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Pet Peeves v.11

Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by Dark Syaoran, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

    Aug 6, 2014
    Adelaide, Australia
    I was writing a Pokemon fic many years ago and I remember getting an angry review for my story because I had a line in in where the MC passed up a Pokemon. I had basically the same thought as you about how perhaps "Gotta catch 'em all!" isn't actually appropriate and a reasonable character would focus on a small core team of perhaps no more than dozen. Well, this guy seemed really annoyed I was missing the "point" of the matter.
  2. Mickey

    Mickey Squib

    Mar 30, 2018
    Ice Queen god I am so sick and tired of this shit. It's making me hate Harry/Daphne.
  3. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

    Aug 6, 2014
    Adelaide, Australia
    Some authors in crossovers feeling the need to have some character from a more serious universe over analyse the design of something from a more stylised or less serious universe.

    The thing that just set me off has Sam Carter from Stargate end up in Nier Automata. The Author, instead of accepting the design of the Machines was a stylistic choice, has decided to have Sam criticise them for being bad designs. It adds nothing to the plot and is jarring to the reader.
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

    Mar 5, 2006
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    I'm not sure that I have ever posted my full list of peeves to DLP. So here they are:


    • Technology being depicted as able to overcome/get around magic.

    • White-washing of Muggle society and exaggeration of the flaws of wizarding society in order to depict Muggle society as significantly more enlightened than wizarding society. The whole point of wizarding prejudices and governmental corruption is to act as a magical analogy of problems that exist in the Muggle world.

    • Wizards displaying significant interest in Muggle culture or technology.

    • Depiction of the wizarding world as stuck in the past, or having Victorian or feudal values. Wizarding society is its own unique thing, not Muggle society 100 years ago. In many respects it is more liberal than Muggle society. In some respects it is more conservative.

    • Related to the above: marriage contracts.

    • Depiction of wizarding society as lacking innovation/static.

    • Ancient magic that is depicted as more powerful or advanced than modern magic.

    • A wizarding world with a functional nobility. A defunct nobility is acceptable.

    • Backwater Britain (with respect to other magical nations).

    • Backwater wizards (with respect to other magical species).

    • A magical population that is too large. I feel like 30,000 wizards in Britain is the absolute maximum, but really it should be around 10,000 - 15,000. Populations that are too large make the canon world and events increasingly implausible and change the tone of the society.

    • A magical economy that is too large or sophisticated. Magical Britain is about the size of a small town, and magic changes the nature of economic activity (most goods are luxury goods rather than necessities, for example). There shouldn’t be billionaires, a stock market, or really any kind of sophisticated financial services.

    • The idea that “Dark Lord” is a commonly used title, or even a magically real title, as opposed to a made-up title that originated with Voldemort.

    • Casual use of the Unbreakable Vow.

    • Casual use of Veritaserum.

    • Making rare and obscure magic relatively common knowledge, in particular occlumency and horcruxes.

    • Related to the above, turning rare magical objects into “off the shelf” purchases that verge on mass-produced (e.g. Moody’s trunk).

    • Depiction of Aurors as magical police who have general enforcement duties, as opposed to specifically elite Dark wizard hunters (and occasionally VIP bodyguards).

    • Depiction of Aurors as having a command structure, procedures etc which are reminiscent of Muggle police or military.

    • Goblins who perform a great many functions which would more correctly lie with the government, law firms, and accountants.

    • Hogwarts teachers giving their students far too much leeway. In particular, having the teachers permit a teenage authorial avatar to continually undermine their authority.

    • The idea that anti-Muggleborn discrimination happens in the open and is institutionalised, as opposed to it being an analogue of racism in the Muggle world: definitely present, but in a insidious way, with institutions being officially opposed to it.


    • Any kind of magical exhaustion, including “concentration exhaustion”. Physical exhaustion and general tiredness are acceptable.

    • Magic as energy, or as working within the same system of laws as physics (rather than overriding/breaking physical law).

    • Non-permanent transfiguration.

    • Depiction of wandless magic as equally versatile and powerful as wanded magic, capable of casting all the same spells as you can with a wand.

    • Magic which is presented as simple to understand and learn. In particular: wish magic, where all you need is intent and willpower, and dictionary magic, where all you need to do is look up the incantation and wand movements and practice them.

    • Related to dictionary magic: discrete magic, where each spell is an entirely separate entity rather than an expression of more general magical skills. The most common example of this is having many different Shield Charms rather than shielding being a single magical skill which can be expressed in different variations.

    • The idea that a wizard could cast powerful/advanced magic without having studied it in some form, whether that means reading up on it or experimenting with it themselves. Corollary: the idea that a wizard could have studied a piece of magic extensively but not cast it well. The most common and egregious example: Hermione who is an expert in magical theory but not so strong at actually casting magic, as opposed to a Harry who is great at casting powerful and advanced magic but doesn’t really understand what he’s doing.

    • Duels lasting a long time, with multiple injuries being incurred, rather than ending very quickly the moment one fighter gains a slight advantage over the other.

    • Dodging being presented as a valid, or even superior, combat tactic.

    • A Veela’s mere presence exerting a magical befuddling effect (an “aura” or “allure”) which they can turn on and off at will (as opposed to Veela having a befuddling effect that is connected to their voice and movements, in addition to general extreme attractiveness).

    • Muggles/squibs being able to make potions.

    • Destroying/manipulating horcruxes without destroying the physical container.


    • Characterisation of Harry which ignores his resilience and turns him into a crybaby, a nervous wreck, prone to emotional breakdowns, or infantilizes him.

    • Characterisation of Harry that ignores the strengths and talents of his canon self.

