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  1. Yesterday
  2. My First Time (writing original fiction)

    It's great you started writing OF. You know the middle and the end. Sounds so interesting. Enjoy your journey in your story.
  3. Last week
  4. Hey guys, it's negative nancy, here with some good news (seriously, where is this positivity coming from?) For my final year i was meant to be writing a script. I'd heard lots of things from past students on what to do and what not to do, and in the end I had vague aspirations that lead to giving up on my degree and marrying into money. But I trudged on, creating an extremely political scary world with some fairly eccentric characters thrown in. There was just one problem: I hated it. I hated my plot, I hated my characters, and I hated that it felt like there was no one on my team - because no one understood it. So I scrapped it! Now instead I'm writing a piece about age, sexuality, and family secrets...and it's not so daunting. I always saw original fiction as some strange next level writing - because with FF for me it was just playing. I touched on serious topics like dementia, anxiety, and adultery - but the characters were ready made. I had my own spin on a few, but the challenge was to present them in character. In original fiction, the rules are yours...which should be liberating - but to me it wasn't. I felt like I had to create an exciting new world because so many had already been created, wizarding worlds, Narnia, Gallifrey - and I thought by making it 'normal' I'd be boring. I thought that if my play wasn't challenging then I was writing it wrong. I don't think I'm that creative, most ideas never make it out of my brain and onto paper because I don't have the determination to complete it - and I was trying to defend a world and a setting more than an actual plot. It was like if JKR had created the wizarding world, and just gone: here you go, have fun. Rather than giving us the chosen one, or Voldemort and his death eaters - and all these families that we love, imagine if Rowling had just given us the world. It's still magical and exciting, but it isn't enough. My piece seemed half baked. I was trying so hard to remould it, and make it what other people wanted, until I realised I wasn't enjoying myself anymore. Which naturally meant it wouldn't be my best work. The best thing I ever wrote was a piece called In the Mourning, a short story about Harry and Professor McGonagall, and if Harry had visited his parents grave before the scene in deathly hallows. Or Storge, my one shot about Ariana Dumbledore and her death. The reason I think that they're probably my best, is because I loved them. I planned them out from start to finish, and put so much love and care into them...which is why I like them anyway. With my initial script it was just like, I need to get this done! It was about pleasing others, and not myself. I think that original fiction is very similar to FF really, and I'm not sure why I had it placed on this metaphoric pedestal for so many years. I don't think I could write a book myself, but from what I've written so far - I had to enjoy what I was writing. I had to be comfortable with my idea. I want it to be entertaining, and insightful. I want to make people laugh, and cry, I want them to be shocked, maybe even uncomfortable - but I want them to feel. Which I think is what every writer wants, original or not. Maybe my initial experience is completely different to other people's, but this is my first time writing original fiction, and my first time writing a play! Once I liked what I had the words kept flowing...though maybe that was because it was 2am, and now I'm up to 600 words! I know I keep going on about it and you're probably getting sick of it, but this really is a huge milestone for me. Obviously I'm far from done...in fact, I've come up with a list! This is the most basic list, that I'll have to edit as I go along, but I thought you might like to see in case I'm missing something obvious, or if you'd just like to take a gander! OF List: fully flesh out characters: 1/6 understand plot have a timeline (halfway there) know the beginning know the middle know the end come up with a title create a summary/blurb pitch it to other people have set/costume/props in mind anyway, I think I've bored you all to death by now - and I have a scene to finish!

    So pleased you guys are excited too! I warn you it'll take some months before there are any new chapters up that aren't on the other site, but rest assured they will be coming. And Jasmine has promised to beat me about the head a bit to make sure I keep writing it.

