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Thread: May Activities 2009

  1. #11
    XhayleeXblackX
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    Oh, what lovely reviews you two girls have given me. Thank you so much! Anywho... on to the questions.

    Kelly's Questions:

    I've noticed that you seem to be fond of Draco. Which to you prefer to read and write: Draco/Hermione, Draco/Astoria, or Draco/Someone else? Or, perhaps, do you prefer to write one pairing and read another?
    I love to read Draco/Hermione, but only very well-written Dramione fics, as I their cliches can be rather horrid. I've found, however, that writing them is more difficult, which is why I have chosen to try my hand at them with a chaptered story. I really like writing Draco/Pansy and Draco/Astoria. I've found their pairings more fun to write because the characters are either minor or practically an OC. So I guess I prefer a mixture of both while reading, and mostly Draco/Astoria or Draco/Someone else.

    I noticed that you had some poetry on your Author's Page. Is there anything in particular that inspires you to write poetry rather than prose?
    I think my more angsty side likes poetry as an outlet rather than to prose, as well as matters of relationships. It really just depends on the mindset that I am in that dictates what style I use.

    Cassie's Question:

    A lot of your fics involve members of the Malfoy family, whom I consider to be some of the 'darker' characters. Do you find that you have to work hard at their characterisation, or does writing them come naturally to you?
    Draco was always my first choice when it came to writing fanfiction. I'm not sure why, but I find him the easiest to write. Then, I found this lovely little character named Narcissa, and I realised that I adore writing her as well. These two characters typically just come naturally to me. I really identify with some of the things Draco deals with (such as his family pressures and insecurity) so I think that's why he comes so naturally to me. Lucius, on the other hand, I have to really work hard on to even get him a fourth of the way right. I detest writing his character because I just can't find a comfortable place with him.

    Thanks for the questions, gals. *squishes*

    -Haylee

  2. #12
    Fantasium
    Guest
    Title: Morning
    Photo #: 2
    Word Count: 800. Ish. Approximately. >.>

    It’s early. She sits alone at the kitchen table, skimming through The Daily Prophet. Everyone else is still asleep and she enjoys the rare silence, broken only by the song of a morning bird.

    Busy as they are, she loves the summer holidays. The house is always full of children and grandchildren, and their presence make her feel younger, more alive. There are picnics to plan, grazes to heal, and little red-haired boys (and a couple of girls, too) to rescue after they’ve fallen into the pond. Maybe her back aches a little when she goes to bed at night, but she wouldn’t trade these sunny days for anything. Besides, she has her husband to rub her muscles when they are sore.

    Today is special. It is the birthday of her one son in law, and everyone will be coming to dinner – even her nomad son who, despite her wishes, quite refuses to give up on his life as a dragon keeper. Well, at least he’s still alive with all of his limbs more or less intact, so she guesses it could be worse. And she knows he loves his nieces and nephews, so perhaps if they are extra sweet tonight he might be tempted to start a family of his own… She smiles to herself, turning the last page of the paper. Nothing much of interest in there; these are peaceful days.

    She drains her teacup and gets up, putting it in the sink. There is still something she wants to do before her family wakes up and start demanding her attention. From the great pile of Wellingtons by the front door, she summons her own worn, comfortable pair, and sticks her feet into them. The morning air is a bit chilly still, so she puts on a knitted cardigan as well.

    There is a basket standing outside her greenhouse, and she picks it up on her way to the gate. The sun has just climbed past the treetops now, and the world is fresh and beautiful as she makes her way down the little lane. Every blade of grass is covered in dew, sparkling in the light, and swallows are flying in the air above. She takes notice of their high altitude; it means good weather, and it really would be helpful if they could sit outside tonight. Her family, while perfect in every other way, is a little problematic fitting into a single room.

    Soon, she can see Ottery St Catchpole nestled between the green hills, and she heads for the little church. Not many Muggles are out and about at this hour, but she meets a few and smiles at them. If it weren’t for the cars and the red box where non-magic people call their friends, she thinks that this could well have been a wizarding village.

