Author has written 1 story for Harry Potter.
As I am not from GB or the US, my stories may contain some errors, typos. I won't be insulted if you point them ;). What are my stories about? OP characters, but not from the very beginning, forced to work and think at least a bit for their power. There won't be naive protagonists - I strongly dislike them. On the other hand, I will try not to make my protagonist both too much of an a-hole or a sadist. In my writing and reading, I focus mostly on Harry Potter and Naruto fandoms. From time to time I also like to read a crossover with Worm, Star Wars, Star Gate, or Assasin's Creed.
I'm mostly interested in the theoretical side of supernatural powers of some world. This is the reason I've chosen the above-mentioned titles, so I'm usually seriously disappointed when the author focuses on creating a great pack of friends instead of training the hero. Empire building, Sim City settled in a fantasy world is also something that will surely interest me - I loved a story where Lord Voldemort was reborn in GOT world and tried to create a magical kingdom.
TL;DR - I love a hero that creates, has an idea, isn't only responding to villain, but has this great vision.
The biggest problem I noticed with fanfiction? They are plagiarism and not even intentionally. People repeat the same events, the same dialogue sentences even though the butterflies' wings should've changed everything by now. They don't do it out of the ill will. I tried to write a story, though I didn't publish it and I've fallen into the same pit. First, you try to expand on the story you started in your summary - you had this great idea. The story is almost like a review - you rush to be able to finally catch up with canon, where the differences would be seen, then you slow down.
And this is the problem, looking back this rushed review is always the best part of fanfic because it is something new and it uses ideas from your summary, ideas that lured a reader to your profile. The rest of the fic is a retelling of canon with a more badass protagonist. So in hindsight, I would say - assume that there is no point that you have to catch up to, never slow down with the start of the canon, because if anything it's the canon that needs to be shortly round-up in one paragraph.
So, instead of five chapters, making probably 25% of your story describing the Wave mission in Naruto or Troll Incident in HP it should be commented by one sentence:
(Wave - Naruto) After 4 weeks of D-rank missions, they were finally given a C-rank (though in reality, the mission was a mislabeled A-rank). With their good training before the academy, the mission in Wave didn't give them many troubles, though they finally realized how dangerous their profession can be. After return, they started training with even bigger determination.
(Troll - HP) The rest of autumn didn't bring many emotions. People were terrified by the incident with the troll (how did it even manage to get into Hogwarts?), but luckily the teachers were able to save this Granger girl with only a broken hand (or but as only a muggle-born had died, nobody cared).
This is it. We are fans - we can quote almost whole chapters from our memories and we read hundreds of fanfics. There is nothing more boring than to read for the 300th time the same scene. Short summary is enough - we want to read something new!
- Time travel.
But properly done. There is nothing more irritating than saving the timeline. "I will have no advantage of knowing the future." Yeah, but usually, you're like Kage level warrior. So the outline of future events should be enough and then simply destroy your enemies. It's also nice if the author didn't create new enemies out of anywhere or transported antagonist with the hero.
- Self-inserts (SI).
Only a small fraction of this genre. Unfortunately, the majority of SIs are written by emotional teenage girls. Pure angst - "Oh, I'm in a world, that soon will be drowned in war! Oh, I will die! Oh, I'm so unlucky, but I will suffer like true heroin!"
I prefer the approach from A world full of monsters: "Hmm, so things might go to hell, but there is rinnegan and battle magic in this world. And... I know the future. If I am careful, I can live a long, happy life." When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
It is also very important to me, that protagonist discovers magic/chakra. In many Naruto SIs the hero that tries to be responsible, think ahead, trains physically completely ignoring super-powers. I call bullshit! In rich countries even up to 50% of the population is overweight. Out of not chubby, even fewer people take box or karate classes. Now we take a random person from our universe - probability tells us, that random person will be a couch potato. Meaning they won't know a thing about martial arts, nor even anything about exercises. Meaning, for the average person reborn in Narutoverse chakra is the only salvation. And let's be honest, who would've left something so new and unique for years alone, not trying to experiment?
- Harry is a Horcrux of his girlfriend and she's his.
