Basic ideas how to create a good harem story.

#1
Basic ideas how to create a good harem story.

I'd read this forum and one question that was often asked around here was about 'harems'. I wanted to reply but some threads are necroed, and I know I'll pissed the mods off if I revived a necro thread, so I'll make a new one instead.

I mean... really? Harem?

What's the matter with writers who wanted to write harems and readers who love harems anyway. Despite all that negativity, why is it harem still ranked among the top of the readers wanted list?

Unfortunately, those who wanted to write about harem failed miserably and those who wanted to read harem got turned off. And those who are on the fence get more heated up and blamed harem for all the societies problems.

So, what's a 'harem' actually? 

Before I could answer that, let me tell you what harem is not.

1. Harem is not for your wish fulfillment. 

If the MCs are weak, dense, pointless, indecisive, useless, beta-male, depressing, anti-sociatal, nonsensical, temper throwing, vengeful, abusive, antagonistic, sceptics, thinks-the-world-owes-him-something, chuninbyouu, NEET, arseholic, jerk-olic, rude, or even a pain to write about, then tell me, why would any woman fall in love with him?

The reason why harem is such a delicate genre to balance and most neutrals who hate it because it doesn't make sense.If you are a guy who wanted to write a story, think of it this way; Would you like your sister/girl friends/best friend/mum/auntie/any female you know to be involved with such a character? If the answer is no, why should you even make a harem for that sort of MC.


2. Women in harem are not stupid.
If you make a woman's character just to be part of the MC's collection of women, you are not writing about harem. You are writing about... wash-downed version of a bawdy-house.

3. Harem is not for you to have a wankfest.
If you want that, harem is not for you. There are other places for you to have your own happy ending. 

4. OP MCs are not chick magnet.
So, just you think you wanted to create an OP MC, you can get away with harem and girls flocking you like you are the best thing since slice bread? Heh, think again. One extreme from the other is a recipe for a harem-ic disaster.


What Harem is?

1.  For a MC who believe in an open and polygamous relationship. And the setting that allows it. 

Harem is a part of this world's culture and so it existed; the China's dynasties emperors, the Middle Eastern civilization, the Asian cultures and many more had harems in one way or another. It is still alive and well, first world countries or not. The numbers are few, but believe me when I say it's not a just a concept of some barbaric nonsense and full with male pride. 

So, if your story had a setting that does not allow harem, why does your MC have to be in harem? Think about it. Just because he is your MC and you think its fun? You know what the readers think? It's bullshit and its revolting.

For example, let's take a scene comparison.

4000 years ago, the China emperor, let called him Emperor Han the Fifth had a empress. He went out hunting and saw a beutiful girl collecting mushroom. He liked that woman and using his eunuch of an aide, persuade the girl to become his concubine. The woman ended up being one of the 300 concubine the emperor had and her family now had rised in status. The concuine role was easy. She would entertain the emperor and do whatever he wishes.

Now, let's pan out to a modern man in the metropolis of New York. Here he is, the God's greatest gift to womenkind. As he walks down the road, many women fall heads over heel for him. With the flash of his smile, women throng him and spread themselves for him. As he hold the women on his arms, he gives out a big laugh saying how much the Gods have favoured him versus the other trashes of men that are looking and envying his presence.

Notice any difference(s) there?

2. Harem is about sharing and caring.

Pool the resources together. One women might not be good in cooking, but the other will. One can be a better protector, and the other a nurturer. One could do the housekeep and one could earn some money. All in all, harem is about supporting the MC. And MC will do his best to support his women.This is true especially when resources are scarce and everyone had to band together. If your MC happened to be OP, then pooling resources would be made easier. If your MC is weak (or as I had mentioned above), tell me, why does any women want to pool their resources with someone who can't even earn a dime on his own or someone who is pain to be with.

3. Harem is for a MC that can handle real life issues and grow with it. It spell as being an adult and mature.

If your MC is wussy, prissy, hissy, pussy, wimpy, neet-y, chuunibyoou-y and the only way to lead his life is by rejecting everyone around him and treats others with distrust, why the feck women want his love and his genetic inheritance anyway? Because he is mysterious? Hell no.

Just imagine this as you wanted to create a MC with harem. Do you allow this MC to date with your sister/girl friends? Do you vouch for him and be proud of him and would recommend a girl to date with him if the MC ever needs one?

And one more thing. If the MC hated woman, distrust others, treats others as trashes, why would he get near the women or anyone for that matter? Just because it's your story does not make it an excuse for woman to throw themselves into the arms of a man who's whole existence was to be a pain to others.

4. Loves, romances, misunderstandings, heartaches, growth, and trials of pain and pleasure are part of harem.
If your MC cannot deal with it, don't do harem. It's better to be el solo lobo.


Next part would be typical women in a harem setting.

(PS: I'll see how the reception goes before I want to continue.)

