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#1 pennyardelle

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 11:06 PM

Welcome to my Meet the Author section! Please feel free to ask me any questions you'd like about my writing and I'll be happy to answer. :)

My favourite stories are generally James/Lily, both to read and to write about. I got into them years ago and am irreversibly attached. My main fan fiction project is a series of novel-length stories about them, beginning in their seventh year and continuing through their time in the Order. Beyond that, I do have a few other ideas for fan fictions and some hopes to write some original stories, as well. I've been a forum moderator since November 2010, and I really enjoy helping to make HPFF what it is, both as an author and as a staff member.

I suppose that's all there really is to say about me as a writer, but if you're here, maybe you have something more specific that you'd like to know.
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#2 RocketBabyDoll9

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 03:47 AM

I saw that your meet the author page was looking rather lonely. Mine is too, so I can empathize. You may recognize my username from a review. Yes, just one review so far, as I've only read the first chapter of Once Defied.
I am a relatively fast reader, and had I had the inclination to do so, I could have breezed through your first few chapters, and left simple "I liked it" reviews. I have indeed done that before, but as I have taken a liking to this story, I decided I would read each chapter thoroughly, as to be fair to you.

Now, I have a few questions for you.

1) I'm going to hazard a guess and say that you don't like to read Marauder era fics too much, since you think they're overdone. (They are!) So, what era(s) is (are) your favorite to read?

2) Other than the cliched cliches (you know which ones I'm talking about: spin the bottle, exchange students etc.) which lesser known cliches do you dislike? (Admittedly, in my own story there are a few cliches, but that's partly the point, and I am fully aware that they're there.)

3) I see that you're a stickler for canon. How do you feel about OCs (from any era) who have a last name that's not in the Lexicon? (An exemption would be an OC whose, let's say, father was also an OC who happened to be muggleborn, therefore he would not have a name in Lexicon.)

4) Do you make story/chapter outlines? This is something I cannot bring myself to do. It's not as fun for me, and it seems like too much work for someone lazy like me to do. I prefer to just write what I feel, and edit it before I post it. Horrible I know.

5) Lastly, how do you feel about chapstick? Or lipbalm, whatever you call it. (:

(Sorry, I can be a bit odd.)

-RBD

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#3 pennyardelle

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 05:21 AM

Hey, RocketBabyDoll9! Of course I recognize your name, and thanks again for the review. I'm so flattered that you're planning on going through the story that thoughtfully; I really look forward to hearing what you think!

This is so exciting to have some questions on here for the first time! When I first saw it on the main forum page, I thought, "What in the world is my penname doing in a topic title?", and then "Aaaah! Someone asked something on my MTA page!"Posted Image And they're really good questions, too.

Get ready for an essay...

1) I'm going to hazard a guess and say that you don't like to read Marauder era fics too much, since you think they're overdone. (They are!) So, what era(s) is (are) your favorite to read?



Actually, I really love Marauders era! It's without question my favourite era to read. Goodness, I hope I'm not giving people the impression that I hate them. Posted Image But I love them in full knowledge that they've been done a million times. There really are some fantastic Marauder stories out there, though, so when you find one of those it's great.

I'm really into history, so I like Founders and other pre-Hogwarts stuff as well, though there's less of those around so I don't get the chance to read them as much. Other than that, I do like Next Gen stories from time to time.

2) Other than the cliched cliches (you know which ones I'm talking about: spin the bottle, exchange students etc.) which lesser known cliches do you dislike? (Admittedly, in my own story there are a few cliches, but that's partly the point, and I am fully aware that they're there.)



I'm always a bit tentative when it comes to talking about clichés because I don't want to come off like I'm saying that I NEVER fall victim to them, or that anyone who ever uses one of them is a horrible writer. So everything below is completely my own opinion and I hope it doesn't come off harshly, because there are many clichés out there that I might not want to write, but I have no problem reading a story with them. I love lots of stories that have every single cliché that I could possibly pick out.

Anyway, lesser-known clichés...I don't actually have too many specific clichés that I don't like, because I think lots of those little things can be great when well-written. And I don't have enough exposure to non-Marauder stories to be able to pick out many there. I mentioned this in my response to your review, but I think the thing that bothers me most is over-generalizations. We have very few details in canon about the personalities of Harry's parents and their friends while they were at school, so I think that it's caused a lot of people to grab on to those and not let them go—especially when it comes to the scene in "Snape's Worst Memory". Like I said, I don't buy a lot of the characterizations—Lilys being a headcase who's ALL- CAPS yelling at James every ten minutes is maybe the one that bothers me most, just because of all the evidence we have to the contrary. Once I found out that Snape was her friend at the time of that scene, and heard Dumbledore telling Snape that Harry has a very similar nature to her...the idea of her being angry like that all the time just seems implausible in my mind. It was a specific situation, during the middle of exams, at a time where her friendship with Snape was slipping away from her, where he was being picked on in front of a crowd, and I think that would have elicited a specific response. The common portrayal of Peter really bugs me, too. I think have issues with the characterizations with most Marauder characters, actually. I suppose those aren't exactly lesser-known, but they're the ones that I find the most frustrating.

Oh, and the whole thing where Lily and James are in the middle of screaming at each other and they suddenly fall into each others' arms—again, not exactly lesser-known, but one that undermines their entire relationship for me. I could probably write a couple pages of all my thoughts on wrongful characterizations, but I think I'll stop it there for everyone's sake.

To answer your question properly, I'll try and think up some less obvious ones as well...maybe the whole thing of Lily realizing she's in love with James when she sees her Patronus is a doe (although admittedly, I can't see how you could avoid this in some form or another, and I'll probably have to end up writing it at some point); James and Lily falling in love as he sits in the Hospital Wing with some Quidditch-induced injury; Lily falling in love with James because he comforts her when her parents have been killed by Voldemort; Lily being BFFs with all the other girls in her dorm even though she spent so much time focusing on her friendship with Snape; James being in some sort of Order-training before he's even out of Hogwarts...oh, and this is probably an obvious one, but James having a twin/younger sister. That's actually one that will stop me from reading a story, just because my brain starts going into a canon seizure at the thought of it. Posted Image

Actually, one super-obscure thing (I'm not sure if this is common enough to be called a cliché, though) that kind of bugs me is when people make Charlus and Dorea Potter into James' parents when it's been deduced that it's highly unlikely that they were. Also, people seem to make them into Aurors more often than not, and I'm not sure if I agree with that. It's not like there's anything to contradict it, but why is it the only possible field they could have worked in? And for some reason I don't like it when people have James' parents living in Godric's Hollow, although, again, there are some ways that it makes sense with canon.

To throw in some non-Marauder ones, I'm not super keen on love triangles/relationships between the Founders. Also, I like reading Next Gen stories where Victoire isn't the ice princess who looks exactly like her mother.

