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WIP Gone, No Goodbyes: A New Harry Potter Fanfic by Averis - M

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Averis, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery ~ Prestige ~

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    Title: Gone, No Goodbyes: A New Harry Potter Fanfic
    Rated: M
    Genre: General/Adventure/Romance
    Chapters: 7
    Words: 48,184
    Updated: January 15, 2013
    Published: October 8, 2012
    Status: Work in Progress

    Pairing(s): Harry/OC(s)
    Link: Gone, No Goodbyes: A New Harry Potter Fanfic

    Summary: Harry Potter has had enough of his life. Ron and Hermione married and are pregnant with their first child. Ginny left... mostly because he kicked her out. And as far as the rest of his friends go... who bloody cares? Harry never had that many friends anyway. After years of making England a happier place he wants out. This time, he says, he's leaving without saying goodbye.

    This is a post-Hogwarts, no-epilogue, Independent!Harry fic. Essentially, he's recruited to do some major horcrux-hunting in Central Africa for quite a bit of money. Harry decides to take the job, as he's just broken up with Ginny and has been more or less sitting on his ass since Voldemort's death.

    The first stop is Greece, where he meets with his mysterious new boss, and a very attractive American witch named Deni.

    I've been working on this in the WbA for the last few weeks and, having posted the revised version of Chapter Three, I felt there was enough content to judge whether it belongs in the library or not (as it's just over 15k and I'm updating regularly). Personally, I feel its the most interesting of the stories I have written, though its certainly a deviation for me.

    TL;DR: Imagine if Bungle in the Jungle was set in Africa instead of South America, without the awful 'Ginny gave me a potion, wahhh' plotline. Also, Harry is twenty-one here, has a solid grasp of horcrux detection and destruction, and he's sufficient enough in Occlumency to hide his thoughts from intrusion.

    Give it a try. Let me know what you think about it... I personally feel it's at the very least a 4 out of 5.


    Checked by Minion, July 28, 2013
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2013
  2. Russano

    Russano Disappeared

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    4/5 from me for the moment. 3 chapters isn't really enough, but I like what I've seen so far. Kinda reminds me of those expedition adventure movies like Kongo or something. Seems like it has alot of potential with a unique and pretty much original plotline.

    Harry seems pretty non-whiny and fairly competant which I like. The comparison to bungle in the jungle seems pretty apt, although I'm gonna miss the rad bromance with Bill aspect of it.


    ...and why is the firebolt the latest model. It's been out for 8 years at this point in the story.
     
  3. Andro

    Andro Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    The first-person perspective is not working, as you've let elements of wish-fulfillment leak into your writing.

    For instance, in chapter 1 Ginny leaves Harry, and Harry is just happy for the silence, isn't emotionally affected at all. Now I'd love to be like that in real life. Every man would love to be such a boss they just shrug off the ex and just move onto the next girl.

    The way you wrote it doesn't ring true. imagine if Ian Fleming wrote such a scene, where the woman storms off, and then doesn't even write Bond's reaction - because that's how much he does not care. Instead, he just goes back to the mission dossier lol.

    Then there's this. Try-hard and bombast, "Good riddance." "I was just thankful for the beautiful silence."

    Dictator!Shacklebolt isn't overused, but it's still a cliche. Good Auror who becomes Minister goes bad... just because.

    And the description... I personally, as a fellow writer, loathe this kind of laziness. Where you airily type non-description that basically declares "I did no research in this location and did not invest creative energy into describing it. Why don't you be an active reader and do the work yourself?"

    How many minutes did it take for you to write it in? Two, or three? It's a descriptive style that subpar writers have evolved to minimize the effort it takes to enable immersion. Harry arrives in Athens for the first time, thinks about the Parthenon and other assorted landmarks with 100% familiarity as if he's already seen them. The actual physical city is described with stuff like "amazing architecture"...

    I anticipate the first-person perspective argument where Harry's stream of consciousness wouldn't actually describe it in first-person... only, I know it's a limitation of your writing, from how you describe in other stories you've written.

