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Thread: September Activities 2010

  1. #11
    jenny b
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    My review is here.

    What genre/characters do you prefer to write and why?

    What is your favourite thing about writing fanfiction?

  2. #12
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
    Earning Points for Sheer Dumb Luck

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    How do you feel that your education and/or experiences fit into your writing, as well as your reviewing?

    Interesting question. I wasnít going to answer this, but it was rather interesting and applied to my recent thinking, so I thought that Iíd give it a shot. My education on the whole for the past four years had been studying an English undergraduates program. While I am on the brink of jumping out of that, I am asking myself this very question, and Iím clouded with doubt. What have I learned? Have I honestly learned anything and how will it apply to the Ďreal worldí? Honestly, if you care, Iím with John Locke on that one; life experiences start the moment we come out of the shoot.

    Iím contradicting myself here, but I canít think of any other way to word this, so there you are. Iíve learned literature out of the ying. I mentioned this to a beta once. On the whole, I have been honed into an analytical writing machine and itís hard to go into the atmosphere of creative or fictional writing. That being said, I have taken a handful of writing classes from a professor I now hold a high honor for because she taught me the art of writing. More importantly, she taught me to face the facts and realize that, yes, I am a ****ty writer. There are writing processes and other professors from whom I have learned as outside sources, and for that I am grateful. I am also grateful that I have realized writing is my weakness.

    Reviewing was rather hard for me in the beginning, honestly. People say that you donít learn from harsh, honest, bleeding critique. I get that, but on a personal level, I am motivated by that because itís what good professors do; in order to face the music, Iíve been beaten down, but Iím telling you as I reflect on those experiences, this is what built me up as a better writer because I really had to look at things with a critical eye as that outside observer. But, I understand that things have to be done differently in a forum like this, and itís interesting playing that from a different perspective. At least Jen doesnít have us push out a twenty page analysis centered round a thesis!

    What about vice versa? Have you learnt things from MNFF/SPEW that have helped you in school/life?

    You want an honest answer? No. This is practice writing and we are building off someone elseís original ideas. I Ďfocusí on original fiction because I have been trying to learn to shape an outside craft. For me, half the time, I know in the back of my mind that I shouldnít be here. Well, I have tried and failed repeatedly to write for a younger audience. I guess that Iím like Edison and the light bulb. While I love reading and jotting down stuff for eye candy, I know that I cannot do this, and I certainly canít mess those two areas up. I have learned to rely on peer reviewers and betas as a go between Ďeditorí, and I see my flaws in writing. I donít know. I have learned small things like the importance of proofreading (which, as English major, I have been told for years and used to never do) and how to correctly phrase things in dialogue. Forgive me, for I donít mean to say that fan fiction shouldnít be done, but itís like a hobby to rest my brain, and from what Iíve learned, I do not consider it writing. Iím not insulting anyone about the practice notion there, but you understand where Iím coming from. I still have much to learn as a writer. If anything, my flaws and the relentless help from betas have opened my eyes.

    Do you think learning and life experiences are important in writing?

    Oh, God, definitely. Why would you not write if you didnít give a damn? The writer has to be seen in the piece, or the jammed words come out being like a bland research paper. Learning, as I have already said is essential in the writing craft. Youíre not a writer, folks, till you have presented that to an audience. Itís not writing. Itís just not. Having learned through figures like Donald Murray, Peter Elbow, and Anne Lamott, I have learned that writing is a crafted skill. Unless you publish yourself through payment (and, really, what have you learned there?), you have to know that writing is a skill. I have had the pleasure of learning the importance of writing nonfiction through rhetoric, so thatís all about life experiences. Iím not saying model all of your writing as a personal narrative reflected through a piece, for nobody would probably care to read such an autobiography, but donít just go out there thinking youíre going to aspire to be I donít know, the next JKR without some training, some understanding of the art. (I know somebody like this and she makes me do a mental *facepalm* whenever we meet.) Writers donít have blissful lives who strike the iron once and hit gold. JKR learned from others, some great, some just probably strange. Writing, writing that isnít just a ****ty first draft, is a game.

  3. #13
    Fourth Year Gryffindor
    Swallowing the Golden Snitch
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    Title: Not Too Much
    Rating and Warning: 3rd-5th years; first letter of an obscenity.
    Word count: 729
    A/N: I am an amateur when it comes to fluff. Forgive me, please.

    He couldn’t get her face off of his mind.

    It had been three days since the first crack of thunder, and three days has it been storming with earsplitting cracks of it. Three days since he saw her face fill with much surprise and fear. Three days since he’s been smiling his way through hallways, her laughable and memorable face in his mind.

    It was almost like a reflex action now; once he hears the beginnings of a thunder, he would automatically look eagerly for her in the opposite table. But now that the storm is traveling away, he didn’t get enough chances anymore. Her face was so expressive, and the sight of her utter shock made him laugh out loud, but there was an unexplainable reason as to why he kept remembering her frightened face. She would slip from his mind every now and then, but she would always come back when the discussion for the day’s lesson bored him out of his wits, or when there was something there to remind him of her except for thunders.