3) I see that you're a stickler for canon. How do you feel about OCs (from any era) who have a last name that's not in the Lexicon? (An exemption would be an OC whose, let's say, father was also an OC who happened to be muggleborn, therefore he would not have a name in Lexicon.)



You know, this is something I've recently changed my mind about because of a review I got from melian. Before that it actually bugged me when people used only names from the books for their OCs, because I thought it was so unlikely that everyone in another era would be somehow related to a person within the books. But then melian pointed out how many names there are on The Lexicon, and I realized that it was true. I mean, I'd been on The Lexicon before and knew there were lots, but I'd just never thought about it in that way. There's no real need to go outside of those names for your OCs if you search out all the obscure ones.

BUT...it doesn't bother me at all when someone makes up the last name of their OC, even if they're not a Muggleborn, because I do think that there must be last names that we just haven't heard of before. It does get a little tiring for me when every OC has the last name of someone who was in school with Harry. And I'm not completely against making one up myself if I can't find one that makes me happy in the Lexicon. There are many other breaches of canon that get me more irritated than the names thing.

4) Do you make story/chapter outlines? This is something I cannot bring myself to do. It's not as fun for me, and it seems like too much work for someone lazy like me to do. I prefer to just write what I feel, and edit it before I post it. Horrible I know.



To an extent, yes. I have this notebook where I write down ideas, but it's not very detailed. I've got a page where I've written down different plot threads and numbered them by importance, and a list of Voldemort-related things. I've also got a list of the months and a list of things next to each one that are supposed to happen. I do also have a list of the chapters with a few words on what's supposed to happen, though I often break free of it and end up writing something completely different. And as of right now I've completely stopped making it at all. I really find that it can take the fun out of writing, like you said.

What I have much more fun with is other types of story notes and background material. I've got this Excel file that's pretty much my go-to place for organizational details. I keep a list of the characters in the story, and I also have this calendar of the entire year that I high-light for holidays, full moons, important days, and so on. Then I make the days that I've passed over grey so I know exactly what day I'm on as the story's progressing. I've also got a list of first names to use for OCs, a place where I work out mind-twisters that I come across—the respective birth dates of Slughorn and Dearborn, for example. Outside of that file I have other stuff, like short little snippets of previous years at Hogwarts, things written from each of the main characters' perspectives, a history-textbook-like write up of parts of the First War, James' family tree...yes, I am insane.

5) Lastly, how do you feel about chapstick? Or lipbalm, whatever you call it. (:



I love chapstick! Although I have a terrible habit of losing/putting it through the washing machine. My favourite is regular Burt's Bees, but it is kind of expensive so at times I opt for cheaper ones. I pretty much bring one with me everywhere, though.

Okay, phew! Sorry for how long those were. When I get talking about this sort of stuff I just can't stop! Thanks for dropping by, this has given me a fun way to pass my time!
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#4 RocketBabyDoll9

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 07:44 PM

Actually, I really love Marauders era! It's without question my favourite era to read. Goodness, I hope I'm not giving people the impression that I hate them. Posted Image But I love them in full knowledge that they've been done a million times. There really are some fantastic Marauder stories out there, though, so when you find one of those it's great.

I'm really into history, so I like Founders and other pre-Hogwarts stuff as well, though there's less of those around so I don't get the chance to read them as much. Other than that, I do like Next Gen stories from time to time.


Awesome! I always like a good marauders era myself, but as soon as you bring in an American exchange student, I'm outta there.
I think Next-Gens are my favorite, as the author has the chance to be more free, and they don't have too worry as much about canon.


I'm always a bit tentative when it comes to talking about clichés because I don't want to come off like I'm saying that I NEVER fall victim to them, or that anyone who ever uses one of them is a horrible writer. So everything below is completely my own opinion and I hope it doesn't come off harshly, because there are many clichés out there that I might not want to write, but I have no problem reading a story with them. I love lots of stories that have every single cliché that I could possibly pick out.



I love a cliche once in a while as well, sometimes they're fun, and a lot of times, they're swoon worthy! Totally agree about the Marauder characterization, though. That's something I always dislike as well. James, Sirius and Remus obviously felt something for Peter or they wouldn't have associated with him, so I hate that cliche too.

I agree with pretty much everything you said, including the Victoire one, I hate that too, that's why I generally avoid Teddy/Victoire stories.




You know, this is something I've recently changed my mind about because of a review I got from melian. Before that it actually bugged me when people used only names from the books for their OCs, because I thought it was so unlikely that everyone in another era would be somehow related to a person within the books. But then melian pointed out how many names there are on The Lexicon, and I realized that it was true. I mean, I'd been on The Lexicon before and knew there were lots, but I'd just never thought about it in that way. There's no real need to go outside of those names for your OCs if you search out all the obscure ones.

BUT...it doesn't bother me at all when someone makes up the last name of their OC, even if they're not a Muggleborn, because I do think that there must be last names that we just haven't heard of before. It does get a little tiring for me when every OC has the last name of someone who was in school with Harry. And I'm not completely against making one up myself if I can't find one that makes me happy in the Lexicon. There are many other breaches of canon that get me more irritated than the names thing.


I agree, it is annoying for every character to have common last names. There are still muggle borns, and as you said, plenty of people we haven't heard of. Especially in the gap between hogwarts and next-gen.
And I agree, there are worse fanon things out there, like Harry/Hermione, Ginny/Blaise. (sorry if you like those, I just can't bring myself to read them!)



To an extent, yes. I have this notebook where I write down ideas, but it's not very detailed. I've got a page where I've written down different plot threads and numbered them by importance, and a list of Voldemort-related things. I've also got a list of the months and a list of things next to each one that are supposed to happen. I do also have a list of the chapters with a few words on what's supposed to happen, though I often break free of it and end up writing something completely different. And as of right now I've completely stopped making it at all. I really find that it can take the fun out of writing, like you said.

What I have much more fun with is other types of story notes and background material. I've got this Excel file that's pretty much my go-to place for organizational details. I keep a list of the characters in the story, and I also have this calendar of the entire year that I high-light for holidays, full moons, important days, and so on. Then I make the days that I've passed over grey so I know exactly what day I'm on as the story's progressing. I've also got a list of first names to use for OCs, a place where I work out mind-twisters that I come across—the respective birth dates of Slughorn and Dearborn, for example. Outside of that file I have other stuff, like short little snippets of previous years at Hogwarts, things written from each of the main characters' perspectives, a history-textbook-like write up of parts of the First War, James' family tree...yes, I am insane.


You're not insane! I only wish I could be that organized, but my muse comes sporadically, so I can only write when it tells me to. (:
I often write future scenes though, or plan out a chapter that's way down the line, when I have no idea what's going to happen in between. Ah, well. It's all fun for me. (:



I love chapstick! Although I have a terrible habit of losing/putting it through the washing machine. My favourite is regular Burt's Bees, but it is kind of expensive so at times I opt for cheaper ones. I pretty much bring one with me everywhere, though.


