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Mind control = lazy?

jhnmakii2nd

I've read tons of stories here and still am but i seem to have subconsciously avoid and/or ignore any story that has any mind control aspect to it.

ESP is a different topic. I like that, it's an underpowered version of mind control thus it has its challenges.

Anyway, i've been having this thoughts that mind control is a lazy way of writing a story, like a super thick plot armor, or a heaven defying luck that could turn a situation around just because.

For example, idk about you guys, but when i read erotic stories, i find the chase more exciting yet the mind control entirely skips this part.

If there are any conflict, mind control seems to do the job in a jiffy.

I think people should consider adding side effects to curb the OPness of said ability.

Switch Blayde

@jhnmakii2nd


If there are any conflict, mind control seems to do the job in a jiffy.


When done well, the conflict is the conscience of the mind control character. In my mc story "Satan's Son" it's all about right and wrong.

But in my "Mind the Teacher," it's simply a man having unrestrained fun. Pure fantasy.

Replies:   jhnmakii2nd
jhnmakii2nd

@Switch Blayde

The problem is that, in 80% or probably 90% mind control stories.

Any significant antagonists are also mind controllers.

Stemming from the problem that they give their mc the ability to 100% perfectly control minds without side effects.

REP

@jhnmakii2nd

Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP) is a catch-all term for physic powers. Mind control is one of those powers, so ESP and Mind Control are not different topics.

Mind control is nothing more than forcing one person's wishes on one or more people. It is nothing more than a highly effective form of cohersion. In a sexual application, it is rape.

Mind Control is NOT a lazy way of writing a story. It can be the topic about which a story is written, and it could be considered a lazy way for the characters to achieve their goals. What you need to consider is fiction stories are about peoples' fantasies. No one really wants to hear about the downside associated with their fantasies.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@jhnmakii2nd

A lot of novice writers churn out Mary Sue stories, ie idealised versions of themselves. And if that means granting themselves unusual attributes, it's usually done to excess. Many people would like paranormal abilities and mind control fits the bill for them, an antithesis to their lack of power over others in real life.

Just as it's difficult for ordinary people to write convincing stories about the mega-rich or the super-geniuses, for example, because they have little idea what their lives are really like, since there aren't even media snippets about the lives of real mind-controllers, they're limited by their imagination and genre cliches.

AJ

Wheezer

My opinion: Mind Control sex is no different than a date rape drug. Mind Control without the sexual component is almost as bad. Mental rape runs a close second to physical rape in my opinion. It is a major squick of mine, and it gives me a queasy feeling to know how many readers of this site enjoy this type of fantasy.

Don't like my opinion? I'll gladly refund you every penny you paid for it.

BlinkReader

@Wheezer

+1

According to main themes in mind control stories, it looks like lot of people like to have sex with dolls (you know - the usually inflated squeaky plastic things).

Having real living person to share joys of sex, and even disagreements and fights - is priceless ...

Replies:   Dominions Son
docholladay

Part of the appeal has to be the fact that the stories are easily identified as Fantasy and not reality. Same with all the super hero type stories.

Dominions Son

@BlinkReader

According to main themes in mind control stories, it looks like lot of people like to have sex with dolls


Sure, telepathic mind control, where the controller, can apply constant commands, it would be like that.

However, It would not quite be like that for other methods of mind control like hypnosis, or mind control that required an external instrumentality.

Those non telepathic methods would still allow for some individuality in how commands are complied with or even interpreted.

jhnmakii2nd

I do understand stories here are fiction thus not real.

But it wouldn't hurt if they add a touch of realism to it.

A story about the protagonist having the ability to read surface thoughts or like an empath to receive emotions would be more interesting than reading straight-up 'you are my slut' mind control scenarios.

The only problem is that, i like a seasoning of ordinary to it.

Given the ability above, most authors would go to the FBI/CIA spy type route.

Why can't the mc try to be normal and use the said ability to any hobby/sport and bring spice to it.

docholladay

@jhnmakii2nd

Add the probability that anyone with any of those abilities would have to go into hiding big time. If any government agency was to find out about them. Their freedom and/or their life would end quick. Those agencies would want them for two main purposes: One control over their gifts. Two to try and create it under laboratory conditions for future agents.
Result either way under lock and key at the best. Lab rat at the worst.

Replies:   jhnmakii2nd
jhnmakii2nd

@docholladay

And that only happens in storiesonline because apparently, mc with any significant supernatural abilities use it to enslave everyone in their vicinity as their sex slaves.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@jhnmakii2nd

And that only happens in storiesonline because apparently, mc with any significant supernatural abilities use it to enslave everyone in their vicinity as their sex slaves.


You haven't seen the movie "Hearts in Atlantis." The Anthony Hopkins character had mind powers he didn't use for sex. (He did use it to win money gambling to live on.)

And, @docholladay, he was running from the government that wanted to use his powers.

docholladay
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


And, @docholladay, he was running from the government that wanted to use his powers.


And of course they were doing it for his own good.

edited to add 2 more links by Volentrin:
https://storiesonline.net/s/46921/the-gift
https://storiesonline.net/s/48340/the-gift-book-ii
author: https://storiesonline.net/library/author.php?name=Volentrin&sf=alpha&so=asc&p=2

Switch Blayde

And don't forget the Al Pacino movie "The Devil's Advocate." It was the inspiration for my story "Satan's Son."

Just because it's mind control doesn't mean it's crap.

docholladay
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Very true. Like many other forms of entertainment, any theme can be done well or made into a piece of crap. The many potential variations of any and all themes are what keeps storytelling fresh and new. That applies to all genres under the fiction label.

edit to add: The only real problems are with those who can never tell the difference between Imagination and Reality.

PotomacBob

@jhnmakii2nd

I appreciate authors who write mind control stories on SOL. I enjoy some of the stories. After all, they put in work to write the story - and while they may not have written it with me in mind, I profit from it.
I am the one who's lazy. I don't write anything.
I am also not a freeloader - I pay for my subscription to SOL.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Wheezer

Many years ago, I wrote most of a story in which the protagonist is gifted a mind control device in return for risking his life to help crash-landed aliens repair their spaceship.

