Reviews For Irritations
Name: Maleficent reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 02:53 pm
Hm. Interesting. Hardly new opinions on your part, but interesting to submit in essay form. I'm going to try and respond the best I can, because I feel like I should say something. I was going to just email you privately, but since everyone has agreed wholeheartedly so far, I decided to just go ahead and be a voice of dissent.

This essay rubbed me the wrong way. And I say that, I must stress, not in an offended, angry way, but almost with a sigh of exasperation. I love this archive. I've loved it since you started it up and always admired you as an author. But sometimes, Mynuet, I can't help but feel that Fire and Ice, and really the whole D/G fandom, has really conformed itself to a writing style that leaves little room for creative expression.

Fan fiction has been around for a while, yes, but everyone still have very different opinions of what purpose fan fiction should serve. You have them. I have them. But when you, as one of the most important people on the governing body of this self-loading and supposively diverse archive make a post like this, it really drives home the fact that, hands down, stories that don't fit the mold aren't particularly welcome, whether they are accepted for submission or not. D/G is very cliquey. And reading something like this and then trying to post on an archive that, bottomline, is run and frequented by the best and most popular authors in the fandom, knowing you might never have their real approval, is utterly terrifying.

I guess I'm speaking for myself, but then again, not really. Anything I've posted here has been received well enough by many readers, and for that I thank them. But as a reader and I fan, which is how I will always identify myself first and foremost, sometimes I crave something different from stories here. And I watch other authors try and do something different and come back with no reviews time and time again. If something fresh comes at the cost of a bit of canon-finagling, Americanization, and language experimentation, I'll be the first to jump up and down with excitement.

Writing, by its very nature, is an adventure. I've always thought of fan fiction as a framework for writers to express their own work and own style. Draco and Ginny have their canon personalities, but there is so much room for good character development that goes beyond some of the limits you just set. Fan fiction is an exercise. The Harry Potter universe is merely another tool, not a rulebook. Canon names and spelling/grammar, I completely agree should be accurate, but there's a lot of other things I'm willing to let slide for the sake of a good read and good writing. Sometimes a world like Harry Potter strikes something in the imagination that lets a person's personal creavity take over. Fan fiction lets that come out in many, many different ways.

I'm saying too many things at once, and I suppose, not really making total sense or having a definitive point, but I guess I just wanted to remind you that I know how you feel. You've made it very clear how you feel since the beginning. Being blunt about your expectations is something I respect, but I just thought you'd like to know that by being so straight forward in an effort to scare away the teenyboppers and bad writers who plague you, sometimes you scare away others as well for entirely different reasons.

I remain still, a truly devoted member of this archive and fan of yours who will always be lurking about enjoying what I can, and I guess, secretly wishing I could be part of the clique of talented authors that dominates D/G. Because it really is a clique these days, Mynuet. A "writer's circle" if you will, so as not to dredge up images of high school popularity wars, but still a clique. With its own expectations and its own image.

Keep up the good work with the site and your writing. -Kelly

Author's Response: I had to think about this a while before responding, because my knee-jerk response was "Nuh uh! I'm not in a clique!", and I figured you deserved better than that. I appreciate your posting it publicly so that other people could see that it's entirely possible to disagree with me and I really am not the end-all and be-all in D/G any more than I am anywhere else. That being said, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with some of your points.

I really don't see anything I said as stifling anyone's creative expression. There is no ban on rapefic - I just don't like it. Mal-ferret is not against the "law", it's just, in my opinion, tiresome. Sloppy is the wrong word to use to describe a hairstyle for a formal occasion, period. I mean, I also don't like excessive angst or character death, but I didn't mention that because it's a matter of taste. Asking that there be an attempt to keep the characters as they exist isn't, in my opinion, restrictive or stifling. This is fan fiction, not original fiction, which means that part of the skill is maintaining the existing characterization. Belly shirts need not apply.

