timepiececlock: (Bite me. -Toph)
Watched Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix tonight. Still my favorite of the movies. It made me want to reread The Halfblood Prince before the 6th movie comes out this year.

As I watched this time I idly kept an eye open for shipwatch. I saw the one look Ginny gave in the Room of Requirement (oh, the dramione smut fics I've read set in that room!), but that's all really. I think it's too bad they didn't have a bit more of her in this movie, even scenes of her looking at him fondly or them being friendly in the background. I fear that the sixth movie will make the same mistake as the book, and drop the romance on us like a pink brick from sparkly heavens above instead of building to it. I hope it's not like that; it'd be nice if they improved on one of the books most annoying subplots.

While watching OotP, however, I had the same experience as I had reading the book: I shipped Harry and Luna. I can't help it! It's like she popped into their universe just at the right time to be a love interest! Someone who rapidly becomes drawn into the group but is odd enough that she stands out from Harry's normal circle. That's what a love interest character often is: someone who fits in with your best friends well enough but isn't the same as your best friends. And whether the book intended it or not, Cho and Luna were the only two non-Trio females that Harry spent any significant time with in this book/film. One can't help but make parallels. Lots of parallels. Presumably Harry hung out with Ginny plenty as well since he's so close to their family, but we never see it. No screentime! These inconsistencies just make me gnash my teeth.

It's the same problem I have with Avatar and K/Z pairing, only for HP it's worse. Because with K/Z I could always understand that as clear as it is why they're shippable, there were also enough plot reasons to reasonably interfere with anything in-series, and Zuko did have an on-off girlfriend, so I understood why they weren't for other viewers. For Luna and Harry, in the course of the fifth and sixth books, none of that is evident. There's no betrayals or warring nations or anything to say they can't hook up, and they clearly got along (if anything, even moreso in the movie...I loved her barefoot in the forest). The same could be said of Ginny, except that Harry and Ginny have very little screentime together in the until halfway through book 6, whereas Harry and Luna actually seem to interact. And then when I see how his romance with Ginny was eventually written...it feels so arbitrary.

I still want to grab JKR by the shoulders, shake her hard, and say "Look, you can't play with your audience this way! Relationships are not like murder mysteries. The point isn't to be surprised at the twist ending, the point is for everything to fit together and the relationship to feelgenuine to those characters involved."

Anyway, it's an old complaint. It seems I still can't watch OotP without having the uncomfortable feeling that maybe something's wrong if the ship that seems so evident to me in the character-plot positioning, the themes, the camera's eye POV, and the acting isn't the relationship that's supposed to be the hero's true romantic love. Half my brain watches in amazement and says "Seriously? SERIOUSLY?" even still. Ah, well! Perhaps the HBP movie will fix it for me and sell the H/G relationship as something sweet.
timepiececlock: (Bright Imperious Line - Zuko/Katara)
Dear fandom at large and fandom wank and ATLA fandom in particular,

Stop comparing Zutarians to Harmonians. Please stop, for me. I never liked that pairing. And if we're going to be compared to rabid delusional fans, I'd much rather be compared to Spuffy fans. Or Doctor/Rose fans. Because I like those ships better, and I've been called nasty things as a member of those as well.

It's kind of a shallow request, I know, but humor me here. Hell, "SPUFFY" is shorter to type and easier to spell than "HARMONIAN" anyway.