I actually keep a chapstick bag in my purse! I have about 3 in there. My main one, and two backups. (: I lvoe Burt's Bees but it's way expensive, so I use my friend's when she has it. (:

Okay, phew! Sorry for how long those were. When I get talking about this sort of stuff I just can't stop! Thanks for dropping by, this has given me a fun way to pass my time!


S'okay! I love long responses. I'm the same way when I write review responses, the response is always ten times longer than the review...(:
Thanks for answering my questions. (:
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#5 pennyardelle

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:06 AM

And I agree, there are worse fanon things out there, like Harry/Hermione, Ginny/Blaise. (sorry if you like those, I just can't bring myself to read them!)


No need to apologize—Hogwarts Era stories are something I've never been able to get into, and even if I did I think I would be a strict canon-shipper.

Oh, and I remembered another less-obvious cliché when it comes to Lily/James stories: the ironic foreshadowing of their deaths just for the sake of irony, and either Lily or James having dreams where they partially foresee their own deaths. In other words, when there's something glaringly obvious in the plot that's there simply to prompt the reader to go "Oh, that's so sad, because they ARE going to die." I mean, if it's something that makes sense with the rest of the plot, then fine, and if it doesn't happen very often then that's okay too. I just get tired of it when it happens all the time in stories. And as for the dreams, unless your plot involves one of them with Seer blood or some other logical explanation for why their subconscious predicts exactly how they're going to die, I have a hard time buying it.

Thanks again for the questions!
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#6 RocketBabyDoll9

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 03:28 AM

No need to apologize—Hogwarts Era stories are something I've never been able to get into, and even if I did I think I would be a strict canon-shipper.

Oh, and I remembered another less-obvious cliché when it comes to Lily/James stories: the ironic foreshadowing of their deaths just for the sake of irony, and either Lily or James having dreams where they partially foresee their own deaths. In other words, when there's something glaringly obvious in the plot that's there simply to prompt the reader to go "Oh, that's so sad, because they ARE going to die." I mean, if it's something that makes sense with the rest of the plot, then fine, and if it doesn't happen very often then that's okay too. I just get tired of it when it happens all the time in stories. And as for the dreams, unless your plot involves one of them with Seer blood or some other logical explanation for why their subconscious predicts exactly how they're going to die, I have a hard time buying it.

Thanks again for the questions!


I agree with the whole "foreshadowing" thing. We know the characters are going to die, and like you said, neither Lily nor James had Seer blood, so there's no legitimate explanation for the prediction thing.

Also, I just wanted to let you know that I haven't given up reading your story! I've been super busy keeping up with my own story, and plot bunnies are taking over my life at the moment. Life is just getting in the way for me and I haven't been able to catch up on reviews much, recently. So I will definitely be reviewing the rest of your chapters soon!

Thanks again for answering my questions!

Merry Christmas (or happy holidays, whichever) and Happy New Year!
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#7 Caizir

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 12:24 AM

Hi penny!

I have a few questions for you.

1)
Spoiler


2) When creating Anna and Mary, did you ever worry that it may come off as you creating them solely for pairing off with Sirius and Remus?

3) I love your characterization of James, but do you have any trouble when writing him? Problems that you don't have when say, writing from Lily's POV?

4) How do you feel about the movies portraying James as a seeker instead of a chaser?

5) And, how do you feel about horror? Movies, books, etc.

Edited by Caizir, 15 January 2010 - 12:37 AM.

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#8 pennyardelle

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:29 AM

Hi Leigh! I'm so thrilled you came to ask me some questions. Posted Image

(Deathly Hallows spoiler below, for anyone who hasn't read it!)
Spoiler



2) When creating Anna and Mary, did you ever worry that it may come off as you creating them solely for pairing off with Sirius and Remus?



Yes, definitely. Frankly, I think that Anna and Mary, if you describe them generally, would probably count as cliché in terms of Marauder stories. There's the whole blonde, brunette, readhead thing going on; Anna's sarcastic and sassy; Mary's very sweet and reserved...I feel okay about it because I've generally gotten good feedback about their characters from reviewers (I've had many people telling me they don't like Anna or Mary, which I take as a good sign in terms of characterization). I didn't create them that way intentionally, and I think if I'd spent more time on the forums before developing them as characters, and read more about the typical clichés of Marauders stories, I probably would have made them different.

The thing is, I feel like because they have these "typical" characteristics, it makes it automatically appear like they're going to end up paired with Sirius and Remus. I at least knew before I started writing that seeing "James/Lily, Sirius/OC, Remus/OC," where the "OC" inevitably stands for "Lily's best friend," in the story description was a very common thing, and was able to avoid that particular pitfall.

Besides that, I could never see Anna with Sirius. In fact, I can't really see him being with any girl who's overly sarcastic or critical, though that does seem to be a bit of a trend in Sirius/OC fics. I'm sure if I read a well-written story like that (I don't read many Sirius/OC stories, so I'm sure there are some out there), it would make sense, but after living with his mum...well, I can imagine that he wouldn't be interested in having a girlfriend that was nitpicky or critical, which Anna certainly is. But since there has been that trend, I felt like people would assume that's where I was going with the story, and it's made it hard to write interaction between the two of them because of it.

(You can read what's below, I just put it in spoiler codes to not spoil it for anyone who's planning on reading the story.)
Spoiler


3) I love your characterization of James, but do you have any trouble when writing him? Problems that you don't have when say, writing from Lily's POV?



Thank you, first of all! I'm so happy that you love his characterization. When I first started out writing the story, I had a tough time figuring him out, so I spent a lot of time thinking about his upbringing and the few other things we know about him, which maybe paid off in the long run. I don't find it as hard to write him anymore, which is very nice.

I still have trouble with it, though. I of course worry about making him enough of a boy, which is kind of difficult as I am not one. Posted Image I also find I have trouble writing his dialogue (though I have that problem with Lily as well), because I often have to stop and really think about his reaction, and how he would respond, and so on. Sometimes I feel like I've spent so much time thinking about his character that it impedes me from just writing, because it's hard for me to have him say or do something that I know doesn't fit with my characterization of him.

I think probably the biggest problem I have with writing James, though, is writing him with his friends, which sometimes makes me wonder why I decided to write a Marauders-Era story. I moved around to different places when I was in school, and haven't ever had the really close-knit bond like he has with Sirius, Remus, and Peter. This is a problem that I don't have when I'm writing Lily's POV, because she doesn't have that kind of friendship either, and I can draw on my own experiences a lot in that regard. I'll admit that I usually just end up taking his friendships for granted and not writing about them too much, because I know everyone else knows that they're best friends...it's a bad habit I'm determined to break.

4) How do you feel about the movies portraying James as a seeker instead of a chaser?



