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The White Serpent: Avocado's Fanfiction Journal

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[sticky post] Fanfiction Masterlist. Aug. 18th, 2020 @ 01:54 pm
Everyone else has one of these.

Fanfiction index.Collapse )

Fic Commentary: Fire, Burn Jul. 28th, 2016 @ 02:18 pm
Another fic that I never wrote commentary on, so let's get that out of the way, shall we?

Snip. For those not interested in my fanfiction commentaries: no fear, there are not many left.Collapse )

Fic Commentary: You Can Have My Everything Jul. 21st, 2016 @ 02:38 pm
I never actually wrote commentary on this fic, because I'm conflicted about it. But, eh, what the hell.

This is another angsty story of doom-- but without the sentence fragments. First person, present tense, lots and lots of angst. Also more BDSM, which is also not particularly uncommon for me.

It's obviously less complex than "Take These Lies" and certainly less happy.

So, I believe this was during the time when I was watching hd_prophet. I saw the dracotops_harry fest and read through the various prompts. vaysh's prompt interested me, and I went back and forth about whether to write it. Once again, the issue was that I had some really detailed ideas of what I wanted to write, but it wasn't what I intended to work on at the time.

I always have the best of intentions of working on the Snape/Black epic; the problem with doing so is that the draft of part 4 is so emotionally wrenching that I cannot finish it and start shaking when I get to the end of reading it. I can fix everything in part 5, but I need to tone down part 4 so it's bearable to read. I have an outline that will do that and still preserve much of the current content. And yet I do not want to do that, because all of the other parts exist for part 4. Round and round and round we go...

As you can imagine, an angsty BDSM fic is lightweight and happy by comparison!

I had some specific scenes in mind when I read the prompt; all of them made it in with the exception of Draco stumbling over the umbrella stand in Grimmauld Place after leaving Harry's room; I think he also talked to the portrait in that scene. In order to do that, I needed to alternate Harry and Draco viewpoint, and I decided that Draco's viewpoint didn't add enough to the story. It's obvious how Draco feels; Harry knows it and refuses to acknowledge it. Specific elements I wanted to include:
  • "Oh, and Potter? As for taking it up the arse: I don't." Very specific line; part of original vision of scene in pub.

  • "Maybe I do. Fancy you."

  • Draco waking up shocked and horrified at what he's done. [Actually, only part of this scene makes it in, because the rest is Draco viewpoint and involves tripping over the umbrella stand.]

  • The follow-up scene in the elevator.

  • Everyone knows; no one cares.

  • Draco doesn't fly anymore.

  • Draco bringing Goyle to the Quidditch game, because Goyle's his friend.

  • The scene where Draco tries to force Harry to see what he's doing.
So, yeah, pretty much everything that's in the story sprang to mind when I saw the prompt, except a way to end it.

I went back and forth about whether to use "Closer" or "Hurt" (which is also on The Downward Spiral, and is perhaps better known for Johnny Cash's cover). The problem with "Hurt" is I couldn't come up with a good excerpt to use as a title. "Liar's Brow"? "Empire of Dirt"? Nothing really good there. "Closer" is one of my favorite songs*, so, despite the fact I can easily think of two HP fics offhand that used it (one H/D, one SS/RL), I went ahead and used that one. "You can have my isolation/You can have the hate that it brings/You can have my absence of faith/You can have my everything"-- so, this grouping of lines defines the events in the story, though of course the rest fits in as well ("You let me violate you/You let me desecrate you/You let me penetrate you/You let me complicate you.") Also the scene breaks are -@- because the @ looks like a spiral.

Now, there are two major issues with this fic: (1) Harry's characterization and (2) not enough editing. I'll start with (2).

