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#1 CambAngst

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:04 AM

Welcome to my Meet the Author thread. I've been meaning to make one for a while, and I finally found the motivation.

I'll start with five things about me:
  • I'm American. Anything you see in my writing that sounds British comes courtesy of Google or my amazing beta reader, sophie_hatter, who knows from first-hand experience that I'm hopeless when it comes to making up British-sounding names.
  • I'm not out of my thirties yet, but let's just say that I can clearly see the exit from where I'm standing. I'm been married to my wonderful wife for nearly five years and we have three-year-old twin boys.
  • I started reading the Harry Potter books because of a dear friend who used to be an elementary school teacher before her kids were born. I became hopelessly infatuated after Prisoner of Azkaban. I read Half-Blood Prince in sixteen hours, start to finish. I would have read Deathly Hallows even faster, but it came out right after I got married and my wife isn't keen on being ignored for twelve hours straight. ;)
  • I've always loved writing, but I never tried anything really ambitious until I started writing Conspiracy of Blood. My job is very technical, so I don't get to do a whole lot of writing at work. Writing is my escape.
  • Like many people on here, I'm basically a closet fan fiction enthusiast. I wouldn't deny it if one of my friends asked, but I don't publicize it either. For that reason, plus the fact that I have a professional reputation to think of, please don't ask me anything that would require revealing myself.
So ask away. I have email notifications turned on and I try to take a peek at the site every day, so hopefully I'll respond to questions quickly. There are links to my Author's page and my two current stories in my signature.
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#2 Roots in Water

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:02 AM

Since I've read both of your stories (and very much enjoyed them) and have a few questions, I thought I'd pop over here to ask them!

1) You update frequently and write long chapters- how do you manage to do this (not that I'm complaining!)? Do you have a lot of time you can devote to writing or do the words come easily to you?

2) I know that in your summary it said that you've always been curious about Ron, Harry and Hermione's later years, which is why you decide to write Harry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood, but what about this period interested you? Many people try to fill in the years between the end of the war and the epilogue but yours is the first story I've come across that's tried to fill in their lives after their children have had children. It's a very unique idea and you've written it well.

3) Finally, I wanted to ask you how you manage to create such an interesting plot with so many twists. Do you have to think about the plot twists and plan them out or do some of them come to you as you're writing and you just roll with them?
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#3 CambAngst

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:48 AM

Thanks for the questions!

1) I do most of my writing at night, after my family has gone to bed. I'd say that in a good week, I spend somewhere between 10 to 12 hours writing. My approach is to start by just getting something -- anything, really -- down in print. Then I go through a process of re-read and edit, re-read and edit... until I'm happy enough with what I have to put it in front of my beta reader. There's something about reading text that's already written, whether its mine or somebody else's, that gets my brain in gear. Nearly all of my best ideas come to me on the second or third draft of a chapter. So I wouldn't say that the words come easily, at least not on the first draft, but they always come more easily on the second or third.

2) I felt interested in it for the same reason that I like reading fics that fill in the 19 years, because there's a story there that feels incomplete to me. The canon characters all went off and produced this small army of children, which people have written libraries worth of stories about, but then it mostly ends. As I thought about what aspects of this amazing world I could explore, this just felt like a huge gap in what has been done so far. The time period for this story gave me a chance to advance each character into the next phase of their life and imagine how things had turned out for them. It was a blank slate and a big challenge.

3) It's a mix. Two or three things going on in the plot have been around since the very first bullet-point drafts and a lot of others have evolved over time. Part of the fun of serialized storytelling is letting your ideas evolve over time. The feedback I get in reviews has also helped to shape some aspects of the story. I've taken inspiration from a lot of sources as I write this. Some of them I can't disclose at this point without giving away some things that are likely to happen. I'll just say that I love books and movies where the writer/director is able to genuinely surprise the audience and doesn't feel the need to treat them like idiots or beat them over the head with excessive foreshadowing. My favorite movie over the past ten years was probably The Departed, because it had so many plot twists that were impossible to see coming.