P.S. And really, we Zutarians haven't earned it. Compared to the three fandoms above, we are tiny, and so is our wank. Which I'm okay with. Although we are apparently big enough to get a voice actor to make a little tribute video to us, which is still pretty freaking funny. See previous post.
timepiececlock: (Dragon lives forever-- not so little gir)
nabbed from [livejournal.com profile] jaina

If you make up titles for stories I didn't write, I will respond with details of those non-written stories.

fandoms covered so far:

Fullmetal Alchemist - Freedom Kittens
Princess Tutu - Reconstruction (spoilers!)
Harry Potter - Lazy Days (spoilers!)
Avatar: The Last Airbender - Nightblindness (spoilers!), Girl With The Weight Of The World On Her Shoulders, Five Buildings Zuko Didn't Burn Down (spoilers!)
Naruto - In a Forest Without Trees
timepiececlock: (Zuko likes pikes)
One of the things that always annoyed me about JKR's use of spell-words in Harry Potter books, in fact the only thing of this nature that really did annoy me about her spell naming, was designating the phrase "Avada Kedavra" as a death curse, and basically the worst curse that could be uttered in the entire series.

Then she went on to sell billions of books and influence children's vocabularly for an entire young generation. The problem? She basically ruined the phrase "Abracadabra". Every 10 year old who read HP is going to forever associate the two, which puts unfair negative connotation on a phrase that has survived for hundreds of years with a relatively neutral meaning. It could be used to do good things, bad things, or things classified as neither moral nor immoral (like turning a flower pot into a clock.)

Here's a perfectly well-known word that's seeped in literary tradition, used by flowery princes and evil sorcerers alike, a phrase the Tooth Fairy might use to sneak some money under a child's pillow, and now through some questionable phonetics JKR has villified it. Ruins a good word.

If you're curious about the origins of the phrase abracadabra, Wikipedia has an entry on it, though no promises to accuracy or validity with that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abra_Kadabra#History
timepiececlock: (River)
Potential Epic Fics I've Yet To Finish

Our Cartography: [Avatar: The Last Airbender] My post-first season AU epic friendship/UST/adventure fic for Katara and Zuko, that got derailed after the season 2 premier stole one of my climax ideas and sent me into a crushing spiral of envy-angst. As [livejournal.com profile] akavertigo said, most writers are jealous, maniacal, and possessive about our ideas. Having them stolen by canon is almost worse than having plaigarized by another fan, cause I've nobody to be properly mad at. I'm still getting over this, and there are very strong chances I'll get back to this fic.

Salience & Synergy: [Avatar: The Last Airbender] My season 1 AU fic, with Iroh teaching Aang to firebend while he sits in Zuko's ship on the way to the Fire Nation capital. I still have hopes of finishing this one, actually. I love the idea of writing something trancendental, something that has nothing to do with romance and everything to do with philosophy and spirituality. Aang and Zuko have such a heavy dynamic, as do Iroh and Zuko.

The Mindwalker Ninja: [Naruto] My epic Ino Yamanaka life-fic, an AU that would span 20 years and see her through relationships with Shikamaru and Sasuke. This one has a lot of outlining done, particularly with regards to Ino's part in the final battle with Orochimaru, and with Sasuke's future. I stopped writing it because Naruto came off haiatus after the age jump, and I began to lose interest in the fandom, and the Ino that came out of more manga began to differ from my idea of Ino, who was half OC anyway given that we knew so little about her. Still, there's a lot of potential for writing more with this.

Mon Autre Vie: [Fruits Basket] My would-be epic Tohru Honda / Sohma family drama fic, which was based on a damn cool premise, if I do say so myself. Again, I began to grow distant from the fandom, particularly when I stopped reading the manga scanlatioons and subsequently had to give up on fanfic for fear of being spoiled. I had a good deal outlined for this fic, though not as much as the two above, and I wish I could write more even though I somehow doubt I'll get back to it.

Dane: [Harry Potter] A result of my Shakespeare crush, a massive epic based on fusing Harry Potter and Hamlet, a post-book 5 AU that would have had the students of Hogwarts unwittingly play out the entire play all the way to its tragic ending. It would have been really fucking cool, if I hadn't lost the massive outline I did for it. A full break down of character roles and plotlines, incredible amounts of detail... all gone. I was pretty upset about it, trust me.