RE: Basic ideas how to create a good harem story.

#2
But harems don't need to go all the way into relationship status. I mean, I've seen many... many harem stories with girls simply pining for the attention of the MC with the author endlessly skating around the issue of who will the MC choose. There's no marriage and there's no single male in a committed romantic relationship with multiple females but it still a harem story. And women, like men are different, so to say no woman would ever go for a dense, weak and indecisive... and whatever you listed under the 'Harem is not wish fulfillment' heading is a bit narrow minded. It seems you've taken troupes that may be done in bad taste and just listed them off. One could have a vengeful MC in a harem story but still have him as a good MC.

Just a thought

RE: Basic ideas how to create a good harem story.

#3
1/30/2018 1:15:08 AMwolfgoesbaa Wrote: [ -> ]But harems don't need to go all the way into relationship status. I mean, I've seen many... many harem stories with girls simply pining for the attention of the MC with the author endlessly skating around the issue of who will the MC choose. There's no marriage and there's no single male in a committed romantic relationship with multiple females but it still a harem story. And women, like men are different, so to say no woman would ever go for a dense, weak and indecisive... and whatever you listed under the 'Harem is not wish fulfillment' heading is a bit narrow minded. It seems you've taken troupes that may be done in bad taste and just listed them off. One could have a vengeful MC in a harem story but still have him as a good MC.

Just a thought

Pining for attention itself is not harem. Don't make that mistake. Harem happened when women went into the relationship with the MC. Just googled up what 'Harem' actually means first and perhaps we can start from there.

What you described for me was not a harem. It called itself a harem, but not a harem. Flirting is not harem. I'd flirted with hundred of women, and do I grouped all these women as my harem? Lots of women wanted my attention, and are they included in my harem? No and no.

Here's two POV that happened often that made readers turned off.

First POV: The Man (as MC): I'll just flirt around and wait for my author to give me some women from nowhere to fill in my life.

Second POV: The Women: I'll commit myself to this man, the MC, without wanting anything in return. I'll just be a lifeless doll, waiting to be used by however the author see fit without a character of my own.

Both of the above are the wrong interpretation of harem. And that was just the tip of it. 

And really? Do women think that way? Do women really entered into a man's life without wanting a relationship? Every women I know, and I know alot, wanted to be in some of of a relationship with a man she desires. 

What sort of relationship? It's hard for me to list down everything, but the relationship could be said as dynamic. Whether it happened or not, is another matter.

Now, I did wish you did not mention the 'narrow-minded' part though. That was kind of a personal attack. It was uncalled for.

Pray tell me, which women that you know would go for a dense, weak and indecisive man? Can you list me one name?
That's the reason why I've said that it's just wish fulfillment from the authors who, by their own environment and culture, do not understand what harem actually means.

And a little rant... (Off topic)

Vengeful MC as good MC. Lol... One of the biggest trope there is.
Vengeful is define as to seek harm to others in return for one perceive injury. They key word here is perceive. How many MCs, especially the OPed one, went into deicide mode just because the said Gods/deities did not listen/fulfill to the MC wishes. Or being bullied when young, but once he got OP-ed, killed off his previous bullies. Wow, if nothing, the MC himself is the biggest bully there is.

I had read many stories when MCs went into genocide mode just because the innocents happened to be related to the one who killed his parents. Children, women, old men, passers-by all were killed just because he was vengeful. Without remorse.Tell me, is that a good MC?

Vengeful MC can make into a good story yes, but as good MC, very rarely.

Case to prove a point. Genghis Khan was a vengeful person. He had lots of wives and harems to boot by means of forcing, threatening and coercing women. Is he a vengeful person with harem, albeit done in poor taste? Yes. But was he a good person? You tell me.

I don't mean to sound condescending, but I'm stating what is and what is not. Harem story is a wonderful story if the author took his time to plan out and understand its meaning. Harem is getting a bad rep now because authors not only misunderstand what harem is, but instead plant his own version of harem that screams of wish fulfillment.

And one more thing, harem is deep ingrained in my culture and my life. I grew up seeing harem, living in one and experiencing one.

RE: Basic ideas how to create a good harem story.

#4
Well when I said good, I didn't mean a good man but more of a good character. Like you can have a good villain, not that he is a saint or anything but is a well put together character. And dude, women are as different as men, they have their own tastes, weaknesses and strengths, they may be similar in groups of cultures but they can and do vary. No matter how many books are published, no matter how many women you know, there is no such thing as a Woman Manual, so saying 'ALL WOMEN LIKE THIS AND NOT THAT' doesn't sound realistic to me.

So what I'm trying to say is, one can't say a good MC in a harem does not have some quality because a good character in any genre is suppose to be multi-dimensional so even if he is indecisive, weak, petty and vengeful, he should have other redeeming qualities that could make him (or her I guess) attractive.

