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

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Ched, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. 9th Doctor

    9th Doctor Groundskeeper

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    Maeve is the Lady of the winter court, and you could draw parallels between the locals extending their lives unnaturally, and the way preservation is tied to winter. Maybe it’s something that’s been nagging her since she came in, and she hasn’t been able to put her finger on it. The anticipation from the meeting stirs at the edge of her perception, and she goes looking for something- she’s not sure what.

    She runs into something that defies her- isn’t that what preservation is used for? Food being preserved to endure through winter, and she catches a bit of that preservation feeling. But this time it’s not the feeling of wholesome victorious preparation against the oncoming storm, but instead a desperate grasp at preserving life at a cost that harms the soul.

    And what she senses is that wrongness. It’s not an Outsider, but ever since then she’s taken that sort of wrongness personally, and goes to hunt it down.

    Hope it helps, or at least sets the ball rolling.
     
  2. Peregrine 2K

    Peregrine 2K Muggle

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    So I've had this rough concept of an idea for years and years, and think it's finally time for me to take a shot at actually writing it.

    Basically it'd be a Sixth Year retelling/AU with a heavy Arthurian Theme. Though don't worry I don't intend for Harry to become the Once and Future King who can kick Liz's arse off the throne whenever he wants. Anyways as I start to plan a little more I'm running into what I think off as the "Hogwarts problem". A lot of my ideas seem to work better outside of the Castle but I don't know how to get Harry (and others) away logically.

    Then I thought about going to back to my original original version of idea which featured Azkaban!Harry after the confrontation between Umbridge, Fudge and Dumbledore in OotP, he's arrested as a co-conspirator. But then I started to wonder why Voldemort wouldn't just have someone taken him to the Hall of prophecy while he was in Ministry custody. Perhaps he wouldn't be that logical in canon, but I'd like him a bit more competent.

    So Yeah I'm feel a little stuck here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  3. Silirt

    Silirt Order Member DLP Supporter

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    If you're trying to get him out of the castle, you could blow it up or something. Does Hogwarts need to continue to exist for the plot or the characters?
     
  4. Villanelle

    Villanelle Seventh Year

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    I think @Andrela once mentioned that if Hermione wasn't around, Ron and Harry would've had to start working harder on their own. That's been on my mind for a while. I also want a story where Ron is more fleshed out. I was thinking of a year 2 divergence, but I'm not sure how far reaching the consequences of Hermione dying are.

    Key differences:

    a) Voldemort never made horcruxes.
    b) the diary was just a "shade".
    c) in year two, instead of petrifying her, the Basilisk's gaze kills Hermione
    d) Dumbledore is ousted as headmaster, and Minerva takes over. With Dumbledore out of the way, Malfoy Sr. pulls some strings, and some of his less than savory friends become teachers. The class name remains DADA, but the content has a decidedly offensive and dark arts tilt, History of Magic has a very pureblood bias, and Gryffindor certainly doesn't win the house cup as often.
    e) Harry is determined to avenge Hermione, and the events in the Chamber play out more or less the same way they did in canon, with Lockhart getting obliviated. However, Ron manages to make it through with Harry and helps out. They save Ginny, and the Weasleys still go to Egypt, and Sirius escapes.

    With Voldemort not constantly breathing down his neck, Harry and Ron have a somewhat normal Hogwarts experience. Hermione isn't around to help, so they slowly start taking their studies more seriously. They certainly don't take both Runes and Arithmancy, but they also don't take the path of least resistance like they do in canon. I also want to feature magical creatures in this. I definitely don't want to be writing 100k words of training montage, so I was thinking of starting the story somewhere in year 4 or 6.

    Now there's a few problems. If Dumbledore's ousted, what's he up to? To sidestep that issue, I was also considering having Dumbledore go on a horcrux hunt (then ignore points a and b) after he's ousted, and then he dies some time after destroying the last horcrux, leaving Harry to take care of the rest of the problem.

    Where's the source of conflict, if Voldemort isn't around? There's been a lot of stories focusing on the defeat of Voldemort, but there's often the argument made that he's got decades of experience on Harry, and instead of coming up with a reason to power up Harry, I figure I'd get rid of Voldemort, and introduce another, more down-to-earth threat. If he'd truly been gone for good, would Lucius and some of the other Death Eaters be the main threat? What's their goal/purpose?

    I haven't been able to think past this in over a year, but then I don't know how to plot. So I figured I'd post this here.
     