    And even in first-person, Harry would still fixate on certain outstanding details.

    Anyway, right off the bad I see that you don't deliver on the main draw and novelty of your story, the adventure of visiting new and exotic places all over the world.

    That's what Jbern's fic (even if it has its share of flaws) had with South America, which yours does not.

    2/5.
     
  4. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery ~ Prestige ~

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    Quickly I'm going to address Andro's post.

    First: Comparing the first three chapters of this fic to anything James Bond is a little unfair. Harry is not a special operative, nor is the particular scene you're talking about even a scene at all - it is a letter, though it's not clear at this point who it is to. Would you write out Ginny's reaction in depth in a hand-written letter, especially when the purpose of said letter is to explain that it's over and you're moving on?

    Second: Others have addressed Shacklebolt's part in this story, but honestly, it's not in any way important to the story and will not become important. If it's cliche, meh, so is Independent!Harry at this point. Shacklebolt's cockup was essentially creating laws early on in his tenure that made him seem extreme later on... but as I said, it's not a big part of the story, and he'll most likely never even appear. You can only imagine how Harry would feel if someone he thought was innocent ended up in Azkaban. Hermione and Ron still stick up for Shacklebolt, at least.

    I'm addressing the particular passage that you have so delightfully trashed... mostly because you're right. I was lackadaisical when writing it originally, because I didn't know much about the Parthenon and if I'm not mistaken the Internet was down (lol). I've taken the time to do nominal research to make it better, and that will continue for a few days. For the most part, I'm just explaining that Harry has no background information about the Parthenon, and so is seeing a lot of 'statue here' and 'column here'. Still, re-reading it, it does seem very boring so I'd like it to be better.

    I personally feel you've been a bit harsh, perhaps because of my other work, which it doesn't seem you are infatuated with. I've read yours previously and know that you work from a very different perspective - it seems to me that description is your best asset, whereas I need help in that area. I do appreciate that you were harsh, as it made me want to immediately fix the problems.

    The JBern comparison is a fair one; however, he did not make it to South America in the first few chapters either. Give me a little while to build up to the action and adventure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  5. Cr@ckedUp24/7

    Cr@ckedUp24/7 Squib

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    Let's see.

    The plot is original, and the background is something special as well, with the whole african tribe myth. Still, can't really judge until you actually get into Africa and start the actual story. The Harry/Deni interaction seemed... forced I guess.

    3/5 for now, but can't really rate until you've gotten at least some actual Africa scenes written.
     
  6. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Andro gets a hard on for tearing every other writer a new asshole. Apparently he's well read or something... I don't know. The fic is passable. I wouldn't say its what I seek to read all the time. I like adventure stories, but I don't like African myths or whatever it is you're aiming for.

    And personally, despite his successes, and whatever else he has going. I still hate Jbern. I don't like his stories, or his gimmick. So, I wouldn't ever want to be compared to Jbern. You don't want to compare a diamond (yours) to a turd (his shit).
     
  7. Andro

    Andro Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    You telling writers their fics are diamonds when they aren't does them very little good.

    Look at it from the reader's point of view. You post a story with three chapters for review. First of all, I'm curious. That's not a lot of content, but it's sensible to assume you have some major draw or hook to knock the reader off the fence.

    So I see that you've changed the setting to Athens? That should be a killer hook... but you lackadaisied it. Replace "Parthenon" with "parking lot" and hardly any meaning is lost. Harry portkeys into a parking lot and walks out into the city. That's literally what it is. It doesn't even work me up over the description, it just reads really weird. How can Harry's thought process as a new arrival in Athens be like this? :/

    I don't know. Call my review harsh or whatever, I just pointed out how the exploratory nature of the story - the raison d'etre of the story as Averis himself stated - was let down by the lame description. That's a pretty massive thing to just... not mention in a real review? Is this not the site of honest reviews or what? I'm seeing not too many of the IP82-style reviews anymore. Writers like Darth Marrs get mentioned without ridicule, guys like Zombie are calling fics diamonds when they clearly are not. But I can still stick with my way of reviewing and providing feedback.

