We are a multi-fandom/original fiction community with roots in the Harry Potter fandom community. We strive to maintain a strong focus on author feedback and inclusive writing. Here on the forums, you can join a house and participate in House Cup events, participate in writing challenges, play games, and much more!
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So as some of you know, I sometimes battle with depression.
And depression can be a lying liar from liarsville that whispers lies in your ears.
I have this thing where I simultaneously have really good self-esteem and absolute shit self-esteem. When people dislike me, my reaction is usually "What the hell is wrong with you?" But when people do like me, my reaction is usually "But you wouldn't if you knew the real me!" I assume that people will be attracted to me because my hair is awesome, but I also get super pessimistic about prospective relationships, and will even tell people that I'm into them without giving them a chance to respond, because it genuinely doesn't occur to me that it could be reciprocal. (Then I realize three years later that it totally was and they literally tried to tell me that it was. Oops.)
I'm being rash and peculiar again. My point is, I'm a vain and sentimental enigma wrapped in a number of pop culture references.
So to combat the sweet nothings that depression metaphorically whispers in my ears and my sporadically low self-esteem, I have a folder on my computer. It's titled, 'Hi, Self. You don't actually suck.' And in it, I put evidence that I don't actually suck, to try to interrupt the spiral of negativity that my jerk-brain sometimes triggers. It doesn't solve it, but it helps.
Anyway. I pretty much just want to thank HPFT, because I was going through it recently (read: today :P) and realized that quite a lot of stuff in the folder is stuff that you guys have given me - little threads on twitter, the OoM/archive opening threads, reviews, recs... etc etc etc. I first joined this community six years ago, and I'm so thankful I stumbled across it - no matter how shitty the world looks, there are so many pockets of fundamentally good-hearted people who care about banding together and supporting the people around them, and that's a really lovely thing. I feel so privileged to be one of you, and I hope I give y'all as much as you give me.
Because there's not actually a cure for jerkbrains... but friends can help a lot.
P.S. If you struggle with the medical condition formally known in the medical community as jerkbrain, I strongly recommend making a folder like that, because it will probably help.
This is a phrase that one of the English teachers at my school uses often, and I think it's such a profound phrase. What's my mythology? What are the stories that make up me--the stories that make up my dreams, my fears, my hopes? What are the stories that capture my humanness?
Whenever I sit down to write anything, I always try to consider this question. What are my characters' mythologies? How can I write them? Mythologies are not just "headcanons" I have about these characters; they're questions about the characters that have been spun into stories, they're the characters' fears and dreams embodied. They're the characters' imaginations. Isn't that crazy, that a story can capture a character's imagination?
I shuffle through the hundreds of stories in their mythology, the stories that speak their dreams and imaginations, looking for one that I can tell.
Sometimes, there's one that sticks out easily.
That was the case for "keyframe". I sorted through all of the stories in Regulus's mythology, stories that focus around his heroism and bravery, his sadness... and this story, about Pandora, immediately shined. My goal with this story was to showcase his fear, his dreams--to describe a singular moment that captured all the conflicting forces that guided him for his whole life: the forces of obligation, family, fear, hope, and love. The first two are negative forces but the last two are positive forces--so what remained, after the opposing forces canceled out, was his fear, and this was the guiding principle in that story: fear of death, of ashaming his family, of the punishment for rebelling, and of the regret that would haunt him if he didn't rebel.
Other times, I see three or four stories.
This was the case for "courage". Neville's mythology is filled with love, with innocence, with courage, with hope, and with tragedy. But the three stories I saw spoke about his shame and fear, the antonym to his courage--and I was fascinated. I knew I had to share this, this human side of the hero. (That phrase, "human side of the hero", is essentially one of the themes of the collection "War Stories" as a whole). One story spoke about his shame about being inadequate, about not living up to the legacy his parents left him. Another story spoke about his inability to share what he felt with his children--this one makes my heart hurt. The final story spoke about the intense fear he felt during his last year at Hogwarts. I spun the stories together, taking threads from each story, and the result was "courage"--a testament to the courage it takes to even admit fear and mistakes, and a different perspective on Neville's heroism.
And sometimes, I don't see whole stories, but fragments of stories.
This was the case for "china doll." Cho's mythology is sort of in pieces for me; I see moments for her where she is victorious and strong and moments where she's weak and broken--I wanted to capture all of that in one story. And I wanted to introduce parts of her mythology that are often forgotten: her heritage, her parents. I threaded out one story from her mythology which was a Chinese legend she had heard; this was my attempt to capture her dreams. Then I collected some fragments of other stories in her mythology: trauma after the war, pain after Cedric, the feeling of flying, and, her mother, the force that tried to keep her together. These were her fears, her dreams, her emotions.
I hope to continue sorting through these characters' mythologies, finding stories that convey their soul, or if there isn't one already existing, creating stories that can do that.
I wanted to share this because it's a different perspective that's allowed me to get closer to my characters; now, by diving deep into their emotions and histories and dreams and fears and their souls as a whole, I can find a story about them that really speaks their soul.
