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14 August 2007 @ 08:10 pm
this isn't really life, but it's a damn good holograph  
I read TV reviews habitually - not product reviews, I mean reviews of programmes; mainly out of masochism because I only have four channels to choose from (three if I want to watch TV in English). Sunday's review mentioned Nationwide, which is a hokey programme that goes around the country asking people about their cows and stuff. I have no idea, tbh, I don't watch it. But the review mentioned knitting clubs that are springing up all over - 'stitch'n'bitch as they're called in America.' The first I heard of stitch'n'bitch was in rageprufrock's SGA fic about the same. I love that they're connected - it's proof that the universe makes absolutely no sense. (It's a lot like Battlestar Galactica in that way.)

But that wasn't the point of my post.

I've been trying to write the next chapter of RLT, and I think I have to get this rant out of the way first.

I haven't written a WIP since my first foray into fandom, something only coralia13 and purlicue will now remember. My ficcing career has not been free from criticism, which I think I've always handled politely and even gracefully. But it's different with one-shots. People do not get invested in one-shots because, well -- they're over like that. People do get invested in WIPs. From a writing standpoint this is new for me. I might as well be honest: it's a little hard to deal with.

People have raised many good critical points about the story and characterisation of RLT, some of which I've taken on board, others of which I never will. But hard as it is to separate criticism from criticiser, it seems equally difficult to separate writing from writer. If I were incredibly good at this, there wouldn't be so many issues - not to mention, I'd probably be posting my manuscripts to a publisher and not to a weblog that doesn't even welcome my kind. A lot - maybe all - of my plots and characterisation turn on the simple expedient of 'this is what my brain came up with, so this is what I'm writing.' Convenience is the buzzword here. It's not a good way to write, but it certainly ain't a unique way. I'm sorry I'm not a better writer, but I swear I'm doing my best.

Would I write differently if I had been brought up differently and had a different relationship with my family? Yes, of course. My moral code is questionable, and pretty much boils down to 'what if?' If X happened, I'd do Y. If Y happened, I'd do Z. Guess what? As far as I'm concerned, that's how everyone acts.

Fandom has been good at seeing all sides of all characters. The defences for Draco and Snape run into the thousands. Most make the point that the sins of the father should not be visited on the children. It's a good point. The virtues of the father should not be visited on the children either. The NG kids are a blank canvas. I am, again, truly sorry that my James and my Rose aren't what everyone wants them to be - but if I were your kids, I'd find it damn hard to live up to those expectations myself.

I'm not telling people 'if you don't like it, write your own' or to go read the OBHWF stuff that litters the net. I respect my readers as much as I respect anyone, but I'm also human. And I'm tired of what feels like personal attacks on an impersonal piece of writing. You find the situations disturbing? I find your reactions to it disturbing. Where is the forgiveness, the understanding, the idea of giving people a chance? Everyone deserves one. I'm not saying the capability of giving that chance is present in everyone, or indeed anyone, but it should be acknowledged that in an ideal world it would be so. And who's to say Albus isn't the one with the flawed POV?

If I could describe myself in one word, it would be 'observant'. If I had two, I'd add in 'judgemental.' Three? 'Critical.' Four? 'Unforgiving.' This, believe it or not, makes me a pretty astute observer of human nature inasmuch as I've seen it. Nice people are often boring, annoying or both. Good people are only good to a point, bad people to a point (usually the same point) and there's nothing worse than people with nothing to say saying nothing endlessly. My characters' good or bad qualities should not be as much a matter for concern as the plausibility of the same. You want to tell me that I haven't covered my ass in a plausibility suit? That's what I want to hear. That you have a personal problem with what my characters are doing? For the last time, I'm sorry, but I really, really can't help you there.
 