    Yessss! I've been looking forward to this ever since I ran out of chapters to read on HPFF years ago I love this story and am so glad you're posting it here! Very exciting. Congrats

  8. So, I know I've been noticeable by my absence lately - if you notice that sort of thing and are familiar with me, that is. It's the usual excuse: real life is really hectic and I'm struggling to find time to spend on these forums and the archive. I have far too many unanswered reviews and it's been far too long since I've updated my author page with anything new ... or, really, with anything at all. And, to my eternal chagrin, Gryffindor are languishing near the bottom of the House Cup, and (very ashamed here) I haven't done anything to help lift them back up where they belong. But! I have news!!! After consultation with my beta, the lovely Jasmine, and looking at how my Neville story is coming together, I have decided to START POSTING IT ON HPFT!!! Yes! A new novel! After goodness knows how many years since How to tame a Marauder was finished. (I hasten to say that I have written other novels in the meantime. It's just that they're OF and I'm not ruling out trying to get them published, so they're not being posted on the archive here.) I am finding myself extremely excited about this, because it really has been a long time since I"ve posted a story of anything like this length. I should probably say here that the novel is by no means nearly finished, like HTM was when I started to post that. It's something like 60,000 words and I think there is probably another 40,000 to go before it's done. But, it's taking shape nicely, and I'm not going to be overly taxing with my schedule. So, I'm posting, at this stage, monthly. The first four chapter are pretty much what I posted on the old site, but I have two more ready to go and a bunch of other material that just hasn't been sorted into chapters yet. I like it, though. I like how it's coming together. I like how I'm characterising the main canon cast, and I like how it's flowing. Of course, there is a lot of work to do yet, but I figure that if I have the added pressure of needing to post the next chapter by a certain time, that will actually work for me. Deadlines and I actually get along. So, here goes. Year of the Snake is now in the queue at HPFT and I"ll do an edit on this blog when it gets up. I'll add a new chapter in the third week of every month from now on.And, should it get to the point that I can progress to, say, fortnightly posts, I'll do that too. A new novel. I'm feeling so good about this!
  9. Earlier
  10. Learning to Write Again

    Thank you so much for the encouragement, Stella! I'll definitely go back and read some of those reviews and see what people were saying. I think that's a great idea. I totally understand what you mean about writing feeling like a chore. I'm really enjoying NaNo, but I've had days where I just don't feel up to it. I'm super behind right now, but I do still feel productive because I've actually written this month rather than just talked about it. I hope your own writing has been going better lately too! And Angie, I'll just repeat what everyone else has told me that's really helped: just write! Anything. Five words. Two words. Anything. It's really helped me get back into it to just write things and try not to worry about how good/bad it is. Let me know if you want to talk as you get back into it too!
  11. Learning to Write Again

    I can relate. I am returning to HPFT after a very long hiatus today and I haven't written in months, maybe even a year or more. I honestly can't remember the last time I wrote. I want to get back into writing though.... and I suppose I will start by entering a challenge or two to get my muse rolling. Good luck to you too!
  12. Learning to Write Again

    I can totally relate. There was about a year, starting about May or June last year when we all started to move to HPFT, when not only did I have no inspiration to write anymore, but also just lost all my love for writing and my heart wasn't in it anymore. It felt like a chore. I also only had one reader so there was minimal pressure to keep pushing through the writer's block. It was kind of hard getting back into writing after that, as you've said. But, I just dove right back in and it turned out okay. One thing that helped me was to read some past reviews that people had left for me years ago, which reminded me that people liked my writing. It's a great way to boost your confidence about your writing so you feel good when you're starting off again! And as others have suggested, challenges can be great to actually prompt you to put some words on paper. HP, other fandom, original fiction prompts, whatever you're feeling. Nonsense! Of course you're good at writing! Besides, I think the fact that you've been spending the interim editing only means you're keeping up your writing skills, because editing uses those same skills. You're looking over your past writing, improving it to your current standard. That means you're a better writer than when you began writing Rule Breaker all those years ago. Hope NaNo has been productive and that you've been able to get back into the swing of things a bit!
  13. Ok, so - I have written 1,948 words. Yes, I am WAY behind It's OK, I will catch up. But, has anyone noticed that Christmas is coming up?? I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! Yes, I have been Christmas shopping and not writing. To be fair though, I have 5 babies to shop for. Even though my eldest is 14 and into Anime and Pokemon, I'm still looking at HP stuff to buy. Which also reminds me. A friend's son is turning 11 this year, so he is getting a HP birthday. I'm going to crochet something small up for him and post it from "Mrs Weasley" The last few days I've spent moving my sites to a new hosting server that is more economical and that reminded me to update here. Here are a few lines from what I have written though
  14. Dumbledore's Ardour

