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#1 Penelope Inkwell

 
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Posted 13 December 2013 - 04:43 AM

Hi everybody!

So, I finally figured out how to make one of these things.  Turns out it’s embarrassingly easy.  Me and technology, guys.  I’d say I should have been born in another era, but then I would have just had trouble figuring out, like, how to set up my sundial, and that would just be worse :p

 

But yeah, I’m Penny.  I’ve been writing fanfiction for about a year, and reading it for barely more than that, so I’m pretty new around here.  I had always sort of heard that fanfic was a thing, but never knew the utter awesomeness of it till recently.  So, here I am!

 

I’ve got three stories currently out--Traitorous Hearts, a Draco/Astoria novella that may be turning into a novel, about spies and secrets and unconventional heroes, and Where Our Voices Sound, a Hogwarts adaptation of The Little Mermaid.  Those are both WIPs.  And then there’s my completed comedic one-shot, Dragons, Disguises, and Not-So-Dumb Blondes, which has travel, humor, romance and Victoire Weasley.  So, if you’ve read any of those, thanks!  

Hopefully Coming Soon to a Computer Screen Near You:  I’ve got a mostly-written, novel-length NextGen Humor/Murder Mystery (which sounds like a kind of odd combo, admittedly) that just requires some tweaking, as it was the first-ever fanfic attempt.  Also, a rather unusual Dramione that 1 part parody, 2 parts romance, all parts fun!

 

So, yup, that’s me.  Feel free to ask a question...if one should flutter into your mind for any reason.  I’ll be around  :beach:

 

 

--Penny


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#2 quixotic

 
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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

Hello! 

 

1. If you could go to another era, which one would it be? Why?

2. Favourite subject at Hogwarts?

3. Favourite Harry Potter book? Why?

 

Well that's all I can come up with for now :) I will return when inspiration strikes!


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#3 Penelope Inkwell

 
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Posted 13 December 2013 - 06:39 PM

Hey!  Yay, questions!  Hmmm...

1)  Hmm...well, by could, I’m assuming it means it would be possible for me to survive in that place.  Like, my dependence on modern medicine wouldn’t be an issue?  Because otherwise I’d pretty much have to stick around here.  But, if I could go anywhen, I’d say turn of the century--late 1800s, early 1900s.   I just always love stories in that time period, because there’s so much invention and discovery that the world always seems wide open.  It’s before we knew so many of the answers, so asking the questions was a bit more fun.  Or the Regency period in England.  Or Ancient Greece, because it would be pretty awesome to see all those ruins in their prime.  Or, in the Americas, it would be pretty cool to drop by Teotihuacán for a few days and figure out some of the answers to the mysteries that surround that civilization.  But I wouldn’t want to stick around too long because, you know, potential human sacrifice and all.  Gosh, I have a lot.  Do I really have to choose?

 

2)  Oh, definitely Charms.  It’s practical, because many of them are for everyday use, but some can also be utilized as defensive spells.  Plus, Flitwick seems like a pretty cool teacher.  Anyone who wants to give me a dancing cupcake is good in my book.

3)  My favorite is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I suppose because it reminds me of myths (I’m a total mythology geek).  Harry really runs the gauntlet, having to face down multiple challenges and monsters.  I’m a big fan of a good quest, and it reminds me of that.  Plus, there’s all the fun of seeing what the magical world is like in other countries.  You’ve got your Quidditch, magical creatures, first crushes, first experiences with death.  I think it’s the richest of the books--there’s just a little bit of something for everyone :D

 

That was fun.  Thanks for the questions!


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#4 Lululuna

 
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Posted 23 December 2013 - 04:22 AM

Hello! :D I have some questions for you!

 

1. How did you decide to create 'Where Our Voices Sound' during the Next Gen era at the Hogwarts lake? Did you play around with other plotlines before settling on that one, and if not what was your thought process like for that story?

2. Who is your favourite next generation character?

3. What are your greatest literary influences? 

4. Favourite fanfictions?

5. How did you first get involved in hpff? Do you write OF as well?

6. I see that you have a Draco/Astoria and a Dramione coming up - what appeals Draco to you as a character in your stories? 

7. If you could have any pet from the HP books for your own, who would you choose? 

8. If you had the choice, would you become a mermaid like the main character in WOVS becomes a human? :p

 

Looking forward to your answers! :D 


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#5 Penelope Inkwell

 
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Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:48 PM

Oh my gosh!  These are such fun questions.  :xw00t:  I am sooo excited!