Orpheus Child: [Cowboy Bebop] The closest thing I've done to outlining a complete novel, and it would have been one of the best fics I'd written. A post-series fic about Spike rediscovering his life, about family ties and blood and love and friendship, about the horrors of adulthood and childhood. Somewhere I have an outline for this SOMEWHERE I DO. I just don't know where it is right now. But it was a great outline, plotting the major events of each chapter, the emotional arcs of each character, the themes, allusions, and metaphors of the story, the thrilling climax, and even chapter titles pulled exclusively from poems by e. e. cummings and Shel Silverstein, as part of the mythology/children's story motif. And now it's been so very long since I watched CB... I wouldn't even remember how to write Spike's dialogue, or Jet's or Ed's dialogue.

51 Ways To Draw A Perfect Circle : [Fullmetal Alchemist] My once grand idea to do a drabble for every episode of FMA, each in a different character (50 total). I only got so far as 10, but I selected the main characters for all 51. Next time I sit down to watch an FMA marathon, I might take it up again and finish.

It's kind of depressing that "I lost the outline" the major reason for most of these fics dying, isn't it? And for the rest, it's lost interest. My interest wanders too easily, I'm sad to say, when it comes to fiction writing. Hopefully I'll get over that one day. You'll notice that neither of my two ATLA long drabble series, Night Has Come or Culture Clash, are up here. That's because they're too skimpy in word count to be called epic, and also because I plan on writing more for them, beyond all doubt.
timepiececlock: (Zuko likes pikes)
I spent an embarrassing amount of time last night and today reading epic Draco/Hermione fics from this fan awards list. "Valentine Encounter" (scroll down) was pretty good, and now I'm in the middle of a DISTURBINGLY LONG epic fic "Draco: Phoenix Rising." For the record, my weakness for Draco/Hermione fic is purely fanon-based, and completely separate from my canon character interpretations.

Sometimes I look at the fandom popularity of Harry Potter, and I want to cry. It's just not fair. When every other fandom has been overrun by the drabble trend for the last 5 years, HP fandom chugs along at a happy pace with an absolutely revolting amount of epic chapter fics. Seriously! Do you KNOW how many epic Draco/Hermione fics are out there? A LOT. And that's for an unconventional and non-canon pairing. That's not even looking at the epic fics for canon het pairings, or the amount written for slash pairings.

All that talent! It makes me want to weep, because what I wouldn't give to read a 150,000 word, 40 chapter epic written for Princess Tutu, or Fruits Basket, or The Twelve Kingdoms, or any other quality series, tv or flm or anime. There are some very popular fandoms, like ATLA or Doctor Who, that have a fair number of long fics....but still NOTHING like what you get for HP fandom. Honestly, the only fandoms I'm familiar with right now that come even close to matching the number of long fics in HP are LOTR and Naruto. This didn't used to be the case... when I originally got into fandom, with 90s anime and then with Jossverse and Highlander and X Files, epics weren't just a special luxury, they were outright common.

I've never been able to complete an epic fic, always being stuck with short fics, one-shots, and ficlets. But now I'm sad that other people aren't even trying, because drabbles are so popular and easy.
timepiececlock: (Zuko likes pikes)
I spent about 10 minutes pondering the lack of entertaining Avatar/Harry Potter crossovers on the internet, and pondering whether I wanted to bother even outlining one. I decided I didn't-- HP fanfic is just too hard to write. Takes too much preparation and research. Even 2 years ago, when I was writing plenty of HP fic, I frequently invented my own magic names and stuff because I couldn't be bothered to fact-check with the books.

But I couldn't resist making a "What If They Were Sorted" list for the ATLA characters. Here you go.




Ty Lee

Thoughts and explanations... )
timepiececlock: (Gaara sucks at math)
Who'd be up for a "Write Your Own Epilogue" ficathon for Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows?

When you read the last pages of Harry Potter book 7...

