Author has written 6 stories for Harry Potter.
Mid-twenties, Adelaidean, PhD student, introvert, sports tragic, Christian. Those are a few words that describe me. Oh, and lover of Harry Potter, fan fiction and Harry Potter fan fiction ;)
What I read:
I've been a reader for as long as I can remember, but particularly from when I first picked up a Harry Potter book at the age of seven. That instilled in me a love of the fantasy genre that expanded to include many other books and franchises such as the Hunger Games, the Inheritance Cycle, Rick Riordan's various mythology-based series, and basically anything by David and Leigh Eddings.
Fan fiction wise, I have spent time in numerous fandoms including Twilight (don't judge!), the Inheritance Cycle and Hunger Games. But Harry Potter is and will always remain my first love. After twenty-odd years, seven books, numerous spin-offs, countless interviews and an encyclopaedic website, there is so much in the HP universe to work with and yet still room for so much more to imagine from scratch. That, I think, is why Harry Potter fan fiction is so popular - and why there are so many great ones out there, rivalling the original works in their storytelling power.
So, what Harry Potter fan fictions do I read? Pretty much everything. My concern is less with genre, writing style or particular plot elements, and more with the overall quality of the work. Having said that, there are a few characteristics that I've found most of my all-time favourite fanfics have in common. My ideal fan fiction, on evidence, is an alternate universe, Harry-centric story that spans his entire seven years at Hogwarts, is slow-moving and unafraid to go into detail, has an extensive cast of canon and (well-developed) original characters, does not bash or over-power anyone, has an original author-specific 'flavour' while retaining the magical/wonderment sense of the original, and has a well-thought-out plot and endgame. The following stories or series all fit (or mostly fit) that description and are, to my mind, required reading for anyone in the Harry Potter fandom:
This is not an extensive list and I am always finding new favourites. I do take recommendations so if you know a story that you think I might like, or if you want me to read your fanfic and find out what I think, I'm more than happy to. Just PM me! :)
What I do NOT read:
I suppose it's not quite accurate to say that I read everything. I've been reading fanfics for more than a decade now and some things over time have become massive turnoffs. If your story has any of these things then, apologies, but I will likely close my browser window within three seconds.
Character bashing. This is top of the list because it is so annoyingly popular. Over time (because this certainly wasn't the case 10 years ago) certain characters have come to mean the epitome of evil among fan fictioners: particularly Albus Dumbledore, Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley and Molly Weasley, although Hermione Granger and occasionally others cop it as well. Truthfully, I can understand why each of those characters is disliked in their own way. The trouble is that many fanfic writers take that as an excuse to have said characters act in an entirely stupid, careless and openly malevolent manner, and promptly get their 'glorious' comeuppance... usually every scene of the story in which they're present. It's not clever, it's not funny, and frankly, it's terrible writing - and has ruined many a story with a basically good premise. The real tragedy is that it's precisely the aspects of these characters that we don't like that make them human: Dumbledore is manipulative and makes crucial mistakes, Ron is lazy and has a temper, Molly is overprotective, etc. Such three-dimensional characters make a story much more fun to write and more interesting to read. Bash them, and everyone loses.
An excess of original characters (OCs). This is an interesting one because any good fan fiction 'needs' OCs to function. You can't do very much if you only use characters that are well developed in canon. But far too often I see stories that go the other way and create a massive cast of OCs that pretty much replace the canon characters we know: next-gen stories and time travel fics to the Riddle or Founder eras are the main culprits. Or some create an AU so alien that everyone acts differently: someone may bear the same name as a canon character but is really a very different person. Such stories are now not so much fan fictions as original novels set in a universe somewhat similar to Harry Potter. That's not necessarily bad - it could be a great story with well-developed characters and a brilliant plot, but it's not what I've come here to read. The only mostly-OC story I can ever remember reading and liking was Slide's Stygian Trilogy, which I listed above as one of my all-time favourites. Even that story created a link to canon by using the children of prominent canon characters (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Malfoy) and having said canon characters play important roles in the fan fiction itself; meanwhile, the OCs are kept to a bare minimum so the ones that are used are able to develop and grow on the readers. If you're writing a story that necessitates a lot of OCs, I'd recommend looking there for inspiration.