1)  When I was trying to find an era for WOVS, I explored several options.  At first I was inclined to place it further back, maybe in the Founders Era, but I decided that I wanted to update the story, so I thought a more modern period would be better.  I toyed with the turn of the century, but in the end I decided Next-Gen would be the most fun.  As soon as I thought of Next-Gen, a whole cast of characters and interactions popped into my head, and that’s when I knew I was in the right place...er, time.  I like strong ensemble casts--even though Traitorous Hearts revolves mainly around Draco and Astoria, there are more characters to come--but for this one, I wanted a collection of characters from the start.  Viviene is going to need a lot of help learning to be human, and I couldn’t think of a better support group than the masses of Next-Gen Potter-Weasleys  ;)

2)  My favorite Next-Gen character? :xblink:  Hmm...that’s hard to say.  I’m horrible at picking favorites.  I’ll always have a soft spot for Lily II, because she was the protagonist of my first (as yet un-posted) fanfic.  But really, I have extra love for all of Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione’s kids.  I like Scorpius, because he’s a second chance for the Malfoys.  I like Bill and Fleur’s kids, because they grow up with different challenges, being famous, inhumanly gorgeous, and possibly a bit wolfish.  Teddy, because how could you not love Remus and Tonks little Animagus child?  Roxanne and Fred II, because they come from a family that knows loss on a different level, and because they’re mixed-race (it’s nice to have some diversity!).  Even Molly II and and Lucy come from a unique position--did it ever get out that their dad was on the wrong side for awhile?  Are they uptight, like their father, or rule-breakers?  So many possibilities!

So, yeah, I’m obviously really bad at this whole “choosing” thing...but I’m going to say Lily II or Albus, because I think the experience of being the Harry Potter’s children must be an interesting one, and while we know James navigates it pretty comfortably (at least at age 12), those two are unknown, which gives you a lot to work with, as a writer.

 

3)  Oh, this is a fun one!  I mean, there are lots of writers that I love, but as far as who has influenced this writing most?  I’d say, in terms of trying to set the scene, Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, and Maggie Stiefvater.  In terms of character, Sarah Rees Brennan.  In terms of magic, J.K. Rowling (obviously), and C.S. Lewis.  There are countless others, for sure, but those are authors I definitely strive to learn from.  

 

4) Favorite Fanfictions.  Okay, I’m gonna make myself pick 3 this time, and it’s going to be hard...I can do this.  Right, in no particular order:

 

-And Capers Ensue by justonemorefic

-Clash by shenanigan

-Tangled Web by whisper_in_the_wind

I can do honorable mentions, though, right?  That’s fair?  Etc. Etc. and Life Goes On by justonemorefic was a big inspiration for Traitorous Hearts.  I loved how her protagonist, Clemence, is a tough girl whose moral compass didn’t always point true north.  Clemence is smart, practical, and focused on self-preservation.  I wanted all those traits to be in my protagonist, and they are.  Even though Astoria is very different from Clemence in other ways, she was a wonderful influence to draw from, as it’s hard to find likable female characters who are portrayed that way.  Without Gina’s story, mine definitely wouldn’t be what it is.  

 

5) I actually started out about a year ago, just by reading.  I had an unusual amount of free time that semester, and I read really fast.  I couldn’t actually afford to read any more books at the rate I was going, and the modern fiction section in the library was not particularly well-stocked.  One of my friends suggested that I read an HP fanfiction story she had found.  I was skeptical, but I trusted her judgement and tried it.  So glad that I did!  And then, after reading a few...pretty soon I was like, “Hey, I think I could do this.”  And I started writing fanfic.  Easily one of the best things that ever happened to me as a writer.  Before, I was never able to work on the technical bits pf my writing because I always got caught in the world building and could never finish anything.  Here, the world came ready-made, the bones of the characters were already there.  I think fanfiction is the perfect way to practice thinking creatively and to improve your writing without getting bogged down in the details.  As far as OF goes, I have a couple ideas stewing in my mind, a few scenes written, but I want to keep working on the basics here before I really dive into that.  I want to finish these stories before I go gallivanting off into others.  But hopefully, one day.  