(2). I finished the first draft of this story well on schedule. And then I spent a month and a half suffering from debilitating morning sickness. Now, when they call it morning sickness, this gives you the impression that it only appears in the morning. Not so! I felt miserable all of the time, except when I was exercising. I also felt so hot that I was running outside in a t-shirt and shorts in February in an attempt to cool off. I am not joking. Basically, I spent a month and a half feeling so miserable that there was no way I could work on this story. In fact, I completely missed the fest deadline. Felt very bad about this when I realized, apologized to Vaysh (who was one of the fest mods). She gave me an extension, and I typed it in from the original draft, did some minimal editing, and submitted it. I said I'd write it; I did write it. Entirely my fault if it doesn't meet my standards. Much could be improved with more editing; biggest of those issues is choppiness. [Oh, and also the Americanisms, which I didn't address. Again: not enough editing.]

(1). You'll note that I don't complain about Draco, Hermione, Ginny, or Ron in this story. They're fine. Draco's not the same as in "Take These Lies", but it's a perfectly viable way for Draco to go given the time in Azkaban which was called for in the prompt. Harry... I don't see Harry going this way, to be honest. Harry, here, is a more extreme version of Book 5 Harry. He feels deeply trapped by other people's expectations of him (or at least what he perceives as their expectations of him), and yet he's unwilling to let himself appear as anything but a hero. This leads into a downward spiral (see?) of self-loathing. And he's bitter.

The self-loathing is the main reason for the craving for pain in an unsafe way, and his desire to be the hero everyone thinks he is is the reason that he kind of loathes Draco for giving it to him. Harry doesn't have boundaries, and that's not a safe path. The only thing protecting him in this story is that Draco doesn't really want to hurt him anymore.

Like I said, I have a hard time believing Harry would go in this direction after book 7. It's not entirely implausible, but Harry's pretty resilient in the face of many horrible things.

In this story, Harry has all of the power. (This was something I wanted to get in; the focus on who tops in these relationships seems to be related to power dynamics. Whatever. Draco's on top; Harry has the power.) He whines and gripes about how the world doesn't work the way he wants it to, but ultimately he's controlling everything. It's deeply unsettling for him when things get out of control-- when Ron goes around him to invite Draco to the Quidditch game, when he realizes he can't control what Draco tells his friends, when he realizes everyone knows anyway. He needs to acknowledge he can't control everything and cede a little of that power: to Ron, to Draco. He also needs to choose which way he's going to go with his "others' expectations" issue: is he going to circumscribe his world based on how he thinks others will respond (which hasn't brought him much happiness), or is he going to let go and take the consequences?

This is the point of the ending of the story: Harry makes a deliberate choice to let go. For Ron, he doesn't have to reach so far. For Draco, he needs to make a huge gesture because of the degree to which he's screwed up. On the face of it, it may not seem like a huge gesture to kiss someone in public-- but, for this Harry, it is. (Wrapped up in this is the faint mention that Harry learns to exist in the moment he's in rather than in thinking about what has happened/what will happen. Not sure I emphasized this enough.)

Where would this relationship go in the future? I would have a better idea if I'd finished writing the alternating scenes from Draco's point of view. This Harry's going to still be into pain, but in a safer way. Whether this would work long-term is dependent on whether Draco's getting enough out of it.

Anyway, like I said, I'm conflicted about this story because I'm not sure Harry's characterization works.

*Some may note that my taste in music is either eclectic or nonexistent.

Ebay's feedback filter is a little too sensitive. Oct. 22nd, 2015 @ 04:43 pm
Bought a pen on ebay last week. It was exactly as described and shipped quickly.

I wanted to say as much in my feedback:
Pen is as described and shipped quickly. Thank you!

But no. I was told my comment contained forbidden words and to edit it. What the hell is wrong with my feedback? I thought. Are exclamation points forbidden now?

After changing "pen" to "the item", I eventually figured out which filter I was tripping, but it was not obvious to me.. because, you know, I bought a pen and I was writing about a pen. There was a space there, you know, like I was talking about a pen. (I like feedback that mentions the type of item, because the item links eventually go dead, and it matters to me whether someone has built up 5K feedback selling items like the one I'm thinking of buying or not.)

