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Author has written 49 stories for Harry Potter, and Titanic.
A Bit About Me
Nationality: English. Therefore, please, please do not message me telling I have spelt something wrong. Unless it's a glaring error, like spelling 'cat' with a 'g' and two 'x's, please check first that it's not just a difference between American and English spelling. There are differences and it's very annoying to be told I've made mistakes when I haven't. If I have made an error, and it's not just a difference in spelling, then I will happily correct it. If not, please don't message me about it!
About my pen-name: Dogstar is the name of a star (or constellation, I can never remember) called Sirius, and ebony, obviously, is a synonym for Black. I am in major Sirius Black denial. He was always my favourite Potter character, so I was not happy with JKR during Phoenix. But it does make me smile whenever I get a proud email from someone telling me they worked out what my name means, so maybe I'll remove this explanation. Elsewhere (i.e on just about any other site requiring a username) I generally use either dogstar-ebony, or twilightdogstar.
I'll accept anyone's writing challenges, as I'm always looking for something new to sink my teeth into, and I'm happy to beta for anything anyone wants help with, simply because I know how unbelievably frustrating it can be to have an idea in your head and not be able to convey it in the way you'd like. Just PM me.
As far as the Potterverse goes, I read most things. Obviously I have my ships, though the only ones I feel particularly strongly about are Ron/Hermione and James/Lily. I do like a bit of Remus/Sirius slash although I don't ship it in canon at all or even consider either of them so much as curious, but the story has to be written well for me to enjoy it. I tend not to write from Harry’s perspective, as I don’t like him very much as a character. My favourite to write as is Ron; I find it easiest to slip into his personality. The good thing about the Potterverse is that it is so enormous that the potential is incredible, and there are some amazing what-if stories on this site.
When I write and review, I will always try to follow my Golden Rules below:
1) I will always review honestly and as kindly as possible. However, this does not mean that if I spot an error in punctuation that I will not point it out to you. I take my writing seriously, and I always appreciate it when someone spots a mistake I have made so I can correct it. Therefore, if you get offended by my correcting you, I simply won't read or review your stories anymore, because it irritates me to read poorly-written work and why should I waste my time when you clearly aren't willing to spend yours getting it right? I will always be as kind as possible; I do not believe in flaming.
2) I will not leave it too long between updates. I know how unbelievably frustrating it is waiting for the next chapter to a story that feels like it's never going to arrive. And if an update has been a long time coming, I will make the new chapter extra long as penance for my laziness.
3) I will stick to canon as far as possible, and if I do warp it for the sake of a story, I will always fully explain every action and difference rather than simply expecting the reader to accept, "It's an AU therefore nothing needs explaining!". I hate when fics do this, just as I hate random "Let's send everyone back in time for no reason and then randomly cross-over with Buffy/LOTR/Star Wars etc just because I think it would be cool!" fics. If there is a decent storyline behind it, fair enough; if not, don't bother, and neither will I.
Similarly, all characters will behave in character, and if their character does not fit my storyline, I will change the storyline or abandon it entirely, not warp the character to fit my story. I have seen far too many stories that make the character up as they go along.
4) I will always leave a proper review, explaining the parts that worked, the parts that need tweaking, and the bits I loved. This is because I cannot stand it when people leave three-word reviews, or say simply, "I like it. Update." or "It's good." Perhaps it's the perfectionist in me, perhaps I'm just egotistical, but I aspire to write professionally, and I simply cannot improve if I don't know where I'm going wrong and what I'm getting just right. So tell me. Just as I will always tell you in my reviews. I work hard on my stories and I always try to be creative and get it as perfect as I possibly can before I post it, so I always appreciate it when people review, and I always try to reply to their reviews as far as possible, to say thank you. In review replies I will also answer any queries and address any suggestions that might have arisen. Reviews are just as important as the stories.
5) I will never, ever, favourite an author or a story, or add either to alert, unless I have first reviewed their work, because I find it unbelievably frustrating when people do it to me. This is one of my biggest pet hates. My logic behind this is simple; if you liked the story enough to want to read more, or to favourite it, and especially if you like my style enough to add me to your alert list, then surely you like it enough to tell me what it is you liked? This again is related to point #4. The whole point of this site, surely, is to help people improve, not just gain online popularity?
6) If I have added an author or a story to Alert, I will read everything they post and I will review everything they post. This, again, is related to points #4 and #5 – if I have alerted someone then clearly I want to read more, and if I have read then I will comment.
7) Possibly my biggest irritation of all and therefore my most solemn promise. I will NEVER EVER EVER use ANY of the following 'nicknames' for any of the characters I write as:
- "Mione" This is my absolute worst. I will usually automatically stop reading a fic if I discover this - there have been VERY rare cases when I've been able to look past it due to the quality of the writing, but these are few and far between. Hermione is never once called anything other than 'Hermione', "Miss Granger", or mangled variations of Viktor Krum's invention in canon. Not even by Ron when he is trying to annoy her, or butter her up. I can't stand this shortening, (you might just as well write “Hermy” and be done with it) and therefore avoid fics that use it, just as I will never use it. Update: 11/11/08 - Clichesbullet has brought it to my attention that in Portuguese and Brazilian translations this is, in fact, canon due to a grammatical rule, so I apologise to anyone I may have offended or upset and I promise that in future I will check the nationality of the author before I abandon a fic based on the use of this name. However, I will still never ever use this shortening of Hermione's name in anything I write myself.