 

6)  I do love Draco!  Draco, to me, is a lost opportunity.  Maybe it’s the Slytherin in me, but I like a good redemption story.  Harry Potter is a fabulous series about a boy who was always good at his core (though of course he had flaws) going out to defeat evil.  And J.K. wrote it so wonderfully, which is an enormous part of why we’re all here.  But it sort of always bothered me that Voldemort never had a chance--he was born without the ability to love, so he was doomed.  But okay.  However, Draco had a chance.  Draco could love--it was the Malfoys’ most redeeming quality that, at the expense of all the world, they loved their family.  I think that J.K. did something important with Draco and the Malfoys: she showed that you don’t always have to be “good” or “heroic” to make the right choice, to change the tide of history for the better.  She showed that even people you can’t stand have may have a good side (even if it’s a very small one) if you’re willing to look.  That’s an important message.  But I always really wanted to see someone who was “bad” choose good.  I guess Wormtail, in the end, showed a bit of good, and Sirius was the opposite of Draco--he was born to that life and rejected it, though he always had a bit of a cruel streak (you love him despite that).  But apart from those, I can’t think of anyone who really changed, and I think that people can.  You can’t change people, but they can decide to change themselves.  I think Draco is the perfect opportunity for that, and I like to imagine that he learned from his mistakes.  (That said, I have a Next-Gen story coming out where Draco is a minor character and he comes across as pretty hateful.  There’s nothing wrong with that depiction, either.  I like to see a little bit of everything).  

7)  Oh, definitely a Thestral.  I’d love to freak people out a bit that way.  Just think of all the tricks you could play on people that couldn’t see it!  Plus, I have a soft spot for them.  They’re misunderstood!   :xbiggrin: 

8)  If I could be an “Ariel" type of mermaid...maybe.  Living with Viviene’s clan, though?  I don’t think it would be for me.  They’re pretty hardcore.  And besides, there’s no paper underwater, which means no books!  Or at least a lot less of them, even if you’re taking magic into account.  That really wouldn’t work well for me.


Thank you so much for all the questions!  They were really fun to think about!  And Merry Christmas  :xthumbup: 


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#6 Mahalia

 
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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:21 AM

Hi Penny! I can't believe I haven't seen this before - I'm a massive fan of your work, and love how you write - every word fits so perfectly, and it reads very poetically. Not to mention the actual stories themselves - particularly Traitorous Hearts. It seems to be such a complex web, and every chapter something new is revealed about Astoria or Draco. What is your planning process when writing a mystery story like that? I still feel like I don't know who Astoria even is - is this intentional, or does she pretty much write herself? And how do you go about creating deep, mysterious characters like her?

Sorry my questions aren't massive, but I would love to hear your responses :happy:


Edited by Mahalia, 25 January 2014 - 10:22 AM.

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#7 Penelope Inkwell

 
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Posted 27 January 2014 - 04:14 AM

Oh hi!  Oh my goodness, I’m, like, blushing.   :blushing:   You are so sweet, and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your words.  Like, for real, warm fuzzies, big smiles.  Can I hug you?  I’m sending you a very appreciative hug.

On planning Traitorous Hearts:
I did want to write a story that would be kind of a Mystery without being sleuth-y (though I love those, too!)  Planning-wise, it really involved a lot of brainstorming.  Usually, I get struck by inspiration for a story, write a few scenes, and then if the ideas--character background, plot points, etc.--start flowing, then that’s the idea I’ll pursue.  In the case of Traitorous Hearts, I was in the university’s student center between classes when the idea just struck me: I wanted to know what Astoria Greengrass was like.  And then the bones of the opening chapters just sort of rushed from my fingertips onto the keyboard.  All I knew was that she was under some sort of suspicion, keeping a secret, and in an interview that could cost her her life.  And Draco was doing the interviewing.  Lavinia popped up shortly thereafter, accompanied by Felix and my version of Daphne.  And then the ideas for the most crucial scenes fell into my head.  

And I just sort of went on from there.

As far as organization, I don’t write in strict chapter order.  I go through, write important scenes as they come to me, and they eventually consolidate into chapters.  I don’t have an outline, exactly, though I do usually have several pages of notes at the bottom of my document.  And your saying that it sounds poetic is, like, the best thing you could possibly tell me, because I am so picky about wording.  That’s probably what takes the longest for each chapter--finding the perfect descriptors--and messages like yours just make it more than worth the effort   :D  Thank you.

Not knowing who Astoria is is pretty intentional on my part.  It’s tricky, because of course you need people to like your MC--to want to read about them--but for my story’s purposes, I’m limited in how much I can immediately reveal.  In the first few chapters, you can’t know much about Astoria, simply because she’s meant to be mysterious.  She’s the daughter of a spy, after all, and she would never lay all her cards out on the table right away.  Also, when we meet her, she’s lying through her teeth half the time, so initially it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s false.  Astoria spends the first few chapters desperately trying to hide much of who she is (especially her better nature, though I have tried to leave clues that it’s there).