Maybe you thought the epilogue got all the relationships write, but all the jobs wrong?
Maybe you thought the epilogue was written by an overly-eager eleven year old?
Maybe you thought the kids were cool, but the ships weren't what you were hoping for?
Maybe you thought the people who lived would have died, and the ones who died would have lived?
Maybe some people named their kids something else, and others didn't have kids at all?
Maybe everyone didn't marry their high school sweetheart?
Maybe nineteen years later in Harry's life, thinks aren't quite so conventional?

Maybe every discruntled fan on the internet ought to write their own epilogue. Different ships, different careers, different names for peoples kids?

Where would such a ficathon be advertised?
What communities?
Is something like this already in existence?
Would YOU do it, if it was challenged?
timepiececlock: (Doctor/Rose kiss [B&W])
This is from a comment I made on my previous post, my initial reaction to HP. I am gradually becoming more and more interested in the untold story of Hogwart's students while the Trio is off adventuring in book 7. And I just had this AWESOME thought about pairings...

Significant but generalized spoilers for HP book 7, in a theory about pairings that MIGHT have happened in the background of the Trio's adventure )
AU! Someone write it for me, please...

Ooohhh.... I like that a lot.
timepiececlock: (Squisuke!)
I read it! I read it!

I read it in two days, exactly. Evening to evening. It was quite absorbing, at many times moving ahead by the pure momentum of its own existence as much as the plot events itself.

I enjoyed it, though I won't say it was perfect. Overall it exceeded my expectations while giving me a few things to shake my head regretfully over. It was like most of the books, that way.

off the top of my head, reactions & spoilers )

There were more ups and downs, but that's all I have energy for tonight.

But, at the end of it all, I look and I think, "Well, that was a fun fanfic to read. Good times! I should probably write a review. Now when does the seventh book come out?"
timepiececlock: (Ed - poison crazy lush)
Woot! That was a fun movie-going experience. This is only the third movie I've actually seen in theaters, and so far my favorite HP theater experience. It was the most *fun* to watch, the most tense and exciting, though I have to say I still think the third film, Azkaban, was the best-made. This episode was not without its flaws, but I think it's been by far the most fun to watch.

Why? Because it was a movie. It wasn't a book on screen. It was a movie in its own right-- the most starkly different film of the series yet, in multiple ways and levels: tone, theme, mood, imagery, maturity, violence, and ambition. This one cut huge swaths out of the book, paring it down until it wasn't a story about the student year at Hogwarts, or Harry's friendships, or the wizarding world. This was a movie about Harry. Just Harry.

A disproportionate number of scenes were done in close-up; this is noticeable right away and just as immediate in its effect. We stay with Harry's perspective through the whole film, very often right in his head, seeing through his eyes or as if we rode on his shoulder. This makes for a tightly wound visual thematic device that, while it leaves room for little else in plot, nevertheless makes the exciting parts that much tenser and stronger.

And, as in the fifth book, Harry is an Angry Young Man, oh yes he is. What I liked about the movie, that I didn't get from the book, was that in the film, all Harry's anger is seen as a direct result of the previous events, a combination of years of stress with a kind of post-traumatic stress from both Cedric's death and the Dementor attack that opens the fifth film. All through the movie Harry is never given the chance to talk to the people he needs to talk to, and all the fear and anger just builds and builds. From what I remember of the book, a lot of his anger was an extension of Voldemort's remote mental influence. In the movie, all Harry's anger comes from the just plain shitty happenings of his recent life. It feels a simpler, more logical explanation and a smoother transition in the movie than I remember from reading all those caps-locked sentences in the book.

There's a lot to dislike, here, if you're a hardcore HP fan. I won't kid: things get cut, things get added, things go differently even if the end result is the same. I'm a fan of the idea of the books more than the books themselves (oh JKR, if only your prose could catch up to your imagination, what an epic this would be), so I'm fine if they chop it to hell as long as the spirit of the story carries through. And that's what you've got here: a wildly different take on HP, where the writer and director stopped trying to make the book into the movie and just made a movie to stand on its own. And even though this story is a placeholder for future battles, a mere tease, as a movie it rocks.

