I am just reading The Room of Lost Dreams over at the exchange.
Of course, the point of fanfiction is to fill in blanks the original author left us (and heaven knows JKR left us enough to last a lifetime), but there is something pretty much all of the stories have in common that JKR didn't touch at all, and that is the simple act of surviving the war.
JKR didn't bother to deal with traumatized, injured, depressed people. She jumped up seventeen years and all was well.
In fanfic, it isn't, and those seventeen years didn't just fly by while everybody who lived lived happily ever after.
No matter whether the writer ignores or uses the epilogue, no matter whether the people who died in DH are dead in the fanfic or not, we try to deal with the inevitable.
Survivor's guilt, Post Traumatic Stress, marrying quickly and having children early, the psychological and the political effects of a war.

And it's not just because we want to be able to write steamy hot lemons and long hurt/comfort fics. Somehow, it feels that in her determination to wrap things up JKR not only put every single character she ever mentioned before into DH to finish the specific plotline more or less cleanly, she also made her characters less human in the end. Even the ones she had taken the time and effort to make nicely life-like, realistic and complex before were turned to mere cut-outs to file away somewhere and leave the desk nice and tidy.

As we want to continue to play, it makes sense we can't leave it at that. But still, I think we're being much kinder to the people and the universe JKR created than she herself was.

Plotting

Aug. 31st, 2007 04:31 pm
I've been plotting in the library to get us some nice signs and stuff to help people find their way around. The sergeant is willing to have stuff made, it is just a matter to make him want what I want. I want a professional, sleek look, I want signs that are versatile and low-profile yet will catch the eye - and yes, I do know that this is almost a contradiction. I also want to make the library look more modern, friendlier and more practical.
A few days ago I almost squeed out loud: there were several people who were looking for books on specific topics. In that case, what I usually do if I can't just point them to the appropriate section of the library (because the topic they want is in several different places; for example, literature on Afghanistan is not only in the geography and history section but also in the missions / deployment section), I print out the title information and abstracts from the catalogue and let them browse through those to give them an idea. Now, one guy was rifling through his papers while I printed out stuff for the next, and then he wandered off. And returned with the stack of books he had wanted, because he had figured out all by himself where to find them. Which means the system works, even though so far we have little to no signs up. Yay!

I'm plotting with my Lumione / threesome, which seems to be getting somewhere, though I need to dispose of Bellatrix first before she gets around to dispose of my characters. There are some dark scenes coming which will be a bit tricky to write, but I know I'll find the words I want, I just know it.

I'm plotting what to do on the weekend. The weather is supposed to be bad, which sucks, but I still think I'll get to do something - the bike tour is still on the list.

I'm plotting for the exchange. I've read through some of the prompts given and there are a multitude of possible threesomes, there are great prompts all around and I'm really looking forward both to receiving one to write and to reading all the great stories that are going to pop up in January.
So, a while ago I signed up to become an accredited beta reader at PerfectImagination. For not specific reason but being bored and just wanting to know whether I could.

Anyway, I failed the original test with a total of 78% - I think I need at least 80% to pass, but of course I'd like to be better than that.

So the next thing is to be emailed by a mentor from the site to help you with those areas that still need improvement.

I got their email today:

You have shown a good grasp of the fundamentals of beta reading. Potential areas of improvement include the correct use of: Briticisms, commas, terminating punctuation, punctuation of dialogue, and spelling.

Please find attached a document offering general advice and resources on these areas. We regret that we cannot be more specific with regards the corrections you missed, but a recent round of cheating has made it impossible for us to publish the answers at any time.


Punctuation is a weakness, I know. Especially in dialogue, the rules are so different from German that it's tricky for me to remember all. I don't think we actually ever learnt it in school, either. Briticisms - well, I'm working on it, but considering that in school it didn't matter much whether we used BE or AE as long as we were consistent, and then I spent so much time actually in the US, it takes some time to get into the British English lane again. (I do make sure not to use "gotten", but things like Mom vs Mum barely even register as a AE/BE difference. Spelling in this case mostly seems to mean spelling of canon words - the question when to capitalize something and when not. Not even JKR is consistent, which doesn't make it a whole lot easier, but in their file they suggested some general rules, so that is fine.

