Diaper Story Tropes to Avoid

LiLPip

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We all love a good diaper fiction right? But what makes a good story well... good? It's the creative way in which the author tells a story that is both compelling and captivating. The readers want to self identify with the story's protagonist and become emotionally invested in what happens to them. Writing a good story is hard, but writing bad ones are really easy. Here's some classic BAD story tropes to avoid when writing your fan fictions!

Authors Note: This is kind of intended to be a living thread. I'll update it with more as I find the time and the cliches.

1) Creepy Parents/ Adults.
The creepy parents plot is well over done and involves, usually, either the parents or other adults close to the protagonist becoming actively involved in the main characters fantasy about being a baby. They usually end up changing diapers, dressing their children childishly, and encouraging regression, which is the exact opposite of what any real parent would do. Except for maybe if they were peadophilic infantilits themselves and that's just messed up.

Why is this bad? Because most parents want their children to be healthy, to grow, and to become capable adults. Regressing back into babies would be seen as the exact opposite of this. Buying diapers for your child that needs them is one thing, but suggesting or encouraging regressive behavior isn't realistic and it shatters the readers suspense of disbelief when it occurs.

2) Everyone does it!
Though not usually seen in the primary plot arch this plot device is a very common "second act" occurrence. After the main character adjusts to their diapered life at home, and overcomes any insecurities around family members the next test for them is overcoming the insecurities about friends or extended family finding out about their diapers. The good news is though it turns out EVERYONE loves diapers and joins in as either caregivers or wearers themselves.

Why is this bad? Because this is not at all how things would realistically happen in real life thus, again, the readers suspension of disbelief is shattered. Speaking from personal experience having been a diaper lover my entire life I've told many a friends and family about my desire and need to wear diapers. The most common reaction I get is an uneasy "uhhh okaaaay" and then the subject NEVER comes up again. And realistically that's what would happen to your story's main character. Their friends, provided they are real friends, would accept it but it but the chances of them becoming actively involved in the main characters fantasy is slim. Realistically the conversation would end as awkwardly as it began and the bigger conflict would be with other peers who find out who are less sympathetic. And let's face it. Kids are jerks. Especially with stuff like this.

3) The Perpetuation of the Baby Fantasy.
All the adults or characters in the caregiver role eventually accept, encourage, and engage the main character's infantile fantasies.

Why is this bad? As adults the choice to live an ABDL lifestyle is a choice that we make. But that's a privilege that comes with being an adult. Most diaper fictions deal with main characters who are still minors during the time the story takes place, and most parents, outlined in my first point, wouldn't see encouraging the infantile behavior as being healthy. And certainly any other government run agency such as a public school system wouldn't either.

4) Everyone's a bedwetter.
The main character's downward plunge into the subject of wearing diapers stems from them being a bed wetter.

Why is this bad? It's low hanging fruit. Sure it works, but when it's over used it becomes played out. There are lots of reasons why someone would wear diapers that would make for an interesting story, including and for no other reason the main character just wants to.

... and there are more tropes. I'll expand this as I think of them. But as for now I think this is a good start.
 
M

Maxx

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We all love a good diaper fiction right? But what makes a good story well... good? It's the creative way in which the author tells a story that is both compelling and captivating. The readers want to self identify with the story's protagonist and become emotionally invested in what happens to them. Writing a good story is hard, but writing bad ones are really easy. Here's some classic BAD story tropes to avoid when writing your fan fictions!

I'm going to politely disagree with and perhaps redirect a couple of your thoughts. By definition, a diaper story involves diapers in some way. There are a limited number of reasons why a character would wear, so inevitably the plot devices are going to repeat to some degree. The key to a good story is making the diapers an accessory rather than the central plot, ie, writing a good story whose characters happen to wear diapers for some reason. If you're writing a story, ask yourself if it would still work without the diapers. If it doesn't, then yeah, you better have an original, legitimate, believable reason for diapers being central to the story. Timberly, Ohio is a good example of that.

1) Creepy Parents/ Adults.
Agreed. I don't think that's much of a problem here. Its too hard to stay on the good side of PG13 when you're working this theme.

2) Everyone does it!

Though not usually seen in the primary plot arch this plot device is a very common "second act" occurrence. After the main character adjusts to their diapered life at home, and overcomes any insecurities around family members the next test for them is overcoming the insecurities about friends or extended family finding out about their diapers. The good news is though it turns out EVERYONE loves diapers and joins in as either caregivers or wearers themselves.

