Author has written 13 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.”
My favorite characters are Ron Weasley, Remus Lupin, Albus Dumbledore, Sirius Black, 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, Neville/Luna, Remus/Tonks, etc. 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. 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? 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 than 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.