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Questions about YOUR FANFIC that don't deserve their own thread...

Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by CheddarTrek, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    I can't actually claim to have ever read a Gamer Fic, where the original cast of the Gamer was used. It's always just the ability being shoved into whichever poor OC sap the person wants to write using.
     
  2. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    That's because the original cast is shit. The most interesting thing about The Gamer has always been the idea, not the characters involved and certainly not the plot.
     
  3. Tragen

    Tragen Squib

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    I’m cobbling together a rough outline for a story and have hit a potential snag. With an individual having a single horcrux, could this person – should their physical form be destroyed – possess the unwilling body of another?

    Some willing suspension of disbelief may be required, but I don’t want to force it. My canon justification for this would be that Voldemort created multiple horcruxes, thus weakening his “essence of self” and preventing him from possessing an unwilling host.

    Obviously, there needs to be a stipulation on who exactly can be possessed. I’m leaning towards people with a less developed self-identity (sense of self as it were), such as the young or those with weak willpower. Thoughts?
     
  4. RDavidson

    RDavidson Disappeared

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    My suggestion would be that a singly-split soul could possess someone who was in very close proximity to the horcrux — for example, if the horcrux was a locket and someone were to put it on. Ginny was certainly unwilling, and the diary was the first horcrux (and thus, depending on your soul arithmetic, singly-split), but Tom definitely had to put time and effort into it.
     
  5. RDavidson

    RDavidson Disappeared

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    I sort of wrote myself into a corner where I need to know about Arithmancy, but Rowling's canon gives us basically nothing on the topic. So here's my current theory of Arithmancy:

    • In HBP9, Snape says casting silently requires “concentration and mind power” (surely snape would actually say “strength of will”, but w/e)
    • Why is it difficult? Standard fannish explanation is that normal casting uses the incantation and wand gesture as a shortcut.
    • Arithmancy is basically ill-defined in canon. We know it’s Hermione’s most difficult subject, but also she likes it a lot. It’s required for curse breaking. It has something to do with magical properties of numbers. Rowling implied it was similar to numerology.
    • It runs for five years, so it can’t possibly just be “seven is the most magical number” and the like; that’d fill a two-day seminar at most.
    • A couple of real-world numerology systems rely on assigning numbers to letters and then processing the letters in a word into a single number. That’s how the Bible ended up with ‘666’ as the number of the Beast, for instance.
    • A popular fandom construction of Arithmancy is spell creation. However, a systematized and rigorous method of spell creation doesn’t fit very well with HP canon, in my opinion.
    • What if Arithmancy is about what goes into adding the incantations and wand gestures to make a spell easy for people to cast? You have to find numerical patterns that reinforce the spell, then come up with incantations and gestures that create those patterns.
    • The same approach would be helpful in curse breaking, since you have to discover and cast a counter-curse without having been present for the original curse casting.

    Does this sound reasonable?
     
  6. Verovir

    Verovir Disappeared

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    I don't have a problem with that. I don't like how spells are created in canon (that's to say, half-assing some incantation and make up a wand movement to go with it), so your idea has some merit. If you give a damn about what official DLP (=Taure's) opinion is, you can find it here.
     
  7. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    To be blunt we only know a little about it from canon, so you're more or less free to play with it. Just be internally consistent.

    I'd buy that if I read it in a Harry Potter fanfic.

    I kinda-sorta thought of something similar. My ramblings on the subject (in my file for the fanfic I've attempted to write) go into Arithmancy helping to streamline a spell. Among other things as well though, such as determining when to harvest potions ingredients or when certain spells might be more potent, etc. Also a type of divination.

    Take something like "Wingaridium Leviosa" for example. Requires correct pronunciation as well as the proper wand movements, which are a swish and a flick.

    But 1000 years ago perhaps the incantation was longer and the wand movements more difficult. Over the centuries the basic spell for levitating something was streamlined into something easy to cast for first year students.

    By the same token there are other spells in the world that can do what Wingaridium Leviosa does. They just aren't as effective at doing it, so they aren't used.

    Sure. I mean, like I said... we don't know enough about it from canon to be super picky (at least in my opinion). And I'm willing to buy pretty much any tweaks to the magic system in fanfic so long as they're internally consistent and don't break suspension of disbelief.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  8. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Another take on Arithmancy—

    Several magical elements in the JKR world are based on real world understanding +. What do I mean? Potions = chemistry plus magic to get mundane elements to act in new ways. Magical creatures = basic zoology plus magic to get dragons and whatnot. In Fanon, Runes = regular language plus magic to get magical writing that contains or holds spells.

    So, Arithmancy can be similar to that. Moreover, it has a background in ancient civilizations as well. In short, it's numbers + magic. So, take your "seven." Seven is considered the complete number. That number multiplied by another number representing fullness equal utter completion. For instance, the number 28 might be an important number for certain protective charms at Hogwarts, because it could represent the 4 founders who are said to have cast seven charms each for protection ("who are said" being something you make up in your fic). Taking from Biblical (Hebrew Bible) understanding, the number 40 equals a generation, a full day, or "a long, long time." So, a spell with forty letters that is said seven times might equal a generational curse on a family.

    etc.
    etc.
     
