I need help with an OC-story

theWholeShebang

New member
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum (so I hope I've come to the right place and that the forum is still active), but I'm certainly not new to the Harry Potter fandom! Besides the books, I'm also a big fan of the fanfiction. Over the years I've developed my own story and my own character and it makes the rereading so much more fun to fit my own little story in there as well. I have quite a well developed plot and I want to write it down.

Problem is, I don't know where to start.

Here is the thing, my character is an OC-girl who is in Ginny's year (in my early drafts I called it Ginny's best friend). So far, the story can be split up into three "parts"

1. Will cover my character as she starts her journey into the magical world. As the OC is a Muggle-Born, it will focus on her impression of the Wizarding world in a grim time. I am not sure if this is particularly interesting for readers. On the one hand it will parallel quite nicely with everything we know and love from the books but from a different perspective. On the other hand, nothing my OC will experience will be as exciting as Harry's adventures. Mostly I see it as a background maybe for part 2.

2. Part two will focus on book 7 (deathly hallows) as my OC will have a special job for the Order. It will focus on Hogwarts and how it may have suffered during the war. It will still be canon, but as we do not know much about Hogwarts during DH, I think it will have more interesting new stuff in it and to be honest I feel like my idea for what the Order is up to, will be quite exciting. It will be quite dark, as it is war, and will deal with all the problems people face during troubled times.
Also it will future Professor McGonagall, since she is one of the best characters ever. I really am quite proud of this part I think this could be some nice fanfiction to read.

3. Part three will be more of an epilogue and will handle the time after the Wizarding war. It will focus on rebuilding society.

All in all, I think most of the story I have in my head is not very exciting for readers. However, I do feel that part two will have a plot that is interesting for readers. The problem however is that you will need the background of part 1 to make sense of it all. What should I do? Should I post part 2 and hope that people can follow. Should I include part one in flashbacks? I'm at a loss.

Advise is very welcome!

Thanks
 

Blue Kat

Moderator
Hello! I think there are a couple of ways you can approach this:
  • While you're working on the draft, you don't always have to write in order. If there's a part of the story you're really excited about, maybe start there instead of at the beginning.
  • I'm a big fan of the advice "you should write what you want." Do you want to write part 1? Or are you most interested in part 2? There's no right or wrong answer, but I think your own interests can help inform your approach.
  • With regard to flashbacks, you've got a lot of options available to you. You can write them as separate sections interspersed between relevant part 2 scenes. You can also write them as kind of an aside within the part 2 narration--something like "Ginny had never liked Mrs. Norris, but her dislike of her had blossomed into full blown hatred during her second year when Mrs. Norris had snuck into her dormitory and destroyed her favorite sweater." It might be worth looking into whether one of those methods would work well for you.
  • With regard to part 1, I think it's good practice to ask yourself what information you're trying to convey, is it strictly necessary for your narrative, and can it be conveyed another way in part 2. Look at HP1 for an example of this. There's a ten year gap between the first and second chapters of the book but even though we don't get to see much of that timeframe, we still have a really strong sense of what those years were like for Harry because Rowling is very intentional about the details that she does include--Aunt Petunia boiling some of Dudley's old clothes and dyeing them grey instead of buying Harry a new school uniform, for example. There might be some opportunities like that in your story. (I hope this makes sense--it's getting late and I feel like this example is getting a bit off track).
Good luck!
 

theWholeShebang

New member
Thank you so much for your answer, it definitely made a lot of sense. I never really thought about including the background in the narration but that could work! I'll go over everything I've written to see how I can include that, you have definitely pulled me out of my writer's block. Thanks!
 

theWholeShebang

New member
One more question for you all, is anyone willing to beta this story?

English is not my first language so a second reader would probably help a lot with avoiding small mistakes. More importantly, I have never written something so plot-driven and I feel like someone needs to check if I am making sense.
Just a summary, it is about a muggleborn on a mission for the order. The setting is Hogwarts during Deathly Hallows and besides my OC I think McGonagall, Fred, Ginny and the Tonkses will be the main characters.
 

K Stahl

New member
As a writer starts a potential story, he begins with an idea of what he would like to illustrate. This will become the theme. Given the theme, thoughts naturally move to the characters needed to enact that theme. As this is a fanfiction, while the theme can be completely original to you, many of the characters and setting are already provided for you. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The existing characters provide a quick start and a focus upon which to build your additional characters. The existing characters also restrict your own character development to those already created by the original author.

Given that you have created a few characters to carry forth your theme, it is important that you explicitly create the climax of your story. Writing out the climax sometimes helps but it is not necessary. What is necessary is that you have a clear idea of what the climax will be. Without an explicit climax, you will not have a target that will draw all the specific events of the story together as a cohesive plot—that is, without an explicit climax, the events will have a tendency to ramble.

Your intent is to write your story in three parts. This means that you will have in effect three stories and you will need to have a mini-climax for the first two parts with the third part bringing about the stitching together these two mini-climaxes into the final climax. Think of your second and third part as your own sub-fanfiction with each subsequent part building on the character and events of the prior. However, each part should be satisfying to the reader as a stand alone story just as was “The Philosopher’s Stone.”

While a certain amount of scene description is necessary, try to avoid description that does not carry the plot toward the climax. For example, if in a room a character is described as walking over to the fireplace mantle on which there is a gun, but the gun plays no part in the story, don’t mention it. However, even if the gun is not used in the current part’s plot, but is important to a subsequent plot, it should be retained as foreshadowing of future events.

A final word on plot. Every action in the story should work to bring the reader to the climax, first to the climax of the given part, but most importantly to the final climax. A specific plot point may not relate to the sub-climax of a given part, but it must relate to the final climax. Such plot points will constitute foreshadowing of future events that lead to the climax, as mentioned above. In this way you will avoid the need to resort to a “McGuffin” to bring about the climax, such as “fiend fire” which pops up out of nowhere to destroy Ravenclaw’s diadem without any foreshadowing.
 

theWholeShebang

New member
Your intent is to write your story in three parts. This means that you will have in effect three stories and you will need to have a mini-climax for the first two parts with the third part bringing about the stitching together these two mini-climaxes into the final climax. Think of your second and third part as your own sub-fanfiction with each subsequent part building on the character and events of the prior. However, each part should be satisfying to the reader as a stand alone story just as was “The Philosopher’s Stone.”
You are right. I'll stick to part 2 for now, because that one has a climax already.
 

K Stahl

New member
You are right. I'll stick to part 2 for now, because that one has a climax already.
That is a good strategy. It will enable you to go back and shape your part 1 to feed into part 2. I have done something similar with a story that has a contemporary character discovering a trove of ancient texts. I began with the events described in the ancient journal and then went on to sandwich the events of the past time within the contemporary events that led up to the discovery and the following events that led to the climax.
 

theWholeShebang

New member
Hi guys, thanks for your tips. I posted my first chapter! It is called Blazing fire.

I have done something similar with a story that has a contemporary character discovering a trove of ancient texts. I began with the events described in the ancient journal and then went on to sandwich the events of the past time within the contemporary events that led up to the discovery and the following events that led to the climax.
That sounds interesting, what is it called. I want to check that out.
 

K Stahl

New member
Hi guys, thanks for your tips. I posted my first chapter! It is called Blazing fire.



That sounds interesting, what is it called. I want to check that out.
My apologies, I was not clear. My novel The Last Archivist is not a fan fiction and not posted; it is an original work and not even remotely related to the fantasy world of Harry Potter; neither have I published it in the real world.
 
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