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Entry #1

Discussion in 'Q1 2021' started by Xiph0, Mar 14, 2021.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    He had thought of it for a couple of years. A spot of research had demonstrated that an owl could find wizards who hadn't spelled themselves against such a possibility.


    "Two quarts of erupment fluid would create a magical blast equivalent to 136 sticks of muggle dynamite." Snape told them with an oddly earnest resolve as they each took thimbles full back to their stations. "Add each drop carefully."


    Would magical obfuscation be the first thought in the mind of a dark lord returned from an existence of mist and darkness?


    Fred and George had taught him many important things, perhaps none so important as the immortal last words of Socrates, "I drank what?"

    _____________________________

    They brought him Errol when he returned from the third task, waking him up in the hospital bed.


    "He's too weak." Harry said.


    "He has strength enough, for this." They said in unison with a sad smile. Errol seemed to understand, nipping George on the arm, alert and vigorous.


    As George put a small, frayed pirate's tricorn on Errol's grayed head, complete with tiny skull and crossed bones, Errol visibly puffed up.


    "Errol was Uncle Gideon's owl you know." Fred said to Harry, his gazed stayed locked on the old owl, and George's reverent ministrations.


    "We remember when Fabian used to complain, that Errol wasn't a parrot, but Gideon loved to carry him on his shoulder. He'd wear an eye patch sometimes and put this little hat on Errol. Errol was carrying it when he came to the Burrow. Mother gave him bacon and stroked his head while tears streamed down her face. We sat on the stairs and looked through the handrail."


    George looked at Harry seriously,

    "We brought parchment and an envelope. The jars are wrapped. You must send him the letter. It will be poetic."


    Harry pulled a worn envelope out of his pocket. It had waited patiently for two years, what would ten more minutes be.


    "Please sign it too." Harry asked, moved by his mentors' stalwart commitment to his education in mischief.


    The letter read


    "My name is Harry Potter, you killed my mother and my father. Prepare to die, you absolute knob.


    I openly question the size of your penis.


    I curse you to say 'God Save the Queen' at random, inopportune times for the rest of your days.


    May those days be brief, sad, and full of impotence, like all your sexual exploits.


    Get fucked.


    Harry James Potter"


    Fred and George smiled as they read his missive. They teared up a bit in the middle. They hugged him and each other after they signed their names.


    Errol flew his last in the silvered silence of a velvet skies and a great full moon. He winged his way with vigor into his blaze of glory with a strength he hadn't known in ten years.


    George did have to give him a running start after Errol hit the flagstone floors of the hospital wing as soon as Harry tied the package to his legs.


    "We shit in that bag." Fred said simply as Harry ran his hands through his hair.


    Harry smiled, and the twins snickered, as he wiped his hands on the next bed.


    "It's alright, I wanked on the jugs." Harry replied.


    "We bet you did, you randy monkey!" The twins shrieked, as they wiped their hands too.


    ______ Epilogue ______


    The Dark Lord returned again and again, cheating death, suffering defeats, always saying, in his last moments, that he would return.


    This time Harry was down and nearly out. Bleeding, bruised, ribs and arm broken, he rasped as Voldemort finished his diabolical diatribe with those four words the world would best remember him for.


    "God Save the Queen." said Voldemort.


    "Arrr" said Harry, and in a flourish of magic the Dark Lord was vanquished forever.


    "I could have lived happily ever after," Harry said later, "but instead I think I'll marry a grasping harpy and saddle my enormous brood with terrible names."


    Finis
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    666 words (lol)
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Our shortest entry this time around! At 666 words we actually have a Flash Fic on our hands here, and I'm typically happy to see those.

    I like the Fred and George line about Socrates – somehow that quote seems like the two of them.

    Snape’s characterization in the first part seems a bit odd though – he’s acting more like an actual teacher than a complete asshole. Earnest resolve and genuine advice without insults. I’d expect canon Snape to call them dunderheads who are certain to blow themselves up but that they are fortunate he does not wish to deal with the paperwork their deaths would cause, etc.

