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Mild adult content! You have been warned!

We've all wanted that lovely specimen of maleness. You know him. The beautiful one, the shy one, the one whose pectorals shimmer in the noonday sun...the one who really listens and takes out the garbage and buys you that second quart of ice cream unasked...yes, we've all wanted an entirely fictional man at one time or another.

But what happens Ever After? Does the fantabulous prince turns out to be a frog? Well, me hearties, that's what this guide is for! I've listed many of our favorite fantasy men, and revealed the true endings of their fairy tales, whether fabulous or frightening. Enjoy!

The Lord of the Rings series

Gandalf: He tends to run off a lot. Sometimes in the middle of your sentence, in fact. On the plus side, though, he knows how to wield a staff.

Legolas: His hair will always look prettier than yours. I should point out that wood-elves like their wine, so expect to find him face-down in a kegger rather regularly.

Boromir: Really likes polishing his sword. No, it's not a metaphor--he really likes polishing his sword. All. The. Time.

More underneath--HP, X-Men, PotC, etc. You know you want to clicky clicky! )
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It seems to me (though I could be spectacularly wrong) that commenting is down. I think a lot of people aren't writing right now, but even moreso...not reading. Or maybe...not commenting. The comments for the dark!fic challenge I was part of seem to be fewer than normal; I also had bookmarked a few fairytale HP stories from a month ago to read, and as I was reading them yesterday, I noticed that none of them had a single comment. Wow.

I think we're all ready for new canon. I think it can't come quickly enough at this point; I'm ready for the breathless babbling that accompanies it! hee!
valis2: Stone lion face (Lion icon)
Yeah, I know, everyone's done this, but I couldn't resist. Mine has more italicized words, anyway.

One point for each line that applies to you.

  • You've made a costume.

    • ...and a Quidditch uniform.

    • You have multiple HP costumes to chose from, for any activity, including surfing.

    • You've made a movie!Filch costume.

    • ...and a book!Filch costume.

    • ...and you get regularly irritated when people can't tell the difference between the two.

    • You regularly dress as Sanguini, and carry a supply of Blood Pops in your pockets at all times.

  • You know what a Dark Revel is.

    • You've been to a Dark Revel.

    • You've thrown a Dark Revel.

    For the rest of the quiz, click here )
valis2: Stone lion face (chicken foot)
    How To Tell If Lord Voldemort Is (Or Is Possessing) Your Co-Worker or Colleague.

  1. Always wears sunglasses. Even indoors. Even at night.

  2. From his job application:

    NAME: Steve Sonotthedarklord

    GOALS: learn C++ programming, network with like-minded persons, take over the world and kill that nasty little Potter boy, become Microsoft certified

  3. Has an Access file on his desktop called "Walpurgis Knights" that no one can get into.

  4. Is often seen with coffee pot in the breakroom, tapping it with an oversized toothpick and mumbling something about creating a Horcrux.

  5. Hisses at computer.

  6. Read more... )
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Read more... )

We aren't paid for fanfiction. We write it and share it for the joy of it, for the feedback, for the chance to become better writers. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.

First version: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mortifyd for reading the rough draft, and [livejournal.com profile] ginarsnape for helpful suggestions.

Second version: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] rexluscus for beta reading. Any errors that remain are mine alone.

Back to Part One
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I've overhauled my original LJ entry about writing fanfiction from March 2005. Here is bright, shiny version 2.0!


We all write fanfiction for different reasons. Some of us are here for the sheer joy of playing in another's toybox; some are here to improve as writers; some are here to practice for writing their own original works.

For those interested in improving, I offer this guide, in the hopes that it will be useful.

Read more... )
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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.
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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?
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...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... )
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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... )
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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?
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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... )
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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?
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I am trying to compile a large masterlist of Severus Snape hurt/comfort fics. If you have any links to share, please comment with them, I'd appreciate it so much! The fics do not have to be completely hurt/comfort, as well. Even if it contains just a chapter or two of a Snape in pain/difficulty, I will welcome it happily.

I have a lot of links already, but it's nowhere near complete.

Thanks so much!
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[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.
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  1. Pay attention. You never know when someone might admit that they aren't really a pure-blood, that they think the masks are quite gauche, or that in the privacy of their manor they like to roll around naked in piles of Toothflossing Stringmints.