The protagonist interrupts a bunch of kids who are robbing him, managing to capture the oldest. On using the mind-control device, he discovers the kid is a girl and the group were robbing him for food because their mother is a non-functional depressed alcoholic.

He gets the girl to shower while he launders her rags and orders large pizzas. After the girl is clean and full, she feels good about herself. The protagonist is also horny because his girlfriend recently left him. The result is a feedback loop leading to universe-reorienting sex. Neither party gave informed consent for sex so it was rape, but who was raping whom?

In the aftermath, the protagonist is appalled to realise he has had sex with an underage girl, and the girl is appalled that she broke her cultural norms by having unprotected sex before marriage. The protagonist lets the girl leave with the uneaten pizzas for her siblings, telling her that if she comes back the next day he'll have the morning-after pill for her and he'll feed all the kids.

I will probably never finish the story. I can't think of a suitable site to host it, and somehow completing the story would feel like killing the characters :(

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
jhnmakii2nd

It's really hard to dig through the stories with mind control tags to find gems.

Since mind control is so popular as erotica so there'd be plenty of it.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@jhnmakii2nd

Every major genre category, not to mention the offshoots, have their own popularity groups and most tend to crossover to many genres. The individual bad reaction factors effect which stories any given reader will read. But most readers do not limit themselves to just one or two genres.

Replies:   jhnmakii2nd
jhnmakii2nd

@docholladay

I try to focus on one genre and when im finished with it somewhat i move on to the next.

If i don't do it that way, i'll be a mess when i run out of stories to read.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

the key word in the phrase is control which is what the core aspect of the genre is about.

Replies:   jhncanson
jhncanson

@Ernest Bywater

But sometimes there's too much control.

Replies:   REP
REP

@jhncanson

For a mind controller there is no such thing as too much control, as long as they are the one doing the controlling.

Crumbly Writer

I like the idea of getting caught in a feedback loop with those you're trying to control. If that was developed as a weakness of mind control, limiting it's affects and causing those with the ability to develop affinities for those they try it on, it might provide a nice balance.

But then, we're mostly talking wish-fulfillment, where the author dreams of rape without the unpleasant violence.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

In my story, the underage girl returned with her siblings and managed to seduce the protagonist. She was damaged goods as far as her own culture was concerned, so there was no point in denying herself more great sex (since the protagonist had learned through the mind link what pushed her buttons).

So you're spot on about the dangers of mind control and the resultant affinity.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


So you're spot on about the dangers of mind control and the resultant affinity.


I was looking at it more as a fix for the topic discussion: mind control being lazy writing. But putting serious restrictions on the ability, making it more of a liability rather than purely wish-fulfillment, we might end up with better stories.

Plots constructed without much thought aren't terribly challenging. Chasing one skirt after another without any personal growth isn't very fulfilling. In order for a character to develop, they need to overcome a challenge to become something better than they were initially, otherwise there's simply no story arc.

As opposed to my stories, where each story has the same, identical story arc. Hee-hee!

jimh67

With regard to reading minds, how much do humans think in words that could be "read"? Obviously, some thoughts can't even be expressed in words, but I'm curious about "I need to go to the kitchen to get some milk." In my own mind, I get the impression that there can be a string of thoughts that flashes by much too quickly to be put into words, but due to the observer effect, trying to watch my thoughts changes the thoughts. I was thinking maybe some scientists have tried to study this.

I think anyone trying to read my mind would quickly back out for fear of permanent damage to their psyche. I often wonder what my occasionally bizarre cat is thinking but I'm positive I wouldn't want to go there.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Bondi Beach

@Switch Blayde

And don't forget the Al Pacino movie "The Devil's Advocate." It was the inspiration for my story "Satan's Son."

Just because it's mind control doesn't mean it's crap.


It seems the Al Pacino character, the Devil, AKA John Milton (ho ho ho) used "mind control" to create visions and, of course, to offer delights beyond one's imagination if only the person would give in. Something like the 40 days in the wilderness and the view from the top of the mountain (or a Manhattan skyscraper with an infinity pool, same difference).

Keanu Reeves' wife commits suicide because she sees the junior devil for what she is, but that's not mind control. He didn't control the Keanu Reeves character, although he tempted him and very likely successfully, but the movie ends before we know for sure.

bb

Bondi Beach

@jhnmakii2nd

Anyway, i've been having this thoughts that mind control is a lazy way of writing a story, like a super thick plot armor, or a heaven defying luck that could turn a situation around just because.


Did you ever read Sleepwalker by Shadow of Moonlight? I haven't read the two sequels, but in the first story the protagonist's little sister enters his dreams and guides them; subsequently he apparently realizes he has a similar ability. It's not exactly mind control in that she doesn't seem to be forcing him, but it's certainly mind influence combined with some kind of ESP.

The result is a creative use of something ESP-like that doesn't result in harem creation or dominance. And Sleepwalker, at least, is a pretty good story.

The writer's style was similar enough to Gina Marie Wyle's that I thought it was her story, but she said no.

bb

bb

Replies:   jhncanson
jhncanson

@Bondi Beach

I've come across it many times but i got intimidated by the descriptions of the sequels of what it meant.

I'm an only son of my father and he's not at home most of the time because he works far from home this is especially emphasized because i live in the philippines where its mostly just small and big islands so instead of riding the boat or plane everyday he lives on other islands.

Any ways, i live alone with my mom and 2 sisters so i'm especially squeamish by rape.

Yeah, it's contradictory when sometimes i feel okay reading some stories here where it really confuses the boundary of being rape.

I guess, whenever i read stories, i put myself into the protagonist's shoes so whenever a family member or someone important to that protagonist gets raped thats when it feels squeamish to me.(figures why i have a hard time reading stories with female protagonists)

docholladay

Then again any form of applied psychology is a form of mind control as well. The bad part is the person that skill is used on seldom knows its being done to them.

