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forever_dreaming

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I spent last night questioning why I was doing this to myself, but really, I can't resist :D Jumping in at the last minute! 

This is my first time doing NaNo (which is why I went as a rebel because otherwise I'd be seriously stressed out). I don't have any one project I want to work on and would be happy with having written anything over the month, but there is one novel-length work that I'm hoping to work on, two short story/novellas, and a few short stories/challenge entries I'm hoping to at least get started :) The novel length work is the one that's the most intimidating for me because I've never written a full novel (scary!) or really, anything longer than a one-shot. I'm giving myself lots of options of projects that would be considered productive because I know that my muse tends to be a little flighty... these projects are ideas that I return to frequently and seem to regularly spark my interest. Whether they hold my interest is another story altogether haha. 

I. Best Laid Plans (Next Gen James II/OC) 

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Madeleine Thomas-Finnegan has a fool-proof plan for a successful seventh year. She's going to kick ass at her N.E.W.T.s, be the best Hospital Wing intern ever, and finally make her best friend Albus Potter realize how madly in love with her he is. Unfortunately, she didn't factor Al's gross, brooding older brother James returning to Hogwarts as a Healer—still as brooding as ever, but suddenly not as gross anymore. 

  • Madeleine is Dean and Seamus's adopted daughter. (They constantly argue over whether she's Thomas-Finnegan or Finnegan-Thomas haha). Madeleine was abandoned by her birth mother and this has given her serious abandonment issues. It's also why she wants to be a Healer, because her birth mother was a Healer. 
  • Growing up, Madeleine was much closer to James than to Albus until they were 8 and she got a crush on Albus, which sort of went like this:
    Spoiler

    James: Hey, Madeleine, you have a crush on Al, right? 
    Maddy: Huh? 
    Al: Cut it out, James. 
    James: Yeah, you're right; it would be pretty pathetic if she had a crush on you. 
    Al: What? Why would it be pathetic?
    Maddy: Huh?
    James: Because you're best friends. Talk about lame! 
    Al: So what if it's lame? It's none of your business anyway!
    (They proceed to get into a fist-fight). 
    Maddy: I want to crush Al? 

    Maddy's crush on Albus is, really, sort of superficial. She doesn't really know Albus all that well; they're only best friends because they're the same age and because their fathers like to hang out and play Quidditch together on Sundays; if James was Maddy's age, then those two would be best friends. Maddy and Albus are far too different for them to be good together, but regardless, Maddy's crush has persisted through Hogwarts to her seventh year. Al hasn't reciprocated her feelings; he's had lots of girlfriends, etc. He's also a kind of reckless player. The novel would start out with him almost contracting an STD. So yeah. That's Al. What are you doing Al. 

  • James is a much more interesting character. James is brooding, surly, Mr-Darcy-like in many ways; he's very perceptive and analytical and knows Maddy really well. He's liked her since he was young, probably since his first year at Hogwarts. One thing I sort of want to play around with is self-esteem issues; James was a little chubby as a kid and that got him a little heat from his peers, who probably only liked him because he was a Potter. He's a little stand-offish as a result, incredibly sarcastic, and kind of an all around jerk. 

  • He and Maddy were really close when they were younger, but when he entered Hogwarts and started getting bullied because of his chubbiness, they started growing apart. James leaving to Hogwarts and then not writing her was a big Thing for Maddy since she has abandonment issues. It didn't help that when she finally got to Hogwarts, excited to hang out with James again, he wasn't very kind to her, pulling her pigtails, teasing her, etc. 

  • James isn't chubby anymore and is taking care of his appearance more now, so he's far more attractive to Maddy (though, he's always been attractive and really, she's only seeing now that he's attractive). They have to work together extensively in the Hospital Wing which is going to be really fun to write since they have really amusing banter :D 

This fic is much lighter than things I usually write, which is why I'm kind of iffy about it? I've never written anything that can be classified as fluffy haha. 

II. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Draco-centric genfic) 

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When Draco dies, he has to meet five people before he can go to Heaven. 