    Errol was Uncle Gideon’s owl and this entire scene with how he puffs up a bit and whatnot just characterized Errol better than any other author has ever done. Well done on that. I actually feel a connection to Errol that canon and other fanfics have never given me.

    Dialogue is a bit awkward though. “You must send him the letter. It will be poetic.” and “He has strength enough for this.” don’t really sound like teenagers or Fred and George in general.

    The emotions are weird for me here – the juvenile letter sounds like something a teen would write, but the heaviness of the scene is off kilter in comparison. Same for the ‘randy monkey’ comment – I feel like I’m getting whiplash with what the tone here is supposed to be.

    It’s also not super clear what happened there at the end to allow Harry to finally win. I mean, erumpent fluid? Okay, but you also say that the Dark Lord returned again and again, so I doubt that was it. I feel like I missed something, and not in a good "I'm curious" way.

    If it wasn’t for the “Fred and George had taught him many things” line I’d probably disqualify this for lack of prompt use. But it's there, so cheers.
     
  4. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    I don't really understand how this is connected to the prompt. Snape shows up, I suppose? I wouldn't know what other connection to make.

    Honestly, this is a comedy piece that I didn't find funny. Comedy is a craft and one I can only take stabs in the dark at myself, but I'll try to offer some tips. First off, I think a big part of humour is the pointe, the sting, the punchline. Some of your punchlines are ruined by building on it instead of letting it sink in properly.

    One example is the gross-out humour. He's sending Voldemort a jug of erumpent fluid via suicide-bombing owl. Good premise! It's dark, but more than workable. Then they shat in the jug also, lessening the effectivity of the bomb for very little reason except haha peepee poopoo. Then they one-up that and one-up it again, which just makes the already not-great joke feel more and more sour.

    In terms of writing - Fred and George are sort of in character, Snape and Harry are absolutely not. No clue if Errol is. Your dialogue is stilted, your writing passionless, your fights lack tension, things just kind of happen because you decided you want them to instead of making sense.

    1/5.
     
  5. haphnepls

    haphnepls Fifth Year

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    This should be "He's too weak," Harry said. The rest is also wrong.

    This looks like opening and ending lines are next to each other, like, the question, and then the answer given through the research. Clap Clap. Fin.

    Weird.

    Flash story with an epilogue is also a wild thing. Wild, wild thing. I think that I've seen both single and double lines skip. Formatting is all over the place, and I'd be happy to point out a thousand words of what I think needs changing if this were WBA, but it's not so I'll just offer a bit of my thoughts about the story.

    The thing I liked the most was Errol. The thing I liked the least
    is this line.

    Socrates joke is the only one I liked.

    I really don't know what to say. Sorry.
     
  6. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Writing:

    I think that the writing of this piece isn't very strong at all, unfortunately. Normally workmanlike prose that doesn't detract from the other strengths of a story is perfectly enough, but I think we fall well short of that bar today.

    Your dialogue and tags and beats often don't properly comma off the tag from the action, and the voices themselves are not particularly accurate. I don't read them and think 'this sounds like a real person'.

    Sometimes your sentences aren't clear. I read the opening a few times, and because I was trying to establish the setting, each line's shifts didn't work for me. I struggled to understand what the link from line to line was, whose perspective we were in, what was important, what was going on.

    I think the very brief nature of the story didn't let it really pop. There wasn't much flair here and I think we definitely had 'blank wall' syndrome here. Even with a fanfiction Hogwarts, I wasn't felt like I knew where we were, and that's something that should really be easy for you in places like the Hospital wing.

    Characters:

    You're definitely not getting a lot from me, unfortunately, as I'm not your intended audience, I can't really do crack. I've talked about it elsewhere on the forum, but I kinda view Crack/blunt parody as the polar opposite of Comedy, even though they're superficially similar. I think Comedy takes real skill, and Crack hides it.