I hope that answered your questions. If you're still wondering about anything, this is the place!
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#4 Perelandra

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 05:38 PM

Hey!

So I have to ask. Considering the fantastic plot twists and actual plot of CoB...have you ever thought of creating your own world, characters and storyline? It more complicated when you're trying to come up with your own characters, names and places (been there, done that...gave up halfway but trying to get back) but I wouldn't hesitate to read something original from you, if you ever got published. I think all of us here in the fanfiction world wish to become the next JKR but settle with just writing fanfiction.

Anyway! Thanks for the great read! I haven't found something that makes me giddy and nervous since I read Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness a few years back.
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#5 CambAngst

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 06:44 PM

Thought about it? Sure. But it has to be hard. Truthfully, the best part about writing fan fiction is that the hardest part has already been done. These characters already exist, and the readers already have an emotional connection to them. Anyone who comes to HPFF or any other fan fic site is there because they liked the books and they want the story to go on in some way. (Unless they're from /b/ and they're looking for the next My Immortal. By the way, do not look up My Immortal. It will scar your brain. Seriously, you have been warned...) The thought of having to create something like that from scratch is very daunting. I might try some day, but I'm still waiting for that flash of inspiration to hit me in the middle of the night.

Thank you very much for continuing to read and offer your insights. I appreciate it more than you know.
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#6 Guest_dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap_Guest

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:42 AM

Hey, Dan! I have a few questions to ask you (when don't I though?). Here it goes:

1. Do you have anything planned after 'Conspiracy' is done?
2. How many more chapters do you think you'll write for the story?
3. So, Mr. Gryffindor, why are you a Gryffindor? What qualities do you have that make you a Gryffindor?
4. Do you think the Harry Potter series is sexist?
5. Have you ever read the books to your children? Do you plan to if you haven't?
6. Did you have any predictions for the last book that you're disappointed because they never happened?
7. Did you see the movies and were you disappointed by them (I know I was)?
8. So, writing seems to be your hobby but do you have any other hobbies (exercising, reading, driving your wife crazy, hahaha)?
9. Did/Do you enjoy the plays of William Shakespeare?
10. Besides dear Susan, who has been your favorite character to write so far for 'Conspiracy?'

#7 CambAngst

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:01 PM

Hello, dear! Anything for you...

1. Do you have anything planned after 'Conspiracy' is done?

Well, first of all, I think I need to take a break for a little while. I've been trying really hard to stick to a schedule of posting a new chapter of CoB every 10 days or so, which mean that I have to crank out 500-700 words per day. It's grueling and I enjoy every minute of it, but there are some other aspects of my life and career that have suffered a bit.

I do have several ideas I'd like to pursue, albeit at a more leisurely pace. One of them is a Ron/Hermione story focused on finding her parents in Australia after the war. Another is a humorous one-shot set the night before Ginny and Harry's wedding. I was thinking of asking you for some help with that one, since you know how much I :wub: love :wub: your funny stories.

2. How many more chapters do you think you'll write for the story?

Funny you should ask. Weekend before last, I actually sat down and did chapter outlines through the end of the story. If nothing changes -- and it's highly possible that something will -- CoB will end with 40 chapters, including the prologue and an epilogue. Some of the later chapters are going to be considerably shorter, however, since they cover brief, very intense scenes that just feel to me like they belong in a chapter all by themselves.

3. So, Mr. Gryffindor, why are you a Gryffindor? What qualities do you have that make you a Gryffindor?

Honestly, I picked Gryffindor because I identify with Harry and Ginny more than any of the other characters. I guess you'd say I'm brave, seeing as how I decided to write a novel-length, in-canon story and subject it to review by the most fanatical, intense, well-read HP fans on the internet. ;)

4. Do you think the Harry Potter series is sexist?

That's a really interesting question, and I see arguments on both sides of it. The strongest counter-argument would be that one of the three main characters is a girl, and a very brilliant, brave, strong-willed one at that. When you expand the circle just a bit, Harry is surrounded by a lot of strong female characters, most notably Ginny, Luna, Tonks, Molly and McGonagall.

