Author has written 3 stories for Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Avengers.
I am an American gay male studying for a creative writing major. I am tall enough to scrape chandeliers in older buildings, mild-mannered, introverted to a fault, and a total geek. I am also a chronic procrastinator who can churn out five thousand words an hour on good days and five words in two hours on bad days, which are admittedly more frequent. My regular disappearances from the internet don’t mean I’m dead, just that I’m experiencing writer’s block, that my other obligations have taken priority, or both. I know firsthand how frustrating it is when a story I’m invested in reading only updates every few months, so I apologize in advance for that.
My writing style can be rather grandiose, with long sentences, detailed descriptions, and dramatic action scenes. I particularly like to dive deep into the heads of my characters, in part because I myself am a very introspective person. I appreciate stories that are faithful to the source material, so I won’t write about a fandom that I haven’t watched/read to death first, and certainly not when the main storyline has not yet ended. My favorites are Harry Potter (JKR be damned, I have a nostalgia filter), Marvel, Star Wars (mostly Legends continuity), Avatar the Last Airbender and its related media, and Wheel of Time. I also like The Lord of the Rings, Inheritance Cycle (and yes, I'm perfectly aware of how flawed it is), DC to a certain extent, and PJO on occasion. Conversely, I'm not a fan of anime. I have nothing against it or the people who enjoy it; it's just not my cup of tea.
I write characters as realistically as I can while remaining faithful to the canon, though there are times where I will ignore canon. If I do ignore canon, I have my reasons, and I will come clean about it and explain why. My interpretations of fictional characters and the universes they live in are based on actual source material, but they are ultimately just my opinion, and you can disagree all you like. I don’t expect anyone to treat my words as gospel, but I won’t debate with trolls either. Facts are facts, and opinions are opinions; no more, no less.
I’m not a fan of dark fics or gratuitous suffering—it’s just too depressing. When I write, it’s to entertain and to get people to think. That doesn’t mean everything I write will be full of sunshine and rainbows, of course; where’s the fun in that? Also, while I am a sucker for happy endings, I’m more likely to write bittersweet endings, if only because I prefer realistic/believable storytelling. Sometimes, I will outright ignore the source material in order to prioritize verisimilitude (I’m looking at you, Harry Potter).
When it comes to power levels, I dislike settings where the main characters can casually destroy planets, which is all too common in comics. That kind of power necessitates a story that is too wacky or over the top for me to enjoy. Often, such powers don’t even make sense. If two characters who can destroy planets get into a fight, how do they avoid destroying the planet they’re fighting on as collateral damage? If a character can move faster than light, how can they see where they’re going? Antagonists who are significantly more powerful than the heroes get a bit of leeway since they tend to work alone and have to pose a threat, but they cannot be all powerful or omniscient. Superpowers, no matter how high tier/OP, have to be grounded.
I like to see complex characters with believable development arcs, humor that is clever without being excessive (no parodies for or from me), an air of mystery that doesn’t feel contrived, climactic final battles, and logical story progression. Romance isn’t really a priority for me, but it is highly satisfying when characters are paired with the right person. Plot holes, poor sentence structure or story-telling, and excessive spelling and grammar errors get on my nerves, but I can forgive apparent plot holes if there is a reasonable explanation, and I can tolerate a few grammar and spelling goofs if the story itself is good enough. No one is perfect.
I’m partial to fix-it fics, even the ones dependent on time travel if they’re done right, and I absolutely love crossovers. I don’t mind an overpowered protagonist as long as they’re not a Mary Sue. The reason they are overpowered has to make sense, and they have to have personal weaknesses or limitations. I don’t like kryptonite factors that effectively turn the hero from a god into a slug, but an internal conflict such as a moral quandary about the just exercise of power makes for great storytelling. I believe in the middle ground and gray morality. Sometimes, the right thing is obvious and easy, but most of the time it’s neither. Life is complex, and fiction should reflect that.
My opinion on slash is somewhat biased, especially since I usually hate it when characters are written OOC. Put simply, there is a right way and wrong way to write it. I write based on my interpretation of canon, no more, no less, and sexuality is, like all things in fiction, open to interpretation. Many characters who are canonically straight exhibit behavior or opinions that come across as part of the LGBT spectrum. Often, such characters end up in unsatisfying pairings in canon. For example, while I don’t outright dislike Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley, it’s not a strong enough pairing to convince me that they’re soulmates. MCU Steve Rogers never really did well in the romantic department in canon (the time travel shenanigans in Endgame don’t count), and his comic book counterpart is a magnet for homoerotic tension, so slash can work for him if it’s done well. On the other hand, I dislike pairing Steve with Bucky Barnes. As far as I’m concerned, that ship cheapens an otherwise brotherly relationship.
I’m not fool enough to expect everyone to agree with me, but I do expect people to be mature about their disagreement. Therefore, while I welcome constructive criticism and reasoned debates, I will not include special warnings about slash in my stories. Sometimes I write it, sometimes I don’t. If it does show up and you don’t like it, just walk away.
