valis2: Stone lion face (Deathly hallows)
Yeah, probably useless at this point, but still.

Last week I was listening to [livejournal.com profile] snapecast episode 16 (which was released last spring, before DH hit, yeah, I'm still catching up in a weird way--I missed a few episodes because they were mislabeled in my mp3 player). The snarky chapters portion really made me pause and rewind.

So. Thoughts about DH, now that time has dulled the senses. And uncanny predictions made before the book's release, and predictions that were dashed upon the authorial rocks. heh. Also, about fandom and how it seems to have changed, at least to me. If you're sick to death of DH blather, please avoid this. )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
The Snape love interest characteristics entry was pretty thought-provoking. I really enjoyed all of the comments.

So I'm going to annoy you all further...

Who is your favorite HP character, and why? I'd love to hear the details, from the small to the large. Why did this character capture your interest? What made you first want to read/see/write/draw/etc. him/her outside of the books? What was the Point of No Return for you (when you realized you were truly hooked)?

I'll go first...

Severus Snape, as if anyone on this flist didn't know.

The first time I noticed him was [livejournal.com profile] bookwench2096's fault. I had read a couple of the books and wasn't really into them that much, but then she pointed out Snape's...appeal. I was still unconvinced, but at the time we were exchanging smutty little stories we called "weasels," so I sent her a quick weasel featuring Snape and an OFC. (He was convinced she was hiding something in her robes...heh.) After I wrote it and sent it off, I thought that would be it, but somehow he began to curl around my subconscious, and pretty soon I was very interested in his character.

I reached the Point of No Return only after I began to read fanfic. I read a story on ffnet somewhere, and it wasn't that great, but there was something about him that just pulled me in. The dark eyes, the bitterness, the dry wit...all of the little things that sometimes were barely in canon were brought out in fanon, and I really became completely entranced with him after reading different authors' stylized versions of him.

I wanted to write him myself after reading so many stories; I really thought I might have something to offer, and I wanted to explore blood magic as well, and that ended up being a jumping-off point for me. I reread the books in order to prepare myself, and found that in reading so much fanfic I had somehow developed a rather distorted view of him, and I was very relieved that I reread them, because it helped me develop my own version of Snape. I didn't want him to be a walking, talking fanon cliché.

I think it was [livejournal.com profile] switchknife, though, who finally and incontrovertibly sealed my fate. Up until I read knife's work, I had been...well...content with the ffnet stories. Once I found knife's stories, it opened up an entire new world of reading. Through knife and LJ I found many new, absolutely amazing authors who had written Snape-centric stories, and that was it. In their capable hands he became even more mesmerizing. One of the things I love best about him is that he is so well-armored; I adore stories in which he's made vulnerable, where he has to let someone help him, or worse, let someone in. His tightly-wound control is absolutely fascinating to me. I want to see the passion that I know is underneath.

So tell me about your character journey! I'd love to hear about which characters you love, and how it all happened.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Some of my favorite discussions in fandom have been about what characteristics you would give a character you intend to pair with Severus Snape. As a reader, too, it's fascinating to hear about which kinds of characters you like to read about with Snape, as well. It's always interesting to hear which Snape-ish character traits people bring up, and how you would balance them or engage them with another character, whether canon or original, or which pairings intrigue you most as a reader.

For example, do you like to pair Snape with an OFC? What character traits do you give her? What sort of background?

Do you like to pair Snape with Lupin? Which interpretation? The clever, sly Lupin, or the angsty Lupin with the world crumbling down around him?

Do you like to pair him or read about him paired with Hermione? Which Hermione? A school-age Hermione, or an adult Hermione? A nervous, brooding Hermione, or a confident, übercompetent Hermione?

I'll give my own example.

For an OFC, I always like pairing him with a woman who is an adult, around the same age, so that she has some of the same experiences, like the first Voldemort war, and Hogwarts. I like a character who is relatively strong-willed, quiet, and someone with a difficult past, which would allow her to understand Snape more fully and be more willing to forgive some of the awful things he's done.

I don't like feisty/spunky/outspoken characters; I don't think he would react very well at all to someone who belittled him publically, or was continually in his face. I think he'd deal better with someone who was more in control of their feelings.

I like an OFC who is stubborn, as well, but not so much that they're going to just shout all day and never give in. I also like an OFC who is intelligent enough to keep up with him.

So tell me...which character(s) do you like to pair Snape with or read about, and what characteristics do you like him/her to have?
valis2: Stone lion face (Sanmarcolion3)
I'm reading a very interesting fic right now called Morning Has Broken, and in it there is this line:

He’d begun to purchase Re’em blood, which was an expensive and rare commodity. It was used in potent Strengthening Solutions...

In tLS I have this line...

He looked closer at the bottle...“Strengthening Solution,” he said, intrigued.

“Yes,” she said curtly.

“But it’s quite concentrated...Re’em blood, perhaps...”

“It is an entirely legal blend...”