I can't help what other people are intimidated by. Part of the process of writing, and even of growing up, is to learn that not everyone likes the same thing. If you want approval in the form of reviews, it's not possible to force it, not without making the end result worthless. I can't make people like yet another "Ginny grew up over the summer and now she's totally hot and sassy with her Hot Topic wardrobe and Good Charlotte CDs that she's charmed to work at Hogwarts" fic - and I'm not interested in trying. I can, however, let the author know why her fic, which she thinks is so interesting and cool and fresh, is not being received with adulation. If that's terrifying, then perhaps a bit of terror isn't a bad thing.

Different how? And what do you think I could do to make them get reviews? I'm one person, and so if I like a story, it'll get one review. If I really, really like it, or it catches my attention, I can make it a featured story, which I do because I consider that an obligation, or I can recommend it on my Livejournal, which I only rarely do because there I'm responsible only to myself. Even with that, though, there is no guarantee of reviews. Reviews are a grass roots thing, and if I knew the peculiar alchemy to make them happen, there wouldn't be fics on my author page with only two or three reviews. If anything, I think this essay could help, because it clues some people in on things they might do without knowing that it's been done before.

I'll agree that fan fiction is a framework for writes to express their own work and style, and that both Draco and Ginny's personalities in canon leave a lot of room open for interpretation. That still leaves a wide world open for creativity without turning Draco into yet another tortured soul with a hot body and a skintight muscle shirt, or Ginny into a spunky girl who has a navel ring and a posse of five best friends with names like "Brittany" and "Jessica" who are obviously the author and her friends. I really don't see how anything fresh could be contraindicated by anything I said, considering everything I pointed out as bad has been done to death.

We'll have to disagree on the HP universe being a tool and not a rulebook. If you're writing fan fiction, the point is to have it take place in what is recognizably the existing universe. If something differs significantly from that universe, then there needs to be a buildup and an explanation for it. Anything else is lazy and shoddy storytelling.

Fan fiction, as opposed to original fiction, is written with existing characters and settings, and that's the main difference. Why write fan fiction and then distort the characters and settings into something they're not? If you want to write about American teens with magic, why not use the framework of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Sabrina the Teenaged Witch? If you want to write within the HP universe about American wizards, why not make up your own, American, school? Well, for one thing, because very few people are interested in reading about OCs in a fanfic universe, and it won't get any reviews. Is that a reason to turn existing British characters into Americans? I really don't think so.

It's not my intent to scare away anyone, even the teenyboppers. It's my intent to lay out, clearly, what kind of things alienate readers like me. The way I see it, this is helpful, not because of frightening anyone, but because it lets them know, without having to be flamed by random reviewers who possess even less tact than I do, where they're going wrong. If they still want to go down that path, they can - but they'll do so with their eyes wide open, and they won't be taken by surprise when someone brings up the things I said.

Assuming, of course, they read this essay. I may own the archive, and I may have a degree of popularity as an author, but even within the D/G fandom, there's more than a few people who have never heard of me.

Lastly, there's the clique thing. Like I said, my knee-jerk reaction was denial, but then I thought about it. You're right, a lot of the biggest "names" in D/G, the authors who get fangirls wetting their pants, happen to be my friends. We chat on each other's Livejournals, we read each other's fics, and there's a lot of mutual admiration and lovefests going on. Looked at from the outside, it sure does look like an exclusive club, an impenetrable group... A clique.

The thing is, though, that a lot of why we got to know and like each other is because we like and respect each other's writing. I've been in the D/G fandom for two years. In that time, there've been a lot of people who send me email or IM me about my fic - this is mostly because I've written a fairly large amount of it, and partly because owning the archive makes me visible. There's several people who I've struck up friendships with because their email struck a chord; they liked my fic and sounded intelligent when they told me why. We talked, agreed on a lot of subjects, and became friends. Some of these I later (okay, not much later) bullied into writing, and the results have been downright spectacular in some cases (Exhibit A: ClanMalfoy). Some I met because I sent them email or an IM in which I expressed appreciation of their work, and with some there was just mutual admiration from the get go.