Col. Jack Harrison

For my part, I am fascinated with the paranormal aspects of mind control, by the erotic potential, with the motivations of a person using such powers, and with the utopian/dystopian possibilities of such a character developing a sort of messianic vision or concept of himself or herself. My Julian Vaughan character, in fact, is given the powers by supernatural beings with the specific intent of overthrowing all governments, world religions, and moral/social ethics as they stand in his particular alternate universe (essentially, I view all story settings as alternate universes because they are free from the rules of reality and governed only by the imagination of the author, which can be very liberating in effect). In essence, Julian, the powers who empowered him, and his disciples see his abilities as being for the greater good, including the non-consensual sex. The reader is free to agree or disagree, which raises the question: which is worse, to have one's choices limited by mind control or to have them constrained by social taboos whose wisdom is dubious at best?

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Col. Jack Harrison

My enjoyment of Mind-Control is always lessened by the apparent need of a big baddy in the story that is most of the time more powerful than the protagonist.

I am more content with a more slice of life approach in Mind Control.
Also, baddies capable of Mind Control are a cheap story cop-out. the world is dangerous enough in itself, and some people are powerful enough without Mind Control. If you write a Mind Control story with big conflicts in mind, it is far more intriguing if the protagonist has to overcome real-world problems and power structures, where his Mind Control powers are just "leveling the player field"

Replies:   Col. Jack Harrison
madnige

Artie had many mind-control stories which did not fit the mould described here, but did do one which sort-of is as described/complained about or rather makes similar complaints: His Taste, though it is a story-in-a-story with a twist at the end.

Col. Jack Harrison

@sunkuwan

In this particular case, the existing, immediate local, Texan government and the local clergy are the baddies and are being dealt with rather ruthlessly by Julian Vaughan. Not to mention how he dealt with the local Klan leader.

Remus2

Mind control is as real as the terms cult, brainwashed, drug assisted susceptibility, ad nauseam. It goes beyond sexual violence and into mass murder at times.

However, I don't view the literary coverage of it as good, bad, or lazy in and of itself. One could say the excessive use of sex within a story as lazy, the same for violence, rags to riches, etcetera. As such, it is my opinion is more about application in support of the work as a whole.

My .02

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Mind Control is NOT a lazy way of writing a story. It can be the topic about which a story is written, and it could be considered a lazy way for the characters to achieve their goals. What you need to consider is fiction stories are about peoples' fantasies. No one really wants to hear about the downside associated with their fantasies.

I'm not sure about that. For me, Mind-Control is a handy way to avoid developing both the story and the characters involved. If a specific character will only end up being a brain-dead puppet, when why develop and explore their individual personality quirks? The same with the plot, if people have no option in what happens to them, and NO ONE ever struggles to free themselves, then there's ZERO moral ramifications. It's one thing to say 'I feel bad about enslaving hundreds of people', but it's another thing entirely to DO something about it. It's akin to saying "I have a black friend" as shorthand for "I can't be bothered learning about anyone else's culture unless they conform to my expectations".

If you really want to write about character conflicts, then write about your mind-control subjects breaking free, and the character having to chase them down and re-enslaving them, and then explore how that makes them free. But again, if no one ever voices a doubt about their situation, there really IS no meaningful conflict.

Crumbly Writer

@jhnmakii2nd

Given the ability above, most authors would go to the FBI/CIA spy type route.

Why can't the mc try to be normal and use the said ability to any hobby/sport and bring spice to it.

I like associating costs with a particular ability. However, with most mind-control stories, there's NO cost associated with enslaving people, they don't even have to deal with a minor moral headache.

In my current story, the lead character has precognition (i.e. the ability to see how things unfold in the future), however, his ability to see when people get in trouble tends to produce more trouble as he dives in, only to upset things even more.

That first story did focus on FBI/CIA spy type routes, but in the end, it was revealed that the ability was actually intended as a mean of providing faster-than-light travel, since a precog "Intuit" can anticipate striking an object while traveling at the speed of light, which could literally destroy an entire solar system! But, since those people are highly sought in warfare, it means they're immediately drafted into an intergalactic war they have no interest in waging (in the current book). Again, there are clear benefits and costs.

Even if it's simple. Every time you 'convince' someone to do you a favor, your left incredibly weak, or you lose years of your natural life (as I did in my first series), you'll carefully consider what's worth the investment, rather than thinking 'uh, pretty girl, must rape immediately!'

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

You haven't seen the movie "Hearts in Atlantis." The Anthony Hopkins character had mind powers he didn't use for sex. (He did use it to win money gambling to live on.)

Again, that's a better story choice, because it presents a very real (vs. merely a 'pretend' conscience), as the character has to decide what's the least morally reprehensible use of their powers, even if there's no real way to 'do good' with them.

But in the end, would you rather be a robber baron who gives an exceptionally small share of his ill-gotten gains for tax purposes, or would you rather do the morally correct thing because you've got a soul?

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Just because it's mind control doesn't mean it's crap.

No one ever claimed it was 'crap', they merely pointing out that it's 'lazy' (i.e. you spend less time developing characters and situations, diving right into the action and bypassing any moral responsibility by the characters). You CAN write a decent story that way, but it's clearly the exception, rather than the rule.

Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

I appreciate authors who write mind control stories on SOL. I enjoy some of the stories.

The 'control' stories I like the best, which parenthetically are ALL about explicit rape, are those where a family friend rapes a woman, who learns it's the ONLY way she can have satisfying sex. Thus it becomes a moral choice for her, does she continue betraying her husband, against her will, by refusing to report him, or does she continue 'playing along' in exchange for a thoroughly unsatisfying sex life. At least there, you have a real moral conflict, even if you hate all the characters involved!

