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Pet Peeves v.11

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Dark Syaoran, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Download

    Download Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    I was writing a Pokemon fic many years ago and I remember getting an angry review for my story because I had a line in in where the MC passed up a Pokemon. I had basically the same thought as you about how perhaps "Gotta catch 'em all!" isn't actually appropriate and a reasonable character would focus on a small core team of perhaps no more than dozen. Well, this guy seemed really annoyed I was missing the "point" of the matter.
     
  2. Mickey

    Mickey Squib

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    Ice Queen god I am so sick and tired of this shit. It's making me hate Harry/Daphne.
     
  3. Download

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    Some authors in crossovers feeling the need to have some character from a more serious universe over analyse the design of something from a more stylised or less serious universe.

    The thing that just set me off has Sam Carter from Stargate end up in Nier Automata. The Author, instead of accepting the design of the Machines was a stylistic choice, has decided to have Sam criticise them for being bad designs. It adds nothing to the plot and is jarring to the reader.
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'm not sure that I have ever posted my full list of peeves to DLP. So here they are:

    World

    • Technology being depicted as able to overcome/get around magic.

    • White-washing of Muggle society and exaggeration of the flaws of wizarding society in order to depict Muggle society as significantly more enlightened than wizarding society. The whole point of wizarding prejudices and governmental corruption is to act as a magical analogy of problems that exist in the Muggle world.

    • Wizards displaying significant interest in Muggle culture or technology.

    • Depiction of the wizarding world as stuck in the past, or having Victorian or feudal values. Wizarding society is its own unique thing, not Muggle society 100 years ago. In many respects it is more liberal than Muggle society. In some respects it is more conservative.

    • Related to the above: marriage contracts.

    • Depiction of wizarding society as lacking innovation/static.

    • Ancient magic that is depicted as more powerful or advanced than modern magic.

    • A wizarding world with a functional nobility. A defunct nobility is acceptable.

    • Backwater Britain (with respect to other magical nations).

    • Backwater wizards (with respect to other magical species).

    • A magical population that is too large. I feel like 30,000 wizards in Britain is the absolute maximum, but really it should be around 10,000 - 15,000. Populations that are too large make the canon world and events increasingly implausible and change the tone of the society.

    • A magical economy that is too large or sophisticated. Magical Britain is about the size of a small town, and magic changes the nature of economic activity (most goods are luxury goods rather than necessities, for example). There shouldn’t be billionaires, a stock market, or really any kind of sophisticated financial services.

    • The idea that “Dark Lord” is a commonly used title, or even a magically real title, as opposed to a made-up title that originated with Voldemort.

    • Casual use of the Unbreakable Vow.

    • Casual use of Veritaserum.

    • Making rare and obscure magic relatively common knowledge, in particular occlumency and horcruxes.

    • Related to the above, turning rare magical objects into “off the shelf” purchases that verge on mass-produced (e.g. Moody’s trunk).

    • Depiction of Aurors as magical police who have general enforcement duties, as opposed to specifically elite Dark wizard hunters (and occasionally VIP bodyguards).

    • Depiction of Aurors as having a command structure, procedures etc which are reminiscent of Muggle police or military.

    • Goblins who perform a great many functions which would more correctly lie with the government, law firms, and accountants.

    • Hogwarts teachers giving their students far too much leeway. In particular, having the teachers permit a teenage authorial avatar to continually undermine their authority.

    • The idea that anti-Muggleborn discrimination happens in the open and is institutionalised, as opposed to it being an analogue of racism in the Muggle world: definitely present, but in a insidious way, with institutions being officially opposed to it.

    Magic

    • Any kind of magical exhaustion, including “concentration exhaustion”. Physical exhaustion and general tiredness are acceptable.

    • Magic as energy, or as working within the same system of laws as physics (rather than overriding/breaking physical law).

    • Non-permanent transfiguration.

    • Depiction of wandless magic as equally versatile and powerful as wanded magic, capable of casting all the same spells as you can with a wand.

    • Magic which is presented as simple to understand and learn. In particular: wish magic, where all you need is intent and willpower, and dictionary magic, where all you need to do is look up the incantation and wand movements and practice them.