In other words, there's no real secret handshake to this writer's group, or if there is, I've given it out in this essay. There's a wide variety of moods and topics and themes and writing styles within the scope of who I call friends. "The Visitor" is nothing like "Portkey Party"; "Dark Directed" is nothing like "The Plan" - unless you consider that the authors paid attention to the craft of writing to be a similarity.

"It's just fanfiction", yeah. It's not like the fate of the world depends on how Draco is characterized. The fate of the story, however, does. If you (generic you, not you you) want to write about Draco talking like Eminem and listening to Nelly, and you find an audience, more power to you; I just have no interest in reading it. If that discourages someone from writing, that's too bad - but I'm not going to change my mind and want to read it, or think it's original, just because it hurt someone's feelings.

Name: MrsDanielRadcliffe reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 01:13 pm
There was one thing I wanted to add. I'm sure that the Cabal realizes this, but I'm not sure about some others. According to the dates the books were published and such, the Trio as well as Draco would have left Hogwart's in 1998, and Ginny would have left in 1999. As the Cabal said, please take that into account when writing. I graduated from high school in 1998, so I'm perfectly aware of what American slang was at the time as well as after. Most of us have no clue of British slang, but I can see that some of us try to do our best...while others do not try their best. I recomment for British slang if anyone cares. Also, for those of us who write Draco and Ginny post-Hogwart's, it must be taken into account the slang that has come and gone in both American and British culture. I had no idea how different the two (American and British) version of English were until I started reading up on British culture recently. Technically speaking, there is about a 10% difference between British and American English. Please keep this in mind.
Name: MrsDanielRadcliffe reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 01:06 pm
I also more or less agree with the points you made. When I started submitting here, I had no idea what a beta was. Now I use one religiously. She makes me writing quite a bit better. I have seen mounds of badly written fanfic. I've read fics that have made me want to gouge my eyes out. I have read fic with blaringly obvious grammatical/spelling errors on other sites as well as this one. If I can spot the error, it is pretty damn obvious. I don't understand how people miss them if they are editing their fics. I have time and time again gone back and reworked and edited my fics and there are STILL errors that could be fixed. For anyone to think their fic is perfect is ridiculous in every sense of the word. All the members of the Cabal can be bitches to the highest extent if they so choose. Can anyone guess why? Because this is their site and if you want your writing on their site, you have to deal with it. End of story. You don't like it, go elsewhere. If you'd like your fic compiled on a site where most of the writing is terribly written by a bunch of 13 year olds and isn't regulated for much besides sexual content, go to With all of that said, ladies, if you want to make rules about summaries or anything else for that matter, do it. You don't need permission from anyone. I'm sure it will only make the rest of us try harder to have our fics posted. I am really bad at summaries, but I do try to sum. I'm sure it could be improved at any rate. Have a nice day, everyone.
Name: INDYCICURN reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 01:05 pm
Ummm.....well you feel better now?... = ) That was quite the statement. I read it mainly to see what you had to say and read other's responses to it. I for one don't feel that I am quite creative as yet to write a fanfic but I truly enjoy reading them and find this site amazing. It has become the on place that I make sure I visit every day....even if that means that I don't have the time to check my email. The only comment I have on what you said is regarding using phrases that the character would not normally say. Your example was Hermonie saying "Merlin's Beard" Rather then "Holy Shit" For the most part what you said is correct; however, it is possible that she would pick up phrases was well. We all know that being around our friends for extended periods of time we pick up their habits at times especially with words. If for example an american lived in Britian for many years such as from her 11th year to adulthood she may have heard that phrase enough that she may too use it. Does that makes sense? Thus the reason I don't author a story though many float in my head, I am not great about getting the thoughts organized and out of my head onto the screen. I did enjoy that you vented in away to teach people and educate them on how to properly post as you were able to vent and perhaps save yourself some greif when authors attempt to post. Kristine
Name: Chucky reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 12:55 pm
I agree more or less with all the points you made. Another thing that annoys me is the tendency to call Draco "the Slytherin prince, sex god...whatever" or Ginny "the Gryffindor princess etc etc". I mean it seems like people use it in every second fic in the fandom (and not only in relation to Draco or Ginny). In my school no one was refered to by any such name...
Name: Wyvern159 reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 12:54 pm
Oh my goodness. THANK YOU!! I have referred to you as a goddess before and now I have proof! THIS is why I love this archive! There are standards. Wonderful concept, really. I hope twenty thousand people read this before they decide to start writing fanfics because, while we advocate the written word/expression, some people...need to be slapped or something. I did notice some things that I will have to keep tabs on in my own "brainchild," like British spelling (I curse being American...) and the behaiviors of some characters. I hope that many people learn from this and quickly correct the manner in which they write. Again, thank you. In addition, MY huge pet peeve are the fanfictions that are done in script format with no descriptions of anything other than Draco: blahblah and Ginny: blahblah. It's annoying and not fun to read at all. ~One of the links, Pottersues, did not come up for my computer, claiming an invalid URL. I don't know if it was really an invalid URL or if it's the fact I'm using IE. I just thought you should know.
Name: Skully reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 12:34 pm
Wow, rant away! Good idea to get some of those feelings out. Thank you for letting us know how you really feel. I, personally, want to try harder now that I know what Cabal really thinks.
Name: Maureen reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 12:31 pm
HA! Wow Mynuet! You hit the nail on the head. You had me giggling throughout this whole essay because well its all true! Thanks for bringing this all to light and also keep writing your amazing fanfics. You're one of the only few good authors out there.
Name: Embellished reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 12:16 pm
Thank you very much for writing this piece. I am also irritated by everything you mentioned, to a greater or lesser degree. The way I see things, avoiding these issues is a matter of respect--respect an author has for him or herself, for his or her readers, and ultimately for JKR herself.