I think one of the aspects I liked was that this movie stripped away all the glamour of the wizarding world. A few little tricks here and there, but even the fantastical was something easily used in the context of war: an ear to spy, a firework to explode, a message to burn. The plain fact is this school creates wizards and witches, not carpenters and tailors. These kids are being trained and even bred to do dangerous things, and this movie takes the kids from the protection of the school and its illusion of safety, a safety that it seems never truly existed except in the innocent minds of the students themselves.

It's not all fun and games. It's not all pretty lights and party tricks. It's power. It's war.

There were some flaws in the film-- little ones and a couple big ones (namely the pacing in the very end)-- but all you need to know is that this is a cool movie and you should see it in theaters. Luna was perfect, Sirius was good, the thestrals were neat, Harry's hair wasn't stupid anymore, and some of the wizard fighting was downright awesome.

spoilers )
timepiececlock: (Doctor [Nine] smiles)
First tv interview with Evanna Lynch, aka Luna Lovegood in HP movie 5.

Oh, she's so adorable. And her speech pattern-- sort of musical and soft, yet kinda spacey--- perfect. I hope I enjoy the 5th movie. Seeing Luna Lovegood interact with Harry on screen might just rejunivate my H/L shippy feeling and general HP fandom feeling that's been lost after book 6.
timepiececlock: (Chihiro thinks you suck!)
At first the full disclosure of the HP plaigarism wank was this kind of weird "Someone Else's Fandom" thing (like an SEP field, Douglas Adams tm), because although was into HP fandom for a while I had never read the fic trilogy in question nor interacted with any of the perps.

But new stuff has come out, and given that I actually really liked "A Surfeit Of Curses", now I'm feeling kind of dirty.

EDIT: My brain, it hath broke at last.
timepiececlock: (Jim & Pam kiss)
I've been reading some interesting stuff about fanfiction today. I read a great deal of stuff about the "Cassie Claire Is A Plaigarist" wank, and had to quit at part VIII of the timeline archive because it was just that long and messy. Right now I'm reading this article and its predecessor, and for the most part I'm finding them fair and enjoyable, if a bit on the shallow side information-wise.

In reading some of the CC wank stuff, which featured quotes about fanfic from various authors (particularly fantasy), I was left wondering if there was a giant list somewhere that maybe showed how a lot of the more famous authors feel about fanfic. I know the obvious ones like Anne Rice and JKR, but if the article I linked above is true and some professional authors are/have been fanfic writers themselves, I'd love to read various opinions present by them with regards to the issue.

The article I linked also says this about fanfic, which I admit applies to me as well:

"I was fifteen years old when I invented the genre of fan fiction, a form of writing where the author takes characters or universes created by someone else and writes stories about them. ... ... ... Fifteen was also the year I attended my first convention, where I learned that fan fiction had thrived for years before me."

Although for me it was more like 14 and I discovered fanfic through a Sailor Moon fan website and not a convention, the experience was basically identical: when I wrote my first fanfic I didn't even realize I was entering myself into a long-standing fandom tradition. I just had this mental image that I *had* to write down. That urge to write the next step after the credits closed. It wasn't until a while later that I stumbled upon internet fanfic and it clicked in my brain. In many ways I've never felt guilt about the "allure" of the internet and fandom because for me, fandom and fanfic was something, first and foremost, my own individual invention. Learning that there were thousands of others out there who made that same leap was, if anything, a massive rush.

So, I have a poll for you guys on my flist who write fanfic. And I'd like to ask you to link this poll to others if you want to, because I'd really love to see what a large sample will respond with. Most of my flist I've known originally from Jossverse fandom or anime fandom, so I'm sure it will be a far from legitimate sample of LJ fic writers. But I'd love to see, anyway.

[Poll #788168]
timepiececlock: (Luna's diary)
::watching HP & Goblet of Fire::

00:03 - OMG David Tennant! It's like a pathetic, evil Doctor Who!
00:04 - wow, Ron has shoulders.

