Author has written 15 stories for Winx Club, Harry Potter, and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
I've been here for several years now and I've grown immensely as a person, reader, and writer. I've not quite given up on writing stories, but I've always been more of a reader than a writer and most of my favorite works of fiction are not nearly popular enough to have any submissions for this website.
Feel free to check out my works, if you'd like, but they are almost always terrible -- like most writers, I've saved my best work for my original fiction.
"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18."
"Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly."
—St. Francis de Sales
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
“He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others.”
On Harry Potter
I probably would've never been involved with Harry Potter had it not been for my father; he and I used to watch the movies together. In 2010, I sat down to read all seven books myself, and I can't claim to be very impressed. Ms. Rowling's not a very good technical writer, the works are full of plot holes, the world building contains many gaps in economics, mathematics, history, linguistics, and so much more. . . . And yet, they were fairly addicting and they were at least readable. If asked, I'd suppose Harry Potter and fanfiction based on it would fall under the "guilty pleasaure" category for me as there's so much better fantasy, including young adult fantasy, I've read.
When reviewing the series, I'd say Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix was the best. Books 1 and 2 were obviously there for setting the stage for what was to come. Book 3 is good fun, but it's rather light on character development and seems to serve more to introduce characters and concepts than actually hold together as a story. Though it does feature one of my favorite Harry quotes: “I don’t go looking for trouble—trouble usually finds me.” (Though Book 4 holds up worse the more I think about it. I understand why Rowling was never satisfied with it.)
My favorite characters are (in order) Percy Weasley, Ron Weasley, Albus Dumbledore, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, and Cho Chang. Personally, I would've enjoyed the narrative far more if it'd followed Ron or Hermione, who have far more personality.
When it comes to pairings, I support Ron/Hermione and am pairing neutral for Percy. I don't support Harry/Ginny or Harry/Hermione really, but I'll read either pairing if the story contains: no bashing, decent writing, not too many spelling/grammar mistakes, and decent plotting. Since the first one is so hard to come by, I don't often read Harry Potter fic that isn't canon ships. Also, a lot of Harry/Hermione stories remind me why I was happy it didn't happen in canon -- making Hermione a Mary Sue, minimizing Ron, ignoring how Harry prefers more laid back personalities. I don't like to discuss pairings that often because some . . . hardcore shippers take things too far.
On plots: I'd say that as much as I give Deathly Hallows grief, it has a great achivement and that is the backstory of Albus Dumbeldore. Some would say Snape's, but I don't think so. Snape seemed like a great character until it was revealed that apparently he was just doing it all for some girl who never liked him that way, and I found that a weak motivation. (Plus, feminists, doesn't Snape remind people of those creepy "nice guys" who feel entitled to a girl?) The one with the weakest is Philosopher's Stone: why would the Albus of book 7 make it so easy that some first years could sneak past all those traps? (And I don't mean Harry and co. -- a whole bunch of students, including the twins could have gone through that trapdoor.) It doesn't help that the narrative is different than the others, as it's the only book in the series to change point of view during a chapter.
I'd say that it's a pretty average series, but it could have been so much better if she'd thought through some details better: like the wizard economy, or the pacing of the plot, or the romance writing. But she did have some great quotes, which were pretty much every line of dialogue Albus Dumbledore ever got, like "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
I started out several years ago when I was just writing stories in a notebook. I've come a long way since then, and have become a better writer because of it. I can thankfully say I know what plot and character development are, even if I'm still learning on applying them to a story. But for those of you who are still learning, I'll say this: even if you don't think you're that good, you can't get any worse unless you stop trying. Below I have some advice for how to write a story, whether fanfiction or original fiction. I put them in order, but I don't even follow my own order so do them as you see fit.
1. Get an idea. This could come from a thought, a dream, or just inspiration from a film or novel you'd seen or read. Just get one.
2. Choose your point of view. Depending on your preference and what sort of story you're telling, it may differ. If you're following just one or two characters, you could keep it limited. But if more you may want to go omniscient. Third person is great for more poetic sort of writing, such as "they walked as silently as shadows," or for when you're writing multiple characters. First is great for just one character so that you can get inside their head, and multiple first person, if done well, can be even better. Second person (as in, "You are staring") is rare, but if you think it's right, then go for it.
3. Create your setting. Figure out where this takes place. A big part of the themes of your novel, as well as plot can be greatly influenced by this. Is it set in a fantasy world? Is it in the future? Is it on a whole different planet? Is it set in the modern day but in a fictional country? This needs to be decided. If it's supposed to be realistic like literary fiction or historical fiction, be sure to do your research. If it's set in a world of your own creation, do what you can to help define the time period, the culture, the area so that it will come to life as you read the story.
