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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2006 :  09:15:24  Show Profile Send Siobhan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Myf:
quote:
The other Quill Pen board is for discussions about the craft of writing - characterisation, plotting etc. I'm sure it will have some activity in coming months, when we all get settled in. Otherwise, perhaps we could merge it with the Broken Bottle forum and have a fanfic + writing board.
I could not have said it better myself, so I didn't.
This also goes back to the idea of eventually having our own Reading Room where members can post PDF's of their fanfiction and a Portrait Gallery for member fanart.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  11:18:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've got a couple of questions for Theo. You have developed an intimate knowledge of all the characters as set out in books 1-5 (since HPEW was written before book 6)which comes across in your writing.

How, if at all, did HBP change your perception of Severus Snape and has it changed how things develop in your own fiction?

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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  12:05:01  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

I've got a couple of questions for Theo. You have developed an intimate knowledge of all the characters as set out in books 1-5 (since HPEW was written before book 6)which comes across in your writing.

How, if at all, did HBP change your perception of Severus Snape and has it changed how things develop in your own fiction?



Oh, great question. I would love the answer to this one, too.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2006 :  02:25:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

I've got a couple of questions for Theo. You have developed an intimate knowledge of all the characters as set out in books 1-5 (since HPEW was written before book 6)which comes across in your writing.

How, if at all, did HBP change your perception of Severus Snape and has it changed how things develop in your own fiction?

Oh, this is a wonderful question!

(Disclaimer: In the following, all comments about HBP are my own opinions only and are not meant to incite debate.)

HBP didn't change my perception of Snape at all which is good because it means that I haven't had to alter his character at all for HPCS. The two key points of character development for Snape in HBP are luckily the same ones made in HPEW, albeit by different means: Snape is capable of killing in cold blood and he was instrumental in the deaths of Harry's parents.

My Snape has always been dark and the man who killed six unconscious DEs without blinking is exactly the same one who killed DD. In both cases he acted out of necessity and secretly hated himself for it. In HPEW this is implied by the way he snaps at DD in the woods outside Ottery St. Catchpole and by the fact that he expects Harry to be repulsed by what he did. In HBP the agony he shows in Flight of the Prince makes the same point.

The tragedy of James and Lily's deaths speaks for itself.

What HPEW didn't anticipate however was the complete about-face we saw in the Malfoys in HBP. That's all right because it gives me a new avenue to explore with them in HPCS and I'm quite looking forward to that. This is the biggest thing that HBP changed in how my story has developed. There are one or two other plot threads that have been nudged a bit by HBP and a few new ideas, such as Snape's half-blood status, that I have incorporated. But I can't really elaborate too much on these or I'd wind up giving too much away about HPCS.


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"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 06/23/2006 02:28:49
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2006 :  09:21:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So, Theo, which is easier writing with established characters ie. Snape, or creating your own to fit into the story ie. Ryan? There are great challenges involved in both, yes?

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2006 :  01:30:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

So, Theo, which is easier writing with established characters ie. Snape, or creating your own to fit into the story ie. Ryan? There are great challenges involved in both, yes?

Absolutely. With established characters, the challenge is to be certain they stay in character. With new characters, the trick is to create a memorable, believable, three-demensional character whom readers will respond to.

But these challenges really come in the pre-writing stage - where the planning and plotting take place. After all, whether you're using established characters or original ones, you have to know them all equally well and know their place in the story.

When it comes to the writing itself, there is no difference in how I handle a canon character vs. my own. They are all mine at that point and I know them all intimately.


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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2006 :  18:31:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In light of the recent release delay of chapter 10, how many chapters ahead is it preferrable to write in order to get everything you need or want into it's proper place? And when are you sure you've got it right?

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  03:42:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

In light of the recent release delay of chapter 10, how many chapters ahead is it preferrable to write in order to get everything you need or want into it's proper place?

This is another great question! Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to answering. Writing has been going well, so I've only been popping in and out on the boards this week.