One of my favorite cheats. I'm very wary of the idea of Horcruxes. Not because it disgusts me - so what, that you have to kill? The world is at war, there's plenty of volunteers, deserving the fate of being an ingredient in a dark ritual. The idea seems simply too dangerous - it's quite probable that Riddle stopped being genius because of madness induced by Horcruxes. Then, it's quite stupid to gain immortality at the price of your immortal part.
But with this cheat... You can really use this garbage power of love, that Dumbledore likes to drone about. I don't believe in this trash, but in the case of repairing, merging soul pieces it can be useful. You can be free of insanity because you have a full soul, even though not completely yours. And you literally gain soul-bound with your beloved ;) So immortality without drawbacks and with many bonuses.
- Accio, Reparo.
With these two spells, no wizard has the right to be poor. You didn't get a job in ministry? So what? Go muggle and summon old coins from Roman Empire, or go to London and summon lost coins from the neighborhood. Are you hungry? Go into wilderness and summon fish - you can't transfigure food, but you can summon it.
If you want a completely legal business, just open a repair shop for everything without electronics. Or go into the recycling business. Buy a garbage dump, summon metal, sell it. Sumon damaged antics, repair it, open a shop with antics. These two spells are cheats, yet nobody uses them on a larger scale. I am not excited when I read about Harry with elemental powers, Harry with great dueling talent, Harry training martial arts. I'm excited when our hero sits and thinks for five minutes and then uses his powers to their full potential.
- Ambitious goal.
Cure Neville Longbottom's parents of insanity, after becoming the best doctor for Harry Potter, create his own Philosopher Stone, create Perpetuum mobile or simply a new energy source and sell it to Muggles. Build an AI by fusing talking portraits instead of electronics.
For Naruto - "catch em all", I mean bloodlines. By fuinjutsu, or being a great medic, I don't care. But bloodlines are the most interesting part of Naruto. Gain Rinnegan. Resurrect parents by upgrading Edo Tensei. Gain Kyubi's memories of ancient jutsus. Create a jutsu, that will automatically exhaust your muscles thus allowing you to skip your physical training.
And so on. But the thing is, be something more than this, internally, a broody teenager whose only goal is to defeat the Big Bad and become the martyr. Hell, even Naruto's dream to become a Hokage would be nice, if he was approaching it seriously, if it would constantly burn his soul, forcing him to learn, train, think.
I simply love the romance that is cute, warm, makes your day. Without drama, nagging, strange adventures like kidnappings and attempted rapes. Warm friendship fluently evolving into something more...
- Gamer fics
With many 'but's. It's great, it creates what we could call Augmented Reality, something that we're trying to achieve with the newest electronics and Artificial Neural Networks. And here it is. The beauty of concept was shown in the original Gamer - seemingly average world became exciting. A little bit like with Sims.
"Who would've wanted to play a life simulator?" Yet everybody loved it and now it has, correct me if I'm wrong, the 4th version.
So it makes your reality a little more magical, even without other special powers. Quantizing the abilities of a person finally gives them the motivation to work harder - every push-up gives you 1% to the next level of strength. You see effects immediately. But it's not all. Skills don't deteriorate - in real life, you forget how to craft, play the piano, speak foreign languages after a while. Your body gains fat and loses strength if you skip the gym.
Then let's add to it some fantasy world with magic/chakra. It finally evens the field for the hero - up until now, he was always getting by thanks to his luck.
There are many ways that this concept can be destroyed:
- Power given intentionally by some higher being or game master. And then there is a dialog with the game. It was supposed to be a game, an automatic program, a machine! Am I the only one creeped out by some powerful designer/demon observing everything the MC does, even in a toilet? Then comes the freedom - there will be the end of it because you gained it only on a whim from some R.O.B.
It's better when it's gained as an accident - for example, Harry Potter's accidental magic and blood protection reacted to beating after a day of playing console. "It would be cool if my life was a game."
- Instant Dungeons. Together with loot, they are screaming, that something's wrong with reality - soon everybody will learn about this special skill, Gamer. But there is a more important thing. IDs are extremely OC, they break the flow of the story. They support a lack of cunning. The Gamer was supposed to make a great story out of bland, grey days. So instead exp should be gained by getting side quests from neighbors. Experience in fights? That's what bullies are for. Show some creativity, make quests based on canon!