This has been a theme in my HPFF life as of late. Posted Image

There was once a time in my life when I was young and did not pay attention to canon details, when I also mistakenly believed that James was a Seeker, so I really can't throw stones too far or too hard here. And, really, it's a bit of an inconsequential detail in the grand scheme of things—it's not something that bothers me as much as some of the other omissions/changes they've made in the movies. I can understand why they would have portrayed James as a Seeker in the movies. It's more identifiable for the audience who hasn't read the books, and it makes a more sentimental father-son connection because Harry's also a Seeker.

It's kind of par for the course when it comes to the movies, don't you think? Some of these small details just get lost or twisted.

5) And, how do you feel about horror? Movies, books, etc.



Frightened. No, seriously, I'm a huge baby about that sort of stuff. I think I could probably count the horror movies I've watched in my life on one hand, and they all terrified me. I think the last one I watched was probably about 5 or 6 years ago. They traumatize me for weeks on end, and I end up thinking about the scary parts when I'm trying to fall asleep. I couldn't go to bed without problems for about two weeks after I watched The Sixth Sense. Apart from getting scared, I also can't stand a lot of gore in movies...and horror films tend to have a lot of that. Same goes for books. I haven't read many horror books, which is definitely a good thing. There are parts in Janet Evanovich's books that have given me trouble falling asleep, and The Lovely Bones made me paranoid walking down my street—none of these could really be considered "horror".

Strangely, though, the rest of my family loves horror movies. My younger siblings watched The Ring before any of them were even in high school and they all thought it was "stupid". It's a recurring theme with my family: they watch a scary movie and emerge after it with critiques about how poorly done it was. Clearly I have a different set of genes.


Cool questions. Posted Image Thanks again for stopping by! It really gets me so excited when I see that one of my lovely readers has posted here.
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#9 crumble

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 03:38 AM

Hello! I thought I'd take up your suggestion and pop over to your MTA page :)

1. Was there a reason why you only gave Lily two friends in Mary and Anna, and why did you choose (to be very simplistic in their characteristics - by all means, they're not one-dimensional) to make Mary 'sweet' and Anna 'sassy'? It seems to be a running trend in a lot of fanfictions, including my own, to have the main character and her two 'opposite' friends, and I was wondering what your reasoning was since I have no idea why I've done it :p

2. I completely sympathise with your problem with writing the Marauders (though I think you do it quite well) - it's so hard to get their dynamic right, not to mention the fact that they're male and the strange pressure to make their dialogue a laugh a minute! Anyway, which Marauder is your favourite? Which is the hardest to write? Of the four, who do you think is the 'worst treated' (or most grossly misinterpreted) in fanfiction? For me, it's a toss up between Peter and Sirius.

3. Who is your favourite OC? (I like Anna)

4. Why did you choose to write from both Lily & James' POVs, in the same chapter? It's a really interesting technique, and not one I've seen before, but it really sets your story apart from others set in this era.

5. Favourite stories on HPFF and why?

6. Why do you think Lily and James make such a good couple?

Aaaaand since seven is the magical number, 7. Why do you think Lily stuck by Snape for all those years?


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#10 pennyardelle

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:58 PM

Oh, I'm SO glad you did come here to ask me questions. I really felt like I wasn't making too much sense in that last review response (plus I had to erase big chunks because of the character limit)...so hopefully now I can make up for it! Posted Image

1. Was there a reason why you only gave Lily two friends in Mary and Anna, and why did you choose (to be very simplistic in their characteristics - by all means, they're not one-dimensional) to make Mary 'sweet' and Anna 'sassy'? It seems to be a running trend in a lot of fan fictions, including my own, to have the main character and her two 'opposite' friends, and I was wondering what your reasoning was since I have no idea why I've done it



You're right; everyone does seem to have a tendency toward giving Lily two friends that are kind of opposite ends of the spectrum, and then her in the middle, and just why, I'm not sure. Maybe creating two OCs feels like hitting a balance—not too few, not too many? Maybe it makes it easier in terms of developing personalities to have one on each end of the spectrum? Maybe it's because in our oh-so rational minds, we assume that people work better if they balance each other out, or if there's a mediator between two? Maybe we all like to think that our main characters are the sane ones, and all the other characters are sitting at extremes? Or maybe Schoolhouse Rock was right, and three is just a magic number... (if you've never watched Schoolhouse Rock, feel free to ignore me being silly) Posted Image

A mix of the above is probably why I ended up doing it, at least. When I started writing this story, it was the first time I'd written anything fictional in ages, so I was kind of jumping back in blind. Though I did browse around the forums, I didn't register for a few months, and I guess I didn't get the memo that those particular personalities were kind of overdone. And I just didn't really give as much thought as I should have to making really well-rounded OCs, I guess. Though I did always plan to kind of expose more and more of Anna and Mary as the story continued, it's often been something that I figured out as I went along. I'd write a chapter and have them do something (like Anna arguing with Lily), then realize that it was part of their personality, and then branch off in other directions that made me figure out more things that defined them.

It's also partially because, as you know, I have a fairly specific idea about how Lily's friendships would have developed (i.e. not very well). I suppose I could have included other Gryffindor girls, which you very rightly called me out on, but it really felt like they would just be unnecessary and almost clutter the story. And finally, early on in writing the story, I wrote little scenes of Lily and James' earlier years, just to give myself a concrete background to work with, and one of those was Lily meeting Mary and Anna for the first time. Even there, they had very specific personalities and Lily reacted to them in different ways (and vice versa). So I guess even though I was kind of retrospectively projecting certain qualities on to them, it's just always felt right to have Anna the way she is, and Mary the way she is.

2. I completely sympathise with your problem with writing the Marauders (though I think you do it quite well) - it's so hard to get their dynamic right, not to mention the fact that they're male and the strange pressure to make their dialogue a laugh a minute! Anyway, which Marauder is your favourite? Which is the hardest to write? Of the four, who do you think is the 'worst treated' (or most grossly misinterpreted) in fan fiction? For me, it's a toss up between Peter and Sirius.



Posted Image Thank you, that's very nice of you to say that I write them well. It definitely reassures me! But yes, I think that generally that group of boys is so hard to portray the right way. It's not even about doing it the right way, I guess—it's more about portraying them in the way that people expect and want them to be written. (Frankly, I think JKR was lucky in that she only ever wrote two scenes showing them together, one of which wasn't even published. And maybe it's part of the reason why she's not interested in writing anything more about them, though I'm sure she'd do it brilliantly.)

I think the Marauders as a group have been fairly maligned in a lot of fan fiction written about them. I have this thing about the "Snape's Worst Memory" scene in OotP, which I may have gone on and on about to you before (and if I have, you can probably skip the next few lines), about how everything that the characters do in that scene has been stretched and generalized to its breaking point. Lily yells, so clearly she's out of her mind and yells all the time. Peter acts like a pathetic sycophant, so he's just useless and exists for the sole purpose of bolstering his friend's egos. A girl looks at Sirius, so obviously he's a playboy extraordinaire. Remus is reading a book, so naturally, all he does is study. And James asks Lily out, so he must do that every time he sees her. The problem is that no one pays attention to the context (and admittedly, we didn't have some of the context until we found out more about Snape and Lily), which makes a big difference when you try to figure out what all those characters were like. I mean, first of all, it was in the middle of exams, so it's likely that a good portion of fifth years were studying, not just Remus, and Lily may have been a little more worked up than usual.