I love this synergy, when two people find a canon detail and use it in a similar way independently of each other. There's a term for this in evolution that I suddenly can't seem to remember.

[livejournal.com profile] marginaliana has just reminded me of that terrific essay I read last week...Thank you!

It was extremely absorbing...it talked about the specific, and the general, as applied to fandom. Certain personal details/items/inventions are so tricky and personal that no one would be able to replicate them independently, while other facts can be extrapolated from canon and show up more often in fanon. The essay says it better than I ever could.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
...the ultimate smackdown!

Yet again, flist, you have to listen to my rather ill-organized and highly subjective musings on the subject.

Disclaimer: I have read very little hg/ss. I haven't read a lot of ofc/ss. Honestly, this is just me wandering about and reading one fic and having some thoughts about it, and trying to use that fic to extrapolate further about hg/ss fics in general. It isn't scientifically based, and it's merely for my own amusement, and I'm aware that it's flawed reasoning.

I was wandering around (er, okay, looking for h/c), and [livejournal.com profile] rexluscus rec'd a rather angsty rec list. I've read (and bookmarked for the List) many of the fics on it, but there were some that I've never seen, and of course I had to check them out.

The thing is, I've never really been into the hg/ss pairing. As most of you know, I'm really not into the kids at all. The few adult/kid pairing stories I've read usually take place long after the "kid" has left Hogwarts. I'm especially not interested in hg/ss because (and this is my personal opinion! Yes! Utterly subjective!) a) I do not really like Hermione much as a character, b) I get a bit queasy when the lines of student/teacher are crossed, such as they are when hg/ss takes place while hg is still attending Hogwarts, and c) I much prefer Snape having a relationship with an adult character, preferably someone who has lived a little...someone who will make a good partner for him, someone with experience.

So one of the fics on the Angsty List happens to be hg/ss... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I had a quick chat with [livejournal.com profile] ac1d6urn yesterday, and, as usual, the topic became stuck in my brain, and now my poor flist has to hear about it.

One of the most common mistakes a new writer often makes is in assuming that everyone will want to read his or her story. (It reminds me of one of the other major problems, which is the Inability to Narrow the Story Down to One Genre. "It's an action/adventure/romantic thriller/espionage/fantasy set in a Victorian world!" Yeah, just try to shelve that in a bookstore, and you'll see what I mean.) In reality, of course, nobody's story will appeal to everybody. For everyone who loves Mercedes Lackey, there's someone who deplores quick angsty fantasy books and adores long, intricately plotted books like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norris. You get the picture.

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I was thinking about that today as I was leaving a comment. I realized that after two years of having a LJ I've begun to review with a system. I'm like that, of course, because I like to break everything down into categories and organize things.

If I didn't like a story---if I skimmed it and didn't finish it---I don't leave feedback. Sometimes when I see a story like that, I'll keep a tab open with the story in it, and wander back to check on it later to see if anyone else says anything. Sometimes those stories never get more than a comment or two, despite being in active comms, so I have a feeling that I'm not the only one who does this.

If I liked a story, but not a lot, and it had a few problems, but I am wary of getting into it with the author, I usually leave a comment that I enjoyed it, or I thank them for sharing the story.

If I liked a story, but not a lot, and it had a few problems, and the author seems to want concrit, then I'll leave a few thoughts, and make certain to add at least one strength I found in the story.

If I liked a story, I usually leave a comment that says something to the tune of "I enjoyed this". Sometimes I'll add something positive about the story.

If I really liked it, I usually try to leave a sentence or two about what strengths the story had, and how much I enjoyed it.

If I loved it, I usually quote a line that I loved and mention how much I enjoyed it. I also tend to get to glow a bit and add a few exclamation points.

Do you have a system of feedback?
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I've already babbled at length about Mary Sues in this entry about writing fanfiction, so I won't rehash the basic definition of a MS, as y'all are quite thoroughly familiar with it, I'm certain.

What I've been thinking about a lot recently is Deeper Sueism. I don't mean the really obvious Sues, who run around killing orcs with their Bare Palm Crushing Strike attack, or practice their Unforgiveable Countercurses on the Quidditch pitch.

No, I mean the more Subtle Sues.

Read more... )

Y'know...

Mar. 11th, 2006 01:36 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
When your characters can instantly teleport from place to place, you end up having to create lots of limits.

I remember someone going through the books and trying to find out if you needed a wand to Apparate, but obviously the lesson in HBP gives us the idea that you don't need one.

Which leads me to this. At the Shrieking Shack incident in PoA, Lupin is tied up by Snape, right? Why couldn't he Apparate? Or perhaps he couldn't because the ropes would go with him. Hmm. I mean, the Shack isn't part of Hogwarts, it's part of Hogsmeade, and therefore not subject to the whole Anti-Apparition thing. Still, at the very least, Sirius could have Apparated behind Snape and hit him on the head or something.

It must be that it takes a moment, I think, and therefore the wizard/witch would be vulnerable. Otherwise everybody would be Apparating all the time like Dragonball Z.