- Party system. Gamer was supposed to be a unique skill, giving an advantage to some random guy. With a party system, everyone is suddenly a gamer, everybody has this advantage, so we're back to the square one. Another problem? The Party system all but confirms that Gamer skill won't be a secret. And keeping the reason for OPness is half of the thrill in such fics.
- Wasting the power. The Gamer not only enables, but all but makes sure that the receiver will have exponential growth. But only if the user uses it! So protagonist should sit down and think about how he can play the system. Plan the min-maxing. When and where investing the stat points. What kind of training will be the most efficient with this kind of power.
An example of what not to do is the hero adding his stat points to strength, vitality after every level up. These stats, especially in the beginning, can be very easily ground! It's easy to think about the training that will improve the physical capabilities. It's harder with psychic. INT? Doable - read books, learn, but it's harder. WIS? Very abstract, play chess? LUC? Almost impossible. Yes, gambling and avoiding near-death situations will do. But to gain a point you need to win. And without luck to begin with, you will never level it up, or you may even die.
So - LUC, WIS, INT are the only skills that are justified to use the points on. Even then, firstly they should be ground as far as possible.
Secondly, people are too stubborn when they reach a higher level of stats. They still try to train for days, weeks, only to gain one more point in STR. It's frustrating to read: "He trained for two years, gained 5 points for each stat". To little! They should think about how to walk around the problem. Maybe inject some steroids before the training? Gamer power will make sure that there is no lasting damage. Or maybe discover a skill that passively boosts the stat? Level up Running, should give a passive increase to stamina and the first few levels would be easier to gain than one more level of stamina.
- Training of the protagonist
Because the author is forced to write his own story. Show his own timetable for the hero, show his creative ways of using chakra/magic, create new ways of cheating and grinding. Unfortunately, after the training hero usually walks straight through the canon, looking slightly cooler, then there are some boring fights, so yeah... Training is the moment when MC makes himself better and the part of the story which cannot be simply copied from canon.
- Alternative path villain.
I love stories in AU world, where the villain never became a villain, in his deciding moment he did what was right instead of easy. The stories, where Tom Riddle never killed Myrtle, instead becoming a DADA teacher and reforming Hogwart's curriculum. In Narutoverse, AU where Mizuki isn't a demon hater and decided to tutor Naruto, gaining the attention of Hokage and eventually promotion.
Traditional fics with light!Harry, where the hero doesn't kill anybody aren't able to encourage me to become a better person - I don't believe in the naive rhetoric that they promote. However, fics with villains with a moral backbone usually show that by being a good person you gain more in the long term.
Ironic, as all this text on my profile can be considered a rant. But I mean rants inside of the story. Harry finds out that he was manipulated and for five chapters he rants, how he uncovered all plots. Half of his enemies start to cry and beg for forgiveness, another half is stunned, and only after a week, they have some weak reply.
That's not how real life works. IRL, nobody cares. In response to the rant, everyone becomes defensive, trying to shove the guilt on you. And master manipulators? They ALWAYS have contingencies. There was a one-shot - Harry walks into the headmaster's office and rants. How he discovered that his money was being stolen, that he was being manipulated all his life. Dumbledore response? One world, password built in Harry's subconsciousness years ago.
Ranting is a sign of an overly arrogant hero, who in a real-life would be quickly punished for his stupidy.
- Hermione Granger.
Yes, I know, highly controversial. A good half of the community loves her. But for me, her appearance means, that Harry will be MC in name only. Harry will become muscle, completely not obliged to think by himself. No training, no testing of boundaries of magic. His role is to make stupid, emotional decisions and destroy what his mistress says to destroy.
Her behavior grates my nerves. Teacher's pet, worshipper of authority, bossy... The most important? She's a hypocrite. She breaks rules, laws, morals, but only when she gives a go ahead, is Golden Trio allowed to cause some mischief. Who gave her the right to look at everybody from higher moral ground? Even if I tried, it would be hard to create something more unlikeable.
- Harry Potter.