On the flip side, Hermione sometimes does fall into more of a support role while Harry faces the actual danger, but you can say the same thing about Ron. A lot of women would look at Molly and say, "she's just a housewife," but she also killed Bellatrix Lestrange, who's a notable female presence in her own right. Ginny spends a lot of time nursing a silly, schoolgirl crush on Harry, but, come on, she's 11. That's part of the realism that makes the story so easy to relate to. McGonagall was probably the only character for whom I liked her portrayal in the movies better than in the books. Part of that is due to Maggie Smith's fantastic acting, but her character was also made a lot stronger. The scene that culminates with the duel between her and Snape is my favorite in any of the movies.

If you see the series as sexist, I guess it comes down to what you would change in order to make it less so. Would the story still work if you replaced one of the Big 3 presences (Harry, Dumbledore and Voldemort) with a female character? For me, it could have worked just as well with a female Harry. Dumbledore and Voldemort are harder to imagine; Dumbledore because of his age and Voldemort because it's so hard for me to imagine a female character with no concept of love.

Wow. That was longer than I planned...

5. Have you ever read the books to your children? Do you plan to if you haven't?

My boys are still too young to understand, I think. When they're maybe 8 or 9, I think it would be a good time to start. I don't think I'd want them to read HBP or DH until they're in their late teens, though. It's not that I'm so worried about the violence, I just don't know that they'd be able to really appreciate what it means before that age.

6. Did you have any predictions for the last book that you're disappointed because they never happened?

I believed that Dumbledore would come back in some way, so I wasn't completely disappointed, but I guess I was expecting something more than the scene in King's Cross.

I was disappointed that Lupin didn't make it. To me, it felt so cruel to strip Harry of every last living connection to his parents. In the great scheme of things, though, I can understand why JKR made the choice. When Harry entered the forest to die and summoned them with the Resurrection Stone, it felt like a circle was being completed.

7. Did you see the movies and were you disappointed by them (I know I was)?

I have seen at least part of all 8 movies. The first three I've obviously seen many times, since they run on TV pretty often. GoF and OoTP I have only seen bits and pieces of. My family got me the 8-disc box set for Christmas and I've finally watched HBP all the way through. DH I and II were the only ones I actually saw in a theater.

I was not a big fan of the first three movies. I thought they were campy and the portrayal of "magic" was excessive to the point of being annoying. It wasn't until GoF that the screenwriters finally seemed to get the idea that witches and wizards are just human beings who happen to have a special ability that they use in moderation. OotP was a turning point for the series. Parts of it were still over-done, but the ending was terrific. HBP could have been great, except that the actor who played Dumbledore seemed to miss a lot of the subtlety of the character and they didn't give the Battle of the Astronomy Tower nearly enough screen time. Both DH movies were fantastic. Again, there were some things I would have done differently -- like keeping the final duel between Harry and Voldemort completely true to the book -- but other aspects of the movies -- like the aforementioned scene in the great hall with Snape and McGonagall -- were actually better than the book.

8. So, writing seems to be your hobby but do you have any other hobbies (exercising, reading, driving your wife crazy, hahaha)?

Between working, spending time with the kids and writing, I don't really have a lot of time left over. When I do, my other hobbies are woodworking, cycling and genealogy.

9. Did/Do you enjoy the plays of William Shakespeare?

Most of the Shakespeare I've read was back in high school, where it seemed like more of a chore than something enjoyable. I've re-read a couple of them in more recent years, and there's a lot there that's hard to appreciate when you're 17.