What annoys me is that they can't be more specific. I would have loved to get the file back pointing out the mistakes I missed, or things I marked incorrectly.

I can see their point, though. If people are cheating by passing on corrected files to somebody else, the only way to prevent that is to not give them to anybody.

But it does make the mentoring process rather difficult.

I need to get back to my mentor and figure out what the next steps are supposed to be, if I just file their suggestions and wait for the next test session and try again, or whether I go over the original file again and send it off to the mentor for a read.

What annoys me is that people cheat on this. People cheating always annoys me, but when it's not about getting marks in school it annoys me even more. This is supposed to be for fun. You'd hardly list "Perfect Imagination Accredited Beta Reader" on your resumé. The whole point is to find out whether you can do it. If you cheat, you're not going to find that out. Where's the fun in that? No challenge at all.
*grumble*
The snippet I posted earlier today wasn't the only idea that came to me while jogging.

There is another budding story that would have to go to [livejournal.com profile] tospareyou, but I am not sure whether or not to post it yet.
Posting would probably help me keep its exisence in mind and therefore make it more likely I continue it. (I still haven't forgotten the two unfinished Lumiones over there.)
But it would be the third unfinished story on there, and that's kind of getting old.

Besides, I am rather confident about finishing this one. I have a distinct idea of where I want to go.
And if I post it now, with the exchange still going strong, besides it being the weekend so most people not being online anyway or not having time to read and comment, I could as well be calling in the desert.

Maybe I'll wait until tomorrow and see how it goes.

Despite my best laid plans, I haven't yet watched Blow Dry. I spent hours this morning digging up information for my Dad. He called me at work on Friday and asked for help with something, and then after telling me he needed the information no later than Sunday so he could prepare it for a meeting on Monday, he had the gall to ask me what I was planning to do this weekend. Family is just great.

However, something I have planned I will definitely do: write a letter to my brother. Supposedly, soldiers like to get real, paper letters. I'll even write it by hand, because I just don't like writing personal letters on the computer. This might easily be the first letter I've ever written to my brother, or any of my siblings.

*ded*

Jun. 16th, 2007 09:46 am
There's a new story at the exchange here, and I know I'm just going to love it.
It looks like it's going to be a threesome, it has a snarky, cool, smart Hermione who drives teachers away (obviously not Severus)

I'll give you a snippet from the beginning of the second chapter, so you can see for yourself the great writing. Though for actual story, you have to go read at the exchange.
I would credit the author, but obviously the names haven't be revealed yet.


While the Shrieking Shack was known amongst the living as the most haunted building in Britain, the dead knew that the honour actually belonged to Caer Brech, a crumbling keep in southern Wales. Dozens of famous and influential ghosts called it home- so many, in fact, that the castle had become something of a centre for international post-mortem culture and learning. At any given time, dozens of visiting and indigenous ghosts could be found gliding through the corridors, going about their business and attempting to scare one another.

When the Ministry of Magic contacted the Marquess of Bute’s shade about housing a temporary school in the castle, Caer Brech’s denizens were delighted at the prospect of having some “live ones” upon which to practise their haunting. However, the ghosts soon realised that they had a great deal to learn from Hermione Granger, who, by a margin of one vote, narrowly missed being made an honorary ghost due to her uncanny ability to send the faculty running for the hills. Unbeknownst to her, she had developed quite a following, particularly amongst inexperienced spectres, who occasionally followed her to take notes on her technique.

*applause*

Jun. 2nd, 2007 01:26 pm
The [livejournal.com profile] sshg_exchange has started posting, and there is some great stuff already up.

If you like fanfic, definitely go and read Ten ways to woo a witch, complete at 12 (!!) chapters and a fantastic read.

I've ben jotting down a few notes trying to guess who wrote stories. There's one I have a hunch about, we'll see...

At least it was a much better way to pass the morning than sit around watching my father sulk. But now it's time to go back to the family and be nice, Mom's going to return from dog training soon.