    As he was playing with his deluxe sugar quill, slumped in his chair and eyes slowly closing, a hand slapped him none too gently on the cheek.

    “What the f—” he started to say, but stopped once he saw who it was.

    She was there, sitting beside him with an annoyed look on her face. “Are you awake now? Great. You write three topics, and I write four, okay?”

    He was still comprehending what she said. “Sorry, what—”

    “I said,” she hissed. “You do three topics, and I write four. Okay?

    His brain finally analyzed what she meant, and he nodded slowly. “Topics about what?”

    “The Goblin wars during the twelfth to the fourteenth century,” she said, her quill already writing on her piece of parchment. He stared at how her swift fingers pulled back her soft red hair behind her ear, and how her expression showed determination and slight anger. There was something that he found almost endearing. . .

    He didn’t notice he was still ogling at her until she looked up and glared at him, then sighed. “Fine, Malfoy. I’ll do five topics while you’ll do two. Is that alright?”

    “No, no!” he said. “It’s alright. I’ll do three. I was just. . . thinking.”

    “Hm.”

    They worked in silence along with the rest of the class in one of the rarest events—pairing up for a History of Magic essay. The infamous Professor Binns apparently assigned them their partners, ignoring the obvious fact that the two people that should never be partnered together are Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley.

    As they stood up to leave the classroom, Rose told him, “Don’t forget. Write at least two paragraphs for each of those topics. I’ll do the same with mine. Make sure to do them before the 7th.”

    “Yes, Mum,” he joked with a small smile. She raised a brow at him, but he didn’t miss the smile tugging at the corners of her soft-looking lips. He noticed how she looked sweet—whatever that meant.

    Scorpius left for dinner, but hurried away to the library right after finishing his food. He was unusually excited to do a 12-inched homework, but somehow, it didn’t even cross his mind.

    A slow week passed, and as he entered the History of Magic classroom, a familiar red haired girl looked at him expectantly. He smirked, and walked carelessly, sitting down on the seat beside her.

    “Where’s your essay? You didn’t finish it, did you? I knew I should have done it all by myself!” she whispered at him ferociously.

    He silently handed his papers over to her side of the table, avoiding her eyes. He didn’t speak to her as she went over his papers, but as soon as he become aware that something had caught her eye, he stared at her.

    She was mouthing the words of his poem.

    When she finished, she looked at him and couldn’t resist giving him a bright, wide smile. He thought she looked like an angel.

    He smiled back knowingly.

    Dear Lady in fright,
    whose beauty in sight
    of mine shall never waver.

    You have stayed lovely today,
    And grow ever more as I say,
    My eye for you will never quaver.

  4. #14
    Sixth Year Gryffindor
    Voldemort's on the Back of Your Head, Professor

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    How do you feel that your education and/or experiences fit into your writing, as well as your reviewing?
    My education hasn't helped with my writing or reviewing, other than teaching me basic grammar. I'm only now getting into more serious stuff (sadly...) with writing, and it's not changing anything with how I write or review.

    What about vice versa? Have you learnt things from MNFF/SPEW that have helped you in school/life?
    MNFF helped me so much with my writing. And it hurt it a bit, but it mosty helped. It hurt because I can't writing anything in science well at all. It helped because I know correct grammar now. I don't have to worry about grammar mistakes in my essays, which is great because I have one less thing to worry about then. I haven't been that active in SPEW (>.>), so I haven't really learned anything. I might have learned to stop being so...unhelpful? in my reviews, which is good. In life (and I love how school and life is different ) it made me love correct grammar. I can't stand terrible grammar, and I make that known....

    Do you think learning and life experiences are important in writing?

    Jen:
    Oh, God, definitely. Why would you not write if you didnít give a damn?
    Yes. Without having some connection to your writing, it's like the story is lifeless. Without life experiences in the writing, no one can relate to it and it won't be fun to read. When I first read the 'do you think learning..' part, I thought of having the character mature throughout the story, and us learning about him more. That is very important, for the obvious reasons. We grow as people, and characters in stories should too.

    Many of us have had 'the dream' of being published and acclaimed authors. Has your time in MNFF bettered or lessened your perceptions of yourself and the possibility of that happening for you? With that, has SPEW helped you along the way in that respect?

    When I first joined MNFF, I didn't care if I was published or not. Sure, it would have been great, but I didn't think it would happen - I knew it wouldn't happen. But then I started writing, and I found that it could be a possibility. But then I started reading amazing stories and I knew that I was no where good enough. Okay, I knew that I wasn't good enough to get published, but that made me realise how much I needed to pregress in my writting skills. So right now I'm not sure. There's a positive and negitive to this. I don't think SPEW has really helped me yet, except for trying to see far into the future on wether I'll be busy or not.
    ily Andi, Lise, Ronnie, and Becca.

    Banner by Bine/Luinrina. Lise/Annalise made my fun-to-look-at avvie. I've been ghosted!