Additionally, for Draco to be able to effectively interrogate her without it being boring, the audience can only know so much more than he does at any given time.  And their not-knowing gives a bit of a sense of what he’s going through.  As sharp as Draco is, Astoria is, largely, inscrutable.  He has suspicions and background information, but he lacks solid proof.  I wanted the readers’ arc to sort of parallel that.  You’re finding out facts about Astoria just as he is, and the puzzle pieces are slowly adding up, but what you really know is still relatively little.  

But you do know more than Draco, if that makes you feel any better.   ;)

Let’s see.  At this point--Chapter 5--you know:

SPOILERS!!!  Warning: DEFINITE SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT READ UP TO CH. 5

-Astoria is incredibly, terrifyingly perceptive

-She can be kind, notably to her House Elf, Filly

-She’s very clever at Potions (revealed in her scene in the Hospital Wing)

-She has courage (I mean, she’s willing to defy the Death Eaters and leak classified information to avenge her mother’s death)

-She’s not particularly good at combat spells  (mentioned in the scene where she first talks to Ginny)

-She was Cursed, almost certainly by her own mother (!)

-Even though she was her mother’s favorite child

-To some extent, she’s her father’s caretaker

-Since no one but Ginny visits her in the hospital wing, one may assume she doesn’t have many friends at school

-Perhaps because she prefers to fly beneath the radar

-She is utterly practical

-She loathes showing weakness

-She’s well-spoken

-Well-mannered, when she has to be

-She’s a brilliant liar

-She’s got some sass

 

 

I mean, there’s more, but those are pretty solid things to begin with.  I will say that, very soon, you will be able to learn more information about Astoria much faster.  Up till now, she’s been under the constraints of polite society and a dangerous interrogation, but in the coming chapters, you will see her in a very different environment.  I think you’ll be able to gather a bit more about her character then.  

Thank you so much for asking those questions!  They were really fun to answer.  I hope I responded to everything, but if I missed something, feel free to PM me anytime!

 

Thanks again!   :D

 

--Penny


Edited by Penelope Inkwell, 27 January 2014 - 04:18 AM.

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#8 Lululuna

 
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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:08 PM

Hi Penny! :D Here are some more questions for you as I'm loving Traitorous Hearts right now! 

 

1. How does Astoria fit into Slytherin? Can you see her in any of the other houses? 

2. TH is so complex and veiled, if that makes sense. How much planning do you do for your stories? 

3. What made you decide that Ginny was a good connection for Astoria? 

4. This is a little odd to admit, but I actually quoted back a line of TH to my mom to explain why I didn't see a future with my ex! :p It was about Mr. Greengrass loving Mrs. Greengrass the same no matter what her accomplishments were, and I found it so relatable that I couldn't help but use it to explain my point. :p Anyway, what made you decide on the dynamic between the two parents? Was it always going to be Lavinia who was the Death Eater and spy? 

5. How have you grown as a writer since posting on HPFF?

 

<3 


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#9 MyMyMiss

 
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Posted 07 March 2014 - 03:56 AM

Hi hun, here for blackout! <3 

1: Which of your stories do/have you found/find the hardest to write? 
2: I noticed that your latest story icing on the cake was for the speed-dating entry. How did you cope with the pressure of time management for your entry?

3: Even though it was for a challenge, how did you come up with the plot behind Where our voices sound
4: Draco seems to be a character you like to write about, do you find his characterization hard to keep consistent or do you tend to stray a little into ooc?
5: Which of your stories do you think was the most enjoyable for you to write? (:


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#10 HollyStone73

 
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Posted 07 March 2014 - 09:20 PM

It's time for some Q & A!!

1. You write a lot of Next Gen. Do you find this easier to write than other eras? Why or why not.

2. What HP character can you most relate to?

3. Do you have any music that you listen to to help you get into the mood for writing?

4. How do you deal with writers block?

5. If you could have an actual conversation with a character from HP who would it be and what would you want to know?

That's all I got for now! Can't wait to hear back from ya!
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#11 Penelope Inkwell

 
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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:28 PM

Hi Penny! :D Here are some more questions for you as I'm loving Traitorous Hearts right now! 
 
1. How does Astoria fit into Slytherin? Can you see her in any of the other houses? 
2. TH is so complex and veiled, if that makes sense. How much planning do you do for your stories? 
3. What made you decide that Ginny was a good connection for Astoria? 
4. This is a little odd to admit, but I actually quoted back a line of TH to my mom to explain why I didn't see a future with my ex! :p It was about Mr. Greengrass loving Mrs. Greengrass the same no matter what her accomplishments were, and I found it so relatable that I couldn't help but use it to explain my point. :p Anyway, what made you decide on the dynamic between the two parents? Was it always going to be Lavinia who was the Death Eater and spy? 
5. How have you grown as a writer since posting on HPFF?
 