This fic is inspired by Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven (which is such a beautiful and poignant book). I haven't decided yet who Draco's five people will be, but all of them will deal with his guilt, from his actions during to war, to his failure as a father (I always imagined that he'd struggle with that—my HC is that he had a daughter who he wasn't paying enough attention and had a freak accident--maybe drank a potion she wasn't supposed to?), and his guilt over his family's actions. Some of the people that might be among his 5: 

  • Regulus 
  • Fred 
  • Crabbe 
  • Lyra (his daughter) 
  • Alphard Black 
  • Dobby 

If anyone has any suggestions of people, or questions about the above people and why they might be among his 5, I would love to hear them :D It'll be great food for thought! 

III. The Meantime (Molly II-centric genfic) 

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The meantime: the moment of realization that your quintessential future self isn’t ever going to show up, which forces the role to fall upon the understudy, the gawky kid for whom nothing is easy, who spent years mouthing their lines in the wings before being shoved into the glare of your life, which is already well into its second act. — Molly II comes of age. 

This short story is the quintessential coming of age story focusing around Molly II. Some of the major and minor arcs:

  • Molly continually wishes to be an alternate, better version of herself who she dubs "Princess Molly" 
  • Molly dealing w/ Percy and his perception by the public; Percy is viewed as the traitor while every other Weasley is viewed as a war hero 
  • Moly dealing w/ jealousy over her little sister
  • Molly wanting to enter the Ministry despite her father's disillusionment 
  • The gap between Molly and her parents, especially Percy 
  • Crushes and finding a best friend who actually likes her 
  • Molly feeling distanced from the rest of her cousins because she doesn't share any of their interests 

I'd follow Molly from before her first year through her seventh year and beyond and it's going to be exciting, angsty, fluffy, fun :D 

IV. Assorted one-shots and challenge entries

Some of my ideas:

  • A WWII-inspired Wolfstar AU where Sirius is a French soldier and Remus is a German soldier during the evacuation of Dunkirk. The story would rotate between letters which tell Sirius and Remus's story and descriptions of Dunkirk which describe their separation (yes this is not a happy fic). I really like this because I found a news story about 300 letters exchanged in secret by two gay soldiers during WWII, which I thought would make such a beautiful fic. 
  • A vignette focused on Draco, with him cleaning out Malfoy Manor after the War, and play around with the symbology of snake's skin--essentially, describe Draco's rebirth/redemption to some extent.
  • I'm hoping to write maybe one or two more stories for War Stories though I'm not sure who to feature. I want to write a general story about Hogwarts during the war and the different professors' recollections and I want to write something from Molly's perspective. 
  • Like 1

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Oh, my god, I am all about that James/OC fic, it sounds so cool. And that Wolfstar!AU??? I think you actually want to break my heart there :P 

  • So you said that Maddie doesn't really know Al that well, but they're best friends. Does Al consider Maddie his best friend or is it a more one-sided friendship? Is Maddie just replacing James with Al? 
  • Has Maddie's crush on Al been one of those overwhelming, she can't even think about other guys crush or has she dated other people in the past? 
  • Are we going to get to see why James' attitude towards Maddie shifted once he went to Hogwarts? You mentioned that it was partly to do with his self-esteem issues, but how would that change how he felt about his best friend that presumably would be the one person who would support him?
  • I'm also writing a sort of coming of age story (though only 5-7th year) and I find that I'm having trouble planning enough events in the last year or so to keep everything different and interesting. How do you plan on keeping all seven years of Molly's Hogwarts career fresh and interesting? No, I'm totally not looking for tips for my own story
  • Your interpretation of Percy is definitely one that I haven't seen before. Most stories I've read have him as a hero for coming back and doing the right thing. What went into your decision to have him be disgraced rather than redeemed?

I'm definitely looking forward to getting to see all these projects play out. Good luck with everything! :bestwishes:

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tumblr_miygq7PAuA1qc87cgo1_500.gif

OH MY GOD YOU'RE WRITING A NOVEL I AM SO PUMPED! And not only that but it’s about an insecure James omg you know how much i love that! I am so excited for Best Laid Plans (are you a fan of mariana’s trench cause i instantly thought of their song). For Dracos story you could add dear ol’ dumbledore, he didn’t kill him but he did help the death eaters get into Hogwarts which ultimately lead to his death...just a thought :)

On to the questions:

  1. If you had to choose one word to describe your characters (Canon and OC) what would it be?
  2. What makes your James and Albus stand out from others in the next Gen Era?
  3. *Slides over a crumpled up $5* Why is Regulus and Fred on Draco’s list? I don’t recall a lot of scenes between Fred and Draco and Regulus died before his time.

