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Charm Learning Shard (Worm/Exalted) (COMPLETED)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Daniel Snuts, Apr 24, 2022.

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  1. PoplarJam

    PoplarJam Getting out there.

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    The Simurgh took care of Jack Slash in the penultimate chapter (the '???' POV).
     
  2. zharshoul

    zharshoul Know what you're doing yet?

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    Unironically because you keep asking/complaining about it/telling the author to super pinky promise that they aren't a Nazi.

    I don't really see this with any other fic or to this degree atleast and I give the author bonus points for sticking it out. Spite and lulz are powerful motivators, whichever one it was in the end. You can write a story without being that thing or the things that happen in it.
    ---------------------

    It was probably meant to be a vastly shorter arc, but people kept on asking for it and so the author felt compelled to give the audience what it clamored for. Notice how quickly the story escalated and ended once the S9 happened.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
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  3. snthsnth

    snthsnth Versed in the lewd.

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    I'll add Hope Through Overwhelming Firepower and What Rains You Bring to that list.

    I really enjoyed the lack of solid connection between some chapters. Where the world just comes back into focus with the previous focus totally ignored. It hits that old school pulp vibe that I've been missing. Usually these days there's a solid connection between chapters through the whole story.
     
  4. PoplarJam

    PoplarJam Getting out there.

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    This is my first time asking about it. I dislike being category-lumped. Do you have a quote from Snuts where he states this? Thank you.
     
  5. One-who-reads

    One-who-reads Illuminatus

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    I mean, technically Worm is a completed Worm fic too.
     
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  6. Daniel Snuts

    Daniel Snuts Know what you're doing yet?

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    Could have sworn I threadmarked it. Fixed.

    I'm not chased off. I'm just, you know, brain all wrung out of ideas.

    Yes. A concept like this requires either all of the planning or none of it, and I chose the former. Right from the start I had a spreadsheet laying out charm studyin' time day by day, from start to finish. Like most plans it didn't completely survive contact with the enemy, but nothing was juggled more than a day or two.

    Not really no. Though one funny thing is that I just kind of stopped reading fics because of a strange feeling of 'that's not how it goes' - my brain was too full of my version of events to appreciate alternatives.

    Them reverse butterflies, man. But mostly I don't care. I originally intended to have Armsmaster get away with murder, for example, but then I had the idea of the Quicksilver conversation to come back and bite him, and I liked that scene more than "look, it's not station of canon."

    Bonesaw is probably still alive. I wonder what might happen with her, with Jack no longer around to steer.

    No, I have an actual job job. You'll note how there are no e-begging links in my signature.

    Because I wanted to, and (because I'm not reliant on internet likes for either income or self-worth) could do it.

    Nope. The audience never once nudged me off my story outline, in one direction or the other. I want to say that I was completely impervious to their opinions, but that's not strictly true. When I posted the rally chapter and self-appointed moral guardian goricnac didn't hate it, I unexpectedly found myself filled with shame and regret at not going harder.

    If only Taylor hadn't been too cranky about getting called in on her day off to go to the afterparty I could have treated the audience to Sven leading the room in a rousing singalong of local favorite ditty Some kikes (get turned into ashes in my oven). It hammers home that 'wtf is even their stance on the holocaust' feeling even further, and it's super offensive.

    Alas, staying true to your vision is a sword that cuts both ways.

    Yes, that's clearly a deliberate stylistic choice and not my hate for writing filler.
     
  7. Octo3112

    Octo3112 Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    I liked it, had fun reading it
     
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  8. klassekatze

    klassekatze Experienced.

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    Tell that to children starving in ditches. How much free will do they have?

    :V

    But also, if time is like a river, the Simurgh is like a dam-- it has no reason to care about each random droplet. The vast majority of human misery is not a deliberate product of any individual persons goals but the whole system, meaning dismantling those systems does not have to infringe on the individuals any more than those bad systems already infringed on them.

    The guy forced by circumstances to work 80 hours a week for crap pay to live in a glorified box-- in first world countries, even-- what is this free will? Under his lord and savior Simurgh-chan, things start getting better at levels of policy-making he has never had a meaningful voice in. How has he lost free will? He's certainly gained agency, because the conditions for happiness are generally going to include more choices.