<3 

 
Hello!  I’ve tried to answer this like 3 times now, but something always goes wrong.  My computer breaks, I answer the wrong questions, etc.  But here I am for take 3.  Third time’s the charm!

1.  Astoria fits into Slytherin well--she certainly belongs there more than anywhere else.  The willingness to put your neck on the line for just about any cause--as well as the impulsiveness--of the Gryffindors baffles her, and the Hufflepuffs care a lot about fair play, a concept which she considers fairly useless.  If she had to be in another house, she’d be a Ravenclaw, she’s certainly intelligent enough.  However, Slytherin is still her best fit.  In Ravenclaw you don’t really focus on that craftiness and guile which is so much a part of her character.
 
2.  I do a lot of planning.  I’ve got several pages of notes and cut parts that need to go elsewhere and basic plotting, etc...  It’s not that I never deviate--that’s something I’m learning to do, actually--but I stay pretty true to my plans.  The first few weeks of diving into a story are some of my favorites, but every free moment (driving, showering, walking to class) is filled with me thinking through various scenarios and plotting out events.  I’ve only come into writing down my planning in the last year (it’s something I struggled with when I was younger), but I’ve found that it helps a lot, at least for me.  
 
3.  Ginny seemed a good connection for Astoria initially because she was the only Weasley left in school, and because she’d have a direct connection to the Order of the Phoenix.  Immediately after I started writing their interactions, though, I understood that Ginny was the perfect person for Astoria to meet with because of who she is.  They are so different and so similar at the same time, and I quickly realized that Ginny was one of the few members of the resistance that Astoria, as she was at that point in time, could respect.  Ginny cares about fairness, but she also knows how to fight dirty (youngest daughter with 6 older brothers, after all), and she, too, would do anything to protect the people she cares about.  And she’s a straight-shooter, which would appeal to Astoria (Astoria uses lies as a tool, but that can get a little exhausting, after a while.  Nice to have someone you know is going to tell it to you straight.)  Besides all that, Ginny has seen darkness.  She’s been possessed by Voldemort.  She has a maturity, and a sense of the stakes, that Astoria recognizes and respects.
 
4.  Hey, I don’t think it’s odd.  I quote stuff to my mom all the time.  I’m really glad I wrote something that resonated with you!    

It was always going to be Lavinia who was the Death Eater.  I never actually considered it being Felix.  I knew what their relationship was like fairly early on, because for Lavinia to become a spy and do the things she did, she had to have motivation.  It just made sense to me that someone who wanted to earn respect might love someone who cared for them unconditionally, but would still need to seek that earned respect elsewhere.  Just being loved wasn’t enough for her personality.  She needed to work for things, and she needed someone who would applaud her successes.  Which is how she came to be a Death Eater.  And I wanted Felix to be a very different sort of person.  Astoria has always been closer to her mother, but there comes a point where, for spoilery reasons (though I think you know), she needs to turn to another role model.  And Felix will be that to her, to an extent, so I knew he had to be different.  He’s much less...hardened than Lavinia was.  Though he is a bit mad at this point, so there’s that. 
 
5.  SO MUCH!  I’m a much better writer than I was a year ago.  I’ve still got a lot to learn, and a long way to go, but I’m very happy with my progress.  The constant practice helps, more than anything, but having regular feedback is another really helpful part of it.  Fanfiction is a really underutilized tool, I think (possibly because the response to female authors who admit that they used to write fanfic is kind of awful, which is a real shame).  I used to get so stuck in world-building that I could never actually write a plot, so I wasn’t getting any better.  HP fanfic gave me an entire, detailed world on a silver platter and said “do with this what you will”, which has been huge for me.  I’d choose to do it again and again.

Thanks so much for your questions.  They were really fun to think about!  I think I actually learned more than you probably did.  All this introspection...   ;)
 

Hi hun, here for blackout! <3 

1: Which of your stories do/have you found/find the hardest to write? 
2: I noticed that your latest story icing on the cake was for the speed-dating entry. How did you cope with the pressure of time management for your entry?
3: Even though it was for a challenge, how did you come up with the plot behind Where our voices sound
4: Draco seems to be a character you like to write about, do you find his characterization hard to keep consistent or do you tend to stray a little into ooc?
5: Which of your stories do you think was the most enjoyable for you to write? (:

 
Hey there! Fun questions!
 
