Discussion Does anybody else despise harem endings?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Sami11, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Kuro_0ni

    Kuro_0ni Cocooned in a Life transition

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    Moving away from the webnovel scene. The Harem's in Korean Drama or Chinese Drama, usually confer to the political side of the story.

    A renowned General is given the hand of a magistrates daughter as thanks for saving his city, and she becomes part of his household (harem).

    Or the Ruler of a Kingdom in order to satiate the tyranny of the neighboring Kingdom, offer up their daughters as concubines to the 10-year old prince of that neighboring Kingdom.

    There's also use of the Queen's harem, which isn't entirely a reverse harem, but rather her attendants (maids, eunuchs, etc.)

    You also have the story of the Emperor who lost his favored concubine and becomes a shut-in and the Empress becomes the ruler of his harem as well as the country.

    -----
    As for OPs query, do I despise harem endings? No, not really.

    If the story is written for a young audience, most of the time, the Harem is comedic or wish-fullfilment.

    Stories written for mature audiences, have a decent world building & background which frames the harem as a construct, a plot device that moves the story, and not entirely as a one trick pony.

    I just read story for what it is, if it entertains me, then I keep reading, if the story isn't going anywhere, I just move on to another story.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not trying to persuade anyone into liking the harem troupe, I just would like people to know there are various levels of how it can be written.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  2. Nimroth

    Nimroth Someone

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    Why does it even have to be addressed to a specific author?
    It can be aimed towards translators to pick better stories or even people on the forum that want to write their own stories as well.
     
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  3. reagents 11

    reagents 11 disaster personified

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    Sure enough they only need to address them to a target audience either that is the author themselves or author in general. Translator has no input in what's written so why bring them up ?
    My point stands, criticism need an address and should be meant to be constructive.
     
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  4. Nimroth

    Nimroth Someone

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    Translators may not have an input in what is written, but they sure do have in deciding on what to translate.
     
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  5. reagents 11

    reagents 11 disaster personified

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    Good point. Then again translator do ask what to translate or decides themselves on which titles. Traditionally these translators are called fan translations for a reason.
     
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  6. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    Banning divorces only increases them in fact... and you are correct: It only worsens the nonfunctional relationship.

    On the last point: Harem is almost core to the wishfullfillment trash genre, and thus always goes hand in hand with bad writing. I did however point out how bad writing is also directly caused by harems, since it increases the skill requirements to write a decent story almost exponentially. In each novel is a budget for character development, depending on its genre, and overdrafting it harms the core of what the novel is supposed to be. Usually most of these bucks go on the MC and his growth over the course of the journey, and the rest to the major side characters. Harem drastically increases the amount of major side characters, and thus easily ends up with either undeveloped trash characters, or a broken pacing and flow. Neither is a desireable outcome (Unless you aim at horny 14-years old wn readers with no concept of quality standards but I doubt writers like to do that).
     
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  7. Nimroth

    Nimroth Someone

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    I think part of the problem really is authors simply not realizing the amount of commitment needed to make it work.
    It is easy to think "Others might not do it well, but as long as I avoid these pitfalls I can make it work", but this isn't something that can be fixed by a few choices here and there, the simple choice of doing a harem story is a bit like picking a higher difficulty level in a game, it is something that sticks around throughout the whole experience and influences everything.
    This isn't even limited to harem stories, I feel people tend to underestimate the ripple effects that added story elements have throughout a plot, especially regarding the initial premise.
     
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  8. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    Quite. Magic systems tend to be a similar strain. And to no-ones surprise these novels suck at both.
     
  9. reagents 11

    reagents 11 disaster personified

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    Their target audience is shounen for a reason :blobjoy:
     
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  10. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Aspect of Destruction』

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    Well, I'm not saying assholes don't exist, but I don't think they're the majority of the cheating cases... I believe most people that cheat do think they're doing something wrong and actually feel guilty about doing it.

    ... Of course I have no data on that, but that's what I believe anyways~
     
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  11. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    Not really because it doesn't address any of the underlying causes. For example there are all sorts of strong negative consequences for politicians who get caught cheating but tons of them do it nonetheless. And in the past, most places had harsh penalties for adultery but it still happened all the time.