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I will probably never finish the story. I can't think of a suitable site to host it, and somehow completing the story would feel like killing the characters :(

As long as the girl is 14 or older, it's allowing on SOL. Also, for the most part, while rape is grounds to deleting most published stories nowadays, mind-control provides 'just enough' distance from the real thing to allow you to skate by it in most instances. Readers may not like it, but they're unlikely to report you for violating a site's TOCs.

Crumbly Writer

@jhnmakii2nd

I try to focus on one genre and when im finished with it somewhat i move on to the next.

I tend to pick stories which offer me a chance to turn an established genre on its head, approaching it from a completely new angle. Often, having done that (and thinking I was finished) new opportunities for turning the story in unexpected directions open up, and I end up writing sequels to it.

Just as readers need to move on to other genres, so too do authors, lest they pigeon hole themselves and just crank out the same schlock, over and over. :(

Crumbly Writer

@jimh67

With regard to reading minds, how much do humans think in words that could be "read"? Obviously, some thoughts can't even be expressed in words, but I'm curious about "I need to go to the kitchen to get some milk." In my own mind, I get the impression that there can be a string of thoughts that flashes by much too quickly to be put into words, but due to the observer effect, trying to watch my thoughts changes the thoughts. I was thinking maybe some scientists have tried to study this.

For Sci-Fi, it's a handy way to dance around the limitations of humans instantly having meaningful communications with an alien race (i.e. the thoughts in one persons minds instantly target the comparable brain centers in the other person's mind). But often, it's merely impulses. Instead of reading something thinking "I need to go to the kitchen to get some mild", they simply flash 'milk' and think of the rest themselves. At least, if they're putting some original thought into the project.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

For me, Mind-Control is a handy way to avoid developing both the story and the characters involved.


You're assuming poor writing. Just like any other plot, you can write a good story or a brainless story.

The 3 main conflicts are:
1. man vs man
2. man vs self
3. man vs nature

Write a story about someone who gains mind control capabilities and create a "man vs self" conflict with him wanting to use it but knowing it's wrong.

sunkuwan

@Crumbly Writer

I like it when the mind-controlled character still has a life and opinions.
I don't really like the characters that behave like BDSM-submissive-full_time_Slaves just mind-controlled, without the BDSM

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
mcguy101
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I'm not sure about that. For me, Mind-Control is a handy way to avoid developing both the story and the characters involved. If a specific character will only end up being a brain-dead puppet, when why develop and explore their individual personality quirks? The same with the plot, if people have no option in what happens to them, and NO ONE ever struggles to free themselves, then there's ZERO moral ramifications. It's one thing to say 'I feel bad about enslaving hundreds of people', but it's another thing entirely to DO something about it. It's akin to saying "I have a black friend" as shorthand for "I can't be bothered learning about anyone else's culture unless they conform to my expectations".


I think think it depends on whether a person is turned into a "brain-dead" puppet by mind control. The Mind Control genre can range from your bimbo, brain-dead level all they way down to a subtle, personality change that lets the mind-controller alter their victim(s) in a way to gain what he/she wants (usually what he/she wants is SEX if the story is published on this site, lol).

It really is unfair to criticize the mind control genre as "lazy" as the initial poster suggested. Like with any genre, there are terrific stories in the mind control genre and crappy stories in other genres.

For the record, as a purveyor of MC stories (not an expert, but certainly experienced), I really enjoyed your Catalyst series. While it is not a truly MC genre perse, Alex's effect on his girls, could easily be described as subtle mind control.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Darian Wolfe

@sunkuwan

Then you should love my short story "The BIQ's". A teenage boy can compel anyone to physically do anything but can't control their thoughts at all. It's a revenge story and one of my most downloaded.

Crumbly Writer

@mcguy101

It really is unfair to criticize the mind control genre as "lazy" as the initial poster suggested. Like with any genre, there are terrific stories in the mind control genre and crappy stories in other genres.

My point was that the genre, as a whole, veers towards the lazy plot. While there are some amazing examples ("Sleepwalker" has always been a favorite), must go develop the characters a great deal. As I stressed, if you introduce conflicts both between the MC character and between him and his characters, then it can cross that initial barrier. But the ones that do are fairly infrequent. :( (Not saying it can't be done, just that it's not common.)

Replies:   Switch Blayde  mcguy101
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Not saying it can't be done, just that it's not common.


That's because there's another aspect to fiction — fantasy.

The reader wants the MC to be all-controlling. Get anything he wants. Wants Jack Reacher and Rambo to always win. Wants the nerd to get the girl.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

That's because there's another aspect to fiction — fantasy.

The reader wants the MC to be all-controlling. Get anything he wants. Wants Jack Reacher and Rambo to always win. Wants the nerd to get the girl.

I always figure that no one deserves to win unless they invest themselves. That means, not just continually hitting a lucky streak, but seriously questioning themselves, reflecting on their life choices, and deciding how they can best improve themselves. I'll even double down, not only are MC stories 'lazy', but so too are the 'too powerful' heroes who can never fail. Superman was popular back in the 40s, when Americans seriously doubted they could win at anything due to the severe economic losses, but his moment in the sun ended when he was unseated as 'Americas' most popular' hero by characters like Spiderman, who's perpetually wracked with self-doubts, or even fellow DC hero Batman, who's essentially a broken man whose wealth has bought him no peace and he works out his problems by beating people up with absolutely no regard for the law.

For me, 'Fantasy' encompasses things too unbelievable to be accepted anywhere else, not 'faultless' superheroes without flaws, doubts or even basic emotions.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I always figure that no one deserves to win unless they invest themselves. That means, not just continually hitting a lucky streak, but seriously questioning themselves, reflecting on their life choices, and deciding how they can best improve themselves.


Even in the real world, deserving to win and winning are two very different things.

but so too are the 'too powerful' heroes who can never fail.


'faultless' superheroes without flaws, doubts or even basic emotions.


"Too powerful to fail" and "faultless" are not the same thing.