1.  Okay, I guess they’re hard in different ways?  Icing on the Cake and Dragons, Disguises, and Not-So-Dumb Blondes both had word limits, which kill me, but keep me from going overboard with too many words (I’m a very wordy person).  So that was hard.  I’d say Traitorous Hearts is the hardest, though.  It’s the story I’m most attached to, so I feel a lot of pressure to get each chapter just right.
 
2.  Haha, I wouldn’t say I “managed my time” so much as I dropped everything else and didn’t sleep or do my schoolwork for a few days.   ;)

3.  The plot sort of came to me automatically.  That’s the lovely thing about fairy tales.  Since WOVS is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, the main plot essentials came to me automatically.  Everything else is just sort of weaving worlds together and repackaging.  
 
4.  I always aim to keep Draco in character.  That said, characters in a story are meant to grow.  So I try to keep that growth organic (a term that is wayyy overused in my field of study, but I’m going to use it anyway).   I try to never make him jump to being some magically different person, though.  I want to stay true to who he was in the books.  However, I do write him in very different ways, depending on the story.  In one of my as-yet-unpublished pieces, where he only enters as Scorpius’ father, he’s kind of awful.  In Traitorous Hearts, he’s conflicted and complicated.  So, yeah, I guess I don’t keep him consistent from one story to another, but I try to keep him within the realms of believability.
 
5.  I love Traitorous Hearts, and I have a lot of fun writing it, but the most enjoyable was probably Dragons, Disguises, and Not-So-Dumb Blondes, just because I got to be funny and lighthearted.
 
Thanks for dropping by!  I hope I answered everything in a way that made some sort of sense.
 
--Penny


Hello!  Sorry it took so long to answer!  I didn’t forget about you.  I answered the others, but then I had to go to class.  Thanks for the questions.
 

It's time for some Q & A!!

1. You write a lot of Next Gen. Do you find this easier to write than other eras? Why or why not.

2. What HP character can you most relate to?

3. Do you have any music that you listen to to help you get into the mood for writing?

4. How do you deal with writers block?

5. If you could have an actual conversation with a character from HP who would it be and what would you want to know?

That's all I got for now! Can't wait to hear back from ya!

 
1.  I do write a lot of Next Gen.  It’s not exactly that it’s easier to write than other eras, but you get a lot more free reign.  I really try to keep my stuff within canon, and if I break/bend a rule, I have to know why I’m bending it and have a solid reason.  When you’re dealing with Hogwarts-era stuff, there are a lot more details that are already set in stone.  That’s true to a certain, though lesser, extent for the Marauders era, as well.  But with Next-Gen, all the characters have been minimally described, so you have a lot of room to develop them (and their environment) however you wish.  I really enjoy that freedom  :happy:
 
2.  Character I most relate to?  That’d be Luna or Hermione.  I’m not quite as out there as Luna...I think.  However, I do have my head in the clouds a lot, and as a writer, I tend to spend more time thinking on made-up people and creatures than real ones.  But probably I’m more like Hermione.  I’m a perfectionist.  I’m usually dubbed “the smart one” in a group, which can be good, but also can lead to backlash (especially as a girl).  I’m also really passionate about social issues.  If I ever manage to gain either of their confidence levels, I’ll be a very happy girl.
 
3.  I have a whole Pandora station which I have tweaked to be my ideal mood music.  I don’t listen to music while I write (it’s just too distracting for me), but I have songs that I use to sort of invoke the mood of a character or a scene.  I listen to them when I’m driving, which is when I do a lot of plotting and character exploration.  For Traitorous Hearts, there’s a good bit of Mumford & Sons, Imagine Dragons, and Bastille.
 
4.  I don’t deal with writer’s block as well as I should, mainly because there is always something else for me to do.  My main problem usually isn’t a lack of ideas, though.  Sometimes I’m just not in a writing mood, but mostly it’s just that I have no time in which to write, and keep pushing it to the backburner.  It’s never a good idea though, because I need to write or I go a little crazy.  Sometimes I’ll table things temporarily if I’m working on another creative project, though, just because I like to focus my energy.  When I do have good old-fashioned writer’s block, the best way I’ve found is to just make myself write something.  Anything.  Sometimes, by the time you thread the needle and make a few stitches, you suddenly remember what it is you wanted to sew (actually, I’m not so certain that’s good advice for sewing, now that I think on it.  But as a metaphor for writing, it works for me!) 
 
