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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)
Anigrubby_tap on August 17th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC)
Considering the fact that 90% of Hogwarts's population is now at least part-Weasley, were you to tar the kids with the same brush as the parents, this fic would be unbearable. Everyone would be happy and cheery and school is never like that.

I stayed up till four last night reading the 9 parts you've got up, and the only thing I was angry about was that I'd run out of fic to read. I think you've done a great job giving each kid their own personality, and so far you've avoided that line between bullying and evil (although Rose is coming a little close). I have a lot more I'd like to praise you on, like the Lovegoods and Rambo and Lily's flowery pumps, but this comment is getting on.

So keep writing and never mind the critics. I think in a fandom where mpreg and Mary-Sues are everywhere, raising eyebrows at negative sides to "good" characters' children is a bit silly.
jehnt: bsg - starbuckjehnt on August 19th, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
(It's a lot like Battlestar Galactica in that way.)

DO YOU WATCH BSG? It's one of my favorite shows. I'm so in love with Starbuck that it's insane. I used to be in love with Apollo as well but then he got lame but at the end of the third season he got cool again so we'll see. He's still smokin' hot, as are a number of the people on the show. Plus, there's, you know, actual plot and stuff. And spaceships. Those are the most important element.

I can't comment on the actual content of this post because... me + WIPs = disaster, so I'm waiting to read RLT until either a) it is complete or b) I cave, whichever comes first.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on August 19th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
I've watched the first few eps, then I discovered that there's actually a 3hr pilot that comes before S1! That really sucks balls, I mean, even if they didn't include it in the boxset they could have at least flagged the fact that there was shit that came before it. Aside from that and the overly-arty camera angles, I like what I've seen. But I can't watch more until I get that pilot, and I can't get that for a while, so I'm stuck.

RLT - at least the first movement - should end after chapter 10. Be warned. :d
jehnt: bsg - conspiracyjehnt on August 19th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
It didn't come in your S1 box set? Huh. It's in the one I have. I didn't quite figure it out though until after I'd finished all the episodes of the first season so I watched it after those. I think I may have found the show boring if I'd started with the miniseries because it's incredibly slow-moving and I'm just not sure what I would have thought of it if I wasn't already invested in the characters.

Have you seen "Act of Contrition" and "You Can't Go Home Again" yet (episodes 4 and 5)? Those are my favorites from the first season. The end of YCGHA is thrilling.

I suppose I'd better be ready to read soon, then, hah.
elsa12790 on August 20th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
One thing you've done with your characterization of James and Rose is make me think, again, how different our reactions are when the victim is someone we like versus someone we don't like. Someone a few posts back pointed out that their actions are not that different from Fred and George; and, I mean, what about Harry using sectumsempra on Draco? The heinousness of that was never adequately addressed in canon, imo (in fanon, yes; I've seen him confront the consequences of that in some fics). So, in my mind, you've raised some profound moral questions about the reader's complicitous in a fungible ethics of violence and cruelty.

Did I understand you to say that the piece is over after chapter 10? Or is that just the end of part 1? (*desperately hoping for the latter*)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Candy lipsscoradh on August 20th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
I made this whole post in a fug of annoyance, and I've only just come up with a soundbite to challenge people's views. I keep on hearing about how people would love to punish Rose, see her get her comeuppance, etc. And I just want to ask: if it were your (the hypothetical your, not your your) kid, what would you do?

Chapter 10 should see the end of first year - so I bloody hope. After that, who knows?
iesikaiesika on August 21st, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
I'd make her apologize, for starters. And then she would have to give Albus her favorite possession, to do with as he wished. Albus being Albus, he'd probably not wreck it for revenge, anyway. He'd probably trade it back to her for a promise to leave him the hell alone. ^_^

When I was maybe 8, I broke something of my Dad's that I wasn't supposed to touch by being really careless. So, he broke something of mine. Never forgot the lesson about the importance of other people's property.
iesikaiesika on August 21st, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
I haven't been reading the comments from other people on the chapters (too busy enjoying the story) but after reading this, I just wanted to be sure to say I LOVE your characterization. James makes a lot of sense to me, especially since chapter 8. As other folks have pointed out in the comments to this post, a lot of siblings do behave pretty awfully to one another, including violence. My sister used to bully our brother something fierce, and managed to knock some teeth out at one point (which is much harder to deal with in RL than the magical world, let me tell you). James is an arse because of guilt and jealously issues, and probably all the Bighead Disease that his grandfather had. Money and talent and popularity do strange things to kids, especially kids whose parents are far away. Just because someone's parents are pretty decent people, too, doesn't mean that the kids will turn out fantastic. In fact, it doesn't even mean that they're good parents (Harry seems rather oblivious to me, but Harry's always been oblivious, so that's pretty true to character).

Rose is much milder, too, and wouldn't shock people at all if she weren't paired with James in a strange sort of Diabolic Duo. They feed off each other. Rose's type of bullying is much, much more common. She's Draco with Neville's remembrall all over again.

I love your Albus as well. He's quiet but strong, and he reminds me a lot of his dad but mostly of Remus Lupin. I'd love to see what his relationship with Teddy is like. I can see where the real shit is going to hit the fan, though, in the future. Particularly if Harry and Ron don't come to accept Scorpius and Albus are friends. If Harry disapproves of the ASS, James is going to see it as carte blanc to rip them to shreds. It will be his duty, after all, as a big brother. I'm a bit of an angst glutton, so I'm rather looking forward to it, actually. So don't let anybody else's comments put you off the story. Please!
~kyou_kyou_neko_ on August 23rd, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
I only discovered your fics yesterday (at sycophanthex.com), and I haven't read any of the critics you mention, but you sound so dispirited here that I wanted to say this: I stayed up till 3.30 am reading the nine RLT chapters (cannot wait for the next part!!) Your writing could do with some improvement, true, but it is so engaging that I didn't mind all that much. And I loved all your characters - you took them and made them yours, and believable and lovable. Not perfect, of course, but then no one is. I love Albus, and James, well, I don't like him, but he reminded me of how many depict his grandfather's younger years - you have to hope that he'll also improve with age. But the truth is, I want to keep reading, cause I want to know if he does or not, or how Harry will put his foot in his mouth next time, or how will everyone react if Ginny and Serena really become friends. In short, keep trying your best, and many people, like me, will enjoy the results of your work (and your imagination), allowing for your so very human imperfections.
And besides, HP fandom is so vast that there will always be someone that agrees with your own views on the charas.