Or at the very least, his canon self. He has money, fame, power, friends... Yet he decided to become whiny, brooding emo. After the first year, he knows that there is a death warrant on his head. Does he try to learn obscure magic, dark spells (better you than me)? Is he doing anything to at least master the school curriculum?
Speaking of goals, ambitions... Harry should be a Slytherin in all but name. Sorting Hat wanted to put him there - that means that after deeply judging his personality, Hat decided that the most distinct feature of HP is ambition, goal (to achieve sth by himself), cunning (he survived Dursleys without being broken). So Slytherin Harry, where have you gone? Why are you looking for your death in Hogwart's traps? Why have you chosen the most unreliable friends -jealous git and teacher's spy?
- Fleur Delacour
You can be sure, that every talk with her will be about how she is seen by everyone only as a beautiful object. But then you take three steps back and start to wonder - 'why did the author choose this particular girl?'. The answer is usually - 'because she is beautiful'. Every appearance of her reeks of hypocrisy.
But maybe, just maybe, someone really wanted to focus on her because of her interesting personality? No, I don't think so. Every scene with her shows a rude, bitchy, spoiled little girl, not some hurt ice queen who needs a prince.
- Bad grammar.
Yes, probably you've already found dozens of mistakes on my profile. But grammatically incorrect English is not some new language - "I don't know it, you don't know it, we will understand each other perfectly". It doesn't work like this. If I cannot understand what I am reading, I will simply stop, no matter how interesting the plot is.
- Canon will never change.
Harry can gain basilisk gaze and eidetic memory. He still will save Hermione from the troll in his first year. Naruto can have rinnegan. He will still participate in Wave mission, he still will have an absurd talk about his ninja way. The battles may be a little bit more flashy but that's it. Opposite of butterfly effect. The protagonist could be an incarnation of Budda, Merlin, or Jesus Christ, canon won't change. I think it's a definition of fate. You can choose your road, but you have to walk through some checkpoints.
- Taking strays.
So, the protagonist is trying to avoid his enemies. He is already powerful and is killing searching parties, meanwhile gaining new skills. Suddenly, in one village full of homeless children, one is trying to rob him/is attacked. What will he do? Adopt of course, even though he isn't an adult himself. Yes, villains have finally an opportunity to hurt him!
Creating handicap, without any reason, it's so frustrating!
- Unlimited OOcness.
"Naruto Uchiha, son of Hashirama, high-school student, who is a girl is looking for love..."
You know, philosophers are asking themselves, how many changes can you make to the object, before it is no longer the same. Is a chair without one leg still a chair? Without two? Is it a chair, if it's constructed from glass? And so on. Hard to show a precise moment, when something no longer is the same. But it's easy to say, that Naruto without chakra, with a different surname, with different looks, with different character, is no longer the same boy.
- Unnecessary drama.
A hero all the time has near-death experiences, and then gets power-ups, all the time someone kidnaps his future girlfriend to nearly rape her - only then can they kiss. And if it's still too happy? Maybe he should pretend to be a traitor, to protect his friends?
I know that a story without any bumps will be boring, but there has to be some limit! I'm reading these stories to relax, not to clench my fists.
- "I need allies.".
So our hero discovered new powers, ancient bloodlines, family heirlooms, money, many methods of fast training. He's got every raw material necessary, now he should, in terms of RPGs, start to grind all of his stats. We could read about him learning the science behind magic/chakra. Instead, he decided, that he needs allies right now.
Hmm, sometimes you really need them. So, is Naruto trying to befriend and upgrade Kakashi, recover Tsunade? Is Harry Potter trying to get to know Amelia Bones, some neutral family heads(light families already love him)? No! Our protagonist decided to give his teenage friends all his family secret techniques, so in a couple of years, they will achieve adults' power level and will be moderately obliged to him.
"I need allies" is a trigger phrase for me, that makes sure that I will not review nor add to favorites the story.
- Patronus charm.
"Dude, what the hell, it's one of the most important charms in the story!" Yes, but I hate implications. It's purely defensive. When the crowd cheers, that dementors were fended off, I ask myself "What will they do next?" There is no info about them being seriously harmed. So when the hero celebrates, I see dementors and imagine what are they doing at the same time - probably eating muggle's souls, as they were unable to attack wizards.