 
Current Mood: grumpygrumpy
Current Music: all i really want (alanis morisette)
 
 
 
Cee: maddox on backparagraphs on August 14th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
I like the 'alive or dead' because I've had the flu and have felt quite dead the last few days. My boyfriend told me to come find your fic, that I would love it, and I do. I haven't read any of the comments, and haven't commented myself, but Nick and I have had some great discussions over Rose's and James' behavior, and their cruelty toward Albus. I may be wrong but in my own analysis of James I can't help but wonder if his meanness isn't motivated by a terrible guilt. That may not be the direction you've taken, but I sure have enjoyed piecing out the puzzle of his attitude. And Rose--oh my GOSH... found myself thinking through an entire "IF YOU WERE MY DAUGHTER" scenario as I lay in bed last night, shivering from fever. Now... THAT is powerful characterization.

I love what fatgirlrules says. She is so right about that last line.

So, I for one want to thank you. I love what you are doing with all the characters--giving us some to love (Rambo is awesome! I love the thought of Dudley having a magical child!) and I especially like your creation of the twins in the two houses--providing a direct bridge to Scorpius. And what is unfolding between the boys is so sweet.

If you took out the conflict of the brother and Rose, then alot of the drama could just be gone. So kudos to you for making them as they are. I just hope Rose gets into BIG BIG BIG trouble with Hermione. I mean, what she did--if she'd been my daughter, doing that--I'd yank her back home. She doesn't deserve to be there!

AHH! See, PASSION! I can't wait for the next installment.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 15th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
I'm totally impressed that people are discussing this OFFLINE. Whee.

If you took out the conflict of the brother and Rose, then alot of the drama could just be gone. So kudos to you for making them as they are. I just hope Rose gets into BIG BIG BIG trouble with Hermione. I mean, what she did--if she'd been my daughter, doing that--I'd yank her back home. She doesn't deserve to be there!

mmm, see, this is the kind of reaction I'm talking about (and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're not allowed to have it). It's just, my reaction is 'Oh? Er. Like, whatever.' I don't feel it's my job to punish Rose, or to see that karma bites James' ass. This is Albus' story and the important thing is what he says, does, reacts to, etc. In real life, the bullies go unpunished and the wicked prosper. As a writer, I'm trying to emulate life, not fix it. This is why people's exhortations on that score are falling on deaf ears.
(no subject) - paragraphs on August 16th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
land of godless sodomites: dracodollpixxers on August 14th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
I haven't read this particular story yet, but I have it bookmarked. I should probably just go ahead and print it out. :D

I find it very hard to believe that anyone can accuse you of writing out of character when the characters you're writing about HAVE NO CANON. :|

The intarwebs are full of entitlement bitches, you know. It doesn't matter what you give them, they're never satisfied.

But tell me: will Al smooch Scorpius alot? Because that's what I like. ♥
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 15th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
Oh noez, save the trees man!

It's not THE canon they're complaining about, it's MY canon. TBH, if anyone's the entitlement bitch, it's me. I want people to read my story my way, dammit all to hell!

I totally intended that they should at first, but I also didn't plan for first year to go on for ten chapters. Hand holding is the order of the day, I'm afraid.
lily_bywater on August 14th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
Um...I lurk, I'm a huge lurker but I've followed RLT since chap 4 or something and have noticed the increase in comments regarding james and rose and the whole sibling relationship.

*purses lips* What I want to say is, I have a whole flock of siblings and we've all the same inner rage that could cause absolute havoc amongst us when we were younger. So I find your characterisation fascinating and refreshing, nothing can be duller than sweet-as-pie sibling interaction.

every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 15th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I guess I wish everyone thought like you ... but that wouldn't be fair on the world!
Gin: Alec is sad.backinblack on August 14th, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry I'm not a better writer, but I swear I'm doing my best.

Dude wtf, I know this sounds drone-like or something, but you're a great writer, and I often sit around fidgeting because I want to let you know how much. I thoroughly enjoy what you write, and I don't ever stop and have a moment because something rang untrue. That's really RARE, man. I realize I'm one person, but still.