The title is a reference to Avatar: The Last Airbender
One of the things and astonished seven-year-old me the most when I moved to Massachusetts to California was the fact that Massachusetts actually has four seasons. In California, it's more like you've got 2 seasons: one incredibly hot, wildfire-igniting, bone-melting summer, and the rest of the year being a little wetter and little less hot. Oh, and if you live in San Francisco, there's always fog, so you might not even notice the difference in the seasons haha.
Massachusetts is much different; we have four beautiful seasons (though with global warming, some of those seasons are stretching out a little bit). I'll start with autumn, as that's the one we're in right now
New England is famous for autumn foliage and I can attest that it really is beautiful, in certain places. Where
I live, it's sort of just crusty brown leaves. But I love waking up and seeing the sun rise; there's always a pretty feathery pink in the sky that melts into orange and yellow and it's just gorgeous. Also, it's really only chilly in the morning, but only enough to call for a sweater, so there's a nice mix between summer and winter here.
Regardless, I feel like autumn is a bit overrated. But maybe that's because for me, it's associated with school starting again
When I first moved to Massachusetts, winter was easily my favorite season, and for exactly one reason: snow. I'd never seen anything like it! The first snowfall, my face was pressed against my window the entire time. Now, after having shoveled way too much and almost frozen my butt off, I'm not so fond of winter anymore. In recent years, winter hasn't been so severe; we've had sporadic snowfall, a couple major storms--definitely more manageable than five or six years ago. But it's still annoying!
If I had to pick a favorite season, it would probably be between spring and summer. Spring is beautiful in Massachusetts; there's lots of pretty flowers and there's always a sense of growth and change, which is really nice. I dislike all the rain, but that, much like the snow, is very sporadic. Unfortunately, spring is very short here in Massachusetts; there's definitely a stretched out winter here.
Maybe because it's my default state, being from India and having grown up in California, summer is my favorite season. I don't mind the heat; I love it I'm always cold so summer is awesome. Summer in MA is never too hot, but just hot enough to feel really good. I like summer too because time seems to slow down with the longer days, which is great since my life seems to be permanently stuck on fast-forward in all the other seasons.
It doesn't come often in the UK, certainly not in the part where I live, but when it does -- snow is beautiful. It's one of the best parts of winter; as soon as the first snowflake falls, there is talk of closing schools and staying home from work, allowing people to spend precious time at home with each other. There's laughter in the air as snowballs are thrown, the games enjoyed by friend and foe with universal rules that allow anyone to join in, expanding the horizons of friendship with each well-aimed throw. There's the pride that comes from the hard work and team effort involved in building a snowman; imaginations are sparked as new and inventive ideas of how to decorate are debated; there's cheeks burning bright pink as people slip and slide across pavements, kindness shown between strangers as a mitten-covered hand extends to help you up. Few things prompt such a vast array of different responses.
Yet all seasons must change, and as the snow melts away, the sun shines and chocolate is consumed. The best thing about Spring is the freedom that it brings: the temperatures grow mild enough to spend hours wandering outside without becoming stifling hot; wild animals venture out after months of hibernation; flowers bloom and leaves begin to reappear on trees; for those confined to school or work, there are an abundance of Bank Holidays to take advantage of. The world comes alive in Spring, and the taste of freedom in the air infects the hibernation instinct within you, bringing you alive and setting you free.
Summer brings with it the perfect excuse to consume vast quantities of ice cream; there are simple flavours like strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate; there's tubs of Ben and Jerry's to be consumed in one sitting; there's 99s to eat on the beach after your fish and chips, the crumbs of Cadbury Flake scattered in the sand. The best thing, most certainly, is Cornish ice cream -- if you haven't tasted it yet, you really must.
It's hard to say what the best thing about autumn is, because there are so many good parts. Leaves fall from the trees and crunch beneath boots; the nights slowly dim, and radiators are turned up as you sit on the sofa to watch newly-released TV seasons, cup of hot chocolate in hand; the colours outside the window are breathtaking. What remains something perfect each year though, without fail, is the turn of the calendar's pages to September the first, and the resetting of the House Cup points as a new chapter begins. For Harry Potter, autumn brought with it a red steam train waiting at a platform hidden from view, an escape from the Dursleys, and most importantly, the journey home to Hogwarts.
And that has to be the best thing about autumn: that each year, HPFTers and Potterheads everywhere have a sense of coming home.
This Blog Entry is for MAGIC
It may not be everyone's favorite season, however there are some things that are charming about the coldest time of the year.
There's nothing more peaceful than the first snowfall. When everything is blanketed in a thick layer of puffy white, and everything seems to quiet down. The untouched snow almost sparkles, and brings back memories of snowball fights, snow days home from school, hot chocolate, red noses and sleigh riding.
No matter how old you are, that first snowfall of the year instantly makes you feel younger. It's almost magical.
The season of rebirth and new beginnings.
When the snow starts to melt, and the ground begins to thaw, you know spring is on its way.
It's a beautiful season, with flowers beginning to bloom, trees budding, animals coming out of hibernation, and the days becoming longer. There's something hopeful about spring, which makes you feel like making plans to travel the world. You feel your spirit and soul begin to bloom alongside of the greenery around you.