    The only guys who "won't have anything resembling freedom of will" are the luxurious few who were in positions to significantly alter the course of history for everyone else, and would use that power to make all thoise other people more miserable. Whatever free will is, they don't deserve it in my book.
     
  9. snthsnth

    snthsnth Versed in the lewd.

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    What good steak has filler?

    Filler is what you put in cheap food to make the 'premium' part look larger. Sometimes you want a filler loaded fic where every detail of life is chewed over until nothing remains. Other times you want a stripped down, important bits only fic.
     
    space turtle likes this.
  10. Alucard 109

    Alucard 109 Not too sore, are you?

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    Does 30k-ish words of explaining nazi ideology with little to no plot happening during not count as filler?
     
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  11. snthsnth

    snthsnth Versed in the lewd.

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    If that's all you saw for the that section of the story I think your biases colored your reading. She clearly was juggling trying to gain powers against patrolling, trolling heroes, and getting the shit kicked out of her by Hookwolf.
     
  12. Edifier

    Edifier Trusted within thoughts.

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    Even Taylor is a meat puppet to someone, Aisha, specifically to her notes she has been trained to obey unconditionally. :V

    I love this story, super happy to have read it.
     
  13. PeriodicPedant

    PeriodicPedant Making the rounds.

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    FWIW, I... well, I can't say I enjoyed all of it, but this was a good (terrible) story.

    ses, as usual, is spot on.
    ^

    ++


    In summary:
    Congratulations on both a completed story (and holy crap, the update rate), and a quality telling.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    My personal curiosity:
    Did the Evil Taylor who non-canonically survived survive the end of the world? How's she doing?
    What would she be up to, in the 'after' times?
     
  14. Dakkah

    Dakkah Getting sticky.

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    Probably cackling/whisking furiously at OG Taylor suffering, and ofcourse trying to pamper her daughter in the new-post End times.
     
  15. PoplarJam

    PoplarJam Getting out there.

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    BITN killed Evil Taylor and turned her in for the Kill Order signed by Tagg. I don't get why people keep asking about 'the surviving Evil Taylor'.
     
    space turtle likes this.
  16. John Doey

    John Doey Making the rounds.

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    I think you missed the unthreadmarked snippet Snuts wrote. He says it's not canon but really everyone knows it is.
     
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  17. PeriodicPedant

    PeriodicPedant Making the rounds.

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    ^

    B19.5:
    https://forum.questionablequesting....shard-worm-exalted.18226/page-84#post-5959860

    Edit
    Which reminds me - I've still got no idea what BITN stands for is short for.
     
  18. Alucard 109

    Alucard 109 Not too sore, are you?

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  19. space turtle

    space turtle Know what you're doing yet?

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    Never got the chance to post this when I first guessed the name. But here in all its glory is the inspiration for Taylor’s only good idea this entire story.



    I am despondent that we never got a chance to watch her act out the scooby doo tier slasher movie villain on some poor smucks inna woods.

    Edit: I apologise for the lack of pixels in the video, 13 yr old YouTube videos are even worse than I remember 240p being.
     
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  20. Alathon

    Alathon The Dread Pirate Breitbart

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    Sad to reach the end, but glad the story finished clean and strong. A shame about those hundred-and-something worlds, but hey. For an omelette you break eggs.

    The ten thousand or so loose ends that Taylor forgot or ignored because she no longer cared were probably the only element of the story I genuinely disliked. It was a reasonable characterization but fuck if it wasn't annoying to have interesting parts of the setting vanish from view repeatedly.

    What made you wan to invest this amount of time and effort into a work of fanfiction? Or this one in particular?

    Why "Esper", was there some Final Fantasy implication that went over my head? Was it a throwaway?

    Was there any particular state you imagined the Exalted cosmology being in when devising the fusion?

    How could you not turn Brockton Bay into a sundown town (Shadowlands) haunted by Empire ghosts? Worm as a setting doesn't have to be soulless, it just seems that way on account of the unreliable narrators.
     
    Cheiromancer, space turtle and ses like this.
  21. Gallyrat

    Gallyrat Making the rounds.