4. Create good characters. Not easy, I know. But try. Make them up from whatever. Have them be based on your best friend, your favorite character from something, anything. Then name them. It could be something off the top of your head, or chosen because of a meaningful name or historical accuracy. Heck, make one up if you want. Give them a motive, a backstory. Make your readers, yourself even, care about what they do, and why they do it. You need that emotional connection or the story, no matter how well-written or plotted it may be, will end up hollow.
5. Start the story. Admittedly one of the hardest. When you've got that idea you want to start planning, figure it out, and you should. But don't waste your time working on character charts/outlines. Use them, but don't let that get in the way of the actual writing.
6. Write an interesting plot. Plot, for those who wonder, is any sequence of events that happen in a story. It doesn't have to be as "epic" or complicated as Lord of the Rings, but something has to happen. It has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It should feel like things are advancing, even if not at a quick pace. It depends on what you're writing and how long it needs to be. If you're writing literary fiction, it will probably be character development that keeps things going. If you're writing action/adventure, action scenes and plot twists should keep things interesting. And believe me: if you're getting bored writing a certain part, readers will be too.
7. Have a good ending. Possibly the hardest of them all. Endings are often what readers remember the most. So when you're ending your story, make sure it feels like an ending, that your loose ends are tied up. You can leave things up to the audience (I personally prefer those sorts of endings) but it's not recommended to end on something like "You! I understand now. You killed Mrs. Johnson!" unless you're writing a sequel. (And that's another matter entirely. I can't say anything on that subject as I don't write sequels.) And definitely avoid the king of all cop-outs, "it was all a dream," unless you can't. It's been done a lot, and it doesn't make you look clever to do it. It's just annoying when you're reading a great story and you're invested in it and then BAM! None of it was real. Examples could be things like the protagonists beat the antagonists, the main couple get together/break up, the main character comes to terms with themself/their life. Just something.
8. Edit. Now that you're done with the hard part, it's time to make some changes. This includes proofreading for spelling or grammar, or rewriting all of it or certain parts that you know you could now do better, or small things like changing a place/character's name. This can be easier if you have a friend or a beta reader who can give you that extra pair of eyes that can help you spot things you may not see and offer some helpful critique, which even when harsh is to help you get better.
9. Decide that you're happy. Easily the most important. It's not done until the author (you) says so. Once you're pleased with the finished product, then that's it. And believe me, it's going to be hard to truly finish. Some authors/writers are never satisfied with their work, and so they're always making corrections. Try and get that out of the way as soon as possible so that you can move on.
Once you're done with all of the above, it depends on what happens next. If you're writing fanfiction, you can post it online or share it with your friends. If you're writing a novel, you can do the same thing or try to publish. If you're just writing for fun . . . I don't know. Maybe start working on the next one? But if you've made it to the end, you should be proud of yourself. Not everyone can finish their own work, and it can be a very tedious and difficult thing to do. It can take years, so don't give up if you feel like it's taking you too long. Quality should not be rushed. Don't be afraid to take breaks to work on something else.
I'll add this: take advice on writing with a grain of salt. Yes, including what I just wrote. You should never be following to the letter someone's "rules of writing." Use them as guidelines. You are the writer, and you should be doing things as you see fit. It's your story. Believe me, I'm all for constructive critism, but don't let harsh critique make you change everything so that your story is completely different than how you wanted it to be. But I hope that what I said was helpful and/ or accurate. If you have any comments, feel free to PM me.
In Which I Rant About Percy Weasley as Written by JK Rowling
Percy Weasley is a difficult character to talk about. From my reading of canon, he serves the following purposes as a literary device:
And the most important one of all:
In the last one especially, Rowling was phenomenally successful. To this day when I say I like Percy I get told he should have died instead of Fred.
I will admit that once I, too, thought that Percy deserved to die but as I’ve grown, I’ve realized that there was simply no way he could have died and it could have been a successful scene. The audience hates Percy and you never kill only characters the audience hates—otherwise they’ll feel no sense of consequences for the good guys. And I say this not because I like him—there is simply no value in killing a character no one cares about. (I felt the same way about the death of Peter Pettigrew, by the way. At least let him die like a Gryffindor, Rowling!)
I’ve come to the conclusion in my recent rereads of the books that Rowling basically used Percy for Fred’s death scene, otherwise his character as it exists makes no sense. I have heard Fred was switched out for Arthur, and if this is true, it explains the choice to end the Percy story in such an unsatisfactory manner by not once allowing him to be more than the near caricature he'd been since the sixth novel. This is because we, as readers of the Harry Potter series, had been primed to hate him from his establishing moment. He is a completely unsympathetic character in the narrative. Even the few good things that happen to him purely exist to torture characters the reader cares about.
