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Thread: Discussions - Part Two

  1. #1

    Discussions - Part Two

    January Discussion I: Male versus Female

    There is an abundance of fictions on MNFF focused on original characters (OCs), their relationships with canon characters, and their stories told inside JKR's magical world. The amount of romance fictions featuring female OCs is astounding, to say the least, but hardly do we ever seen a male OC romance. This is not exclusive to romance even, but to most every category and genre MNFF caters to.

    Which do you believe is easier to write: a female OC (OFC) or male OC (OMC)? Why do you believe Mary-Sues are more abundant than Gary-Stus? Do you believe that authors who are female are more prone to create and write female characters, and vice versa? Is it more difficult to establish a relationship between a female canon character and an OMC or a male canon character with an OFC (oppositely for you SSP writers out there)?

    Feel free to add any other discussion questions if you so please.

    En garde.

  2. #2
    January Discussion II: Book Seven Characterisation

    Thanks to dory_the_fishie for this wonderful discussion topic.

    From PS/SS through HBP, we have watched these characters change and grow, from the young children they were, to the young women and men they a gradually becoming. In each book, our characters gain more knowledge as to who they are, face new obstacles, and learn from their past mistakes.

    With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the horizon, how do you think Book Seven will affect our favorite characters? Do you believe the war will bring the Trio and everyone closer together? Will Harry's quest for horcruxes harden him? How will the war further affect them? What about their mentalities post-war? There are so many questions as to what's next plot-wise, what about characterization-wise?

    Have at.

  3. #3

    January Discussion: Book Seven Characterization

    This is a very complicated question, if only because some of our favorite characters changed differently than we expected them to. At the beginning of OotP, I expected Harry to be either Angsty!Harry or Solemn!Harry or even Quiet!Harry. I did not expect him to be Angsty!CAPSLOCK!Yelling!Defensive!Harry. But that's just how he changed, and I might be wrong in my next assumtion.

    I imagine that Harry would be quieter in DH. He grew up a lot in HBP, and now with Dumbledore gone, I imagine that he would keep a lot to himself. Not necessarily be angsty, just quiet and more... . I don't know - not rebellious, but he is an adult now. He can make his own desicions. He can sit in on OotP meetings, he can perform magic anywhere where Muggles can't see him, he can apperate and dissapperate. I don't know, I just imagine Harry keeping a lot of things to himself, not because he wants the others to be disinformed, but he doesn't want his friends and family to be as scarred as he is when he comes out of the battle (if he comes out).


  4. #4
    Ron x Hermione

    Male versus Female

    I think that writing an OC comes from deep within the writer; it's hard to make up your own character. We have all been writing Harry Potter Fan Fiction, and that is served as JKR's work. We didn't create Harry Potter, yet we still write about those characters that have already been created.

    I only have one OC, yet he's a bad guy.. so yeah. He's a guy. A girl couldn't have done the part that I had written, so yeah. (Not being prejudiced.. I'm a girl!) It just didn't make any sense. Anyway, Mary Sue fics, and Gary Sue fics, I have not yet read.. so I couldn't tell you anything about them.

    You have a very good point though.


  5. #5
    Ron x Hermione

    January Discussion: Book Seven Characterization

    With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the horizon, how do you think Book Seven will affect our favorite characters?

    I think that it will make them more emotional. Like Bill and Fleur, Mrs. Weasley said; everyone is rushing into things, just because the war is coming. I think that a few people might do that.. where ships are concerned.

    I think that the Trio will come closer together; if that is at all possible. I think that they are already very close friends; look at all that they have been through together! But, yes. I thik that Ron and Hermione will hook up; bring them closer together. Yet, I don't know what that will mean for Harry; as he is in love with Ginny, and can't be with her until the end. And that's if he even survives.

