Author has written 3 stories for Harry Potter, and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
Universal Disclaimer: I do not own anything that will be written about on this website. If you recognize it, then it belongs to someone else. If you don't, then I still probably don't, because I don't like to use OCs much.
NOTICE: As of today, I'm looking for someone good at art and who might be interested in creating book covers for the Harry Granger series. Due credit will of course be given. Anyone interested please send an email to Nathan dot Reinecke12 at gmail dot com with samples attached. For bonus points, you can also pitch either a concept or an actual cover for Harry Granger and the Mirror of Erised, so I can see what kind of cover you had in mind.
Gray Fedora's List of Favorite Plot Elements
Note: These only work if done well. If you bollocks it up, it just makes me more pissed at you.
1. The Plot Twist: Coming in two flavors, to boot. Type A plot twists are my preference. These are the twists that are led up to throughout an entire work, dropping subtle hints along the way, all culminating in a big reveal where all the pieces suddenly come together. At it's best, the reader won't predict it at all, but when the reveal occurs they'll be kicking themselves for not seeing it sooner. A good example, although not quite at the highest level, is the Harrycrux, or Snape being in love with Lily. Type B plot twists are the polar opposite. Where Type A have hints leading up to it, Type B come completely out of left field. Often used for shock value, or to tear down people's predictions in a Whedon-esque fervor, a Type B plot twist has a bit of a lead-up, but only immediately before it is revealed. These are far more common, and by extension, far less interesting. However, when done really, really well, it often ends up quite good.
2. The Wibbly-Wobbly Effect: I admit it, I'm a fan of Steve Moffat. The Wibbly-Wobbly Effect, WWE from here on, is essentially a more interesting variation on the Stable Time Loop. Where a normal Stable Time Loop often involves one or two trips to the past, WWEs invoke multiple trips, forwards and backwards, culminating in the entire plot being set up by the characters some time after they've already finished it, through a series of what would have appeared beforehand to be coincidences or otherwise totally normal things happening. The key difference between invoking the WWE and an ordinary Stable Time Loop is in the complexity. A Stable Time Loop is something like the Time Turner sequence from Prisoner of Azkaban; one trip to the past and a small handful of what appear to be minor changes when in actuality everything is really happening exactly the same way. When WWE is invoked, it often involves several trips, and the actions of the characters are directly influenced by their future selves, such that they do exactly what they're supposed to; Steve Moffat is the king of this element, and for a prime example one need look no further than the Doctor Who episodes "The Lodger" and "The Big Bang."
3. The Butterfly Effect: The staple of an AU, or, if done in-story, the counter to the Stable Time Loop. Essentially emphasizing causality, the Butterfly Effect, also known by its trope name of For Want of a Nail, puts forward that one change made in the timeline of a story can drastically alter the course of events. It follows that an action leads to certain effects. Those effects then influence other actions, which have their own effects, and so on. By changing the original action, you end up with entirely different effects, which lead to different actions, which lead to different effects. Essentially, by altering one small part of the timeline, you change an entire section of it, expanding however far back you've gone. Basically, by stepping on a butterfly in Prehistoric times, we end up with a world dominated by monkeys. So if you ever travel back in time, please watch out for butterfly's.
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