    It's strange and interesting when you get reviews which say your characterization of your headcanon is wrong in spite of your effort for writing your story. First when I got negative ones on my plot about Harry/Ginny ship, I felt slightly or heavily disappointed. Recently some reviews say they don't think my characterization about Draco Malfoy will let readers feel sympathetic towards him. I tried responding to them by telling my thinking way. It's your story. Just a fanfiction. We can enjoy writing a variety of story. And at the same time I try to think what I can do or could do to let readers feel sympathetic towards the character more. So thinking those reviews positively might make your writing strength strong.
  15. Dumbledore's Ardour

    It's hard to get people out of their headcanon for certain characters, especially one like Dumbledore. He's controversial and has become even moreso as the fanbase of Harry Potter has gotten older. I do tend to disregard people who have a completely different take on a character and aren't paying attention to how I'm writing someone or just don't get the character/story.
  16. Get ready. Get Set. And.........

    You got this! (Also, planning is overrated. )
  17. Dumbledore's Ardour

    I have to admit, it's so disheartening when you have readers acting with hostility and derision toward a character you're trying to present as complex and doing his best. I appreciate that not everybody likes certain characters, but so many reviews I've received recently are jumping right into this mad caricature of Albus Dumbledore as evil and manipulative, and I'm just like... But if you read the story, that's not how he's presented? Like, at all? A lot of my readers, because of the nature of the story, also read independent!Harry or Lord Potter style fics, but here the hostility toward Dumbledore just isn't justified. It's surprising how disappointing it can be to read a review and find it very focused on a negative response to the behaviour of "Dumbles" when he genuinely is doing his best, particularly when other characters are being so much worse. Alas! I don't know what to do about it, honestly. I'm certainly not going to write an AN about it or anything similar, but yeah... It's a real shame.
  18. Get ready. Get Set. And.........

    So, I lied in 2007, I wrote New Beginnings (MA) and wrote 33,560 words. This is the most I have written, not the 28,297 from the year before. I figured this out as I updated the NaNoWriMo site of my previous attempts and word counts. I'm missing documents from 2009 - 2010 or I may not have labelled them as "nano" and can't remember what they were In any case, as I type this, there are 52 minutes to go till NaNo starts here in Sydney, Australia. I decided to continue writing my original piece. I've no real idea where to start - I just plan on writing. I added my word count widget to my profile picture, so this will show my progress. Good luck for those doing NaNoWriMo 2017
  19. NaNoWriMo 2017

    Thanks I have an editor already waiting in the wings for me to complete as I want to publish, so fingers crossed.
  20. NaNoWriMo 2017

    I’m sorry to hear about your struggle I know how frustrating it is to be working on something for so long without really seeing progress. I love your idea though (but I’m Australian :P) i love that you continue to try. Who knows, this is year might be your year! Good luck
  21. NaNoWriMo 2017

    The countdown to NaNoWriMo is on again. I participate EVERY year and I fail every year. I expect no different this year. Why do I do it? Because I've been working on my original fiction since 2009 and have yet to complete my first draft. It's a historical fiction based on a true timeline of events in Australia. As such, its also dealing with real towns and the longer I fail at writing, the more "life" goes on and towns change. But, I have spent over $2000 of my own money in research for this, so I can never give up - nor do I want to. Life has also played a massive part in the "no writing" aspect. I work full time and have just recently had baby #5. Motherhood kinda has to be a priority I came close to finishing NaNo once - my first year in 2006, with Draco and Ginny Pudding (MA), it sits at 28,297 words and I have yet to move all of it here to HPFT. The title was inspired by the HPFF Cliche Cafe, part of the NaNo fun on the forums of the time. It's the most I have written for NaNo - My least being 450 words last year Hopefully this year I will succeed, I just have no idea if I'll try and write my OF, start another, or write FF. Below in an excerpt from my original fiction - A first ever peek. I've never posted it publicly before. I have 3 more days to decide...I'll keep you updated.
  22. Learning to Write Again