Since you've got a lot of people reading your fic now, opinions are going to differ. Don't take it to heart, just take any advice you find useful and run with it, discard the rest. I know you said something to that effect, and I know it's hard to ignore critisicm, but for serious, some people out there think Glitter is a good movie. :| YOU CAN'T TRUST ANYONE'S OPINION, NOT EVEN MINE.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 15th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
This is so true. :D But it's not people's opinions I'm concerned about, so much as their reactions. It's like, dude, srsly. Just fiction. Not my job to save the world, sry!
fullofbalony on August 15th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC)
*de-lurks*

Hello, I don't know you but I've been stalking this latest fic of yours and it is fantastic. I really, really hope you decide to continue writing it. I thought that last chapter rocked -- it was truly moving.

Since the attacks on your characters are making you grumpy, here's some feedback on the work as a whole. First, I love the ideas you're exploring with Albus's character -- his obsession with the truth is particularly interesting. The interplay between truth, justice, and humanity are pretty big concepts to address using an 11 year old character, but there's a nice double-optics going on in the narrative that makes it work. Plus that bit with Harry saying that James and Albus were alike was a nice ballast for the story, because your readers already know and respect Harry. The twins provide a good balance, too. It's not like all your fic's sibling relationships are twisted. Actually, I really love this whole James v Albus thing, it's just twisted enough to be captivating. Although, it kind of seems like an aside to me. I know it's important, but when I read I'm more focused on what's going on with Albus's illness: how is he coping? how are his friends coping? and of course omg-what-will-happen-next-plz-update-aah?!! I do hope you'll continue writing.

*re-lurks*
Merit: HPmeritjubet on August 15th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
They are your interpretations of the characters and with so little there is heaps to create on your own. I suppose I had minor problems with James's and Rose's behaviour because I was bullied and seeing them practically get away with their behaviour irritated me. But that happens, obviously, in real life. But I wasn't annoyed with your style, only the character's behaviour. I'm sure they have their reasons.

Anyway, I'm still looking forward to another chapter. Because I like the fic and the conflicts ^__^
kali: Facilis Descensus Avernokalichan on August 15th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
Hello there. I dropped by to tell you that I'd finally recced you at epilogue_hp as I'd been intending to for some time (incidentally, btw: http://community.livejournal.com/epilogue_hp/1780.html if you want to read the write-up) but I seem to have come at an awkward time. I'm sorry you're feeling overwhelmed and/or attacked.

Not being a "big name" in fandom, or even approaching one, I can only imagine what it must be like to have hordes of people descending on your journal out of the blue, and then being demanding about your characterization. It's one of those things I imagine all us relatively unknown people want, without acknowledging how stressful and exasperating parts of it can be. A rapid course in the annoying parts of fame and without the big bucks that should come with it, since after all, it's on the internet.

For what it's worth though, I think people have really fallen in love with your story- to the extent that now, your narrative is getting the same "can we tilt this? is there another perspective?" that all of us give to canon. In other words, it's becoming real. To me, that speaks volumes about your talent in characterization.

Also, as an explanatory note to one of my previous comments: I'm sad about Rose (for example) not because I think you did something wrong in the characterization, or because I feel it's too disturbing, (ha! The people who think this must not read very widely in fandom!) but because (just like I love[d] Draco in canon) I like her. Not JKR's Rose (who we don't know at all) but yours. She rings true! And I really feel her actions will probably cause Hermione [who wasn't perfect either, but who I was extremely fond of] some anguish some day, and even Rose herself, once she twigs to the finer things in life - like not giving in to all one's worst traits. I want to believe that Sirius & James & Snape would have grown up to know this too - if they had lived to grow out of adolescence. Many of us do figure that out in the end. And I think your story honours that.

Okay, this has turned into a small novel, and seeing how I'm one of those hordes that descended, and come to think of it, you might not have wanted lengthy comments on this personal rant...er...well...yeah. Sorry. I'll stop rambling at you now!
Cassandra: criticalgeekturnedvamp on August 15th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC)
If I were incredibly good at this, there wouldn't be so many issues - not to mention, I'd probably be posting my manuscripts to a publisher and not to a weblog that doesn't even welcome my kind. . . . I'm sorry I'm not a better writer, but I swear I'm doing my best.

