The past couple of months, my main creative focus has been Seven Favours for Harry Potter, the HP/Lady Vidia crossover. You can see that there are ten chapters up now, and there will be 13 chapters up by the beginning of the new year. And acter shapter 13, the fic goes on a slight hiatus. Partly because I’ve burned through the backlog, and with how chapter 13 ends Harry’s first year at Hogwarts I figured it was a good place to pause… but also because I want to focus on other things for a while.
There’s also the fact that I’m REALLY sick of J.K. Rowling. Of course, I already knew she was despicable. I’ve long since abandoned any and all official HP merch, movies, books and games, and the only HP-related things I consume these days are unofficial, LGBTQ-friendly fan works… and of course I’ve been WRITING unofficial, LGBTQ-friendly fan works like “Seven Favours.” But I’ll be honest; especially Seven Favours is getting harder to enjoy writing because it’s so close to JKR’s world.
My other major HP fanfic, Holly Potter and the Witching World, is more its own thing, so it feels less iffy to me. It’s more like “my take on a HP-like world, except it’s all about polygamy and lesbians,” so I’m not as bothered by it. It’s so far away from JKR that it’s more “my” thing. It’s like Spaceballs contra Star Wars; clearly a derivative work but also its own thing with its own take and its own story.
Part of the reason why I started writing Seven Favours was to get over a severe case of writer’s block. The good news is that it seems to have worked; I’ve written more these past three months than the last year.
But especially with JKR’s most recent tirades, where she likens not buying a fucking video game to book burnings and tells people that they might as well kill their pet dogs… I’m more and more thinking that I should focus on my original works, and other fandoms, for a while.
I’m thankful to the HP franchise for helping me develop a voice and being an inspiration. Not that the HP books were ever the best books I’ve ever read… far from it. But the HP books seemed “safe” when it came to writing fanfics. They were good, solid, entertaining reads, but they weren’t TOO good. I wasn’t intimidated by the brilliant writing or poignant storytelling the way I was with, say, Sandman or Discworld- So I could write alternate-take fanfics and feel like I wasn’t INSULTING the original works. I might not be a writer of JKR’s calibre, but I felt that her level of quality was something I could plausibly aim for and not be too off.
And in that way the HP franchise has been a great help for me as a writer, because it was a useful springboard for my own ideas, and in writing those fanfics I made great strides not only in developing my own voice but learning about effective storytelling. What to leave in, what to leave out, how much exposition is too much, how far you can take Seinfeldian conversations before they stop being amusing and just become irritating.
Not that I’m anywhere near good enough at this yet, but I like to think that I have improved. And in some ways it’s because of the HP franchise that I have
But that doesn’t mean I can ignore the franchise’s creator constantly reaching new lows. I’m not going to abandon the HP fandom completely. I want to at least finish the “Seven Favours” and “Witching World” stories… and there are still some really good fanfics out there. (Or the unofficial fan play, “Puffs.” Which is REALLY good and doesn’t give any royalties to JKR.)
But I think it’s time to branch out. Focus on other things. I’m developing my own voice, now it’s time to see what I can use that voice for.
(Even if it’s just more hypnofetish stuff.)
(Let’s face it, it’s probably going to be more hypnofetishy stuff.)