But anyway, weaving back to what you actually asked me, I think that I agree with you about Peter and Sirius being the "worst-treated" in fan fiction. A lot of the qualities they're given simply don't make sense with what we know of them. I don't think there's any solid proof (perhaps other than him being good-looking) that all the girls would have been after Sirius, and there certainly isn't anything to say that he was going after them all the time. And plus, everyone assumes he has the intelligence and attention span of a dog, just because that's his Animagus form. I really think that there's so much more to Sirius. He went through a lot of terrible stuff in his life, and I imagine that he would have been quite broody and solitary, apart from his close friends.

And Peter...oh, Peter. Frankly, I almost feel like JKR succumbed to this whole "Peter is a traitor so he's pathetic at everything else, too" attitude at times. She really could have shown us in OotP something, anything of what made the Marauders befriend him and Lily, James, and Sirius choose him as Secret Keeper. But instead...well, I'm sure you remember what he was like instead. It's really too bad, because I like to go on proof from the books as much as I can, and Peter was one instance where I basically disregarded what JKR had done. Him clapping and cheering for James catching the Snitch doesn't fit into the way I picture him at all.

3. Who is your favourite OC? (I like Anna)



You like Anna?! That's so great! I've had quite a few comments from people saying they hate her, which is totally fine with me. I kind of love that people hate her, because I feel like that means she's closer to being like a real person.

Anyway, my favourite OC...hmm...yeah, I think I would go with Anna too. It might be because I have a fuller picture in my head of what she's like, so I tend to feel sympathetic towards her more often than not. I think she's very clever and tough and independent, but her feelings also get hurt very easily. She's also much better at moving forward and letting the past be the past than Lily, for example. I'd definitely choose hanging out with Anna over spending time with Mary.

And you know who else I strangely love out of the OCs I've created? Diana Greengrass. I know, she was in like two paragraphs of a chapter, but there was something about her as a character that I thought was kind of neat.

4. Why did you choose to write from both Lily & James' POVs, in the same chapter? It's a really interesting technique, and not one I've seen before, but it really sets your story apart from others set in this era.



You know, it was so funny the first time I got a comment about this, and it continues to be every time someone says it (not funny in a ha-ha type way, I mean, just funny in an odd way), because I just assumed that there were probably loads of stories out there that had done it the same way. It's really cool to know that I've accidentally made my story distinctive!

I've always had a very specific reason for using both of their POVs. First, I envisioned my story as being more so about Lily and James than about their friends (although Sirius, Remus, and Peter are of course inseparable from any story about them). My ambition was to write this lovely romance of Lily and James set against everything they experienced with Voldemort, because I think that it's just an incredibly story that's so hopeful and tragic at the same time.

So, once I had that idea in my head, I of course set about writing it. I think I was partially just used to writing in this split-perspective because that was how I'd written about them years ago, but there were moments where I considered writing it from only one or the other. And I knew enough about my own writing to know that if I did one perspective, it would end up in first-person. For me, first-person made the story way too centered on one character, and I really wanted to write in a way that made Lily and James' thoughts and experiences equal parts of the story.

Of course, there are times where I think, "Why, WHY, WHY did I do this to myself?" Posted Image But I feel like I've gotten used to it, and now my problem is becoming that I have trouble cutting one perspective off to make room for the other in the chapter.

5. Favourite stories on HPFF and why?



My favourite stories are, of course, largely dominated by Marauders era. I really like Match., although I've never had the time to read it in its entirety. The writing is just so sharp and entertaining. I also really like How to tame a Marauder because melian is one of the people who has really put a lot of effort into searching out canon details that we know and using them thoughtfully and, in many cases, exactly how I would picture them in their context. Like most others who appreciate well-written Marauder stories, I'm a fan of At the Funeral, because it takes on what I think is one of the hardest moments there is to write about in the HP-verse. I might be being a bit hyperbolic there, but I really think that Lily and James' death tore a lot of people apart in awful ways. I think probably my very favourite Marauder story is Stag Night's In My Time of Dying (as well as Mischief Managed, although that one isn't being updated at the moment). I've never seen an understanding of the Marauders' friendship and personalities that is as pitch-perfect as the way Stag Night writes it. It's a very unique story as it starts at their graduation and is darker than a lot of other Marauder stories, so I can see how it wouldn't appeal to everyone who usually likes the stories about them causing general mayhem at Hogwarts, but I think it's fantastic. There's another story called Never Shall We Die by Romina Stephanie that's in a similar vein, though shorter, that I also really enjoyed.

Outside of Marauder stories, though, I'll occasionally go for a Next Gen or something pre-Hogwarts. My favourite Next Gen story is momotwins' Just Another Midnight Run, which is a story about Rose Weasley written in the style of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. It's really hilarious and the characters are fantastic, so it hooked me from first read. I've also read We Gryffies, which is also really funny. And recently I discovered this really neat Founders story called Legend that I think is a really different and authentic-sounding take on the Founders' story.

6. Why do you think Lily and James make such a good couple?



You know, contrary to the impression you get from the books, I think they would have really complemented each others' personalities and gotten along well. They were both very smart, obviously, and I think them joining the Order shows that they had similar outlooks on the world. I think Lily probably had more of a sense of humour than we give her credit for—after all, she did almost laugh in that one part in OotP. I think a lot of her disdain for James was probably out of loyalty to Snape more than anything else.

I think there are things about them that balance the other out. Lily seems to have a been a more compassionate person than James, and I think she would have inspired him to be kinder to other people—but at the same time, I do think that James' loyalty to Remus shows that he wasn't completely insensitive, so Lily probably would have liked that about him. I think James probably would have admired Lily's courage, too, because I really do think she must have been a remarkably brave person. Plus, we've heard her described as fairly lively, so I imagine she was pretty fun-loving and she and James would have gotten along well in that sense. And really, what girl can resist a guy who makes her laugh, right? Posted Image

The thing that really made them work, I think, was what I mentioned about them having the same motivation and values that led them to join the Order. I think that and all the surrounding feelings would have really contributed to them bonding with one another. They were both committed to trying to change (or at least maintain) the state of things, and fighting for what they believed in.

7. Why do you think Lily stuck by Snape for all those years?



I think that it's hard to give up on a friendship that began when you were so young, especially so in Lily's case because Snape was such a central part of figuring out who she really was. He was the person who had all the answers when she first needed them, and I imagine that would have made her initially look up to him and value his friendship.

