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Thread: Is the concept of a succubus too cheesy for a modern audience?

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Is the concept of a succubus too cheesy for a modern audience?

    A succubus has been summoned from hell to our realm by a fool using an ancient text called "demonic pacts for dummies "(placeholder title don't worry). The ritual goes horribly wrong due to incorrect information and resulted in the summoner''s death. The succubus is now free to roam our realm unsupervised and begins terrorizing the populace by leaving a string of bodies in her wake. A succubus has a number of advantages over a human, including increased strength, speed, resistance to harm, and telepathic powers. It has the ability to hypnotize it's victims, putting them into a deep trance. A pleasant, euphoric haze descends on the victim who is under her spell, making them very open to suggestion. This ability only works on men, and uses a large amount of energy (mana) from a succubus to use. The creature can also use polymorphization to slightly adjust and tweak it's features, changing its appearance as needed, but always in the form of a human woman. It needs to hunt every month or so to recharge it's mana reserves. The longer it goes without food, the less control it has over its faculties. At some point, it will force itself on the closest individual it can find.

    The creature feeds by preying on men that it seduces. It absorbs the mana from their souls, leaving them desiccated, dried up husks that are later disposed off. Sex with a succubus is far more enjoyable than with a mortal human, which it uses to release the energy from the victim. After the soul is eaten, the creature gains the memories and abilities of the person. The strength of its abilities continues to grow as it feeds off of more prey. At some point, it can completely "dominate" it's victims, enslaving them to its will. A human under its spell at that point would do anything they are told to do by her, including murder, steal, or die. Hypnotization only works on one person at a time while the succubus is weak. As it grows in strength, it can extend it to multiple victims, but can use up it's mana more quickly.

    Citizens are terrified and authorities are in panic. Hundreds of unexplained disappearances become commonplace, with victims later turning up scattered around the city. The bodies resemble dried up corpses similar to raisins being left out in the sun for too long. The succubus enjoys the fear that she is instilling, and is no closer to being found. The body count continues to pile up with no end in sight.

    I'm trying to salvage the concept of the succubus without turning it into some kind of hentai. Rather than portray it as the sexy, fetishized interpretation of this creature, such as in the show "lost girl", make it out to be a dangerous predator with the pathology of a serial killer, along the lines of catherine tranell or hannibal. Im thinking that telling it from the creatures point of view would be even more disturbing. It would be a look into the mind of a sociopathic monster that sees human beings only as a food source, killing without conscience and destroying lives for its own amusement. Does a sex related story of a monster like this inevitably devolve into fetishist territory, or can it actually work as horror?

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
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    i really love Lost Girl. sad that it's ended now, but it's for the best.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW
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    I LOVE succubus stories and plan to write one myself eventually.

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    It was entertaining, but I feel a being like that shouldn't be so frendly or good.

  5. #5
    AW's resident Velociraptor ShaunHorton's Avatar
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    Does a sex related story of a monster like this inevitably devolve into fetishist territory, or can it actually work as horror?
    The answer to the question "Can this work?" in regards to any kind of story, is always. "It depends on the execution."

    I think as far as a succubus goes, you simply have to focus more on the fact that this is a monster that defiles and kills people through sex, as opposed to the sex itself. To really press it home though, a few sex scenes, and lots of overt sexuality will be required, but again, it'll depend on your execution whether it comes off as horrific or hentai.
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  6. #6
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    I like your idea, and yes, I think it can work but you should carefully consider how you approach your story. Oddly enough, my current story has a character that sees people as a source of food, so I've spent a good deal of time contemplating how to use this character without turning off the reader.

    To begin with, if you cast the succubus as the protagonist you may have problems getting your readers to relate or "like" a lead character that's so evil it kills without conscience and eats people for food. Your reader must want your protagonist to succeed. Your reader must feel disappointment for the protagonist when things go wrong. Your reader must feel encouraged for your protagonist when things look hopeful. Asking your reader to relate this way with an evil sociopathic monster that eats people for food is going to be one touch nut to crack.

    You'd do better casting the succubus in the role of antagonist and using its sociopathic tendencies to build a hatred in your reader toward this evil character. This you could do...people are inclined to hate a monster that eats people for food. Consider your own example. When Thomas Harris created the Hannibal Lecter character, he cast Hannibal as the antagonist because there'd be no way readers would love and root for a brain-eating sociopath. But...they would root for a young country girl trying to take on the evil monster all by herself. It's a typical David vs. Goliath scenario.

    In the case of Lost Girl (I followed the series from beginning to end) Bo was a very likeable succubus. She did not eat people. She cared for others. She looked for the good in others. She made it her goal to care for and protect her community of friends. So you see, even though Bo was a succubus, the show portrayed her as more human than monster. That's why we like her, we root for her, and why she always conquered evil by the end of each episode.

    Do what you want. It's your story, but IMO, I'd cast the succubus as the antagonist and make her just as evil and hateable as you can. Then find yourself a loveable underdog to be the protagonist. For all you know, the loveable protagonist could be the succubus's twin sister who followed her out of the depths of hell to stop her from eating people for food.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW Noizchild's Avatar
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    Yes! Lost Girl fans exist here! Sweet!

    To answer your question, I don't think it is. I would suggest spicing it up some to make it hot and more interesting. Oh and on another note, kitsune are like a Japanese version of the succubus.
    "You ask me what I thought about
    Before we were lovers.
    The answer is easy.
    Before I met you
    I didn't have anything to think about."

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunHorton View Post
    The answer to the question "Can this work?" in regards to any kind of story, is always. "It depends on the execution."
    This!

  9. #9
    Talking Fruit Melanii's Avatar
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    Succubi are awesome. Don't ask me why.

    As long is it's executed nicely, GO FOR IT.


  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Noizchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeMountford View Post
    This!
    I second!
    "You ask me what I thought about
    Before we were lovers.
    The answer is easy.
    Before I met you
    I didn't have anything to think about."

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