Saint Severus

Wednesday, 29 August 2007 05:08 pm
sigune: (Eileen Prince)
Whenever I am busy with something really important in RL, I get ideas for fanfic. Yay. If the bad news is that I really can't afford to sit down and write fic at this moment, the good news is that the WIP of Doom - Post DH Remix is making more sense every day and pieces of the puzzle are slowly falling in their right place.

One of the things I am trying to do is to paint a picture of the Snape family that does not contradict canon but nevertheless rejects 'wife-and-child-beating Tobias' and 'victimised Eileen'. I am glad to say that this is finally beginning to work. Without going into detail, one thing I needed was an explanation of little Severus's first name. It's an odd name for a British boy (I wonder whether there are any real little Severuses in Britain, actually), so my first thought was that it must be a wizard name that Eileen had chosen. Only - now that I am re-imagining the Snape family, it really doesn't suit me at all that Eileen should give her child a name from the wizarding world, so I had to look for an alternative explanation.

I found one :-).

Those of you who are familiar with my fics know that I have consistently imagined Severus Snape as a Catholic. Well, there are several Catholic saints called Severus; and it is not uncommon (or usen't to be until society secularised so much) to call a child after a saint. Because I like to pad my stories and characters, I don't assign names completely at random - if possible, I like them to say something about a character. In this case, Severus has been named already; but I still wanted to check up on the saints Severus to see if I could find anything of use in terms of symbols and such. What I found is so very striking that I wonder if JKR knows XD.

There is a Saint Severus of Avranches, who is invoked against migraine XD (that's good to know!); Saint Severus of Barcelona, martyred under the Visigoths who drove nails into his temples; Saint Severus of Trèves, a Gaul who became a bishop in Germania; Saint Severus of Androcca, who raised a dead man to life in order to be able to administer him the last rites. There is a Saint Severus church in Erfurt (Thüringen, Germany). But the best one is...

Saint Severus of Ravenna )

Writing Meme

Monday, 22 January 2007 12:30 am
sigune: (Snape profile)
I nicked this from [livejournal.com profile] lareinenoire, just to motivate myself to do more ficcing ;)...

Writing Meme )
sigune: (Sleeping Mientje)
In September 2005, when [livejournal.com profile] omniocular was started, I in a bout of shocking vanity offered myself up for membership, and sent the mods an e-mail with links to my drawings and stories. [livejournal.com profile] omniocular is, should you be unfamiliar with it, a closed community for gen art and fic that maintains a quality standard – and I, being a perfectionist who refuses to deliver anything that is not as good as I think I can get it (which is not necessarily saying much), thought I would see whether my hard work met the community’s standards. It is after all a fact that a considerable percentage of those who comment favourably on my art and stories are people who have over time become friends of mine, and affection might very well make them a little blind to my artistic shortcomings, so I was rather interested in the judgement of people I didn’t know.

The verdict came a few days later: the mods took me in, but only as an artist; they kindly asked me not to use my membership for posting stories. I have to confess that this was rather the opposite of what I had expected to be told, because whereas I have no training whatsoever as an artist, I supposed I was ever so slightly qualified when it came to fiction writing, if only because I had spent four years studying literature. Of course I know that being a decent reader and essayist doesn’t make one a decent fiction writer as well, but my connection with and education concerning text has always seemed deeper and more – sanctioned than that which I have with the visual arts. This is just to say I was a little surprised, though not exactly upset.

Because I take everything I do disturbingly seriously, I asked the mods what, in their opinion, were my mistakes as a writer, so that I could try to remedy them in the future. Their answer was that I did too much telling and too little showing.

I have to say that at first I was at a loss as to what this meant. Though I do polish and rewrite a lot, I had never paid any special attention to the aspects of showing and telling, and if I was honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what they meant. Some time later, however, I saw [livejournal.com profile] jen_deben mention something about showing and telling in connection with the rewrite of her novel, so I gathered my courage and asked her to please have a look at two of my stories and explain to me how to distinguish between them, which she kindly agreed to do. The stories came back with lots of very useful comments (*hugs Jen*) – and it dawned on me that ‘too much telling’ doesn’t quite cover what I do :D. I hardly do anything else than tell! Some of my stories, like The Dark Night of the Soul, don’t have as much as a single moment of showing. Only … those happen to be my favourites. There was something funny going on here, but I didn’t give it much thought, and instead while writing tried to remember to increase my ‘showing’, though I rather doubt that I was succesful.

Now, with Deathly Hallows ominously appearing on the horizon, and my languishing WIP of Doom in peril of not getting finished in time, I have once again started to wonder about the whole showing/telling issue. And once more, while going through the existing fragments of said WIP of Doom, I realised that the passages I am most satisfied with are almost purely … telling. It became obvious to me that I would never earn a quality seal of the Omniocular variety if I persisted in committing writerly crimes like that, and worse, relishing in them :D. But are they indeed crimes? Please allow me to present you my dilemma. Read more... )
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... )

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