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Thread: Discussions - Part One

  1. #101
    I think I'd have to agree that one of the biggest effects on fanfiction from the films are Snape's looks.

    I can't even count how many times I've come across a Snape saves Harry from the Durlseys fic and the author's put Snape in leather trousers riding a motorcycle. It's ridiculous. I just saw a fic the other day as well that had Snape walking through Muggle London and attractng quite a bit of female attraction because apparently he was rather fetching. The ONLY time I've ever seen Snape attract the attention of a female was when he was being strung up by his ankle and his graying pants were showing. Because Alan Rickman isn't exactly an eye-sore (though he makes a fantastic Snape), doesn't mean the character isn't drop-dead ugly.

  2. #102
    I love Severus Snape
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna
    Balance of similarities and differences is important. But, instead of saying: "let's take this trait from the mother, this trait from the father, and let's make this one up", you have to feel your way into it.
    I agree completely. Creating a Next-Gen fic really is all about balance, and not just between similarities and differences with the parents.

    An OC can have the same traits as a parent, but different ideas. For example, that's how it is with me. I'm said to be the spitting image of my aunt, because we are exactly alike personality wise. The difference, however, is we were both raised completely differently -- not to mention, she's been one to conform and I've always been one to question every belief thrown at me -- therefore, our opinions are far from similar. I think that's good to do with an OC in a Next-Gen fic.

    So, Harry and Ginny can have a kid who is loyal, brave and hot-headed, but maybe she's easily persuaded and the society that she lives in after the war develops different ideas than what she was raised to believe. If she's quick to be persuaded, maybe someone that she looks up to for whatever reason taught her to have these different opinions than her parents. She could have her heart set in the wrong place yet still have the same traits as her parents. Take Sirius for example... he seems a lot like the rest of the Blacks, except that his beliefs are very different. It's not necessarily having identical traits that make a character like their parents, but the intention that they have.

    Not only does society, pressure and peers conform people, but also their experiences do. Each person will deal with tragedies a different way, and a lot of the time their attitude, opinions and actions will change because of it. So maybe a character that lives before the war and is grown up in a peaceful society will probably be much different than their child who grows up during the war. You have to take their surroundings into account, and the way they were raised to act, and then their main personality traits, which will either conform to the way they've been taught to live, or change into something different than their parents and the people around them.

  3. #103
    Lily Luna Lupin
    Excellent topic choice! I haven't really read into many Second-Generation fics, but I love reading through all the Marauder Era ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by GringottsVault711
    So, do you have an OC closely related to a familiar canon character? How are they alike their family members, and how are they different?
    I have a lot of second-generation OC's in my head right now, but none out on paper. One of them, admittedly, is Harry and Ginny's child, and has black hair and brown eyes, but she's more like Ginny in personality. I haven't thought of a name, but I'm thinking of Fabia, named after Ginny's uncle. Anyway, she's very headstrong, like Ginny, but also mischievious. However, she's inclined to be pessimistic and doesn't believe that "anything can happen" like her mother. She's a bit of a slacker in school, like Harry was. So she's a mix of mainly bad traits of her parents. lol

    The rest are just sketchy, ittybitty characters that are just in the making.

    Quote Originally Posted by GringottsVault711
    What is the best way to go about developing such a character? Do you take into account Nature versus Nurture when crafting their personality? What about genetics when crafting their physical traits?
    I think the best way to develop a second-generation character is to let them come to you. I have a habit of playing with dollmakers (those are the things that you make icons out of) and Fabia came to me when I was piecing together random traits. I decided that her favorite color was red and that she was the daughter of Harry and Ginny in seconds, even though I was trying to make a random doll of my sister. So I always don't piece together a character on my own, except if I'm making a minor one for a specific plot.

    I find "Nature versus Nurture" useful, if tiresome, when developing characters. Sometimes, people are warped to their parent's type because of how they were raised. If a quiet, Neville-like boy was raised by Harry and Ginny, I think he would turn out very unsure of himself, and would be pushed to join Quidditch because of his parents. I find that Nature overrides Nurture when the characters are at Hogwarts, though.Sometimes, Nature and Nurture are one in the same. For instance, Ron naturally is laidback and a little immature, but so is the rest of his family.