    Regarding mentorship here, the Weasley twins didn't really come across as one. It was informed, we were told in one line that they had been. They didn't do twin speak, which is always a plus 1 from me at this point (perhaps unfairly), however they didn't sound too 'human', as I said above.

    I think their love of pranks here was translated to a really crude and antisocial sense of humour here. I think that doesn't really reflect the type of boarding school 1950s practical joke that they had in canon. It felt more like something out of Always Sunny when Charlie or Dee goes too far, and unlike that sort of show, it didn't get a laugh from me.

    Certainly, we didn't really get an arc. There was some indiscriminate length of time that had passed between story open and story end, but I've no idea how long really, whether it was just two years or a lot more, but it didn't gel well together for me. There was no real change in the story. Comedy normally needs to turn around a clearly defined before and after: where the reasonable prediction of 'what comes next' is utterly different but immediately comprehendible from the 'before. I don't think we got that here.

    Story:

    I don't understand, really, what happened. The affection and warmth for Errol the unwitting suicide bomber was the best part of this story, and gave a moment of humanity to the proceedings that I liked. However, I don't know if it worked, I don't know what I can tell about when this happened from the meta epilogue comments. He obviously got the letter and the curse, and I guess came back, but maybe never died? Or they're repeating the trick right now?

    The problem is that I do not see how the last scene ties in to Errol and the bomb at all. It seems entirely divorced.

     
  7. Red

    Red Professor DLP Supporter

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    I like the idea of what this fic could have been. A Fred and George that mentor Harry because he vanquished the man responsible for their uncle's death. The bit about Errol made me feel a connection to a character I've never thought twice about in canon or fanfiction. I could imagine this story, if refined in tone, characterization and grammar, as the climax for a fourth-year fic where F&G have helped Harry get through the tournament and the Erupment fluid (foreshadowed early and discarded as unusable for the tasks) is used to stall Voldemort's return.

    Unfortunately, I must review the fic for what it is. The tone is all over the place. There is heaviness with Fred and George is undermined by the letter-writing humor and juxtaposed with the epilogue. There is no consistency here and unfortunately, each tone is weakened by the contrasting section. I have also tried and failed to toe the line of humor and seriousness, it is a difficult thing to pull off convincing, so I empathize. The short length of the piece also did not help you in this regard either.

    There are errors with the dialogue tags and grammatical errors. Snape was an odd inclusion and his brief characterization didn't land with me, even if it were an AU characterization. The shitting humor of F/G also seemed out of place. I'd like to think canon F/G are less about literal pee/poop/fart humor but appreciate a good pun ("holey", "U-No-Poo").

    Unfortunately, I have to give give entry a 1/5.
     
  8. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    I quite liked the tonal shift when we see the letter; "you absolute knob" isn't exactly sophisticated comedy, but coming after a couple of hundred words of quite solemn, emotional (at least in theory) writing, it did make me chuckle. So did the bit about wanking on the jugs, but to be honest, that was more because I had a mental image of the twins being played by Nick Frost in an Edgar Wright film - sounds exactly like the sort of thing he'd be saying. In other positives, I'll join those saying they liked the bit about Errol's history. It's a nice touch, and probably the best bit of the entry.

    Characterisation is wonky, but it's clearly a crack fic, so that's perhaps to be expected. Writing is fairly basic, with some errors that another editing pass might have caught, and the concept is...well, crack, obviously, but also inconsistent - are they trying to blow Voldemort up, or curse him? Either way, setting this at the end of fourth year feels like an odd choice; appropriate in that Harry is still at an age where this might seem like a good idea, but less so in that it suggests he's been planning this since his second year.

    I'm not really sure what else to say. Probably 2/5, for a quick chuckle and the bit about Errol and Gideon.
     
  9. bking4

    bking4 Second Year ⭐⭐

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    So this is pretty clearly a crack fic, which is fun. I don't know if I've seen anything like this entered into a competition before. I'm going to critique it like I would anything else writing wise, and then content wise I'll give recommendations based on it's cracky nature.