    I think that the Horcrux hunt won't be as much so hard for Harry. I mean, he's going to have to search through the far corners of the world to find them, yet he is going to have some amazing friends to help him. I hope that he ends up finding them all and destroying Voldemort. What would happen if Harry died, and Voldy didn't? *gasp*

    The war affecting them. Well, I'm sure that there are deaths; JKR has already even said. I'm sure that JKR has this huge emotional plot planned our for us; including ships, deaths, amazing reprieves and twists; she's got it all down. I know that we will be happy with what she gives us. Harry will probably be affected tremendously by all of this; he always has. I think that Ginny is going to die *gasp* and that will affect his coordination and self before the battle with Voldy.

    I can also see Harry drawing inside of himself a lot as well; With Dumbledore's death in HBP, then Sirius earlier. If his friends die, that would be just as awful; making it worse on poor Harry. But, I can see him as the rebellious kind of kid that will be mocking Voldy in every chance that he got, so yeah. I think that it's just a matter of what time you caught him in.

    OOh, the emotional aspects of the Godric's Hollow Visit to Harry's parent's graves... I do hope that JKR wrote those scenes extra well.. Well, I know she has, but w/e. I'm sure that we will see a side of Harry that we have never seen before. The fic, "Mum, Dad, It's Me...Harry" shows the aspects of the emotion very well, I recommend it if you can't wait for that particular scene in DH.

    Their mentalities in the post-war are going to be hard. I can see Harry dying, sadly, and then I can see Ron crying over Hermione's and his bodies. OMG, that would be SO sad. I'd be in a state of depression for days... I tell you. But anyway, do you think that there will be any suicides? Not necessarily for our main characters, the ones that we have grown to love; yet, maybe Draco? I would say Snape; but I can't see his character doign anything like that. Draco has had to live by what everyone else has been pressuring him to do for so long; he might just get fed up with it. It would still be sad though; even though Dumbledore's death was basically his fault.

    I can't see Snape killing himself because.. well, I think that he has switched sides so many times that it would be pointless. I think that he is still on the Good Side, and maybe Harry will almost kill him before he realizes it.

    Character-wise. Snape is on the good side; Draco will switch I'm sure that he is tired of everyone hounding him all the time. As for Harry, Ron, and Hermione.. I wish them good luck on the Horcrux Hunt, and I hope to see DH soon; or I will die.


  6. #6
    Madame Marauder

    Male versus Female

    The reason why I believe more OFCs are created is because we've met more males in canon than we have met females. Think about it. In Marauder Era, we've met the Marauders, Lily, Snape, and Regulus for definite characters. That's it. 6:1. male:female. So, automatically, authors try to even out those odds. James gets Lily. Remus gets a girl. Sirius gets a girl. Peter gets a girl. Severus gets a girl. Regulus gets a girl. Unfortunately, these girls tend to all be beautiful, kind, witty... Carbon copies of Lily. So to "spice them up" authors will sugar coat them and make their beauty exotic to say, "Ooh, look! This girl's special!". The authors that do that are the ones that already cliche canon characterizations.

    You see this happen for the same reason in Trio era. Jo is missing two Gryffindor girls. So, fanfic authors take liberty with them. And make the same mistakes. They want to make them true Gryffindors, so they take the good bits of Hermione, Ginny, Lavender, Parvati, and Lily and mash them into a new girl. These authors seem to want to outdo what we've seen in canon and make us say, "Oh wow, this is an amazing OC creator! They took what I liked about everyone and put it into one character!" Where's the fun in that?

    Draco and Snape wouldn't be nearly as fun to read if Jo only told us that they were intelligent and sarcastic. Harry wouldn't be nearly as fun to read, if he was interacting with SugarCoated!Draco and Undercharacterized!Snape. The same goes for interactions with OCs. If we have BeautifulSmartNiceTalented!Girl, then it seems she has no flaws, other than her perfection. That is so unreallistic. I think that an author should start with two outstanding qualities, two bad qualities, and the rest that they want should be mediocre. Depending on the story, the author can adjust this, but they can never let the outstanding far weigh out the bad. You can have a 3:1 ratio and still be believable. But if you have a 9:1 ratio, you are creating a monster.