10. Besides dear Susan, who has been your favorite character to write so far for 'Conspiracy?'

Overall, my favorite character to write is still Harry. For me, it's just so easy to get inside his head and explore. My favorite supporting character -- aside from Susan, who I adore! -- is probably Scorpius. He sits in an interesting position in the story. He's close to both Harry and Draco, so he's uniquely positioned to explore the similarities and contrasts between them. Expect to see a lot more out of him as the story draws to a close.

Thanks so much for the questions. I hope I didn't bore you to tears with the answers. Looking forward to reading more of your writing!
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You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be. - Albus Dumbledore
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#8 agenth

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:02 AM

Hey!

I wanted to drop by this thread because I think that your writing is amazing.

It's so versatile, and it keeps me entertained.


All the plot twists - just wow!


I wanted to say, that I think its a shame that only a few people have reviewed your latest chapter.

I guess it has something to do with the fact that your fanfiction has no banner, because I think your fanfiction is one of the few that is really unique and interesting.


I think it is really cool that you started reading HP even though it is claimed to be a children's book, lol.

I never thought so, even though I grew up with HP (I have the same birth date as Emma Watson, yay :p)


I have one question, though.

Why doesn't everybody just hide where Harry, Ron, Hermione and Esme hide?

I don't think it's quiet safe in Malfoy Manor, because one can never know what Draco would do ;)


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#9 CambAngst

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

Hi, there.

I'm really glad that you're enjoying it.

I've thought about a banner, but I have yet to dip my toe into TDA. Maybe soon...

Why wouldn't they all hide in the Gaunt Shack? Well, for starters, it isn't actually all that large. I imagine the attic hideout as being somewhere around 20 feet by 30 feet. Good enough for 4 people, but rather close quarters for, say, 8 or 10. Not to mention, um, facilities, which is a topic I've pretty much left untouched. Also, the more people who know a secret, the less of a secret it is, really.

Thanks for the question. I'm working on chapter 31 right now, so maybe some time next week.

Edited by CambAngst, 02 May 2012 - 08:22 PM.

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You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be. - Albus Dumbledore
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#10 agenth

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:05 PM

Thanks for your answer :D

I totally forgot that the house was really small (at least in the movies ;) )
but I guess even an Enlargement charm would wear off...

Yes that's true, but I don't think that the children would betray them :p

I could try to help you, if you have any ideas about the banner ^^
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#11 Jchrissy

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:36 PM

Hello! I didn't get enough out of you with your last review response... So here I am ;). Be warned, I'm now on location for work so my wonderful laptop is back in its bag. I'm iPhone thumbing it.

I'm going to jump right into it:

Why Percy? Is he being used as Lady T's toy because of convince? An easily manipulated mind? Will I find out when I finish CoB?

How do you balance your work, wife, and children, twins even, and still find time to be such an avid writer?

Is your wife supporting of your passion? I know
I find myself neglecting my fiancÚ if an idea strikes, lucky for me he's fascinated with Med School and can almost always amuse himself going over new case studies.

You have written an amazing piece of work. Because it's fanfic and not original, some people might not understand that it takes just as much talent, do you face that at all?

When did the idea for CoB first spark? What idea came first; the second war or Ginny being murdered?

Which character is most emotional for you, and why?

Which character do you like writing the least?

Who is your favorite and least favorite characters in the HP series?

What moment during the books did you really fall in love with them?

What was your least favorite part of the entire HP series? Why? What should have been elaborated on more?

I honestly have at least 20 more. I'll give you a chance to answer these first..:).

This is a personal question and if it is too much feel free to ignore it. I have learned we are in the same time zone... Have you ever been to Baltimore Maryland or Norwalk CT, if so can you provide me with your opinions of either?:)
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#12 CambAngst

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:43 PM

Wow. So I know what I'm doing for my lunch break today. ;)

Why Percy? Is he being used as Lady T's toy because of convince? An easily manipulated mind? Will I find out when I finish CoB?