    • Related to dictionary magic: discrete magic, where each spell is an entirely separate entity rather than an expression of more general magical skills. The most common example of this is having many different Shield Charms rather than shielding being a single magical skill which can be expressed in different variations.

    • The idea that a wizard could cast powerful/advanced magic without having studied it in some form, whether that means reading up on it or experimenting with it themselves. Corollary: the idea that a wizard could have studied a piece of magic extensively but not cast it well. The most common and egregious example: Hermione who is an expert in magical theory but not so strong at actually casting magic, as opposed to a Harry who is great at casting powerful and advanced magic but doesn’t really understand what he’s doing.

    • Duels lasting a long time, with multiple injuries being incurred, rather than ending very quickly the moment one fighter gains a slight advantage over the other.

    • Dodging being presented as a valid, or even superior, combat tactic.

    • A Veela’s mere presence exerting a magical befuddling effect (an “aura” or “allure”) which they can turn on and off at will (as opposed to Veela having a befuddling effect that is connected to their voice and movements, in addition to general extreme attractiveness).

    • Muggles/squibs being able to make potions.

    • Destroying/manipulating horcruxes without destroying the physical container.

    Harry

    • Characterisation of Harry which ignores his resilience and turns him into a crybaby, a nervous wreck, prone to emotional breakdowns, or infantilizes him.

    • Characterisation of Harry that ignores the strengths and talents of his canon self.

    • Harry who rants and shouts at adults as a habit, and generally comports himself like a 7-year-old having a tantrum.

    • Harry who tells his life story, including extremely private matters, to everyone he meets.

    • Harry who constantly dispenses “wisdom” to his peers, such as telling Hermione not to believe everything she sees in a book the first time he meets her. It’s transparent use of Harry as authorial avatar.

    • Harry who ditches Ron and Hermione as friends.

    • Overstating the level of the Dursleys’ abuse.

    • Harry whose wealth is overstated. He should be comfortably well off, but any galleon count that goes into the millions should be avoided.

    • Making Harry short. As an adult he should be 175 cm (5’9) at the minimum.

    • “Potter Manor”.

    • “Potter-Black” and its infinite variations.

    • “Harry likes flying, not Quidditch.”

    Other characters

    • Any kind of bashing, especially of Dumbledore. Bashing turns characters into shallow cardboard cut-out villains who exist solely for Harry to knock down easily and thus look powerful/important/clever for doing so. But because the villain has been hollowed out, his defeat of them carries no glory. He’s playing on easy mode.

    • In particular, stupid/comic/jealous relief Ron, evil or incompetent Dumbledore, scheming Ginny, smothering Molly, “harpy” Hermione.

    • Making Harry the only character who is capable of learning. Another common feature of bashing is rehashing the same conflict over and over, where a villain doesn’t learn anything from the previous conflict and continues to make plans using their old, now disproven assumptions.

    • Genius Hermione. She’s undoubtedly clever, hard working, and has a very good memory. All laudable qualities. But she’s no Dumbledore, or even a Snape.

    • A Hermione who identifies more as a Muggle than a witch.

    • A Fleur whose identity revolves around her Veela heritage as opposed to being a talented witch who just so happens to be extremely beautiful.

    • Any characterisation of Voldemort which makes his worldview reasonable or removes his psychopathy.

    • Characterisation of Voldemort which presents him as having lost mental faculties relative to his teenage self.

    • Characterisation of Snape that makes him too noble, or affable once you gain his respect.

    • Characterisation of Snape that makes him a one dimensional evil villain.

    • A Grindelwald who is made a 1-to-1 analogy of Hitler, or has functional connections to Hitler.

    Plot

    • Lack of plot structure.

    • Any change made to the HP world which does not have corresponding changes to character motivations and actions. For example, in canon Voldemort could not penetrate Privet Drive during the summer. If your fanon makes it so that him taking Harry’s blood does allow him to penetrate Privet Drive, you should also change character behaviours to match - Dumbledore would know this, and act accordingly. When an author changes the world but keeps Dumbledore’s actions the same, and then criticises him in the story for those unsuitable actions, what the author is really doing is having the characters criticise their own poor writing.

    • Fics that have Harry pick up a book in year five only to discover the “real nature of magic”. He’s been at magic school for several years and has been getting pretty good grades. He already knows the real nature of magic. Authors always underestimate the extent of Harry’s knowledge. Just because we’re not shown it doesn’t mean he’s not learning it.