    Quote Originally Posted by GringottsVault711
    And, is important to have a plot first, before creating these OC's? Or does everyone have a right to write next-gen or prev-gen 'just because'? Does having a plot first help reduce the number of cliches?
    No. Definitely not. Characters come first in my head. If you have an amazingly detailed and interesting plot, but your characters are all Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus, then it won't be good. I never make characters to fit my plots unless the characters are minor.
    Everyone has a right to write other Era fics, but it's also good to just write a fic mainly involving canon characters.
    Nah, I don't think that having a plot first will reduce clichés. It will just change the nature of the clichés. Instead of plot-related clichés such as Neo-Marauder Plots, they'll have nerdy redheads that are the children of Ron and Hermione and gobs of Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus.

    Excellent topic choice, though! Now I'm compelled to read all the Second Generation fics out there.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by GringottsVault711
    As we approach the end of the Harry Potter series, more and more fan-fiction writers have opted to go in the direction of the next generation: stories about the children of Trio-Era characters.

    Alternatively, a lot of writers, interested in backstory and clever avoiding the changing ways of canon, tend to stay in the past, and write stories about parents and ancestors of our present characters.

    And the result is a number of Potters, Weasleys, Malfoys, Longbottoms, Prewetts, Lovegoods, and even Riddles.

    It's easy to fall into cliche territory when writing the relative of a known character. Canon H/G shippers are bound to write Harry and Ginny's children, who are genetically likely to have black hair and brown eyes, and fiery tempers. Or Ron and Hermione's kids with bushy reddish brown hair, some of whom favour Quidditch despite not being very good, and others who have their noses stuck in books.

    These characters are shadows and echoes of canon characters -- it's understandable that they share qualities, but they also have to be their own person. The Nine Weasleys, after all, have distinct personalities but defining family attributes.

    The truth is -- cliches are acceptable, so long as their justified, well developed and not done due to a lack of originality. So, when writing the children and ancestors of well-known characters, you have to find a very fine balance between creating something familiar and at the same time original.

    So, do you have an OC closely related to a familiar canon character? How are they alike their family members, and how are they different?

    What is the best way to go about developing such a character? Do you take into account Nature versus Nurture when crafting their personality? What about genetics when crafting their physical traits?

    And, is important to have a plot first, before creating these OC's? Or does everyone have a right to write next-gen or prev-gen 'just because'? Does having a plot first help reduce the number of cliches?

    Simply said: The discussion is OC's of past and future generations. Discuss.
    My character, Sarah Potter, is the only daughter of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. She has glasses, like Harry, and has light auburn/light red hair and Harry's green eyes. But, other then her hair, she has none of the Weasley family traits--blushing that deep red, temper, Quidditch adeptability. She's more of a book-worm and likes to learn new things, and likes to keep her feet--and head--on the ground, though sometimes she'll daydream. I've decided that she's like this because she spends most of the time with her aunt, Hermoine, who's married to Ron.

    Their children, on the other hand, are Weasleys to the core. Both 11-year-old John and ten-year-old Laura have freckles and are quick to anger, though Laura is much calmer then her brother and has more auburn-ish hair. John plays around with his uncles and is almost never seen with a straight collar and neat hair, while Laura is neat and tidy and doesn't like to get dirty. John loves Quidditch and cheers on England's Quidditch team along with the rest of the family; Laura does the cheering part.

    Then there's Madea. Madea Malfoy is the daughter of Draco Malfoy and some unknown lady (I haven't goen into her histroy too much so far) and has the pale blond hair that is the trademark of the Malfoys. Her eyes, though, are an unusual brown which no one can explain. Her brother, Blaine, who's a year older then Madea, is the spitting image of his father, appearence and personality wise. Madea is quiet and shy, and even weirder, she doesn't got to Slytherin with her older brother--she gets sorted into Gryffindor alongisde John and Sarah. Everyone hates her for her heritage, and Madea is out to change that by compltely going against the nature of her family and being an individual.

  5. #105
    When I began to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Dumbledore was my favourite character because he was a kind and warm guy, and Richard Harris did exactly that. I think the directors of the newer HP movies have taken out that kindness and special glint in his eyes, and I miss it.

    Sirius has ALWAYS been my all time favourite though, and I honestly think they could have done a better job of him in the movies. I thought he wuld be a lot funnier, and the scene they took out of GoF when they're in his cave, missed out on a bit of his comidic side. Some Fanfics I've read sometimes make Sirius seem a bit too serious (no pun intended. Okay, maybe it was). We'll have to wait until OotP to find out, he has a big role in that, unfortunately .

    I never liked Hermione from the start because she was exactly what she is, a know-it-all. Sorry Fangirls/Boys, but I honestly don't like how she is portrayed in the movies. She isn't meant to be as pretty as Emma Watson. Emma is gorgeous (and has a great fasion sense), and I think that has affected the FanFic world, making her seem a lot prettier. Some of you won't believe this, but I think Hermione has begun to be portrayed asSTUPID almost. It's more of a blonde-stupidity. No harm intended, I just couldn't really word it.