    You mention Africa heavily, but was I supposed to understand that you were going to write until lackadaisical mode until then?

    If so, you didn't communicate that properly (and it's still a legit criticism), and secondly, it just doesn't compute for me that you'd gloss over Athens in favor of Africa.

    That's like serving a seared, messed up appetizer and telling the customer "BUT WAIT! The main course is going to make you cum bucketloads and eat your own jizz it'll be that amazing!" Would you stay in the restaurant?

    What makes Africa more worthy of your energy than Athens? I personally think Athens sounds awesome, and at least deserves equal billing with Africa. Particularly when Athens comes before Africa chronologically in the story. That's where you're demonstrating your writing ability and foreshadowing what's up your sleeve, isn't it?

    I think the concept is brilliant. Thanks for listening on the Athens description. Look at my review as a critique of your story as it is now. It's not like you can't improve things.

    I would like to write some of my thoughts on description.

    Description

    "Sprawling city". "Luxurious hotel". "Amazing architecture". Think of those as simulacra - they are symbols that represent the physical reality of that city, hotel, and architecture.

    How many layers are separating your symbol from the reality? So at the level of "amazing architecture"... that's very distant from the reality. That's putting you at the same level with a hundred million other English speakers.

    Why not cut out the middle-men, the layers that are diluting what you're trying to express? Why aren't you hostile toward them if you're enthusiastic about writing? You should be as hostile to them as middle-men in real life, like the ones standing in between you and a car deal.

    That's why I tend toward harshness in reviews when I see writers not pushing through those layers. It's not something that I can remain on the fence about.

    If you reduce writing to just one thing... isn't writing about this one ability? When you say "I've gotten better at writing", isn't that because you improved this ability? When you say "This writer is incredible", isn't that what you're praising ultimately? Isn't that what separates writers into tiers and leagues?

    And that applies to emotions, events, moods, etc. I'm not very well-read when it comes to the quantity of great literature, but I absolutely can tell if a writer is going through a lot of middle men.

    A great example abuot being close to the truth would be the scene in Unatoned by Sesc, where Harry is under a mind-altering influence when he confronts Astoria. In the emotional scenes of Incorruptible by MattSilver, yeah, that's what i'm talkiing about. That's where the emotional engagement with the reader happens.

    I'm not focusing solely on your description of Athens. If I were writing this, I'd be looking at the opening of the story thinking "Is this way closer to the truth of what Harry feels". I'd approach it from a broody angle, then I'd write a burnout angle, then I'd write a carefree version, then I'd try mixing things together.

    An exercise I recommend is to imagine how you'd write to set a scene. Just as you're walking around in real life. Doesn't matter. A water fountain. Flock of birds in the plaza. Trains running. Anything. There's just a lot of mundane stuff you're just not capable of describing well beyond a See Spot Run level.

    This explains the syndrome of uneven writing quality. Typically the first chapter of a story will be amazing because that's what inspired the writer. Then it just gets weaker and weaker because the story forces the writer into describing these mundane things, and they can't get over how boss the writing was a couple scenes ago.

    I'm sure I must come off as a description junkie... but I think it's that important, that huge a part of writing. Or mood junkie, there just has to be some form of anchor for immersion to take place.

    There's not a a single great writer who hasn't internalized description as a massive part of their writing. Some will claim "Hemingway didn't describe things lololol" because they love bathing in semen. They haven't even read Hemingway and they just say iceberg principle trolololol. They haven't touched A Farewell to Arms or The Torrents of Spring. He's got that shit down.

    These are the same people who like Zombie will say shit like "He thinks he's well-read or something", as if it invalidates someone like me. Like come on bro, I'm just trying to help these other writers.

    Anyway, after committing to these exercises, you'll find that it makes your writing denser. You'll face the fact you can't describe this stupid, simple little thing at all, and that drives improvement. You don't get fucked over as often by these really mundane things that make you wince at how fucking bland it is. There are writers like Tad Williams or G.R.R. Martin or Stephen King who are close to sublime for so much that it begins to seem standard, and you don't even appreciate how high their level of writing is for it to not break down into See Spot Run failure.

