Author has written 15 stories for Harry Potter, Misc. Books, and Firefly.
Profile updated 02/25/14
I read and write Harry Potter, Dresden Files, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Firefly fanfiction. If you one of the rare people who actually read a person's profile, before reading their stories, then here's a warning. Most of my older stories are pretty bad.
Here are some ways to make your story better. Outside of parodies, never use these phrases, known henceforth as cliches, or contrivances, or whygodwhydoyouthinkthisisstillagoodidea?
Albus Dumbledore: Don't call him the "Leader of the Light". Just don't. On that note, don't make the story into a drama using the phrase "Light Side". This isn't Star Wars. Light Magic is never mentioned in canon, and for good reason, because it's a stupid fucking idea. If I have to read one more story about the light side trying to recruit neutral families... so help me god, I will strike you down.
"Ice Queen" Most Slytherins have been called this, whether it's Tracey Davis, Pansy Parkinson, Daphne Greengrass, or even Draco Malfoy. It's a onestop ticket to facepalmville. There's probably more stories that use this stupid phrase than there are those that don't. It doesn't add anything to the story. You can characterize someone as cold and distant without calling them the Ice Queen. Calling anyone this just instantly ruins the story, so please, please, please stop using it.
"Cub" and "Pup' Seriously, don't use these fucking terms when Sirius/Lupin are talking to Harry. They're stupid, and whoever started it 10 years ago should get an infestation of spiders living in their shoe.
Luna. Don't make her a seer. Ever. I don't care how awesome you think it makes your story, or how many 12 year olds are gushing over it in your reviews, it's not a good idea. It never has been, it never will be. There's a thing called character balance, in this isn't the way to do it. Every story that uses it would get by just fine without it, so why bother if it's just going to make it look cliche, using the same tired old concepts that were never good to begin with. It's amazing that we're still seeing stories using this in 2013.
"Mindscape." If Occlumency ever becomes a big enough part of your story to warrant more than two hundred sequential words on it, you better take a step back and reevaluate what exactly you're writing. It's been done a billion times, and not once has it been interesting to read. You don't need every 11 year old to learn it, and face it, onesided bashfests were cliche 5 years ago, and it's even worse now.
"Magical Core" Just don't. Seriously, it adds nothing to a story, other than screaming HEY I LIKE TO READ THE SAME BAD STORY OVER AND OVER AGAIN JUST WITH A DIFFERENT TITLE, AND NOW I'M WRITING MY OWN. LOOK I'M BEING CLEVER BY USING THE WORD 'GREY' IN MY TITLE. Oh, and don't use the phrase magical signature either... do something clever for a change.
Twin fics. Can you honestly think of an actual plausible situation where one twin would be allowed to live with their parents, while the other is sent off to live with other relations. You can't? Me either. So don't use that as the basis of your fic, not to mention it's been done literally 10,000 times.
Golden super patronus of love. You know, the actually solid magic projection than can bowl through dementors and gut them. Just don't. Please, just fucking don't.
Harems. What's the point? Harry/Daphne is one of my favorite pairings, but why ruin that by adding the most one dimensional character(Hermione) to it? And if you still trying to have your story be taken seriously, you've failed.
Soul Bonds. Perhaps the worst cliche of them all. There are rare cases where some of the above cliches actually turn into an interesting story, or at least passably entertaining, but not for this one. There is no stories where a soul bond is acceptable. If you are the type of person who likes instantaneous relationships without any of the work to go into it and actually make it work, I'm sorry to inform you, but your taste in stories is shit. Harry/Fleur has a lot of potential, but why ruin all of it by just throwing them together via contrived plot device. Trying to make the relationship work is the whole point of a romance fic, but just everything working out instantaneously because of a bond, and then BAM SUPER!HARRY CAN DO ANYTHING KNOW WITH HIS INSTANT BOND. Instant love is bad. There's very little tension, and all the drama is just contrived after that point for the sake of drama. Seriously, if this your great idea to your story, just don't bother, please. And if your a thirteen year old girl offended by this, try reading a good story, it'll put a perspective on just how bad these ones really are.
