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magpie

untitled next-gen fic by magpie

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magpie

After a long, bitter year of writing only academic papers and the occasional grocery list, I'm diving right into the craziness that is NaNoWriMo. Will this be (a) a graceful leap, or (b) a horrible plummet with lots of flailing limbs and screaming? As Mr. Owl from the old Tootsie Pop commercials used to say: Let's find out.

Now, I'd be lying if I said this is my first year doing NaNoWriMo. So how about this: this is my first serious attempt at meeting the goal (50k...excuse me while I heave into a paper bag.) Currently, I'm planning out a story for the Scandalous Challenge (which, at this moment, is woefully untitled.)

It seems to have enough gas to meet novel-length, so that will be my main priority -- but when I find myself absolutely grinding to halt, I'll work on my other fanfic, which is up on the archives (T).

 

UNTITLED NEXT-GEN PROJECT

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For years, the students of Hogwarts have been engaged in an secret territory war.

Various locations in the castle are marked with flags, and the four Houses compete with each other by trying to own the most areas. A location with a red flag means it belongs to Gryffindor, while a green flag means Slytherin has full reign.

To take a location from a House, the flag has to be captured -- but they're usually protected by some enchantment or watched by student guards. Launching an outright assault is discouraged; no one wants the professors or the Headmaster knowing about the game because they'd surely end it.

Owning a territory means a House has full control over it. Just look at Ravenclaw: because they have the school's library, they've prohibited non-Ravenclaws from entering. Gryffindor is cocky as ever, owning most of the castle. Slytherin is in second -- though no one knows what kind of master plan they're cooking up deep in the dungeons. Ravenclaw's in third. And with the least number of territories, it seems Hufflepuff will spend yet another year in last place.

Not if Celia Pruitt can do anything about it. Now in her seventh (and last) year at Hogwarts, she wants to see Hufflepuff win before graduation. Even if it takes a little misbehavior.

 

And there you have it, folks. It's all downhill from here. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk Novel Nest!

Edited by magpie
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Dojh167

omg secret magical capture the flag anarchy with a focus on Hufflepuffs?? This sounds soo fun!

Questions!

  1. When did this territory war start? Was it going on during the books and Harry was unaware?
  2. What percentage of the student body participates? Are students of all years able to, or does the magic involved limit younger students' ability to help?
  3. Are professors aware/involved at all?
  4. Tell me about Celia! What is her deal?
  5. What other characters can we look forward to?
  6. Will you be posting as you go?

(also, your existing story on the archives looks sooo much like my cup of tea, I must read it. hopefully soon)

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grumpy cat

i'm very excited by the fact that my silly challenge managed to inspire you for this hufflepuffy capture-the-flag-esque fic kokice.gif it sounds like something very fun and unique and awesome *_*

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magpie
On 10/23/2019 at 4:43 PM, Dojh167 said:

omg secret magical capture the flag anarchy with a focus on Hufflepuffs?? This sounds soo fun!

Questions!

  1. When did this territory war start? Was it going on during the books and Harry was unaware?
  2. What percentage of the student body participates? Are students of all years able to, or does the magic involved limit younger students' ability to help?
  3. Are professors aware/involved at all?
  4. Tell me about Celia! What is her deal?
  5. What other characters can we look forward to?
  6. Will you be posting as you go?

(also, your existing story on the archives looks sooo much like my cup of tea, I must read it. hopefully soon)

1. About five years following the reconstruction of Hogwarts, after the Second Wizarding War — so following the books and after all the familiar names from the books had graduated. It started among the students — they grew tired of the professors’ favoritism in awarding House Cup points, so they basically made their own fun. Over the years, though, that fun twisted into tense relations between the Houses. Students have grown more possessive of what they control, and the whole game honestly seems on the brink of collapse, as tensions reach a boiling point. This story takes place right before utter chaos. 

2. Mostly every student participates. The ones that are more concerned with classes basically just ignore everything — but that gets hard when, say, the non-Gryffindors want to go chill by the Black Lake but Gryffindor owns the clearing and won’t let them into their territory. So either they get involved out of anger or rarely leave their House’s common room.