There is a Japanese anime series, of which the firs season has aired on the Cartoon Network on their late night Saturday segment under the name "One Punch Man".

The MC doesn't actually have a "hero name" in the show, he got into being a hero for fun, but became so physically powerful that he can defeat even colossal monsters that tower over high rise buildings with a single punch. Now, he's severely bored because there are no challenges left. In the show, when the MC does start to get some public attention, many think he's a fake because other "professional" heroes have been taking credit in the media for his wins for years.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I'll even double down, not only are MC stories 'lazy', but so too are the 'too powerful' heroes who can never fail.


Read the introduction to the first Jack Reacher novel. Lee Child explains why he came up with a character that always wins. I don't want to go looking for it and, anyway, Amazon doesn't allow a copy and paste from their "Look Inside."

You may not like those stories, but I love them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
mcguy101
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


My point was that the genre, as a whole, veers towards the lazy plot. While there are some amazing examples ("Sleepwalker" has always been a favorite), must go develop the characters a great deal. As I stressed, if you introduce conflicts both between the MC character and between him and his characters, then it can cross that initial barrier. But the ones that do are fairly infrequent. :( (Not saying it can't be done, just that it's not common.)


You're missing my point, CW. First of all, MC does not equate to "braindead". It can and I'd agree that stories that are purely stroke mind control tales can be bereft of character development. But there are a number of stories (including some of mine), that involve characters that have been controlled and still have their personalities intact (if not, somewhat changed). These characters can be developed in the way any character in any story can be developed.

Regardless of what genre I write in (including Mind Control), I make a point to try to develop my main characters and important (and even secondary) characters. To me, character development is THE primary aspect of writing. My belief is if you develop good characters, everything else will follow.

Again, MC stories can be subtle and feature all of the great story elements of any other kind of genre. There are stories in every genre with crappy plots and lazy character development. I think it is unfair to stereotype the entire MC genre as "lazy".

As I mentioned, your terrific Catalyst series is pretty damned close to having the element of mind control. I could easily argue that it has it (and you had no problem developing some fine characters, lol).

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

You may not like those stories, but I love them.

You're right, they are popular, but they hardly rise to the level of 'serious fiction' because, like your other examples, they're all examples of simple 'wish fulfillment' (ex: "Man, wouldn't it be wonderful if I could rape anyone I wanted, shoot someone in the street and still become President of the U.S.A.!")

There's a difference between popular and having anything of value to offer (not that I'm criticizing your literary chops, Switch, I'm just arguing against your 'it's popular' argument).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

There's a difference between popular and having anything of value to offer


I will go on record as saying I don't think "having something of value to offer" beyond a few hours of entertainment is something of literary merit for fiction.

Crumbly Writer

@mcguy101

You're missing my point, CW. First of all, MC does not equate to "braindead". It can and I'd agree that stories that are purely stroke mind control tales can be bereft of character development. But there are a number of stories (including some of mine), that involve characters that have been controlled and still have their personalities intact (if not, somewhat changed). These characters can be developed in the way any character in any story can be developed.

And you're also missing my point. It's true, there are some wonderful MC stories, but the genre is based on a lazy wish-fulfillment trope that makes it difficult to write meaningful stories. Thus the good examples are outnumbered by the truly terrible 'rape fantasy' elements. I'm not saying that decent examples can't be written, only that it's more difficult to write them, because of the genre's basic assumptions going in.

Way back up in this thread, I gave a couple of fairly easy to pull off controls to keep MC stories from veering into simple 'rape fantasies' (ex: someone becoming incapacitated, or losing years from their life every time they 'control' anyone, or someone who has to 'fight' those controlled the entire time they're controlled, so it becomes too exhausting to continue to control them, then pitting them against those seeing revenge for their enslavement). But those types of plots are few and far between.

Face it, many genre favorites are popular because the basic assumptions make them incredibly easy to write, because most of the plot is handled on autopilot. Those, to me, are examples of lazy writing simply because the authors don't get into it to write superior fiction, but because they don't have to waste much time on plot development.

That's why, every time I undertake a new subgenre (PA, zombie apocalypse, MC, telepathy) I try to turn the entire genre on it's head and do the exact opposite of what's expected, because face it, the expected ends up being mind-numbingly boring after a while.

By the way, my Catalyst series wasn't written as a MC story, but as a way of justifying how harem stories might unfold in a logical and rational scenario (i.e. where the women would want to be in a given harem situation). I tried that for two different series (Catalyst and Great Death) until I finally got it out of my system).

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Way back up in this thread, I gave a couple of fairly easy to pull off controls to keep MC stories from veering into simple 'rape fantasies' (ex: someone becoming incapacitated, or losing years from their life every time they 'control' anyone, or someone who has to 'fight' those controlled the entire time they're controlled, so it becomes too exhausting to continue to control them, then pitting them against those seeing revenge for their enslavement). But those types of plots are few and far between.


There is an awful lot of middle ground between those two extremes that can make for some very high quality stories.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

but the genre is based on a lazy wish-fulfillment trope that makes it difficult to write meaningful stories.


I saw the movie "Justice League" today. Batman. Flash. Wonder Woman. Superman. That genre is one of the most popular and enjoyable today. Throw in Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider Man, etc.

I hated it. They're not believable for me. And stupid. But I won't say the author is lazy. And it's unfair to call authors of mind control lazy.

awnlee jawking

@mcguy101

Your story, 'The Consequences and Rewards of Playing Hooky' has been requested multiple times in the Lost Stories forum. And with good reason - it's the polar opposite of lazy, brain-dead wish-fulfillment.

AJ

Replies:   mcguy101
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


I hated it. They're not believable for me. And stupid. But I won't say the author is lazy. And it's unfair to call authors of mind control lazy.


That's fair. The sub-genre itself, like PA and zombie apocalypse stories, is lazy, because it allows the most rudimentary of authors to easily craft a plot with very little real effort. The only real requirement is to create a couple of relatable poor souls trying to defend themselves, and you don't need to do much rather than writing action scenes.