Slash. Not my thing. I'm straight myself and - I'll be honest here - I'm not overly comfortable hearing in detail about same-sex relationships. Same-sex pairings are fine: that's reality, some people are gay. But if slash becomes a major or central part of the story, I'm clicking the back button. For similar reasons, I don't read a lot of polygamy/harem stories either - but there is a caveat there: there are some stories where these relationships occur out of necessity or expediency, and are not written primarily for the romance or sex. In such cases the complex relationships and character interactions can become an intriguing plot point if well-written: the Firebird Trilogy (another favourite I mentioned previously) is an excellent example.
Pornography. Sort of following on from the last point and, again, for similar reasons. I'm always disappointed when what seemed like a story with an interesting plot turns into Harry fooling around with his girlfriend(s) multiple times a chapter. Yes, there is a market for erotica, but surely you can find or create what you like in other parts of the web. I shouldn't have to stumble across it here, on a family-friendly website that quite clearly states that explicit content is against the rules. You wouldn't look for sex toys in a grocery store, would you?
Bad grammar. I use this as a catch-all for bad spelling, improper use of punctuation, misuse of tenses, run-on sentences and unnecessarily large blocks of text (which are a huge pain to read on a computer screen). No matter how good your story is, I'll abandon it straight away if I simply can't read it; the same, I'm sure, would go for anyone. The frustrating thing as a reader is that so many of the errors are painfully obvious, and would be caught if the writer had simply bothered to read it through themselves before posting - I recommend this as a minimum to make sure you're at least putting up something presentable. I do understand that some people find correct spelling and grammar difficult due to disabilities such as dyslexia, or English not being their first language. In those cases, I recommend you find a beta reader - honestly, it's not that scary. I'm quite happy to do the job myself.
What I write:
I've tried writing a few times over the years, with mixed success. I've deleted more stories than I've kept (and good riddance), but I've gotten some good responses on occasion too. I want to start taking writing more seriously, as a regular hobby, but having learned from my ill-fated first attempt at a novel-length story, I will not start posting one until I have things fairly thoroughly planned, and commit to regular writing. It will happen, however. I've promised myself that.
These are my current completed/ongoing stories:
Harry Potter and the Origin of Voldemort's Name. This was written back in my last year of high school, and boy does it bring back memories! I think it was three o'clock in the morning, I was stressing over an assignment and wrote this just to let off some steam and get the idea out of my head. It's not exactly a high quality story but it's created a few laughs over the years which was the main point.
The Argument. My take on the much debated Salazar Slytherin/Godric Gryffindor rift which resulted in Slytherin leaving the school and effectively set the stage for events a thousand years later. JKR’s Pottermore info probably makes it redundant, but I've kept it around because it's probably some of my better teenage writing, and I think the topic is interesting.
Twist of Fate. The 'ill-fated attempt' I mentioned above. I started it in 2010, lost interest pretty quickly, came back to it in 2015, pretty much re-imagined the whole thing, powered through to chapter 7 and suddenly lost the plot. I mean that literally: the plot just didn't work out in my head. The story had two main foci: Daphne and Harry's developing relationship and Harry learning about his role in the political arena. In both cases, nothing interesting was going to happen for a good three or four years so I was going to have to either do an ungainly time skip, or fudge my way through that time, finding creative ways for Daphne to influence canon. A better writer might be able to make that work, but not I, and in the end I regretfully abandoned this story. It's a pity because this story is by far my most read and best received fan fiction, and there are parts of it I really like - which is why I am planning another story based on the same concept. But more on that later.
Voldemort and the Horrific Therapy Session. A 'sequel' to Harry Potter and the Origin of Voldemort's Name, meant to be equally wacky. Strangely, although I think it's funnier than the original, it hasn't gotten nearly the same reception. But it has been a decade: perhaps the Harry Potter fandom has moved on from that type of humour.
Butterbeer, Bollocks and a Ball. Something of a departure from my usual style, this story is a humour-tinged romance with some slightly edgy content. I've long noticed that most Yule Ball fan fictions are fairytale romances where everything goes without a hitch, and I wanted to write a bit of a counterpoint to that. I also make fun of the Daphne Greengrass 'Ice Queen' stereotype (a cliché I confess to using myself in Twist of Fate) by presenting her as a very rough-edged, irreverent sort of character. Readers will perhaps be surprised to learn that this story was actually very, very hard to write, and must have gone through twenty or more revisions before I was brave enough to post it. But amazingly enough, people have liked it, so much so that I'm tempted despite my reservations to continue the story or write a sequel of some description; again, more on that later.