Almost everyone’s favorite season, and it's easy to see why.
Summer is about long nights, bonfires, cookouts, lounging by the pool, and swimming in the ocean. You feel alive during the summer, like you could conquer the world. Road trips, long conversations with friends, camping and hiking. It's all about fun and adventure.
The most beautiful season, which rivals summer as a favorite.
Personally autumn is my favorite season of all. There's nothing better than cozying up in a oversized sweater, sipping on a pumpkin spiced latte, while driving around the mountains looking at the colorful leaves. Hayrides, apple picking, haunted houses, Halloween, cider and just everything autumn; there's nothing better. It's when I feel the most at peace and the happiest version of myself.
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore Fantasy, Young Adult | T | 4.5 stars
Heterochromia is the trademark of a graceling - someone born with a supernatural talent. Some of those talents simply elevate fairly normal activities - fighting or swimming, for example. Others defy logical comprehension entirely - mind reading is particularly noted as something that the main character, Katsa, is deeply uncomfortable with. Regardless of the talent, gracelings are both very rare and somewhat stigmatized.
Katsa’s killing grace announced showed itself when she accidentally killed a cousin at the age of eight. Her uncle, the king of the Middluns, saw potential to increase his own power, and rather than send her away, he allowed his spymaster teach her to control her powers. When she turned ten, he started using her to kill and main subjects who offended him. The novel opens when Katsa is eighteen, and she’s gotten tired of being used as her uncle’s muscle.
There’s so much to like about Graceling. The overarching setting is a classic one - most of the rulers in the seven kingdoms, including the Middluns, are deeply selfish, corrupt, and at times downright inhumane. Katsa’s attempts to break free of that, as well as come to terms with her grace and what it means about her humanity, provide a creative lens for that struggle - as do her relationships with the people she cares about.
But where Graceling really shines is in Cashore's characterization of both Katsa and the supporting cast. Katsa is not necessarily likable (M) - her reactions sometimes seem disproportionate, and at times, she comes off as both resentful and ruthless. She patently refuses to consider marriage or motherhood as acceptable paths for herself, to the extent that she'll pick a fight at any suggestion of it... and that makes her compelling, especially to girls and women who (like me) have been called abrasive or stubborn or angry for not deviating from strict gender roles.
The supporting cast is no less wonderful. Katsa’s cousin Raffin is nothing like his father, and though he's the heir to the kingdom, he'd like nothing more to meddle with herbs and potions all day with his lover, Bann (their relationship is strongly implied in Graceling, but not confirmed until the sequel). Prince Po of Lienid's fighting grace makes him and Katsa become fast friends when they meet at the beginning of the novel, and the trust and support that follow their daily training fights is absolutely wonderful.
The first time I read Graceling, I reached the last page and immediately flipped back to chapter one to reread it. It’s the only book I can remember reacting to in that way, and there’s a reason for it. Cashore does a wonderful job with her debut novel.
A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L’Engle Young Adult, Science Fiction, Coming of Age | T | 5 stars
This has been one of my favorite books for about as long as I can remember. It’s ostensibly a coming of age story for young adults, but that’s not quite an accurate characterization of it - pretty much anyone of any age from any background could read A Ring of Endless Light and take something meaningful away from it, because it explores spirituality and the human experience in a way that's simultaneously optimistic and unflinchingly realistic.
The book (which is part of L'Engle's Chronos series, but can be read as a standalone novel) revolves around a teenage girl named Vicky Austin. She and her family are visiting her grandfather on Seven Bay Island, just as they do every summer - but this time, they’re staying for several months, because Vicky’s grandfather is dying of leukemia. It opens on a heartbreaking note: Vicky is attending the funeral of an old family friend, who died while trying to rescue someone who went out sailing in a storm. Death is a pretty significant theme throughout the book - Vicky spends the novel navigating what death means throughout the novel, and it’s never easy or simple.
But while A Ring of Endless Light is heart-breaking at points, L'Engle doesn't focus exclusively on pain when it comes to life or death. The same scene can address the specter of death and be very life-affirming, because while people's pain and suffering is never minimized, neither is their capacity for joy and love. Vicky’s summer is spent reconciling those two impossible sides of the coin and coming to terms with how she feels about it - and how she fits into the world in general.
There's a fantasy/science fiction element to the story as well: Vicky spends the bulk of the summer assisting her older brother's friend with his research on wild dolphins, including attempts to psychically connect with them. While it's a significant part of the book and strongly influences how she processes her experiences, it's not presented as an escapist gateway to a world of magic. Instead, it's woven seamlessly in with the rest of the narrative, and her experiences with the dolphins - and with her brother's friend - ultimately reinforces her grasp on reality, rather than luring her away from it.
It’s a beautiful, comforting book - and for me, at least, never more so than when I'm grappling with people I care about getting sick or dying. I can't recommend it strongly enough.
Welcome to HPFT's book review blog!