    • Harry who rants and shouts at adults as a habit, and generally comports himself like a 7-year-old having a tantrum.

    • Harry who tells his life story, including extremely private matters, to everyone he meets.

    • Harry who constantly dispenses “wisdom” to his peers, such as telling Hermione not to believe everything she sees in a book the first time he meets her. It’s transparent use of Harry as authorial avatar.

    • Harry who ditches Ron and Hermione as friends.

    • Overstating the level of the Dursleys’ abuse.

    • Harry whose wealth is overstated. He should be comfortably well off, but any galleon count that goes into the millions should be avoided.

    • Making Harry short. As an adult he should be 175 cm (5’9) at the minimum.

    • “Potter Manor”.

    • “Potter-Black” and its infinite variations.

    • “Harry likes flying, not Quidditch.”

    Other characters

    • Any kind of bashing, especially of Dumbledore. Bashing turns characters into shallow cardboard cut-out villains who exist solely for Harry to knock down easily and thus look powerful/important/clever for doing so. But because the villain has been hollowed out, his defeat of them carries no glory. He’s playing on easy mode.

    • In particular, stupid/comic/jealous relief Ron, evil or incompetent Dumbledore, scheming Ginny, smothering Molly, “harpy” Hermione.

    • Making Harry the only character who is capable of learning. Another common feature of bashing is rehashing the same conflict over and over, where a villain doesn’t learn anything from the previous conflict and continues to make plans using their old, now disproven assumptions.

    • Genius Hermione. She’s undoubtedly clever, hard working, and has a very good memory. All laudable qualities. But she’s no Dumbledore, or even a Snape.

    • A Hermione who identifies more as a Muggle than a witch.

    • A Fleur whose identity revolves around her Veela heritage as opposed to being a talented witch who just so happens to be extremely beautiful.

    • Any characterisation of Voldemort which makes his worldview reasonable or removes his psychopathy.

    • Characterisation of Voldemort which presents him as having lost mental faculties relative to his teenage self.

    • Characterisation of Snape that makes him too noble, or affable once you gain his respect.

    • Characterisation of Snape that makes him a one dimensional evil villain.

    • A Grindelwald who is made a 1-to-1 analogy of Hitler, or has functional connections to Hitler.


    • Lack of plot structure.

    • Any change made to the HP world which does not have corresponding changes to character motivations and actions. For example, in canon Voldemort could not penetrate Privet Drive during the summer. If your fanon makes it so that him taking Harry’s blood does allow him to penetrate Privet Drive, you should also change character behaviours to match - Dumbledore would know this, and act accordingly. When an author changes the world but keeps Dumbledore’s actions the same, and then criticises him in the story for those unsuitable actions, what the author is really doing is having the characters criticise their own poor writing.

    • Fics that have Harry pick up a book in year five only to discover the “real nature of magic”. He’s been at magic school for several years and has been getting pretty good grades. He already knows the real nature of magic. Authors always underestimate the extent of Harry’s knowledge. Just because we’re not shown it doesn’t mean he’s not learning it.

    • Taking an absence of an explicit explanation in canon and assuming a plot hole that can be exploited, rather than something that the reader just doesn't know. E.g. Magically binding agreements exist in canon but they are not used extensively to guarantee loyalty and honesty across society. Since the limitations on oaths/contracts are not explicitly explained, the author assumes that there are no limitations and wizards are just too stupid to have seen the exploit.

    • Romantic partners who do not have their own lives, with their own circle of friends, their own dreams and ambitions which may clash with their partner’s plans, their own opinions and beliefs which differ in some areas from those of their partner.

    • Naive sex god eunuch Harry. That is, having female characters be attracted to Harry precisely because he’s so insecure and freaks out at anything sexual. “You behave completely asexually, which is exactly why I want to have sex with you!” said no woman ever.

    • Fics where Voldemort just sits around making pointless terrorist attacks but never actually does anything to try to take control of the wizarding world until a “final battle” with no strategic purpose.

    • Inconsistency in the abilities that characters possess, especially their level of duelling ability or the use of any special talents. This inconsistency is more often than not used to force the plot in a direction which it would not naturally go, given those abilities.

    • Rehash of the canon plotlines with no significant changes. Especially where the divergent elements of the fic mean that events should logically diverge, yet the fic finds ways to force the original canon storyline.

    • Depiction of magical warfare that ignores the high mobility and stealth capabilities of wizards, as well as the relative lack of need for natural resources or land. We should be seeing skirmishes for strategic objectives, not significant pitched battles.

    • As above, time travel/dimension travel stories where the travelling character very quickly ends up telling their life story to people they barely know.

    • Time-travel/dimension-travel stories in which there is more than one travelling character, or the character(s) are able to move back and forth between times/dimensions.

    • Letters to Harry from his dead parents.

    • Discovering the Potter will.

    • “Pranks”

    • Goblin ex machina.


    • Spelling mistakes and typos.

    • Grammatical errors.

    • Run-on sentences.

    • Purple prose.

    • Self-insert.

    • Walls of text.

    • Incorrect dialogue formatting.

    • Author notes in the middle of the text.

    • Breaking the 4th wall.

    • Preachy authorial mouthpiece characters.

    • Juvenile humour.

    • “Pup”
  5. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

    Aug 6, 2014
    Adelaide, Australia
    I understand almost your entire list except for that one.
  6. Moukaboy

    Moukaboy Fifth Year

    Nov 30, 2016
    High Score:
    Ditches as in he was their friend and broke it off, or he was never their friend?
    Because the latter is very understandble and even expected if it's even a slightly different Harry.

    I think they'd have some procedures in place
    Please do explain , I think it would make sense for them to have some procedures, they are the elite after all and they have to deal with some scary shit.