00:07 - the tent is bigger on the inside? SO VERY DOCTORWHO OF THEM.


00:12 - Oh yay! Crazy Doctor is back. I forgive the hoods. Sort of.
00:12 - shiny skull thing...shiny....

00:15 - Harry's hair doesn't look as bad in the movie as it did in the movie posters. But why has it grown at all? I thought his hair was stuck in one style by magic or something.

about a page more of running thoughts, though I skipped typin some in the middle )

Hmm.... better than HP 1 and 2, not as good as 3. Could have been as good as 3 if they'd cut out 45 minutes of it. I'd have nixed all the ball stuff. And cut down Dumbledore's pensieve memory by several seconds. And nixed the quiddich cup opening sequence. Overall the pace of the film suffered because of the length.

It does make me want to read some fanfic, though.

Character stuff: A bit on shippery, a bit more on film 3 vs film 4 with respect to minor characters )

Actually, this movie was entertaining, but it's really making me look forward to the fifth movie. The 5th book was the one I liked after book 3, and it has some kickass stuff. I think I'll look forward to it more having seen this one.
timepiececlock: (Hughes knows where his towel is)
Opening line:

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense."
--Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling

I was browsing the internet and came across some people gnawing on the furniture over HP's first opening line. Since I read that book like 20 years ago and never bought it (I only own the 5th), I had to hunt around google for a while to find what the opening line of HP actually was.

Looking at it, I have three thoughts:

1) she totally ripped that introduction from Tolkien's descriptions of the residents of the Shire, didn't she? That two-line description could be half of Hobbiton. The Sackville-Bagginses! You know it.

2) doesn't everyone know it's spelled "thankyouverymuch" ?

3) even forgiving number two, there has to be something wrong with the grammar of that part of the sentence. There's something.

For myself, I don't have a worst opening line. But my favorite opening line is still (has for several years now) been this bit, from Clive Barker's The Thief of Always:

Chapter 1: Harvey, Half-Devoured
The great gray beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive. Here he was, buried in the belly of that smothering month, wondering if he would ever find his way out through the cold coils that lay between here and Easter.

Now isn't that an awesome opener?

Hmm. You know, that book would make one creepy kid's film. ...OMG, Hayao Miyazaki should do it! Oh, that'd be a PERFECT movie for him. He'd get the sense of visual wonder, and imbue it with the eerieness that the book has but most American children's movies shy away from.

Or it could be done by M. Night Shayamalan. If he could restrain himself to stay loyal to the text.

Edit: OMG! Score by Danny Elfman. Yeah. That'd be rad.
timepiececlock: (Chihiro thinks you suck!)
I don't know if I have the energy to finish this fic. I've read 18 out of 40 chapters, all of the chapters long. It was good--really good. For the first 16 chapters. But somehow it went from being great to having Hermione a heroin addict and Draco giving into the dark side. The Draco part I can understand (though it makes me sad because the fanon* version in this fic was a version of Draco I really really wanted to be strong enough to resist), but the Hermione on heroin thing has thrown me for a loop.

I have this sense that it'll all work out in the end, but I don't think I have the energy to read 20 chapters of misery. And it will be miserable, now that Hermione's a heroin addict and Draco lost the battle of his better angels. For at least 15 chapters, I'm betting. I don't have that kind of patience.

I'm thinking...skip ahead? I hate skipping ahead, but... I can only take so much darkness in my darkfic, you know. I've got a max capacity for this sort of thing. I don't care what you say-- well written or not, Harry Potter fic shouldn't be fucking Les Miserables.

Edit: Okay, I only had to skip like two chapters to be past the heroin thing. Thank goodness; that was weird.

*to me, fanon Draco is an entirely separate creature from canon Draco. I don't read long smutfics about canon Draco. Who'd want to read that?


timepiececlock: (Default)

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