5.  What a fun question! I think I’d like to talk to Kingsley and McGonnagal and see if we could get a Muggle exchange program going at Hogwarts.  Or maybe Bathilda Bagshot.  She’s like, the ultimate font of information!  The woman wrote Hogwarts: A History and other books, and she knew Grindelwald personally.  She’d seen and learned so much, and I’d love to hear about it.  If she wrote Hermione Granger’s favorite book, I bet the woman knows how to tell a story.    
 
Thanks again for the questions!  It’s always fun when someone really makes you think about your preferences and process.  I enjoyed it!   :D


Edited by Alopex, 20 March 2014 - 02:17 AM.

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#12 Gabriella Hunter

 
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Posted 19 September 2014 - 07:17 PM

Hello there! I'm here to ask you about five million questions!

 

1) What inspired you to write your version of Astoria? I really love what you've done with her character.

 

2) What's your favorite music to listen to while you write?

 

3) Is it easier for you to write men or women?

 

4) Least favorite character to write?

 

5) If you were offered to become Minister of Magic, would you take the job?

 

6) What's your favorite book of all time?

 

 

I hope you have fun answering these! :D


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#13 Penelope Inkwell

 
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Posted 20 September 2014 - 10:57 PM

Hey there!

1.  I got inspired to write Astoria’s story while I was working on another fic, actually--a Murder Mystery/Humor/Romance that pairs up Lily Potter (II) and Scorpius Malfoy (I haven’t posted any of it yet.  It was my first foray into fanfic, so I’ve still got some polishing to do).  As Scorpius’ mother, Astoria really caught my attention, and I found myself wondering how on earth she ended up with Draco.  The idea for the opening chapter just popped into my head when I was walking through the student union, and I dropped what I was doing, sat down, and started to write.

It really evolved to be it’s own thing.  Traitorous Hearts is no longer a prequel to my other story, as Astoria and Draco both turned into very different people.  But once I started, I absolutely couldn’t stop.  Like you, I think, I fell in love with writing about the Pureblood world, which has that glamorous, old world feel combined with so many layers of secrets and mysteries.  

As far as what I wanted to do with Astoria, as I started shaping her character, I really wanted to explore characters who were morally grey.  Astoria, Draco, and Lavinia all definitely fall within that category.  I feel like Slytherins get a bad rep in the books, so I also wanted to do something from their perspective.

2.  One weird thing about me--I cannot listen to music while I write.  I’m too easily distracted.  It just has never worked: not with schoolwork, not with fanfic, nothing.  However, music does inspire me.  I listen to music in the car, which is where I mentally draft a lot of scenes, and that helps me get a feel for settings and characters.  The type of music changes along with my mood, but it’s often Mumford and Sons, Bastille, and Imagine Dragons (the angstier stuff.  Never the happy songs for Astoria and Co.).

3.  Women are easier to write, I suppose.  Especially if I’m writing from the character’s perspective.  I’ve only ever been a girl myself, so it’s what I have first-hand experience with :D

 

4.  Oooh.  That is an interesting question.  Huh...I’ve never written a character I didn’t enjoy, honestly.  Even the evil ones are great fun!  (Perhaps more fun, at that ;) )

5.  Yikes!  Minister of Magic?  If I had my druthers, I would not.  That’s a lot of responsibility, and people think you’re in charge of more than you are, so you get blamed for everything and praised for little.  Have you ever seen the before & after pictures of American presidents?  After 4-8 years in office, they always have aged more than seems normal, and they look so stressed.  The weight of the world is on your shoulders.  However, if it was offered to me, I think I would have to accept it, or any time there was some hideous injustice I’d always feel responsible, because I had rejected the opportunity to do something about it.  

Plus, if I’m the Minister of Magic, the rules might be different.  Who knows what kind of power I’d have?  If it means I could institute a National Butterbeer Day, then that would be definite plus--because have you ever tasted the version they have at the studio tour?  It’s delicious!

6.  I don’t have a favorite book.  There are just far too many that I love, and it makes my head spin to consider it!    


Thanks for the questions!  That was fun!

--Penny


Edited by Penelope Inkwell, 20 September 2014 - 10:59 PM.

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#14 nott theodore

 
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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:40 PM

Hi Penny!  I've just got a few questions about Traitorous Hearts!

 

1. How do you manage to write so much character development in such a short space of time (in the story, at least)?

2. Would you consider Traitorous Hearts to be your head canon for Draco/Astoria?

3. If you could meet either Draco or Astoria, who would you choose and what would you talk about?

4. Have you read a lot of other Draco/Astoria stories?  If so, how do you think they've affected your portrayal of those characters?