  5. Agayek

    Agayek Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    There's plenty of ways to get Harry and Co out of the castle, though without knowing the thematic goals and background narrative for what you're aiming for, it's hard to give good recommendations. Right off the top of my head, some options are:
    1. The Ministry decides to close Hogwarts as it's too tempting a target for Voldemort.
    2. Harry's car in the Hogwarts Express gets magically yoinked on the way to school, maybe Voldemort attacks and an emergency portkey charm on the car kicks in
    3. Harry and friends walk into the Room of Requirement early in the year and are transported off somewhere
    4. Fawkes, being somehow connected to Arthurian legend, swoops in out of nowhere and brings Harry and friends where they need to be
    5. The black lake is connected to Nimue in some fashion and they get pulled in only to climb out at the shores of the lake of legend
    6. During the summer, Harry gets a mysterious visitor, much like Dobby before second year, and the meeting drives him to investigate and they get trapped away from Kings' Cross and all that
    7. Dumbledore decides to bring Harry and friends with him as they all go Horcrux hunting/training instead of trying to let Harry finish his childhood "normally"
    8. Dumbledore comes clean/Harry figures out the whole Horcrux thing earlier than cannon and so Harry gets the band together and they set off to find the things immediately instead of waiting for the next year
    9. Voldemort straight up besieges the castle and the students are forced to flee it
    Etc, etc.

    I could go on, but hopefully one of these sparks some ideas. Feel free to pm me if you want to brainstorm some other possibilities.
     
  6. Villanelle

    Villanelle Seventh Year

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    Whenever I've thought of writing fanfiction, I've always hit a roadblock with the issue of the skill discrepancy between Harry and Voldemort, and finding a reason to have Harry vanquish the Dark Lord, and not Dumbledore, like he did Grindelwald. Now, with a year 2 point of divergence, if Dumbledore dies after getting ousted from Hogwarts, then Harry is completely fucked. How is he even gonna figure out what a horcrux is? That could make for an interesting story. And if Dumbledore lives, then why can't he get rid of Voldemort?

    There many stories with that status quo, and many of them lose steam as things get more interesting. When I read canon, I remember feeling disappointed that Harry never really fought the Death Eaters. There are so many stories where Harry trains and then starts fighting the death eaters, but most of them end somewhere around there. I've never written a complete story, and I want to write something that's 50k-75k words that ends with Harry killing Tom. So, I was thinking of an earlier point of divergence.

    Lily having explored weird sacrificial magic is what saves Harry. What if instead, her sacrifice saves both Harry and James? When Voldemort casts the killing curse, Lily dies but like in canon, weird stuff happens and Voldemort dies too. He's not a weird wraith or anything, but his horcruxes are still around. He entrusted them to Lucius and Bellatrix, I imagine, to possess them and slowly resurrect himself in the unlikely event of his death.

    At any rate, Harry isn't a horcrux, and neither is he the boy who lived. James raises him, and he has a relatively normal childhood. He goes to Hogwarts, gets sorted in Gryffindor, and loves flying. While he takes after his father and Sirius to some extent, Harry tries really hard to find any kind of connection to his late mother. So, he cares about school a bit more than canon!Harry did, but more for the sake of learning magic than grades, and quits the quidditch team a lot earlier than in canon. No reason to make a hobby into something he *has* to do.

    Snape and the Potters don't have the easiest of relationships, but with James around, Harry has someone to support him when he stands up to Snape's bullying. Harry doesn't know that James and his friends are chummy with Snape, and that they all mess with a bit of dark magic. Think BajaB's Dark Marauders, and Shinysavage's Dumbledore who obliviates when necessary. Harry only finds out later, and that's basically an excuse to have Harry do some cool stuff.

    After OWLs, Harry studies for NEWTs in Transfiguration, Defense, and Charms. In his spare time, he chills with Ron, and pines for Tracey Davis when he really should be focusing on his girlfriend, Katie Bell, but it's tough to date someone who's just left Hogwarts. The romance won't really be a part of the story, but it's just there to show Harry's had a regular life so far. Other than his mum dying, nothing bad ever happened to him. He does well in school, he has hobbies, and he has a decent social life. Remus teaches DADA on and off, on account of the curse on the position, his lycanthropy, and his general lack of reliability. Sirius and James are aurors, but Amelia Bones is still head of the DMLE.