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    It's never been officially answered but there are two contenders, depending on your view of what kind of mentality Taylor had at the time of naming the team:

    • Bump in the night
    • Break in the n*****
    Given that Sophia was repeatedly raped, there is some real ambiguity here.
     
  22. ses

    ses Versed in the lewd.

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    There is zero ambiguity, snuts gave out the cookie long before some other guy came in with his guess claiming it was obvious and that everyone else just hadn't "been around racists enough"
     
  23. Daniel Snuts

    Daniel Snuts Know what you're doing yet?

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    What can I say, I am firmly against Chekov's right to bear arms. The idea that every gun that appears must be fired makes things contrived and predictable. I prefer haphazard and unpredictable.

    I had to get it out of my head somehow, it was taking up far too much space. And a personal motto of mine is "if you stopped doing things just because you realized it was a bad idea, you'd never get anything done." I repeat it to myself whenever my planning optimism meets labor requirements.

    Yeah, it's a Final Fantasy reference. Sometimes the summoned monsters are called 'espers', and sometimes 'eidolons'. A subtle signal of who she considers herself a peer of.

    No, it's safely Mr Not Appearing In This Story.

    I rejected the idea of shadowlands being a thing right away. Given the state of Earth bet, if shadowlands could form they'd already be all over the place, and it'd be a massive AU.

    That's something I noticed, reading the comments. I know the propaganda is hot and heavy and starts almost immediately, but holy shit do people not understand how racism works.
     
  24. Alathon

    Alathon The Dread Pirate Breitbart

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    Well, nuts. One last nod to Taylor's doomed gamer grrl career and I missed it.

    It ended too soon :(

    I kind of figured the point wasn't the name but the sound, "bitten", i.e. "hey Sophia, every time anyone talks about you they're talking about how you are bitten. You know. Like that one time."

    A strategy Five Shades Lighter Than Her repeated to great effect with Fenrir's Children.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022 at 12:40 AM
  25. ses

    ses Versed in the lewd.

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    How different would Taylor's journey had gone if she had just gone with the fake gamer girl route when she was first contemplating infiltration plans?

    @snuts what was Leet's charm?
     
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  26. Alathon

    Alathon The Dread Pirate Breitbart

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    Dunno. She'd have to somehow screw herself out of the excellency because those were explicitly excluded.

    Oh, I know, a Save The Princess storyline. Uber is captured and Taylor is dragooned into rescuing him by Kaiser, who assigns her the secondary goal of making xbox live more racist.

    it's a wipe, go next

    Edit: or wait, you meant as her first infiltration. I feel like she'd need a power other than Spirit-tied Pet to do episodic stunts like Uber and Leet do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022 at 2:19 AM
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  27. Lis91

    Lis91 Getting out there.

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    at least she still has her invisible note-writing minion

    the ending was unexpectedly heartwarming

    thanks for the ride, Snuts
     
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  28. Daniel Snuts

    Daniel Snuts Know what you're doing yet?

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    I dunno. I had no spontaneous ideas for Leet, and I didn't waste time thinking about it since I knew it would never come up. Just like Triumph, Skidmark, and many others.

    This is streaming we're talking about. Just Shaping the Ideal Form and a career as 'The Girl' would have worked. But it would have been very brief regardless. Either alt-universe me still kills Uber off somehow, or she gets his power and leaves.
     
  29. space turtle

    space turtle Know what you're doing yet?

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    So if I’m understanding the implications of Uber’s power correctly.
    Taylor would have gotten essentially Path to Victory, But one step at time?
    Perfect actions, but without the foresight to know what comes next?
    I dunno, I reckon that has some legs. Maybe not once she accumulates enough powers, but certainly a street level PTV equivalent without the long range planning / data gathering component sounds hella fun, while stilling being vulnerable to standard anti Coil measures where you get trapped with no ways out, even if you did everything correctly up until that point.
    Also allows for stupid video game themed shenanigans.
     
  30. ses

    ses Versed in the lewd.

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    No? Ubers power is just "You double your stats". That's literally it. You double your stats when making a skill check as long as you're acting in-theme for the Adorjan excellency (murder yandere)
     
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