Even the best writers run into plot holes. Remember how JKR said that she got halfway through writing GoF and had the plot fall apart on her so that she had to go back and rewrite half the book? And she has spent years outlining her plots. This is no knock on JKR. It is simply impossible to predict every detail of how a story will progress and sometimes it heads off in a direction that contradicts your earlier plans.

But while JKR had the luxury to go back and rework GoF, that isn't the case on the internet where books are released serially. You can't go back and rewrite what's already been posted. That's why this is always a concern for me.

Ideally, I like to be at least six chapters ahead in my writing. This is a safe margin for me because I'm confident that any plot holes I encounter six chapters out, I'll be able to fix without changing anything I've already released. At the moment, I'm only three chapters ahead, so I'm nervous.

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"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 08/08/2006 03:51:11
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  04:20:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

... And when are you sure you've got it right?

I've pulled this out as a separate post because it is an important enough question in and of itself that it deserves it's own answer. And the answer is... I can't tell you.

There are some obvious things like plotholes or poorly written scenes that are clear indications that a chapter needs work. But beyond these basics, this ultimately comes down to a matter of feel and intuition. A chapter can be solid and well written and still not be 'right'.

A perfect example of this was chapter 15 of HPEW. I don't know how many rewrites of that I went through, but I produced and sent out three 'final' versions. The first, Myf had issues with. The second was okay, but it didn't feel right to me, so I kept re-doing it. Poor Myf was getting rather exasperated, I think. She said, "It's okay. This works. It's good enough." Except that it wasn't right and I wasn't satisfied. Finally I managed to find exactly the right variation to the plot and sent off the zillionth draft to Myf, to which she wrote back and said, "Wow. That actually makes a huge difference."

What is particularly important about this is that the difference between the "okay" version and the "wow" version was no more than half a dozen lines. Sometimes all it takes is one line, or even one word, to make all the difference.

It's impossible to pin down how to tell when a chapter is right. You just know when it is and you don't stop rewriting until you get there.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 08/08/2006 04:24:04
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2006 :  18:34:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Theo, we're beginning to enter deeper psychological waters in Chained Souls with Harry attempting to formulate a plan for weakening and fighting Lord Voldemort. We know Lord Voldemort is basically what a layman would term a psycopath (I know there's a more definitive term for it than that-- ran across it a few years ago, but have forgotten it since ). You are also taking us into the world of Lewis Carol with Dumbledore's asigning Harry Alice in Wonderland.

I was wondering what your educational background might be and what kind (and how much) research have you had to do?

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2006 :  01:24:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My educational background is all in math and the hard sciences (physics, computers) so it is utterly unhelpful in writing HPCS. I have also done no research beyond skimming Alice in Wonderland a couple of weeks ago. [:I] I'm almost embarrassed to admit that and I know that other authors probably do research a great deal depending upon what they're writing. But for HPEW and HPCS I have never felt the need.

The key to successful writing lies in the old adage, "write what you know". I try to stick with what I already know which minimizes the need to look things up. I know my limitations when it comes to psychology and Lewis Carol and I don't plan to delve so deeply into either as to embarrass myself. Instead, I am relying on my understanding of human nature which I have learned from living the last 44 years. Hopefully, I understand it well enough as it relates to my characters and plot to write about it convincingly.

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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2006 :  09:45:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Have you tried the Annotated Alice?

I wuv multicoloured werewolf puppies.
"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2006 :  23:46:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ooooh I have one of those at my parents' house. I should bring it back to SC with me this January. I wonder what it says about the Mock Turtle's song. Daughter loved that part.

We're going to read a second Washington Irving short story next week-- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow! I'm so excited! It's one of my all time favourites. Do you know how the Headless Horseman became headless?

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  16:19:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Starling

Have you tried the Annotated Alice?

I've never even seen this. I bet it's wonderful! I shall have to get a copy.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  16:33:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's the story on the Headless Horseman. He was also known as the Galloping Hessian of the Hollow. The story goes, he was a Hessian trooper that had his head "removed" by a cannon ball. The people of Sleepy Hollow buried him in the churchyard, but every night his spirit goes off in search of his missing head. It stays out so long that it must rush to make its way back to the churchyard by dawn.

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