Okay, got it out of my system.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I've only been in the HP fandom (and the Mummy fandom, but I had no LJ then and didn't really participate much). But someone said something in an essay recently that made me wonder.

Obviously we tear canon apart. We dissect it, we shred it, we look for clues for shipping, backstory, and book seven's plot. However, at some point it has to break down. JKR writes interesting characters and twisty plots, but under heavy scrutiny it becomes obvious that some things aren't meant to be...well...scrutinized. I've noticed that fen in other fandoms mention the same phenomenon.

So, to all of you who were/are in other fandoms...do you do the same kind of intense dissection? And how successful is it? Do some works actually stand up well to that kind of close reading/viewing?
valis2: Stone lion face (Neon HBP icon)
I thought it was an interesting set of thoughts on the subject. And I also had one of the same thoughts, that as a mystery novel, HBP wasn't quite as up to the mysteries of the other five.

It's right here
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] starrysummer has an entry here called Fandom Secret Wishes.

It's an anon meme where you go and talk about what you wish for in fandom. Predictably, most of the wishes are:
  • I want to be a BNF

  • I want more reviews

  • I want to be part of an invite-only community (like [livejournal.com profile] erotic_elves)

  • I want more people to friend me

  • I want to write better

  • I want to be recced more often and/or by bigger names

  • I want fanart
  • (thanks for reminding me, [livejournal.com profile] scarah2)

Then I came across this comment by an anonymous poster:

It's weird to be posting here -- people are mentioning communities that I'm a member of, and I wasn't aware they were so prestigious, for lack of better term.
Mostly, though, I want to improve -- I'm stuck in a rut, and I'm telling the same story over and over and over again. I use the same motiufs, the same turns of phrase, and I hate it so much. I emulate my BNF friends over and over.
All I ever wanted was for one person -- just this one person -- to tell me I was good, and worth reading, and respectable. But she hasn't, and I don't think she ever will, and it hurts because I care about her so much.


First of all...I must admit that this might be a joke. Totally possible.

If it isn't, though, it brings up a thought. Do you feel that comments made by BNFs or writers that you respect have more weight or less weight than the average review? Personally, I am interested in every comment I receive, but I know that I'll really pay attention if it's from someone I know is a talented writer.

If you do feel that comments from those you respect have more weight, would you be terribly hurt if you never received one from someone you respect? from someone you interact with regularly? from someone who is a cherished LJ friend? from someone who is a cherished friend? from someone you are related to?

The first fandom person I ever friended was [livejournal.com profile] deepforestowl. One day she asked about my fic, and I pointed it to her, and was jumping around the apartment, totally excited that she was going to try it. This was before I really understood the HP fandom and pairings and genre. She commented relatively quickly and said, basically, that it wasn't her cup of tea. I was so sad for several minutes; I just sat and stared at the screen in misery. That is, until I remembered that HP fandom is just like RL. No matter how great your Tom Clancyesque novel is, I'm not going to read it, and this applies to everyone else. Some stories are just inaccessible to some readers. Almost no fic is going to capture everyone's attention, just like almost no book is going to capture the entire market. You should try instead to capture your niche, I think. And the point of this rambling paragraph is that pinning your hopes on that one BNF mega-fabulous prize-winning writer to validate your work is probably not the best idea. Perhaps you should just write for yourself, with vague thoughts about your audience as a whole.

Just my thoughts. I've been thinking about this all day.
valis2: Stone lion face (Sanmarcodream)
When I reread the series awhile ago, I remember laughing because Ron sometimes inadvertantly says something funny/clueless-sounding that turns out to be true later. (Like Moaning Myrtle being the victim in CoS.)

Well, one of those moments made me freak out, because he says (in PoA? can't remember) something like this when Hermione is defending Snape:

"Poisonous toadstools can't change their spots," Ron said sagely.

It's still bothering me. It's the sagely tag that made me first pause. It gets me everytime.

I really do wonder what she has planned for Snape.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I love Severus Snape.

I love his snarky, twisted, peevish, nasty little sonofabitch heart. I love his dark, sarcastic, snarling, growling, did-he-or-didn't-he, black-eyed soul.

And I love that so many other people love him too.

Fanart links. Lots of fanart links. Warning: Some pictures are adult in nature. )

Of course this wasn't anywhere on my list of Things to Do, but it completely consumed me today, so here it is. If you find any links that aren't working please let me know.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I am very loopy, still, so forgive me if this rambles. I haven't been feeling well since Tuesday morning.

So I've noticed (or at least I think I've noticed) that there is kind of a schizm between fanfiction writers and fanartists. No, I don't mean that there is some sort of civil war and the fanartists are launching erasers at the fanfiction authors or anything of the sort. I just mean that I've noticed that the writers tend to stick together, and the fanartists tend to stick together, though that isn't a strict rule, of course, because there are some people who do both, and there are collaborations, etc. It's just that I've seen cliques of writers, and cliques of authors. I've noticed this for awhile now. So I kind of wanted to do some thinking about why it's like this.

Read more... )

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