  9. RDavidson

    RDavidson Disappeared

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    I don't see how you get a five-year course of study out of that, though.
     
  10. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Could always add in actual math, I guess.

    In his example he said that maybe 28 is a thing because 4 founders times 7 spells = 28.

    But what if it's not as simple as doing multiplication? What if it's algebra, or calculus, or differential equations?

    I'm not in love with taking that idea too far, as it feels a bit like shoving a square peg into a round hole, but you could easily get five years of study out of it that way. Pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus.
     
  11. wordhammer

    wordhammer Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Perhaps Arithmancy isn't exactly about mathematics, so much as the meaning of numbers. Qabbalistic numerology ascribes certain qualities to each numeral. I've built up a headcanon about it somehow addressing how certain magic interacts with other magic. Rather than be saddled with the arbitrary meaning of letters in names = factors, I figured that magical arithmancy was about typifying spells and substances to better understand how they interact.

    It would have grown out of the intuitive understanding discovered in potion-making over the centuries, but might not have gotten a regimented treatment until the 1800's, when scientific method began to help weed out inconsequential aspects of magic ('while standing in a wooden pail filled with fishtails, during a waxing moon...') that the truly meaningful patterns began to emerge.

    Sorcerers always knew that hair made for the best source in Polyjuice, and that you can conjure water much more readily than milk, but arithmancy began to explain why.

    http://www.astrology-numerology.com/numerology.html#numerology_introduction
    Numerology reference

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
    a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i
    j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r
    s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z | _

    1 - pioneer, invention, leadership, independence, will, courage | aggression, ego, pride
    2 - consideration, partnership, mediator, modest, spiritual | shy, timid, fearful
    3 - expressive, artsy, insightfulness, optimism, fun | incompletion, lack of discipline
    4 - order, values, growth, practical, cultivation, organization | serious, detail-locked, unimaginative
    5 - freedom, quick thinking, action | discontent, impatience, restlessness
    6 - nurturing, balance, community, domesticity, service | stubborn, meddling, subject to flattery
    7 - seeker of knowledge, perfection | suspicious, reserved, isolated
    8 - judgement, decision-making, achievement | workaholic repressive, inhumane, materialistic
    9 - friendly, congenial, humanitarian | possessive, attention-seeking
    11 - double 2 - exaggerated spirituality and fear
    22 - double 4 - architecting (but humourless)

    [[[]]]

    My problem with much of the 'real-world' numerology is how arbitrary some of the qualities seem, even moreso when applied to the naming of children; would prospective Jewish parents approach a Qabbalist scholar about best names for encouraging certain traits, or was their attempt to 'game the system' likely to create a monster?

    So I went back to the numbers themselves- ignore history, ignore religion. What do these numbers mean?

    [extract from A Story of Magic]

    "So, when we speak of arithmantic meaning, we are speaking of the whole of human spiritual culture, distilled into nigh-on universal meanings. These meanings vary with culture and you can see bias in the spirits of east Asia in comparison to those, say, of the deep Amazon, but their meanings are our meanings, often derived from more... fundamental truths.

    "One. It is the smallest, the sole object. Alone yet complete. It's geometric representation is a dot."

    "Not a sphere?"

    "A dot. Zoom in on the dot and you will discover it is still a dot, because One has no subcomponents.

    "Two. The essence of communication. From here to there. Two is represented by a circle- the center and orbit. It is also the symbol for pain and loss and fear, for only by cleaving one into two did everything start to hurt.

    "Three. It takes the simple binary of two and adds a dimension, multiplying meaning, creating both dissention and dynamism. It is therefore also the number for creativity... and lies

    "Four. the first multiple. Symbol is -- "

    "A square."

    "No, it's a three-sided pyramid. Four is a family, sustainable procreation. It is also stability and truth, for only by having two opposing sides sharing equal voice is there something to match against. It is also the first possible solid object- more than a shadow.

    "Five. The hand, artifice, the incomplete array, the broken star- it also represents humanity in our lost-our-tails aspect and unrestrained power.

    "Six. Armies. Two triangles arrayed at cross purposes. Also, a strong model for division and unification. Six also represents society and culture.

    "Seven is the soul, and location. It establishes existence. The geometric representation of seven is a double pyramid. One point at the center, one length out, forward and back, to left and to right, up and down. All connected, they form the double pyramid, a reflection of life in death. Perfection, but also isolation.

    "Eight. the cube, structure, architecting - also the compass, to chart a vector; plans and destinations

    "Nine. squares of trios, or the spiral - the unfinished grouping - community - the compass with a center, to represent the ship

    "Eleven and Twenty-two were made up, as far as I'm concerned. There's too much culture behind it and not enough prehistorical symbolism. It's like they miscalculated the factors on two and four, then tried to shoehorn in a second meaning to flatter someone or cover their error."
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  12. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Simple.