We've found that while there are places on the forums where fanfic recommendations are visible and well-organized, that's not really the case for book reviews - and many of us loved reading long before we discovered fanfiction. Now that we have blogs, a blog seemed like an excellent place to put them!
Right now, only staff members and prefects have the ability to submit entries to the blog, because we can't give people submission privileges without allowing them to manage the blog as well. However, all HPFT members are very welcome to contribute to it - if you have a review you'd like to post and you don't fall into one of those groups, please PM a staff member.
Is there a specific format we should be using?
Yes! We don't want this to be overly structured, but we do ask that you use the following form as a guideline:
We also ask that you tag your username, the book's author(s), the genre(s), the rating, and the stars you give it. Use all lowercase for the author(s), genres, and rating, and use numbers for stars (e.g., 1, 3.5).
Is there a limit to what sorts of books we can review?
Yes, but not many. Books that champion overtly prejudiced ideas (e.g., a book defending conversion therapy) or books written by members of hate groups (e.g., Mein Kampf) shouldn't be submitted, because we don't believe in giving a platform for hate and bigotry. We also will not accept books that explicitly endorse dangerously unhealthy behavior (e.g., pro-eating disorder books). Content doesn't have to fall exactly with the parameters of our archive, but please use your best judgment, and be sure to mention any potentially sensitive content that could trigger someone or otherwise detract from their enjoyment of the books.
If you have any questions on whether a book you would like to review is allowed, please PM any staff member.
That's about it! Enjoy!
New and edited chapters submitted to our archive must be approved by an auror (archive validator) before they're made visible to the public, to ensure that they follow our archive's site guidelines.
Every so often, we evaluate author accounts to determine whether to grant them Certified Author status (or CA status, for short). Being a CA allows you to bypass the queue and post your chapters directly to the archive; it requires a lot of trust not only in your intentions but also in your ability to interpret and apply our rules, so we don't hand it out lightly.
We do, however, want the process to be straightforward, so here's a quick rundown of what we look at when we're doing a CA status review.
Rejection rate and number of chapters. During a given review, we only consider authors who have at least 25 chapters uploaded and a rejection rate lower than 7%. Falling into that group doesn't guarantee that you'll get it; it just means that we'll consider you. Broadly speaking, the lower your rejection rate and the more chapters you've uploaded, the better your chances are of getting CA status.
Reasons for rejections. Some rejections are more concerning to us than others. Rejections because you submitted too many chapters or had to be reminded to bump up your rating for language don't concern us as much as rejections because you forgot to add an advisory for sexual assault or self-harm. The latter doesn't disqualify you, but we will look at the rest of your history more closely to see if you've used the advisory or rating correctly in other situations, and we'll hold off if we're unsure.
Correct use of ratings/advisories. We give authors a lot of room to explore very sensitive/mature themes, and since CAs have the ability to post any story without going through the queue, we want to feel confident that they understand the rules and how to assign rating/advisories appropriately. As such, a track record of using a wide variety of ratings and advisories correctly may work in your favor, where stories that are mostly rated A may not.
Issues that come up in our CA review. Before bumping authors, our archive staff goes through and does a quick review of their work to make sure that there isn't something that was missed the first time around. If we find something, we may just ask you to add the advisory/change the rating and bump you anyway, but we may also just hold off on bumping you instead.
There are other things that may enter into consideration, but those are the main things we look at. We do not take subjective issues like quality, someone's forum activity, or friendships with staff members into account.
If you have any questions about CA status, you are welcome to contact any archive staff member.
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I'm here to post a gift on behalf of a Pass It Along participant.
From: Keeper of the North
- - -
For my last gift in the Pass It Along Challenge, I thought it was appropriate to share an appreciation post for everything my giftee has done for HPFT. She’s known around this corner of the internet as abhorsen., but you might also know her as Beeezie or Branwen.
Here’s just a few of the many things we love about her:
She’s one of our fearless leaders. If you have any questions or concerns about the forums or archives, she’s always available to help those in need.
She’s brilliant. Have you taken a look at her AP? Her stories are amazing and all written so well -- and not to mention she finds time to be an awesome graphic artist on TDA as well!
She’s open-minded. She might have helped create the forums or the archives, but she’s also open to suggestions, feedback, and tag requests!
She’s passionate about subjects she cares about.
She’s dedicated. She’s constantly working with other members of the staff behind the scenes to make sure things continue to run smoothly for us.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for the happiest corner of the internet. HPFT wouldn’t be the same without you.
--Keeper of the North
Have something you love about Branwen? Sound off in the comments below!
Most of us are accustomed to activity streams (or newsfeeds) from popular applications such as Facebook and Twitter. We have something akin to that here at HPFT. Since it doesn't work identically to more-familiar applications, let's run over some information about it.
What is an activity stream? Simply put, it's a stream or list of activity that occurs on the forums. Each activity has certain properties (what type of activity it is, time it happened, whether it was posted by someone you follow, whether you have read it or not, and many more). This enables the activities to be filtered into different streams according to those properties.
Default Activity Streams. There are several activity streams that are included by default. They are mostly self-explanatory.