I'll protest slightly here. People adjust to and internalize all sorts of behaviour that would seem bizarre out of context or to someone not in the inner circle. Everybody loving diapers? No. Everyone getting used to it and not thinking twice? Sure. Someone with CP or some other disability in your family? You get used to the diapers. No different than tampons or sanitary napkins.

4) Everyone's a bedwetter.
The main character's downward plunge into the subject of wearing diapers stems from them being a bed wetter.

Why is this bad? It's low hanging fruit. Sure it works, but when it's over used it becomes played out.

I'll disagree a little more strongly here. If the entire story is about someone's bedwetting, yeah, that's a little lame, but a story about someone who happens to be a bedwetter is fine. The bedwetting complicating their life or throwing a twist into the story is fine too (Raquel's Only Wish comes to mind)

There's a lot of bedwetters out there. Ordinary bedwetting, birth defects, accidents, whatever. Having a main character who wets the bed isn't any more unusual than one who happens to be hispanic, or stutters, or is afraid of heights. Aside from the fact that we like diapers, it adds depth to the character.

Think a minute about your own life, family, and acquantances. Surely you can name several who were bedwetters past the so-called normal age of 3 or so. I had a couple cousins who did until 8 or 10, same with my first two grandsons. A friends daughter did until at least 10 (I'm sure, because that's when he told me about it.), and beyond that I'm pretty sure, as I happened to see him looking up diapers on his computer when she was 12 or 13.

There are lots of reasons why someone would wear diapers that would make for an interesting story, including and for no other reason the main character just wants to.

Yep, but if you look at the best stories, they're about something else, with the diapers along for the ride.
 

WildRoseBaby

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You can do variations on these skillfully and make something readable. But if you have the chops to write good characters and make them act in a way that is believable or even compelling you can definately branch out.

Unfortunately a lot of abdl stories are written in the style of "described narative for the visually impaired " so even an original plot is unreadable.
 

blablafreckenlover

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I don't do any of those things *cough*. Real talk though sometimes it's hard to avoid. Especially if your writing the archetypal punishment fantasy or the alternate universe one or the magical curse one not to mention and general piece of fiction where the main character wars diapers and also lives with their parents. Eventually the parents would find out and if they did realistically there goes your story. How do you find your character someone to relate to unless they share their interest. Even if they don't share the interest in diapers if they spend long enough time around the one that is interested in diapers they'll probably want to try it out of curiosity. Also if you're going to write an ab themed story it's kind of hard not to perpetuate the baby fantasy to some extent if it's not done by the parents then it's by other characters in the story. It's hard to keep the narrative interesting (let's use that word) and explore all of the angles without delving into some of these troupes. I know I might be biased because I'm guilty of 1, 2, and to a lesser extent 3 in my own writing but it's not like I didn't realize I was being troupeish. A lot of the time it was just natural progression and escalation. And I think the troupes are kind of part of the fun a lot of the times like I giant running in joke. That's just me personally though I can understand if you find them grating or annoying. I guess all I'm trying to say is that it's not as easy to avoid them as it might first appear.
 

Gwendolyn

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Here's one you don't see as much any more, but when you do it ruins a story. With no explanation the main character uses a diaper way too often, pees every 10 minutes / poops five times per day.
 

dogboy

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Though I agree with you, they are diaper stories and so most of us don't expect great writing. In fact, much of the diaper stories are barely mediocre. My personal beef is the dialogue story, a story that starts with dialogue, continues with dialogue and has almost no narrative. Has anyone read a real recognized novel that does this?

Maxx is spot on in that any good story, diaper or otherwise needs to have a central plot and I might add, a real ending that then becomes an acceptable conclusion to all the elements that should create conflict and resolution. There should be a rising action, a series of events that then fall into the conclusion.

It's for these reasons that I typically write diaper stories that are scary/horror. It provides all the elements of what a short story does, plus I like scary stories. They're certainly not professional, though I've heard from the Pulitzer committee on the latest one. Wouldn't that be a hoot! "And this year's Pulitzer Prize for literature goes to a strange little diaper story."

I do read the occasional good diaper story, and even though they're rare, they also include all the stereotypes that would make it easy to criticize. For me, they usually center around forced diapering/infantalism. Usually, some poor guy, either the kid next door, or the husband, gets caught by the sexy, domineering neighbor, or the angry neighbor. These plots are used over and over again, but unless you go where I tread, and few do, they're all going to be similar. That's why I get a kick out of having my protagonists have something go terribly, terribly wrong. In a way, they poke fun at all the old cliches.
 

