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Worm: The best supervillain web serial that you aren't not reading yet.

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Wildbow

Retired User
Sorry to make you feel unhappy.

I dealt with some stuff in school myself, and part of what I wanted to do when I wrote the story was to touch on bullying and the frustration of it, and the way it fucks with your head. It always aggravated me to see it made a minor thing (such as in Spider Man - Peter Parker gets shoved into a locker a handful of times, called a dork but that's about it).

It seems I succeeded a little too well.

If you want hard numbers, and you want to gauge how much of the school stuff you'd have to put up with:
Spoiler: Show
2.4 is probably the worst chapter.
No school stuff in arc 3.
One brief scene in arc 4. A brief conversation.
Arc 5, partway through, a meeting with a bully outside of school. One meeting with the faculty in school. Probably closest contender for rage-inducement after 2.4.

Then that's it. Three chapters (not arcs, but chapter = individual post). School stuff becomes background material, and then ceases to be an issue for a good while (until arc 20).
 
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CLAVDIVS

Postmodern Futurist
Validated User
Oh. Hey. :)

Sorry to make you feel unhappy.

I dealt with some stuff in school myself, and part of what I wanted to do when I wrote the story was to touch on bullying and the frustration of it, and the way it fucks with your head. It always aggravated me to see it made a minor thing (such as in Spider Man - Peter Parker gets shoved into a locker a handful of times, called a dork but that's about it).
Don't get me wrong, it really is good; I understand what you were trying to do, and IMHO you succeeded. It's not a fault of your writing by any stretch, and please don't take it as one. It's just one of my limits as a reader. I had to stop reading The Walking Dead when it got to a point that was just too bleak, and skimming ahead showed that it didn't get any better. And I will never, ever in a million years read The Road. The reason I posted about it is because of how conflicted I felt: I thought it was a great story, and I wanted to read more of the non-school stuff, but I didn't think I could take any more of the bullying.

If you want hard numbers, and you want to gauge how much of the school stuff you'd have to put up with:

Spoilers! Highlight to read
[2.4 is probably the worst chapter.
No school stuff in arc 3.
One brief scene in arc 4. A brief conversation.
Arc 5, partway through, a meeting with a bully outside of school. One meeting with the faculty in school. Probably closest contender for rage-inducement after 2.4.

Then that's it. Three chapters (not arcs, but chapter = individual post). School stuff becomes background material, and then ceases to be an issue for a good while (until arc 20).
]
There's actually a build-in BBcode tag for spoilers; quote my post to see it.

Spoiler: Show
Okay, knowing that the chapter I just read was the worst one helps a lot. It means I'm over the hump.


So based on that, I'll probably keep going. I may need a short break, though.

PS:
Spoiler: Show

...if you have a large block of text that you don't want to dominate the page, or have images that you want to put behind a mouseclick. It needs that equal sign and quotes in the opening tag, though, even if there's nothing in there.
 

Wildbow

Retired User
Thanks for the tip. I was using quick reply, and figured I'd use a method that I knew would work reasonably well, vs. trying to fiddle around.

In terms of bleakness, though, you may want to step away. I hate to tell a reader to 'stop reading', but Worm has been put on the same level as Berserk, The Walking Dead and the like. It veers away from real-life bleakness and more into fantastical bleakness. But it (as I say in the about section, IIRC) starts dark and gets darker.
 
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CLAVDIVS

Postmodern Futurist
Validated User
Thanks for the tip. I was using quick reply, and figured I'd use a method that I knew would work reasonably well, vs. trying to fiddle around.

In terms of bleakness, though, you may want to step away. I hate to tell a reader to 'stop reading', but Worm has been put on the same level as Berserk, The Walking Dead and the like. It veers away from real-life bleakness and more into fantastical bleakness. But it (as I say in the about section, IIRC) starts dark and gets darker.
Hrm. Well, I'll give it a fair shake. If it gets to be too much, I'll stop then.
 

ScottL

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
For what one reader's opinion is worth, I very much disagree that Worm is as bleak as the Walking Dead. I stopped caring about the Walking Dead comic years ago, as it seemed that it was going to be an endless succession of "things get worse, and now terrible things happen to *this* person," and so on.

In Worm, the terrible things don't feel perfunctory. They *are* terrible things, frequently perpetrated by people who are truly monstrous, but they seem to matter more, if that makes any sense.

And, to comment on the latest update, I think it's a very nice touch to see Taylor doubt the reality of what's happening, in a disconnected way. I get a PTSD vibe from it. It's impressive to get a sense that the violence she has experienced has taken a real toll on her psyche, even while she herself seems largely unaware of it.
 

SuperG

Active member
Validated User
Hrm. Well, I'll give it a fair shake. If it gets to be too much, I'll stop then.
For what it's worth, IMNSHO, while Wildbow is incredibly good at making horrible, terrifying villains feel real, to date, there is STILL nothing more infuriatingly bleak than the first four chapters. I guess it's because there is just so much less prolonged helplessness...
 

Reveen

Registered User
Validated User
In terms of darkness, I guess it's on par with stuff like Berserk and other really bleak stuff. But it's more humane in a way, and doesn't really come off as cynical too much. This isn't one of those stories where it feels like the author is a complete misanthrope who is compelled to stamp out every spot of hope wherever possible. The protagonist is allowed to control her situation and act like a decent human being without the setting going out of it's way to negate it.

Also, it doesn't really get progressively darker, it's more of a bell curve. It doesn't run itself into a ditch playing the one-upmanship game like Walking Dead did.
 
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Azegoroth

Registered User
Validated User
On the new update: Oh, sweet sweet JUSTICE, then panic and tension. Who or what is this mysterious danger?
 

saintsant

Retired User
Perhaps Kid Win built something to detect insect movements? Maybe Clockblocker rolled a critical success on his perception check? Maybe Greg blabbed? Anyway, it looks like Dragon is helping Skitter out here; what I'm most interested in his how she's doing this. Doesn't she have to obey the law at all times? From that perspective, aiding a villain in the escape from the 'rightful authorities' should be impossible.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
Perhaps Kid Win built something to detect insect movements? Maybe Clockblocker rolled a critical success on his perception check? Maybe Greg blabbed?
Difficult to see how it could be Clockblocker. Even if he recognized her, he didn't get a name. He would have had to immediately go back and start asking questions to other people who had been standing around, figure out who she had been talking to and where she had gone. It's just barely possible, but the timeline seems a little tight. Maybe Greg wrote something on his message board, because no one seems to listen to him in person. I don't know, I feel like it's likely to be a third party.

Anyway, it looks like Dragon is helping Skitter out here; what I'm most interested in his how she's doing this. Doesn't she have to obey the law at all times? From that perspective, aiding a villain in the escape from the 'rightful authorities' should be impossible.
Dragon? What does it have to do with this? If you're talking about the address-code warning at the end, I think that was from the principal.

I don't know, the enthusiasm a lot of readers seem to have for Dragon and Skitter becoming 'friends' is really making me cool on the idea. It's beginning to seem very fanfic-y, like Dragon is expected to be this special adult friend who understands and cares and is nice in a way other adults haven't been. I kind of hope that the next time they meet, Dragon royally screws Skitter over in some totally reasonable way. Or is even kind of angry at having her armored suits destroyed and wants to hurt Skitter.
 
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