Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by Ched, Aug 3, 2013.
Wtf are you on about people. Taking Umbridge is one of the best titles in the fandom.
When I first saw the title I thought it will be some Harry x Umbridge fic, and checked to see what kind of madman would create something like that. So I would say it is attention grabbing.
It's a great title, better than the other two alternatives, certainly.
I reckon I was initially put off more because it had Umbridge in the title, but at the same time, I imagine Umbridge getting dragged by the genitals through the Forbidden Forest.
So, I've been think a little about possible name changes. Honestly, I have no idea what I like or don't like anymore (except for one, below that probably wouldn't work for reasons of ignorance). So, here's a few I've thought about. Some are pretty much no-gos, but I included them just to help me come up with others.
Any of these jump out an you all?
Names playing with the theme of Fleur's destroyed childhood (or paired with Fleur as part of a war in Britain):
A Beauty from the Ashes
A Flower among the Ashes
The Enemies Within and the Enemies Opposed
Names playing with the theme of Fleur's desire to face her father's killers:
Be careful what you wish for
To Face the Demons
Raise the Wand; Strike the Mask
Faining Retribution (I actually like this one, but most people would probably take one look and say, "he spelled it wrong!" So, that's probably out).
Names playing on the theme of reconciliation with her mother and stepfather and her eventual relationship with Harry:
Blinded by Sight
To See Without Seeing
Harbored Hate; Unexpected Love
Names playing on the theme of Fleur's role at Hogwarts protecting Harry, Hermione, and Ron; and countering Umbridge:
To Stand Opposed
The Flower of the Phoenix
The Sentinel's Charges
TBH none of those titles stand out to me as distinct. Despite having never read the story and seeing it like 3 times ever, to this day I know a story called Taking Umbridge exists. All those other titles simply don't compare.
This is a good point.
Of your new names I liked "Yesterday's Nightmare" the best. But as Halt said it's a generic name whereas yours is memorable, be that good or bad.
You've been using your title since 2012? Changing it at this point might cause confusion?
Two reasons for thinking about changing the title. The first is the thought that it might turn people off the story. Second, there's another fic out there with the same name.
It has been posted since 2012, but only chapter 1. chapters 2-10 have only been posted in the last couple of months.
For another data point, I don't like any of these. Despite having reservations about "taking umbridge", all of the new ones sound either entirely too melodramatic or like another Hermionefest written by starfox5.
I would offer suggestions, but I have just few vague memories about the fic.
I'm plotting out the prelims of a generic timetraveling Tonks story that's probably never going to get written. Premise is that she somehow lives through the Battle of Hogwarts, but their side loses, Harry dies, Voldemort wins, etc. She lurks around for a bit, trying to figure out if theres anything she can do, but there isn't. So, she devises an arbitrary method of resetting everything. With the timetravel method I have in my mind, she'll have some control over how far back in time she'll go.
So, I've got two options. Post year 4, and post year 5. because Reasons
Now, post year 5 is the traditional indy!Harry start point, and Tonks often features in them. All the reasons that make that the good starting point still apply here.
Except, the issue is that if Tonks can go back farther, why would she not go back to a point where Sirius is still alive? Post 4th year seems like the next possible moment, since actually stopping the resurrection ritual would only prolong the innevitable and mess up her future-knowledge of the situation. The issue is that Voldemort isn't out in the open, Harry is younger, everything with Umbridge, ect. Probably makes for a better story, but the plot is less mature I guess? Or perhaps I'm over thinking it and it is actually the best point of arrival, since Cedric's death can play a similar role.
What makes this particularly interesting is that Tonks never knew a lot of the key pieces of information, though she'd know Harry was important. The opening could easily be her thinking through this one-time-time-door process.
So, from a Nymmy perspective: she wouldn't want to mess with saving the Potters, so it has to be after 1981. She would want to save Sirius earlier if possible. Assuming she'd heard (probably from Ginny) about Harry's defeat of the Basilisk and how absolutely insanely lucky that turned out, the best time for her to get involved would be around Harry's third year.