Well, you will certainly find out by the end of the story. But there is certainly an element of convenience for her. He's a Deputy Minister, respected by his peers and yet naive in a way.

How do you balance your work, wife, and children, twins even, and still find time to be such an avid writer?

I do the majority of my writing at night, after the rest of the family goes to bed. It's my quiet time, when I unwind and get all my thoughts out on paper. I actually do a lot of my editing at work, while various reports and extracts are running in the background. It's not easy, but it's something I enjoy immensely, so I find the time.

Is your wife supporting of your passion? I know I find myself neglecting my fiancé if an idea strikes, lucky for me he's fascinated with Med School and can almost always amuse himself going over new case studies.

My wife isn't really supportive or unsupportive. She has her own hobbies and interests and we have what I think is a healthy amount of personal space in our relationship. Her only complaint is that she wishes that I would write something I could sell for money. ;)

You have written an amazing piece of work. Because it's fanfic and not original, some people might not understand that it takes just as much talent, do you face that at all?

I have to disagree with you just a bit on your premise. I think it definitely takes more talent (or inspiration, I suppose) to make up an entire world from scratch and turn it into something that captures people's imagination. As far as whether people do or don't appreciate the talent involved in being able to write within such a construct, I don't have much experience with it because the only people I really discuss my HPFF writing with are the wonderful people that I've met through the site. Sorry, I wish I had a better answer for you, because it's an interesting question. :-(

When did the idea for CoB first spark? What idea came first; the second war or Ginny being murdered?

The initial idea was to write a story where Harry and his contemporaries had become the elders of the wizarding world. I thought it was an interesting thing to explore and I hadn't seen it done anywhere. But I needed some way to make it compelling, to put Harry in a mental state that wasn't "happy ever after" that people could connect with. So I made the really, really difficult decision to not have Ginny be a part of the story. Personally, I am a die-hard Harry/Ginny shipper. I can't really abide Draco/Ginny or heaven-freaking-forbid Harry/Hermione. So it became a really personal, emotional thing for me to write Harry in a situation where he has to go on without her. I really hope that comes through in the story.

Which character is most emotional for you, and why?

Harry and Ginny. I find their story really touching, at least the way that it's generally evolved in good Harry/Ginny fics.

Which character do you like writing the least?

Of the characters who've made any consequential appearance in CoB, Dumbledore is far and away the hardest to write. I just can't ever get him to sound right.

Who is your favorite and least favorite characters in the HP series?

Leaving out the Trio for a moment because that's just too easy, I think Luna is my favorite. There's something so deep about her: the loss she's suffered, her amazing little insights, the childlike wonder and the strength to survive an ordeal like being held prisoner by the Death Eaters. My least favorite character probably would have been Molly if not for the Battle of Hogwarts. Before that, she was just so shrill and annoying. Talk about redeeming a character in two paragraphs! So I'd have to say that overall, my least favorite was Dolores Umbridge. To me, she really just took up space in OotP. She was annoying, caricatured and honestly she wasn't much of an antagonist.

What moment during the books did you really fall in love with them?

Right around the end of Goblet of Fire was the point of no return for me. All of the sudden, people started to die, dark spells were being cast all over the place and it all just became very, very real. Like the villain in The Crow says, "childhood is over the day you know you're gonna die" and I think it was clear at the end of GoF that many characters were going to die before the series ended. Before that, the book were fun, but they lacked a certain gravitas.

What was your least favorite part of the entire HP series? Why? What should have been elaborated on more?

At the risk of making Order of the Phoenix even longer, I never felt like JKR gave us enough insight into just how bad things were getting outside of Hogwarts. I really wish she had traded some of the endless pages wasted on Dolores Umbridge for a few peeks outside the castle walls.

I honestly have at least 20 more. I'll give you a chance to answer these first.. :).

