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Shadowkat678's Blog

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My first fic, and a blog called Potter Sue.

Shadowkat678

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I've been thinking of writing this for a while, mostly for me more than anyone else. The title could also be named "I made a fool of myself and it's still impacting me today". This is my way of trying to get past it.

Maybe you have and maybe you haven't heard of a certain LiveJournal blog called The Potter Sue. If you haven't, it's basically where every day someone would put up a story that has a mary sue in it and rate it on how bad it is, then people would comment. That's where my first story ended up, and it got the worst rating possible. I was crushed, and may have acted in a very childlike way, including the sin of sockpuppeting, or also known as using an account to appear as someone else to talk about yourself. 

By the way, here's the link to that, with the entire embarassing conversation in the comments: https://pottersues.livejournal.com/850144.html?view=73092320#t73092320

As soon as I read it I knew I had to prove them wrong. I'd read every writing article I could get my hands on. I'd ask for feedback. I'd edit, and I'd edit, and I'd edit, and I'd edit even more. I'd make my writing spotless, and then no one could tell me I was a bad writer. However, in doing so...I realized it actually was bad. But it was also my very first story I ever posted. Looking back now, I know this was a natural thing, but then it crushed me. I deleted the story from everywhere I'd placed it up (which was in a lot of spots). Worse than making me delete the story, it dealt a blow to some very real issues I was already dealing with. Eva Winters, my main character, was a bit of a self insert, and the story was a coping mechanism of mine. I'd written ten chapters for that. I wrote about a little girl from a broken family, with a sick mother, who just wanted to have a normal life and friends. I wrote about a girl who ended up fighting in a battle that she never would have thought possible to win. That made a new family and got back at the bully who taunted her. That's what I wanted then. That's what I needed.

Even years later I haven't been able to write as far into a story as I had then. It was like it completely killed any joy I had in the story. I loved telling the stories, but every time I thought I had it, all I could think about is if I did something wrong. So I'd edit and I'd edit and I'd edit and all I'd be able to finish, all I HAVE been able to finish, were oneshots. Through the years I've gone back to that page numerous times. I wonder what would have happened if they never showed up. If I never searched my story on the internet and saw that page. If I'd ignored that page. If someone had come to me and constructively tried to help me improve instead of putting my story up to be a joke told to a bunch of adults I had never even talked to.

What would my confidence be like then? I admit I had a bit of an ego at that time, but sometimes I wish I could go back to that. To just writing and not always doubting. There's a reason I go for so many swaps and review requests. After that incident I almost obsessively need feedback. I have to fix anything I see wrong in my writing, and I personally believe that, along with real life issues, this has heavily contributed to my slump the past four years.

I'm hoping that getting this story out there will do two things. One, it will help me move on. I already sent out a shorter comment to that page which probably will never be read, but it's not really for them. It's for the teenager that felt the need to apologize for something that never hurt anyone. Second, I wanted others who may visit sites like this to understand that there can actually be real long term concequences, and I can't help but wonder how many writers never continued after being put through something like that. Who just gave up and decided they weren't good enough.

I know this is a long ramble, but I've felt the need to get it off my chest for a while now, and I feel comfortable enough here to do so. I've known some of you off and on for years, and you've helped me so much. I'll always be greatful for that, and I wish I had found you sooner. For anyone else who may be going through this doubt, I want you to know you're not alone, and if you've gone through something like I did you didn't deserve that. Even if it made you a better writer in the long run, no one deserves to have something they care about laughed at like that. It's not right, and you're worth more than what a bunch of strangers on the internet think.

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sunshine_locks

Posted (edited)

This situation... honestly sounds like a nightmare. As I was reading, I realize how good I really have it. This community has been the majority of the reason why I keep writing today, and that I was lucky to have gotten at least only constructive comments or confusing ones. 

I think it's really brave for you to talk about this so openly; I think for me to own up to my mistakes, it would take a lot longer than I am able to admit. I'm happy that you're slowly gaining back your confidence for your writing though, and happy for the fact that you're understanding that you didn't deserve the outright rudeness from the blog. I think we pretty much all have those stories that are meant to help us cope with other aspects of our lives (and for me, this fic happens to be Glass), so I understand why it hurt so much or why you reacted the way you did. 

I hope you get back to the place you were in before, in terms of motivation and drive. 

Also, there's just this general consensus on that site that canon should be followed? Now, I have no idea what your intentions were with the story you wrote, but I think it is notable that there can be a lot creative liberties taken. I know a lot of fics that straight up ignore canon that are very good, and a lot my fics don't even follow canon, haha.