Every year, the Houses elect their own Council Leaders from the seventh year students who’ve nominated themselves for the job. The winning student then selects an Assistant Council Leader who helps them with strategizing and trade deals, etc. (basically their right-hand person.) The students in that position can be fifth, sixth or seventh years. Students in the years five, six, and seven also carry out flag captures, gain intelligence for their teams, and guard valuable territories. Because of their more limited magic skills, the younger years take on such jobs as messenger (delivering trade proposals to other Houses) or lookout (keeping watch for professors while a flag capture is in-progress.) 

INFO ON FLAG CAPTURES: They‘re organized between two Houses (the one that owns the territory and the one that seeks the territory.) Four students act as defense, while another four acts as offense. Two students keep watch while the two teams duel. If the offense gets the flag, they win. If the defense successfully subdues their opposers, they keep the territory. At night, Houses place protective enchantments on their flags though that doesn’t stop some people—ahem, Celia—from still trying. Nighttime flag captures are legal—so long as the student doesn’t get caught. If that student does get caught, their House must forfeit one of their territories. 

3. Professors aren’t aware of what’s going on. Students believe that if they find out, they’ll view it as a major distraction from schoolwork and shut the whole thing down. Since almost every student participates in the territory war, no one wants to be the one who tattletales — it’d be social suicide. 

4 & 5.

“And all the boys and girls merely players...”

(all links are M...just in case)

Celia Pruitt - Good Puff gone bad. Has ADHD and will honestly forget to consider things from someone else’s perspective. Scared of life post-Hogwarts. Is a fan of escapades taking place after curfew; hates how the game has made some Houses overly cocky and boastful. Basically the poster girl for impulsive behavior. Becomes easily swayed by...certain temptations, but she loves her friends, family and school, and just wants to do something right with her life for once. (FC: Maude Apatow)

Gabriel Rousseau - Hufflepuff’s Council Leader and Celia’s distant cousin. Loves his family, but he mostly views Celia as a nuisance and is privately hurt by her lack of faith in him. Basically the poster boy for following the rules and not taking risks, which means he and Celia often butt heads. Kind of in love with Zee. His immediate family has wealth, while Celia and her New Age-y, non-magical mother are seen as the black sheep. (FC: Timothee Chalamet)

Zynab “Zee” Al-Najjar - Assistant Council Leader under Gabe. If you watch Succession, she’s sort of the Gerri of the group: she puts up with everyone’s BS and will do anything to help the team. Knows Gabe is kind of in love with her, but the matters of the game come first — also she likes seeing him have trouble creating a sentence around her. (FC: Iman Meskini)

Hugo Weasley - Has been friends with Celia ever since they shared a detention in their third year. Sleeps in his classes because Celia will not give him a night off. Laughs in the face of the gender binary and is very proud of his hair. Will say he’s done with helping Celia but then wind up taking a bullet for her. Can be the Voice of Reason when he’s had a sufficient amount of rest. (FC: Caleb Landry-Jones)

Fionn Murphy - Assistant Council Leader for Slytherin. Gorgeous - has the face of a wicked cherub - but can he even be trusted??? Can appear out of literally nowhere, it seems, and is a fan of meeting of dark, shadowy places. The inventor of the Smolder™. Becomes intrigued by Celia, and approaches her with a plan of his own. (FC: Daniel Sharman)

Lily-Luna Potter - Gryffindor’s Head Girl, Seeker, and Council Leader, she’s kinda got it going on. If she’s got too much on her plate, she will grab another one from the china cabinet. Thinks Celia is taking advantage of her cousin Hugo. Has a history with Fionn, but she’s totally over it. Currently dating Riley Jordan. (FC: Sophie Turner)

Riley Jordan - Gryffindor’s Keeper. Also: gorgeous. Loves his girlfriend but finds that her many responsibilities can keep her at a distance. Cocky, but definitely not as much as other Gryffindor blokes. His father is a professional Quidditch announcer and regularly provides his son’s friends with great seats for the World Cup. Harboring a few secrets of his own. Easily corruptible, it turns out. (FC: Rome Flynn)

6. I...am debating. I might post just the beginning chapters. I normally edit as I write, and considering the nature of NaNoWriMo, I’ll probably turn off that pesky inner editor for the sake of getting up my word count. I think it just depends on my progress — if I’m having trouble with my goal, I might just sit on everything and focus on the act of writing.