See you guys later. Now go read.
Driving to Bamberg, I listened to Dido's "White Flag", thought about Book 7, and suddenly had the urge to do the following.
Neither JKR nor Dido are responsible for it. (except why did Dido have to talk of ships??)


The SS/HG song

I know JK thinks us writers of fanfic love Snape too much
Now he might turn out evil and truly a killer
What then will we do?

I know that Ron's now going with our Hermione
and she seems to be content

But I will go on with this ship
and I won't give it up just for JK
There are enough of us shippers on the net
Our ship always will be.

I know in canon there isn't much space left for our ship
JK caused so much trouble, since book six we struggle,
but write on anyway.

We'd like to keep in canon, comply with all books,
but we'll keep our OTP

We will go on with this ship
And we won't give it up just for JK
There are enough of us shippers on the net
Our ship always will be

And if he dies, which well may be
all that is here, will be here still
we'll go AU, and keep it on
And our ship will still go on

Oh, we will go on with this ship
And we won't give it up just for JK
There are enough of us shippers on the net
Our ship always will be

Fic rec

Dec. 6th, 2006 08:29 am
In the unlikely case some of the HP fans on my flist do not read the HG/SS fic exchange, there is a great story posted there you should read even if HG/SS is not your favorite pairing.

The characterisation is fantastic, the pacing of the story is perfect and the plot is believable and wonderfully written.

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Go forth and read.
[livejournal.com profile] cleverusername2 sent me this link.
All fanfiction writers on my flist should listen to that commentary, it's really interesting.
And right, IMHO.

Also, I'm so looking forward to next weekend. [livejournal.com profile] wolflady26 invited me to come down ot Venice with her and her husbnd and another friend. I've been reading a Venice guide book and they have some recomended tours around the town in there that sound just great.
Maybe it'll also inspire me for the [livejournal.com profile] hp_smutfree challenge. I like my assignment, it's a good choice for me, I just haven't had an idea yet. Though I did write a bit last night - some scenes that might be used at some point.

This summer, it looks like Scotland's going to be the place for vacation. I still haven't decided, but Mom gave me a guide to Scotland and all those lovely pictures really tempt me.

Mom and I went shopping on Thursday (I came home Tuesday night to watch the dog on Wednesday) and I spent way too much money. I bought a really lovely blue skirt I probably wouldn't have tried on had I been alone, but Mom said it would be worth trying. And it's great and fits wonderfully. And then she found a t-shirt to go with it, again one I'd never have tried on with the shirt. It's dark purple, kind of an aubergine color, and really nice. The funny thing is, I kinda look taller with the new clothes.

Then we came by a shoe store and I bought a pair of black sandals. I have several pairs of brown ones, but no black sandals, and that was no state to be in.

Lastly, we went to a bookstore so I could buy my Venice guide. And Mom gave me the complete works of Shakespeare! In English, in a lovely (fake) leather binding with gilt edging. Very fancy. Of course, I had to read the beginning of Twelfth Night immediately, I just love that story.

We had lunch at the Chinese restaurant. My Dad and brothers don't like Chinese food, so we only go there when we're alone.

Friday we went to visit my Grandma. She's better, but the way my aunt treats her makes me want to strangle that woman. To think we're related... Well, you can't chose your relatives, you can only chose your friends.

Speaking of friends, you guys really helped me Wednesday night. I had been watching Criminal Intent and there was a rape scene.
Now, I love to watch crime shows, and I don't freak out usually. Not when somebody's brutally murdered on CSI, or they're cutting off body parts or anything. But this was just - I don't know, it totally threw me off. Maybe it was because I talked to the psychologist a few days ago (she hasn't been able to find a shrink she could recommend, as the clinic refuses to give recommendations for ambulant therapy, so it looks like we're basically back to finding somebody in the phone book...) and so the whole thing wasn't as far back in my mind as it usually is. Also, it'll be six years tomorrow, and I've been thinking about it on and off for the past year.
Anyway, I was really shaky when I went to bed, but then I thought of you and what you told me last year, and that really calmed me.
Thanks, guys!

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