The Collectors. Another unusual project of mine (then again, read my currently posted stories and define 'usual'). I wrote this story - a brief mystery thriller featuring an Auror Harry - for the Dark Lord Potter forum's contest in March 2018, with the first line prompt "You're bleeding on my floor". To my surprise, it wound up winning the competition, so I decided to put it here for everyone to read. Hope you enjoy it.
River Trilogy. Like I said, the concept behind Twist of Fate hasn't departed my mind, and I am planning a rewrite that will start in fifth year instead, allowing me to do more with the characters from the outset. The River Trilogy (working title only) will incorporate several of the ideas I had for Twist of Fate in terms of the way wizarding politics and Lordships work, but will involve a more extensive cast of characters, canon and original. I have fifth year and parts of sixth mapped out, but want to be certain of my endgame before I start writing.
Butterbeer, Bollocks and a Ball. I am as yet undecided as to whether I'll make this story into something bigger. I think I could, and I do have some isolated ideas, but I'll only do so if I get something solid. The last thing I want to do is turn a fun, quirky oneshot into a half-baked, possibly half-completed novel.
Resilience. A Slytherin!Harry with a twist. Most Harry-in-Slytherin stories have Harry quickly find a niche in Slytherin and become more or less accepted (or at least tolerated) within that house. I'd like to write a story where Harry is Sorted into Slytherin (divergence: the Hat decides to ignore Harry's plea for anywhere else) and genuinely hates it there, but eventually manages to forge his own path despite his isolation. Now, I just need a real plot to go with it, and I'll be set...
Stockholm. A bit of an out-there idea that I'd welcome feedback on. I have an image of an AU seventh year where Voldemort uses an experimental variation of the house-elf bond to bind a teenage Muggleborn boy (a male Hermione?) in servitude to a prominent pureblood family with a daughter in his year (Daphne Greengrass?). The story would be a psychological thriller as the boy struggles with the bond and his unwilling affection for the girl, while trying to find a way to help the Order from the inside. It would be M-rated but not explicit. The rest, I'm still figuring out.
(Untitled). I'm even less certain on the details for this one, but I want to write a story where several characters get trapped inside a magical RPG of some description, and have to beat the game to get out. Inspired by the much-read fanfic Eros & Psyche (which is a great concept even if 80% of the story is porn) and the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, particularly the early mangas. The idea of a game that is, truly, much more than a game is very intriguing.
The Third Rebellion. Distinct from most other stories in that it will be a submit-your-own-character (SYOC) fan fiction. SYOCs are always interesting to be a part of, but very rarely are they ever completed (most don't get past the opening few chapters). I've long wanted to try writing one of my own, but only when I can commit to doing it properly. I have a few plot ideas, but much will depend on the characters.
Exile. A series of unknown length, the basic idea here is that Lily escapes with Harry on that Hallowe'en night and flees with her son to Australia. Harry ends up attending the wizarding school in Australia and Voldemort ultimately tracks him down there. I'm very keen on doing this at some point, for obvious reasons: it would be wonderful to imagine what a wizarding Australia would look like. Of course, this would be a massive scale project and I'd probably want to have some experience planning out and writing long stories before I take it on.
I'm always willing to chat, so drop me a line if you've got a question or comment about my profile, or want to talk fan fiction, or anything else.
I'm willing to beta read stories for spelling/grammar, content and plot ideas - any way I can help, basically. I have done so unofficially a couple of times before, and have recently created a beta reader profile on this site: link here. Give me a shout.
I am a member of the Dark Lord Potter forums (forums dot darklordpotter dot net), where the best Harry Potter fanfics are shared and critiqued. DLP has a prickly reputation that is well earned, but is worth a look as it will certainly raise your standards for both reading and writing.
I was, at one stage, in a hilariously competitive race with a few others - most notably 24hourstomakeadifference - to try and get the longest profile on this website, in terms of words. At one point we all had over 120,000. I still keep the old stuff in a Word document for sentimentality's sake.
I was also at one stage part of a Harry Potter role play. I only lasted a couple of weeks before the admin kicked me out and blocked me. I'm still not entirely sure why. Oh well.
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