The Best and the Worst in Harry Potter Fanfics
a blog written by Mirlotta
Harry Potter fanfics. They’re pretty much everywhere, with over 20,000 published in 2015 alone (according to a probably-not-very-reliable tumblr statistics account, anyway). It’s hard to see why they wouldn’t be, honestly. The release of the Cursed Child has breathed new life into the fanbase, and since the very first book, the Harry Potter series has had plenty of interesting characters ready for fangirls to ship.
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to go drastically wrong with fanfic, veering into the realms of cliché as quick as a flash (or as fast as lightning, or quick as a wink, or… you get the picture). And unfortunately, with so much fanfiction out there, Harry Potter fanfics have gone wrong a LOT. A LOT.
Here’s some cringe-worthy mistakes to avoid in writing your next Harry Potter fanfic:
1) Making all the characters ridiculously sexy.
Okay, okay, so Emma Watson gets pretty hot in the later movies - but, seriously, Hermione’s supposed to have frizzy dark hair and protruding teeth. If you’re about to describe Chamber of Secrets Hermione as having straightened hair and perfect lipgloss, don’t do it. (EVEN IF YOU’RE USING THE CLICHÉ THAT SHE’S HAD A ‘SUMMER MAKEOVER’ AS AN EXCUSE). Harry Potter is a little nerd with messy hair and broken glasses, not damn Brendon Urie in school uniform. And don’t even think about dressing Ginny up in twenty-seven inch platform heels, because I’m pretty sure that this doesn’t adhere to the Hogwarts’s school uniform.
2) Making Dumbledore speak some kind of made-up Shakespearean.
Yesssss, Dumbledore is old. Nooooo, he was not born in the 1500s. Sorry. In the Harry Potter books he speaks nonsense a lot of the time, and probably some Latin and stuff as well - but I’m pretty sure that his every second word doesn’t end in ‘th’.
3) Putting ‘…’ between every word Snape says.
This… one… doesn’t… actually… happen all… that much… but when… it… does… it’s… super… super… annoying.
4) Making an OC the best at everything.
The classic Mary Sue trope. You’ve always wanted to go to Hogwarts, and clearly that isn’t happening. So, what do you do? The next best thing. You write a fanfic and give your OC the best, most awesomest time at Hogwarts you’ve ever dreamed of. Not only is this character gorgeous without trying, suddenly she’s also cleverer than Hermione, funnier than Fred and George, and actually the prophecy you all thought was about Harry? Nope. It was talking about the OC.
(And trust me, it’s even WORSE when the OC gets given an elaborately long and weird name like Ebony Dementia D’Arkness Raven Way… not that I’m alluding to any notoriously bad fanfiction or anything.)
5) Ships resulting in supremely out of character behaviour.
I love Drarry. Seriously. It’s a fine example of the best that shipping brings. What’s bad is when Draco and Harry unexplainably fall in love in two seconds flat after 7 years of hatred, and then Harry proceeds to transfer to Slytherin without any consideration for his best friends in Gryffindor, and then at some point during dinner Draco and Harry make out as Ginny cries. Harry’s kind of obtuse, but, I mean, he does think about his actions AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT.
Also, side note that the Hermione/Snape ship is technically paedophilia (and in my opinion gross as Snape’s hair), and student-teacher relationships are banned. Hermione, being the rule-abiding student that she is, would probably have at least some respect for this, right??
Thanks Mirlotta for writing this blog