    And if you've read my stories notice I don't go nuts every single chapter describing every little inch of the ground of every single locale. I don't mean describe everything. But the mundane, transitional sentences will be much less monotonous, they will live more. Your writing won't be like hill country, with your great inspired scenes connected by these awkward lows. Why not just raise the topography to a higher altitude? Your highs will still be high because they occur at the dramatic keystones of the story, but your lows won't be so low.

    (And I fully accept that I'm not too far in my progression toward the milestone of Hemingway's closeness to reality, and that I'm over-compensating in the direction of sometimes-over-the-top descriptions. But I have to progress from saying "luxurious hotel" and "amazing architecture" to edging on that side of overblown description. Just like you're playing tennis and you're switching from a two-handed backhand to a one-handed backhand. You have to hit that hard and rigorously to start adjusting and making progress fast.)

    And if you ever daydream about stuff, do that exercise again. Moods, anxiety, irritation, pressure, determination. How would you write to capture that? How do you write simulacra as few layers removed from the reality as you're capable of?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  8. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery ~ Prestige ~

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    Changes to Chapter Two:

    I have made other nominal changes throughout the first three chapters and now I'm hard at work on the fourth. Very little Deni in the next chapter, as Harry goes off to Africa.
     
  9. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery ~ Prestige ~

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    Chapter Four is up, putting the story at 25,000 words so far. In this chapter we see the end of Harry and Deni's relationship (or is it?), our first glimpse of one of the most important characters in the fic and the beginning of Harry's time in Africa.

    Please take the time to leave a review or rating. The WbA thread has this just barely at a 4, whereas its a 3 here in For Review. I'd assume the Recycling Bin is coming, but I honestly feel like the writing is at least library worthy.

    TL;DR: Tell me if it sucks or not! Leggo!
     
  10. Andro

    Andro Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    Well, this is a solid 4/5 story, with the makings of something a lot bigger. The difference between the previous edition of chapter two and what's there now is huge.

    You grounded the descriptions with concrete writing, which in turn makes the vaguer descriptions work in your favor. That's when you can let the reader indulge in their imaginations.

    I really enjoyed it btw. That was a great chapter. I appreciated how every element fell in place - Harry hearing English voices and falling into step with the tourist group, him meeting Deni.

    Chapter three was good too. You created real chemistry in the interactions between Harry and Deni.

    A odd thing I found was this:

    This is a few years after Voldemort died... my intuition is that his name would've been defanged quite significantly. This passage looks like you're writing in a post-OOTP timeframe when he's still alive. And it seems like a rather lame cliche where the OC fearlessly pronounces his real name instead of You-Know-Who.

    Overall, I kind of accept Deni as not a Mary Sue character. The general dialogue is good and she's organic, maybe it's how Harry's thinks and reacts to her is as if she's on a higher league than he is, which doesn't make any sense. Like her vocalizing how men only look at her boobs and Harry instinctively jerking back apologetically, whereas I feel the character you've constructed for him would've just kept looking while cocking his head at her or something. Maybe Harry's been around so few chicks for so long he IS that eager to please.

    The treatment of Ginny is rather unfair too. You're basically just bashing her, but I can't really level the criticism because you have the "It's Harry's first-person perception of Ginny, not an objective one" justification at hand. But you still chose to have him think of her that way without any hint of self-awareness. It's still a distasteful little aspect of the story, but I'll move on.

    The story is good, I do see the quality in it now. It's got its own identity, it's distinctive, it's fun. I still think the first chapter could have set the tone for catharsis, a release from an excruciating existence, healing from burnout better, which would've made it more intense and swept the reader up a little more. It's almost 100% casualness from Harry, but introducing more drama and leaking a little desperation to get out of his life would've accomplished this.

    I mean, you start out with "Okay, I lied". That's what I mean by nearly 100% casual. I would suggest something like this: 50/50 lightheartedness and playfulness from Harry, with hints of just straight-up honesty "I have to get out." Let him just vent, because Ron and Hermione are his best friends.