- Childish insults.
Harry Potter became Lord Potter, Black and whatever you can think about. He is using his Wizengamot seat, he's trying to lead the nation even though he isn't even an adult. So there's this interview in Prophet, where he'll try to show himself as a powerful wizard, mature person, he'll have to avert attention from his age and gain support from the public. He's talking about the war, in formal language and suddenly he says, that he'll fight against the Dork Lord.
It always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, when I read it. Lack of decorum proves that HP is still a little boy, only now with too much power. Look at Dumbledore, how he insults. "Tom". You'll say that it isn't an insult, it's Dark Lord's name. But Dumbledore uses his name deliberately. Even in private meetings, he says "Voldemort, don't fear his name". So why in battle, with so many witnesses is he saying Tom?
It's an obvious insult, with so many layers.
"I know your true name, you can lead Pureblood agenda and yet you will never be one of them".
"You can be a dark lord, but I remember you as one of my students, I can still see this little, pouting boy. Compared to me you're still so inexperienced."
Tom, not Mr. Riddle, it must be so patronizing and as infuriating as his use of "my boy".
This is how you insult with style. But for that, you need the experience, maturity and wit. And OP!Strong!independent!Harry unfortunately usually doesn't have these traits.
- Hidden good guys.
Draco Malfoy and his father are indeed conservative, but not racist, they are fighting against both sides to save the wizarding world. They're compassionate and caring. Bellatrix in reality is a killer only because she was forced to do so by the marriage contract. Voldemort never was a terrorist, he fights against Dark Lord Dumbledore.
You know, I usually find it as disgusting as majority of people find Holocaust Denial. It's quite clear that Draco is pampered brat and bully - no 11 years old could put an act so truthfully. His father is a puppet master. Voldemort is quite clearly a villain, charming and witty but with a soul as black as Satan a.. I wanted to read about dirty compromises, Harry's maturing process and I got a sob story about unnamed heroes.
It's especially common in romances - Bella is not evil, Pansy Parkinson was only pretending, forced to marry Draco by her parents. Here's the thing - the romance would be so much more interesting if the author wouldn't try to put girls in standard uniform - girlfriend model #3. When I saw Bella and Harry in the description I was hoping for a juicy love-hate relationship. Instead, I find a girl with a boring personality and history with only a name that could mean so much more.
- Many main characters.
"There are many POVs in Game of Throne and nobody's complaining, it allows us to better understand, what is happening." Yes, George Martin managed to create a good story with many protagonists, yet he's a professional writer. In the case of ff, it usually makes me indifferent towards the hero. It's not usually made deliberately.
The first cause of the lack of a clear main character is romance. The girl has to fight side by side with the hero. (Quick question to war veterans - how many of you participated in a battle against jihadists with your wives by your side?). Or if she is not a fighter, she does research for the hero, because he's too stupid as a boy (reversed sexism). Pure love, unconditional support, talk are never needed. But in a real-life, it's the most necessary thing your partner can give you. When a soldier fights, he talks to his wife through Skype to gain support. Meanwhile, his wife works as a teacher, maybe is a housewife, maybe a doctor, maybe even a researcher. But my point? She has nothing to do with his fight.
So what is the result for a story? The protagonist makes obvious mistakes to allow his girlfriend to show how much she is needed. He ignores some fields of magic, to make her feel necessary. "I need allies" creates a similar problem. Too many main characters make it impossible for a hero to be truly above average and force an author to leave plot holes, filled by additional heroes. All in all, the reader no longer cares what will happen to our hero (eight deadly words).
- Memory loss.
It's usually combined with travel - in time or to different dimensions - in crossovers.
So our badass hero, or not so badass, but with enough abilities, that would give him an advantage in his new home, loses his memories as a price. Instead, he gains better genetics, some vague feelings. The author should be honest and admit, that his story is not a crossover, but simply has an OC character.
Examples - infant Harry Potter travels to Death Note universe, losing his magic. Oh, and he gains a new, Japanese name. Why are you still calling this child HP?
- Lady Fate, Death, God, Merlin...
... suddenly appearing and saying "You have the purest soul ever, your enemy is the worst dark lord since centuries, we will help you". Why now? Where were you? I hate these overpowered characters, amoral - because they had power and did nothing for ages and dictating which morals the hero should embrace.