    She has reached her destination now, and walks through the wooden archway that leads into the cemetery. Her Wellingtons leave a dark trail in the dewy grass as she passes lines of headstones, until she stands before the one that matters to her.

    Over the years, the sadness has faded, ever so slowly. She doesn’t expect that it will ever really be gone, but at least she can stand before his grave now without her eyes brimming over with tears. She can come here for some peace, and she can think about all the bright memories of her son.

    Knowing that the Burrow will be bustling with life before long, she sets to work. The flowers she planted below his name in early June have done their job of brightening his place of rest, so she pulls on her gardening gloves and pull them away. She has grown new ones to replace them, among others a miniature rosebush with bulging red buds.

    She kneels on the ground as she works, and the sunlight is warm on her neck. The air is fragrant and she breathes it in with delight – what a wonder it is to be alive! In moments like these, she feels as though her son is still around, still a part of her life. She can sense him in the breeze and the birdsong, in all the little drops that sparkle on the grass and in the very earth she walks on. He is everywhere now, in herself and in all his family back at the house.

    “Morning, Mrs Weasley!”

    She turns around, and returns the greeting of old Mr Blomfield. He comes here every day, to sit for a while at the bench by his wife’s grave. As she puts the last flowers into place, Molly wonders if she will be like him in twenty years’ time. But she doubts it; by then she will probably have great grandchildren and even less time to spare.

    Smiling to herself, she gathers up her gardening tools in the basket and gets up. She waves at Mr Blomfield as she leaves the sunny graveyard, while pondering on what to make for breakfast.

  3. #13
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    inspirations's Avatar
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    Hey, here's my bad drabble...

    There is character death in this drabble.

    Title: Reflection
    Photo #: 3
    Word Count: 355

    She leaned on the windowsill, staring outside gloomily. Raindrops slid slowly down the pane, making soft pitter patter noises. Through the glare of the many reflections shining from the glass, she gazed at the two solitary crosses that were sitting in the small cemetery outside the church.

    Hermione let out a long sigh. It wasn’t impatient or annoyed, exhausted or in awe - it was a sad sigh.

    Turning from the window, she blinked back the water building in her eyes. ‘Oh, Ron,’ she whispered, choking on his name, a tear flowing down her cheek. She didn’t pause to wipe it away, but instead just let the liquid flood down her face, cleansing her skin.

    ‘Mum?’

    Looking up, Hermione saw Rose standing in the doorway, the forest behind the church silhouetted against her form. Hermione tried to smile reassuringly, but her jaw felt soft, and the half-hearted grin slithered from her face.

    Rose stepped forwards in concern, opening her arms as she drew close to her mum. Blanketing Hermione in her comforting grip, she gave her a kiss on the forehead, and said, ‘It’s okay, Mummy. It’s okay – a part of life.’

    Hermione shook her head, not even registering Rose’s use of ‘Mummy’. ‘He was still young...’

    ‘It was his time to go. He’d want us to be strong for him; to move on.’

    Hermione shook her head slowly, and pulled away from her daughter. ‘No. No, he wouldn’t. He’d want us to mourn.’

    Rose laughed, and Hermione glanced up in shock.

    Promptly, Rose elaborated on her giggle, ‘Not to be disrespectful, Mum, but Dad would just want us to miss him... Not to spend ages wearing black and being gloomy. He’d want to be remembered through happy thoughts – he’d want us to move on...’ She looked out of the window, to the graveyard, where the sun was beginning to set. ‘It’s okay, Mum. Just think how you would want us – and Dad – to act if it were you who...’

    Hermione blinked, her eyelashes sticking together. ‘I... I’d want you to... be happy, I suppose.’

    Rose smiled sadly, and gave Hermione another hug. ‘Remember that.’

  4. #14
    dory_the_fishie
    Guest
    My review for What Blood Matters

    What do you feel are your strengths when it comes to writing?

    Who are your least favorite characters to write?

  5. #15
    MerryD
    Guest
    My review for Perfection of the Ball

    Which of your stories is your favourite? Why?

    What charcter have you always wanted to try writing, but haven't?

    Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

    <3Mere

  6. #16
    ElectronicQuillster
    Guest
    +What is your opinion of story commentaries?

    It has to be for a story or from an author that I absolutely love, or else it's really not worth a lot of my time to read a story commentary. But, in general, I think they're very entertaining and fascinating to read, and when I've written them, they entertain, amuse, and help me think more about what I've written.

    +Have you ever written a story commentary? For your own story or someone else's?

    I have, in fact, written a commentary, and this monthly discussion reminded me that I began another commentary and want to finish it fairly soon. Perhaps I'll have it be my project for the rest of this week. I haven't written a commentary for any one else's story. I mean, I've written reactionary comments on LJ that are kind of blow-by-blow this is what I loved kind of things. But the way that *I* see a commentary, from ones that I've read and from watching DVD commentaries, is that you've got to have an absolute understanding of the piece you're giving commentary on, and what I most enjoy about reading/listening to commentaries is finding out the author or actor feelings and motivations for different aspects of the story. I want to know what motivated them to make certain choices, what challenged them, their favorite parts, etc. And obviously I couldn't write that about like something Leanne wrote, or anyone else.

    +What story/stories would you like to do a commentary on and why?

    I kind of always want to do a commentary on everything I write. Well, not every-everything, I guess, but anything that I spend a long time on or have a particularly notable emotional or creative investment in. Part of it is because I want to tell the story behind the story. I want to share which moments were triumphs for me while I was writing, where I struggled and then finally/hopefully got things right. I like to share when it felt like characters really pushed me in directions I hadn't been planning on.

    +What do you think the benefit of a story commentary is, as far as improving writing and/or reviewing skills?

    I think the biggest benefit for me when I do write commentaries is that it makes me focus on how I write, what my strengths and weaknesses are, what I enjoy to do. It makes me reflect on the process in a way that nothing else does. It's interesting to go back and reread my stories, but it's even more interesting to go back and reread a commentary, because I can see how I wrote then, and how I write now. It's just.... so incredibly beneficial. For real. I think it pushes me in a better direction as I continue writing.

    As for what it does for my reviewing skills? Well, first, it helps me to keep clear in my mind what is a commentary and what is a review and helps me keep from giving other authors commentaries instead of helpful reviews. It also helps me to appreciate the work that I can assume went into the fic I'm reviewing, and it helps me to think about what an author really can benefit from hearing.

    I just basically think that commentaries are teh awesome. The first fanfic commentary I read was by Jenna for a chapter of Blood Debt. And I went back and found it, but it's a locked entry on her old LJ. But here it is, if you wanted it, Jenna. Ehm, as for the commentary I actually have posted at this moment, I wrote it particularly for Leanne one time. You can find it here. It's for the Gauntlet fic I wrote like two or three years ago about Regulus, and the story is incomplete, but I did kind of like the story.

  7. #17
    GringottsVault711
    Guest
    So, I can't really remember the first time I ever came across the concept of a story commentary. I know it was on LJ, and that's about it. But, the idea intrigued me. At some point there was also a meme going around where you could request a commentary on a specific story. I think I read one by Seren, once, possibly as a result of that? /vague prologue to post.

    I have a written a few commentaries. I know I've done at least one chapter of Sins and Blood Debt each. Beyond that, I can't remember. I've never officially done a commentary of someone else's story, but I have done reviews that are pretty close.

    I've been considering, and have actually started, left, and gone back to, a commentary for my fic Black Forest, White Flower. There is actually so much to comment on in that story, because of all the factors that went into writing it, and because of all the backstory that exists in my mind that I'm never going to write. One day, maybe.

    As to what should go in a story commentary, it's basically when you sit down and watch a really great DVD commentary. Some of it is real serious talk about the plot or characterisation, or the technical aspects that went into creating the work. There are also your somewhat-related tidbits, trivia and anecdotes. Some off-the-wall jokes and random humour. An occasional "Yeah, this is completely ridiculous, but I don't care!" (found in any standard Firefly or Alias episode commentary.) A balance of serious and fun, really.