TheWolfEmperor

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This is a huge part of the reason why I don't finish a lot of the diaper related stories I write (much to the chagrin of my faithful readers). The ones I finished, way back in high school, were pure fetish material, I won't deny that. Then later I tried to do something slightly less fetishy and that story got a lot more readers than I ever expected. Unfortunately, The Awakening was finished pre-purge and it is only available on another diaper-related forum that a number of people here are also members at, but I'm not sure I can link (or even safely go to now that I'm using the public library's computers) .

The latest story, which I did not finish, frustrated me a bit. It was no one's fault, but I finally got enough confidence to start working on my publishable work and writing something, for free, for a very limited audience was something I could no longer bring myself to do.

I'll add some tropes.

The Undersized Protagonist: Any main character who is allegedly high school aged or older, but has the physical appearance of a small child. I know there are diseases and genetic conditions that actually do suspend a person's age, but presenting a character with this condition and having it be an advantage gets old.

Kidnapping: Pretty much explains itself, but the story usually involves a child/teen (sometimes adult) being kidnapped and forced to wear diapers/be a baby or whatever.

Hypnosis/Hypnotism: Another one that explains itself. A few stories manage to pull it off, or use it realistically.
 

Calico

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I can understand the parent and child part. Those stories were mostly written by underage teens or by young adults who had a fantasy of being a baby again and their parent treats them like one and they would be based on their childhood fantasy. There were a bunch of those online when I was in high school and it seemed acceptable back then in the ABDL community, now today they will be seen as creepy. Ones I never really liked were if the child was forced to be a baby and they would get humiliated and lose their teen rights, I always saw it as child abuse. It would be different if that was happening and the parents were caught and got in trouble for it.

I did write one myself when I was 17 where a girl was forced to be a baby again because it was requested. It was called Adventures in Adult Babysitting and the girl in it was an adult, 18, not underage but her baby sitter was underage, 17. I had never written one where a minor was babied by a parent.
 

LittleManAlex

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I've written a story, that really is the hidden unpublished, still being written I guess finale to a long series of fan fictions that I have written over the years, Part of me wants to be able to post that here, but it jumps into it pretty much straight away. It wasn't even intentional as I was writing, I tend to write with a vague idea of where I am heading, and let my subconscious control the emotional flow of the story. To jump into it right now I feel would gloss over massive chunks of character development that lead to this point, also a few of the stories would violate some of the rules.

But if it were to ever be seen I think I've used the tropes 1 2 and 3, but I think with the entire series up to the part I speak of now, it becomes more understandable of why these things are happening... as opposed to I wet the bed and mommy made me be a baby and sent me to school and everyone was a baby,"

Returning to the discussion at hand, I think many of these tropes are used to be the same story over and over again, maybe this time Sally is Jimmy, but alot of the time, the stories are the same. That said as I believe was said before, if the characters and their stories are compelling enough you can progress into a number of unorthadox situations and it can seem entirely feasible and believable.

There was a story a read here a few years back in my occasional lurker days, Lab 51 or Project 51 or something like that. Parts I felt were well written and entirely believable for a premise as unbelievable as this one.

Now I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with the long winded, tangent inducing post of mine, so I'll some it up.

If your characters and storyline are engaging enough, you could potentially write an absolutely brilliant master piece of a story using every ABDL trope known to man, because the trope is merely an accessory to the story, not the central part to it.

Hope that made sense,

Kifflom
 

kerry

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So here's the thing, at least in my opinion.

Speaking as a long-time writing teacher and a writer myself, I will tell you without hesitation that the old saying that there are no new stories is absolutely true. Pretty much all stories everywhere can be boiled down to a small number of basic plot devices. Some of these devices become so glaringly obvious that authors actually make a great living out of exploiting them. Think of any successful romance writer or mystery writer, essentially writing the same basic plot over and over again with different details. Think of Nicholas Sparks, who has made quite a name for himself out of star-crossed lover stories, a trope that is about as old as stories themselves. Many (if not all) highly successful writers have written stories that reflect tales that others have already written...again and again and again.

All of this is to say that it is not the tropes themselves that cause the problems. Maxx brought up Raquel's Only Wish, certainly one of our finest stories, which is of course guilty of "trope #4." But many of the best stories here are based, in part or in toto, on one trope or another. The Weird Scholarship, The Mystery of Disposition, Stories We Tell, etc. may not be about these tropes, but they certainly use them. It's rare that a great story like Maxx's own Resurrection or most anything by Tripped comes along that defies tropes entirely, and these are very often genre stories (ghost stories, horror stories, science fiction, etc.), which of course are categories with their own tropes.

Tropes are only a problem if the writer is not skilled enough to place them where they should be placed: the story's background. Raquel is incontinent and worries constantly about people finding out and belittling her, but that is not what the story is about. It's about her search for relationships both in her teen life and with parents she has never known. It's about her coping with the myriad lies and misunderstandings that have made her life what it is. A lesser writer would have left the incontinence and her struggles with that in the foreground; Emily91 is not a lesser writer.