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Hello!!! I can totally understand the hesitation and the deliberation. It's so easy to get sucked up into Nano craziness. But you're sensible, starting off as a rebel (unlike really stupid me!). You seem to have a great collection of projects youre working on and I have my eye particularly on Wolfstar AU and James/OC ones, so don't be surprised if I stop by to find out how they're doing! 

Cheering you on :bouncing:

Happy Nanoing!

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Haha I didn’t even notice I had questions! Thanks for the lovely questions, guys! ❤️

@clevernotbrilliant

So you said that Maddy doesn’t really know Al that well, but they’re best friends. Does Al consider Maddy his best friend, or is it more of a one-sided relationship? Is Maddy just replacing James with Al?

This is such a fantastic question and really gets at the heart of the dynamic between James, Maddy, and Al. I think that for Al, Maddy used to be a good friend when they were younger and there weren’t external pressures guiding both of them (specifically, society’s visions of them). He doesn’t dislike her; he thinks she’s sweet and smart, but these aren’t the descriptions one would use when describing their best friend, right? I think he views her as an obligatory friend, simply due to the fact that they’ve been friends for so long, and in actuality, more of an acquaintance than anything.

Subconsciously, Maddy is sort of replacing James with Al, but I think that’s also part of why Al and Maddy have a superficial relationship. She’s projecting characteristics of her relationship with James onto her relationship with Al, which is why she believes that she’s closer to Al than she really is. I think it’s going to be interesting to develop her realization that her best friend this entire time has been James! :) 

Has Maddie's crush on Al been one of those overwhelming, she can't even think about other guys crush or has she dated other people in the past? 

It’s been one of those overwhelming crushes where she can’t think about other guys at all—but it’s been like that for around 9 years now, so I think the magnitude of the crush has decreased subconsciously for Maddy. She doesn’t really naturally seek out Al in a crowd or go crazy when she sees him or anything like that; it’s more like a belief that they belong together and that he’s the perfect guy for her. Being in her 7th year and realizing that they could easily part ways forever after this year has sort of pressured Maddy to maybe make a move. She definitely wouldn’t date other people because it would feel like a betrayal to someone she’s committed to, which is essentially what her mother did when she abandoned Maddy, so yeah, that’s not happening. 

Are we going to get to see why James' attitude towards Maddie shifted once he went to Hogwarts? You mentioned that it was partly to do with his self-esteem issues, but how would that change how he felt about his best friend that presumably would be the one person who would support him?

Ahhh, Claire, you’re asking such hard—but good—questions! Thank you! ❤️ James’ shift in attitude is largely due to his self-esteem issues, which sort of tie into his feelings about Maddy. Being as perceptive and analytical as he is, he sort of witnessed Maddy’s crush actually happening and feels a little resentful and jealous that he essentially caused the crush that would occupy her for 9 years straight and prevent her from even glancing in his direction and noticing how in love with her he was the entire time. He also is sort of cynical that she actually wants to be friends with him; when she gets to Hogwarts, he is a third year, so his chubbiness is suddenly A Big Deal, causing him to get teased, etc. Those experiences cause him to develop a distrust of people he used to consider friends as he believes that everyone around him is incredibly superficial (which, granted, a large part of them, are). Maddy sticking closer to Al, the leaner, more attractive brother, makes him even more resentful to Maddy as that’s sort of an affirmation of everyone’s superficiality. 

I'm also writing a sort of coming of age story (though only 5-7th year) and I find that I'm having trouble planning enough events in the last year or so to keep everything different and interesting. How do you plan on keeping all seven years of Molly's Hogwarts career fresh and interesting? No, I'm totally not looking for tips for my own story

This is a really good question and one of my major conflicts over The Meantime! I’ll tell you when I figure it out :P In all seriousness, I see two different approaches, and I’m probably going to mix the two. The first approach is to have a lot of time skips that sort of skim past the unnecessary events, allowing me to focus on the more significant periods in her life: that feels like it will produce a fic that’s a little more rushed and but probably a little bit more exciting. The approach I’m going to try to emphasize mainly is using a lot of side arcs to fill the space. Molly has close relationships with her many cousins and with her sister, especially, and then with several OC characters who develop to be her first crush & boyfriend, her best friend, and her endgame love interest. So I can use her relationships with these characters and their own sideplots to fill the space. So, basically, sort of cheat and use other characters to fill those empty spaces (but not really cheating because it’s always in the scope of Molly’s relationship with them). 