    And as for divorce, there were and are still a lot of countries run by religious law (often Sharia law or Catholic Canon Law) and these laws could either ban divorce or set severe restrictions on it. For example, a couple in Ireland has to be separated for two years before applying for a divorce. I believe this period used to be four years in the past, and before that, divorce was altogether illegal. The problem is that these restrictions only result in unhappier couples.

    Exactly this. Writing a good believable romantic relationship isn't easy to begin with, so trying to writing several of these in the same story is only going to make it that much harder. Put this in the hands of an author who can't write good female characters to begin with and the outcome is predictable. Give the same thing to someone who actually likes writing female characters and is good at it, and the result is going to be a lot better.

    It doesn't help that a lot of the writers who write harem plots don't care about good writing in the first place.
     
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  12. Kuro_0ni

    Kuro_0ni Cocooned in a Life transition

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    To sum it all up in to "bad writing" is pretty much the general sentiment here.
    Yup yup, the more characters you add to a story, basically adds the extra requirement of creating that specific characters background.

    Depending on what the author is using as his source material to base his/her harem off of, that could make a difference as well. If they are following the mainstream copy-paste and wish-fulfillment stuff, you can practically tell how the story can end.

    I find it funny how they use the middle ages as a background setting and throw in the harem troupe, without realizing what a harem meant in those times or cultures. Nor do they explain it's significance to the story, it was just added in there. And it becomes wish full-fillment at that point because its not about supporting your partners and struggles in the world, but it turns into a cast of cheerleaders for the MC on a power-trip.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-​

    In a way, I expect authors who write "webnovels" to fail at using the Harem troupe. Because it requires a higher level of understanding of the concept. I believe the current mainstream use of the troupe, when directed towards a younger audience (Shōnen, Seinen) is just the two-dimensional, copy paste narrative. Essentially turning romantic comedies into a pokefest, where you have to catch them all or something. It's entertaining to read for the first time, but when it gets repetitive, the balance to the story starts to fall somewhere in the middle if not near the beginning.

    I believe this troupe is best read when it is not one of the main components of the story. Looking past the the Eastern sphere (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc.) and towards the Middle East & Africa, or European countries. There are stories/ translations which put eloquent use of harem troupe, the entourage of a specific individual (Male & Female), the households of nobility (adopting non-blood related people), and so much more.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    In higher tiers of literature, its sensible to have Harem as a point of reference, because you allude to another plot device in the story.
    You can craft a murder mystery, you can foreshadow events to follow destiny or to go against fate. You can craft horror, dramatize suspense and thrill. In the realm of science fiction, clones, dolls, artificial intelligence and so much more.

    In that respect here's a copy-pasta off wikipedia
    The king's wives, concubines, dancing girls and slaves were not the only women of the Mughal harem. Many others, including the king's mother lived in the harem. Aunts, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and other female relatives of the king all lived in the harem. Male children also lived in the harem until they grew up. Within the precincts of the harem were markets, bazaars, laundries, kitchens, playgrounds, schools and baths. The harem had a hierarchy, its chief authorities being the wives and female relatives of the emperor and below them were the concubines.

    Just saying you can technically write a story about stuff like this. But it REQUIREs a lot of explaining to make it fit the story. And honestly, for aspiring writers, if your plot can run without a harem, just don't add it in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  13. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    Happiness is relative to our expectations. If you were someone born in a world where harem is common would be much better prepared to deal with it than you.
    Also, harems not just multiple 1-on-1 relationships between the male and the multiple women. A healthy harem is a team effort.
    For example: it would be a good idea for two women who are best friends to marry the same man. Would make the harem much healthier.
    Even better: bisexual women joining a harem and creating a group marriage instead of simply marrying the man.
    Transcending harem tropes: a society where homosexuality or bisexuality is not stigmatized, so group marriages become a thing.

    You're just ranting now. Harem or no harem, people cheat for complex reasons. Just because someone is in a harem doesn't mean they will cheat. Like, wtf? Why do you think this?

    The second part. You just have a "high-maintenance" GF. Like, the best relationships are the ones where the two people are so in sync it takes little effort for them to keep their relationship in a healthy state.
    Also, not everyone has the same needs. Again, a person who was born in a world where harem is common would be much better prepared to deal with it than you.

    That's just misogynism. I'm not even in the camp of censorship and cancel culture, but your opinion of women is so warped, so horrible that the only way I can describe it is "misogynism."