  5. #15
    TheCursedQuill
    Guest
    How do you feel that your education and/or experiences fit into your writing, as well as your reviewing?
    Education doesn't really fit into my writing much.. apart from the fact that I learned how to write! I actually think some education has hindered my writing. I took a creative writing course and the way it was taught - although very informative! - made me start to think about my writing in a critical way as I wrote it. Which didn't really help because I wasn't able to freely write anything down. I was always thinking "why does this happen? what's the significance of this? what does this symbolize?" it was really annoying. It really helped for my reviewing skills though becuase those are exactly the type of questions you need to ask yourself when reviewing a story. I also took a class here on reviewing, which definitely improved my reviews and made me realise that the point of reviewing isn't only to congratulate an author, but to make them grow as a writer.

    What about vice versa? Have you learnt things from MNFF/SPEW that have helped you in school/life?
    MNFF has taught me a lot about writing. ALOT. And not only creative writing, but I think it's helped me even with boring things like essays. SPEW has taught me how to give constructive critism in a way that doesn't sound mean, yet isn't too nice to sound like it was a good thing. Which I think is a great life lesson because there's always going to be a moment when you need to give back critism to someone and only when you know how to properly phrase a critique will it be helpful to someone.

    Do you think learning and life experiences are important in writing?
    Oh definitely. Life experiences aren't entirely needed, but it would take a very creative and skillful person to be able to explain in detail something they've never experienced. It's not totally impossible, writers do it all the time, but I think with experience it would be become better. Only when you've experienced death can you truely know how someone would react and feel in that situation.

  6. #16
    Savannah Hen Slytherin
    Sirius Black Entered Gryffindor Tower
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    Linky to my review for Burn Thy Words.

    Hmm...I don't know if you are about at the moment, but here are a couple of questions anyway:

    Do you enjoy creating OCs? When writing, do you feel you know them as well as you might know any other canon character?

    Where do you take your inspiration from for your stories?

    Adrian won a QSQ! Thanks to Minnabird for the beautiful banner. Click on it to read Stolen Magic - the story of the second wizarding war through a very different character's eyes.

  7. #17
    Hermoine Jean Granger
    Guest

  8. #18
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
    Earning Points for Sheer Dumb Luck

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    Well, I should answer this for Hannah and Jen, though, if you must know, the answers aren't very good.

    Why do you write fan fiction?

    I don't know anymore. Well, I think I might have rephrased your question. I want to make people think. I don't want to write fan fiction because it's cute and I follow the 'expected pattern', for I know that I won't. I want to challenge people and myself to look at situations differently and realise the human nature element of these characters. It's not about reviews. It's that one moment of connection that if someone truly gets it, you know. I think I have reached someone.

    What genre/characters do you prefer to write and why?

    Well, I tend to stick with the General category because it just ends up the way. I have done one or two romances, but I don't swing well with love stories, and, if I suffer through reading them, I have a harder time putting that into words. I will not write fluff or nonsense because I will not write something that I don't believe in, or think that I have some grain of truth in the words. I have been told that I'm not a funny person, and I believe that's true, so I stay far away from the funnies.

    What characters do I write? Well, for a while there, I had an interest in Remus till he veered too far from my view. I, too, suffer from a disability, and I believe that everyone has their own range of 'dis ability', but that whole giving up on life thing didn't suit me. I enjoy writing Mad-Eye because we share a similar outlook on life; we're both deeply cynical and find humour in all the innapropriate places. Like laughing at a funeral? Well, no, I've never done that, but I can see him doing that because he sees truth in people. He's not mad - the man is misunderstood. People laugh at Mad-Eye, and while I get that, what happened to this man isn't funny. We're all messed up.


    Do you enjoy creating OCs? When writing, do you feel you know them as well as you might know any other canon character?

    Well, I'm used to writing original fiction. Not very good fiction, mind you, but that's a different story. I feel that I really don't know canon that well. It's not I don't pay attention to the books, but I tend to get different views each time I read. There are two characters, who are both very damaged men, Leo and Thatcher, who stick in my mind. I spent a year developing Thatch. Chiara could, as has been pointed out to me, stand alone without a magical influence. It's hard for me to think 'magical' because I'm so used to relating fiction to real life situations and weaving it through my brain. Original characters are tedious but they make me think.

    Where do you take your inspiration from for your stories?

    Nonfiction. No, not usually based on my own life. I study other writers' styles to see how to make that connection, and I try to model that behaviour. I learned description through Hemingway. Actually, one piece that I wrote on Leo/Minerva is loosely based on my relationship with my brother. Sometimes, as I clearly state in the Remus/Lily piece, I draw from psychology to delve into a character. I don't know. As I told Jen, my point here is to make people think. It's the same thing I strive for when I read something. I want to have to read it more than once. (Yes, people, I know confusion is one of my flaws, and I'm working on it.) I want to read a book, a story, put it down and think, 'Damn, I never thought of it that way' or 'That's interesting'. I hope to question myself in my writing.

    Thank you.

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