Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From Platform 9 3/4

I am dedicating a couple days to Harry Potter related stuff, as… well… you’ll understand if you read… Who was it who suggested that we begin at the beginning? Bilbo Baggins? Winnie the Pooh? I swear I can hear Pooh say it. And far be it for me to dismiss a silly old bear without his due consideration and poke in the belly. I suppose the beginning for me, though I didn’t know it at the time, was when my daughter (then 6) brought home Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone from her school library. I was sucked in from the start, to JK Rowling’s humor and way of putting things, and after I’d put my daughter to bed, I closeted myself away with the book and fell in love. Santa brought us the first three of the series for Christmas, and the Goblet of Fire followed on my next trip to Sam’s Club. We had to wait for the 5th, which at that point was only marginally hard, but Order of the Phoenix made me a die-hard fan, forever and inexorably. Photobucket In 2005 I joined a fan site (HPANA) and sought out the community forums to find other fans to discuss the books with. I found a place called the “Wizard War” dedicated to predicting what would happen in the next two books. There I met not nameless people, throwing out ideas and disappearing, but real people who visited daily, with well thought out ideas, personalities (and quirks), silly banter… an online family of sorts. And a lot of silliness ensued. Without them, though, I don’t think it ever would have occurred to me to dig as deep, explore as far, connect as many dots… and without that, I don’t think I ever really would have understood what was required to write. Photobucket Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always written, but before this it seemed a muse-inspired random occurrence, like getting hit by lightning… sometimes it just happened. But that isn’t how it is. It is, in reality, a list of a lot of pieces that all need to fit, that can be connected through the puzzle of prose. A broad outline of main events, sprinkled with details, and then connected through the relationships of the characters becomes a book. I tried my hand at this first with a story called The Other Prince. I had a theory that Lord Voldemort required all Death Eaters, as initiation, to kill their own fathers. I decided to explore it through Eileen Prince (Snape), who I imagined went to school with Tom Riddle. And amazingly, I found a readership, but more amazingly, I finished my first ever very long work (it runs about 200 pages) and was sucked into writing for life. So I just need to thank those Wizard Warriors who pulled me in, and helped me understand what went into a true book, and my earlier readers (Tara, you’ll always be my first!) and the seed planters who encouraged me to write something entirely original (Natasha, this one’s on you). And Cheeser-when I get my book contract, I promise to become a site supporter rather than a moocher… *sniffs*

11 comments:

AK said...

Ah, the lure of J.K. is unrelenting and sweet. May your mistletoe always be swarming with gnargles and your readership explode like a snorkack horn.

- your Voluble Minstrel, at your service.

Watery Tart said...

Thank you, Adam! You're ever so speedy!

Gaelgeoir said...

HWC tribute post/HP tribute post! I love it!
As I love the blog. I hafta give ya dollops of respect and kudos for deciding to write, Tami. The post was brilliant, and has left me all reminiscent and happy:)
to think that the Wizard War was so long ago now!
(I think i first found it four years ago)
I'll definitely keep reading!

- Your long-lost leprechaun hunter, Neil

Watery Tart said...

HPANA comes through! I have 4 new followers in just a couple hours, including an official Leprechaun hunter! That HAS to be lucky!

Joris said...

NEIL!!!!!!!! :D
*tacklehug*

I actually already WAS a follower (think I was the fourth or so), but this is great ;)

To update the history, as de facto keeper of the archives (I still have the ZIPs, don't you worry ;) ), I can tell you that on the 11th of November 2009, the War will be five years old :)

Ah, the good times when we used to go through ten pages (of 25 posts each!) a day, and not just oneliners, but long, very long, posts, often running the full 2500 character limit and needing a SECOND post to complete them, often of the most well thought out theories of the site.

Mind you, I still haven't got a satisfactory answer to my very first question (April 2005): what happens if someone tries to Floo into a Fidelius'd building? According to Snape in HBP you can't say the name if you're not the Secret Keeper, yet Harry managed to get through to the kitchen without a hitch in OotP (of communicatorial nature in any case, we'd have to ignore the slight Umbitch problem), and in DH things got completely turned upside down...

Love you Tami!! :D

*Kas* said...

Well, I've been following this from the very beginning, but I've finally decided to ACTUALLY join and follow. So here I am. :)

I've already told you how much I enjoy reading your posts, but I'll say it again--I love it all! Keep writing! ;)

Carnimire said...

Have said it once. Will cheerfully say it a million times.

The best piece of fan-fiction I have ever read is 'The Other Prince'. There are two other authors I like a lot- one you have publicly acknowledged as being the source of much of the para-canon you drew upon, the other writing the most brilliant comedy - but if I had to vote for one author who JKR could hire to round out her Potterverse series, it is you.

You are a brilliant author, Hart. Absolutely brilliant.

Watery Tart said...

I can't believe this connection never occurred to me before. Thank you SO MUCH fabulous friends, for joining this venture! 13 new followers signed up yesterday, just because I made my HPANA plea--that's like a 40% increase and I'm AMAZED-so THANK YOU!!!

And Natasha-you flatter me, though today's blog will toy with those ideas a little, so hold that thought!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Well, I've not read, The Other Prince, but, it sounds like a terrific premise. And, clearly, from the comments, it's well done. What's its current status?

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog</a

Watery Tart said...

Galen, it is on the archived boards here:

http://www.hpana.com/forums/topic_view.cfm?tid=49196

I completed it in March of 2006, but did an epilogue after the release of Deathly Hallows. I was pleased that none of my 'big facts' were disproved, other than a few of the specifics of the Black family tree. (I am Gnargles&Snorkaks and any chat you see, has be as Tami--Hart being my pen name), but it is all linked, so you can easily ignore the chat if you want.

Thank you so much for your interest! (and keep in mind it is the first thing I wrote. I still love the story, but 4 novel length stories later, I feel like my style has improved)

Gaelgeoir said...

Hahaha! Tami, it's been too long since I used my old title!:D
I love how this blog is literally riddled with HP references, and serious kudos to you for the amount of similarities between 'Best Laid Plans' and DH!!
I remember when I read the description of Ravenclaw Tower I was completely blown away by how similiar my description of it was in my old, barely started fanfic! It's such a rush :D