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Harry Potter: Upon the Threshold

The Wizarding World Braces for World War

Membership:
Open
Posting Access:
Select Members
Basics
This is an interactive writing group for fans of Harry Potter. The setting is 1938, as Britain braces itself for possible war with Germany. The goal of the group is to explore a war time magical world, and how it will effect the students, if at all, studying at Hogworts.

Cannon is expected. That is while Tom Riddle is a young student, he can't be killed off. Nor can Dumbledore figure him out fully. There are a few other cannon characters alive at this time, including Dumbledore, McGonagall, Mr. Ollivander, and Headmaster Dippet. Respect to the established timelines is expected.

Most of all, the goal of this is also to have fun writing in the style and setting of the Harry Potter universe. Members are encouraged to propose new story arcs and NPC's to the story to explore the various goings-on through the muggle and wizarding worlds, as well as to brainstorm conflicts, foils and hurdles for the Principle Characters.

Our Communities
hputt: This is our main community for posting our writing. The only posts here should be our stories so that if people wish to list HP:UtT on their friends list, they aren't overwhelmed with our commentary and other ideas/ questions.
hputt_sorting: This is our "Application" group and where we ask people to post their character bios, histories and other relevant information before joining.
hputt_comments: This community is for discussing the books, stories, the HP world as it is relevant to our writing, NPC notes, comments on other characters and settings etc. It is currently open to all interested (unlike the main posting community) but that will change if we feel there is abuse.

Writing Style
Fiction versus Dialogues

For this group we are asking that members write short fiction pieces. They should be roughly 1-2 typed pages and focus mainly on "your" character. Over the action, of course, we encourage writers to include others in their tale. Drawing from character bios, previous posts, and comments, players should be getting a good idea of how everyone's character tends to act.

This contrasts the usual style of Live Journal RPG's where a character writes a short "blurb" and then waits for someone to respond, the two or three bouncing around one or two sentances at a time. The reason we are not following this format is that we are only expecting people to post weekly, and respect that our players do not have time to check Live Journal every hour or even every night.

While this may seem like our community is less active then others, it should also provide a little defense agasint burn out and make us more like a Writing Group, and a bit less like an RPG.

Imagine if the story of Harry Potter wasn't told exclusively from Harry's point of view, but that as the story progressed, JK switched to Hermione's eyes, then to Ron's, then to Dobby's, then back to Harry. The action is not repeated, and all the characters remain true, but the story keeps going foward.

God-modding

There is also a practice called "God Modding" which, in most LJ RPG's, is considered poor form. In short it involves controlling other people's characters. A "bad" example of posting would be:

Hermione aimed her wand at Harry and shouted "Stupify!" Unaware of the coming spell, Harry was knocked flat.

The "better" post as defined by many would be:

Hermione pulled her wand suddenly and aimed it Harry. "Stupify!" she shouted, fearful that she wasn't fast enough to catch him off guard.

... and there the post ends while we wait for Harry to post if he gets stupified or not.

Based on our hope of people posting their stories less frequently then daily or hourly, it could take weeks to resolve such conflict.

To get around this, we encourage members to use the comments section after every post to discuss how their characters are going to react, and to use messaging services and other means to discuss how a post might flow. This will help ensure that everyone is comfortable with how their character is working out in everyone else's stories, and move us towards a fun writing group.

So, in a sense, we permit and encourage God-Moding, but only in the context that this a writing group where we are all trying to have fun telling a story, not in the sense that you can make other people your lackeys. Remember the tenant of having fun first.

Joining

First hop over to our sister community: http://www.livejournal.com/community/hputt_sorting and join up.

There, post a character description that you'd like to play in the context of the game. Any character from 1st to 3rd year is acceptable. More information follows on that site.

Once your character is approved you'll be invited to begin posting on the main page.

Chapter Outlines and Story Arcs

Before writing a post, please review the chapter outlines and story arcs in our hputt_comments community. In your posts, feel free to develop whatever active arcs are currently running and help move the story towards the end of the chapter and the arc towards resolution.

Please try to avoid singlehandedly solving any given story arc in a single story post. Feel free to add obstacles to yourself and others along the way, and don't feel that you need to resolve every conflict within the arc the moment you see it. Some challenges require multiple attempts to overcome.

Posting Guidelines

Each post should be a seperate piece of prose writing, told from the 3rd person perspective.

Feel free to include other characters but do not "make them" take character redifining actions.

Questions can be directed to MrOsterman at comcast dott net

Posts should begin with:

Chapter:
Number:
Title:
Author:
Principle Characters:
Non Principle Characters:
Summary:

The post itself should be posted in a live journal cut. <*lj-cut text="summary"> your stuff then <*/lj-cut>. Remove the *'s to make it work.

Comments sections are for discussing how characters may react, and to permit feedback on the writing, the action, speculation on where to go from there, etc.

Out of Character Posts

Should be made in our Commentary community: hputt_comments

Comments about a writing piece are more then welcome after anyone's story segment, of course, even encouraged. But for discussing the number of students in a class, the length of a period, etc, those should be proposed as seperate discussions in the commentary community.

Relationships - Sex - Snogging

Taken from Harry Potter: The Order of the Pheonix

She was even nearer him now. He could have counted the freckles on her nose.
"I really like you, Harry."
He could not think. A tingling sensation was spreading throughout him, paralyzing his arms, legs, and brain.
She was much too close. He could see every tear clinging to her eyelashes...

He returned to the common room half an hour later to find Hermione and Ron in the best seats by the fire; nearly everybody else had gone to bed.

And from there Harry is questioned about what kept him.

We know this story pretty well, and I use it as a model for handling romantic interludes. In HBP we were introduced to a bit more "in your face" snogging, as it were, but I would like it if we can keep the snogging "off Camera" for the most part.

Player Conflict

Should any conflicts between players arise, the moderator will resolve them as fairly as he or she can without harming the fun of the game for the rest of the players. Concerns should be brought forward as early as possible so as to be dealt with before they can get out of proportion.

Suggestions
It never hurts to know your setting well. The web is filled with references to help you keep your character in the right time as well as place. Some good links to help with background information:

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/ww2time.htm

http://www.hp-lexicon.org/index-2.html

Need more?
Questions, comments, and ideas can be emailed to us privately at MrOsterman or Jennisis at comcast dot net. We'll both be happy to help you.

Other Communities/ Affiliates
_tom_felton_: For fans of Tom Felton, the young man to bring our favorite kid villan to screen
dayinthelife_hp: A general fan community with commentary, RP, etc.
__hogwarts_rpg_: Modern RP set between books 6 and 7

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