    • Taking an absence of an explicit explanation in canon and assuming a plot hole that can be exploited, rather than something that the reader just doesn't know. E.g. Magically binding agreements exist in canon but they are not used extensively to guarantee loyalty and honesty across society. Since the limitations on oaths/contracts are not explicitly explained, the author assumes that there are no limitations and wizards are just too stupid to have seen the exploit.

    • Romantic partners who do not have their own lives, with their own circle of friends, their own dreams and ambitions which may clash with their partner’s plans, their own opinions and beliefs which differ in some areas from those of their partner.

    • Naive sex god eunuch Harry. That is, having female characters be attracted to Harry precisely because he’s so insecure and freaks out at anything sexual. “You behave completely asexually, which is exactly why I want to have sex with you!” said no woman ever.

    • Fics where Voldemort just sits around making pointless terrorist attacks but never actually does anything to try to take control of the wizarding world until a “final battle” with no strategic purpose.

    • Inconsistency in the abilities that characters possess, especially their level of duelling ability or the use of any special talents. This inconsistency is more often than not used to force the plot in a direction which it would not naturally go, given those abilities.

    • Rehash of the canon plotlines with no significant changes. Especially where the divergent elements of the fic mean that events should logically diverge, yet the fic finds ways to force the original canon storyline.

    • Depiction of magical warfare that ignores the high mobility and stealth capabilities of wizards, as well as the relative lack of need for natural resources or land. We should be seeing skirmishes for strategic objectives, not significant pitched battles.

    • As above, time travel/dimension travel stories where the travelling character very quickly ends up telling their life story to people they barely know.

    • Time-travel/dimension-travel stories in which there is more than one travelling character, or the character(s) are able to move back and forth between times/dimensions.

    • Letters to Harry from his dead parents.

    • Discovering the Potter will.

    • “Pranks”

    • Goblin ex machina.

    Writing

    • Spelling mistakes and typos.

    • Grammatical errors.

    • Run-on sentences.

    • Purple prose.

    • Self-insert.

    • Walls of text.

    • Incorrect dialogue formatting.

    • Author notes in the middle of the text.

    • Breaking the 4th wall.

    • Preachy authorial mouthpiece characters.

    • Juvenile humour.

    • “Pup”
     
  5. Download

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    I understand almost your entire list except for that one.
     
  6. Moukaboy

    Moukaboy Banned

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    Ditches as in he was their friend and broke it off, or he was never their friend?
    Because the latter is very understandble and even expected if it's even a slightly different Harry.

    I think they'd have some procedures in place
    Please do explain , I think it would make sense for them to have some procedures, they are the elite after all and they have to deal with some scary shit.
     
  7. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    Grey.
    --- Post automerged ---
    You forgive very little, my friend, but surely this can be excused if it's not found in every sentence.
     
  8. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Alchemist

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    I'm not sure if I have too much canonical backing on it, but I'd like to think that aurors are somewhat analogous to Mass Effect Spectres. Elite folks (I hesitate to use the word 'operative', but they mostly would be) who operate alone or in pairs with minimal oversight to complete their given objective/capture their dark wizards. Maybe they would sometimes have to do things that their "bosses" don't want to know, or are better off not knowing, to complete their investigations or to bring the dark wizard to justice.
     
  9. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    That's... I think the best comparison I've seen that's immediately clear to anyone who knows ME. Although personally I'd compare Aurors to Alliance N troops. The best, but not quite as free-for-all as the Spectres. And even among Spectres you see differences. Saren was the ultimate "Imma do what I want" guy, while human Spectres still liked procedure and military command structure.

    And I will end it here, before I derail the thread into a ME discussion.
     
  10. Agent One

    Agent One Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    I'm kind of in the opposite here.

    I've always just thought of the Ministry as a mirror image of the muggle government and just a few changes.

    I've always thought of Aurors as just wizarding police officers but that in war time they would double as soldiers or whatever. The roster probably looks quite different between peacetime and wartime though.

    Plus, it's not like there has been any major dark activity from Voldemort's first demise to GoF. Most Death Eaters seem to have either been imprisoned or are friends with the minsiter or friends with friends of the Minister.