I consider writing to be means of self expression. What would I be saying about myself if I didn't look for errors in my writing before I post it for the world to see? We all make mistakes, but I make every effort to correct mine before I post. If I didn't, I would be presenting myself as less than I am. But it also shows respect for the people who bother to read what I write. I assume that my readers are intelligent and do my best to give them as polished a finished product as I can. As a reader, it is hard for me to take seriously an author who doesn't do the same thing.

As to canon-related errors and plots that diverge radically from canon, I would go a step farther than you and say that they border on disrespecting JKR. She has spent years creating the wonderful world in which her stories take place. This is a large part of what drew me to the books to begin with. When I read (and write) fanfiction, I do so to be able to spend more time in that world. If an author doesn't take the time to check the details or writes something completely different without any sort of context tying the story to the books, it seems a little like an affront against Rowling's work and world. (I sometimes read these stories anyway, but it is usually good writing that draws me in.)

This has turned into much more of a rant than I had originally intended, so I think I will stop. Thank you again for putting into words all of these irritations. You are definitely not alone. I suggest that you link to this essay from the page with the site rules. They might act as guidelines for some authors, at least. (But if you already have trouble with people following the actual rules, that might be too much to hope for!)
Name: Blondhuter reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 12:04 pm
WOW, I really don't know what to say. I agree with just about everything that was said in this essay. I was about to submit the story that I am working on when I read this essay first. I am now going back through the chapters I have written in my story and am looking for the faults you have mentioned. I don't think I have any, but you can never be too careful. I tell you what, this essay made a believer out of me. I want to be more careful, because if not I am seriously scared of what you might do. I respect your work, so in return I value your creative respect for what I might write, and you clearly do not respect authors who are sloppy. Your semi-harsh statements in this essay are needed for any potential writer. That is how a good writer can become better. I will tell you that your points were driven home well; I am more scared of being rejected by this site than I was writing the many papers I had to turn in for Graduate school. You made you point very articulately. Great job!