To explain my point, I must talk about how Percy compares to the rest of his family:
The other Weasleys are basically saints in the eyes of Harry, and, as a result, in the eyes of the reader. While some readers loathe the Weasley characters, they are all described in positive ways—except Percy. From his first scene at King’s Cross he is the annoying prefect who Fred and George are making fun of for having bragged about his new badge. That is the kind of establishing moment you give to a character that your reader is supposed to want to punch in the face. Bill is cool; Charlie is nice and has a cool job; Fred and George are funny, popular, and give Harry the Marauder’s Map; Ron is his best friend; Ginny was in the DA and is his love interest; and Molly and Arthur are the parents Harry has always wanted.
Percy, on the other hand, is someone so unpleasant that it’s a wonder his siblings talk to him. He is humorless, shuts himself up in his room rather than play Quidditch with them, and often is described as saying something "pompously" or "importantly." They love him, sure, based on the twins dragging him to celebrate Christmas with them in the first book, but he’s someone that if they weren’t related to you just know they would never associate with. This is obviously shown in the narrative by the fact that the twins and Ron never have a kind word for Percy in the early books.
For the first book he serves basically as Hermione before the troll incident. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we almost never see him interacting with people unless it’s in an official capacity as prefect. Whether Rowling intends it or not, the subtext implies that he is viewed like Hermione originally was—that person in Gryffindor no one likes and avoids like the plague at every cost. In the second book it’s a bit different since he has a girlfriend, but even then it’s used in a way to show him as a terrible or at least thoughtless person. By keeping his relationship with Penelope Clearwater a secret, it causes him to keep Ginny quiet when she was about to tell Harry and Ron something. The subtext of the novel all but implies that Percy’s actions are the reason that Harry and Ron needed to go to the Chamber of Secrets to rescue Ginny, that Percy cared more about his girlfriend and becoming Head Boy than the lives of children, including his sister. Even more ominous, he’s seen reading Prefects Who Gained Power and is described by Ron as “ambitious.” The word ambition is one that the Harry Potter reader had previously been primed to associate with evil (Quirrell), or at least Slytherin. The fact that he’s the only Weasley who has the word used to describe him leaves clear he was always supposed to be the bad egg in the family.
The third novel is something of an improvement for Percy. He gets to show a bit more humanity, since his relationship with Penelope is no longer secret and he gets to finally differentiate himself from pre-troll Hermione by showing an enthusiasm for Quidditch (which previously he had only mentioned once, in Chamber of Secrets), making bets about match outcomes and even cheering with the rest of his house when they win the Quidditch Cup. He is Head Boy that year and gets great scores on his N. E. W. T. s. He is still unlikable, but he at least feels more well-rounded. Though it’s clear that him becoming Head Boy was more to show how ineffectual he is at actually serving as one, and we’re clearly supposed to find his pride over his role so insufferable that it doesn’t surprise me at all how many Harry Potter fans I’ve heard say they think Percy not only should have been locked in that pyramid by Fred and George, but that he should have never been let out.
It's in Goblet of Fire when Percy shows his true colors. In this book he works for Barty Crouch Snr., a completely unsympathetic character who was an awful father and is singlehandedly responsible for why the fan-favorite Sirius Black was thrown in Azkaban without a trial. Not only does Percy work for him, but he idolizes him too. And just in case you didn’t get the point yet, Rowling makes us hate him more by showing Hermione—a character who had previously defended him to his siblings—being completely appalled by Percy bowing to his superior’s authority regarding his treatment of Winky. (Hermione Granger being used to establish how sympathetic a character is could be an essay all on its own, but I digress.) In that same novel, his boss ended up disappearing and Percy was given instructions by owl, for some reason left in charge. To paraphrase Ron, Percy probably noticed something was up, but since he was left in charge, he didn’t say anything.
It is completely unsurprising, then, that things happened the way they did with Percy in the fifth book. He’d been described as ambitious (a trait that is good until the actual word is used, and then is bad like regarding young Dumbledore). He was different than his family in all the wrong ways—he split from their values, he didn’t like Harry as much as the others, and he certainly loved the Ministry more than he should have. So he became the “Ministry loving, family disowning, power hungry moron.” He joins in on the smear campaign against Harry, advises Ron to confide in the “delightful woman” Dolores Umbridge, doesn’t visit Arthur in the hospital, and sent his Weasley sweater/jumper back to Molly. He is, to put it simply, the most unlikable character Rowling could make him without having him join the Death Eaters. All of this is fine, but this is probably the strongest entry in the Percy Weasley character because it’s downhill from here.
In Half-Blood Prince, like the novel itself, Percy’s involvement is more filler and setup than anything for the big finale. He’s still not talking to his family, still siding with the Ministry, and still someone no human would want to be around. Just to show how awful he is, we get moments of the other Weasley siblings bonding quite a bit in this novel. The scene with him showing up with the Minister was useless other than to have Molly cry and the younger siblings take their revenge.