Does anyone have a way to contact Yahoo? May. 6th, 2015 @ 11:46 am
Lo these many years ago, I had some egroups accounts, which transitioned to Yahoo groups accounts. I deleted them all a couple of years ago. A few months ago, I started getting weekly email notifications about files being uploaded to one of the groups (of which I was once a member). The group was pretty much defunct for years, probably still is, and whoever's posting files appears to be a porn spambot (joy).

I assumed I had just thought I'd deleted the account and tried to log in to do it. But, no, Yahoo agrees that I don't have an account. It doesn't recognize the email address under which I'm receiving these emails. When I try to go through their help menus to get someone to contact, I eventually end up forced to a screen where I'm supposed to log in, which I can't do, because my account doesn't exist.

Is someone aware of a way to contact Yahoo that doesn't require creating an account, or do I have to create an account in order to ask them for help because they somehow failed to completely delete an account, and then delete that one, too? Seems counterproductive.

Do not. Feed. The Troll. Apr. 17th, 2015 @ 03:02 pm
I continue to watch the drama around the Hugo awards. I have just one question: why are people behaving like they've never seen a troll before? Vox Day is following the troll playbook to the letter. Consistently. Online SF fandom is flailing as if they've never seen this sort of performance art before in their lives. WTF.

Stop feeding the troll.

The Hugo Awards. Apr. 10th, 2015 @ 05:52 pm
For those unaware, a couple of groups banded together successfully this year and voted a slate of nominees onto the Hugo ballot. This is upsetting to people for a couple of reasons, one of which is definitely the politics of the people who put the slate together, the other being that slate voting is unfair because it effectively shuts out other participants (who were not likewise voting a slate).
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And it's actually a Wednesday! Apr. 17th, 2013 @ 03:38 pm
Of course, I haven't done one of these since last month, so...

Recent readings.Collapse )
Current Mood: contentcontent

Mar. 25th, 2013 @ 09:04 pm
Actually, I would guess that the problem in cases like this is not lawyers or our sue-happy American public; it's the health system. (This is not to say that the first two aren't problems, but...)

Let's say you do something really stupid and end up with third-degree burns (as in this article).

How much of it is your insurance going to cover? Depends, but you're probably looking at 50% with some sort of lifetime cap. Now, yes, your insurance is going to negotiate down the total so you'd be looking at less overall than you otherwise might. Still, health costs are responsible for the majority of bankruptcies. So, if you're facing a scenario where you have $20K+ in health care costs and no means to pay it, do you say, "OMG; I'm stupid and I guess I'll pay for the next X years, or declare bankruptcy and ruin my credit!" or do you say, "I can't possibly pay this; I'm going to sue and see if I can possibly get someone else to pay it. Worst case, I declare bankruptcy when I lose, which is what I was going to have to do anyway."

Obviously I could be wrong, but I would suspect that single-payer health care would probably help reduce these sorts of lawsuits.

Reading. Mar. 13th, 2013 @ 11:56 am
I'm going to try to make these semi-regular. And also come up with a theme for another semi-regular posting.

Reading post.Collapse )

The problem about not posting in a long time... Feb. 22nd, 2013 @ 03:28 pm
...is that then you feel that you need to have sufficiently important content to post again. And also explain the continued lack of posting, etc., etc.

Oh, well. General explanation: I have a toddler. I hope to have a clean and organized house again sometime in the next few years, and also to feel "whelmed" (instead of overwhelmed...)

I kind of enjoy people's "book Wednesday" posts. Obviously, it's not Wednesday, but:
book commentsCollapse )

HP Fic: You Can Have My Everything (H/D) Mar. 8th, 2011 @ 08:37 pm
Note (to be deleted later): I'm trying to leave responses to people who commented on the story on DTH, but LJ doesn't seem to be stable. Half the time, I can't access the post at all. The other half, my attempts to post comments fail.