    And while I wouldn't say they have procedures, they probably just use common sense.

    "Hey, I think we should ask the nearby shopkeepers what they saw."

    "Good idea. I'll check in with the boss".

    No procedures, just common sense.
     
  11. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    I disagree with @Taure concerning Fleur identifying with Veela. I know I identify with my heritage. It's not at the forefront of everything I do, but there's definitely an identity there. Most people I meet, unless they utterly isolated from any element of their heritage, will identify with it in some way. So, why must Fleur be any different? I think having her not identify with being part Veela does a disservice to her humanity because it's human nature to identify in that way.

    Sure, in the books we don't see it, but that could very well be because she has no need of such a conversation with Harry. However, if there's a Harry/Fleur fic, then that conversation is more likely to come up.
     
  12. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    Because if we don't see it's just speculation that she does based on our own beliefs (thus headcanon). She might do, she might not. Personally, I don't care about that, but to someone more enthusiastic about canon I can see how that inclusion might trouble them.
     
  13. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    That logic doesn't make sense. In that case, no one uses the bathroom, takes a shower, builds a house (they just exist), or any one of a thousand other normal, everyday events that JKR didn't include simply because it didn't benefit the story arc.
     
  14. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    I, unlike you, don't identify with my heritage. Does it make sense now?
     
  15. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Definitely would go with thelazyreader on this one, not that I have strong opinions on whether or not she does - just that you can write her in any way, kinda?
     
  16. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Considering the perceived stigma there is on blood-status and half-breeds in general it doesn't quite make sense that she woudn't identify with her cultural heritage, but that could be a quirk of her families status and other such topics that weren't covered at large, and as already stated.

    I think that certain aspects of heritage in general is a bit much for JK's bigger picture and so she didn't go into any larger detail for any other sects of magic users. I mean, all that we knew about Hagrid was that he was half-giant. And the only reason he took in his brother was because he was the runt (right?) and it was more a familial bond then, than a cultural bond.

    Fleur is in the thick of it with the other characters, Bill, the Weasleys, the tournament, the order. Her job. Its assimilation at its finest,a not something I expect someone like JK to be able to understand or be able to write it in a way that the people reading her books would understand.
     
  17. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I've always written Fleur as someone who is trying to fight against the preconceived notions of what being a Veela (or part-Veela) means, and therefore considers herself a witch first and foremost. Like, you're either a witch, or not a witch. There's not really a middle ground.
     
  18. Agent One

    Agent One Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    This is actually a pet peeve for fandoms other than Harry Potter though it does originate from HP.

    When the protagonists just wants to be "normal". It originates from Harry wanting to be a normal kid. It's a bit weird though when Naruto, a guy who wants to be hokage, just wants to be a "normal" shinobi. Or when Percy Jackson, who could never find his place in the mortal world and has all his friends and family in the Greek world, just wants to be "normal". How about those stories where the Doctor from Doctor Who gives up being a Timelord and settles down in one place?

    Heck, even Harry was interested in wanting to be the Tri Wizard tournament and even showed hints of using his Chosen One status to get girls in HBP.
     
  19. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Nope.

    I don't know about you or your heritage, but if your heritage doesn't have anything that produces defining traits in you from those around you, then perhaps you either don't care, or just aren't aware of how much it actually affect you. Either way, not my business. My only point is that she has a heritage that makes her stand out among others. So, whether she dislikes or likes it, whether she ignores it or deals with it, the Veela element is going to be a little more to the forefront with her, if for no other reason that typical societal response. In JKR's wizarding society, there's fear/derision of the Other all over the place, and particularly in the Death Eaters. To think someone like Fleur wouldn't be faced with that, either actively or passively, makes no sense in the JKR's construct. And, if she is faced with it, then she's faced with dealing with and identifying with or even against her heritage.
     
  20. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    Yet she can still simply not identify with the veela. People are different, that's my point. Canon points that she doesn't identify with them, if this isn't true is the matter for conjecture and speculation. I'm not against writing her that way, because it makes sense, but I don't pretend it's canon. (Btw, my situation is not that different from Fleur's, and while I know people like me that are deeply affected by it, I'm not. People are different, man)
     
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