Magical Inheritances. When have instantaneous power boosts ever made a good story? The answer is never. This is also one of the worst offenders. Seriously, don't do it. These stories have been written for the lat 10 years, your take on it is not going to be any different than the previous ones. Harry doesn't need to be a shadow mage with blocks on his magic, a metamorphmagus and animagi to make an interesting story. In fact, if your using all those as something Harry just randomly gets upon turning 17 or whatever, you seriously need to read a good story, since your's is just going to be shit. It can be hard to make an innovative and interesting story, but at least try to do something original.
Addendum to the above. Don't make Harry the Heir of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ramses II, Moses, Rasputin, Merlin, Cleopatra, Charlemagne... there's no point. It adds nothing to the story, other than showing your are too lazy to come up with something that is remotely interesting and original. Seeing this kind of shit just makes me close the story.
And addendum to the addendum above. Harry doesn't need to be super rich. He doesn't need to be a billionaire, let alone a millionare. What's the point? Harry was never want for anything while in Hogwarts in canon, and having all that extra money just screams wish fulfillment, and that never makes for a good story.
training montages. If training to defeat Voldemort is the sole purpose of multiple thousand words text blocks, just hit ctrl A then backspace. Congrats, your story is now better than it was. No about of training or reading books or timeturners or contrived rituals is going to make Harry Voldemort's equal. Coming up with an original way for Harry to defeat him is half the fun of writing, but who wants to read more of the same? yawn... And if you think Harry is going to discover the way to defeat Voldemort in a book found in Knockturn Alley, let alone the Restricted Section... he's not going to find any magic in there that Voldemort doesn't already know.
superwands. You know the story. probably the same one with half the above cliches in it. Harry get's a custom built wand made out of exotic wood, crystallized nundu breath with an unobtanium handle. It doesn't add anything to the story. It just makes you look like an idiot. We all fell into this trap when we first started writing, and good writers will realize that it's a terrible cliche, and never important to the story. It's the wizard who makes the story interesting, not the wand.
supertrunk. See above. If any part of your story involved Harry taking time to shop for a multi-compartment trunk that has a library, living room, and bathroom, then you're doing it wrong. It wasn't a good idea back in 2002, it's not now. JKR was the only one who ever made it interesting, because it actually served a point.
Wandless magic. Why, just why? I get apparition and animagi not needing a wand, but do you really need to be able to cast wandless stunners? Harry Potter is already the most unique character in the world, he doesn't need this ability. Please, stoooooooop it. I get slowly working up into the skill, but 99% of stories just have it as some random ability that is either on/off or 'unlocked', which is stupid. If you haven't figured it out yet, the best Harry is when he actually has to work for his skills, but people seem to just give Harry a billion skills for no effort and have him stomp everyone... and that's just boring. And yes, I know canon supports some wandless magic (quirrell making ropes appear with a snap of the fingers, legillimency, occlumecny, apparition maybe) but wandless patronuses and reductor curses are a little overboard... this isn't DBZ.
'Embracing the inner Slytherin' - what does this even mean? I cringe every time I read this, almost as much as I read 'light side' and 'neutral family'. Being cunning and ambitious doesn't make you a Slytherin, they are normal human traits that everyone has. "Inner Snake" falls under this category as well. It's a stupid fanon saying that somehow refuses to die.
the 'blank' look. You know the one, where Harry is a master of Occlumency and can make his face completely devoid of emotion. A blank look is not natural, and using that to describe Harry a hundred times in a story just makes it seem like he has down syndrome. News flash, using a blank face is just as telling, since it's not a natural emotion.
Harry renames. Firstly, his name is not short for Harold, Harrison or Hadrian, or Harrolduphus, or Henry, or Harrasthmus. As for the renames, use something original. For female, do something other than Rose, or Holly, or Harri, and for male, don't call him James Evans or anything remotely close to that. Harry doesn't have to be short for anything.
