Author has written 17 stories for Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Kim Possible, Labyrinth, Tudors, Lord of the Rings, and Alex Rider.
Hi everyone its time for that obligatory explanations about yourself.
OK I live in England and I am 28 years old.
I enjoy reading and writing (obviously!) but I mostly write original works, which I am attempting to get published. I am not the fastest updater in the world, but I promise that everything I start will be completed. It may just take some time. ;)
My blog with a friend. We are Patchwork and we love you all. Come and read. It should be updated a bit more regularly than anything else I write - I aim for once every two weeks at first, and then once a week, when I get into a groove and no my timetable.
I'll link to other bloggers when I find them... probably.
Anything with a unique standpoint, even if the basic premise is a bit cliche. I absolutely adore stories which make me think. I love stories which a lot of research has gone into as they are typically of a higher quality. I don't have a favourite pairing, and I will read anything (except incest) so long as it is realistic in its development. Stories which take cliches and twist them are some of my favourites, as they show an original mind.
Mpreg freaks me out. I typically won't read it if it is advertised and I get annoyed if it is suddenly sprung on me in a story. If the story is good enough then I will carry on reading despite the mpreg, but for the most part it is very annoying. However, there are exceptions to every rule and I believe that I have read one enjoyable mpreg story. However the fact that the character was an alien made it easier to stomach.
Fics with no plot and are just an excuse for the author to write sex scenes for his favourite characters, so that they may live out his perverted fantasies for him. Yeah, understandable why I don't like it. Stories need plot otherwise they are porn and should not be posted on FF.net. Sex in a story is fine, but that shouldn't be all the story is.
Needless character bashing. Specifically Ron bashing. Now for the most part I like to pretend that the sixth and seventh books don't exist (except for when I steal some of the few decent things) so maybe that is the reason I don't dislike him as a character. But here is the thing, I never saw him as bad; a bit insensitive sure, and prone to jealousy but typically an alright bloke. He's also a teenager so prone to doing stupid things. He is also the character that sacrificed himself to a giant chess set when just eleven years old. Once again I can look past this though if the story is good enough, especially since so many authors enjoy bashing him.
In the opposite direction, I also dislike Holier than thou characters. This is typically done with whatever female the author is pairing Harry with, and rather then making the relationship enjoyable it just seems to make the characters seem annoying. I like characters because they are human and flawed. Now, don't flame me for saying this because as you can see from my favourite list, I have nothing against any pairing (I just want whatever pairing it is to be done well) but this is typically done with Hermione and Ginny. Since they are the most common pairings this is not surprising but it is annoying. Hermione can be stubborn, doesn't always listen and can be a bit of a nag sometimes. This is fine! This is what makes her human and I would much prefer reading a story where Harry blows up at Hermione for telling him what to do all the time, than one where he just rolls over and does what she says because Hermione is always right. The first one is much more interesting, healthy and will help both them and their relationship grow. Similarly Ginny... Ok, we simply don't know enough about her to give her any specific flaws, but the point is she does have them! The author just needs to take the time to develop them. If the author does not do this then they just turn into Mary Sues.
FLAMES. Constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated (we all do this for the feedback and to improve anyway), but to attack me personally is not on and will just be ignored. Simple. Actually, since receiving my first flame, I now see it as a badge of honour. I have joined the ranks of the many flamed, and can now say that I am truly an FF.net author.
Great Golden Dragon Challenge
The author known as Druid Star has recently created a forum dedicated to answering challenges as part of a wider competition i.e. being named The Great Golden Dragon. It sounds like a lot of fun. More information can be found in the forum itself, which is known as 'Druid Star's Great Golden Dragon Challenge'. This can be found at:
This is an awesome website which I cannot recommend highly enough: They have some links to amazing stories, so that we do not have to wade through the rubbish and Mary Sueish stories that are currently prevalant in the Narnia community. Each story is screened for quality before being posted on the website so you know your in for the good stuff. They also have a forum, chats, audio books, a few articles for the writer and cool podcasts. Everyone is also very friendly, so I encourage everyone to go onto it.
How to give good criticism
It has occurred to me that a lot of people do not know how to give feedback in a constructive manner. The method that I am laying out is (in my experience) the one which is most likely to get the other person to listen to you and take what you are saying on board. It is called the feedback sandwich.
Step1 : Say something nice about the writing. This can be something small. It does not necessarily have to be about the work itself, but it should acknowledge that you recognise the effort that has gone into it. Writers are often sensitive about their work, so it eases them into accepting the negative comments that are sure to follow.
Step 2: Give your constructive criticism. This should explain clearly what you didn't like about the work and the reasons behind it. Backing it up with evidence is also helpful. By doing it this way, you enable the writer to see exactly what you are talking about, and to be able to examine the work objectively. They may not change what has happened or agree with you, but they are far more likely to accept what you say and respect your opinion.
Step 3: End on a positive note. Again this does not have to be something big. It can be a note on improvements in the writing, or again an acknowledgement of the effort. But by ending on a positive you are reminding the writer that they are not entirely hopeless, and giving them confidence to make improvements. You do not want to discourage a person from writing, but should aid them in how to become a good writer!