All Activity - this is a list of everything (posts, status updates, blog entries, reactions, profile photo changes, follows, etc)
All Unread Content - similar to All Activity but only what you haven't read yet
Content I Started
Content I Follow
Content I Posted In
Members I Follow
Site-Specific Default Activity Streams. In addition to the above, we also have set several site-specific activity streams to appear for all members.
Status Updates - this is a collection of status updates. Because this is interest, it has a separate link in the main menu. The 10 most recent can be viewed in a sidebar on the main page.
Recent Posts - this is a collection of posts from around the forums (excluding a few boards such as NaNo rat races and common rooms). The 5 most recent can be viewed in a sidebar on the main page.
Recent CR Posts - posts from common rooms. You will see only your own CR posts. If you're a Muggle, you will not see any. The 5 most recent can be viewed in a sidebar on the main page.
Recent Blog Entries - a list of blog entries and comments left on them. The 5 most recent entries (not comments) can be viewed in a sidebar on the main page.
Personal Activity Streams. You can also create your own activity streams that will appear only for you, should you find you want something more specific than the options described above. For example, perhaps you want a stream of all activity with the "fantastic beasts" tag or all activity posted by the member Dumbledore during the month of July . To create a personal activity stream:
Go to "Activity Streams" in the main menu
Go to "My Activity Streams" in the sub-menu
Click "Create New Stream"
In the box that appears, choose the options to your specifications. Note that some options have additional options/settings once you choose them. For example, once you pick topics as your content type, you can specify which forum(s) you want to include if you don't want to include all of them.
Click Save Changes
It will now appear in list of streams in the "My Activity Streams" sub-menu.
Condensed vs Expanded View. At the top right of each activity stream, you can toggle between expanded and condensed view. Condensed view essentially shows a summary of who has done what. Expanded view gives a preview of each activity. For example, with the status updates stream, in condensed view, you will only see that someone has posted a status update. In expanded view, you will be able to view the status update itself.
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One of the first things new members want to figure out is how to get in on the fun of posting status updates.
Enabling Status Updates
Navigate to your profile
Edit your profile
Toggle on the "Enable status updates?" slider
Posting Status Updates
From your profile page, type in the "Write a public message on your own feed..." box and then hit "Submit Status."
From another member's profile page, type in the "Write a public message on [that member]'s feed..." box and then hit "Submit Status." This leaves a message directly on their page/feed, but it appears publicly to everyone in the status updates list/stream.
In the Recent Status Updates sidebar on the home page, type in the "What's on your mind?" box and then hit "Submit Status."
Replying to Status Updates
From your own or another member's profile page, type in the "Reply to this status..." box and then hit "Submit Reply."
From the status updates activity stream, type in the reply box and hit submit. This is also true of any other activity stream that includes status updates (for example, the unread content stream).
This only works if the stream is in expanded view. At the top right of each stream, you can toggle between expanded and condensed views.
From the main page Recent Status Updates sidebar, click on "[however many] replies" beneath the status you want to reply to. Type in the reply box and hit submit.
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Now that we have blogs, it seemed worth reposting these results here The Coming Out Challenge Results (Again)
Back in June, as a celebration of Pride Month, the first ever Bi-Monthly Prefect Writing Challenge used the following prompt:
Write a story under 10,000 words about someone coming out as queer.
Third place: A Sudden Bi-alisation by FireOpal
Second place: What lies beneath by melian
First place: And Again (M) by nott theodore
All three entries are amazing - we definitely recommend checking them out! And thank you so much to those who entered!
Winners, you are responsible for messaging a MuggleMaybe, Diogenissa, or clevernotbrilliant to let us know which stories you'd like reviewed and if you have a preferred theme for your pic spam. Please credit abhorsen. for the graphics.
You can check out the August Prefect Writing Challenge +here.
Here at HPFT, we have both member groups and ranks. Ranks are based on your content (posts, statuses, and blog entries) count. Member groups determine what you can see and do around the site, with the major difference (aside from staff/prefects) being which common room you can see. You can be in more than one member group (Professor and Gryffindor, Prefect and Slytherin, etc.), one of which will primary and which will dictate which color your name appears around the site. A person's primary member group is listed below their avatar/profile photo in the panel beside posts they've made.
Each rank has pips associated with it. They appear in the panels beside posts users make. Your rank, along with the number of pips, increases as you post more content. A breakdown of the ranks with the minimum content count for each is listed below.
New Member - 0 content items - 0 pips
First Year - 25 content items - 1 pips
Second Year - 100 content items - 2 pips
Third Year - 300 content items - 3 pips
Fourth Year - 400 content items - 4 pips
Fifth Year - 500 content items - 5 pips
Sixth Year - 750 content items - 6 pips
Seventh Year - 1000 content items - pips
Alumni - 2500 content items - 8 pips
Headmaster - site administrators
Professor - (global) moderators
Auror - archive validators
Gamekeeper - event coordinators
Muggle Liaison - social media/outreach moderators
Prefect - assistant moderators (essentially house leaders)
Muggle - default member group after a new user's first post has been approved
Validating - default member group for new users until their first post is approved
Switching Member Groups (Joining a House)
In order to switch your member group (change or join a house), you must either:
Write to a staff member to ask to be switched
OR post in the sorting ceremony thread
Note that house change requests are not granted while a competition/event is actively underway and will be delayed until after it is completed. Requests may also be denied entirely if there appears to be suspicious activity associated with your account.