And then we come, at last, to Deathly Hallows. This is sometimes called Percy’s redemption moment, but I profoundly disagree. If anything, Deathly Hallows does nothing except harm Percy as a character. Up to this point, he’d been an extremely unlikable character with no redeeming qualities. He was like a Gryffindor version of Snape in that regard. This final installment was the chance to let him right his wrongs . . . and this does not happen. Sure, he fights at the Battle of Hogwarts, but how is that supposed to redeem him? The man had served as the assistant to a Minister for Magic but there’s no indication whatsoever he did anything to save any of the Muggleborns the whole year. If anything, as portrayed in Deathly Hallows and previous volumes regarding Percy, it would make more sense if the other Weasleys told Percy that they don’t accept traitors who serve in genocidal regimes back into the family and for him to be sentenced to years in Azakban prison for his crimes and for his future to end with him single, childless, and serving in a job that is not in the Ministry where no one cares for him.
No, instead they just accept him back. I suppose Rowling went for that choice because the Weasleys probably just wanted to talk to him nicely one last time since they probably thought they would all die that night. Well, that and Fred.
Let’s talk about it, shall we? Fred is the first one to accept Percy back. I honestly do not feel that makes sense from a thematic standpoint. Wouldn’t it be more logical if he were welcomed back by Molly (the only one who had wanted to see him at Christmas in Half-Blood Prince), Arthur (whose argument with Percy led to the estrangement in the first place), or Ron (who had been just as traitorous after temporarily abandoning Harry and Hermione on the Horcrux hunt)? No, instead it’s Fred. Fine. And so Fred and Percy bond, Percy makes a joke, and Fred dies tragically.
Thus, the fandom found yet another reason to hate Percy, this one not as legitimate as any of the other awful things he’s done that I’ve written about.
I feel like the only reason why Percy was described as surviving the war and going on to be married with children, and, if you believe the Rita Skeeter article on Pottermore, the Head of the Department of Magical Transportation, is not because Rowling truly wanted to redeem the character but to make people hate him more. After all, what could be more of an outrage to fans of the Weasley twins than that the character no one liked not only lived instead of Fred, but that he got to settle down and got a nice job?
If that was in fact what she was going for, I must congratulate her for it. So what is my point? There is simply no close reading of Percy Weasley in canon that could make one come to the conclusion he’s anything other than the horrible person I describe him as unless you read the novels in a way different than Rowling writes them. Even I, a self-proclaimed Percy lover, admit that canon Percy has next to no redeeming qualities and the few that he does have are irrelevant. If she truly wanted us to sympathize with Percy, why not actually emphasize any good qualities he has and actually show them working for him?
For example: He loves his siblings quite a bit. He was very worried over Ginny in the second book, based on the Pepper-up potion and the fact that it was his letter to Molly and Arthur that led to them showing up at Hogwarts. And he was frantic over Ron after he came out of the Black Lake after the Second Task. I also don’t think it was a coincidence that he wrote to Ron even when estranged from the family—he was genuinely happy about him being made prefect and thought separating Ron and Harry would keep his brother safe. I also feel that part of why he is so hard on the twins over their pranks is not just because they’re breaking rules. I think he also worries that they might hurt themselves or get someone killed. Maybe have him bond with these siblings in the books on-page where they’re actually willing to listen to his advice and acting close. Maybe then I’d feel like they actually missed him when he was gone, because I feel like they wanted him back more or principle than because they actually wanted “perfect Percy” to spend more time with them.
Also, maybe show his siblings, older or younger, actually complimenting him once and a while? Almost every time we see them talk about Percy, it’s insulting. I know siblings insult each other, but we see enough of everyone else’s positive qualities to balance it out, I think. With Percy he is portrayed as such a power hungry sycophant with no empathy it’s amazing he’s related to the kind people the Weasleys are. (Then again, there’s one in every family.) I mean, I was about done when Ron mentioned in Goblet of Fire that Percy would turn them into the Dementors if he thought they’d committed a crime. With a statement made like that, I can’t imagine Percy was close with the younger siblings at all.
As it stands, it’s only personal interpretations that allows one to sympathize with canon Percy. I do, but only because I feel like he’s treated poorly. His whole choice to leave was because he fought with Arthur, and since his father was originally supposed to die, perhaps he was originally going to have more of a redemption arc that might have actually given him some valid reasons to have chosen a different path that turned out to have been wrong. As fond as I am of Percy even at his worst, how much of my sympathy for his side of the story is due to the fact that most of the time we see Percy is when he’s being portrayed negatively? Maybe there are lots of close Weasley moments and we only see the bad ones, but it’s hard for me to believe that Percy was the only problematic one in that family. Unfortunately, it’s canon that he was.
And what a shame. The Weasleys desperately could have used the moral ambiguity a more sympathetic Percy would have brought to the family.