Granted, there have been some tremendous books in each field, but the sub-genres don't require the same amount of work that science fiction, historical fiction or even romance does. Even mysteries require a believable caper to solve without pulling out an unbelievable 'solution'.

By the way, Switch, superhero movies are incredibly popular, but D.C. comics haven't been popular since the 40's. Everyone is nuts for Marvel, because their characters are relatable because, aside from fighting crimes, they wrestle with real-world issues like acceptance, discrimination, and the social costs of acting like a vigilante. Aside from the various recent Wonder Woman movies, none of the D.C. movies have done nearly as well. Their characters are just too perfect to interest most readers.

P.S. That's also why it's so much fun to occasionally write in these sub-genres. The creativity bar is set SO low, it doesn't take much to rise above the competition. Drama, police dramas or even action-adventures take significantly more work.

So yes, I take back my comments about those who write in these sub-genres being 'lazy', but the genres simply make churning out 'the same ol' shit' too easy.

Remus2

There is a difference in what's commercially viable, and what constitutes a literary work of art. The latter version is a rare commodity, while the former is everywhere.

My higher education days are decades in the past. As a result, I can't say what passes for works of art among the academic 'elites' these days. I do however, seem to recall most of them struggling to eat.
On the other hand, what has been commercially viable for the most part, can hardly be considered works of art. As such, there is an inherent lackadaisical approach to plots in most commercial writing. The audience isn't reading an erotic mind control story looking for the next 'To Kill a Mockingbird', they are looking for an assist into the realm of erotic fantasy.

That said, two hundred variant discriptors of a blow job or mindless bimbos doesn't rise to the level of a plot, much less a story.

Switch Blayde

@Remus2

they are looking for an assist into the realm of erotic fantasy.


Good way to say it.

Replies:   mcguy101
mcguy101
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


Your story, 'The Consequences and Rewards of Playing Hooky' has been requested multiple times in the Lost Stories forum. And with good reason - it's the polar opposite of lazy, brain-dead wish-fulfillment.

AJ


Thanks, AJ! Still loving your story, which is a great example of mind control in its own way, because people are being controlled to believe something that isn't true.

I see CW's and the initial poster's point, but they are indulging in some gross generalization here. Yes, lots of these stories favor rape fantasies/wish fulfillment and tend to wear the stroke or much sex labels. Still, there are a lot of mind control stories that are well written in terms of both character and plot development.

I've written at least 30 stories (published here and other places) that have touched on or featured Mind Control. I'd like to think that I've done a decent job of developing characters and plots (even if those plots aren't always completely original). Authors like El Sol and Billy Ray have also written some terrific MC stories that are available on this website too.

In CW's Catalyst Series, his main character's innate abilities affect some people in a way that is similar to mind control (it goes well beyond simple charisma). While it is not quite as simply as calling it MC (because there is more to this innate ability), the ability causes others to act out of character. In that way, it is similar to mind control. I won't say any more to avoid spoilers, but the series is really a terrific read.

My point is that while there are many stories that meet the complaint of the initial poster, there are plenty of stories that don't.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is lazy to call the entire genre of mind control "lazy", lol.

mcguy101

@Switch Blayde

@Remus2

they are looking for an assist into the realm of erotic fantasy.


Good way to say it.


Yep and it is actually a kink for many too.

xavier721
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I'm kinda simple and easy to please, Gal Gadot in my bed willing to be friendly would be very pleasing.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

and you don't need to do much rather than writing action scenes.


Assuming your premise is correct, what's lazy about writing action scenes?

PotomacBob

@Remus2


That said, two hundred variant discriptors of a blow job or mindless bimbos doesn't rise to the level of a plot, much less a story.


I beg to differ. In Star Trek 4, Spock told us that Harold Robbins was one of the masters of literature - and his stories were full of sex and blow jobs and mindless bimbos. Who ya gonna believe, your own judgment or Spock?

Replies:   Remus2
Remus2

@PotomacBob

Umm I'm going with myself on that one. LOL

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Remus2

But if you're American and of a certain age, you were probably raised according to Spock's "Baby & Child Care" ;)

AJ

Replies:   Remus2
Remus2

@awnlee jawking

Most definitely not by Benjamin Spock's "Baby & Child Care" as my Grandparents mostly raised me. More of muddled version of traditional German and Native American.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Darian Wolfe

@Remus2

I'll see that

muddled version of traditional German and Native American

and raise you a mountain baptist wild child alcoholic who herself was raised during the Depression. ;)

Replies:   Remus2  Crumbly Writer
StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

By the way, Switch, superhero movies are incredibly popular, but D.C. comics haven't been popular since the 40's. Everyone is nuts for Marvel, because their characters are relatable because, aside from fighting crimes, they wrestle with real-world issues like acceptance, discrimination, and the social costs of acting like a vigilante. Aside from the various recent Wonder Woman movies, none of the D.C. movies have done nearly as well. Their characters are just too perfect to interest most readers.


DC Comics are still popular, but ... their movies (other than WW) - just suck. Back when the first Superman movie came out, it was state of the art and you really believed he could fly. By the time they stuck Richard Pryor in, the genre had devolved to camp.

Then they've done Batman to death. And it's the same damned story, over and over again. The only bright spot in that whole mess was Heath Ledger as Joker.

But I think the main reason why Marvel movies are so popular now is that you'd be hard pressed to find someone over the age of 30 who doesn't know who Superman and Batman are - but who may not be aware who Wolverine (my favorite X-Man) or Deadpool (my wife loves those movies) are. And since most movie fans DON'T know who these folks are, there's no cultural standard that the movie makers have to meet. You KNOW that Superman isn't going to kill someone (except Zod) because he's ALWAYS the good guy. No conflict. Not so much in the Marvel universe.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@StarFleet Carl

The only bright spot in that whole mess was Heath Ledger as Joker.