  2. Be proactive. Death Eater meeting coming up? Make certain your robe is pressed, your mask is polished, and your flask is topped off with Ogden's Old well before the Revels begin. Dungeon full of Dark Magic naughtiness? A few extra steps, and any Auror investigating your home will find themselves in St. Mungo's with a head full of chicken feathers.

    Just don't get too proactive. The Dark Lord might not be appreciative if you kill Harry Potter and then wander into Headquarters saying, "Well, that was easy."

  3. Strategize. Obtaining a case of Ashwinder eggs might be beneficial to you in the short term, but think how much more you'll gain if you share your spoils. Snape might finally give you that Libido Booster potion you've always wanted.

  4. Prioritize. Muggle-baiting, herding giants, researching new hexes...a Death Eater's work is never done! But if you take the time to carefully list your goals, you'll figure out which ones need to be done first. Prioritizing will enable you to pick the best target when presented with a group of Order members. The werewolf? The Minister's secretary? You'll know, and be able to act. You don't want to be known as the flaky, indecisive Death Eater, do you?

  5. Be an effective team member. Learn how to cooperate with your fellow Death Eaters and turn their strengths to your advantage. After all, one Death Eater can't limbo all by herself. Know the individuals on your team, and keep a mental tally of their likes and dislikes. Bellatrix will assist you in any Muggle-stomping, but should you try to enlist her in your new pyramid scheme, she'll probably turn you into a slug. Need something heavy lifted? Lucius won't give you the time of day, but might let you borrow Goyle.

  6. Enrich your mind. Really effective Death Eaters are always working hard on their next objective. Researching Dark Magic, gathering information about new targets, practising new methods of avoiding Bellatrix when she's inebriated...you'll find that the path to learning is also the path to renewal. Spending even a little time reading about obscure defensive spells can pay off in the future when the Dark Lord realizes that you've been spiking the Death Eater punchbowl with Libido Booster.

  7. Keep your eye on the goal. If you approach each decision with your mind focused on your mission, you'll be able to see clearly the paths you need to take. Create your future one step at a time. In no time at all, Voldemort will be serving you.


ETA: ICONS! Here! Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] digopheliadug!

ETA2: More icons! Here! Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] panders14!
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I've been thinking a lot recently about LJ, and how it makes communication between writers/readers and artists/viewers so easy. The commenting system creates the possibility of having many conversations with other LJ users, whether one-on-one or multiple.

One of the interesting things about commenting is how the original author/artist reacts to comments.

Comments generally fall into three categories: detailed analyses, a paragraph or a few lines of details they liked/emotions they felt, or a simple one-liner of "I liked it!" or something similar.

Some authors/artists respond to each and every comment with a line or two, detailing something in their response to the comment, and I'm always impressed by people who take the time to craft each response like this. Some respond only to certain comments. Some respond to every comment with a simple thank you and/or an emoticon. Some leave a blanket response, either as a new entry or as part of the original entry. It's understandable, especially when artists/authors are receiving three or four pages of comments, and most of them are simply "I like it!", and they'd rather create new art than respond to four hundred comments. Some never respond at all.

I always wonder how the back-and-forth communication of LJ affects the original artist/author. Commenting/responding is communication, after all. Reviews and feedback can be an excellent tool to hone one's craft. If many reviewers point out the a particular characterization, then odds are it needs revising. If an artist receives several comments praising their clouds, then that is probably a strength and something to be explored.

I've been writing a WiP, and as I've been writing it the reviews and feedback that have been left for it have sometimes influenced the story. A minor character who was meant to be a simple annoyance has gained significant "stage time" due to positive reviews. The conjectures of some of the reviewers have led to minor plot alterations and new directions. This isn't really possible for an author who waits until they're finished to upload their fics, or writes short fics all the time, but still, I wonder how much feedback influences people. Especially artists. If you're drawing Draco Malfoy for the hundredth time, and you have Harry in the background, and all of your regular Draco viewers enthusiastically respond to Harry's appearance, do you pursue Harry, even if you're not fond of him? Or do you just keep drawing Draco, because he's still fascinating?

I'd love to hear thoughts about this. Does the audience influence your fic/drawings?
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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.

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