User Info Panel
The user info panel appears beside posts around the site. It may not be visible if you are on a mobile device. Some of the information is also displayed elsewhere, such as on profile pages and the mini profile pop-up that appears when hovering over someone's username. Note that a user's rank may be overridden by a custom member title, but the pips will still appear.
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Beware: This article mentions disordered eating and panic attacks.
So today is a big day for me: I have officially started wedding dress shopping. This is a pretty big deal for me, since I am (as some of you might know) recovering from an eating disorder.
Going to a shop to buy clothes is always a big deal for me. I’ve been known to panic in changing rooms – I get the sudden feeling I’m too hot, the space is too small, my limbs are gigantic, my head is tiny, clothes I’ve already put on suddenly feel way too small and I have trouble getting them off fast enough… And that’s even before I have to step out of the changing room and present myself to other people to judge my appearance.
Another serious consideration was this: I can’t go wedding dress shopping close to the date because the added stress of being on a deadline wouldn’t help, but if I bought a dress a long while in advance, I’d be under pressure to keep my weight the same until the wedding – a kind of pressure I’ve forced myself to stay away from otherwise.
So ever since I knew I was going to get married, wedding dress shopping has been the biggest worry I had about the whole thing. I didn’t want to have this supposedly joyful journey dirtied by my self-deprecating thoughts and insecurities. I’ve come a long way in my recovery (It’s been 10 years after all), but I knew that going into any kind of shop with the expectations on my shoulders to find a dress that would not only make me look the best I’ve ever looked, but also make me outshine all other 100 wedding guests and – most importantly make my fiancé see all the reasons he loves me in my appearance – that was a recipe for disaster. So what could I do to de-escalate the situation before it arose?
The first plan that came to mind: I would lose all these expectations and go dress shopping with my most trusted friend, who knows everything about my struggles and doubts. It was good, but still left me dreading this process.
So I adjusted the plan and decided not to go dress shopping at all. I simply didn’t want to do something that made me this worried this long. And it was my wedding – why do it if it made me unhappy already? This decision alone already lifted a huge weight off my shoulders, even though I didn't know yet how to go about it.
I came up with a pretty good alternative – or so I thought. I was going to contact a dress designer my co-worker recommended to me and ask her to make me a dress. I knew custom made dresses were expensive, but I decided if I asked her to make the dress from materials I would be able to dye afterwards, I’d get a fancy summer dress out of it too. Since the dress would be made for me and my figure I wouldn’t have to worry about not fitting into it / about it not suiting me. And since this designer knows her trade the dress would be designed a while ahead of time, but only finalised closer to the wedding day, which would relieve me from the pressure of keeping my weight for a longer amount of time.
A pretty perfect plan, right? I thought so too, until my sister suggested I try on some regular wedding dresses to find out which ones I liked – so I could tell the designer. Which is solid advice, but kind of put me back on square one in that I’d have to face the changing rooms, the bridal stores, the mirrors, the number of dresses that probably don’t fit.
I was a bit defeated and put off looking for dresses a little longer. That is – until today. Today, because I had to stay in and do nothing due to severe dizziness, I re-activated my wedding dresses board on pinterest – filling it only with dresses from online shopping sites that were actually in stock and affordable. First I was just going to collect styles I liked, but then I saw the „Only one piece in stock“ notice on one and I realised I wanted to try it on – so I ordered it.
I ordered 3 potential wedding dresses today. I ordered potential wedding dresses!
This feels like a huge win already, not that I’ll necessarily use the dresses I ordered, not that they’ll fit me most likely, but I started this daunting task and it feels somewhat do-able already. Because I like the style I ordered and if the dresses don’t fit, I can at least take photos to take to the designer. And if one of them does fit somewhat? Then I have a dress I can get altered to fit perfectly for less than € 110!
And here's an overview of the dresses I pinned today – ranging from typically bridal to simple every day dresses (although who wears a dress for 180 euros on an average day, I'll never know…)
One of the two critical parts of the online community at HPFT is our forum, presently powered by the IP.Board system. This how-to is designed to address the nuts and bolts of posting here and we’ll cover both the easy way, enabled by our new and improved posting interface and the “old” way – pure BBCode – of doing things.
Whether you use BBCode or not, you’ll have to be familiar with the posting interface. When you’re starting a topic, it looks something like this:
At the top you’ll notice two tabs – Content and Poll. For now, we’ll focus on content only, but we’ll come back to polling later when we take a deeper dive into the interface later on.
Wondering what the interface looks like when you’re just replying? It’s pretty much the same as what you see above, minus the Title and Tags fields, which are used when starting topics to both…err…title them and to categorize posts to make them more easily searchable for members.