Edited by sunshine_locks
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facingthenorthwind

Posted

I'm so sorry that happened to you. :(  You absolutely didn't deserve that public mocking, and I hope you can get back the confidence to write something longer than a oneshot! Or perhaps you could just progressively write longer and longer oneshots? It's rough when brains are telling us we're not good enough but hopefully the knowledge that this is fic we write for fun might help? You have no obligation to be good. I mean, obviously I'm not saying you're bad, but just in general -- we're all here writing stories on the internet for free, and if someone wants to take issue with your work, they should pay you first.

If there's any way I can help you let me know. ❤️

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Shadowkat678

Posted

11 hours ago, sunshine_locks said:

This situation... honestly sounds like a nightmare. As I was reading, I realize how good I really have it. This community has been the majority of the reason why I keep writing today, and that I was lucky to have gotten at least only constructive comments or confusing ones. 

I think it's really brave for you to talk about this so openly; I think for me to own up to my mistakes, it would take a lot longer than I am able to admit. I'm happy that you're slowly gaining back your confidence for your writing though, and happy for the fact that you're understanding that you didn't deserve the outright rudeness from the blog. I think we pretty much all have those stories that are meant to help us cope with other aspects of our lives (and for me, this fic happens to be Glass), so I understand why it hurt so much or why you reacted the way you did. 

I hope you get back to the place you were in before, in terms of motivation and drive. 

Also, there's just this general consensus on that site that canon should be followed? Now, I have no idea what your intentions were with the story you wrote, but I think it is notable that there can be a lot creative liberties taken. I know a lot of fics that straight up ignore canon that are very good, and a lot my fics don't even follow canon, haha.

Yeah, it was definitely non-canon compliant. To the point where people who died were alive for little to no explained reason.

6 hours ago, facingthenorthwind said:

I'm so sorry that happened to you. :(  You absolutely didn't deserve that public mocking, and I hope you can get back the confidence to write something longer than a oneshot! Or perhaps you could just progressively write longer and longer oneshots? It's rough when brains are telling us we're not good enough but hopefully the knowledge that this is fic we write for fun might help? You have no obligation to be good. I mean, obviously I'm not saying you're bad, but just in general -- we're all here writing stories on the internet for free, and if someone wants to take issue with your work, they should pay you first.

If there's any way I can help you let me know. ❤️

Thanks, and you know if I'd been paid for insults I probably would have taken it better. Makes me think of the iCarly episode where Sam and Freddie had a thing going where every time they wanted to insult each other they had to pay $5. I think something like that should be implemented if someone wants to leave non-constructive complaints. 

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Oregonian

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Hi, Kat.  I clicked on that link you supplied, and oh my Lord, I can't believe what those self-righteous harpies were saying (especially the one who kept mistakenly using "you're" when the word she needed was "your").  Yeah.  The way they were ganging up on a beginning writer reminded me of Death Eaters ganging up on a Muggle.  What kind of people try to aggrandize themselves by beating other people down?  And I'm appalled that that site actually had an official thread in which multiple authors were subjected to this kind of bullying.

Just as there are certain countries in the world where I would not travel because their populations include persons who would try to harm me, it seems that there are sites on the internet where one should hesitate to venture for fear of running into harm.  I had heard of Live Journal in the past but had never visited it; now I never will.

I urge you to abandon the belief that "I made a fool of myself."  Everybody, in beginning to learn a new craft, does badly at first (as did the students in Chapter of Eighteen of Half-Blood Prince when they were learning to Apparate).  That's not being a fool -- it's just being normal.  True friends praise your courage in trying, applaud your efforts, tell you what parts of your attempts are looking successful, offer kindly and useful suggestions, and don't expect perfection from anybody, especially not from a novice and certainly not from themselves.  The people who came off badly in that online exchange -- the real fools -- were the jerks who participated in it.  (You're/your.  Yeah.)

When I was a validator at MNFF, we rejected some stories for matter of quality as well as for incorrect Ratings and Warnings, but we always worked with the authors to help them bring their stories up to standard, and the novice authors who were willing to revise were always happy when their stories were deemed ready to be posted.  I'd like to think that this site operates the same way, with kind-hearted authors who are willing to help others in the way that they themselves were once helped, in a spirit of open sharing.

What you wrote in this blog may prove to be a large step in helping to put that awful experience in perspective, to put an iron fence around it, so to speak, so that it can no longer reach out to infect you.  I hope so.  We are here for you.

 

Vicki

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