Not Jack Nicholas?

awnlee jawking

@PotomacBob

Not Jack Nicholas?


Don't you mean Jack Nicholson?

AJ

Replies:   PotomacBob
Remus2

@Darian Wolfe

I bet family dinner discussions were interesting ;)

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
PotomacBob

@awnlee jawking

I probably do. Was he a Saint?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Darian Wolfe

@Remus2

Sometimes, I had learned early on if I sat real quiet adults would forget that I was in the room and then things would get real interesting. ;)

Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

I probably do. Was he a Saint?


Jack Nicholas was Saint Nicholas' nephew. :)

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Was he a Saint?

Jack Nicholas


He was the devil. I belonged to the first golf course he architected.

Sand traps so deep they had ladders, and if you were lucky you'd see the top of the flag when inside. Greens so slick you could tap the ball and, if it missed the hole, be 20 yards off the green. Oh, did I mention he invented target golf with that course? Sometimes you had to hit over desert 3 times to get to the green.

Truly the devil.

Crumbly Writer

@xavier721

I'm kinda simple and easy to please, Gal Gadot in my bed willing to be friendly would be very pleasing.

I'm still looking for my Gal Gadot! 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Darian Wolfe

and raise you a mountain baptist wild child alcoholic who herself was raised during the Depression. ;)

Sounds like she had plenty to be depressed about.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

The only bright spot in that whole mess was Heath Ledger as Joker.

Not Jack Nicholas?

He took a 9-iron to Batman's head.

StarFleet Carl

@PotomacBob

Not Jack Nicholas?


That's about par for the comments around here. :)

Jack Nicholson played Joker, Jack Nicklaus played golf.

Nicholson was okay, but he did a better job as Randle McMurphy playing off against Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched. The problem is he showed off as Jack Torrance in 'The Shining', too, so it was almost like in the Batman movie he was trying to pay homage to Cesar Romero and not be his own villain, whereas Heath Ledger went full fledged over the cuckoo's nest in his portrayal as Joker.

Darian Wolfe

@Crumbly Writer

She did. I was in my mid-twenties before I realized the enormity of the pain she had faced and realized she had done her best to cope. It was then I forgave her because I realized she had not been malicious towards us. She had done her best. Towards those who want to say there's no excuse try this:

: Father murdered before born. No man = no income
: Early childhood is during the great depression. 1 year Christmas is a single orange.
: Age 12 Shot with a shotgun by a would-be rapist. One leg disfigured. This was during the ERA of LEGS.
: At least 2 rapes that I know of
: Spent several years as a single mother.
: Finally, meets and marries my father has my sister and I less than four years later he dies. Now, a single mother again.

How strong of a person would you of been? If you haven't suffered at least one major life catastrophe or at least had to tell someone their family member has just died please don't answer and tell me how strong you would have been because frankly, you don't know shit.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Darian Wolfe

Sorry, I wasn't passing judgment, just making an honest evaluation of her condition (i.e. what she went through sounds like it's enough to depress most people.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Darian Wolfe

@Crumbly Writer

Crumbly, I never believed you were. I know you've seen too much in life to rush in with an I'd done it better.

I was just lettin' some of the youngbloods who haven't left the armchair yet know that their theoretical QB plays don't mean shit till they've been on the field a few times.

Crumbly Writer

@Darian Wolfe

I was just lettin' some of the youngbloods who haven't left the armchair yet know that their theoretical QB plays don't mean shit till they've been on the field a few times.

Each 'personal' situation is dependent upon the individual circumstances of that individual's life, and thus aren't really fixed by specific approaches. Where this breaks down, however, is that people like to make assumptions, thus 'because I know someone who refuses to change their behaviors', it must mean that anyone in dire consequences simply isn't willing to make the necessary changes in their life. While that's often true in many instances, it's dangerous making the argument for everyone (though it's fine for creating fictional people who behave stereotypically).

No one would ever argue that a particular approach might work in a specific case, only that it's likely to fail in other circumstances.

Replies:   Remus2  Darian Wolfe
StarFleet Carl

@Darian Wolfe

I was just lettin' some of the youngbloods who haven't left the armchair yet know that their theoretical QB plays don't mean shit till they've been on the field a few times.


What you've said is simply a testament to the strength of humans and how even in adversity, if you have a strong enough character, you don't give up.

Replies:   robberhands
Remus2

@Crumbly Writer

Where this breaks down, however, is that people like to make assumptions, thus 'because I know someone who refuses to change their behaviors', it must mean that anyone in dire consequences simply isn't willing to make the necessary changes in their life.


I've seen that before. Those making assumptions are forgetting sometimes bad things happen to good people, through no fault of their own.

Darian Wolfe

@Crumbly Writer

What's really interesting is sometimes the bad behaviour is honestly the BEST they can offer for whatever reason. It's not that they aren't giving their best over top superhuman effort. It that that effort is horrible and has horrible consequences. Beating them on the head won't help and telling them they should try harder won't help because they can't. It sucks to be them and it sucks to be under their influence. Sometimes life helps them, sometimes it destroys them and sometimes they live a long pain-ridden life.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
robberhands

@StarFleet Carl

... even in adversity, if you have a strong enough character, you don't give up.

Isn't that the prime example of a statement made while sitting on a comfortable recliner?

StarFleet Carl

@robberhands

Isn't that the prime example of a statement made while sitting on a comfortable recliner?


While I'm sitting in my comfortable desk chair now ... I'm also the second longest living testicular cancer patient in the world (at least according to my doctor, who is the one who actually came up with that cure), and I had heart valve replacement surgery last fall due to aortic stenosis.

I heard from my grandparents all the good stuff - my paternal grandfather started working in a coal mine at age 8 to support his mother and siblings, my paternal grandmother actually traveled in a covered wagon to her first teaching job in Montana. My maternal grandmother had raised 3 children by herself, the youngest was 3 (my mother) when her husband died in 1936 from tuberculosis he picked up as a US Marine in WWI.

