't been able to do ANYTHING to her bullies for so long, and now she's suddenly in a position to throw herself in opposition to another, bigger bully. OF COURSE she's going to enjoy it, at least a little bit

    At least she has the decency to feel guilty about it.

    I've never been a fan of the "shard conflict drive is responsible for everything bad" theory that seems so popular in the Worm fandom. To me, Taylor's actions, while not totally rational, feel like they follow naturally from her character. Sure, it's a fairly aggressive way of releasing repressed anger, but it's not totally unbelievable. I think the shards have a subtle influence over parahuman behavior, at best. In my view, Taylor would have ended up on that roof without a conflict drive, but she probably would have hesitated more.

    Besides, isn't Jack Slash's shard supposed to be totally quiescent in canon? I think Scion notes that it's hardly doing anything, so... yeah. That's all good old fashioned human nature. Can't beat it!



    I'd say the Behemoth fight was the last hurrah of... classic Worm, for lack of a better word.

    But what a send-off. I LOVE the Behemoth fight. The lightning, the capes throwing themselves at the Endbringer in droves, the grinding, unstoppable advance of Behemoth, Phir Se's timenuke, Regent going out like a fucking hero, Chevalier's last desperate charge, the actual moment of hope in a pretty bleak story... SUCH A GOOD ARC.

    But yeah, everything between that and Scion is pretty meh. SH9000 was shockingly dull, probably because it made the SH9, who were supposed to be terrifying individual badasses into mooks to be slaughtered by the dozens. And who even remembers the Las Vegas capes? I sure as hell don't. Even some parts of the Scion fight were weird. The Cauldron section? Why is that a thing?

    Khepri was a hell of a way to end the series, though. Definitely another high note, for a number of reasons...

     
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  23. greendoor

    greendoor Losing in avatar related threads since 2012

    I am probably the only person in the entire fanbase who actually likes the Chicago Wards and wish we got more of them, aren't i?
     
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  24. I mean, I like them as characters? They don't get developed much, and I would have liked to see an expanded Chicago Ward section, but, as canon stands...

    An arc or two where Taylor slowly has to win over their trust while fighting some scary Chicago gang crisis or something would have been cool.

    I think a remember a section in the SH9000 arc where you get to hear a brief radio message from a group of capes basically asking for support from "Legend, Eidolon, or Weaver". It'd be cool to see Taylor acquire that reputation...
     
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  25. greendoor

    greendoor Losing in avatar related threads since 2012

    I feel the same way-I like them as characters, and that makes me sad they're so undeveloped (aside Theo)-I desperately hope for an interlude arc come Worm being cleaned up, but I doubt it.
     
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