    This is your opener and your hook, so it should be clear and engaging. Instead, I found it confusing. You interrupt a general thought about owls finding wizards and the implications of magical obfuscations on an owl's ability to find a wizard with what might be a flashback? But in doing so you switch from talking about "he" to talking about "them," and it is very confusing. Then you go back to talking about "he" then to talking about Fred and George, and we have no idea who "he" is yet. I'd switch the second and third "paragraph" (more like separated sentences). Then combine the first two "paragraphs." Then also make mention of Harry in the first paragraph, and reference him talking to Fred and George about it.. Trying to keep his name out of it for some sort of suspense as to who the main character is doesn't work in a story this short. So you get:

    Harry had thought of it for a couple of years. A spot of research had demonstrated that an owl could find wizards who hadn't spelled themselves against such a possibility. Would magical obfuscation be the first thought in the mind of a dark lord returned from an existence of mist and darkness? Fred and George had seemed excited by the concept when he shared it with them.

    "Two quarts of erupment fluid would create a magical blast equivalent to 136 sticks of muggle dynamite." They relayed to Harry, originally told to them by Snape with an oddly earnest resolve as they each took thimbles full back to their stations. "Add each drop carefully," he had said at the time

    Fred and George had taught him many important things, perhaps none so important as the immortal last words of Socrates, "I drank what?"

    Fred and George were born in 1978, and at latest the Prewett brothers probably died in 1981 or 82. I don't know if they would remember those things? Maybe hand-me-down stories from Bill and Charlie would be better.

    Again, might be better to be handed down stories from older brothers rather than personally experienced, as they would have been quite young when their Uncle's died. However, I really like this piece of info. Provides a really nice way to make their grudge with Voldemort personal, and provides some insight into why they might be such avid pranksters.

    The remainder of the fic right up until the epilogue is just pure crack. You are specifically going for a shock-and-awe approach, I think, with the vulgarity and the swearing? Not my cup of tea, and the only thing that really got me to laugh was the Errol bit. The way you described his flight with overly serious and dramatic prose, then juxtaposed it with an image of him needing a boost after falling on the floor made me chuckle.

    In the Epilogue, which isn't really an epilogue but is more of a scene change for a story as short as this one, I got a bit confused. You opened the story with that bit about "I drank what?" and I therefore expected the ending to be about Voldemort being tricked into drinking erumpet fluid. I was all set up for that payoff, or at least something clever related to it. Instead we get a rather limp and lackluster exchange, with a short attempt at a joke on Voldermort's behalf (which honestly didn't fall completely flat). But then Harry says "Arrr" and it's over? It's probably a reference to the Prewett's pretending to be pirates, but it just didn't work for me.

    From a writing standpoint, 2/5. Technically well written, but could have used some polishing, fact checking, and structural changes. From a crack standpoint 2/5. Not my cup of tea, but it did get me to chuckle at least once, so there's that.
     
  10. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Order Member

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    I'm so lost.
    If this fic's goal is to tell a short punchy plot bunny, i don't think it succeeded. I learned more about Errol's past than what happened at his end. Did he drop the shit and sperm on voldemort? Suicide bomb? It was not clear.
    Crass and crude can be fun, but look more to Jbern's lie i've lived. You need a straight man who doesn't like the crass and crude to give it shock and impact. Without that contrast, the masturbation jokes fall like Errol.
    speaking of errol and his former owners, that was the best part of this. I enjoyed the idea of the twins looking up to gideon and fabian. It makes sense, but we don't have a lot of examples of that. It makes me wonder if they could have inherited anything from their uncles. It also would be an interesting exploration of seeing war through a child's eyes, given their ages. Though perhaps Charlie would be a better perspective for that, being old enough.
    So did Harry actually curse voldemort? I didn't understand that part.
    I keep going back and trying to see if there is some secret acrostic or other code. But if so, its too subtle for me to find. This could be a fun quick flashfic, but it needs more pieces to explain itself, and Pomfrey going apoplectic over the students in her nursery.
     
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