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WIP The Mind Arts by Wu Gang - T

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by Haze, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Scott

    Scott Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    Does anyone else think the Dementor-type power shit is just lame? It won't put me off the story and I can get that the author wanted Harry to come up with some cool new spell or power but I think it's horrible.

    I liked that the Dementors effected him so much and shown that he has weaknesses but then he gets over it, which is fine but then Dementorpower!Harry... no.
     
  2. A Lizard By

    A Lizard By Any Other Name

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    It's pretty damn edgy. "I am a dementor..." /hairflip

    ...
    Anyway. I guess I get where he was going with the emotion draining comparison, but being able to feel emotions and being able to copy the Dementors' one damn trick might be stretching it.

    To be honest I'm mostly just upset the whole conquering his fear of dementors thing wasn't more satisfying. He kind of just up and did it one day. Maybe I'd feel better about him stealing their power if it felt like he earned it.

    I now realize I'm basically echoing Genghiz Khan's sentiment about the lack of satisfaction in Harry's accomplishments. Harry studies some stuff, Harry mimics godlike power, Harry writes a paper about it...

    That said, I am looking forward to the next chapter. I think(hope) the author is hitting his stride.
     
  3. Lindsey

    Lindsey Death Eater

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    The author rewrote parts of the first three chapters before posting a new chapter.

    I think the rewrites are much better (the first scene in chapter one reminds me of Joe's Wasteland Of Time), by explaining more about Harry, his magic and his improvements in the Mind Arts. If the author keeps going with his rewrite, I believe the series will become increasingly better. It's obvious he has taken some suggestions in mind.

    This is the case in the newest chapter, where he gives us a few paragraphs from what he is reading and a deeper dive into various magical systems. I still think he needs a betareader; someone who can let him know what needs to be improved (such as his conversation with Neville: what is harry suggesting? Practicing the torture curse on Neville?). The plot does not move forward much, but it deals with character building and the introduction of a powerful ally or enemy for Harry. Lastly, we learn that Harry thinks he knows more than he does, and it turns out he may have made a huge mistake. It's strange how little he feels about this though.

    Here is the link for those interested: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12740667/15/The-Mind-Arts
     
  4. 99redbloons

    99redbloons Third Year DLP Supporter DLP Bronze Supporter

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    I think that Harry is offering to let Neville practice the torture curse on him, not the other way around.
     
  5. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    It still needs more rewritting.
     
  6. fire

    fire Auror

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    The grammatical errors are fucking intolerable.
     
  7. quixoticcool

    quixoticcool First Year

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    If you think the grammar is bad you should pay more attention to the actual story. I got to chapter 6 before I couldn't take it anymore. Every chapter begins and ends with a literary quote so Wu Gang can fellate himself over how well read he is, for chapter 6 he chose Ayn Rand "Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins." The sheer irony and lack of self awareness, to staple that quote on the front of a chapter in a story that has the audacity to call itself The Mind Arts as it depicts a sociopathic Harry Potter throwing torture curses at schoolyard bullies and altering the minds of his "friends" as Albus Dumbledore looks on proud of his new protege, is mind blowing.

    I read through this thinking the entire time that something was seriously wrong and by then I had realized it; I hate this Harry Potter. He lacks a single redeeming feature and his friends, teachers, and mentor all ignore his glaring personality flaws seemingly solely because they have read the script. Not a single character in this reacts in a way that seems appropriate to events in the story. The very first quote, the first line of the story, is Snape on how legilimency is not mind reading; this is of course soon followed by Harry straight up reading the minds of everyone around him from his childhood onward. There is very little that could be done worse with this concept. 1/5
     
  8. Agent One

    Agent One Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    What I really don't get about stories that use quotes is why they usually have nothing to do with the actual chapter at all.

    I just found this quote online: "Keep your face always towards the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you". Now if this quote had been used in chapter where Harry is struggling with the connection with Voldemort's connection and his friends support him, then that would be understandable. But in most fics, they'd just pop it in any old chapter like a Diagon Alley shopping scene.
     
  9. James018

    James018 Third Year

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    While I agree with some of your points, I can't help but wonder if you're misreading the story's concept. For mine it is obvious, and meant to be obvious, that this Harry has serious morality issues. A significant plot thread is the people around him, and Harry himself, realising that and their different reactions. Dumbledore, for instance, seems to be mentoring Harry for precisely that reason: he wants to try and prevent him from becoming an out-and-out sociopath.

    If you don't like reading a story where you dislike the main character then that's completely fair (I have stopped reading stories for that exact reason). But it doesn't automatically mean the story is terrible.
     