Pace yourself, my dear... ;)


This is a personal question and if it is too much feel free to ignore it. I have learned we are in the same time zone... Have you ever been to Baltimore Maryland or Norwalk CT, if so can you provide me with your opinions of either? :)

I have only passed through Baltimore on the interstate, so I can't really tell you much about it. I have a good friend from college who lives there.

Norwalk is supposed to be one of these up-and-coming, hipster urban renewal stories, but I have no idea how well that is surviving the recession. The last time I was in Norwalk was for work about 5 years ago. We went out to a really good sushi place called Kazu and we walked around at twilight without feeling threatened, which is kind of a rarity for "big" cities in CT. (i.e., Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, etc.). So that's about the extent of my knowledge. 9 times out of 10 when I go to CT, it's just to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun. They're customers of my company, which is of course the only reason I go. ;)

Thank you for the thoguhtful questions and thank you for all of the reviews you've lavished upon my story!
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You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be. - Albus Dumbledore
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#13 Jchrissy

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:31 PM

Uh Oh, I'm back. Hopefully you didn't have any plans for your lunch break ;).

I'm not the blushing type, I'm not even the giggling type. I've heard worse than that walking down the street. Just something about the way it was written... anyway, I guess my internal blushing is kudos to your writing ;)!


All of your characters are very well defined, do you have any sort of web or outline for each?

What part during the entire story (so far) was the most emotional to write, and why?

What next?

In the Harry Potter series, what did you question most? Was there any plot whole, and character development, any small detail that just stuck out as 'not right' to you?

You are really giving Draco and Astoria such a real and honest relationship and portrayal. If I beg and please and promise to be a really good review during the whole thing, what are the chances of getting a story about them out of you?

What type of scenes are the hardest for you to write? Humorous, heart breaking, death, sexual, and everything else.

Can you remember getting any really painful review?

Okay, that's all for now ;)!
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#14 CambAngst

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:43 PM

Hello! What a fun-filled day on HPFF! Or maybe it's just that I'm hanging around with fun people. Regardless, let's get to your questions:

All of your characters are very well defined, do you have any sort of web or outline for each?

In my Google Docs, I have a Weasley family tree showing who's married to who (for the characters that I've named, anyway), all of the great-grandchildren and everybody's age in the time frame of the story. Otherwise, there is no way I could keep it all straight. There are a lot of spouses that I haven't named (Lily, Dominique, Louis, Freddie, Roxie, Molly and Lucy) because they really aren't part of the story. Nothing grates on me worse than a fic where the author starts off by puking out the name, rank and serial number of every family member, whether or not they actually appear in the story.

What part during the entire story (so far) was the most emotional to write, and why?

So far, the scene where Harry talks to Ginny's grave in chapter 2 was the most emotional part. That said, there are two very emotional chapters coming up between now and the end of the story, each for a slightly different reason. I guess I won't know which turns out to be the worst until I'm done, but I have a suspicion.

What next?

I think the first thing I need to do is take a brief break. Just recharge a bit, focus on reading and doing some other things in life. Probably also spend some time away from HPFF. CoB has been an amazing journey, more rewarding in a lot of ways than I could have imagined. That said, it hasn't been without its frustrations. There are inherent difficulties in trying to write about a war from a serious, adult point of view and publish it on a site where the rules are ultimately geared around protecting adolescent readers. I understand why those rules are there, but I have found myself sacrificing bits and pieces of the story to remain within them. It's a tough call, because the community here is so wonderful and supportive.

In the Harry Potter series, what did you question most? Was there any plot whole, and character development, any small detail that just stuck out as 'not right' to you?