Surnames. As an aside the whole heir of everyone badness that people somehow actually like, Harry should never be referred to as Harry Potter-Black, or anything with a Hyphen in it. Sorry, your attempts at a 'political' fic are going to fall short if that what you think it needs. Also, you should never refer to someone as (name) nee (name) in actual conversation... it doesn't really happen like that. If you're going the whole pureblood politics angle, chances are quite high that they know exactly what your status is and your family lines.
Perfect pairings. So you have your story. Harry's trio becomes a trio Neville, or maybe no Ron. We've read that a thousand times. So your getting Harry together with Daphne. Fine, we've all seen this a hundred times. So Harry's friends and Daphne's friends are now friends. So the author becomes lazy and just pairs them all together. Tracey/Neville and Hermione/Blaise. Yawn. Seriously, just having all the main characters end up with each other at the end is so boring and lackluster. I'd rather read about Hermione being a closet lesbian than reading about a fairy tale perfect ending with everything working out and nothing bad ever happens ever again.
Super!Harry. It just bears mentioning. If you look at your story, and see that Harry can overcome the odds just fine without the super powers, then he doesn't need them. 99% of authors fall into this trap, making Harry awesome, and making all the bad guys week. But scaling up the powers just for the sake of scaling them up isn't good either. There needs to be a point to it all. 'power couples' fall under the same thing, except they also take the political arena by storm by pretending the author is clever and the world is backwards.
Not knowing the name of someone who you've shared 2 or 3 classes with for the last 6 years... I don't buy this. It happens a lot with Daphne stories. I'm not sure who thought it was a good idea first, and it may have worked exactly once, but now it seems like a common cliche. Just think about it logically. No matter how low a profile someone has, no matter how much Harry doesn't pay attention to Slytherins, I'd bet that he would have learned most of their names with the first few months, let alone 6 years later. The class has 20 people in it, ten of which he shares a common room with which means he learns their names pretty quickly. Are you telling me he won't learn 10 more names after several years of seeing them several times a day, every day. I call bullshit. All because something may or may not be canon, isn't an excuse to write poorly.
Flirting. Flirting is fine. Except it seems like everyone always starts off with Harry calling a girl Miss (Name) flirtatiously, and the girl going Mister back, in a flirtatious manner. Talk about corny...
Fun Fact: The word "ward" is never used with a magic connotation in canon. We've all read enough stories to know what they are though, but it's not an actual HP term.
Prophecy: If you really must create a new prophecy, or alter the given one, please make sure it still makes sense. Also, if it bothers you so much, you can probably just write the entirety of canon without a prophecy and it would turn out the same. Who's to say that Voldemort still wouldn't have come after the Potter's without a prophecy? He probably still would, since his goal was systematic removal of all that oppose his dream for a better world.
over-exubberant knowledge of magic. You know the obnoxious outcries of incredulity. It usually comes from Hermione, but other's have been known to blurt it out. An example would be "Oh my god! We don't learn the Scintillating Spear Slinging Charm until sixth year!" Or "Oh Em Gee, isn't (bone marrow igniting spell) Dark magic!?!?/!1?1?!!?" Or " Blaaaaah there's no way a second year could cast (fifth year spell)!?!?!" I can't be the only one who cringes at such sentences. How does someone get knowledge of the spell, such as the incantation, common name, and when the spell is taught, but yet doesn't learn it? It's like the whole world goes crazy because Harry opened up a book once, jesus fucking christ.
Slash. I guess it needs to be said. Everyone has their own things they like (I detest slash), but there are some that really gets on my nerves. Dark!Harry is supposed to be a complete badass, and Voldemort is the most dangerous Dark Lord for a hundred years. How does that happen if one is bottoming for the other... that's the exact opposite of awesome. Meek and Submissive are not things that should be happening to someone who can tear someone's skeleton out with a word. Half the problem stems from the fact that people can't write subtle slash. There's hundreds of thousands of stories where Harry's romantic life is a minor subplot as best, but as soon as its slash, half the story revolves around that and it's in your face the whole time.
Usage of the Imperious Curse, truth potions, and memory charms. A society can't survive if it is built entirely upon the usage of such magic, and if they think they are the answer to everything. Anarchy is a thing, and rebellions have been started for less, so when you have these magics being common occurances yet still have a society working just fine, you're doing something wrong.