Author's Response: *^^* We don't actually reject for most of these, actually. The rule is that we don't screen for content, just for adhering to the rules as stated when you go to submit a chapter. Up until recently *cough*justbeforeIpostedthis*cough* I had a fic titled "The One Where Draco Owns Ginny's Quidditch Team", and I've used the term "Weaselette", so I'm not wholly immune from what I've said, either. I didn't intend to sound draconian, but my diplomatic skills aren't very high, so I tend to state things very plainly. I still think it was worth saying, but hopefully no one feels like I was being mean to them specifically.
Name: ephyre reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 12:04 pm
One time, I was bored out of my mind and read an H/G fic (blasphemy, I know) and Ginny was wonderfully in character for most of the fic, when suddenly in the end, she was obsessed with her clothes and his clothes as they were going to the Yule Ball. (Or something.) I commented on this review, because the description was really ridiculous, and the writer was all, "Oh, it emphasises her maturity and blah blah blah." It was the weirdest thing ever. And I agree with everything you said.
Name: stormcloud reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 11:36 am
Hip hip hurray! One only has to look at to see where the anything goes strategy leads: poor lazy writing and wasted time in a desperate search for a story that does not require a complete suspension of most one's brain activity and patience...
Name: Bellasol67 reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 11:31 am
This was desperately needed! Grammar and spelling mistakes drive me BAZOOKA!For the love of everything that is holy take the time to check your work! I could go on and on, but you already said everything there was to say. Thankyou and you should consider posting this where everyone has to read it.
Name: Anonymous reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 11:26 am
Name: Johanna reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 08:52 am
Thanks for putting in the part about trivializing serious issues, like rape and depression. I think this is a serious issue in a lot of Draco/Ginny fanfic, and there have been many instances where I have been not only annoyed by it but seriously offended. On the other hand, the parts on Americanizing, (while certainly true and in extremes highly obnoxious), worry me a bit. A problem in many American schools today is that they have been taking out grammar in the curriculum. Therefore, while I agree that obvious errors such as "their" instead of "there" aren't acceptable, some errors are unavoidable. For example, the word "hung" (as the past tense of "hang") is so commonly used around here, in writing as well as conversing, that when asked people will actually argue its credibility over hanged. I myself had no idea until reading this essay that it was incorrect. While Americans writing fanfic should definately work twice as hard as the British to make sure their grammar is correct (since we are writing from a different culture's perspective), we will inevitably make a few mistakes in even most well edited piece.
Name: nucking_futs reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 08:01 am
I agree with everything that you've said in this essay. To add, if you feel the need to threaten for reviews/add fan service, you've proven to me that I shouldn't even look at your fic. A good author with a worthwile fic may have 1-2 lines acknowledgements or an author's note at the end of a page of acknowledgements/fanservice at a beginning of a fic. Thats wasting a reader's time even if the fic is any good. Second thing; Makeover fics are not cool. It is posssible to bring Draco and Ginny together without giving Ginny a makeover that makes her into the TEH HAWTTEST GIRL EVAR!!11! Makeover fics tend to make Ginny into another Mary Sue. Stop the Madness.

Author's Response: *whistles innocently while hiding "The Plan", a makeover fic*
Name: Lirie Halliwell reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 07:46 am
Gods, how painfully correct was each and every point! The point about Rapefics hit so close to home, I almost recoiled. Stories that use such sensitive issues and trash them with complete lack of attention of the needed seriousness, make me physically sick to my stomach. And the whole teenybopper-ish description of clothes and the general Mary Sueing? *fumes* Well, I believe you've already mentioned thick tomes and breakable skulls in your essay. All in all, I enjoyed this and hopelessly hoping that it would prevent some idiot from picking up a pen and tarnishing the written word and the Harry Potter Universe. =D

*Ignores the fact that her own stories might as well have been those to inspire this little piece* Heh...