Of course, once they got to school, I'm sure she figured out eventually that he wasn't giving her the whole picture about Muggle-borns and Slytherin and so on. After that point, I think the reason she stuck by him was probably because she was (like you said) a bit like Harry in the sense that she would have wanted to keep him from going down the path he was on. It's definitely a bit of that "saving-people thing". I'm sure that at various times there may have been more-than-friends feelings, or at least if-things-were-different feelings (if that makes any sense at all) that probably motivated her to try and patch things up.

Plus, I get the feeling that from the way Snape acted in some of those Pensieve scenes in DH, he was probably pretty successful at asking Lily for forgiveness and promising to change. That, of course, is a two-way street in that Lily was probably quick to forgive him, but I think he kept her hopes up that eventually he really would make a change...and he did, only a bit too late.

..........

Well...on that morbid note, I really do apologize for how terribly long this post is. Do you see why I constantly get cut off by the character count? Posted Image Thank you so much for giving me the chance to answer all these questions! I have way too many thoughts swirling around in my head about characters and plots and all that stuff, so I definitely needed the outlet to talk about them...oh, and thanks for being such a great reader and reviewer, too! Posted Image
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{those who have thrice defied him}
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#11 crumble

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:50 AM

Don't worry, it's fun discussing stories :)

1. I didn't mean to imply that they were cliche, since you've more than developed them :p As I've mentioned before, your two OCs are incredibly well-rounded for Lily's two best friends. And like you've explained, they work very well in developing the main character's personality, just by casting light on the differences and similarities between them. I completely agree that her 'female' friendships might not have been as well-developed as other stories make out, and I suppose - in a weird way - it's nice to see Lily portrayed as someone who's not incredibly popular and so on (a bit like Ginny...not sure about you, but I never really bought Harry/Ginny. I can't imagine him with anyone else, and I know he deserved a happy ending, but it seemed so forced to me. Ron/Hermione was much better).

2. I do believe you've mentioned that before, and you're right. But saying that, it's hard not to take the personalities she gave us a glimpse of, and I also think a lot of writers tend to forget that we do know the people that Sirius and Remus became, and Sirius never really seemed the playboy to me either (though I suppose in Harry's time, he'd've had a lot more on his mind than women). It's easy to forget his background in favour of a light-hearted story, but that's what fanfiction is about I suppose! Not everyone is after a canon-compliant story :p I think it's a shame though - they're wonderful characters and, much like you've done, it is possible to create a romantic story that weaves in canon seamlessly.

I completely agree with you about Peter - she doesn't really show how he was made a Gryffindor, does she? But I think Dumbledore's comment to Snape about how they Sort too early is also pertinent here - people change, and given the climate at the time (it is frightening how I'm talking about it as if it was real...), anyone could have gone down the path he took because really, not everyone is brave. One of the reasons I like your OCs so much is because you had the guts to create characters that had the potential to be disliked, and making Mary a less brave than Lily was a wonderful touch. We all like to think that we can identify with the brave, beautiful heroine/hero, but really - I sound so cynical - it's a bit delusional :p

3. I guess I can see why people might dislike Anna, but she's still my favourite. I suppose I identify with her more than Lily (and definitely more so than Mary) - because as great a job as you've done with Lily (and it's probably the best characterisation I've ever read of her!), she is still pretty 'perfect' in canon. She's got her true love, she's pretty, she's smart, she's nice... I always prefer characters with more flaws, which is probably why I like Anna for precisely the reasons you've outlined. She's strong, but she's also vulnerable. And I just can't resist a sharp tongue :p

I'm so close to gushing here, but really, you've done an amazing job with your two OCs.

4. I think the fact that your story focuses on Lily and James, rather than the rest of the Marauders, is also what makes it more original. Usually, even when Lily and James are the main pairing, a Sirius/OC and Remus/OC (never Peter, of course!) are added too. I wouldn't begrudge them that (though I'm not a huge fan of Remus/OCs because of Tonks), but so many OC pairings fall flat and turn into an episode of Gossip Girl or something.

5. I also love "Match", and it's a shame it's probably never going to be finished. I usually prefer canon-compliant stories, but the writing and characters were good enough for me to bypass that pet peeve. I've tried reading Stag Night's story, but I do like a bit of romance and I suppose the fact that it's so long has put me off a little. But I shall definitely have to read it when I have more time! I've read (or am reading, rather) melian's story and I have to agree - the research that's gone into it is astounding. I do like that she started it in Fifth Year and allowed it to develop slowly, rather than the usual rush into the fluffy romantic stuff.

6 & 7. Not much to add apart from 'I agree' :p

Now...more questions!

1. Any other stories in the works?

2. What do you look for in a story (fanfiction or otherwise)?

3. Any non-canon pairings that you could see working?

4. What immediately turns you off when reading fanfiction?

5. Draco - hot or not? ;)
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#12 Prongs05JP

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 11:46 AM

Okay, so my reviews (and responses!) have been getting pretty long recently, so to take advantage of the fact that I made an account like two days ago I've decided to post a few questions over to you Posted Image

1. When writing a completely original OC, does it kind of come naturally or do you think a lot about how they're going to turn out? I mean I have a couple, in fact quite a few xD, but I always get kind of worried that they might take over my story a little bit with their unique personalities. Posted Image But hey, what's your view?

2. I know you have a little... is vendetta too strong a word? Well a... thing against Marauder era cliches, but are there any you're okay with? Maybe some you like and have maybe thought about using?

3. How do you feel about other eras? I mean Marauder is my most all time favorite ever (not really great grammar, but hey) but I also kind of like Next Gen, as you have virtually no canon to follow. What about you?

4. I think what really makes your story an obviousy and great Lily/James (it's awesome, I love it Posted Image) is the way you write from both of their POVs. Is this hard? What encouraged you to do this?

5. Aaand finally... is there anything in particular you do that gives you inspiration? Like food for thought or do ideas just kinda POP?

Is it breaking the rules to now mention your story rocks and I hope to see a new update soon? And good luck answering my questions Posted Image

--Nick. (Prongs05JP)
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#13 pennyardelle

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 01:08 AM

Wow, I feel so loved these days with everyone visiting my MTA page! (Well, okay, I guess "everyone" might be an overstatement. But still!)

Anyway, first, to crumble:

Oh, don't worry, I didn't think that you meant they were cliche! I was just calling myself out on it. Posted Image But seriously, you're so nice to me on the subject of Mary and Anna. Writing about them and Lily was one of the things that I've always found really interesting, and I always wanted to do it justice to what I imagined in my head. I'm so, so pleased that other people have found their friendship to be a compelling part of the story, because it makes me feel like I must have achieved something of the effect that I wanted to.