This is a list of what not to do when giving feedback. It is by no means complete, but it lists several things which are all too easy to fall into doing.
1) Do not use sarcasm. Sarcasm is both insulting and patronising. It means the person is likely to disregard your comments, as the reviewer is not able to be calm and logical when presenting facts.
2)Do not insult the person. That's kind of obvious, but I thought I would say it anyway.
3) If you are pointing out grammar or spelling errors, which there are most likely going to be, it is best to make sure your review is grammatically correct. The person is not likely to take you seriously if it's not.
4)Try not to criticise the story as a whole. This can be difficult if the story plot is a bad one ;) but it is best to try and stick to specific dislikes, and to focus on small areas. The writer is going to be more receptive that way.
5) Try not to be anonymous with your feedback. The writer may want to be able to respond to your arguments. This may not always be possible as the reviewer may not necessarily have an account, but it is helpful!
6) Do not use foul language. This makes the review seem aggressive. It may not be meant that way, but it automatically gives that impression.
As for the writer. It is best to remember that whatever the reviewer says, they are taking the time to review, and they did take the time to read the story which should be appreciated. Do not take offence to criticism, because most of the time, it is kindly meant and often the criticism is helpful in developing you as a writer.
Tips for Naming Characters
Basically, I just wrote this massive essay type thing on a forum, giving advice on how to name a character, and I figured I might as well share. Hopefully, it will help all of you who struggle with that aspect of writing.
I normally find it pretty easy to think of names. For example one of my characters in a story, I gave the name Doyle to. I named him that, because Doyle sounded a bit like Boil and it was regionally and culturally correct as well. I then had to think of a first name that also fit and this was my thought process. Doyle is a bit of a Brute. Brute reminds me of Brutus. Brutus is not the right time period. What sounds like Brutus? Bruce. Thus the name Bruce Doyle was created
It also helps to have a basic understanding of how names are formed. For example, if it has'ton' or 'ham' in the name, it probably refers to a town or settlement in some way. If it has 'Wine' or Wyn' then depending on country of origin, it can probably mean either white or friend. 'Ford' will probably refer to river in some way, and 'Cliff' refers to a cliff as well. So if you want to name someone who lives on a cliff by a river, you have a name 'Clifford'. If you follow these basic rules you can also make up your own realistic sounding names. Just a note, I only started working out basic rules a while ago, so some of them that I have laid out could be incorrect.
It is also important to know what you want the name to sound like. Going back to the Bruce Doyle example. Bruce and Doyle are both quite rough sounding, being made with a 'D' and a 'B'. However if I were to replace those letters with and 'F' and an 'L', to make Luce Foyle. The name is both softer, (and actually sounds a lot more feminine). Foyle still rhymes with Boil, but you would never think of that association.
The most important thing, is for readers to actually be able to read the names and remember them. Naming your characters to similiarly to each other can be a problem, but the most common failing is in the Sci Fi and fantasy genres. Where people try and make up 'foreign' sounding names and come up with things like XZenmogn, or Ghlomb, or something like that. Sometimes there is no need to make up names to have them sound mystical, if you take old english, gaelic or welsh names for example. However if you do want to make up something futuristic, then it is easy enough to do so, without it coming out weird. You can do things like mix two common names together e.g. Katy and Annabelle - Kabelle, Katelle, Annaby etc. All can be made, and sound both natural and are easy to read.
I've recently started a database, where I sort Names by meaning, origin and alphabetically. I'm only up to the letter G in male names so far, and only from Welsh, Gaelic, Latin and English origin but it has allowed me to search for the right name more easily, instead of just using baby names websites. When I am finished with those origins I will start adding names from more interesting places to get a wider variety of names.
Wow! What an essay. I didn't mean to write that much or lecture, but hopefully this will help those people who struggle with naming characters. I don't get it right all the time, but this method certainly helps.
Trials and Torments
Official theme song for this fic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxgEl-LXdcQ
Thanks to the brilliant AestheticNarcissist for pointing out how amazingly this song fit the story.
There's a fine line between genius and insanity I've got one foot on either side.
9 out of 10 voices in my head say I'm insane the other one disagrees.
Sheep are your friends... they always follow you.
Ok, so here it is. I am not abandoning any of my fics. I made a commitment when I first posted a chapter, and more than that, I have no inclination to abandon them, because I am enjoying what I write. However, my real life commitments mean that updates will not be regular. This might mean that I will go six months of even a year without updating a fic. I would prefer not to go that long, but I have to be realistic when I only have one night in a week free at most, and that is normally spent with me doing something mindless in order to get my mind off of the mountain of work I have to do. I am sorry if people are waiting on a chapter, especially if I left a cliffhanger, and I hope that when I do eventually get to publish again I won't have lost too many readers. Hopefully this state of business won't last forever either, and I can get a regular updating schedule.
For those who might be interested, an author MagmiaFlare is writing a continuation of King Who Lived. This is based on her own idea of how the story might develop and so is a spoiler free way to continue reading a narrative based on my own. This is not an adoption as I still hope to continue writing, but it likely won't be until my new job begins in a few months.