- Villain acts, hero reacts.
Meaning, that usually the hero has no ambition. He wants to protect his precious people (how I hate these words), defeat (never kill) the bad guy. Immortality? "It's wrong, everybody has to die eventually." Never mind, that both Naruto and HP world has good half dozen of methods to live longer, without human sacrifices. Money? No! Hero has to live in poverty! Sexy girls? Only as a side note, never as a goal (although this one ambition is sometimes allowed). High political position? Now, this is pure evil, allowed only to rip to pieces the old system, never for power.
Ambition IMHO should never be treated as it is in shounens. It's the ambition of medieval doctors, that created current medicine. The ambition of scientists created cars, science, factories, reduced hunger. The ambition of some, admittedly partially-evil princes, good hundreds of years ago created your country uniting the fighting tribes. And back to modern times - ambition is what forces young adults to finish university and gives the nation professionals. Ambition drives people to create new companies thus reducing the unemployment rate.
Without ambition, the story is the next copy of canon, with slightly different details. With it, we can finally get to know the world in the story, feel as if we were a part of something new, greater.
- Forgive everything
Yes, forgiveness frees you, if you want revenge, you should dig up two graves - for your enemy and for yourself. You shouldn't go on a killing spree for bullying, neglectful parents should be simply given to proper authorities.
Ok, but there are some things, that are unforgivable:
- Naruto is chased by mobs, skinned, raped, electrocuted. "Oh no, I have to show them love, they will understand, that they were wrong." But I would rather say that 13 warning shots in the back of their heads are more appropriate. And if you are the real pacifist, let them face trial under a neutral judge and send them to prison. But changing their minds is not enough. Making them cry in understanding is not enough. For such crimes, there needs to be punishment.
- Sasuke rapes and then kills Hinata in front of Naruto, then kills the jinchuriki himself. By a strange seal malfunction, Naruto goes back in time. Ok, he has the advantage of knowing the future, knows, who is the villain. Will he slit the throat of the vermin before it becomes too dangerous? No, of course he can forgive everything, he will go on a guilt trip.
So to sum up - the author builds angst and reader's anger to some absurd heights and then changes his quite dark story into an ideological manifest. Manifest that doesn't work, because anybody with a half brain will recognize that it wasn't justice. The story wasn't presenting a moral approach, criminals weren't punished.
Because, honestly, changing someone's hair color is not funny. My reaction is usually "Meh, ok, and?". On the other hand, truly good pranks should be either cruel, borderline bullying to be funny, but then, there is a question - has this person truly deserved such actions? - or pranks should be really weird, that when you see them, you can only say WTF?!
Pranks are usually used in stories as some form of revenge. But it's not enough and it's not working IRL. Because, as said Machiavelli, you should never hurt your enemies lightly - either use some decisive, crushing actions or don't act at all. Slight acts of hostility will bring revenge from your enemy and thus the cycle of hatred (forgive me this Naruto phrase) is never-ending. Putting your enemies in jail for life on the other hand is a good beginning.
- Buying slaves to save them.
Do I even have to explain the simple laws of the market? The hero isn't punishing the offender, he helps one slave, yes, but at the same time, he is sponsoring the business and ensures that it thrives. His gold will be spend well on hunting new merchandise.
- Fishing-rod instead of fish
Harry needs to make some allies. Instead of giving them money, tutors and so on, he gives them the base of his power - Room of Requirement when he could give them some items from there, grimoires of Potter family, instead of good textbooks, knowledge of the future (if he is a time traveler/SI) instead of giving advices on a need-to-know basis.
He voluntarily gives away every advantage he posses in hope of gratitude. He loses control for no good reason.
No, it's more than dislike. I hate it with passion. Harry is hunted by an extremely skilled assassin with years of knowledge. Instead of doing his best in school he neglects his homework, avoids difficult electives only to have more time for a silly game.
I try to find a parallel in the normal world - a psychotic hacker killed your family, soon he will try to break into all your accounts. You can only find information about him by becoming a skilled hacker. So, what should you do? Do your best during math and computer science, in your free time code for fun, read about Unix. Instead, you become a school champion of a go-kart. It's not a bad hobby, could be probably relaxing, but in such circumstances, you mustn't sacrifice all your time for silly games!