    Ooh! Thanks for those other sites! It’s a tough position we’re in, but I think we can get back into the swing! I believe in us!
  23. Learning to Write Again

    Can I join the club? First other work kept me from writing, stuff that appealed creatively (building websites; working with Adobe After Effects - a digital visual effects program; heck, even knitting). Then doubt starting creeping in when I thought about writing. Now I when I get ideas, I sort of squirrel them away even though I know it's best to strike while the iron is hot. I'll second the suggestion of challenges, but remember you don't have to limit yourself to just HP-related ones. There are other forums that host writing challenges or have writing prompts like Worldsmythswriters, Shadowplay and Candyland Couture.
  24. Learning to Write Again

    I'm the same. The last time I was truly in my element was 2013. I used to live for writing, it wasn't very good - but back then I didn't think about that. Now as I've gotten older I've had other, important things, to get on with and my love for writing dwindled. Every so often I get ideas and want to come back, but I'm so self conscious about my skill, or rather the lack of it, that I just get stuck and hit a block. I agree that challenges do help, and just free writing and seeing where it takes you can too. Good luck! I have a lot more faith in you than I do in my own writing aha! Bex
  25. Learning to Write Again

    I know how that feels! When I first joined the site in 2012 I was writing everyday and now I'm lucky if I write a few times a year! I'd love to get back into it but I have no motivation for it. Just take it slow though, writing something now is an achievement even if it isn't a long term fix. And personally I think Challenges are a great way to get you back into writing, ones that give you a prompt or the first line are good if you don't feel like planning either. You can just see where it takes you. And don't worry about feeling like your writing isn't as good any more, just jump back in and if you still feel like that I'm sure there's a beta on here who could help or make you feel better about it. Good luck with Nano as well!
  26. Learning to Write Again

    I'm out of practice. I haven't really written something substantial in years. And I don't really know how to start up again. In terms of fanfiction, in 2014, I finished Rule Breaker (soon to be renamed Collateral and posted on HPFT). It was a project five years in the making, and I absolutely loved writing it. After that, though, I wrote very little. In 2015, I posted two one-shots and two chapters of what was meant to be a novel until I lost interest. Since then, I've written nothing. For over two years. Now I'm getting ready to write the sequel to Collateral, entitled Rendition. I want to tackle it for NaNo this year. I'm really excited about it. But I can't seem to figure out how I'm going to do this. I'm so out of practice writing. Over the last month or so, I've edited some of my HPFF stories and transferred them to HPFT. It's been cathartic. I've really enjoyed improving them. Trouble is, I haven't actually been writing anything, just editing. And now I want to jump in with both feet. So, how do I do this? I've considered entering some challenges to get my writing brain moving again. I think that might help as a short-term fix. I'm not sure if it will help in the long term though. I don't know if I'm any good at writing anymore. There's just a lot of self-doubt with it right now. I know I should just grit my teeth and plunge forward, but that fear of failure isn't so easy to overcome. True, no one will really know if I "fail" at writing—I'll be the only judge/jury/executioner on that—but it still brings me pause. I'm a compulsive planner when it comes to writing. I love knowing where I'm going before I start. But I haven't even been able to bring myself to sketch out the greater plot of Rendition past the first few chapters, and NaNo starts in a week. Ohhhh man am I screwed. So, that's the end of that rant. Any advice? Words of wisdom? Words of comfort? Shrieks of empathetic understanding for feeling exactly the same way?
  27. Hi all! It's been a minute, or several, I guess. As always, as soon as the school year hit, my activity on this site plummeted. Curse you, college and club involvements! I've been meaning to get back into my writing, but with graduate school applications due in less than two months, along with running two very different and large clubs on campus, not to mention my regular schoolwork and actual jobs, it's fallen onto the furthest back burner. So this week is National Chemistry Week for the American Chemical Society (Happy Mole Day!!!) and on Friday is our student chapter's biggest event of the year, our annual Halloween House event. This event brings in close to 1000 people from the surrounding community and we show them cool chemistry demos (of course we have fire and color changing demos, and liquid nitrogen ice cream!) along with some cool activities from the biology, earth science, physics, and pre-med clubs. It's a great event but when you're in charge of it going smoothly it's extremely stressful. That's one of the many excuses reasons why I'm not more present on the site as of now, but also because I've completely forgotten where I'm at in my novel as well and what's supposed to be happening. *shrug* I'm definitely going to have time to work on it over Thanksgiving break though, right alongside my personal statements for grad school applications. This was just my way of saying hey, I'm still around, but more in a lurking sort of way until I actually have some time on my hands. Look for a BRAND NEW chapter of Love Makes Me within the next month though for sure! ~Madi
  28. Life Will be the Death of Me