Thank you for these lovely questions! <3333

9 hours ago, grumpy cat said:

i'm very excited by the fact that my silly challenge managed to inspire you for this hufflepuffy capture-the-flag-esque fic kokice.gif it sounds like something very fun and unique and awesome *_*

I’m happy you like the sound of it so far <33

it’s very concept-heavy. like, can a non-confusing story even emerge from it???

Edited by magpie
counCIL
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victoria_anne

Hey there!

Okay omg there is nothing I don't like about this story!!! The text messages is such a cool touch! I'm super excited about this project of yours and can't wait to hear all about it during NaNo ^_^ 

1. Apart from grumpy's challenge, what inspired the idea?

2. You said you have enough for a novel, does this mean a lot of the story is planned?

3. What is it about the next-generation that is the perfect fit for this story?

4. Since this is the year you're seriously tackling NaNo, have you got a gameplay ready? Music, snacks, time of day to write?

This story sounds totally awesome and I can't wait!

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magpie
3 hours ago, victoria_anne said:

Hey there!

Okay omg there is nothing I don't like about this story!!! The text messages is such a cool touch! I'm super excited about this project of yours and can't wait to hear all about it during NaNo ^_^ 

1. Apart from grumpy's challenge, what inspired the idea?

2. You said you have enough for a novel, does this mean a lot of the story is planned?

3. What is it about the next-generation that is the perfect fit for this story?

4. Since this is the year you're seriously tackling NaNo, have you got a gameplay ready? Music, snacks, time of day to write?

This story sounds totally awesome and I can't wait!

Hi @victoria_anne ~

1. I’m happy you asked this question! 😁 I’ve sort of been thinking about personal biases and how they can potentially inform a professor’s decision to award or take away House Cup points. It’d be great if professors were completely neutral — and maybe they try their darnedest to be impartial — but

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They’re people before they’re professors. Naturally they have students they favor and students they dislike, and they have their own beliefs, so adding or subtracting points can be based on subjective or arbitrary reasons. A professor can also be a former Hogwarts students who favors the House they belonged to. 

Additionally, it seems there’s no set number of points a student receives for doing something awardable. According to Harry Potter wiki (M?), Hermione correctly answers a question in both Pomona Sprout and Gilderoy Lockhart’s classes, and they both give her 10 points. But Remus Lupin, and few other teachers, only give her 5 for doing the same thing in their classes. So it appears each teacher decides how many points they’ll give for a good deed. They don’t consult like, a rule book or something. 

Going back to biases, though, the rest of that Wiki page has examples of professors awarding and deducting based on biases, personal beliefs, abuse of authority, etc. (Prefects and Head Boys and Girls also have the ability to deduct points—so those are more people with potential biases involved.)

But in general, the House Cup competition — as we know it from the books and movies — seems, to me, a bit too passive and reliant on adults to have a bunch of teenagers really care about it. Quidditch is only an active competition for the team players; the Triwizard Tournament has an age limit, and is only an active competition between the chosen students. So I tried to come up with something  that can involve every student — and a variation on Capture the Flag was the result of that. The “territory war” aspect comes from a book I read, On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (which I recommend).

Lastly: I’ve always wanted to write a story with an ensemble cast - it’s a quality shared some of my favorite fanfics and books. But I’ve always been intimidated, since you have to juggle different personalities, motivations, conflicts, etc. And I’m certainly not good at juggling. 😛 So another challenge this story poses for me is handling multiple characters. 

(sheesh this is long)

tldr; weirdly fixating on the House Cup Competition and competition in general, plus going through my old YA book collection

2. I have five chapters currently planned. This is a story that just feels big to me, I guess, with squabbling characters and alliances and a short-lived tradition breathing its final breaths. The five chapters I’ve planned don’t even get into the things I want to include, and I don’t think they’ll be short chapters, so I think this has the momentum to be novel-length, if that makes sense. 