- Good goblins.
There are, unfortunately, many naive stories, but this trope takes the cake. Even Rowling, who was always politically correct, whose whole story was about tolerance, described them as an untrustworthy race. Even canon showed how an attempt to cooperate ended with a dagger in the back.
They are opportunistic, rude, aggressive. Race of warriors - meaning race bereft of intellectuals. Their property rights are ridiculous, the history shows that they rebel time and time again. Already, they have too much power - their monopoly over the financial system is dangerous. Then let's look for myths and pop-culture - the goblins are always villains, be it Tolkien or Warhammer 40k. It's like making a pact with demons believing that they are misunderstood.
So I cringe every time, when weak, defenseless Harry arrives at Gringotts and describes his situation to these immoral creatures. What is more probable - that a thug hearing about your troubles will help you or that he will rob you, seeing as you are now an easier target?
- "Curse of immortality."
There are only a few instances when immortality could be really considered a curse - if you are held a prisoner, if you are being tortured or constantly in pain due to some illness that makes you suffer, but doesn't let you die. Yes, this type of torture was shown in Stargate - a parasitic race of Goa'uld would capture you, burn to death, resurrect, and so on. You couldn't count on death being the end of this hell.
But this is not the case in the majority of HP fanfics - Harry is rich, he discovered a desire to learn new things and he became a genius. he knows how to pick up girls. And he moans that it's terrible, that he has to commit suicide. That he will outlive his friends. Here's a thing for you about friends - it's a rarity that you stay in contact with your BFF longer than 5 years. Really. Change of school, then change of workplace, emigrating to a different city or even country to earn a little bit more... The point is, by the point you reach 50, the contact with your friends from highschool is reduced to talking on skype twice a year and meeting in person on their birthday.
"Ok, but what about seeing your family die?" You will see them die, either way, leading, what we call a happy life. If your life is devoid of tragedy, you will bury your parents and grandparents, not the other way around. You will probably bury half of your siblings when they will start to die of age. With or without immortality, there is a 50% chance that your spouse will die first.
The point is, I despise the angst in any form. Unjustified angst gets a multiplier. I try to pay my bills from my pay and I am happy when there is something left that I can save for a rainy day. I live in fear, that by the time I reach my 50 there will be a high probability of getting cancer or stroke. And here is this young little shit, moaning that he has so much money and it's so sad, that he will never die or suffer illness. It's kinda hard to sympathize with a broken nail of a celebrity when you fight every day to survive.
- Curse of hatred.
In Naruto, it is said to be a curse of the Uchiha family. The reason behind their behavior. My problem? All events can be explained without this strange concept. Arrogance? They have the most powerful bloodline! Still, I feel that Hyuuga are more arrogant. Rebellion? They were led to it since Nidaime, who tried to discriminate against them and created a ghetto for them. Uchiha Massacre is BTW honestly the best part of this anime - it's a Greek tragedy in the truest form. Fugaku didn't have a choice - he was stalked by ANBU - he didn't know that they were ROOT. In his mind, had he not struck first, his family would be annihilated.
What about a large number of psychos? Indra, Madara, Obito, Itachi, Sasuke? Itachi tried to do a good thing, so he's out. Sasuke was manipulated by everyone and as a child he watched his family slaughtered - nobody would come from it sane. Indra was manipulated by Black Zetsu. Obito was tortured and brainwashed by Madara. That leaves Madara, a bitter war veteran, forced to surrender his army to his victorious foe, whose brother killed his own brother.
The concept of the curse of hatred is unnecessary. What Uchicha are doing is typical human behavior - it's Senju that are freaks, trying to be funny during the war, desperately using diplomacy where words should have been forsaken long ago. Uchiha as a clan is not specifically evil, they are slightly arrogant and then targetted by manipulators.