    The first year is all about learning representational theory—what is the connection between numbers and that to which they are linked? How is it qualified? Why can 4 be a powerful number at Hogwarts but meaningless at the Ministry? What properties does Pi have? What are the magical properties of the Golden Ratio? What is the mathematical reasoning behind so many buildings in the magical world seeming to shun right angles? Does it remain consistent with 3, 4, 5 triangles? How do these relate?

    The second year is all about combinations. What happens when you use the Golden Ratio with multiples of 4 at Hogwarts? With multiples of seven in other places? Classes such as this one would begin with methodology—how do you study the course. Then, it would introduce the oldest and most simple understandings of combined numbers and move its way through thousands of years of magical history.

    The third year is year one of integration. The first term takes the students through the methodology of integration. Winter term provides a series of instructions in which students combine several different combinations of arithmancy into spell casting. Spring term has the professor telling the student what the result needs to be, but the student has to research and come up with it on his or her own. This, in turn, prepares the student for OWLS

    The fourth year reverts to theoretical work again in preparation for the fifth year. This work concerns studying the use of numbers across cultures and how integration of culture-specific spells or magic and numbers affect the result. This year also digs deeper into the interactive properties of layering spells based on arithmancy.

    The fifth year is a focus on application of the fourth year, including layering protective charms, strengthening spells cast in succession based on arithmancy principles, and work on applying and taking apart charms from different cultures. Hence, Arithmancy becomes very important for curse breakers.

    EDIT: What you have, then, is two years of basic theory followed by a year of practical use, and then the OWLS. Then, you have another year of theory followed by a year of practical use, and then NEWTS.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  13. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Question on a Title

    I've been noticing a pattern with my fic, Taking Umbridge. So I want to know from those here who either (1) have not read it or (2) maybe have, but remember their reaction.

    Question: in all honesty, is the title turning you off from reading the fic?
     
  14. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    My first reaction is 'meh.' Without a summary to go with it I'm unlikely to read it without a recommendation from someone. I'm not put off by it, but I assume that Umbridge is going to be a major character. With her name in the title I'd guess that she's going to either be the main antogonist or at least have enough pull in the plot to come in second only to Harry in terms of plot importance.

    On the other hand the title is clever enough - a play on the phrase to 'take umbrage' - that I would at least read a summary to try and get a better idea.

    So that said...
    A French Veela with a vendetta against Death Eaters is tasked to counter Umbridge and protect Harry, Ron, and Hermione. But a Death Eater's attack has changed Harry and Ron. Now, they're focused, driven, and as their fifth year at Hogwarts unfolds towards a climatic ending that rocks the wizarding world, Fleur is desperately trying to keep them safe from Voldemort, and themselves.​
    Yeah, okay, I'd probably try that if I was bored or if it was recommended to me. You have the trio together, which is a plus. You have hints at actual non-romance-based plot, and I like that it implies both action plot (Death Eaters) and political plot (Umbridge). It's marked as Harry/Fleur, which is a negative, but should be a positive for most.

    But you might be better served by a title that doesn't mention anyone by name, because it does create a preconception. Umbridge is mentioned as the only named antagonist in the summary, which is probably enough to draw in readers who want to read that without putting her name in the title and potentially turning off people who don't like her.

    Great summary tho, cheers.
     
  15. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    You get a lot of people thinking it sounds vaguely sexual and that the pairing is "main character/Umbridge?" :sherlock:

    The title is a clever and relevant pun; I have no problem with it, but I suppose if you're really anxious about "advertising" your story, you could change it to... something. I have no idea what.

    I'll just take this moment to point out "climatic" means "about/related to the weather" and "climactic" means "about/related to a climax."
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  16. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    @CheddarTreck

    Thanks for those thoughts. I didn't think about it putting Umbridge as a main character because of the pun, but that makes a lot of sense.

    :facepalm

    Nice catch.
     
  17. James

    James Professor

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    yes

    /10char
     
  18. dmacx

    dmacx Groundskeeper

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    Not really. I thought it was a clever pun.

    In all honesty, I find the summary more of a turn off than the title. I've seen far too many summaries where "protecting Harry" or some variation thereof actually means that Harry is essentially worthless. This is obviously not the case with your story, but I'm glad I started reading it in WbA rather than finding it on FF.net. I'd probably have skipped it, even though it's H/F.
     
  19. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Would this little change help?


    Names.

    Yeah, not coming what with a whole lot right now and what I have come up with, is pretty bad. "Murdering the past." "Confronting Your Demons." I think what I have is better than those two. Any ideas?
     
  20. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Murder the Past is kind of catchy, but only if the story itself is somewhat violent. I haven't read it.

    Combining your two ideas... Demons of the Past? /shrug