Dramatic OOC: If you have to change, twist, or ignore a major component of a character’s personality to make your story work, then chances are you either don’t understand that character or you’re not writing a good story. This is a big problem with a lot of Harry Potter fics, especially the ones focusing on slash. There is absolutely no way that Harry Potter would be best friends with Draco Malfoy, much less fall in love with him. Draco Malfoy was a bigoted bully who was positively gleeful at the idea of Hermione being killed by the Heir of Slytherin and didn’t start to change until he realized he wasn’t cut out to be a Death Eater, and even though he let go of his bigotry later on he never became a particularly nice person. I hate the Drarry ship, because it just doesn’t work, yet it’s the most popular ship in the fandom. Even the authors of the original source material fanfics are based on can be guilty of OOC. For example, I can believe that Harry would forgive Severus Snape for all the crap Snape put him through, but there’s no believable way he would name one of his kids after the guy, hence why I won’t hold it against you if you ignore the epilogue. For Want of a Nail stories like “What if Harry was raised by Death Eaters,” and a believable slash pairing are possible exceptions to my dislike of OOC, but people’s personalities are a combination of nature and nurture, so there are limits to that as well. And don’t get me started on “Wrong Boy Who Lived.” I hate it. I truly do.
Unwarranted character bashing: (AKA 'Ron the Death Eater') Some fictional characters are intentionally designed to be unlikeable, but even major league villains like Thanos and Azula have a certain charisma, a compelling element that makes them less hateable than, say, Dolores Umbridge. Yet, so many people mercilessly bash characters that don’t deserve it: the Weasleys, Dumbledore, Hermione (this one baffles me the most), Steve Rogers, James Potter, etc. Ron’s immaturity is annoying, yes, but his good moments far outweigh his bad ones. Dumbledore was a manipulative chessmaster, but he wasn’t evil, and he certainly wasn’t stupid. Steve’s mistake regarding Bucky and the Starks is his only major screw-up in the MCU, and it’s nothing compared to Tony Stark’s rap sheet. James Potter was fifteen when he bullied Snape, and he grew up, unlike Snape, who not only gave as good as he got, but literally bullied children he was supposed to be teaching. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. It can be satisfying to call out a character for their misdeeds when canon lets them off too easily, but bashing is a problem, and it needs to stop.
Stanning and Woobification: The opposite of bashing a character is to stan them ("fan" plus "stalker" equals "stan"). Stanning is what happens when you essentially worship a character and completely ignore their very real flaws while ruthlessly bashing any character who does something remotely bad to them. Even the best heroes aren’t perfect, and propping them up to be infallible, Jesus-like figures who never make mistakes or cause problems is not healthy. Contrary to what a vocal portion of the fandom claims, Tony Stark was a pretty messed up guy who caused just as many problems as he solved, and his legacy is one of toxicity as much as heroism. Similar yet opposite is the woobification of antagonistic characters (AKA 'Draco in Leather Pants’). Sure, Loki suffered a lot, and that does explain his actions, but it doesn’t excuse them. Zuko was redeemable; Bellatrix Lestrange was not, and no, she was not under any sort of mind control. Do I really need to say more?
Racebending: The Patil twins are Indian. Cho Chang is east Asian. Kingsley Shacklebolt is black. Harry Potter is white. There is no indication or even implication in the books that Hermione is black; JK Rowling did not endorse this idea until long after Book 7 was published, as if it were a pipe dream, and the text itself describes Hermione in ways that imply her whiteness. Racebending adds absolutely nothing to a character, and in a way is outright disrespectful to them and to real people of all races, regardless of how racial discrimination has affected them. Making Harry Potter Indian or Hermione black is no different than making Kingsley Shacklebolt white. If you’re going to decry whitewashing in fiction, you have to decry racebending as well; to say that one is ok and the other isn't is hypocritical.
Sex Swap/Genderbending: Changing a character’s gender is a far more dramatic alteration than sexuality, and it tends to distract the reader from much more important story elements. It’s already controversial enough in canonical media, where the quality is hit or miss; every time I see this done in fanfiction, it ruins the story for me. Like with racebending, this adds absolutely nothing interesting to a character. Given how 99% of generbender fics turn a male character into a woman, it's difficult to see the entire trope as anything other than a clumsy attempt to promote equal representation of sexes. If you want to tell a story with a lead who is of a particular sex/gender, just pick an existing character and go from there. Or use a well-crafted OC!
Harems: Not a fan, and I never will be. I would never consent to being a member of a harem, and I would never consent to having one for myself. Harems may be acceptable in some cultures, but the very idea of them makes me deeply uncomfortable. Don't be the author who writes a great story and then ruins it by giving the protagonist a harem. Power-fantasy isn’t an excuse, given how nasty real-world harem politics are. If you sincerely believe that giving someone a harem makes them more badass, cool, lucky, or whatever, here's a news flash; it really doesn't.
