Author has written 1 story for Harry Potter.
I'm not sure what to put here. I could put all the standard boring stuff like the fact that I've finished a Linguistics degree at Uni, I like conlanging, I love to cook (bake actually) and I obsess reading Harry Potter and Stargate FanFiction. However I think that kind of stuff is boring because I write it everywhere and if you were interested in that you'd be reading my blog.
I am a writer. I have been writing for quite a while and have a huge number of my own stories. My stories have been original works for a long time but recently I've begun trying out my own FanFiction and I've found it quite challenging. I have been a bit more of a coward than the authors here however because I have never let anyone read my stuff so my respect for the authors on here is very high.
So, rather than going on about myself (at least more than I just did) I'm going to put up my Grammar and Spelling Tips and list of pet hates as a reader. Whilst I have the utmost respect for authors brave enough to post their stuff online (I write a LOT but continue to be a coward about sharing it) bad grammar/spelling and certain habits irritate me to no end. Given I'm also a bit of a grammar and spelling Nazi I figured I'd put it here. Enjoy. :)
NOTE TO ALL AUTHORS: Your work is yours and priceless and can NEVER be replaced. PLEASE take the time to
Spelling & Grammar Tips
Drug - The use of this word as a past tense of 'dragged' is just plain NUTS! For example "I drug myself upstairs". PLEASE use "dragged" as in "I dragged myself upstairs".
You're/your - if you can replace your word with "you are" and have it make sense use "you're", otherwise use the other one.
Its/it's - as with you're vs. your, if you can replace the word with "it is" and have it make sense use the version with the apostrophe (it's). Otherwise use "its".
Breath/Breathe - this is a weird one but oddly common. If you want to have the "e" sound long, like in the word "feed", then put the "e" on the end. If you want the "e" sound short, like in the word "pet", then leave it off.
Sooth/Soothe - This is simple. The word "sooth" means truth, if you DON'T mean to put a word meaning "truth" then put an "e" on the end.
A lot - this is TWO words not one.
Their/there/they're - This one is more complex. "There" is used to gesture toward something. ie "over there". "They're" is used instead of "they are" so if you can put "they are" in place and have it make sense then use that one. Finally "their" indicates ownership. ie "their hat" or "their nose".
Two/to/too - This can be worked out fairly easily, often using a process of elimination. "Two" is a number and can be replaced by "2" and it still makes sense. "Too" is usually used instead of the word "also" e.g. "I like ice-cream also" vs. "I like ice-cream too" and can also be used before a word to indicate a lot of something e.g. "too much ice-cream". Finally the word "to" is used with a verb e.g. "go to bed" or "I like to run".
Apostrophes - This is a grammatical feature and they are often used incorrectly. Generally an apostrophe (') is used in two cases. Either it replaces a letter such as "don't" vs. "do not" occasionally it replaces two letters such as in "I'll" which means "I will". It can also indicate possession e.g. "Susan's hat" or "that woman's scarf". A big one to note in the case of apostrophes is "let's". It actually means "let us" and whilst the full version sounds quite old fashioned it is still traditional to use the apostrophe in place of the missing letter 'u'. One last thing to note is what happens when the possessor is a name or word which ends in 's'? In this case it is clumsy to write or write "s's" and so it is written as "s'", leaving off the final 's'. An example of this is "Des' hat" or "the Brewers' dog" (where Des owns a hat and the Brewer family owns a dog). In the case of the Brewer family there is already an 's' added to indicate more than one member of the family and the second 's' indicating possession becomes redundant (see plurals below).
Plurals - There are three forms of plurals. The first and simplest is to add an 's' to the end of a word e.g. "ticket" vs. "tickets". The second is to add "es" to the end of a word. This usually happens when a word ends in a certain sound e.g. "torch" vs. "torches". The third is when a word ends in a 'y' in which case the 'y' is replaced with an 'i' and the 'es' is added on after that e.g. "kitty" becomes "kitties".
NOTES: There are exceptions to all rules in English. English is a diverse, complex and at times frustrating language even for native speakers. I suggest clarifying questions with a good online grammar website. Look it up, it is amazing how interesting languages can be and I encourage everyone to be curious, although I certainly don't expect everyone to get as engrossed in the oddities of language the way I do. :)
Author Pet Peeves
An author's writing is often beautiful and smart however the best story can be ruined by a few simple things. Fix these and the full impact of your creativity can be felt. I have read a LOT of FanFiction and have regularly abandoned stories which have a good plot and well thought out characters simply because something in the grammar or spelling detracts and distracts from the story. In some cases it has been a real pity so below are my pet peeves as an avid reader:
-- Excessively LONG author notes - whether at the end or the beginning an author note should be short. I'm not interested as a reader in your reasons for not writing. I would hope you are writing because you enjoy it. I'm reading because I'm interested in the story. A quick note explaining something in the chapter is fine but keep it 5 lines or less. If I wanted to know about your personal life I'd be reading your blog or twitter/facebook feed.
-- Author notes within the text - PLEASE don't do it! Notes within the middle of a chapter are incredibly irritating. It is like being jarred and interrupts the flow of the story. Leave them out or put them at the start or end of the chapter. Use your characters to show your opinion and reactions.
-- Marking an abandoned story as complete - this is a personal irritation. Sadly this site doesn't have a status for abandoned stories but I beg authors not to mark them as complete. As an avid reader I regularly search out stories which are complete depending on my mood. To suddenly find the last chapter saying "this has been abandoned" is really annoying. I would suggest leaving it as incomplete (which it is) and then making it clearly as abandoned in the summary. I've been known to avoid entire authors because of this habit just because I like to know what I'm getting into when I begin something.
-- Ridiculously short chapters - I understand that not all chapters are going to be 5000 words, and I also understand that sometimes a teaser is necessary, however regular chapters which are 300 words just seems unnecessary. Use books you read yourself as a guide. Even tween books (like the Famous Five or the Baby Sitters Club) will have decent chapters. Be sensible.
-- Bad spelling/grammar - this is one of my biggest gripes. I admit I am a grammar/spelling Nazi. I took linguistics at University and hope to find work as a proof reader but I also know I'm not the only one to find bad grammar and spelling really distracting as a reader. I recently found one FanFic where the author continually used "was" instead of "were" and then complained it was their story and their rules. Whilst I do agree with this if an author wants their work to be read then it needs to be understood in the target language. Grammar and spelling rules are there to help us communicate and exchange ideas, if they are ignored or changed at random then that understanding is lost.
I want to note that I understand that no author can get all their errors. I've been reading over some of my stuff for years and I still find silly mistakes. However there is a difference between a few typos and a page full of mistakes. Read over your work and use spell-check but don't rely on it solely. It won't find words which are wrong for your context but still a word e.g. "I live you" vs. "I love you". Checking your work manually is still the most reliable way overcome this, though your beta reader may help. Give your work the care and attention it deserves. An author who puts their work up for the public to read has taken a leap of faith and their hard work deserves to be as good as it can be. Reading something which is edited and checked flows much more smoothly and gives the reader a substantially more pleasant experience.