So take it for what it is worth: I don't think you need to avoid tropes completely. But I do think you need to write stories that are not ABOUT them. And that will make all the difference.
 

Geno

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There's actually one thing I ask all to avoid, and it is what I call the "ABDL Pathetic Fallacy." Which was inspired from this particular literary term:

The phrase pathetic fallacy is a literary term for the attributing of human emotion and conduct to all aspects within nature. It is a kind of personification that is found in poetic writing when, for example, clouds seem sullen, when leaves dance, or when rocks seem indifferent.

The ABDL pathetic fallacy can be summed up in this one particular line which I see all too often:

"He/She went into their waiting, thirsty diaper."

...Thirsty diaper.
...waiting.

1311626491256.jpg
 

Maybeshewill

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There's actually one thing I ask all to avoid, and it is what I call the "ABDL Pathetic Fallacy." Which was inspired from this particular literary term:



The ABDL pathetic fallacy can be summed up in this one particular line which I see all too often:

"He/She went into their waiting, thirsty diaper."

...Thirsty diaper.
...waiting.

View attachment 25528

As someone who makes this mistake and is actively trying not to, this.

And sorry if this is thread necromancy.

OotS-Thread-Necromancer.png
 

babyemo

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Writing Ageplay is difficult for new writers as most of the stories written are in the "this is my first story" category. Getting a little deeper into story writing, the most common mistake of a new writer of Ageplay is when the story advances solely because of ageplay/diapers/punishment. The phrase "and then" is a good indicator of this. Instead of a story involving diapers, it is a story ABOUT diapers. I suggest mako allen's work as a good example of a story involving kink, but the character's relationships move it along.
 

CuddleFish

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The OP mentioned that some of these tropes are bad because they are simply unrealistic. We obviously have very different priorities.
 
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I don't think any of the tropes are bad, though stories vary wildy in their purpose and motivations. Some stories are an opportunity for people to explore and express their fantasies. Having a place where they can post and share, like ADISC, is a great way for those people to seek support and come to self-acceptance. Telling them that their fantasies are bad isn't a great start. Of course much of the writing we read is not going to be glorious, flowing prose. Writing glorious prose is really hard. But we're not a forum for only top-notch professional authors and there's no bar of originality required for making a post in the story forum. Sometimes people just want to express their feelings and to do so in fiction.

Now, I do think that people who write also want to try and grow as writers. And it's great to try and identify tropes or common cliches that might elicit a groan from the reader in order to help writers who are trying to improve. But that sort of criticism needs to be carefully delivered, and each writer judged based on where they start and how they're improving, rather than with a broad category of prohibited things.

At least, that's my :twocents:
 
M

Maxx

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A thought from the Devil's Advocate: Consider a story without any tropes. Nobody would read/watch/listen to it. There has to be something relatable for the audience (and the storyteller!). Even if you managed to bull through it, at the end you'd wonder why you did. Every decent piece of fiction, and even a lot of non-fiction is full of them. National Geographic makes the lifecycle of an alligator seem exciting by using anthropomorphic tropes to make it relatable for us.

From the viewpoint of the pea sized brain of the alligator, it looks something like this:

Daylight
Mud
Water
Lunch
Nap

(Lunch and nap repeating endlessly for a few years)

Bite leg off rival
Sex
Lunch
Nap

Why do you think technical manuals are such a chore to get through? There's that moment of elation when you find what you're looking for, but other than that its just mental pushups, hopefully useful facts stored away against future need.

When reading or writing, I find repetitive words, phrases, and sentence construction much more tedious than tropes. There's a nugget for a diaper story about a preschool child that's been in the back of my head for ages, but I haven't figured how to bring it to the audience. The child's limited language skills would make it unreadable and difficult to understand from that viewpoint, and an observer wouldn't have the means to know what's going on in the child's head. Having a believable means for the story getting told is an important part of it. Telepathy? Remembered memoir?

There's also the difficulty that meaning of thoughts and actions to the child are very different than how they are understood by the surrounding characters, and even different than the child will percieve later on. Sort of a Flowers for Algernon situation.

If tropes were bad, theaters would have been empty for Star Wars. Good vs. Evil, sword and sorcery, black hats, FTL travel.... seriously?

Edit: Looking at it again, I'm not sure why I thought I should put that bit in about a potential story. Its got nothing to do with tropes. The potential story does, but not the bit I typed. Perhaps that's why I put it in.
 
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