Author has written 6 stories for Harry Potter.
After five years, I've decided to finally put something up in my author's profile. My screen name is Wandmaker, and I teach screenwriting at a major university.
The last few Harry Potter books really disheartened me. Previously, the series had been a joyous escape...a fantastic delight. Things then devolved into a depressing, frustrating statement about how war sucks, and death is random. Rowling spoke of wanting to teach children about death. Well, as it so happens, death is the one lesson that cannot or should not ever be taught. It exists, it will come, and no amount of "lessons" will ever prepare a child's heart for its devastation. It is an unspeakable arrogance to presume otherwise. Nonetheless, doing this was JKR's right, of course. It was her universe, her creation. What disturbs me as a writing professor is seeing so many otherwise talented young writers trying to emulate the high body count.
I wish I could convince so many of you that killing off characters is a poor substitute for true drama. It's a lazy, cliched and usually unimaginative way to pay off a story. Although it's not always the case, I've typically found that the higher the body count, the younger the writer. And the fact is, while you may shock your readers and get the "wow" reaction - you'll usually end up with a story that most people won't want to read over and over again.
So what do I like? I like stories where characters experience new and unique things. I like stories where Harry Potter finally doesn't take crap from abusers. I like stories where bad guys like Umbridge, Voldemort and the Dursleys actually have to pay for the things they do.
What do I dislike? I dislike stories where SIRIUS DIES!! He already died a lame, crappy death in Canon - why on earth would I want to see him die another crappy, meaningless death in fan fiction? If you went to a movie and all the cool, lovable hot guys were killed - you'd ask for your money back.
Profile Update: You know what is the most annoying trend in Harry Potter fan fiction? Harry/Multi pairings. With all those thousands of Harry/Hermione stories out there, I couldn't imagine a reason why otherwise terrific writers would still insist on cramming Hermione into EVERY other Harry pairing. I'd be reading an incredible Harry/Fleur story and all of a sudden, it turns into a Harry/Fleur/Hermione pairing. Always Hermione. Always! Is she that irresistible? Can no romantic pairing be complete without her? Or I'll be at another site, and start scrolling down the stories, al 90% of them are Harry/harem. Why, people? First of all, while pairings are great fun...they're not the be-all and end-all of a great story. We want characters and great plotting. Stuffing multi pairings into an otherwise fabulous, strong story takes actually weakens it. I actually have to wonder what on earth has happened to our female culture. Is it really liberating to write multiple women who can only share one man between them? Is that what strong female characters have come to? Must women always settle for less, even in fan fiction? And in reality, who among us would truly tolerate such an arrangement?
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