Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Beta Read: Am I the Bad Guy

The following is a poem I’m planning to submit to Wolf Warriors 3 where a wolf questions his place in a society that views him only as a villain. Would love to hear what you guys think. What works. What doesn’t. What needs improvement. The usual. Be honest what you feel about it. I want to submit the best work I can give to these guys. Thank you for your time and have a nice day.

Am I the bad guy?
Do you see me as something to be feared?
Something to be distrusted and leered?
Am I the bad guy
Cause of my grey fur and paws?
My long muzzled snout and huge carnivorous jaws?
Am I the bad guy
For the actions of my ancestors?
Only trying to survive to make the pack better.
Why am I the bad guy in your eyes?
I’ve never done anything to hurt your lives.
Yet I smell your fear when you spot me.
Choosing to cross the street to avoid me.
Following an instant we say is dead
But you won’t feel safe until I’m full of lead.
I’ve seen the news.
I’ve read the headlines.
Another dead wolf who committed a crime
Never trying to understand where that life is coming from
Cause why deal with the issues when a story must be told.
Am I the bad guy
Cause we are so obsessed with history
Comfortable with a stereotype to prove your superiority.
I am sick of being labeled a crook
Tired how everyone makes the bad guy the wolf.
Warning our children as a form of evolution.
But ignoring all our progress for a solution.
I am angry that all my efforts to change are in vein.
So much so I want to lash out and cause pain.
You want a bad guy?
A bad guy you’ll get.
With a smile on my face my claws will lash out
Filling the streets with their screams abound.
Truly the city will be painted red.
As I become the monster you all have in your head.
But that would solve nothing, not even a push.
Just another story about a mad, mad wolf.
Am I the bad guy
Cause I want to be?
I don’t think so.
No, I’ll never be.
Those last few lines were noting but a sick dream
Created to fit in a sick society.
I know our history is full of darkness.
There was some truth in those tales to protect the harmless.
But times are changing whether you like it or not.
The wolf is no longer the bad guy as we once thought.
We’ve evolved with you so we can better ourselves.
To leave the savages back in the jungles.
But a few centuries of evolution can’t end
Millennia of survival of our ancestor’s past.
I’m a wolf and I cannot change that.
But I can show you I’m not the monster to fear at.
I can show you our love for family and community
And the sweet music we make for everyone to sing.
That we are also silly and playful
Like little pups who refuse to grow old.
The culture of a wolf is long and messy
But underneath it all is a beauty most have not seen.
I want to show the world that beauty.
That we can be just as heroic as three little piggies.
Am I a bad guy?
No. No I am not.
But the tides are a changing.
And so will those thoughts.
Soon those beasts of the night will be ancient memories.
As I howl into the night with my loving family.
Am I a bad guy?
Am I?

I like the way you’ve left it uncertain whether this is an anthro wolf in an anthro society, or a regular ol’ wolf addressing humans.

It’s quite long as it stands; maybe you could look at cutting lines that repeat a previous theme or don’t move the story along.

I enjoyed the rhymes and half-rhymes. Most of the time you don’t work too hard to force rhymes, which is good. I would make sure that all your sentences make sense, though; some have a slightly artificial, forced feel, e.g:

‘With a smile on my face my claws will lash out
Filling the streets with their screams abound.’

‘Following an instant we say is dead’

In some places I don’t quite understand the sense, e.g:

‘But that would solve nothing, not even a push.’

Sorting these out would give the poem a more natural flow.

You could also simplify some lines, e.g. ‘But underneath it all is a beauty most have not seen.’ - I feel ‘But underneath it all is beauty.’ is more powerful.

Quick one: you want ‘in vain’ not ‘in vein’.

Hope this helps!