    First blog posts are usually so uplifting, full of energy describing excitement to start something new or talk about all the great journeys that are about to begin. My journey is less uplifting, more being pushed off the edge of a very tall cliff with a promise of sharp rocks and quicksand at the bottom. Today, and possibly every other time I write a blog - it will be a rant shared with the few that dare to read. My brain is currently in six places at once, and instead of tackling all 99 problems, my mind has shut down, it's offline for maintenance, or more likely - it's left the building altogether. I've seen a lot of friends start their first year at university, and I'm hit with an unfamiliar pang of jealousy. Would I like to go through the process again? Probably not. I've faced too many sleepless nights and 12 hour days filled with thoughts like 'what the heck am I doing why didn't I just find a 9 to 5 job like everyone else' - to want to do all this again. But there's something so exciting about starting something new. They're yet to know how close they'll become to making a deal with the devil and wishing they could sell their soul to get any sort of grade, let alone a good one. For anyone who's considering uni, I almost always tell them to go for it, or at least apply. Yes there's debt, yes there's deadlines, but you have a degree. Graduate jobs are an option, and it opens you up to a new way of thinking. I can't watch a film, a play or a television show without being somewhat analytical now. If it's a show with context, even better! But. University isn't for everyone. For some it's a way out, avoiding the eventuality of employment and actual life. My gran keeps telling me I need to get a job for life skills. Personally I find the money a lot more appealing, but I suppose she has a point. The end is drawing near, I'm nervous, terrified I won't be a success...but am I sad? The short answer is no. The long answer is, I'm done with education. And if you were done with education at 18, then don't do university. I don't want someone judging me by how I write an essay, or standing up in front of 50 something people with my heart in my mouth as I try explaining something with certainty that we've only had an understanding of for a few weeks. I want to be judged on my talent, how I am as an actual person. I don't want to be seen as a customer, or another number. I want to be of value. I want to feel great about myself! I have a presentation tomorrow, my car broke down again, I'm writing a script for my final year project and my idea has been branded vague, uninteresting and too complex. I'm close to looking for the next flight to the other end of the world and staying there because if I'm going to be lost, stressed, and confused - I'd rather be battling a deadly trio like that in the sun and be upset with a tan. I'm far too pale to be dealing with all this! But such is life. Another thing I will say is, I know it'll get better. Life goes in cycles, if you'd asked me how life was going at Christmas this blog would be a lot cheerier - and shorter. I think this long winded rant is necessary to accept that crap has happened, I'm going through a lot of bad stuff right now, but I need to accept it. And this is how. In a year's time I'll be in a totally new place, with new problems and things to be mad about. But by then I can guarantee I'll miss university and wish I was back. Would I do a masters? There's as much chance of that happening as Neville Longbottom joining the death eaters and becoming Voldemort's favourite. Next to none. But this is my introduction - hi, this is me, cynical, grumpy and stressed - there are no other emotions. For anyone else who's stressed with work or education, feel free to join me on this ship - it's a sinking one but eventually we'll rise from the (ashes, no surely not) watery depths and come back much like Captain Jack Sparrow: with a vengeance.
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