    A lot of FanFic writers base their stories on the movies and how the characters are portrayed, which is becoming OOC. And I think it's kind of sad.

  6. #106
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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    May 2006
    Wales (I wish)
    No one has mentioned Voldemort in the books/movies so I'm going to pick on him.

    When I first saw the GoF movie, I wasn't so impressed. And then all the reviews came in praising Ralph Fiennes, calling his performance as Voldemort terrifying and electryfing and other "-ings." I thought I had missed something, because while I thought the graveyard scene was quite good, I didn't think it was as scary as I had imagined it in my mind for all those years.

    But isn't that the case? How often does a film *really* live up to what we've created for ourselves in our mind's eye? Particularly in the case of something that is supposed to be frightening, I think it is difficult for a film to recreated the effect of the printed word, because the printed word allows our imagination to really run wild - to really frighten us.

    Then I saw the movie a few more times, and I started to appreciate Ralph Fiennes more and more. But it wasn't until I got the DVD and watched it way too many times that I really started warming up to his Voldemort. In one of the extras he talks about creating the character of Voldemort, and he talks very intelligently, articulately, and seriously about it (unlike other HP actors who sometimes joke a bit too much). He talked about how it would feel to be in a new body, and so his Voldemort explores this first, caresses his head, speaks in a whisper as he remembers his voice. In particular, he said something about how he envisioned Voldemort as an unpredictable character who could be silky nice one moment, and raging mad the next. And really, you see that in his performance, this very frightening quality where Voldemort will be talking calmly one moment, and yelling the next. Even his physical movements follow this flow. That more than anything impressed me, because I think it absolutely works for Voldemort's character. And the fact that Fiennes gave it so much thought and effort (he took many takes to get it just right, how he wanted) speaks highly of his respect for the story and the character. Now I can see how scary the graveyard scene is in the film, and it's all because of Ralph Fiennes.

    How does this compare to the books? I suppose one big difference from the book is that Fiennes' Voldemort does not have red eyes. This was again discussed in the extras: it was a deliberate decision by the part of the filmakers to forego the red eyes because they did not feel that the red eyes would be able to convey the same emotion. It woul be more of a distraction, and more effective for Fiennes to act with his own eyes, so to speak. This makes good sense, since film is a different media, after all; and again it demonstrates that a good amount of thought went into this character and his scene. Other than that, I think the movie Voldemort is very well done compared to what we have seen of Voldemort so far in the books, and I think Fiennes will continue to be spot on with the characterization. I am especially intrigued to see his interaction with Bellatrix Black, and his fight with Dumbledore.

    How does this relate to fanfiction? I'm not really sure I can speak for other pieces I've read, but for my own work I consciously tried to give Voldemort that unpredicatable quality: friendly malice one moment, shocking wrath the next, casual indifference the next and so forth. I know many people have a problem with fanfic takings its cue from the films, but for Voldemort, I think this approach works, and I am glad Ralph Fiennes is the one I see in my mind's eye now.

  7. #107
    As it has been said, the books and HP Lexicon are excellent resources (among others, like our own help forums).

    This is something that I've noticed with all the characters, thanks to the films - in many fics, the characters all wear muggle clothing, usually to appear more attractive *cough-leather pants Snape -cough*. Part of the quirky beauty of the books are consistencies like robes.


    I agree that Snape's physical appeal has certainly been altered by the films. I remember being fascinated by his character early on in the books, and was not surprised to find that he has quite a following, however I feel that film!Snape has inspired many fics where Snape is an extraordinary lover. Most of the SS parings I read feature this Snape, and it's becoming sort of tiring.
    The other extreme is a violent, extremely sardonic Snape, who is presumed to be lustful and has no remorse for his actions. I consider this fanon!Snape.

    A while ago, I read somewhere that part of Snape's appeal as a character was a sense of repression of emotion due to his Victorian, gentleman-like manner - though he's nasty, too. This seems to have been blown right out of proportion in most SS fics, and this side of his sexuality is definately not confirmed (and probably won't be) by canon.
    Having said that, I have read excellent, and very realistic fics, which portray Snape in romance fiction.

    The films tend to portray characters one-dimensionally. I have noticed this most significantly with Snape. He is portrayed as mean and blunt. In Philosopher's Stone, he seems overly suspicious, however in the books we know this is because the trio finds him to be a serious threat. In the potions class scene (I do think AR does a good job, don't stone me ), rather than evoking fear, darkness and intelligence (like in the books), he is reduced to a fast-speaking teacher who just picks on Harry for no apparent reason.