I can't say have experience with harems in real life but I think I know the basics of constructing a bearable story and that's where I'm coming from with my arguments.

RE: Basic ideas how to create a good harem story.

#5
The thing is that most harem use the beta male, and a beta male having an harem is literaly impossible.
Something that I hate, is that people think that beta male=good MC, wich is a terrible thing that keeps ruining countless stories.

And the only real reason a women would stick with a beta, would be if he is filthy rich. (Like being a king, a warlord or a prince)
The most wrong thing about the harem topic is how most writers think that a "group of girls who only talk to the mc" = harem.

The good proper harem stories happen in the past, like the roman/medieval/mongol empire/chinese war states/samurai ages.
Asides from that, theres also the evil MCs, mind control and going into another world of medieval or futuristic theme.

For me, an harem that was done well was the manga maou no hajimetaka.
Unfortunately, I havent found a novel that does it properly.

Well, there was one, but unfortualy it was dropped years ago and I cannot recall its name.

Of course there can be the rare situation of a guy in actual real life who can be dating 2 girls that are close friends/twins/cousins, but thats a menage, not an harem.
You might even get 3 or 4 girls at the same time, but it wouldnt be a harem, it would be colored friends as it wouldnt last a long time.

I am trying not to offend the authors of 90% of the harems... but its like they never dated/cheated/been cheated or been in a real relationship for them to write these things...
Either that or their only target audience is 12 year old boys.

This is pretty much why I call "sword art online" the name "pokegirl online", it treats women worse than other stories, even the ones that involve mind control, forced relations and other stronger themes.

Overrall, before writing an harem, the authors should focus more on romance, and instead of trowing women into the MC like hes walking on the grass of a pokemon world, let him live and have relations with them one at the time with maybe a few twists, but not only that, add the break ups, dont be afraid of that, and for god and devils sake, dont be that author who has the mentality of "the first girl in the end shall be the MC's girl forever and ever".

RE: Basic ideas how to create a good harem story.

#6
2/2/2018 3:46:30 AMmarco correia Wrote: [ -> ]The thing is that most harem use the beta male, and a beta male having an harem is literaly impossible.
Something that I hate, is that people think that beta male=good MC, wich is a terrible thing that keeps ruining countless stories.

And the only real reason a women would stick with a beta, would be if he is filthy rich. (Like being a king, a warlord or a prince)
The most wrong thing about the harem topic is how most writers think that a "group of girls who only talk to the mc" = harem.

The good proper harem stories happen in the past, like the roman/medieval/mongol empire/chinese war states/samurai ages.
Asides from that, theres also the evil MCs, mind control and going into another world of medieval or futuristic theme.

For me, an harem that was done well was the manga maou no hajimetaka.
Unfortunately, I havent found a novel that does it properly.

Well, there was one, but unfortualy it was dropped years ago and I cannot recall its name.

Of course there can be the rare situation of a guy in actual real life who can be dating 2 girls that are close friends/twins/cousins, but thats a menage, not an harem.
You might even get 3 or 4 girls at the same time, but it wouldnt be a harem, it would be colored friends as it wouldnt last a long time.

I am trying not to offend the authors of 90% of the harems... but its like they never dated/cheated/been cheated or been in a real relationship for them to write these things...
Either that or their only target audience is 12 year old boys.

This is pretty much why I call "sword art online" the name "pokegirl online", it treats women worse than other stories, even the ones that involve mind control, forced relations and other stronger themes.

Overrall, before writing an harem, the authors should focus more on romance, and instead of trowing women into the MC like hes walking on the grass of a pokemon world, let him live and have relations with them one at the time with maybe a few twists, but not only that, add the break ups, dont be afraid of that, and for god and devils sake, dont be that author who has the mentality of "the first girl in the end shall be the MC's girl forever and ever".

Finally someone who gets it. I salute you.


2/1/2018 10:23:26 AMwolfgoesbaa Wrote: [ -> ]Well when I said good, I didn't mean a good man but more of a good character. Like you can have a good villain, not that he is a saint or anything but is a well put together character. And dude, women are as different as men, they have their own tastes, weaknesses and strengths, they may be similar in groups of cultures but they can and do vary. No matter how many books are published, no matter how many women you know, there is no such thing as a Woman Manual, so saying 'ALL WOMEN LIKE THIS AND NOT THAT' doesn't sound realistic to me.

So what I'm trying to say is, one can't say a good MC in a harem does not have some quality because a good character in any genre is suppose to be multi-dimensional so even if he is indecisive, weak, petty and vengeful, he should have other redeeming qualities that could make him (or her I guess) attractive.

I can't say have experience with harems in real life but I think I know the basics of constructing a bearable story and that's where I'm coming from with my arguments.

Perhaps you could try this. Let's see how my basic guide goes without prejudice and tell me if you have not learn something. If you do, then good. If you don't, then you can always debate until the cows come home.