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Reviewer: 108 Signed starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Date: 09/09/2007 08:41 PM Title: Chapter 1

This is fantastic writing. I love how you build Sirius' disappointment and uncertainty - how he's willing to let it go when feeling passionate, but how it keeps intruding anyway. That is so very, very real. You have a good grasp of the dynamics of relationships.

I also love how you bring the Wizarding world and the War into the background, how it informs what is happening between the characters. This story feels very realistic in terms of how people behave when facing undertain and, at times, terrifying circumstances.

Are you British? I'm wondering how you have such a grasp of British slang. I can put some in, but overall, I'm struggling with it (not being English can be a drag when writing English fanficf). I'm taking notes from you, to be sure.

Do you write besides what you write here? I'm working on the whole "show don't tell" thing and you're pretty good at it. Have you been writing a long time? This is skilled writing, so I'm assuming you haven't just started. 

I really love this story. I'm looking forward to reading more of it.

Author's Response:

Oh, wow!  *splutters and blushes*  Thank you so much!  Such a lovely compliment! 

Actually, I'm not British.  I'm an American from New York. *ducks*  But I have had the fortune to have had a number of friends (and a few ex-boyfriends) from all over Great Britain ovre the years, plus the added benefit of online friends as well, (not to mention watching British television shows!) so I've picked up a bit here and there which helps when writing!  And I ask.  There are some fantastic resources on the web, and on LJ specifically, there's a community called hp_britglish for questions about british culture relating to HP fanfic.  Not being English is a drag, and I get very wistful when I read fics by my British friends. But it comes full circle when they write in American fandoms and have to ask us things. :)

Y es, I have more fic than what I've written here, and I'm slowly posting it here at QP, but I have it archived at my LJ and a few other places.  I've been writing for a long time (I'll be 40 in a little over a week!) but I've only been writing fanfic since 2002 or so.  I don't have all that many stories posted - 20 something and a half dozen drabbles. Sadly, I'm big on ideas, and not so big on execution.  I'm terribly lazy at times, and I also have a number of fics I abandoned intending to come back to later when I got stuck, but never got around to it. But I do have a couple currently in progress which I plan to finish, too.

As for the show, don't tell, that tends to come down to the details.  It's in how you choose which POV to use, and then, I think, put yourself in your character's place - but make sure you're in your character's head, and not have the character in your head, if that makes sense, because you always know more than your character.  Or you should.  :-P  The character can't be omniscient - you have to separate what you know (and what your characters know) from what a reader will know, and remember that there is always a gap there.  Movement is important, too - little physical reactions, using physical clues to show emotion rather than relying on too many adverbs.  People pace, change facial expressions and use body language when they speak, listen, think, act.  It's okay to tell things sometimes, too. You don't have to show every little thing.  If you need an info-dump, be creative about it. 

Read books on writing by other published authors - On Writing by Stephen King, Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card, etc., and even essays and articles by other fan writers.  But they key is not to follow everything they say to the letter - pick and choose what works for you.  And a good beta reader/editor who will look for things outside spelling and grammar is important.  Also, read your story (especially dialogue!) aloud, and really listen to it, where you're not just the author but the audience, and think about that gap in knowledge. :)

And so there's my abbreviated two cents as to methods I use.  The rest just comes from practice, really.  And learning by example, which comes from reading a lot, whether fanfic or original fiction. And you can even learn a lot from reading badly written stories because that shows you what not to do. :-P  I'm very flattered that you think my stories are well written - that's the greatest compliment any writer could hope for. So, again, thank you.  And thank you for reading and commenting!  I'm thrilled you liked them!  (And I'll just shut up now... *g*)  


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