Just because you've faced adversity doesn't mean you still can't have nice things later on in life - like a comfortable recliner or office chair.

Replies:   Remus2  Crumbly Writer
Remus2
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl

Just because you've faced adversity doesn't mean you still can't have nice things later on in life - like a comfortable recliner or office chair.


This is a true statement. Growing up on a reservation half/half was no picnic. Yet it was paradise compared to my grandparents on both sides.

There comes a point in a person's life where they choose to survive or be a victim. That doesn't just mean physically either.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Darian Wolfe

@Remus2

Lol, I'm not much for stuff per say. I have a home, that resembles a shack. My office chair is absolutely decadent with brown leather and deep plush cushions that any fortune 50 and I do mean 50 CEO would be proud to plonk his ass in. I splurge rarely, but when I do I do it right.

Replies:   Remus2
Remus2

@Darian Wolfe

I'm not much for stuff per say.

Neither am I. I married eight years after having built my home. Until that time, it had one chair, a small table, T.V., and a library full of books. In that time, I spent two months living there with the rest spent between S. America and Eastern Europe on one project or another. Found myself on a project in the P.I. after that where I met my wife.

She doesn't much care for loads of 'stuff' either. It wasn't until our son and daughter came along that the 'stuff' began accumulating.

Still I have my office with the same chair, a desk, PC, and books. My shop on the other hand, now has copious loads of stuff. Welders, CNC, and other tools. My son refers to it as fort testosterone, and the kitchen in the house as fort estrogen. My wife doesn't see the humor in that for some reason.

Darian Wolfe

@Remus2

Lol, I'm sure he'll learn in time what happens when you tease the kitty.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe
Darian Wolfe

@Darian Wolfe

Of course, I always had to do things the hard way myself.

Me: Honey can I have a pet?

Her: I guess, What do you want?

Me: (Holds hand about chin high) One about this tall with long brown hair about 18 years old.

That did not go over well. lol

Remus2

LOL, I imagine not.

Crumbly Writer

@Darian Wolfe

What's really interesting is sometimes the bad behaviour is honestly the BEST they can offer for whatever reason. It's not that they aren't giving their best over top superhuman effort. It that that effort is horrible and has horrible consequences. Beating them on the head won't help and telling them they should try harder won't help because they can't. It sucks to be them and it sucks to be under their influence. Sometimes life helps them, sometimes it destroys them and sometimes they live a long pain-ridden life.

And what's even more essential, is that often, to turn one's life around, you often have to hit rock bottom before you're willing to admit your current life strategies aren't working. So instead of passing judgment on people because of their personal failures, we should be helping people to face their failures openly and honestly, as it's the best chance they'll actually become better people and finally achieve something again.

The whole 'blame the victim' mentality short circuits that entire process.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Isn't that the prime example of a statement made while sitting on a comfortable recliner?

Ha-ha! That's why I said 'it's my favorite type of story to write', as I work from the comfort of my ergonomic desk chair for hours on end. I just prefer stories which feature struggles to succeed, and where those struggles pay off in the end, no matter how dour the odds look in the process. (You've gotta admit, most of my stories are fairly dark, so my 'happy endings' are the only thing which makes them tolerable!) 'D

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

I heard from my grandparents all the good stuff - my paternal grandfather started working in a coal mine at age 8 to support his mother and siblings, my paternal grandmother actually traveled in a covered wagon to her first teaching job in Montana. My maternal grandmother had raised 3 children by herself, the youngest was 3 (my mother) when her husband died in 1936 from tuberculosis he picked up as a US Marine in WWI.

Those all sound like the making of one phenomenal story, all told while sitting in your 'comfortable desk chair'.

As my other thread about the writing advice of Baldwin demonstrates, writing is all about overcoming the odds, and struggling on, despite everyone telling you that you'll never succeed. About how writers don't choose to become authors, they discover that they have stories inside which they have to free, and that, in order to justify their existence, they have to struggle to learn the craft to overcome those same odds.

Just because your struggle occurs in a comfortable chair doesn't mean your struggle is any less intense than other's physical struggles. It's just a different kind of struggle, one which few others are driven to face, namely tackles those issue society as a whole refuse to admit about themselves, but doing it in a way which excites readers, rather than repelling them.

Crumbly Writer

@Remus2

Still I have my office with the same chair, a desk, PC, and books.

But surely not the same PC. 'D Decent chairs last. Expensive computers, not so much.

BillyRay

@jhnmakii2nd

For me, the challenge of writing mind control stories is creating conflict that will keep the reader's interest.
You are correct, in that a lot of these stories have God-like heroes who spend three paragraphs dealing the big bad and three chapters on how their new harem services them.
In some stories I have strong protagonist with powerful enemies, in others I will use a weak protagonist who must overcome a more powerful enemy. The most interesting (to me) are the inner conflicts.
If you are still around, may I ask you to check some of my stories? "Jake's Dream Come True" (Billy_Ray77) is one that has gotten a lot of positive feedback on the story line, rather than the erotic aspects.

Replies:   mcguy101
mcguy101
Updated:

@BillyRay

Amen Billy Ray. You are certainly one of the finest of this genre on SOL and at the other place.

Like in any story, conflict can be created in many ways (internally and externally). What people who are not fans of the genre fail to understand is that it is not merely about wish fulfillment with no plot or character development. As you state there are stories like that but then again there are mainstream stories that are simply boy meets girl, they get married, the end. Every genre has stories that don't contain decent plot and character development, not just MC stories.

Mark Gander

It's easy to forget that a lot of the appeal of mind control has nothing to do with being lazy or not being interested in conflict, and everything to do with an escapist fantasy. There is a healthy release, a safety valve, with such things, and so I really don't see a point in dismissing writers of MC for simply writing out what many of us would love to do if there were no real consequences. The only trick is how to add enough conflict to such a scenario to actually make it a plot and not simply a fantasy all the way through, how to turn the fantasy, in other words, into a story.

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