    In year six, Peter Pettigrew, the Lestranges, and the rest of the Death Eaters escapes from Azkaban, and Dumbledore reforms the Order, but there isn't much for them to do. There's a few isolated incidents of muggle baiting, but not much else. However, they know that it's only a matter of time before Voldemort comes back. At some point in 1997, somewhere in the Albanian forests, Bellatrix forces Pettigrew to drink unicorn blood from Hufflepuff's Cup, and through his death, a young-ish Voldemort rises, kinda like how the diary would have resurrected a 16 year old Tom. This Voldemort is still very powerful, but not as powerful as endgame Voldemort, and this Harry has more of a chance to fight him, what with most of the Marauders being around, and Dumbledore being here to help too.

    Chapter One of the story would be the summer before Harry's seventh year, and when he's shopping for stuff in Diagon Alley, there's the first Death Eater attack in decades, and Voldemort shows up. Chapter Two, he goes to Hogwarts, but Voldemort isn't breathing down his neck. He's busy doing Voldemort stuff, trying to take down the Ministry, and scaring people. Maybe Voldemort figured the muggleborn witch was his downfall, or maybe it was believing in a stupid prophecy. But that doesn't mean Harry won't take the fight to him. That's about as much as I've got so far. I'm not really sure about the specifics, but I know I want to write a story about Harry and his friends being directly involved in the war against Voldemort, like his parents were in the 70s. I guess that's where I'm stuck...any ideas or interest even, in something like this?
     
  7. Silirt

    Silirt Order Member DLP Supporter

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    I'm not sure the diary would have resurrected Tom. The sixteen year old wizard probably didn't know as much as the older form, and he decided it would be easier to kidnap Harry fucking Potter than use a horcrux to possess someone, so if we're saying that's a possibility, we're diverging from canon a little.
    I too am writing a long AU, and I've already published the first two books, so I'm definitely interested in this sort of thing, but if your goal in this effort is to have Harry fight Death Eaters, why diverge from canon? The whole point of making him be the boy who lived in canon was to give him a reason to fight them, rather than say 'I'm a kid, what the hell does this have to do with me?'. If he has no adventures between book 2 and book 6, how much magical knowledge and experience is he supposed to have? The whole point of learning more magic than the other kids in canon was so that he could stand a chance in the Triwizard Tournament.
    Honestly everything you have going on here seems like it would make Harry less likely and really less able to fight the Death Eaters.
     
  8. Villanelle

    Villanelle Seventh Year

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    @Silirt

    Your post gave me a lot to think about. I've re-written this post a few times, but if I don't post it now, I might never.

    There are a few reasons to deviate from canon. A lot of fics use the tragic backstory either to justify Harry doing morally questionable things, or to give him a reason to fight. I want to write a story where Harry lives a normal life, has the right guidance, and like you pointed out, no real reason to fight in the war. However, it's still Harry, and he can't just watch his parents, Remus, and Sirius fight, while he stays back. So, he joins the Order, and as the war goes on, he makes progressively more fucked up choices, and by the end, he's truly Voldemort's equal.

    Canon!Harry was a "good" guy through and through, even though he had enough reason to believe the worst in people, like Tom Riddle chose to. Ultimately, the power of love is Voldemort's undoing. In my AU, Harry turns out to be a real piece of work, even though he theoretically should have ended up like canon!Harry, considering he's a good guy Gryffindor with loving parents. Just a different spin on the thrice damned prophecy, which Harry can't escape. Even if things had gone differently, and he got to grow up with his parents, things still go tits up, just in a different way. Canon!Harry lost his parents, but he had Love. This Harry has everything canon!Harry didn't, but loses his humanity on the way to defeating Voldemort.

    I also realise that I could tell a very similar story if I stuck to canon and used say, one of the Weasley twins or Cedric Diggory as a character. Heck, one of the Mauraders during the war would do too, but I guess I just want the story to be about Harry.
     
  9. Silirt

    Silirt Order Member DLP Supporter

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    I see. In that case, perhaps the reason he fails in this story is because he never knew the value of love, never having been deprived of it. I've always believed the Dursley family basically hardened him and that in the dark of the cupboard under the stairs, he made his most formative memories. Things that would cause other kids to break down and cry challenge him, but do not defeat him.
    Anyway, it's an idea, and I know it won't leave you alone until you write it, so I'll see you in WbA.
     
  10. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    @why?