    This becomes increasingly significant in the fourth movie, where in canon, Snape is perceived as a real threat (and I'll add Karkaroff and Krum in here too). As we learn more about the Death Eaters, we are supposed to realise how dangerous they are. We know that these three characters were believed to be Death Eaters at one point by Harry, but their threat seems undermined in the films. This leads to the trio and others fighting Death Eaters in fanfic, and handling it marvelously, when we know that it is most fortunate that they have escaped death this far.


    It's been said, but Hermione is too often written as beautiful, or more commonly, she is a few years older, and has since attained curves and her hair is no longer bushy, but it falls in lucious wringlets instead, or something. Many writers seem to be reluctant to write romances where the characters are not remarkably attractive.

    Hermione comes across as rather bold and quick-witted in the films, whereas the novels portray someone who embarrasingly hides her feelings, is more nervous than bold, and agonises over doing the right thing, rather than playing a 'girl power' type. Yes, she's brave, but there's a difference between feeling strongly compelled to do right, and taking a casual swing at Malfoy (that felt good). Canon Hermione seems truly distraught about Malfoy's treatment of Hagrid, rather than feeling an uncharacteristic surge of bravery. In the films, Hermione sort of tells Harry and Ron off, but in canon, as she becomes their friends, she pleads with them more...I'd like to see more three-dimensional Hermiones in fan fiction.

  8. #108
    On the appearance of Ginny and Harry's kids, yes, black is more likely but let's not forget that 3/4 of the genes are for redheaded people (both of Ginny's parents have red hair and Lily did as well.). So, what I'm saying is red is just as acceptable as black, just maybe a darker shade than carrot-top or something.

    However, like many have said before me, it's all about balance, specifically the balance between nurture and nature. For example, one of my O.Cs, Eli Weasley, is the daughter of Fleur and Bill. She's tough, like both her parents, and very headstrong and can be a little stuck up. That's nature. But, she's a major tom-boy and hates anything to do with appearance. That came from nurture more than anything because she's Fleur's daughter and was always forced into pretty, frilly things when she was little. She also doesn't get along with her mother because she likes pulling the occasional prank when Fleur'd rather she be studying. Again, that's nurture. Her sister is the perfect little angel so she carved her niche in the family by going against most of what her mother wants.

    Dot, meanwhile, is Harry and Ginny's daughter. She's got a strong personality and temper whose wrath you don't want to incur. That's nature. However, she's also quiet and nearly invisible, due to her brother's getting all the attention for his Quidditch achievements and constant troublemaking. It also has to do with being attacked by Death Eaters on a regular business. Both those are nurture.

    Fin Lupin, though, is my strange one (Tonks' son, for reference). He's kinda like what I_love_Severus_Snape said about representing parents' values just in a different light. He's a cunning young man and power-hungry so he wound up in Slytherin. However, what he wants most is to gain enough power to protect his friends and family, so that's parental views, just slightly skewered. While he's a gentleman to friends, he can regularly tease and ruffle people's feathers, especially those who annoy him. He basically turned out how he wanted rather than what others (myself included) wanted.

    Mostly, though, I try to shy away from labels, such as "Potter" or "Weasley" traits. I'm sure other people blush when they're embarrassed, not just a good portion of the Weasleys. I usually use family traits for appearance mostly and personality secondly. Things just seem to work better when I follow that formula. For these kids, I started a semi-plot and they came to me and created a whole new plot.

  9. #109
    In GOF, I was slightly surprised. Ron, as everyone knows, isn't some stupid Hogwarts student moaning and mumbling about not having a date. I think that when people watch the movies too much, they warm up to the screen version of Harry, Ron or Hermione, and not JK's characters, which they are. I feel, that since HP started out as books and JK gave us her descriptions there, when the movies came out with the actors, it gave people a sense of who Harry or whoever was. But really, they aren't really capturing the essence of the characters. I know, they can't be the exact Harry James Potter, Ronald Bilius Weasley or Hermione Jane Granger, but something's got to give.

    I admit it, I watch PS on repeat and I speak the lines with them. Yes, but I've read the books enough to know what's canon and what's not. For example, Fred and George frequently talk in turns, as shown in Alfonso Cuarón's POA. JK shows us that in almost every book, so that should be a canon fact, although it's minor.