    That will allow you yin-yang dualism, contrast or whatever - I call it emotional polarity. That raw, naked desperation and need for freedom will give you the opportunity to generate a correspondingly intense feeling of hope and optimism. That's how you achieve range in your story. It's not changing the fundamental identity of your story which is of adventure and freedom, but it is about making it more potent.

    I recommend a transitional scene at the beginning of chapter two. Instead of plopping him directly in Athens, have him in a room, just staring at the Portkey. Have him twirl the object in between his fingers, realizing that he's about to leave his old life behind. Have him try to picture what his destination will be like. Have him look at what's in the room, have him experience a flood of thoughts like "Should I take a memento/keepsake with me?" before having him just shut it down and pull the trigger on the Portkey.

    That's a decently deep, authentic scene that will allow the reader to invest even more into the story. How many millions of people in the western world alone wish they could just abandon their 9-to-5 days of wage slavery, ditch their studies, leave behind all the shit that's tying them down whether it be family, debts, weak willpower, and just live, but can't?

    Let us live through Harry. Take it a step further. Give the full range of emotions, not just the literal physical reality of Harry going to new places.

    The first-person narrative is excellent too past chapter 1, to the extent that I almost didn't find it exceptional because it's so fluid and natural.

    And lastly, kudos to you for being the first person to realize that Harry can use his conversation with the snake at the zoo as a story to tell girls lol. The conversations with Deni felt very natural, a great part of the story.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  11. Rache

    Rache Headmaster

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    The lack of reviews and admirers for G no G is confusing. The first four chapters are well-written and beautifully portrayed.

    The sex scene and the imagery was *shivers*. Anyway, I guessed that Harry and Deni wouldn't last anyway. It's a travesty that Harry ends up marrying the first girl he has a serious relationship with, which is not saying much seeing the relationship was only 3 months old before he broke up with her.

    As for the break up with Deni, I suggest you think of another way Deni reacts. Harry broke off things with Ginny because she wanted to be just like her mother, marry, have kids, live peacefully and bossing Harry from doing anything which would even remotely feel dangerous.

    Your portrayal of Harry's break up with Deni is for the same reasons, except it is Deni who dumps Harry. So, yeah, the same thing happens again to Harry just like it happened with Ginny.

    I'd guess there is more to Abebi than her outer portrayal and her history she divulges. Just like 'Delphi'.

    I'd give the story 4/5 now since it's only 4 chapters long. Keep 'ejaculating' updates and we'll see where this goes.
     
  12. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery ~ Prestige ~

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    Ouch. Recycling Bin. I'm aggrieved.

    Guess being half-assed when I first put the story up bit me in the (half)ass. I think people were just starting to warm to it but the previous lackadaisical-ness hurt me significantly enough for it to go in the Recycling Bin. It is what it is.
     
  13. Marcus Livius Drusus

    Marcus Livius Drusus Banned DLP Supporter

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    It really is vastly improved. It's too bad you jumped the gun, for now it's shaping up to be a great story. Nevertheless, I imagine it won't be in here too long.
     
  14. Aerylife

    Aerylife Not Equal

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    Alright I finally got around to reading this and I have to say I like it. It is different than your other fics, more action and the atmosphere is great as usual. Harry/Ron/Hermione interactions were great, and the quick relationship with Deni was well done. I am interested in Delphi, he is different than Dumbledore obviously but he seems to be a good guy. Easily 4/5 with a high chance of 5/5 when you we get more content ;D
     
  15. Jormungandr

    Jormungandr Prisoner

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    Four stars - this should be out of the Recycling Bin, now?
     
  16. Rache

    Rache Headmaster

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    Yeah!! the story should be out of the bin by now. Anyway, hope you have something 'cool' planned out for the plot Averis.

    I would hate to see Harry always salivating at the posteriors of the fairer sex instead of kicking some African arse. The attraction towards the female counterparts of Harry is slightly overdone in the latest chapter. Surely there are other things to think other than planning how to sleep with every mentioned OC.
     
  17. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery ~ Prestige ~

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