    Harry is never going to equal Voldemort in any straight up fight. Voldemort has what? 50 years of experience on him, an obsessive interest in magic, and far more natural talent to boot. So barring the author pulling some bullshit - I'm looking at you, Rowling - he does not win. Not ever.

    So what does Harry have that Voldemort lacks? He's more in touch with the muggle world and all that, more open to learning from it. This leads us down the dark path of mugglewank, and for the most part I advice you to stay away. At most, invent magical walkie-talkie or similar.

    Harry also has friends. Obviously, never ever do "the power of love and friendship prevails over evil, because reason!" This is stupid. Don't do this. However, the fact that he has friends who he'd die for, and who'd likewise presumably die for him, means that they'll be willing to do some crazier stuff than most. The trust between them might also serve to improve their teamwork. It's not a huge stretch.

    In the search for powerups, go through the world and worldbuild your ass off. Have Harry search for some remains of the texts of the library of Alexandria that may've been forgotten, ancient Egyptian, Aztec or Mayan tombs. Bungle in the Jungle has a lot of faults, but it did do a lot of neat worldbuilding. Explore what magic is, what it can do, and combine skillset A with skillset B.

    Harry might not be able to take Voldemort alone, but if he chips away at him and his supporters, and ends up in a five on one fight vs Voldemort then maybe, just maybe, they'll stand a chance. Armies have been defeated many, many times by less formidable foes due to cleverer tactics, luck, and all sorts of circumstances. One of the things you'll need to give Harry is time. Several years. He does not win at 17. Nor at 18. Nor at 19. Maybe at 25 he's done some catching up, enough to be reasonably formidable. He could work his way up Voldemort's supporters.
     
  11. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    @why?

    My problem with your initial story idea is that if Harry isn't the BWL in your story then there's no reason why he'd be the one fighting Voldemort. He's just a kid like any other in that case. Removing the connection removes an important driving factor in the story. You'd have to add something else, some goal for Harry to work towards that ends up tying into where you want your plot to go.

    Here's an idea I'm using in my own fanfic (that I might never write). Potters were traditionally inventors, and on their 17th birthday it was tradition for a Potter to unveil his first invention. There's not much to the majority of these inventions. A minor spell like ones Snape invented in school, a new prototype for a toy or candy, etc. The only major invention in recent memory was the hair gel (which is quasi-canon) and made the Potter's rich.

    But Harry in my fic tries to invent something because he sees it as a right of passage. The fact that he's working on something like this can then tie into my plot as needed. Whatever he's working on or doing in pursuit of this leads him into plot that's relevant to other plotlines.

    Maybe for your story you'd want to add in some other, different driving goal that Harry has from the start. A desire to get revenge for his mother himself, for example. Maybe James told him about some great trick/prank that he never managed to make work in school and Harry is trying his damnedest to make it work, and for some reason this ties into him encountering your version of LV when he wouldn't have otherwise.

    And I second @Zeelthor as far as canon goes. Harry isn't on LV's level. Doesn't mean you can't write an AU in which Harry does have that potential, however. Lots of people do. But without some trump cards even a Harry with LV's potential is unlikely to reach his level by 17. But trump cards are an option. The most common ones are to do with the Hallows, as those are canon.
     
  12. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Can someone (maybe @Sey) summarize the fanon!Daphne tropes? Is she supposed to look a certain way? I know she's supposed to ... not have emotions, or something, and be pureblood, and friends with Tracey Davis?
     
  13. BTT

    BTT Third Year ~ Prestige ~

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    The general fanon is that her family is pureblooded and rich but kept itself from joining one side of the war too definitively, though they do keep in touch with the other purebloods who did join Voldemort. They're usually portrayed as being more "rational" than "emotional". One example is that when marriage contracts occur, they were established for mutual financial gain rather than out of repaying some debt or out of a drunken dare. Daphne's mom is sometimes mentioned as having been Lily's friend, but that's not a constant by any means. There's no consensus on the names of her parents, and they range from the normal to the more exotic.

    Daphne herself is always blonde, curvaceous, and beautiful. If the moniker "Ice Queen" is applied (it often is) that's because Daphne is aloof, calm-minded, political, and doesn't really get along with Malfoy too well. Like you said, she's usually friends with Tracey Davis - who's either a muggleborn, in which case she's Slytherin Hermione, or she's a pureblood too, in which case she's Pansy Parkinson but prettier. Another of her soft spots is her sister, Astoria, who she dotes on. Daphne is usually above average in terms of grades, and proud of that fact, though she's not a bookworm. She often has a desire to travel, though that's not nearly as constant as the aforementioned traits.
     