Brackets as a means to heighten angst. Something like a second voice answering bitterly. It was probably supposed to be so artistic, mature, sarcastic. But it always sounds like a little whining boy, angrily but without any force behind him. I'm against angst as it is, but I always give a benefit of a doubt to the writer - maybe this whole angst was a mistake? He tried to show that protagonist is lost in his new circumstances and forgot that prologue should be short. But these brackets, like some tragic answering choir in theater, shows that the author is proud of his errors!
A magical artifact judges the MC to see if he is worthy of being its master. I dislike this trope because not only I would never be able to pass such a test, but also because any boy/girl passing it, would have to be incredibly naive, self-righteous.
"Take this magical wand. However, you are allowed to use its magic only to protect the weak."
What about protecting myself? Or using its magic to live a rich life, without hurting others? Making a good business? A hero worthy of possessing such an item is supposed to be bullheaded and simple-minded. Thinking about the future, planning is seen almost as a sin.
Thoughts about fandoms
This setting is so bad that it slowly becomes good. In all honestly, I managed to read maybe only a half of canon. The rest I learned from the wiki and other fanfics. I couldn't do it - it was too dark, the atmosphere was too tense. Also, there wasn't a single character that I could point out and say "This one, this person is a great guy/cute girl". Literally, every single person had traits that made them impossible to like. Then there is the difficulty - it's simply impossible to win, what with the godlike entity - Scion and three Godzillas.
I have to admit that the world is quite big and detailed. Taking into account all of the flaws of the canon, it makes a great sandbox for fanfics. However, unlike Harry Potter or Naruto, I wouldn't recommend reading the story without any changes.
Why I hate every single person in this setting:
She is the main heroine of this story. I'll admit, it is cool to some extent that she escalates. What I can't stand is that her cape career is just an escape from bullying. She gained powers, she is, and already was suicidal because of school. However, she doesn't spend even five minutes thinking about improving her living situation. She doesn't try to capitalize on her accident - the locker was at least looked at by proper authorities, even if they eventually gave up. She had finally a point from which she could start a legal offensive. Sadly, she never tries to use it, press advantage. She also doesn't try to use her new power to defend herself - monitoring, where her bullies are isn't worth mentioning. She could use her bugs to spy, overhear their talks, and finally, she would discover that Sophia is Ward. Or she could outright kill Emma and make her bugs eat the body - no evidence. The thing is, she doesn't do anything to protect herself - neither lawful nor questionably moral attacks.
The sad thing is, after reading how she takes bullying after her trigger, I start to agree with Sophia of all people! SS, who is a monster with childish Darwinist philosophy. But... Before trigger, the Ward is obviously wrong - there is nothing that Taylor can do, no way to stand up. If she would really hit any of her bullies, the headmistress would have something really substantial to put in her files. Both Emma's father, who is a lawyer, and teachers who want to have a Ward would do their best to destroy her. She has no path that she can take to make herself free, the system is against her. However, her powers and documented case of assault opens new possibilities. Still, she doesn't do anything, she's still waiting for someone with the power to protect her. Well, hello! After the trigger, you are the one with the power and if you still don't stand to protect yourself, then you really deserve to suffer.
A second major point that irritates me is how she wants to be a hero. There are many problems with it. I mentioned already the first one - it's only a substitute to avoid solving her real problems. But the most important thing is that she is willing to become a spy. Let's reiterate it: her life is hell because her best friend betrayed her. She had no friends, no friendly soul to talk to. And now, there is a group that finally accepted her and trusts her. They are not perfect - being thieves and all... But they care for her. Her plan? Betray them. She is going to do the same thing that Emma did to her - betray her best friends. Once again, isn't Taylor a terrible creature that deserves all the suffering?
Looking for a whipping boy:
The thing that irritates me most in this setting is Taylor's reaction to her bullies. It's always "Today the bullying was too much. I need to fight gangs." I can't understand this type of mentality. She is bullied so she is looking for a substitute guilty party. There's no need for it, they are right before you! Instead of getting revenge on Emma, plotting ways of legally convicting Sophia, she thinks about how to fight crime. She should start with her immediate problems first. Instead, Sophia hits her and a couple of hours later she hits E88 thugs. Where is the logic in that? The icing on the cake is "I'm better than my bullies" and then she hunts gangsters that haven't hurt her ever.
Shortly, usually Taylor ignores her issues, doesn't try to improve her personal life.