Your interpretation of Percy is definitely one that I haven’t seen before. Most stories I’ve read have him as a hero for coming back and doing the right thing. What went into your decision to have him be disgraced rather than redeemed? 

My interpretation of him as disgraced not redeemed sort of relies on the fact that he left in the first place. I don’t think that that sort of betrayal would be forgiven that easily, not when others like Fred had literally given their lives for the fight. That sort of cowardice in the face of Fred, Ron, George... basically everyone else’s bravery seems like it would result in Percy being seen in a negative light after the war by his family and by everyone else. The Meantime is set far enough in the future that perhaps his family will have forgiven him for the most part, focusing on the fact that he’s alive and that he did come back. In their eyes, he may be redeemed. But in the eyes of society, which celebrates the Weasleys as war heroes, he would probably seem as not a war hero but a coward and a traitor for his inaction. I can imagine this influencing his job at the Ministry too, causing him to develop a negative reputation. 

I hink lots of Percy’s feelings of disgrace come from his own feelings of guilt. There were many times in his time at the Ministry during the war where he could’ve acted out, could’ve spoken up, could’ve said something—anything. He wasn’t stupid: he knew that there was something up at the Ministry. But he was too cowardly to say anything, and that guilt has been chewing at him for years. 

Thank you so much for the wonderful questions, Claire! They really got me thinking about my characters :D ❤️

@wandlessmagic

GEORGIE. That gif is absolutely brilliant! 

I like your suggestion of including Dumbledore! I’m going to consider than when choosing Draco’s 5 people.

If you had to choose one word to describe your characters (Canon and OC) what would it be?

omg this is such a hard question. I think I’d describe Albus as reckless because he’s always made decisions without thinking about the consequences; that’s not always a bad thing as it makes him spontaneous and exciting, but it often leads to negative consequences later. Plus it’s a huge contrast to James’s over-analytical self. He’s so perceptive, he sees everything and everyone, but that also leads him to read into people’s actions and see things that aren’t really there (hence his cynicism toward even the people closest to him). Maddy is much harder... I can’t think of one word to perfectly encompass her. I think she’s hard-working, absolutely, and committed, but very oblivious. 

In terms of my other fics, that’s a little harder to determine each character’s one word since I’m not completely sure about the characters yet haha. I would describe Molly as a romantic. 

What makes your James and Albus stand out from others in the next Gen Era?

I think that my interpretations of James and Albus are sort of reversed from how most people think of them. Most people think of James as outgoing, social, reckless, etc, while Albus is more reserved, shy, perhaps brooding. My James and Albus are flipped, which creates an interesting dynamic between the two. Also I haven’t read any other fanfics where the main love interest is/used to be obese/not perfectly thin so yay for representation and more realistic portrayals of people’s bodies. 

*Slides over a crumpled up $5* Why is Regulus and Fred on Draco’s list? I don’t recall a lot of scenes between Fred and Draco and Regulus died before his time.

*casually pockets $5 bill* Good question! So there isn’t much interaction between Fred and Draco during their lives, yes, but to me, Fred might represent to Draco the impact of some of his decisions he made while he was a student. Not only did it cause Fred to die, but it also caused a family to break apart for a long period of time and Draco was indirectly responsible, something he has to sort of atone for—not necessarily by apologizing or making some sort of grand gesture, but rather just feeling their pain and empathizing with the Weasleys. After the war, I’ve envisioned Draco being very frustrated, angry, and remorseful but not necessarily for the impact his actions had on others but mlrwso his own family. It’s not the most flattering perspective, but it makes sense considering they were fallen from grace. I think that Fred would teach him how he should’ve reacted after the war. 

And yes, Regulus and Draco didn’t interact at all, but I always found that their storylines weren’t that different, just they made different choices. Regulus chose to be brave while Draco chose to be cowardly; I want Regulus to sort of take Draco through his journey to reveal Draco’s cowardice and that there was another choice—a difficult choice, but a choice regardless. But I also think that the tragedy of both of their storylines was that they were both so young. Regulus would help Draco forgive himself a little, knowing that he had been placed into an impossible situation that really, only Regulus would be able to understand: 

@FlamingQuilltips

Thank you for the wonderful words of encouragement; you’re really such a darling! ❤️

Edited by forever_dreaming

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