    Now, I would like to talk about Hermione. Hermione, Hermione, Hermione! Emma Watson is an okay actress. Good, but not the ultimate. JK's Hermione has bushy hair, (had) bucked teeth, a sharp wit, seemingly unending knowledge and so on. She doesn't seem the type to simply turn on Draco, who has been the Trio's enemy for about seven years. I think the on-screen Hermione gives people a way different image of the Hermione Jane Granger we all read and (maybe) love. On-screen, she's not awkward, has nice, straight hair (POA, GOF) and she really doesn't seem too emotional, with the exceptions of, "I'M NOT AN OWL!11!!1!!!!11!!!!!11!" and "I'm scared for you." Hermione in the books is usually worrying over which assignment she didn't have three extra rolls of parchment for, or if she's been keeping up with SPEW. Now, she's becoming just a normal Hogwarts girl in fanfics, when we all know she is going to be important in HP7. So, in fanfics, she's instantly wooing guys who fancy her within three seconds's glance. Hermione? HERMIONE? I would have never thought that would happen. She doesn't seem the type to branch out from Ron, Harry and DA members, and meet new people because she instantly used Sleakezy's and has instantaneously has these gorgeous curves.

    Maybe it's me, but I think the characters on-screen are giving the wrong images and JK's characters are becoming more OOC than ever. Most of the time, they're wearing Muggle clothes, and not robes. But, this is Muggle media we're talking about...

    I try to be as canon as humanly possible. From characterisations, clothing, appearance, ships, school and family, dialogue and all that jazz. I usually have HP books handy, but I have a pretty good sense of canon facts.

    It's hard not to imagine Rupert Grint as Ron, Emma as Hermione, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, or whoever for that matter, as their characters. Once I see a movie and I'm reading the same HP book, the images from the movie are stuck in my head. It can be hard to sort out the movie "facts" from canon ones, but I get through it.

    One way I avoid adding movie "facts" into my fics is pretty easy. I replay the part in my head which I think is canon, and then I grab the book for that movie. I try to locate the part in the book and read it over a thousand times to make sure that that was/wasn't what the movie said.

  10. #110
    So, do you have an OC closely related to a familiar canon character? How are they alike their family members, and how are they different?
    My OC, Minnie Potter, is like Harry in that she has a bit of a "saving people thing". She is, however more aware of and in tune with her emotions, though that might just be because she's two years older. She looks much like Lily, with James's athletic ability, but I crafted her personality mostly after my own, and how I think a girl seperated from her family at the tender age of three would develop emotionally. Minnie does have a wicked temper, and a strong desire to protect those she loves, and is very driven, academically. I don't think she's really too much like her family, but that could be due to Nature vs. Nurture, with Nuture winning.

    And, is important to have a plot first, before creating these OC's?
    No. Having a plot first is not vital to the development of your story, but does have its advantages. Sometimes, when you're working with a character, you become rather attached to them, and become concerned with watching the character develop, as opposed to the story. Things can become a tad messy, but you just have to remind yourself that the character is fictional, and that your plot needs some stronger legs to stand on.

    [Does having a plot first help reduce the number of cliches?
    In characters? Not always. Everyone's trying so hard to keep their characters from becoming what the general public views to be normal, it's getting insane. Though, I, myself can't talk. Minnie's a cliche just because of her last name. Poor dear.

    I personally don't think that I do very well when it comes to dreaming up OC's, so I'm very thankful for Madam Pomfrey and her eternally useful Character Clinic Of course, it could just be that I'm one of those authors that's always putting her own writing down. Unless it's good, of course.

    I think that people concentrate too much on H/G and R/Hr next-generation fics, so I think I'm going to break the mold and do a pairing that I completely and utterly disargee with on all accounts, a pairing that makes me sick to my stomach. That's right; Dobby/Giant Squid.

    NOTE: The above pairing was sarcasm. I am doing a NG fic with a pairing that I disagree with, though.

    Maurarder's Era fics, though, are so very prone to cliches. Next-Generation is a genre that you can take total creative license with, but pre-Harry is, I think, a lot more difficult. It's so very tempting to make an OC to date Lupin, and love him no matter what, despite that wolfishness every full moon. It's so hard to resist creating a fiery little creature to be Sirius's girl, and impossible to forget Lily/James to the extreme. I think a lot of authors make the mistake of rubbing the pairings in our faces, and partially forgetting about the story.

    Some authors, actually, probably a lot of them who will all disagree with everything I've just said, keep the obvious pairings toned down, and focus on the story. Kudos to you. I tried to write a pre-Harry fic, and ended up with absolute worthless fluff. It was sickening

    There's my two-and-a-half-cents on Next-Generation, Pre-Harry, and OC's.

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