  10. quixoticcool

    quixoticcool First Year

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    Perhaps that would make sense except I'd have to assume that Dumbledore is a complete and utter idiot since he would have to think that enabling someone to the point where they are casting torture curses on their classmates and habitually violating peoples minds is somehow helping prevent them from becoming a sociopath. If any character actually made any effort to help Harry rather than enable and ignore his obvious deficits it could potentially be an interesting plot point. Instead it just destroys any ability to believe in the characters as being anything other than unfeeling mouthpieces for an oblivious author. Harry isn't just someone with morality issues in this fic he's a monster who torments other children and forcefully alters the minds of even his own supposed friends, again that could be a plot point but instead the author treats it like its some side issue in favor of a mostly canon rehash as Harry performs actions that make young Tom Riddle look like a saint to the general praise of 12 year olds and Albus Dumbledore.
     
  11. Wu Gang

    Wu Gang Squib

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    I think somewhere here you crossed a line between polite criticism and rudeness, probably when you likened me including quotes I find relevant to sucking my own dick.

    Why I chose that quote was to highlight that in this world force doesn't always end where the mind begins. Indeed to demonstrate some irony.

    I think with themes of addiction that I am trying to incorporate that legilimency is more than just the reading of a mind like a book. Instead it can have long term consequences on a person.

    That aside I wanted to thank you for bringing up what I feel is a good point. In trying to highlight some of Harry's tendencies I likely did take it a bit too far in some of his reactions and I wanted to thank you for that. I'll add it to things I mean to rewrite.
     
  12. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    I'm not sure I totally agree here. Casting torture curses on classmates and all that seems to be precisely where Harry is acting outside the boundaries he's given. Dumbledore has given Harry boundaries. He doesn't enforce them to the same extent as a parent might, but he did give Harry a book which caused him to rethink casting the killing curse. Furthermore, Harry's reluctance to actually cast the curse speaks to his credit here. The entire Neville/Harry torture curse thing would probably not be met with a pat on the head and a twinkle, I would wager. Dumbledore also did, iirc, tell Harry in the very first chapter that violating someone else's mind is not considered polite. How could you enforce a ban on mind magic on someone who practices it on people not equipped to deal with it anyway?

    Also, how would someone help Harry here? And who would it be? The author is correct in making his friends immature teenagers: any of them being mature in helping him would be weird at this age. Extra concern from teachers, on the other hand, is warranted, and I would appreciate seeing more of that in this story.

    Harry doesn't particularly torment other children, does he? It's been a while since I read the fic, but I remember some specific incidents which relate to Nott and Malfoy in particular, but no one else. I would classify them as bullying/schoolyard fights, won't you? They're magical, wouldn't their schoolyard fights be more magical than the stuff we go through?
     
  13. quixoticcool

    quixoticcool First Year

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    The whole point of that Rand quote is that in using force the mind is subverted or destroyed, Harry is incapable of being a moral being (at least in Randian thought) due to his use of force. That his force is exercised directly on the brain still leaves it separate from the philosophical "mind" and morality. The irony is your lack of understanding of a philosophy not any lack of relevance to a conceived fictional universe.

    As far as your rewrite goes my primary advice is to completely overhaul the interactions between Harry and other people especially Dumbledore and his friends. I can't speak for after chapter 5 since as I said I literally could not keep reading further, but for the first five chapters no character demonstrates an appropriate reaction to any action Harry takes. Harry continually pushes the line well beyond acceptable moral behavior violates taboos and laws all to nearly no reaction from anyone. There's nothing wrong with writing a protagonist whose behavior is morally wrong but Harry in this fic basically exists in a vacuum of morality he has none and people he interact with demonstrate none, thus his lack of morality is meaningless rather than a source of conflict.
    --- Post automerged ---
    Hopefully the automerge catches this.


    I'm not entirely sure you read the same fic I did or perhaps it simply changes that much in the later chapters. As you mention Dumbledore did indeed warn Harry that it was impolite to violate others minds which makes it odd that Dumbledore gives him books on mind magic as gifts and midway through his very first year at Hogwarts allows him to steal books on mind magic from the restricted section. In either his first or second year ( I can't quite recall) Harry duels Nott and despite demonstrating he can easily defeat him with normal spells also casts a torture spell on him specifically to make him suffer. Nobody reacts to this. Hermoine bring sup that he has been reading "Non-Fatal Curses" a book defined by doing everything short of straight up killing (and even then some of the curses can kill) and is immediately assuaged by harry's "Dumbledore knows" in their First Year. Harry is straight up encouraged by his mentor to violate morality and his friends are not "immature" they are nonreactive, these are 11 year olds who apparently think hanging out with an amoral and violent person is normal.
     