I think after writing about Lily's friendships, I really get that "write what you know" adage—because friendship has unfortunately not played the biggest part in my life. I've moved several times and I'm pretty shy, so I've always had a hard time making friends, and even when I did, I never really met anyone that I felt like I completely clicked with and felt like I could share anything with (apart from my boyfriend, who I can say without hesitation is the best friend that I've ever had). I don't mean to throw myself a pity party here, especially because it's actually made it easier for me to write about Lily, Mary, and Anna. I get drifting away from people. I get having to switch from one group of friends to another. I get leaving things unsaid. Of course, then I have trouble writing James' friendships, so it's not all good. Writing is the funniest thing, though, because it allows us to take the not-so-nice experiences of our lives and use it for our benefit. It's kind of empowering in that sense. "Write what you know" is kind of self-fulfilling, I think. We're often interested in writing the same emotions and situations we've experienced, because it's cathartic.

Anyway, getting back to the point...like I said, I actually love it when people say they dislike my characters. (Well, I wouldn't be too thrilled if they said that about James or Lily, I guess.) And I think that one of the reasons that people end up with flat OCs or even the dreaded Mary-Sue is because they feel like they have to work so hard to make a character that everyone will sympathize with and admire. Personally, I think that our psyches when we're reading just naturally work in a way that predisposes us to sympathize with the protagonists. You can give a character flaws and still be fairly assured that people will feel for them, even if they make mistakes or are blatantly in the wrong. And with other characters that aren't really the main character, I think that as long as there's something to sympathize with and you show that to your readers, you'll come out okay. So, yes, Anna isn't always very nice, she's fairly demanding and critical, and she's quick to make judgments...but she also doesn't really fit in with the rest of her family, there's as much criticism directed at her as she doles out herself, and she does make some pretty astute points. She's sharp; she's not going to pretend or mince words, because no one in her family ever accorded her that kindness. She had to learn to be tough and brush off criticism because she probably would have gone crazy otherwise.

As for canon characters, though, you're absolutely right about people disregarding the personalities of Sirius and Remus that we see in the books themselves (especially Sirius). Which is pretty strange, but I suppose it's for exactly the reason you said. And I don't begrudge anyone it, honeslty, because there are so many stories that I've read and loved that have included every single thing that I'll personally rail against. I'm less discriminating than I sound when it comes to story choice (see answers below).

That quote about "Sorting too soon" definitely applies with Peter. I've just always wondered what it was that initially made him so Gryffindor-ish, and what it was that made his friends like him so much. I've tried to supply a little bit of my own answer to that, but it does kind of contradict the characterization that JKR showed us.

Hmm...Harry/Ginny. I'm kind of ambivalent, to tell you the truth. I don't really have feelings either way...which I guess is kind of an indication of the way it was written. That I do have an opinion on, because I agree that it was forced, or at least not built up properly. It was fairly strange that Harry never had any romantic feelings toward her until—BAM—he realizes that she's the only one he wants. I guess he was more focused on Cho beforehand, but...I don't know, couldn't there have been a developing friendship between him and Ginny? A couple exchanges that foreshadowed it? I can see where the compatibility came from (although I do have to admit that I found it a little oddly Freudian that Harry looked exactly like James and then he married a girl with red hair), but you can't just jump from compatible to in love in a couple paragraphs and expect people to completely buy it. But when it comes down to it, I agree with you that there wasn't really another option for Harry that made sense in my mind. Except I always kind of thought that JKR could have put him with Susan Bones, for some strange reason. But yeah, Ron/Hermione is definitely a good pairing. And I wonder if that might be because there was actually a bit of build-up to it...? Haha.

And on another ship, I have to say that writing my story has made me infinitely more endeared to the Tonks/Remus ship than I was before. I've looked at it from both sides, and now I really get what a great character Tonks was, and how much she must have loved Remus to put all other considerations aside. Before I was kind of as ambivalent about them as Harry/Ginny, but now I think they're a great couple.

Aggh, I know, I can't believe that Match. was left where it was! Such an awful cliffhanger. Maybe one day an update will pop up on the "Recently Added" page after years, and we'll all go mental (haha, look at me making puns).

Oh, and more questions! How exciting. Posted Image

1. Any other stories in the works?


Well, besides the sequels to Once Defied, I don't have anything planned in the sense that I actually want to write it and post it anytime soon. I have some ideas floating around in my head that I would like to write (including an AU one, which is so bizarre for someone as canon-centric as I am), but the sequels are my priority. Maybe I'll get inspired one day and not be able to resist writing something else, but for now, those ideas will just dance around in the back of my mind. And really, considering how long it's taking me to write chapters these days, starting anything new would be a bad, bad idea.

2. What do you look for in a story (fanfiction or otherwise)?



First and foremost, basic readability, which I'm sure many people can relate with. If there's too many typos and grammar errors, I'm done. And then there are other kinds of errors that will also bug me, like blatant disregard of canon (i.e. James Potter with a twin sibling) or anachronisms. Then the story has to have some substance to it and hold my interest after the first couple chapters, and for that I don't have a real set of criteria. I'm sure you can relate: when you read a story, you just know from the very get-go if it's something you want to read. I think when it comes to fan fiction, one of the things that will hook me in more than anything else is if someone manages to form characterizations and plot lines that are really close to what I would imagine. That's what I like about almost all of my favourite stories. And it will always grab my interest if I feel like the author writes realistically. I like stories where the conversations, emotions, and interactions seem like they could happen.

Outside of fan fiction, I generally like stories that don't require me to think too much. Posted Image It's a sad fact, especially since I'm such an avid reader, but I'll go for a girly teen romance before a classic any day of the week, with a few exceptions. I like escapism in fiction, so I suppose that's a bit different from my insistence on realism in fan fiction. Girl from New York finds out she's a princess of a fictional country? Sure! Group of girls find pants that magically fit them all? Count me in!

When I do choose books that are more intellectual, they're usually either about history or something I kind of randomly stumble into reading. One of my favourite books is East of Eden by John Steinbeck, but I first read that because I had to for a class in high school. Posted Image

3. Any non-canon pairings that you could see working?



Hmm...now this is something I haven't given too much thought to, actually. I guess you could throw Harry and Susan Bones in there, but I really don't have any coherent explanation for why I think they could work. Just chalk that up to weirdness, I guess.

I could have seen Tonks with Bill Weasley, I suppose. But generally I think everyone in the books got paired up with people that I thought were right for them. I even love the fact that Neville and Luna didn't end up together. I think Neville/Hannah is the cutest ship, and Luna with the son of Newt Scamander is just brilliant.

4. What immediately turns you off when reading fanfiction?



Mostly it's just the same stuff I said in #2: bad grammar and spelling, canon sacrilege, things that just don't make sense even in the wizarding world.

This is horrible for me to admit, but one thing that will almost always stop me from reading a story is length. If there's more than 10 chapters, the story has to be really good for me to read it fully. Like I said, I've never read Match. in its entirety, which by all accounts is worthy of a complete read. If a story has a lot of chapters, I usually end up clicking to one further in the story that looks interesting, and if I really like it then I might go back and read the rest. :S I'll be a faithful reader if I catch a story that's just starting up and I love it, but I don't really enjoy reading from a computer screen for long periods of time. I hope books never go completely online!