Rape. Rape is a terrible plot device, especially when it's used just to advance the plot and your agenda. It doesn't make the story darker or grittier or more 'realistic' as being the consequences of war. Sorry to disappoint you, but it just makes the story seem shallow. Some people are in to that, I guess.
Near-rapes are nearly as bad. You know the story, when some girl is being assaulted, and Harry rides in on his white horse with his shining suit of armor, rescues the girl, saves the day, falls in love. Yawn, what a boring a cliche way to start a story and get two people noticing each other.
phoenix!hedwig. no, just no.
Dumbles, Moldyshorts... I hope for your sake that your story is a parody, because it's hard to take it seriously when you use those phrase.
time alteration. there is no good reason to set Harry's Hogwarts years in the 21st century. The only reason an author does that is so Harry can listen to shitty music on an ipod... no one wants to read about Harry listening to Nickelback, so don't write it.
Stating the obvious. I lost count long ago about how many times I've read a line similar to "BUT SHE'S A SLYTHERIN!" usually coming from Ron, and in regards to Harry talking or taking interest in a Slytherin girl. I can't be the only one who thinks its gotten really obnoxious after the first thousand times?
'reading-the-books' I'm honestly astonished that people like this genre. There are no redeeming qualities. There's no tension, no plot, and we already know what's going to happen, and reading about X's overblown reaction to the craziness that happens to Harry gets tiresome after the first time, so why would anyone want to see that reiterated a literal thousand times?
fifth house - this was an interesting concept exactly zero times. Why people keep writing a Merlin house when it's just the same thing as the last 50 times is beyond me. super!wizards that change the world with very little in the way of tension or opposition gets boring very quickly.
metamorphmagus!Harry. I'm not against it as a concept. The problem is that people give the ability to Harry for no real reason (and no, just giving it to him as a means to hide is scar is not a good reason). Harry going through canon events in the same exact manner as normal except as a metamorphmagus is a pointless endeavor, and if you've read the list to the point, one of the recurring theme is giving Harry extraneous abilities and skills he just doesn't need and never uses, but are given just for the sake of making Harry better than canon. I've never seen it done well. Making Harry work hard for his abilities is always a better read then him just gaining them all out of the blue.
'Mione - uhg, anyone else get the urge to scratch out their eyes when they see this nickname? I think it's used exactly once in canon when Ron is stuffing his mouth full of food. It's almost as bad as when people use Harold as Harry's real name.
"Lord Potter" - if your 'political' fic revolves around giving Harry the title of Lord (of House Potter), just because you've read a hundred other fics that did it, you're probably doing it wrong. There's a lot more to writing a good political fic than just filling out some checkboxes to make sure you hit all the major cliches.
Lists - don't write actual lists in your story, such as a list of things indy!harry needs to do after 4th/5th year, especially if includes such gems as 'get out from under Dumbles thumb' and 'got to goblins for blarharsdhksdfs'
Prank Wars - oh god. Why? In nearly every case, they're not entertaining, and I find myself skimming through them (much the same way I skim quidditch chapters). They're boring to read about, and rarely written well. And just saying that your fic is a 'humor' fic doesn't give you an excuse, nor does it mean that it's actually funny.
Harry is not the son of Snape. In fact, it's best if Snape was as close to a Eunuch as possible.
(list to be continued)
Think you can actually write a story that manages to be awesome, and not use any of the above contrived plot devices? Congratulations, come check out www.DarkLordPotter.net
NOTES ON MY STORIES:
Consider any story other than Bonfires at Midnight to be abandoned. I'm not saying there won't be any updates for Under the Darkened Sky or Root of all Evil (rewrite) or Obscure Clarity or You Can't Take the Sky from Me... but don't get you hopes up. I estimate that only about 10% of what I write actually gets posted on here.
Be very cautious when reading my oldest stories. You have been warned... they are quite bad. So don't send me reviews or messages telling me how cliche or bad they are... I am well aware. And for those of you sending me messages about how awesome and original they are... you need to get some standards.
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