I just wanted to say that I hope you were being sarcastic when you apologized for not being a better writer, because I work in publishing and see a lot of bad writing, and trust me, you are not a bad writer.

I confess I don't come to RLT with many 'shipper prejudices because--despite the amount of Harry Potter fic I've read--I've never been in the fandom, but I'm enjoying the hell out of this story and checking back frequently for new chapters. I haven't read the two most recent because I've been traveling, but your characterization of James works for me because you're selling it well and I like realism anyway.
VOWELS: alex k.aeeee on August 15th, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
Just dropping in again to say that I love what you've done with the DH kids, and to me what happens in your stories is always unexpected and always fantastic.

I'd also like to point out that James is on about the same level of psychopathic as Fred & George, only because we're seeing him through a victim's perspective (Albus') and not a conspirator's (Harry's), we can much more easily tell how horrible he is. Hope that makes sense.
pufftmgpufftmg on August 15th, 2007 08:18 am (UTC)
Just thought I'd pop in and say that I've got a fantastic relationship with my brother but I don't have a single problem with your characterization in this fic (which is amazing and should get a proper review from me, I know, but I'm ridiculously lazy about that...).

The way I see it, James Potter the first was quite the bastard... but he was an only child. Harry himself has enough of an ego and yet he was brought up by an Aunt and Uncle who treated him like shit. The Weasleys are well known for their grudges and fiery tempers - Ron and Ginny especially. James feels he's been wronged and acts accordingly... Albus certainly isn't a complete innocent - like your fight scene showed clearly. Rose's actions need a little more explaining - but I figure you'll get there as the story progresses... I certainly don't want a back story dump in the middle of an active scene.

I think you wrote somewhere that this is from Albus' POV, so of course it's going to be a bit one sided - and that makes perfect sense to me. Kids are nasty, vindictive little animals (my brother is 12 - I love him to death and get on with him very well but I still have the urge, occasionally, to wring his neck - he's thrown punches and knives at me on more than one occasion - I'm sure he could tell you the things I've done back to him... except he can't because he's not old enough to have a journal - ha!) Even good sibling relations produce violent outbursts - so I've no doubt what bad ones can do.

So yeah, this was just a post to weigh in and say what the hell, there are all types of families in RL and regardless, as far as I can see, this Potter family seems perfectly believable.
Shezanshezan on August 15th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
Your characters are consistent and believable. That's what matters, I would say. They're your image of what the kids become, but that's your inalienable right. Now, fandom being what it is, you're never going to make EVERYONE happy. Who cares? There are PLENTY of satisfied and eager readers for RLT.
neivnefernut on August 15th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, please... Your fanfiction is excellent, I guess you do it for yout own entertainment, and you still manage to make your characters totally human, like everybody else, believable
(Anonymous) on August 15th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
Don't change a thing
I've been following this since early on, reading voraciously, and although I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have written James or Rose quite so brutally, you've made it entirely believable within the context of your universe. And it actually makes me want to see more of their home lives - because I have no doubt you could make their trajectories entirely plausible, if also subtly horrifying. Trust your writer's instincts here. They're solid.
neivnefernut on August 15th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
(continuation)
and, even if I've been a lurker, I follow your story since the 6th part and I absolutely love it. Don't be discouraged :)
ura_hdura_hd on August 15th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
I feel a bit bad, because I am among people who did not like James and Rose. I still do not.

But whatever comments I made, I never meant that I did not like your writing. I love it! You have a real talent.

I think the fact that so many people take James and Rose to their heart to express dislike and disappointment of their behavior, points out that you succeeded at creating very realistic very alive characters. Isn't it what every writer wants? (Well, I would not know, I am not a writer :).

But again, as simply a reader I do not know how it feels for a writer when a character is disliked. So, I promise to refrain from saying anything about Rose and James from now on. Albus, Scopious and their gang leave plenty to think and comment about.

Again, totally love this story. Totally love your writing. I found Interview with the Hero and am going to read it as well.