I think the biggest thing that I wonder about is how Dumbledore could have been so foolish. If you really stop and think about it, the odds of his "plan" working were infinitesimal. Sending three unqualified young people out into a hostile world to do battle against an army of adults led by the most powerful dark sorcerer the world had ever seen... Really, the only thing it ever had going for it was the old movie cliche, "it's so crazy, it just might work." Then you layer onto it all of the information that he deliberately concealed from Harry. All of the opportunities he had over the years to help Harry out, but he declined to do so... I know he explains himself -- mostly, anyway -- near the end of OotP, and he freely admits that he's made bad choices, but why not take that opportunity to make up for them? Why not send Harry back to Privet Dr for a few weeks or however long the spell takes to recharge, then bring him back to Hogwarts and begin to teach him, yourself? Why not tell him, "once I'm dead, you're really going to want to have my wand."

Dumbledore's "plan" just has this ineffable quality to it that bugs me. The story, in the end, is very heart-warming and I think that readers were so bought into the characters by then that they were unlikely to question it, but honestly, it was really dumb and there was no way it should have worked.

You are really giving Draco and Astoria such a real and honest relationship and portrayal. If I beg and please and promise to be a really good review during the whole thing, what are the chances of getting a story about them out of you?

I've had a lot of thoughts about that. In fact, the other day I sat down and worked out the framework and the first chapter of a story that tells the story of how Draco came to take the Dark Mark. I was thinking that it would be a short story that would end well before the start of HBP, but I suppose that could change. Or this story could be a springboard for other things. So many plot bunnies! :ranting: I need a fence or something!

What type of scenes are the hardest for you to write? Humorous, heart breaking, death, sexual, and everything else.

The hardest scenes for me to write, honestly, are the really boring ones. I hate scenes where I need to think of a plausible way to deliver narrative through a character's thoughts. They always feel awkward and out of place. Humorous stuff is easy: it either comes to you or it doesn't. Heart-breaking is tough to write, but it does sort of flow once you get into the character's mindset. I like to keep death very spartan. Over-doing a death scene just makes it cheesy to me. I haven't really had any sexual scenes in CoB, but my idea for the Draco story I mentioned above starts with a pretty intense one. They're not that hard to write, but they give me the Validation Shakes.

Can you remember getting any really painful review?

Several. And they weren't flames or anything outside of the rules, just very blunt, honest appraisals of an idea that I put into the story because I really liked it. Flames, I think, are easy to ignore. Ditto for non-ToS reviews. If you can't even bother to be articulate and understand the rules, why do I care about your opinion? But when somebody really takes the time to read and digest what you've written and takes you to task in a very intelligent, structured sort of way, it can really hurt. That said, both of the reviews that I'm thinking of ultimately made the story better. You have to open yourself up to that sort of criticism if you're going to improve as a writer. It's no different from learning chess or basketball. The best way to learn anything is to take a few beatings from people who are better at it than you.
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You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be. - Albus Dumbledore
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#15 Jchrissy

Jchrissy

    Fourth Year

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  • Member Since: 08 May 2012

Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:50 AM

Hiii! Fancy seeing you 'round there here parts.

Let's talk about YOU!

1) Was Marked a planned story, or did some of the things just fall into place? Like the 'trick' Tonks played on Draco?

2) We really watch Draco lose some of his naivety in this. And I found myself very sympathetic towards him. Was it your intention to show the reader his side to feel sympathy for him, or just to tell the tale of that summer?

3) So, you've written so many ships throughout CoB, and even a bit in Marked with the Narcissa Lucius in jail thing. Is one of your ships in CoB your very favorite? And no saying Harry and Ginny!

4) You did an awesome job with Draco in both stories. Did you find yourself struggling to get out of the mindset of adult Draco and into teenage Draco? Is he a character, or Astoria for that matter, one you'd like to read more about?

5) We really have a very large cast in CoB. Did you plan on so many people being included? Like when you do the few scenes involving the original Order...was that spur the moment? Did you have a favorite character (no saying Harry or Scorpius) to write about? Was there one Character (again, no Harry or Ginny) that you'd really just to have liked to read more of?

6) How did it feel to mark Conspiracy of Blood completed? To have finished a novel that, if I'm not mistaken, is over 200,000 words?
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