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Planning & Writing -- with pairings or not?

Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by Sesc, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Miner

    Miner High Inquisitor

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    If you're not forcing them to be together, then how will they get together, given the challenges I outlined above?
     
  2. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    Write situations where their canon traits might bring them together and create attraction.
     
  3. Miner

    Miner High Inquisitor

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    In which case is that not contriving situations to force them together? If you're specifically writing scenes that would allow them to be together, then to me that's the writer forcing the plot to go in such a way that Harry and Fleur are the pairing.
     
  4. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    Only limited by your skills as a writer.

    No, let me expand on this. You're telling a story, of course, you want to it go in a certain way. However, it is possible to write it without it looking forced. In the subject of Fleur: we know she cared enough about Harry to stand in as one of the Eight Potters, risking her life. Thus it would not be out of character for her to help him in some other way. I don't even need to change something related to them for that to happen, just something that would domino the plot into that direction. There the opportunity for bringing them together appears, and I didn't change them in any way.

    Characters like Daphne Greengrass have more leeway. We know Daphne is a Slytherin, so she must be cunning to some degree, and she must be at the very least partial to Gryffindors. Let's use Daphne as an example.

    In fourth year Dumbledore decides Harry needs someone to help him in the tournament. Despite knowing Slytherin in general hates Harry he chooses Daphne Greengrass for the task. She agrees. Forced.

    In second year Daphne finds Harry and Ron running out of the Slytherin common room and uses that as a way to have Harry under her thumb. Not out the little we know of her character. Not Forced.

    And for Fleur:

    Fleur decides to abandon everything to help Harry in the Horcrux hunt. Forced.

    The Horcrux hunt happens in sixth year, and Harry employees Fleur's help to sneak into Gringotts. Not Forced.

    See, there's a difference, based solely on how I chose to write it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  5. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    I addressed it earlier in this thread.

     
  6. Miner

    Miner High Inquisitor

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    Considering I find this forced, I'm afraid there's no agreeing on this one.
     
  7. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    Why wouldn't she agree to help him? Changing the Horcrux hunt to the sixth year has nothing to do with Fleur, and it might be completely related to the plot of the fic. I think you may simply have a distaste for canon changes.
     
  8. BTT

    BTT Death Eater

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    Why would he ask her? It's definitely forced.
     
  9. Miner

    Miner High Inquisitor

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    Its not that Fleur would refuse to help.

    Its that Harry would never ask her in the first place. Not when Bill is far more knowledgeable of Gringotts. If Harry is still the self-sacrificing hero we know him to be, he's always going to pick the person who'll give them the best chance of success, irregardless of personal feelings (if Harry is even attracted to Fleur at this point beyond superficial attraction). That will always be Bill, so they would never have a chance to develop any sort of relationship.

    Having Harry ask Fleur for help doesn't make sense in the context of what we know in Harry as a character, therefore the scenario you lay out is forced if it happens.
    --- Post automerged ---
    That ninja though.
     
  10. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    In front of the option of imperiusing a globin? He would ask someone. Okay, there's Bill, so this example doesn't hold if Bills around, and in this case, he should be so as to not feel forced. Doesn't mean that can't be other situations he might employ her help. All depends on the writer. My point is, if it makes sense for the characters it's not forced.
     
  11. Miner

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    Fleur's not gonna be able to lead them into Gringotts if Voldemort is in control of the Ministry. What's your point?

    And if not Bill, I suspect Dumbledore would also be a better option than Fleur.
     
  12. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    Are you ignoring what I'm saying? Cherry-picking? Are you meaning to say the story should always stay in the rails of canon in which there's no chance for them to interact? My point again: their characters don't make it impossible for them to interact, so there should be a situation where they can do it.
     
  13. Miner

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    You're trying to sell me a situation in which you think would provide a plausible, reasonable, and effective situation for Harry and Fleur to be together.

    And I'm telling you your situation doesn't work. Just like I point to pretty much every other story with Harry/Fleur and say this doesn't work.

    It doesn't mean I can't enjoy the story, but I'm still saying that it's a forced premise at best.
     
  14. BTT

    BTT Death Eater

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    "I will artificially manipulate this situation and make absent a character who could easily be present and the plot would make far more sense with. This is done with the aim of not forcing anything to happen."
     
  15. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    This situation didn't work yeah, but I'm telling you there should be one. You're acting as if it's set in stone Fleur and Harry will always act one way no matter what. Might as well just stick with canon.

    That's not what I said at all. I conceded Bill, in this case, doesn't allow that situation to happen. But why shouldn't it be possible that Bill is absent in the condition it makes sense in the story? If you're not changing anything you might as well be rewriting canon word-by-word.
     
  16. BTT

    BTT Death Eater

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    Because you're making him absent on purpose. Hence "forced". Honestly, I think you're overreacting hugely to the idea of forcing something to happen. Forcing can just as easily lead to a better story as it can lead to one that is worse off.

    You're already changing things by having the horcrux hunt happen in sixth year, so that's a stupid point to keep throwing out.
     
  17. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    The idea of forced here Miner imposed is that such interactions are completely impossible. Of course, the author is always forcing situations to happen, and I'm only saying if it makes sense for the characters to act in them, then it's not forced in the way he believes.

    For example, I don't think Dumbledore would tell the canon Daphne to help Harry in the tournament. That's the kind of forced Miner is talking about. On the other hand, I'm forcing Daphne to meet Harry outside the Slytherin common room, but it makes sense for her to want something out of not snitching on him, so it's not forced in that bad way.
     
  18. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    You're arguing semantics. In the broadest sense, every story ever that even had the slightest plan beforehand is "forced". In the most narrow sense, no story is. You could swap "forced" for "contrived" and have the same argument. In-between is a happy medium where "forced" is okay as long as it's not too forced and sufficiently hidden in in-universe logic.

    The only practically relevant argument in here was Taure's:
    Because that is how most people write stories. I'm on the extreme end of planning and not representative.

    But note that even here, "adapt" is open to everything -- you can either throw out the old pairing, or bin and rewrite the plot parts that went off the rails. It entirely depends on where your focus is.


    As a side note, as the dialogue issue is true even for me, I have, precisely for that reason, nearly always short exchanges, scenes of bare-bones dialogue between the characters I want to have any kind of relationship (romantic or otherwise), already written, way ahead of the rest of the story. Because really, if this argument holds, then not just for "pairings", you might as well say the same about friendships, antagonists etc.

    I didn't think about it like this before, but now I'm pretty happy to by and large declare interactions as the starting points for my stories -- and recommend that approach. For example, I'm pretty sure Daphne's final monologue and Harry's reaction in Unatoned, in the very last chapter, was one of the first things I ever wrote, way before I even had all the plot nailed down. It reveals her character, and also Harry's, and is the direct consequence of what I wanted to write: That kind of character, and that kind of story. The rest is all about how it got there.

    So, yes. Characters are indeed defined through interactions, which means interactions take a central role if you want to build a story around characters -- but that isn't a necessarily problem, I don't think.
     
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