    How it relates to reviewing - I think it's a form of reviewing in itself. It's best done as a commentary of one's own writing, and that way you get to go over your own work and talk more about your characterisation, your writing style, your plot. It makes you more aware of your craft.

    It's also good because sometimes it is so hard to really sit and reread your own writing, in the way someone else would read it. It flows through your mind differently, and it's easier to skip through things. With a commentary, you're doing more than a read through, or checking for technical errors; you're really genuinely reading your own work thinking about it on a level that you wouldn't usually.

    I do think they're beneficial, and I'd love to see more story commentaries from SPEWers.

  8. #18
    Fifth Year Hufflepuff
    I See Dead People... In Mirrors
    fg_weasley's Avatar
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    YAY Haylee!

    my review for Keeping Her Safe

    What is your favorite genre to read? Write?

    Where do you get inspiration for OCs like Keighlyn?

    How long have you been writing?

    If you had to pair Blaise with a canon character, who do you think you would write him with?


    [hugs]

    xox
    nikki
    "Through literacy you can begin to see the universe.
    Through music you can reach anybody.
    Between the two there is you, unstoppable."

    --grace slick
    avvie: julia/the_opaleye

  9. #19
    XhayleeXblackX
    Guest
    Leanne's Questions:

    What do you feel are your strengths when it comes to writing?
    Oh wow. Hm... well, I think I am okay with description and dialogue. I'm not really sure what I would say my strengths are, though. Maybe characterization? Hm... good question, sorry I don't have a better answer.
    Who are your least favorite characters to write?
    Snape. I just hate trying to write him - he's so hard to get write. I don't care to write Ginny, either.

    Mere's Questions:

    Which of your stories is your favourite? Why?
    I think I'd have to say Promises Kept (which will be up very soon) because I think it has some of my best writing and I am very proud of it. Plus, it has Keighlyn in it, so it was just really fun to write.

    I also have a soft spot for Perfection of the Ball because I love Narcissa's character and found her so interesting to write in that. And also A Fine Choice because I loved the plot that developed from it for Draco, Pansy, and Astoria. That story just inspired my Draco/Pansy relationship that I am working on now, so it holds a soft spot in my heart.
    What charcter have you always wanted to try writing, but haven't?
    Regulus. I've always really enjoyed his character and his possiblities, but I've never really got into writing him. I tried once, but failed. lol.
    Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?
    Yes. Depending on the story, typically alternative rock, like Goo Goo Dolls or something. Although, I really only listen to it for background music when writing. It helps me to focus and keep on task becuase if I start to get stuck, I turn it up a little bit and find inspiration.

    Nikki's Questions:

    What is your favorite genre to read? Write?
    Dark/Angst or Romance for both. I think I prefer writing dark/angst than romance, though.
    Where do you get inspiration for OCs like Keighlyn?
    Oops. Forgot to answer this. Anyway, I usually don't plan my OCs. They typically come out in a burst of a drabble or fic in which I have a character who needs to interact with another character, and then an OC sometimes jumps out. At least, that is what happened with Keighlyn. I've always loved creating characters, so I think it's easier for me to see a full character in very little time of writing them. Like with Keighlyn and Maverick. They just sort of came along and morphed into two of my favorite characters.
    How long have you been writing?
    I've been writing since about fifth grade, so since I was 10 - I remember because I won some Valentine's Day story contest in my class with a love story about fairies. >.> I used to write a lot of very lame, cliche short stories for class and loved it. But for the longest time all I wrote was poetry, all the time. Then, I found this thing called fanfiction and my writing improved, so I've really come to adore it.
    If you had to pair Blaise with a canon character, who do you think you would write him with?
    Pansy. Hands down. I actually really like that ship because I think that Blaise is more suited for Pansy than Draco is. Blaise could help Pansy mature more so than Draco because he's not as lost and misguided as Draco is, to me anyway.

    Thank you, dears.

    -Haylee

  10. #20
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
    Rescued by Gred and Forge...er, Fred and George
    Sainyn Swiftfoot's Avatar
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    My review for Unexpected Memory.

    Which category do you think you'd be the most likely to win a QSQ in? Which one the least?

    Which of your stories is your least favourite? Why?




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