  14. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Groundskeeper

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    I believe other users have said this already, but one problem with this is the overuse of report-like prose: most of the time we're not brought into the scene, just told things that happened, like in a diary. Another is the application of an interesting concept to a beaten-to-death plot. Harry got this intriguing talent for reading minds and catching flashes of memories and feelings and he uses this to get stronger? Was there really nothing else you could do this with this?
     
  15. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    So I don't really see Dumbledore's actions, giving him books on mind magic, that is, as going against what a responsible guardian should do. It's much better to control the direction of knowledge than forcing a person to go to illicit sources where the level of both quality and control would be suspect. Dumbledore presumably thought that giving him these books would assuage his curiosity and/or help him in harnessing whatever he's going through. If I were in Harry's place and Dumbledore simply refused to help me out at all and outright banned me from studying mind magic, I'd probably do something drastic.

    I remember the Nott incident which is being talked about, and I agree that Harry should have been reprimanded. I have pointed out to the author that Harry's actions have had very few consequences for him and this makes for remarkably dry story-telling.

    Regarding "Non-fatal curses", do remember that the book is present in a school library. Even if we take the Hogwarts Library as being the be all end all for knowledge in the HP world and not just a normal school library, there's nothing wring with reading a book on any kind of curses (including unforgiveables). Reading about torture techniques is not the same as performing torture, and I fail to understand why reading up on it should provoke any kind of reaction from anyone with half a brain. As long as Hermione doesn't see him perform any curse from that book on another student, I don't think she should have any kind of negative reaction.

    Harry doesn't show regular violent tendencies, if I remember my reading of the fic. As I've noted previously, Harry's violent tendencies tend to manifest around Malfoy and Nott only. I agree he went too far with the torture curse on Nott, but if he wasn't detected (I don't remember if he was or not), then who would reprimand him? In addition, the violence with Malfoy was a striaght-up schoolyard brawl, nothing else. And finally, I'm not sure what's wrong with being amoral. As long as you're not outrightly immoral and do not violate the law, who cares about your moral worldview?
     
  16. quixoticcool

    quixoticcool First Year

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    I'm honestly beginning to think you're fucking with me though I hope that's not the case. When your kid starts slicing the backyard squirrels to pieces the responsible guardian could hardly be expected to buy the kid a few biology textbooks and let him run wild, this is essentially what Dumbledore does however. In the face of an immoral invasion of his mind by Harry Dumbledore says "that's not okay"(to paraphrase) but immediately turns around and rewards him with books on how to do it better and no further guidance.

    Likewise any sane person including another child should probably find something very wrong with an eleven year old reading "The Connoisseurs Guide to Waterboarding Thumbscrews and other Techniques of Torture", Non-Fatal Curses is explicitly said to be a manual on how to cast these spells taken directly from the restricted section of the library.

    Harry shows nothing but violent tendencies his first encounter with Malfoy he purposely assaults his mind in response to nothing more than a verbal jibe, he deliberately escalates and forces a duel with Malfoy just so that he can injure him. He attacks the minds of his peers and even his friends. He casts a torture curse on another child just because he can. This is not amorality it is straight up immorality and all of this is before he has even turned 13.
     
  17. CleanRag

    CleanRag Groundskeeper

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    Dude, legilimancy is considered a slightly sketchy practice, it is not analogous to torturing small animals, rape, or murder. Dumbledore uses it on a regular basis, and in fact used it on Harry first. It is more like he bought him a book on lockpicking or how to tell better lies. He knew nothing about Nott, and even if he did, Nott threw a fireball at him first, arguably worse than what Harry did.
     
  18. quixoticcool

    quixoticcool First Year

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    Legilimency in CANON is considered a slightly sketchy practice, in this fic it's fully capable of altering the minds of others this is a practice undeniably worse than torturing small animals, rape, or murder. If you honestly consider throwing a bit of fire at someone "worse" than using a spell literally named "to torment" on someone you proved you could beat without doing so I'm not entirely sure what to say.
     
  19. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter

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    And hyperbole is hyperbolic. Pardon me as I clutch my pearls.

    Somehow I think that if Dumbledore happened upon an 11 year old raping, murdering, or torturing squirrels, he'd do more than advise said 11 year old, "Please don't do that." (And it goes without saying that he wouldn't gift said 11 year old with a rare book titled How to Rape, Murder, and Torture Squirrels for Fun and Pleasure for his birthday.)
     
  20. quixoticcool

    quixoticcool First Year

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    Dumbledore's lack of reaction to Harry's use of Legilimency is one of the many faults of this fic. I wasn't being hyperbolic at all brainwashing, the deliberate altering of the mental processes of another person is undoubtedly morally wrong it would hardly be acceptable to murder someone and replace them with another that you find agrees with you more but that is essentially what altering someones mind consists of. By encouraging and his tacit approval of Harry, Dumbledore directly leads to Harry torturing fellow classmates and altering their minds.