    "Humans are fickle creatues, and women more so than men. If they feel neglected in a relationship their commitment is gone very quickly. And what they feel... thats as subjective as it can get."

    That's just... wrong... That's not now humans (and women) relate.
    Seeing your other post about "shitholes" and harems. I think you just have some edgy/grim/bitter view of relationships in general. You have no idea what polyamory looks like even if a trio of people were having sex in front of you.

    Do you think that "authors" are a different race of humans who live on a different planet? Readers discuss criticism, then possibly a small amount could end up becoming writers themselves.
    Discussion of criticism isn't "meaningless ranting" as you seem to believe. Critics also aren't a different breed of human, they are literally us. This is how society develops criticism and art, they publish it and others will share their opinions of it. If things go well, then the poster will come out of this having learned something.
     
  14. reagents 11

    reagents 11 disaster personified

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    Read my earlier post and try include them as a whole. There's quite a bit confusion on your part. Usually i would be sarcastic towards these kinds of clueless poster but since i rather not because that wouldn't be constructive and would rather meaningless.

    @Feng Tian
    Are you an author ? You should clarify to poster above.
     
  15. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    People like him aren't worth the effort or time :^) It would be akin to teaching a flatearther physics.
     
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  16. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    This is the essence of your posts. That's just... no.

    Jesus Christ, that's what normal discussion is about: talking about the good and the bad without having to worry about the author's feelings.
    For example: talking to a friend about a situation with your gf/bf that you think is abusive is not slander or talking behind someone's back.
    Criticism is not slander. Slander requires malicious intent, to be provably and to be presented as fact, not opinion. Most people here are merely spouting emotional words about what they feel about harems, which are opinions.

    Ranting or not it's still criticism, it's just filled with emotion. And criticism does not need to be either "constructive" or sent directly to the authors.
    Why? Because before we even send it to the author, it's a good idea to send it to others so they can criticize your own criticism. This is why peer reviewing exists and it's basically what's happening here. You send your work to other people (that are not the author) so they can evaluate it and pick apart the weakest parts of your point and tell you the stronger ones.
    It doesn't have to be constructive because, well, this is not even aimed at the authors. Ranting is a thing because it's good for the mind, it's de-stressing to put all your angry feelings into words and "make something meaningful with it," ie to publish it for the world to see. Then it's even more de-stressing to find others who think like you.

    It is COMMON PRACTICE to send any work, be it paintings, dancing, novels, speeches, analyzes, scientific papers, project plans, business plans, criticism, or just about ANYTHING, to others to either to get their opinion or just to make something public. Criticism and ranting aren't some special cases ruled by some weird law that you seem to believe exists.

    Also.
    That's just bad writing to dismiss complaints as "it's fiction." You don't hand-wave conflict away in a novel with "it's magic," you don't get to hand-wave criticism with "it's fiction," be it emotional (ranting) or not.

    Wrong.trump
    You don't need to research, this is not what this forum is about. This forum is for people to talk, casually or not, about novels. It's social media for people who enjoy talking about their hobbies.
    This forum is meant for discussion, be it well-researched or not. It's not a scientific forum, it's a peer review forum on steroids and lacking any "professionalism."

    Not useless. Like I said, ranting is a de-stressing behavior, so for the one ranting and the other's who join in, it gives quite a satisfying feeling.

    Wrong.trump
    Society evolves by talking to each other and learning from one another. Even inventions are likely a team effort than a single genius's work.
    A rant may have a simpler, emotional reason to exist, but it's absurd to think that nobody ever learned anything from the discussion that's happening right now.

    BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.

    Good
    authors know how to pick apart a rant and get to the meat of the criticism or the reason why the person is so displeased. EVEN RANTS ARE USEFUL.
    So no, you don't even need to be "constructive."

    You didn't even try. Of all people, the one who's closest to "flat-earther" levels of misconception about harems and relationships is you.
     
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  17. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    Kappa
     
  18. Nisaea

    Nisaea Active Member

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    Sound argument...

    I don't mind harems btw
     
  19. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    As sound as his fairly baseless accusations. Hence why properly responding to him is pointless outside of some weak bait attempts.
     
  20. Nisaea

    Nisaea Active Member

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    From where I see it, he presented a valid point of view and you just glossed over it with the flat-earther analogy, which is fairly ironic.