Hand-waved Mpreg: Some settings make male pregnancy and the questions/issues that accompany it the whole point of the story. Fine—if that’s your angle, by all means. What really offends me is magically giving Harry Potter or Clark Kent the ability to carry children “because magic/alien biology.” They're not seahorses. Virtually every example of Mpreg I’ve come across in fanfiction is either yaoi, a genre that fetishizes gay relationships to appeal to straight women, or a clumsy attempt to erase the fundamental differences between hetero and homosexual relationships. Human male biology is not designed to carry a fetus, and forcing it to do so is incredibly dangerous. If you want your gay couple to have kids, do it in a way that makes sense, or let them adopt.
Character Fusion: Some fics take two characters from different fandoms and make them into the same person. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a waste of both characters and creates a ridiculous amount of inexplicable plot holes, so no. Just, no. I have encountered one or two stories that did it well, but even then, it rubs me wrong on a level too deep for me to ignore.
Crack and Parody: With rare exceptions, I avoid these. If I need a story whose sole purpose is to make me smile, I'll read a fluff piece. Crack-treated-seriously gets a bit of leeway, but parody is not my cup of tea. That’s all.
Some of My Favorite Fictional Characters are:
Harry Potter: Despite all the crap he goes through (and boy, he endures a lot of horrible things, especially for a teenager) he is still one of the most kind and loving characters in all of fiction. Yes, he gets angry and obsessive, but he’s a teenager; what else were you expecting? He is also brave and selfless almost to the point of stupidity, but it’s admirable, given his background. That takes a strength of character very few people possess, and it is nothing short of inspiring. Part of me wants to learn from him, while another part of me wants to bundle him and carry him away from all the toxic and incompetent people who have hurt, neglected, and abused him for things completely out of his control (I mean, seriously, what kind of monster holds on so hard to a grudge that he goes out of his way to a child who has done absolutely nothing to provoke them? Oh, wait...). He’s also a highly flexible character, which makes him fun to work with as a fanfic writer. Too bad his creator is so problematic….
However, while on the subject of how much I adore Harry, I will say it now; the most popular, or at least most commonly written, romantic pairings in the Harry Potter fanfiction community, after Drarry, put the Boy Who Lived in a relationship with Severus Snape and/or Tom Riddle (AKA Voldemort). I truly wish I was making this up, but I am not, and one look at AO3 will prove it. I despise each and every one of these pairings with every fiber of my soul. They are toxic and downright disgusting for a variety of reasons, and I am truly unnerved by how common they are. I won’t read them, I won’t write them, I won’t give stories that feature them a second glance, and I won't apologize for it. You have been warned.
Rand al’Thor: The messiah-like main protagonist of The Wheel of Time has one of the most complex and heart-breaking character arcs I have ever read. He goes from a wide-eyed, naïve farm boy to a skilled politician and phenomenally powerful magic user in the space of a few years, and during that time he suffers so much it’s obscene. For most of his series he is in such pain from the never-healing wound in his side that any other man would be on the floor weeping and moaning, yet he powers through it and keeps going like it never even happened. He constantly battles madness from within and very nearly succumbs to it, but in the end, he comes back stronger (and kinder). He is the definition of a dynamic character and my favorite example of a “Chosen One” in all of fiction. I’m not as fond of his romance arc, but it has unique strengths, and it doesn’t detract from the fact that he’s a total badass.
Aang: When it comes to child protagonists, few are more tragic than Avatar Aang. In a world where there must always be an Avatar (cough, Chosen One) Aang was destined for a difficult life from the beginning. Kind, empathetic, peaceful, fun-loving, and respectful of all lifeforms, Aang is the sort of person who would brighten your day just by being a part of it. At the same time, he is an element-wielding badass who will blast you into the sky if you threaten his friends and bears the responsibility of saving his war-torn world from a hundred-year war he was supposed to prevent (disregarding the fact that he’s twelve—those monks really needed to sort out their priorities). While not quite as big a case of “break the cutie” as Rand al’Thor, there is no denying that the Avatar who strips Fire Lord Ozai of his bending is not the same goofy kid Katara freed from the iceberg. He’s definitely a lot more interesting than most people seem to realize.
Wanda Maximoff: Specifically the MCU version before her character was assassinated by the flaming garbage that is Multivers of Madness. Her reaction to the traumas of her childhood is not only understandable, but incredibly realistic. After she learns the hard way what happens when you let hatred and revenge consume you, she decides to join the Avengers and become a hero, even though she had the opportunity to walk away, because she wants to atone, and she becomes a certified badass in the process. As sad as her story is, it is also inspiring how she persistently tries to do the right thing, no matter how much it hurts her, even when she makes mistakes. Her tendency towards escapism is also incredibly relatable. Unfortunately, the universe hates her—she may be incredibly powerful, but even that can’t change the fact that she desperately needs a hug.
Steve Rogers: Where do I even start? Bullied kid who does his best to stand up to injustice even when it puts him in danger? Yes. Brave, honorable, and completely selfless? Yes. Genuinely competent leader who never compromises his integrity despite knowing exactly how ugly the world can be? Absolutely yes. Never loses his compassion despite the mountain of emotional pain he’s carrying? Hot damn. Everything about this man is either inspiring or makes me want to give him a hug. If there is one fictional character I could bring into the real world, it’s probably this kid from Brooklyn. He deserved a much better sendoff than what he got in Endgame.