sigune: (Morpheus)
Last Saturday the desire took me to buy some nicely textured coloured paper, because I was bored with pencils on white. While I was at the art supplies shop, I thought I might as well get myself a few pastel pencils too, because I'd never tried those and I just happen to be impossibly curious ;-). This time, however, I decided to be wise and to buy loose pencils instead of a whole box, waiting until I had some idea as to what I would actually need. So, colourful as I am, I went home with four Koh-i-Noor pastel pencils: white, pale grey, mouse grey and black. And I produced two pictures.


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The first is a bit of a try-out on white paper in a notebook. It's inspired by Snape's first encounter with Lily and the odd figure he cuts in his too-large coat. I just adore the picture of him 'flapping after the girls, looking ludicrously bat-like, like his older self'. (It's one of these images that make DH at all palatable.)

Bat Boy )

The second picture - on coloured paper this time - is of Brynhild. While I was working on it, I couldn't help feeling that there was something familiar about it... In the meantime I have decided that it's heavily (though unconsciously) influenced by the Flemish Primitives XD. Not only have I made a grisaille, the high forehead and the way I did the eyes are similar to those of Renaissance women's portraits I have seen in Bruges and elsewhere. I have been looking for a particular portrait that comes to my mind when I look at this picture, but I can't recall who painted it and I haven't been able to find it so far...

Mourning )
sigune: (A Future in Fanfic)
Today is [livejournal.com profile] _vocalion_'s birthday! She is a grand lady and a dear friend as well as the creator of several Snape-related fandom wonders like Highly Improbable and the Society of Nonsensical ArtPad Enthusiasts - Snape has had to watch his step (and his trousers) ever since [livejournal.com profile] _vocalion_ decided to tickle/harrass him with her brilliant sense of humour!

For myself, I am a great fan of her OFC, the Highly Loveable Clancy Norgard, and the only Snape ship I really sail is Potions & Pineapple. So I thought I'd celebrate [livejournal.com profile] _vocalion_'s birthday with a gift portrait of Clancy.
(I am entirely to blame for the hat...)

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Clancy in a Cloche Hat )
sigune: (Default)
Previously on the Bromley Saga, I disclosed the origins of my OFC Brynhild Bromley and uncovered her previous existence as a Mary Sue. By the end of my exposé, I had her appearance fixed, but she had yet to take her first steps into the world of prose.

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Why did it take her so long to get there? The answer is very simply that I was afraid of how she might behave in writing. I was in the thralls of Original Character Anxiety, something I had never experienced with any of my other ‘concoctions’. Even after Bromelia was made over into Brynhild, I didn’t trust myself with her. And, to be quite frank, I wasn’t sure I had a story to tell in which I could justify her presence.

But the thing is that Brynhild wouldn’t go away - to use a hackneyed phrase that has been called upon to justify all, from silly characters to idiotic plot bunnies. She languished in my head until I knew all sorts of things about her: that her father was an ex-Quidditch player now into broomstick manufacturing; that she spent her childhood in Yorkshire and now lived in London; what her eating habits were and that she couldn’t cook; how she dressed; what shoes she wore; which books she read; what pets she kept; what she watched on television; how the inside of her house looked. I even knew perfectly well how she felt about Snape and what their friendship was like. I imagined she was there in the background, and that rather than staying for dinner at Grimmauld Place during the action in Order of the Phoenix, it was at her house that Snape had his meals. (He had to do the cooking himself, of course, except when they had fish and chips or went out.) I suppose I would have alluded to these things if they had somehow come up in my genfic stories, but they never did.

I did draw Brynhild and Snape together, occasionally; but I never finished those sketches into inked drawings because they always turned out fluffy. For some reason, Snape would always insist on smiling, and how unnatural is that?

Pictorial Fluff Warning )
sigune: (Young Severus)
[livejournal.com profile] a_t_rain wrote, in a comment to my previous entry (this one), that “it's funny how so many first-time OC writers DO make a beeline for all the things Thou Shalt Not Do without even knowing what those things are.”
She raises what I think is a very interesting point. I gave some thought to it, and this is how I think it went with me and Bromelia/Brynhild – but by all means post your own experiences, I’m very curious to hear about them!

I think (but this is a very personal supposition) that many fanfic authors wander into the world of fan fiction because they have a soft spot for a specific (set of) character(s). They fantasise about said character(s), and somehow it seems appealing to create one all of your own to interact with them – it is your own, not-so-very-secret infiltration in a universe you like. It is very appealing to use all kinds of special powers/devices/backgrounds (preferably all at once) specific to the universe you have made your playground. These are the things that drew the author there in the first place. But the dangerous part is the one where they become so wrapped up in the game that they lose perspective and don’t notice that their new character is an irritating, quaint distortion that thrusts itself unbidden upon the poor, unsuspecting canon characters. If canon doesn’t mention your OC (and it never does), that means they can’t be very important to the main plot or, for that matter, to those characters you have been so eager to align them with. Consequently, it is unlikely they will beat Harry at Quidditch, outsmart Dumbledore, improve on Snape’s potions, unite the Hogwarts houses and/or defeat Voldemort.
Read more... )
sigune: (Default)
Original Female Characters are probably the most reviled beings to dwell in the fanfictional Potterverse. Many readers hit the back button when they see one listed among a story’s cast. Is this prejudice justified? I don’t think so. Let’s be honest: a bad writer probably won’t get a character right, no matter if it’s canon or not, and decent writers are likely to create good original characters, even female ones. OFC does not automatically signify Mary Sue, and even an OFC with a few Sue characteristics does not a bad story make. Better still: give someone like Grainne a random real Sue and she will craft something brilliant with the little monster!

