Writing minor characters can be very enjoyable. You have more freedom with them, and can use the little you do know to flesh out their characters, backgrounds, relationships, skills and life choices. A particularly fertile ground for this is Trio Era characters during the Battle Of Hogwarts, where we get lots on information (some inconclusive) about what characters were doing. However there is also much in the Black family tree which can be explored, as well as various other eras.
Therefore the main challenge in this part would be to create a realistic character, who fits with what we know of them in canon, but is also fully developed into someone we are as interested and invested in, as we are in major characters.
If you have any questions about your chosen minor character, then do feel free to ask in the thread for that character in the Character Clinic.
See here for general rules and regulations for the one-shot. Post here with the form in that thread once you're story is validated.
If you have any questions, please ask them here. Thanks to Kara for looking this over.
Now when I was a little chap I had a passion for maps. I would look for hours at South America, or Africa, or Australia, and lose myself in all the glories of exploration. At that time there were many blank spaces on the earth, and when I saw one that looked particularly inviting on a map (but they all look that) I would put my finger on it and say, ‘When I grow up I will go there.’
Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Travelling allows your character to be thrown into new circumstances, and possibly see things from a fresh perspective. However, it’s important to bear in mind that, when a person travels, that person is still them, and will bring with them their past, their concerns, their worries when they move to another country, although they might try to prevent it.
So for this prompt, the minor character must be in a country which isn’t their own (for the sake of this prompt, Britain counts as one country).
It cannot be a country your character has lived in or been to before. For example, while you can have Parvati Patil going to, say, India, she can never have lived or visited there before. Likewise, if you want Seamus to visit Ireland, you’ll have to give a pretty convincing portrayal of the Irish community in England/Scotland/Wales to explain his accent.
If you are English, Scottish or Welsh therefore, this will have to involve research on your part, unless you choose a minor character who is not British. Otherwise, you are welcome to use your own country or any other one you choose. Any research you do will hopefully be part of the fun.
I can recommend google streetview as being a very fun way of procrastinating/researching a city you have never been to.
There are two facts that all children need to disprove sooner or later; mother and father. If you go on believing in the fiction of your own parents, it is difficult to construct any narrative of your own.
Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles Jennette Winterson.
Every minor character has a family, and in many cases, we hear very little about them. There is the tantalising extra information about Dean Thomas, about Theodore Nott, hints on Blaise Zabini’s mother, and other interesting snippets which you can build on. Or you can pick a character whose family we know nothing about.
Your family is part of what makes you the person who you become, whether adversely or positively, but probably a mixture of both. For this story, at least one parent of your minor character must appear in this story. This cannot be in flashback form i.e they must co-exist in the present of the story with your minor character. The other parent must be referred to in some way, whether also being in the story or just talked about. It’s up to you though.
If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it
Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
As some of you may know, music is pretty important to me. During your story a piece of music must be playing throughout the majority of the story. This can be a real piece of music, though if you mention lyrics, remember to make it clear they are not your own words, or a piece of your own invention.
There are various ways you can read ‘the majority of the story’. Either it can be different scenes during which the same piece of music or song is playing, or a single scene where the piece, album or song is playing throughout.
If you choose to use Muggle music, please bear in mind how your character would have come into contact with it. If a Muggle or Muggle-born, then this makes sense, but if a pureblood, please include how that character came to encounter it. Ron aged eight will not be rocking out to Hard Day’s Night, so bear that in mind.
July 31st Prompt:
July 31st is Harry Potter’s birthday! He will soon be thirty two years old. Your story has to be set on July 31st. No reference needs to be made to Harry’s birthday, as particularly since prior to him being born, most minor characters will not be aware of him, but you do need to reference the date in some way. Otherwise, anything goes.
Please bear in mind where you set your story. It does not snow in Britain in July. If you want snow, pick another prompt, or set your story elsewhere. I have read this in a story, believe it or not.
I will be away from the 12-17th July. I am also away from the 21st to 27th July, and then leave again on the 29th (yes, I do have a nice summer planned ) In the interim, Jess/ToHaveOrNotToHaveLongUsername will answer questions. Anything she says goes.
She will lock this thread around midnight on the 31st July, as well as open the Original Character prompts.