Name: stellar reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 07:24 am
hahahaha this actually made me laugh not because it's silly, but because it's so right! :D a moment ago i was just talking to my sister about some of the things we like/hate the most about fanfics and what we look at in choosing a fic to read. She looks at the number of reviews and i look at titles and summaries. which is why, when you mentioned the part about titles and summaries, i had a nice loud laugh that made me feel quite crazy here. haha it's about time someone wrote about it. :D mynuet, you spoke for many i'm sure. you did it for me. hehe it made me conscious about my grammar and everyhing as well. haha i don't want to be a hypocrite. ;p i can't really note special parts in the rant or essay that struck me because it felt like it was everything. except for the part that i have to screen them that is. i only live to check up on sites like this for updates and read them. ;p the only thing that came to my mind that the people who are gonna be hit by this can say is that, writing fics however they want them to go, would be practising (or was that practicing? wah! paranoia!) artistic license. i mean, they can write whatever they want to. it's their right if they want their story to go that way or if they want to write it like that or if they simply want to write and share though they are very much lacking in skills. and people can choose not to read it. but yeah, for someone who has to screen them, it's agony, so i understand the rant. :D it's just that some people might see this as very imposing and limiting people's creativity...and such. i have not a better word or phrasing...but anyway. what you said, is how i want to read fics too so *I* for one, don't mind and i completely agree. :D hah. that was long. well, im in the mood to type. so...hehe have a nice day :D
Name: wcoast_girl reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 07:24 am
OMG - you suck! *kidding* But I have always wanted to write that. I think you've inspired another song parody but for now.... HALLELUJAH!!! Please post this under the Featured Stories link. It needs to be there for a long, long time for everyone to see. I'm glad you hit on one of my pet peeves - the 3 paragraph long description of what everyone is wearing and how totally cute and in-fashion it is. Ugh! If I may add one complaint to the list: Naming characters with very non-British names. I may not be British but even I know that there are probably not a lot of Tiffany, Amber, Steffany girls in England in the 90s. Please, please stop using these inane names. But thanks for this Mynuet - this is the reason we LOVE your site. I would say 80% of what is posted here is good, compared to the 10% at ffnet.

Author's Response: I would post it as a feature, but I've promised myself never to feature one of my own stories, ever. Too much danger of self-aggrandizement, you know? I totally agree about the name thing, though.
Name: Rainpuddle reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 07:20 am
Preach it on sister girl! You hit the nail on the head with each point. I know you are more than well aware of my pet peeves because I've bitterly complained about them enough! Thank much. I think should be required reading (with quiz afterwards) for all uploaders.
Name: amor_quies reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 06:54 am
Thank you, thank you, thank you for compiling a set of irritations. And here I was thinking that I was the only one becoming annoyed with the pathetic use of "Mal-ferret" and the wearing of baggy pants, chains, "goth" music, and dark make-up in the wizarding world. If people had any inkling of sense and had read the actual Harry Potter series they would have noticed that nothing of the sort is mentioned. And besides, those who attend Hogwarts enter at the age of 11, so I highly doubt that they would have had time to develop their own style, particularly that of the mentioned clothing; therefore, the excuse of many being Muggle-born is not entirely valid. And I absolutely loathe when authors describe Draco as wearing a muscle tee. It's so...well, I don't know what it is but it just makes me disgusted. He's a pureblood wizard and judging from what JKR has lead us to believe, I doubt a wizard of high society would be wearing something like that. And please, enough with the describing of Ginny as wearing "short shorts" and a "cute tee-shirt." It makes me want to rip up my own shorts and throw them down the garbage disposal. O, and it seems that not many authors know the difference between "then" and "than." That in itself is a whole other pet peeve that fits in the grammar section.
Name: corvidae reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 06:49 am
fearthainn i REALLY agree with you on the stupid weaslettes. once or twice sure fine why not, but ALL THE FUCKING TIME? in every fic? whenever draco needs to address ginny? for that matter can i just say that trying to come up with a "clever" name for ginny each time is just hideously annoying. WEASLEY is whats used in the book and it works. if its good enough fro J.K. it should be good enough for you.
Name: Myanceris reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 06:00 am
Hee hee, I'm going to be one of the 'Yeah, and another thing' reviewers... LOL

I am tempted to scream 'Wooo Hooo' from the rooftops over this little essay. Nicely written Mynuet. Although I would like to take this opportunity to add a couple more points re: Americanisation of Hogwarts:

1. We in England DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT Slap/hit people 'Upside the head'. This phraseology makes me want to gouge my eyes out and vomit and I immediately stop reading whatever fic I happen to see this in, even if it is amazing and brilliantly written. Eurgh, I just hate it and I know many other Brits that feel the same. 2. Mynuet is right, 'Drugged' is what you are after you've consumed hefty amounts of chemicals that may/may not be legal! LOL 3. I would also like to make a point about American spellings too but I know that technically that isn't an issue (although having MY stories changed to the American spellings of words like 'Colour' and 'Favourite' REALLY upset me...).