5. Draco - hot or not?



Hahaha, well, according to canon, I'd have to say, "not". "Pale, pointed face" is probably not the type of thing that makes the ladies go wild.

For some reason, I kind of think of Draco as asexual. Like an insect.

Yeah, I think that's about all I have to say on that one.

(Wait, though—are insects actually asexual? I think so, but now I'm not sure.)



And now to Prongs05JP/Nick (whichever you prefer to be called):

1. When writing a completely original OC, does it kind of come naturally or do you think a lot about how they're going to turn out? I mean I have a couple, in fact quite a few xD, but I always get kind of worried that they might take over my story a little bit with their unique personalities. But hey, what's your view?



Because I hadn't written in so long before joining here last year, I didn't even really think about how to plan an OC. Now that I've been around for a while, I know that there is a benefit in getting more detailed and knowing a lot about your OC's personality and background. In future, I would probably figure out all the details a little more, but for the OCs I've created, it was really kind of a process of getting an idea of their personalities and fleshing that out more as I wrote. What was always clear in my mind was what I wanted Anna and Mary (since they're really my main OCs) to become, and what their role would be in the story. But in terms of figuring out what their favourite colour and all their hobbies, I wasn't really too good about sitting down and planning it all out. I think everybody just has to figure out what works for them when it comes to OCs, because I know some people really like to plan and others like to be more spontaneous.

2. I know you have a little... is vendetta too strong a word? Well a... thing against Marauder era cliches, but are there any you're okay with? Maybe some you like and have maybe thought about using?



It is a bit of a "thing", but of COURSE there are clichés that I'm okay with! I'm really not as picky as I might seem. The main thing that will drive me away from a story isn't clichés, it's stuff like typos, grammar errors, and things that are just completely unrealistic.

I do tend to point out every single little thing that I think can be done wrong in terms of clichés, but I think that's just because I'm a complainer by nature. And I also think that these days, lots of people have grown pretty tired of Marauder stories, and as a result you often have to plead your case well to get anyone interested in reading your story. So my rejection of clichés is probably a bit reactionary in that sense, and though I do try to stay away from writing them myself, I'm sure I haven't entirely succeeded. When it comes to reading stories, I'm not really as adamant about it because it's not my own story. Hopefully that doesn't make me sound like a huge hypocrite! :/

3. How do you feel about other eras? I mean Marauder is my most all time favorite ever (not really great grammar, but hey) but I also kind of like Next Gen, as you have virtually no canon to follow. What about you?



I'm really overwhelmingly partial to Marauder era, and so it makes up the majority of what I like to read…but I've found a few stories from other eras that I really like, too. I do like Next Gen probably second-best, but I'm not really too interested in Rose/Scorpius stories or Teddy/Anyone. So that right there probably narrows down about three-quarters of the Next Gen stories. Posted Image

Being a history major, I also can get into stuff like Founders and stuff pre-Marauders. The problem I find with Founders stories is that I've taken a lot of medieval history classes, which kind of spoils some stories that I might otherwise enjoy.

4. I think what really makes your story an obviousy and great Lily/James (it's awesome, I love it) is the way you write from both of their POVs. Is this hard? What encouraged you to do this?



Well, thanks, first of all! Posted Image And it is a bit difficult to write from both sometimes, but it's gotten easier as the story progresses. These days the hardest part is that I'm trying to jam in all of this stuff that I want to happen, and each half of the POV is getting longer and longer! Another hard part is trying to figure out ways to finish off the POV. You know how it's usually nice to end your chapter with a good turn of phrase? Well, I have to do that twice each chapter, which gets kind of annoying after a while. And of course, I always worry that I'm not making their POVs distinct enough from one another.

But despite the difficulties, I wouldn't want to write the story any other way. I do have a bit of a history of doing it that way, because for some reason that's how I wrote my very old Lily & James stories. So I kind of just naturally leaned towards writing it from both POVs. It's a nice way to completely change the scene, which I hope makes the chapters a little more interesting. Plus, I really wanted to write a story that was about both Lily and James, and letting both of them have their say, so to speak, seemed like the best way to do that.

5. Aaand finally... is there anything in particular you do that gives you inspiration? Like food for thought or do ideas just kinda POP?



I'm a big imaginer. And since that's pretty vague, what I mean is that when I'm going to write something, I often sit there and think through the entire scene. Sometimes it's easier than others, because the scene will just come into my head fully formed, but I do the same thing when I'm having a lot of trouble with a scene, too. Like I literally force myself to sit down and shut my eyes and just think it through, which probably sounds incredibly strange. But it does actually work, because usually if I do that, it clears my head so that my thoughts are all focused on writing, and then my brain will give me the ideas that it can't when I'm thinking about school or other stuff.

Other than that, sometimes I'll go read other really good stories to motivate myself to write, and other times I just need a bit of a break to clear my head.


……….

Well, thank you so much to both of you for the questions and fun discussion! I really do love talking about all things HP. Posted Image Hopefully in the next few days I'll actually get chapter 29 finished! You see, the thing is, I'm trying to write about N.E.W.T.s, and I know the two main things that I want to happen, but it's filling in all the gaps in between that's killing me. And also writing about the exams without making it insanely dull. Posted Image But thanks in the meantime for chatting with me here. It reminds me that there are people who want to read my story, which is motivating.
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#14 WeasleyTwins

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:36 PM

Hello! I'm Shelby and I'm sort of crazy in that I love to ask random authors questions about their writing! :p

1. What is your greatest strength in writing and why?
2. What is your greatest weakness and why?
3. If you write original, what sorts of genres do you stick with?
4. How long have you been writing (HPFF and OF)?

:flowers:

Edited by WeasleyTwins, 03 August 2012 - 09:36 PM.

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#15 pennyardelle

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 03:31 AM

Somebody posted in my MTA page! :frolic: It was looking pretty dusty in here. Sorry for taking a while to answer, Shelby; I was away for a while and then didn't even think to check my MTA when I got back. Anyway, here I am now. :D

1. What is your greatest strength in writing and why?

Probably writing characters, although maybe I just hope that's what I do best. :p Character motivations and thoughts fascinate me. When I plan a story, I think much more about how events will affect characters than the actual events themselves.

2. What is your greatest weakness and why?

Discipline. :p If I were better about actually making myself sit down and write every day, I'd be much more prolific, I think. (Note to self: try that someday, maybe?)

3. If you write original, what sorts of genres do you stick with?

I've dabbled in a few different things, though all of it more or less falls under the banner of YA. I attempted to write a light-hearted mystery at one point (and I still may return to it one day), am thinking about writing a teen romance for NaNo this year, and for Camp NaNo in June, I wrote YA fantasy. :)

4. How long have you been writing (HPFF and OF)?

I started writing fan fiction sometime around 2003, but I didn't really post anything between 2005 and 2009. Before and throughout that time, I (very) occasionally wrote little original stories, but it's only been in the last year or so that I've made a concerted effort at writing OF.

Thanks again for dropping by! :)
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