5. If you could add one subject to the Hogwarts curriculum, what would it be and why?


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#15 Penelope Inkwell

 
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Posted 23 September 2014 - 07:45 PM

Hi Penny!  I've just got a few questions about Traitorous Hearts!

 

1. How do you manage to write so much character development in such a short space of time (in the story, at least)?

2. Would you consider Traitorous Hearts to be your head canon for Draco/Astoria?

3. If you could meet either Draco or Astoria, who would you choose and what would you talk about?

4. Have you read a lot of other Draco/Astoria stories?  If so, how do you think they've affected your portrayal of those characters?

5. If you could add one subject to the Hogwarts curriculum, what would it be and why?

Hey Sian!  Thanks for the questions.  Oh, these look really interesting!

 

1.  I kind of try to let the characters grow organically (I usually avoid that word, because people in my field use the term “organically” more often than a Whole Foods coupon book, but it’s the best word I can think of for it ;) )  I write out certain key scenes--the things I know have to happen, and those are often the big moments of character growth.  Then I fill in the space between in whatever way feels natural.  I never had a set thing, like, “Within 6 chapters, Draco must have done X.”  But it did happen in 6 chapters, and that’s what felt right to me.  I think one of my biggest advantages in the Character Development department is that both Draco and Astoria, up till this point, are largely defined by their past. So the flashbacks are a big help.  In those first 6 chapters, we see some character development coming to fruition, but it has actually been building slowly over many months.  The flashbacks just allow me to jump straight into the heart of those moments when the seeds of development were planted, and that allows it all to move a bit faster.  

TH also has a certain level of intensity that lends itself to quicker character development.  Things that are under a lot of pressure change at a faster rate.   :)
 

2.  I don’t know that I have much in the way of head canon, for anyone.  I like to use the HP characters differently, depending on what kind of story I’m telling.  In stuff I haven’t posted, I’ve written Draco and Astoria very differently.  However, of all the ideas I’ve ever come up with for their relationship/their story, their arc in Traitorous Hearts is my definitely favorite.

3.  Talking to those two?  I’d never get anywhere!  Astoria would try to avoid telling me anything I wanted to know--who knows how I might be planning to use that information?  I might be able to get some interesting news out of Draco.  But at present, he’s filled with a lot of confusion and self-loathing, so he’s a bit busy sorting that out. 

Can I talk to Felix--Astoria’s father?  He comes into play in chapter 7, and he’s lots of fun when he’s feeling lucid.  

4.  I haven’t read too many others.  When I have seen them, Astoria was usually this angelic figure that sort of saved Draco from his misspent youth.  And I really enjoyed some of that--I love a good redemption story.  However, I wanted to do something different, and kind of toy with that convention.  I didn’t want Astoria to be an angel.  I wanted her to be someone who really struggled with the line between right and wrong, and who saw a lot of grey where some people see only black and white.  I wanted a sort of Slytherin romance, with characters  that really belonged to that house, and who possessed its main attributes.  In some ways, it’s the hardest story I’ve ever dealt with, just trying to get the mood right, and dealing with such complicated people.  But it’s really rewarding and I love writing it.  

I have recently run into Gabriella Hunter’s  A Force of Wills, which is a Draco/Astoria, and we’ve been comparing notes in our reviews.  We both have a darker vibe going on.  Our Astorias are, on the surface, rather similar in various ways (they both have some issues with Pureblood society, they have demanding parents, they come from a family with loads of secrets, their parents are involved in dangerous work, etc.).  Our Dracos, at least so far, seem pretty different.  We only discovered each other’s stories in this past week, so it hasn’t affected the way I write Traitorous Hearts, but it’s been kind of cool and funny to find out that we each have an authorly evil twin!
  

5.  I would add a “Witches in Muggle Culture” class, so that they could get an idea of how non-wizards expect them to be.  They’d study the Wicked Witch, Macbeth’s Weird Sisters, Sabrina the Teenaged Witch--all the classics!  I think it would be very beneficial to your average witch/wizard to understand how they are viewed by the magic-less.  Plus, I would just love to see their baffled faces--“But wait, they think we’re green?"  

I’m thinking their teacher could have tried to modernize it, so they could watch some movies, but I imagine their text book would be super outdated.  Like, Spells to Survive the Inquisition: Incantations to Aide the Modern Witch in Avoiding Torture, Drowning, and Dismemberment!  1493 Collector’s Edition.  

...
actually, that totally put a plot bunny in my head.  Uh-oh.   ;)
 

Thanks for the questions!  That was fun!

 

--Penny
 


Edited by Penelope Inkwell, 23 September 2014 - 07:47 PM.

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