Biggest gripes/turn offs in a HPFF?


I thought this would be an interesting thread for people to share certain fan-fiction gripes that might turn you off a story.

One of my biggest ones is probably fics that crucify Ron. I wouldn't say he's a particular favourite character of mine, but I think it's harsh on his character. I kind of get it in the Dramione fics (something that I've never been into either), but a lot of generally normal or alternative universe stories all tend to massively bash Ron too. I think his character was a bit underwhelming and took a big hammering from the movies, but I've still never understood the widespread hate he seems to get.
One of my biggest ones is probably fics that crucify Ron. I wouldn't say he's a particular favourite character of mine, but I think it's harsh on his character. I kind of get it in the Dramione fics (something that I've never been into either), but a lot of generally normal or alternative universe stories all tend to massively bash Ron too.
I agree. Ron is the everyman, and he's the embodiment of male insecurity. I recognise a lot of me (and my friends) in him. He's lazy, not stupid. If people will help him with his homework, he'll let them. Despite this, he's capable of reading, and learning, and working hard all by himself when necessary. He got onto the Quidditch team because he practised hard. He read and learned from Twelve Fail-safe ways to Charm Witches (but only because it wasn't a book he could persuade Hermione to read for him). Ron's a good, if flawed, man, and I'd be happy to go out for a pint with him.

I've always been puzzled by macho warrior Harry in stories, too. Harry's a reluctant hero. He was responsible for Voldemort's death, but when faced with his parent's killer, he chose to try to disarm, rather than kill.


New member
Weasley bashing in general tends to infuriate me.

Like did they read the same books I did? Because in my version the Weasley's were the closest thing Harry had to a real family unit in his life. They were kind to him even before they knew who he was, something that Harry didn't experience an awful lot of. They took him into their home as often as circumstances would allow, shared everything they had with him - and it is frequently pointed out in the series that they didn't have all that much in the first place. They protected him with their lives on more than a few occasions.

Sure, maybe they had their weak points as a group. Maybe Ron resented Harry's fame and Hermione's intelligence and the fact that he basically always got sidelined by anyone important who talked to the trio, but that's okay because the whole point is that he has this flaw, this inferiority complex type thing, but he sticks by Harry anyway. And let's not forget that he has perfectly good reasons to resent all of these things; he is a skilled keeper, a clear logical thinker, more level-headed than Harry and Hermione put together and hardly ever gets any recognition for it. He gets overlooked by Slughorn in favour of Neville and Ginny (because they were at the Ministry, where he was too), he is constantly ridiculed at quidditch games by people who assume that Harry must have picked him purely due to their friendship, and people always seem shocked by any display of character or talent from him. Is it any wonder he has some resentment? The point is that even when he leaves because of that resentment he always comes back.

And yes, Molly Weasley can be overprotective and overbearing and that sometimes leads her to the wrong conclusions (like the whole no easter eggs for the "scarlet woman" Hermione thing in GOF) but that's only the flipside of her greatest strength, the fact that she's an inherently motherly figure.

It genuinely baffles me how anyone could possibly see any of that in a completely negative light? Most of the time it seems to be more of a convenience to plot from where I'm sitting, but honestly it's kind of just lazy writing? Like if you're going to completely destroy a key relationship within the books at least make it believable.

Also, glorifying Snape and Dumbledore as tragic heroes when the whole point of their characters was that, while they obviously both worked towards a greater common good, they were both flawed individuals who made huge mistakes (RE: alienating his childhood friend/first love and becoming a deatheater who bullies children, essentially sacrificing his remaining family to the "greater good" and raising a child for slaughter, respectively). They don't deserve to be absolutely bashed in fics but don't glorify them either. They were never supposed to be the perfect heroes of the story.

Man that was long, sorry. Guess I'm in a critique-y sorta mood today.
Another thing that annoys me are Americanisms. ;)

Before I alienate most readers here, I should clarify. If you’re writing about US witches, or your story is set outside the UK, that’s fine.

I’m annoyed by things that most authors should get right when they set their stories in the UK. If you’ve read the books and watched the films, you’ll know that Ron refers to Molly as Mum, not Mom. This bugs me way more than it should (and this is where someone tells me that, in the US versions, they translated Mum to Mom, and I get all embarrassed).:sneaky:

I’ve read stories which assume that certain US conventions will apply in the UK. You won’t find any guns in UK households. No one in the UK will be worried about hospital bills, because there aren’t any. I’ve read stories that hinge on these assumptions. Perhaps I should write a guide to common misconceptions about the UK.

Would anyone be interested?


Gabriella Hunter

New member
I'm going to be bouncing around a lot on these threads because I can finally fall headfirst into the forum again for the first time in ages. So. With that being said:

I get tired of fics that kind of make Death Eaters into tragic, misunderstood people. We all know that there is nothing redeemable about people such as Bellatrix and the others, and yet people really try to push it like these characters aren't just horrible people. It's totally okay to write about bad people and not try to redeem them. If they're horrible, they're horrible. I don't always need a tragic backstory, it's just something that kinda bugs me.

K Stahl

New member
Dear Gabriella,

I do not know if it is appropriate to tout my own stories on the forum, however since your complaint is specifically with regard to good and evil, and being that I am about sixteen years Hagrid’s junior, I will simply plunge headlong with abandon.

All my stories deal directly with the conflict of good vs. evil—no gray areas. One is the story of Harry’s seventh year, written before JKR published Deathly Hallows. One is a story of the next generation (mostly my own characters). One is a sequel to the movie Fantastic Beasts, written prior to the second Fantastic Beasts movie. And one is a short story about elf enslavement.

I make no claims to being a great writer, but if you are interested, search for author “K Stahl.” Any comments would be welcome.


K Stahl


New member
Character bashing in general really irks me.
It doesn't matter if it's a character I don't like, either. Most characters are wonderfully three dimensional, and reducing them to nothing but a one dimensional piece of sh*t does nothing but show you can't be bothered to put effort into your fanfiction.
For example, I tend to read a lot of non-canon ships. A popular but very annoying trend in those fics is to utterly destroy the people they are with in canon. (lucius, for narcissa-centric fics is a big one). It does nothing but turn me away from your fic to destroy Lucius' character just to further support the ship; it just shows off your lazy writing and sucks to read.