When formatting text itself at HPFT, there are a lot of options. You can adjust the color, emphasize, size, and style of your words using the buttons and drop-down menus available above the body of the interface. Most will be familiar to anyone who has used a word processing program, but we’ll cover them, along with the accompanying BBCode one by one. Remember: when using the buttons or drop-down menus, you must first highlight the text you’d like to format before clicking the button or making your selection.
We’ll begin by covering formatting you can apply to everything from an entire post to a single character.
You can also make text bold by using
[b]bold[/b] text here
The text between the “b” tags is the text that will actually display in bold.
Italics work the same way as the bold example above, substituting “i" tags for “b” tags like so:
[i]italicized[/i] text here
Underlined text can be created using this format:
[u]underline[/u] your text today
If you’re feeling really edgy – or more likely just want to make a quick correction – you can also display text with a strikethrough line using this:
[s]strikethrough[/s] text like a boss
Our interface allows you to change font color, face, and size as well. This functionality is controlled by drop-downs. To adjust the color, highlight the text you’d like to change and pick your poison from the font color drop-down:
You can also used BBCode to achieve the same results:
[color=green]green[/color] text is beautiful
BBCode can often expand your color options. Check out this list to find all the colors BBCode supports (just scroll to the bottom)! HPFT supports many of these colors, but on the off chance the color is NOT supported here, our interface will simply ignore the tag.
If you’re looking to change the font face, this is the drop-down you’ll use:
The BBCode version works like so:
[font=courier]courier[/font] text is old school
Unfortunately there is no comprehensive list of supported fonts, though many of the most popular – and all those in the font face drop-down – are available for use via BBCode.
Size is also adjustable using this drop-down:
The size function using BBCode is not presently supported by our interface.
NOTE: Any of the above can be applied together to create multiple layers of formatting. If you are using BBCode, just make sure to close the tags in reverse order of how you opened them. See the example below that creates maroon text that is bolded and underlined:
[color=maroon][b][u]maroon bold underline[/u][/b][/color] text
WARNING: If you submit a post using BBCode, then go back to edit it, you will find that the interface has removed the BBCode you entered. Though the formatting remains, the code that created it will be invisible, so be careful if you don’t want to have to replicate your hard work!
Alignment is the only formatting that can be immediately applied to blocks of text. Our interface supports the most common alignments:
However, BBCode can do one better:
[right]right side, weak side[/right]
If you’d like to code one of the other alignments, just replace “right” with the applicable word.
At HPFT, many of our users are fond of our lists and thankfully, our interface makes this pretty easy. You begin creating a list by clicking one of these two buttons:
These buttons can be used to nest lists as well, however you will have to indent yourself with the “tab” key in order to shift the starting point of the next list. Note that these buttons do not support alternate formats for numbered lists.
BBCode can be more versatile, but can be more complex. See a simple exam of a single bulleted list below.
Replacing the “list” tag with
will create a simple numbered list.
It is not recommend that inexperienced users attempt to nest lists using BBCode, but an example follows.
[*]Bullets give way to:
[*]numbers give way to:
[*]capital letters give way to:
[*]large roman numerals give way to:
[*]small letters give way to:
[*]small roman numerals
Take note of the different styles of list that can be used with BBCode even if you do not nest the lists. In all cases, the “*” tag should be used for each item in the list. The list tags are never closed until the end in your nested lists.
Want to conceal text from those who may not want to see it? Use the spoiler button, again making sure to highlight the text first:
The BBCode reads
[spoiler]hidden text here[/spoiler]
Quotes & Mentions
Ready to quote someone? Try this button:
Or this BBCode
[quote]quoted text here[/quote]
To directly attribute the quote to someone, be sure to reference them, Twitter style, by putting the “@” symbol before their username. This can also be used to mention one or more users in a post as you might on social media. Our interface will begin supplying suggested names once you start typing after the “@” symbol. There is NOT a way to do this using BBCode.
If you wish to insert a link into your post, you need only click the link button:
This will produce a pop-up that will ask for the URL and allow you to type the text (if any) that you would like to appear in place of the URL.
BBCode can also accomplish the same objective, but you MUST be sure to include the “http://” at the beginning of the URL.
[url=http://www.yoururlhere.com]visible text here[/url]
At some point, you’re going to want to show people awesome BBCode you’ve utilized to create an effect – must like you’ve seen throughout this post. But how do you do it without making the code work as written? As you might have gathered, that didn’t happen on its own. You need to use the “code” button!
Upon highlighting the text and then clicking the code button, you will be prompted to make a selection of the type of code you're highlighting, which defaults to HTML. Leave this alone and click the "Insert Into Post" button.
You may also use the “code” tag…which is actually tough to do inside a “code” tag so… To open the "code" tag, simply place the word "code" in brackets before the text you would like to be marked as code. To close the "code" tag, place a "/" followed by the word "code" in brackets at the end of the text you would like marked as code.
Undo and Redo
There’s also the ability to Undo and Redo actions in the interface. You can either use hotkeys CTRL+Z (PC) or COMMAND+Z (Apple) and CTRL+Y or COMMAND+Y respectively. Or use the arrow buttons at the top of the interface.