Title: You Can Have My Everything
Author: Avocado (white_serpent)
Summary: Sometimes it takes a little pain to break through the apathy.
Content: Rough sex/BDSM, Angst (and lots of it), 1st person/present tense
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): Draco/Harry (minor: Draco/Others implied, Dennis Creevey/Harry, Ron/Hermione)
Word Count: ~8000
Disclaimer: Characters and settings not mine; the story is.
Author's Notes: This was written for a very specific prompt for dracotops_harry's fest (#8 submitted by vaysh). I tried to write as close to the prompt as I could; it seemed like a challenge to write a character with serious emotional problems and still make him sympathetic. vaysh was kind enough to tell me shortly after I submitted it that I did hit what she was looking for. I was late with my submission due to health issues; I appreciate the mods' patience with that. Title is taken from Nine Inch Nails' "Closer." I know that's a cliché; just go with it.

You Can Have My EverythingCollapse )

The Towers of Midnight. Dec. 7th, 2010 @ 09:04 pm
So, I was assuming Sanderson would come here this year, and I put off buying the book until he was going to show up. (You get better position for book signings if you buy the book from the bookstore the author visits). But apparently he visited back in October for his own novel, prior to this novel's release. Much delay, little purpose. I ordered a signed copy since my others are all signed.

It arrived last week, and I've finished reading it.

Anyway. This book.

Spoiler cut, as requestedCollapse )

HP Fic Commentary: Take These Lies Nov. 8th, 2010 @ 04:31 pm
I decided I wanted to try writing Harry/Draco for a couple of reasons. Both, of course, relate to the "glorious epic"-- read "glorious epic" in a self-mocking way whenever I type it. First, I needed to get back into practice writing, as it's been a long time since I have. Second, I have a use for Draco, so I felt I needed to get a better handle on his character. (I had an idea for a Draco/Hermione fic as well, but it wasn't set close enough to Deathly Hallows to be of use to me.)

This is long.Collapse )

Fanfic Commentary: The Milk of Paradise. Oct. 29th, 2010 @ 12:02 am
Each part of this series is written in a different style. The Milk of Paradise is an angsty, sentence-fragment story of doom. In some ways, it's a rewrite of my old Slayers story, Eyes Wide Open. They're not strictly the same, of course; the characters are different, making their interaction different. Eyes Wide Open is a play on the Eros and Psyche myth, and The Milk of Paradise, while similar, really is patterned after Coleridge's "Kubla Khan."

There's very little going on here.Collapse )

Take These Lies: Index Sep. 7th, 2010 @ 06:01 pm
General information:
Title: Take These Lies
Author: Avocado
Pairing: Harry/Draco (implied or stated, but not explicit: Blaise/Pansy, Draco/Blaise/Pansy, Draco/Various, Ron/Hermione)
Length: ~34,000
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Characters and settings aren't mine, the story is.
Summary: Repeatedly rejected by the Auror training programme, Draco Malfoy attempts an unorthodox method of gaining admission.
Warnings: genderswap and dubious consent (Harry doesn't know it's Draco). Both were requested in scarlet_malfoy's prompt.
Notes: Written for hd_fan_fair (travel). Title is taken from George Michael's Freedom! '90. Thanks to cleodoxa for reading through this for flow, characterization, and Americanisms.

The story is broken in four parts purely for length, and I don't think the individual post breaks are particularly organic. This is one long story.

Post 1
Post 2
Post 3
Post 4

Take These Lies, Post 4/4 Sep. 7th, 2010 @ 05:42 pm
Post 3

See index to access other posts and disclaimer.

Post 4Collapse )

Take These Lies, post 3/4 Sep. 7th, 2010 @ 05:39 pm
Post 2

See index to access other posts and disclaimer.

Part 3Collapse )

Take These Lies, post 2/4 Sep. 7th, 2010 @ 05:37 pm
Post 1

See index to access other posts and disclaimer.

Part 2Collapse )

Take These Lies, post 1/4 Sep. 7th, 2010 @ 05:35 pm
See index to access other posts and disclaimer.

Take These Lies

part 1Collapse )
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