3. I’m not really sure. I guess because I’m so used to writing Next Gen. Plus, the territory war is kind of the result of students feeling unsatisfied by the House Cup Comp, and wanting something new to coincide with the rebuilding of Hogwarts castle. But I can totally envision the war happening pre-HP, in Tom Riddle’s time or even the Marauder’s era. Heck, it could’ve been happening under Harry’s nose throughout all seven of those books.

4. I’m getting an IV that’ll deliver a steady flow of caffeine to my bloodstream. I’m gonna try to write everyday. I have a tentative daily goal of 1500 that I’ll try to hit, but just getting any number of words down’ll be good. Uh, what else - oh, LOTS of teabags will be used. I might listen to Spotify playlists that match the mood of a scene I’m writing. I’m gonna try to approach this seriously, but if I don’t get far, it’s cool.

Thank you!!

Also, minor update: I came up with two titles (The Badger Offense is like, my serious title but I also kinda want to name it Badgers, Badgers Everywhere 😝). I made two picspams —

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— and changed the FC for Fionn to Matthew Bell, who I think better fits the character. 

I’ve also gotten stuck in a music hole — I’ve been listening to Broken Social Scene and there’s a good chance some lyrics will sneak in as chapter epigraphs: used to be one of the rotten ones and I liked you for that + it's time that we grow old and do some s[tuff] + so take me down, down through this / Kill the common law that missed / This is the blood I love to share

And I’ve come up with two minor characters (well, three minor characters, really, but two of them kinda exist as one): a first-year who specializes in pyrotechnics, and a pair of identical twins who seem to never leave each other’s sides and say the same things simultaneously.

Edited by magpie
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magpie

Hit ~9,000 words for this project, then came to a roadblock that I’ll have to set time aside to work through (the consequence of not planning the whole story out 😳). However, another story idea came to me during that idleness. It begged me to write it. I finished the first chapter (~4,000 words) of it, and I’m currently ~1,000 into the second. I feel a little guilty, but I’ll be counting it towards my overall NaNo goal of 50,000 words. 

This second project is a novelette titled What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, and follows Lucy Weasley and her two friends Calliope Flint and Francis Dorsey for roughly 24 hours as they decide not to take the train to Hogwarts on September 1 and instead attend the last concert of their favorite wizard rock band, The Flitterbies, before the members permanently break up. It’s pretty much inspired by my love of alternative/indie music and coming-of-age narratives (preferably the combination of those two). It alternate POVs between the three friends as they work through relationship problems, experience budding feelings, and wrestle with familial expectations. It’s honestly writing itself. I haven’t had a story pour out of me since I was in middle school probably, so this is a vaguely familiar, totally surprising experience. I made an obligatory picspam, and I’m posting an excerpt:

qOrlNNA.jpg

Quote

It was the wee hours of the morning—long before the sun would crack over the distant mountains and spill light like a runny egg—but listening to the song, the trio of female voices alternating between weariness and attitude, woke Lucy up in a much deeper sense.

There’s a magic in discovering a song, entirely different from the spells she’d been writing about, the alchemy she’d learned. Even though her logical brain reasons that it’d been nothing more than pure coincidence, Lucy’s heart clenches to feeling that the music had found her, setting the air in the sleepy common room alive with its crackling energy.

I hope everyone else is making progress towards their goals! ❤️ 

Edited by magpie
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Dojh167

AAHHH it looks even better than I imagined, gimme gimme!

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Dojh167

I just read the first chapter of Cheap Seats and I love it soooo much! I left more thoughts in review form, but I had to come here to demand you tell me the characters’ Hogwarts Houses!

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magpie
1 hour ago, Dojh167 said:

I just read the first chapter of Cheap Seats and I love it soooo much! I left more thoughts in review form, but I had to come here to demand you tell me the characters’ Hogwarts Houses!

Sammmm. Your interest is literally fueling this story. Lucy and Francis are both Ravenclaws (though Lucy is more accurately a Ravenpuff. Francis is a Ravenclaw through and through). Cal is a brazen Gryffindor. Thank youuuu

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800 words of heaven

I am also about to rebel today, and start a story that wasn't my intention for NaNo this year. Well done on taking the leap! It has helped me to feel okay about doing the same - and still count it towards my overall NaNo total MUHAHAHA!

As we approach the halfway mark, how do you feel like you're faring? 

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