I'm also going to make a point about Alternate Universe fics - Specifically the ones in which Ginny was sorted into Slytherin, turns against her family because they are evil Gryffindors and takes the Dark Mark. This is all well and good but surely the point of fanfic is to write within the boundaries set by the Original Fiction? Changing details to fit your plot then calling it an AU fic is a cop-out. I read a very good AU fic once where another of Riddle's artifacts made it into Ginny's hands and her vulnerability to him led to her activating some sort of parallel dimension gateway of sorts, something going wrong, big explosion, Ginny blacks out and wakes up in said Alternate Universe with Draco looking down at her and telling her that he'll help her clear up the mess so she doesn't lose their house any points. It was intelligently written but I think the archive that I read it on has moved and god knows where it is now otherwise I'd link.

But I digress. The point I am trying to make (whilst veering off at a tangent as usual) is that if you are going to write an AU fic, surely you have to explain in your fic how the 'Normal' world about which we are all writing fanfic, suddenly becomes Alternate? You can't just start writing a fic with 'Ginny was so looking forward to returning to Hogwarts this year, she'd made so many friends in Slytherin.' I mean WHAT THE F**K??? Canon states that Ginny is in GRYFFINDOR!!! *head-desk*

Oh and I have my own pet peeve re: Religion in fanfic: I received a review over at HPFF for my story 'Exquisite Irony' forthe chapter in which there is a Naming ceremony. Note the use of the phrase 'Naming Ceremony'. My reviewer clearly hadn't read the chapter and was obviously making some sort of half-baked religious protest because she said, and I quote:

"um, how can voldemort go to a christening?? isn't he, like, evil? i highly doubt that voldemort is a christian..........."

Firstly, Voldemort didn't go to the Naming Ceremony, he turned up at the party afterwards. Secondly, I have made no reference to Christianity in my story other than the celebration of Christmas (which is canon-sanctioned). Which brings me on to my point re: Religion. There seems to be some sort of colliding juxtaposition of religious iconology in HP in that we see a lot of references to Paganism, Merlin etc etc, whereas the main holidays celebrated are Christian. However, we NEVER see any characters actually practising the Christian faith. They celebrate Christmas but they don't go to church. I'm a SEVERELY lapsed Catholic but even I go to church for midnight mass. Having said that, neither do they actively celebrate Pagan feasts either with the Equinoxes and Solstices going unmarked. Which leads me to conclude that JKR is keeping HP as non-religious as possible (but keeping in the 'traditional' holidays so as to not confuse children or offend christians). Ergo, stories in which characters display an overt and predominant religious disposition are not in-keeping with Canon. Bascially authors are using the fanfic medium to plug their own religions and beat us all over the head with them and THAT is my pet peeve.

I think I should stop now before this 'review' begins to rival the article! LOL.

Author's Response: *snerk* If this reviewer thinks you can't be evil and go to a christening, she sure doesn't know much about the history of the christian church.
Name: dragonsangel68 reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 05:44 am
Brilliant job! I'd like to second the notion that if you can't be bothered to name your fic or write a decent summary for it then it won't be read. Nothing is more annoying than silly words like that taking up space on the screen! I really do hope that this is added to the submission rules soon. Really those who can't be bothered (and that is often all it is) to name their fic, don't deserve to be able to post it on such a fine archive. Also blackmailing for reviews doesn't get reviews at all, I for one will not review when I see a blackmail plea for reviews, nor will I read any further, no matter how good the fic. Well done!!
Name: Sing reviewed Irritations on May 30, 2005 05:42 am
I would also add a column of 'things to do' instead of just things to noteverevernowayinhell do. It sort of balances everything out. :P But I do 'luv' your ranting. I can see you with your hair crackling and tapping at the keyboard like a rabid weasel whilst thinking this out. hehehe.
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