Since it's a desperation move, the method doesn't have to be precise. Also, she'll have to accept that she can't bring any toys back with her. It may even be the case that she'd be inserted into her own mind, which wouldn't be a horrible thing since she can look as old as needed and relate to others from her current level of maturity (as variable as that may be, at times).
wordhammer brought up a good point in that Tonks didn't know key pieces of information. That being said, if she were to go back, I would surmise she'd want as much time to learn as possible.
On the other hand, if she went back too soon, she'd be stuck at Hogwarts, or in Auror training. So, I would say she'd go back to the day after she graduated from Auror training, which would put her at the end of canon book 3. That could be a fascinating entrance as her first act might be finding Sirius to learn what should could from him.
That, to me, feels like a natural entry point.
One of the key pieces she doesn't know is all the stuff about Snape. As far as she knows, Snape murdered Dumbledore in cold blood. That could open up some weird possibilities, like if she goes to the past, she might act based on false information.
I am leaning towards post-4th emergence. But justifying one time over another is not an easy thing to do, and the logic in doing so might not actually be strong enough. I guess it really does come back to the available knowledge she has. Like, why not go back before Voldemort is resurrected? why not go way back, before Sirius is falsely imprisoned? Ultimately, I feel like it is arbitrary, and more than likely heavyhanded, but it is the duty of the author to write it in a plausible fashion.
fwiw, I finished writing the prologue today, and am currently trying to figure out exactly where I want the story to take place. Ultimately, I do lean towards self-serving plotlines that interest me personally.
If she knows Voldemort was weak and reliant on Wormtail just prior to his resurrection, she might feel confident in her ability to defeat Wormtail and capture Voldemort at the graveyard. Of course, she can't accomplish this if you want any real conflict, but it might seem to her like a golden opportunity. There are a dozen ways you can make her screw it up, especially if she doesn't know exactly where the graveyard is beforehand.
After her failure, you can move on to all the post 4th year plot you want without having to rationalize why she just let Cedric die and Voldemort return.
There's no problem with self-serving plotlines in fanfiction, IMO.
I think the first thing I'd do is (if you haven't already) is determine how current Tonks would connect with former Tonks, or if she would at all. Would she have all her present prowess, intelligence, and ability? If she is merging with younger Tonks, then remember that the frontal lobe of the brain doesn't finish developing until someone's in their early twenties (which is why there's usually a gradual shift from black and white to nuanced thinking while someone's in their twenties). So, if she goes back, how does her thinking change? Does it? Or, will there be a grown up Tonks and a younger Tonks? If so, does the grown up Tonks take on another form and name? What form, what name? Does she interact with the other Tonks?
Once that is determined, then I'd do the following:
then take a piece of paper and create three vertical lines in parallel. Line one is her skill development (1st year, 2nd year, 1st Auror training, etc.) Line two is non-Voldemort related events important to Tonks. Line three is Voldemort's vulnerability.
Decide the earliest point on line one where she will have the means and freedom to move about to achieve her goals along with the physical abilities. That becomes your terminus post quem Then, on line three, mark the point where he will no longer be weak enough to be defeated. That becomes your terminus ante quem.
Now, look at line two and figure out which event in Tonks's life is the one she'd most like to return to (or the one she'd most likely want to avoid). That is the time to which she returns.
Do the same as above, but line one becomes events where she may have a shot at killing Voldemort or garnering support against him (So, perhaps the philosopher's stone incident, or end of third year where she can follow Peter back to Voldemort.
Line two is the same.
Line three is the same.
Find the best spot on line one before the terminus ante quem on line three, and just before the event on line two (or after the line two event, if she wants to avoid it). That's the time to which she returns.
The plan is for there two be two Tonks. I haven't thought of a way to distinguish them yet. I did give thought to having her team up with current timeline Tonks, but I felt that would be a little weird, and not really necessary. I want timetravel Tonks to be as unimpeded by affiliations as possible, so she can do what needs to be done. I'm not exactly sure what that is yet, since I still have to decide on a point of entry.
But, for example, timetravel Tonks would be able to manipulate her current self into helping, without even realizing she's helping. Tonks already lived that life, so she knows how to nudge things in a different direction. Like, I was thinking that one of the things that would really irk Tonks is how useless the Ministry was during the 5th year, how they were actively sabotaging themselves, and the whole Umbridge think. So, future Tonks has a solution to that, since she already lived it. Not necessarily assassination, or anything like that, but perhaps something like proof that the Ministry sent the Dementors after Harry, thus giving them enough leverage to not allow Umbridge into Hogwarts. And future Tonks would present that proof by setting it up in such a way that current Tonks discovers it herself. Anyways, just a thought.