  14. ChronicallyInsane

    ChronicallyInsane First Year

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    What's the best year after 3 and before 7 to kill off Hermione? Not bashing or something equally as contrived, I mean a full on horror/murder mystery with Harry as it's centerpiece.
     
  15. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    In a fanfic? Probably year 5 or 6.

    Not a ton happened plotwise in Book6 so it's easy to add things without having to significantly adjust canon events. But do it in Book5 and we get some good distraction from the tired old tropes involving how Albus ignores Harry.

    OotP or HBP for sure in my opinion. Which one depends on the rest of your story and where you're going with it.

    Maybe at the end of Book5?
     
  16. Silirt

    Silirt Order Member DLP Supporter

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    Harry's being accused of the murder himself? What comes to mind is book four, where people would believe he killed her out of jealousy after she went out with Krum.
     
  17. Nevermind

    Nevermind Auror

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    I’d go with fifth year. You don’t have the full-blown awkward unresolved sexual tension of HBP, so Ron would still be somewhat useful, Voldemort is already a factor, and Harry is probably in the worst psychological state of his Hogwarts years, particularly if you put the actual point of death after the Christmas break to couple with occlumency training.
     
  18. ChronicallyInsane

    ChronicallyInsane First Year

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    Not as such, there's going to be something clearly messed up with his headspace, and a lot of circumstantial evidence that points towards him. Basically, I've got like six paragraphs so far, and I'm trying to figure out where to go with it.


    E: I've got a general outline that I can mold fairly easily, I just need the year as the general setting.
     
  19. Silirt

    Silirt Order Member DLP Supporter

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    I see. Basically, the one thing I think you really need is a motive. Without that, no one would believe he did it in a million years. In book five he was accused of being a madman and trying to gain attention for himself, and for understandable reasons he wasn't really reacting with the ultimate height of maturity, so I guess you could have him have a public argument with Hermione, who then disappears and is later found dead.
     
  20. StrangeReport

    StrangeReport Squib

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    Hello. I'd like a few opinions on a bunny that I am considering right now.

    I've been toying with the idea of writing a story in which the prophecy refers to Harry and Neville. In this way:

    In this case, Snape did not overhear the prophecy. Voldemort continued to grow in power. Most people that oppose him live hidden and/or joined the Order. Dumbledore more or less keeps tabs on the children that could fulfill the prophecy, and once he gets to the point in which he knows that only Harry or Neville can be the 'chosen one', he keeps them and their families close(ish), helping and teaching them.

    Harry's parents are murdered by Voldemort at one point, and he ends up being raised by (still thinking about that). Either way, he and Neville grow up as close friends.

    Voldemort's power begins to grow past the country, and basically all of wizarding Britain is under his power (political, social and everything that comes with that).

    Somehow (still considering that), they find that the prophecy now refers to Neville and the Dark Lord.

    Someone (I'm seriously considering Dumbledore) kills Voldemort. And, of course, due to it not being what the prophecy stated, Dumbledore gets confused.

    After Voldemort's death, people try to catch the DEs and unmarked supporters of his. Society is in disarray due to his death and the fact that most politicians were under his command. A few people (Harry included here, but I still haven't thought of which others) decide to go and basically kill most of Voldemort's supports (DE or not).

    Not everyone agrees with that, etc.

    Neville watches as his friend, who has always been a bit more radical than he, not so slowly spirals down in a path of violence. He understands that the Dark Lord of the prophecy was not Voldemort, but Harry.

    That understanding is "the power he knows not". And he acts by:

    1) Killing Harry before he can truly become what the prophecy would refer to as "Dark Lord" (though I'd really want to avoid using "Dark Lord" as a title that exists as if it were a job description or something like that, as many fics do);
    or
    2) Obliviating Harry from any knowledge about magic, placing him in a good place in the muggle world and keeping tabs on him to see if everything is sound. The way he sees it, obliviating completely someone is just like killing them.​


    What I need are opinions on the main points where this story could wrong/fall into plotholes.

    One thing I am very out of options is how to have the Longbottoms defy Harry three times - I'm thinking of them opposing his joining the order while he's still very young, and then opposing his post-Voldemort killing spree, but those sound kinda lame, especially the second.
     
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