- "Lils" Again, both Lily Potters will only ever be called "Lily" in my fics, with the elder being called "Evans" and the younger being called various endearments such as "squirt". Never "Lils". It sounds so old-lady-ish, and not in keeping with either of their characters.
- "Ronald" Yes, Ron's real name is Ronald, and yes, he does get called it sometimes. But only by Hermione when she's being patronising or annoyed at him (or, if the films are anything to go by, ALL THE BLOODY TIME), or by Molly when she’s angry enough to be in Offspring’s-Full-Name-Mode, and not randomly by every other character, as some fics do. I know some characters, like Luna, do occasionally call him by his full name, but not all the time. Therefore, Ron will only be called "Ronald" when Hermione is bickering with him or one of his siblings is trying to irritate him.
I can't think of any more just now but these are the worst offenders as far as I am concerned.
Similarly, I will spell every character's name CORRECTLY. If I am unsure of a spelling, I will CHECK it in canon. I have come across FAR too many stories which claim to be canon and yet star such characters as "Lilly", "Hermoine", and "professor Macgonagall". The sheer amount of stories which misspell the name "Lily" is astonishing. It's pure laziness, and unless you're using Notepad, or you’re a troll, there's no excuse for not spell-checking either.
8) I will stay as in-character as possible. There is nothing more irritating than reading a fic where someone has mangled a character, simply to suit their 'plot', particularly when it's your favourite character. So I hate stories that show Hermione as this suddenly gorgeous, sexy vixen with superhuman levels of confidence and who is no longer a bookworm, let alone friends with Ron and Harry; or Draco as The Ultimate Sex God Who Everyone Secretly Fancies Especially Harry; or random incest stories between the Weasleys (yes, I have found one, and it wasn't even Ginny/Weasley Brother, it was Charlie/Ron). The worst culprit I ever found was one where Ron was sexually abusing Hermione who found solace in the arms of Draco, which was so ridiculously OOC I could barely read past the summary. This works the opposite way too – I will not exaggerate certain characteristics to suit my plot. This means that, for example, I will not make Ron borderline mentally subnormal so that Hermione can head into the sunset with her 'true' love, Harry (even though I am violently against that ship), nor will I make Harry relentlessly, senselessly furious 24/7, despite the fact that he does spend a lot of Book 5 shouting.
Of course, I do bend this rule myself occasionally, but never to the above extents. And although I don't believe that things like Remus/Sirius slash are canon whatsoever, I have found several stories that were well-written enough that I could enjoy them. Non-canon plots are fine; just don't rewrite the character's personality!
What goes hand in hand with this rule is also setting a non-AU fic in the 'real' universe just for the sake of doing it: by 'real', I mean taking the Cullens to Disneyland randomly or having Hermione meet a famous actor for no reason (I recently found a very worrying story starring the Weasley twins and Lance Bass of N*Sync doing very, very wrong things - and when I say 'wrong' I refer to the extreme incest not the slash) just because I think it would be a good idea. These are very, very rarely good fics and usually only succeed if they are parodies: however, having said this, if and when I find a good one, I'll mention it here as an exception.
9) I don't do a whole lot of reading on here as I prefer writing, but if I find a story, or an author, that I enjoy, I will share the joy by recommending them here or in new updates, particularly if they are criminally under-reviewed. My current favourites are below:
I'm going to use this section to plug authors or stories I've found that I feel need more recognition, either because they're criminally under-reviewed or because I think they're amazing.
1) oXXb00kw0rmXXo has written several superb AU Lupin-centric fics, all of which are extremely well thought out and beautifully written. I should know, I beta for her. They are criminally under-reviewed, and it really is a shame. Her new story, Home, can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5124789/1/
2) Lua-under-water is an outstanding writer. Lots of Remus/Sirius but all written so beautifully that it seems almost plausible. This oneshot, Counter Feat, is a Sirius-centric fic, and it's absolutely incredible. I adore it. Click this link to read it. http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4486235/1/. All of Lua's work is wonderful, though: I'd recommend every single story.
3) True Love Never Did, by Realmer06, is quite possibly the best Ron-and-Hermione-getting-together fic I have ever found, and I've found a lot of them.
It can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3938585/1/ and I absolutely recommend it, because it is perfect. It makes me jealous because it is something I'd have been proud to say I wrote.
4) Katrina Marie Pace has a story called What If? which can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3044795/1/. It's a multi-chaptered fic with a Draco/Harry pairing centered around Draco somehow travelling back to his first meeting with Harry and fixing it so that they end up friends, and eventually more. Not your average time-travelling slash though: it explores the consequences of this action, and is well-thought out and beautifully written. I normally don't really like slash all that much, but this is wonderful.
5) From The Case Files of Hermione Granger: Genius has the disclaimer: "one last warning: this is stupid. Don’t say you weren’t warned..." It is a very, very funny parody, which can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2078106/1/
More to come as I see fit.
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