Still, nobody said it was easy, and I for one couldn’t pull it off.

[livejournal.com profile] _grainne_ and [livejournal.com profile] lunafish were foolish enough to express interest in my OFC Brynhild and how she evolved from her forebear Bromelia “Sue” Bromley, whose acquaintance you could make in Uncommon Flower, the delicious tale Grainne span for me on the occasion of the S.N.A.P.E. contest. (If you missed it, you can find it here.) Because I somehow like all my creations – even Bromelia – for no better reason than that they are the fruits of my imagination, I wasted no time and delved into my vast archives (*ahem*) to retrieve old Bromley material. I display it here for your pleasure and delectation – I hope :-). You are kindly invited to have a good laugh at my Sue antics…

Contains many sketches, demented plot bunnies and a fragment of a story…


1. The Birth of Venus – er, no – Bromelia

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Read more... )

2. The New Bromelia: Brynhild

Read more... )

Oh – and here is a Sigune doll to prove that the one thing you can’t accuse me of is that I made either Bromelia or Brynhild a kind of improved likeness of myself. Not that this is an accurate portrait, but you get the idea ;-)…

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sigune: (eyebrows)
Here is the story I won in [livejournal.com profile] _vocalion_'s ArtPad contest. Grainne wrote a Sue of my making into Chapter Two of HBP, and the result is as delicious as chocolate with hazelnuts. Enjoy!



An Uncommon Flower:
“Spinner’s End” Revised

by
Grainne

Dedicated to Sigune, who kindly lends her to well-established talents to the ephemeral world of ArtPad.


***

Disclaimers:

The Bromleys officially belong to Sigune (although I’m not sure if she’ll want Bromelia back); all other major characters in the story belong to JKR. The beginning of the second section, up until Bromelia’s arrival, is transcribed almost directly from the canon (I have changed the verb tenses and inserted some of Snape’s thoughts). Everything else is my own damn fault, including my poor imitation of Sigune’s sly humour and gorgeous writing style. I have inserted a few references to the words and works of a certain notorious wit, so in the event that the story fails to amuse, one can at least have fun finding where the Wilde things are.

Sue/Story Summary:

Bromelia Bromley has a spirit as irrepressible as her frizzy hair, a wardrobe any streetwalker would die for, amazing wandless powers, a head for Legilimency, and a penchant for fine Italian boots. What is this perennially perky and dreadfully determined anti-heroine doing in a grotty place like Spinner’s End? And, more importantly, will she be at all welcome on an evening when that street’s most enigmatic resident is already entertaining some unexpected female company? This is the tale of what happens when one Sue rushes in where most fan authors (rightly) fear to tread—Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Chapter Two.

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Read more... )
sigune: (Default)
After the publication of a new Potter book, there inevitably comes a point at which the writer of fanfiction sobers up, recovers from her excitement and inspects the damage J. K. Rowling has wreaked on said fan writer’s cherished creations. It is a painful moment that calls for serious decisions and reconsiderations.

So here is my accident report – with pictures…

Accident Report )
Eileen and Severus )

Now for some fiction

Thursday, 23 June 2005 10:43 pm
sigune: (Default)
This week has so far been rather marvellous: [livejournal.com profile] _grainne_ (with The Pleasure of Your Company), [livejournal.com profile] _vocalion_ (with The Futility of Reason), [livejournal.com profile] larilee (with Overnight Sensation), [livejournal.com profile] seaislewitch (with Wand Stories), [livejournal.com profile] perselus (with Confessions of a Death Eater) and yours sincerely have all done well at Sycophant Hex’s Spring Faire Festival. I don’t know about you ladies, but I am still enjoying the fact… :-P

The Spring Faire has gently reminded me that I am a writer, too, so I thought that for the occasion I’d post a snippet of fiction. I have plenty of unfinished or discarded fragments of stories floating around on my computer, and what follows is one of them. It is only fair to warn you that it has not been beta-read – I never intended it for any fanfic archive.

Then why post it here at all? Consider it a glimpse into my fanfic kitchen. Before I start writing a character ‘for real’, I need to know all about them: their favourite food, the shoes they wear, the books they read (or if they read any); but also how they were as small children, as teens, as young adults, and who their family are and what their relation to them is. My reflections about characters tend to lead to drawings, but also to snippets of text; more often than not, these remain unused – they are just a kind of exercise in getting the voices or the tone right, and they become an invisible part of the background to other stories.

As She Likes It, my Spring Faire story, is more or less the official introduction of my OFC Brynhild Bromley. (Strictly speaking she had already made an appearance in The Good-Morrow, but there she remained anonymous.) She was a long time in the making – she was the first original character I invented, but I struggled with her for a very, very long time. She would probably never have made it into (virtual) print without the encouragement of my friend Potioncat, who managed to convince me that OFCs are nothing to be ashamed of if properly written. (Yes, I did need convincing; at that time I had not yet discovered Occlumency and its enticing Original Females…)

One day I found I had Brynhild pinned. She had a large family with a history; a broomstick obsession; hobbies; a record; an evolving dress style; a career; a distinct personality; and several pets (with names, temperaments and all). She was Severus Snape’s friend from childhood. Instead of pouring the details into a list, I shaped them into a sketch – an exploration of several characters at a given moment that also features Severus as a seven-year-old, his mother Septimia, Gunhilda von Bork, and winks to my other great passions, the Wilde family and Arthurian legend. Here it is, imperfect and sketchy.

How they met... )

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