Fun with Pictures
Perhaps everyone’s favorite addition to a post is a delightful predecessor of the beloved emoji – the emoticon! There is a drop-down for these as well:
Once you click/tap on the dropdown, you can then choose which emoticon(s) to insert. By default, only a few from each category are shown at a time. If you select "Categories" in the top right and select a category, you'll be able to view the full list of available emoticons for that category. Emoticons can also be inserted using BBCode if you know an emoticon's name or text-emoticon equivalent. Some examples are below:
Inserting an image is easy. Use the “Insert Other Media Button”!
Because of our attachment settings, you’ll always want to use an Image from URL. That will bring up a pop-up where you can type in the URL. Please re-host your graphics and those gifted to you by other members on a separate site, keeping in mind the rules associated with graphics and the restrictions of re-hosting sites.
Should you need to adjust the size or alignment of the image, or give it a title, double-click it once it has been inserted and you can make that change.
Images can also be inserted using BBCode:
[img=insert URL here]
WARNING: At present our site does not support re-sizing, aligning, or titling images in BBCode. If you are using a relatively small image (300x200 for example) this may be fine for your purposes, but larger, higher resolution images will need to be inserted using the interface and re-sized as described above.
While we don’t encourage people to run too wild with polls, our site does have the functionality to support them. Once you’ve written and formatted your post on the content tab, you will then click the poll tab, taking you to a screen asking you to title your poll. Once you’ve done so, and clicked the “Add Question” button, you’ll see this:
As you can see there are many options, all of which bear consideration. First, by default, there is only one question and only two possible answers. To add a question, simply click the “Add Question” button again. To add more possible answers, click the “Add Choice” button under the appropriate question. Want users to be able to select multiple answers, check the box for “Multiple Choice Question”.
When you are setting up a poll, we do ask that you abide by three rules. First, set a deadline. This can be accomplished by checking the box to “Automatically Close Poll on Specific Date” and completing the date and time information that appears below. Second, do NOT check the box “Make Voter Names Public” – we want votes succeeding on their merits. Finally – and this cannot be underscored enough – do NOT, under ANY circumstances, adjust the vote totals to the right of each possible choice. Failure to abide by these rules can result in consequences, with special emphasis on vote manipulation.
So…you’ve done it all. It’s beautiful. You’re ready to share it with the world. Well, there’s one last step that we at least recommend. Click the preview button:
Our new interface will allow you to see how the post should appear on a standard computer screen, a tablet, and a mobile device. When you’re finished previewing, click the small “x” at the top right to return to the original window and click either “Submit Topic” or “Submit Reply” as appropriate.
Thanks for joining our community! Happy posting!
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Guests can read, rate, review, and rate stories on our archive without joining it. However, if you would like to post your own stories, have your reviews linked to a specific account, or start to compile a favorites list, you'll need to sign up for an account. To join the archive, just fill out the form +here. If you bump into any problems, please email email@example.com - an admin will assist you.
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There are several terms and acronyms which are often used either in the fanfiction world in general or on HPFT specifically. If you're not familiar with them, it can be confusing and intimidating to see so many people tossing them around. If there's a term missing you think should be included, contact a staffer so we can add it to this list.
Beta/Beta Reader - much like an editor, a person who reads and helps make corrections to your story along the lines of grammar, punctuation, characterization, and/or plot.
Camp NaNo - See NaNoWriMo.
CC - Constructive criticism, often used in reference to reviews.
CR - Common Room. On HPFT, these are the Gryffindor Tower, Hufflepuff Basement, Ravenclaw Tower, and Slytherin Dungeon. They are areas modeled after the common rooms in the Harry Potter books, where you can interact with your housemates.
DL;DR - Don't like? Don't read.
EWC - ending word count, usually for a rat race.
FF - Fanfiction. Fiction based on a fandom, such as Harry Potter.
Flame - A review that is abusive in content
HC - House Cup. An on-going competition held on HPFT, inspired by the House Cup in the Harry Potter books.
JulNo - See NaNoWriMo.
Krazies Kafe - An area set up on HPFT every November so those participating in NaNo can share things related to their writing, encourage each other, get help with their novel, and share their progress.
Marriage Law Fics - Stories in which two characters are forced to marry due to a law (typically due to decline in population)
NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. Often abbreviated to NaNo. Every November, people try to write a 50,000 word novel. There are other events during the year, such as Camp NaNo in the spring and JulNo in July. The official site is here: http://nanowrimo.org/
OC - Original Character. A character that is your own, rather than from a fandom.
OF - Original Fiction. Fiction that is not based on any fandom but is your own original work.
OTP - One True Pairing. Your favorite pairing/ship.
Pre-writtens - Stories you've already written and posted. Many challenges don't allow pre-writtens because the challenge issuer wants participants to write something brand new.
Rat Race - Writing races people have, often during NaNo, to motivate themselves to write. They will post starting and ending word counts.
(to) Ship - Relationship. Used as both a noun and verb to describe a relationship between characters.
Squee - The high pitched noise you involuntarily make when something is sooooo goood!
SWC - starting word count, usually for a rat race.
TPTB - The powers that be, aka those in charge
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