    Enough on ratios. Speaking from experience, I've created an OFC named Kathryn. My reason for making her female is because it goes with the story. Kathryn's mum engaged her to Sirius Black when they were in Hogwarts and it causes a series of negative reactions that make her feel resentment towards Sirius. Sirius, meanwhile, has been getting more and more fed up with his family's pureblood mania and the engagement is the last straw. He runs away from home, unintentionally dishonoring Kathryn's family. He swings by her place to apologize and, in a foolish attempt, save her from a second pureblood engagement. When she refuses him, she feels guilty, realizing that Sirius is a good guy and she may have just broken both their hearts. But it's too late to apologize now. If I made her a guy, that wouldn't have worked so well, because I see the pureblood society as a very traditional, conventional society.

    I wouldn't mind creating a OMC. In fact, I have an idea for several. A werewolf in Greyback's pack named Douglas O'Rinn and Greyback's second in-command Connor Sullivan. In fact, I'm working on creating the entire werewolf pack, both males and females. It's a bit of a challenge, but I'm excited to do it. I've got strong mental images of both men and a female werewolf named Silver Lowell. *shrugs* I've no qualms about writing a male character. Same with female.

    However, I think that many other authors feel most comfortable writing from their own gender's PoV because it's what they're used to. Others like the challenge of writing only the opposite. And then there are still others who understand that the world is comprised of both male and female, and so should their stories be.

  7. #7

    Male versus Female

    I desperatly hope that I'm not going to get loads of angry PM's about what I say here!

    I think that female OC's are more common because more girls (I'm not blocking out boys!! There are just more girls in my experiance) write fanfic and the OC is usually what they wish they could be - that's a Mary-Sue. They want to put themseleves into the fic but they know that self insertation is really boring so they put in a character that has all the traits that they would wish to have, plus the ones that they already have, creating a flawless character. Also, people don't usually recognise they're own flaws very well. They don't do this knowingly of course, they do it with out realising because when we read and write fiction we are trying to escape to another time, place or world - to get away from the stress of modern life.

    Although, I don't think this is the overall reason. It is just part of the reason - I still agree with both Madame Marauder and Ron x Hermione.



  8. #8

    Male versus Female

    Personally, I have nothing against OMCs. In fact, in the favorite fic of mine that I'm writing (The Six, see my author page, one of the lovely links on my siggy, and one of the other links leads to the LJ storybook), I have six OCs of my own. 3 of them are OFCs, and 3 are OMCs.

    But I'm not trying to make them all perfect. Layla's the talkative one who has a bit of a temper, May's the shy Seer, Jack's the outspoken one, Theo's the smart-jock, Sean's the philosopher, and Air's just. . .Air. She's the narrator, and everything is seen through her eyes.

    So, since I'm a girl, I definetely agree with MadMar:

    However, I think that many other authors feel most comfortable writing from their own gender's PoV because it's what they're used to.

  9. #9

    January Discussion: Book Seven Characterization

    In HBP, we saw a lot of focus on relationships. Harry and Ginny got together for a while. Charlie and Fleur are getting married. Tonks came out and declared her love for Remus. That's only to name the romantic links we saw. Various bonds between many people were strengthened. We now know how much Draco loves his family, and there seems to be a bond between Bellatrix and Narcissa. Also, the continued friendships that Luna, Neville, and Ginny have with the Trio grew, and although Hermione and Ron fought, they ended up consoling each other at Dumbledore's funeral.

    Because of all the romance and love in HBP, many people -- including myself -- are wondering who will end up being romantically alive and together at the end of DH. However, I would like to say that I think Rowling might take her theme of love introduced to powerfully in HBP and extend it in DH. In HBP, she brought a lot of people closer, and in DH, those bonds might become very strong -- maybe even powerful enough to keep the Order from collapsing without Dumbledore. On a side note, though, it just might be that the bonds of love in DH will transcend romance, too.