Two Tonkses. Interesting. Now, the next question is, why would Tonks care about Umbridge at Hogwarts if she's going to go after Voldemort? Wouldn't she want to go after him before his return at the end of GoF? I'd think maybe try to track him down during the fourth year when she knows he's still in country? Anytime after year 4, and I think you shoot yourself in the foot because the logical question would be, "Why go back to a time when he's already too powerful?" You could fix that perhaps by limiting how far she could go back, but it's still something to think about.
Taken as a singular event, Tonks wouldn't give a shit about Umbridge. So, something would have to happen to make her care. As is, coming from the future, she knows what Umbridge did, or in this case, would go on to do if nothing is changed.
So, I guess the question really is, do I want to spent X amount of tens of thousands of words of Tonks going after a weak Voldemort, only to be thwarted by the Horcruxes. Now, in canon, she doesn't know shit about them, has probably never even heard the word Horcrux in her life. Of course, as an author, I can have her discover them at some point pre-time jump, or I guess she could technically discover them after she fails at dealing with the weakened Voldemort. That would probably make for an okay story, but it would more than likely end up with all of Tonk's future knowledge getting invalidated as it would likely shunt events all out of wack. Like I said, that could be a good story, but I don't think I have the writing chops to pull it off.
I feel like there is probably a way to make it work. Like, it's not impossible to suggest that Tonks wouldn't know where Voldemort was hiding pre-resurrection ritual, but perhaps she would have (future) knowledge of the graveyard itself, and would be able to set up a trap of some sort. Like, I don't think it would be hard for Tonks to sabotage the event, but I honestly don't think that would make for a compelling story, because where does it go from there? Voldemort will come back in some other form later on.
I'm pretty open to ideas for the story, but with my writing style, and the purpose of the story in general, there are a few things I want to hit upon. I do want Harry to have a part to play in the story. I want Tonks to be hardened and a bit ruthless. I don't really want to get her hands tied by revealing herself to a million different parties. Also, I want to actually make use of her metamorphmagus power. Like, I'm picturing her walking around Hogwarts by stealing a students identity, or even a teachers. Same thing with sneaking into the Ministry, or even into a Death Eater's meeting.
Have you read Temporal Knight's fic Like Grains of Sand in the Hourglass? Tonks gets sent back to the beginning of Fifth Year during the Ministry Fight. She comes up with a new identity and attends Hogwarts as a Fifth Year.
What about Tonks going back to the end of Harry's fourth year. She pulls Harry and Dumbledore aside, reveals herself only to them, and then she goes in Harry's place to the graveyard. (easy to do—she can simply wait at the cup until he arrives).
Depending on how you handle the chapter, it can end with Voldemort's resurrection but without using Harry's blood and thus a duel with a surprised Voldemort that Harry has so much more skill than Voldemort previously thought. Now, Harry still has his blood protection and Voldemort is therefore weaker and is in a dangerous place whenever Harry is near.
That can even set up a tension where Voldemort is harmed by Harry, so he tries to learn why and maybe even learns Tonks's secret (or maybe not depending on how you want to play it).
Another tension then is between Tonks and Dumbledore. Tonks, due to the prophecy, now wants to pull Harry out of Hogwarts whenever she has a line on Voldemort, because now, Harry doesn't have to dual Voldemort to the death, but simply touch him so his mother's blood protection can kill Voldemort. Dumbledore, however, believes Harry is not ready for that and that other Death Eaters could kill him at any point, so it's not worth the risk. This way, you have Tonks and Dumbledore diametrically opposed, but neither of them being the "bad" guy. (No stupid "manipulative Dumbledore" cliches).
Adding Dumbledore to the mix doesn't really feel like it adds that much to the story, at least nothing that hasn't already been done. I feel like future!Tonks hiding from him makes for a more interesting dynamic. Of course, that means that whatever edge she gets by using her clandestine abilities and knowledge of the future has to be greater than what Dumbledore would add with some of that same knowledge, considering her ultimate goal of stopping Voldemort.
Separate names with a comma.