    However, while wondering if Hermione and Ron will get together, I realized there's a bigger picture to look at with their love and friendship. Whether it is romantic or not, Ron and Hermione have a love for each other, and they also love Harry. What may possibly be the biggest love affair in DH may be that of the trio among themselves. No, it may not be romantic love because I can't see Hermione or Harry getting distracted from their goal, and I think Ron might even stay on task, too. But their love -- a real, hard core friendship type of love that has lasted them through six years of trials and fighting among themselve and with Voldamort's forces -- just may be what could save them or at least throw another wrench in Voldamort's plans. In the end, it may prove inconsequential if Ron and Hermione get together because that simply won't be the point of their friendship and love.

    Now, probably the character that I'm most interested to learn the fate of is Snape. Honestly, I think he's just on his own side, and that's how he justifies himself morally if he does that at all. However, I'm going to say that Snape just might die in DH because, honestly, is there anyway for him to stay alive? If Voldamort wins, Snape could live, but that would be the most depressing ending to the series if Voldamort ultimately just obliterated everything and everybody. Well, assuming Voldamort looses, Snape is still probably not going to stay alive long because you can only cross sides so many times and live, and when you kill the only person who really did seem to trust you, well . . . Snape may have to reveal his motives in a hopefully really interesting scene when he has no where to run.

    As for Draco, I hope the boy makes it through DH. In HBP, we saw a huge change in Draco's character. In one way, he served Voldamort and did something very predictable, but on the other hand, we saw how vulnerable this bully really is. The scene where he cried to Myrtle was the ultimate swapping of rolls between Harry and Draco. Instead of Draco being the one to inflict pain, Harry does, and he almost kills Draco. Also, listening to Draco opening up every raw emotion and fear to Dumbledore is a side of Draco that hasn't appeared in the books. On the tower, he's not talking tough but essentially trying to save his family. Also, on the subject of the Malfoy family, I really hope they manage to live through DH, too. At the end of OotP, I wouldn't have said that, but when Narcissa pleaded for Draco's life, and then when Draco pleaded for his family's life . . . I just don't want them to die. I've read a lot of stories where both Narcissa and Draco die, and I groan and hope it won't happen because, if someone gets the reprieve, I want it to be the family, albeit with skewed values, that lives and is able to redeem themselves and carry on some type of a life after the war. Also, it really moves me on some level that Narciss and Draco are essentially pleading for Lucius's life, too, although he's been definately less than a good, kind person.

    Well, post-war will be interesting. I don't think we'll actually read a lot of the post-war in DH. I think that might be in the epilogue and the last chapter or two, but the majority of the book probably will just be about the end of the war. I suppose those who fight will experience what soldiers experience when they come home. For many, home is just not the same after a war. If you've lost a loved one, it really does change your life, and there just may not be any going home or returning to normality for some of the characters. For the members of the Order -- and the Death Eaters, too -- that have fought in both wars, it will probably be another major mental strain, and they may have less to live for now than before. I disagree with some of the fics that have everyone happy and married because, seriously, do you think it's going to be happily ever after, even if Voldamort is defeated? Nope, because there are already people dead, and more people are going to die, and there are just going to be wounds that may never heal for some characters.

  10. #10

    Male versus Female

    Well, I'll be the odd one out and say that the only OCs that I have ever used in a story were male.

    Personally, I don't find him too difficult to write. I find boys in general easier to write than girls. I think this might be because (and I'm not trying to be sexist here) boys aren't usually as open with their emotions. So with an OFC she will usually be more open, and if you're writing from her perspective she's going to talk about her feelings quite a lot. I find this rather irritating to deal with. I prefer my characters to show their feelings, and while girls do do this, they also like to talk to people about how they feel.

    As for shipping... well, I can see how this might occur. I agree with apollo13 that most authors (taking the forums as a cross-section of fanfiction writers) are female, and it's understandable that they would want to write from experience.

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