September 24th, 2022
It’s been a long time since I’ve written one of these. I have meandered through many Monthly Forecasts, but this is a little bit different. I’m going to do my best not to ramble too much, but I fear it’s inevitable in these sorts of blogs.
This should probably go without saying, but I will place a disclaimer here. I will be discussing spoilers for both book 1 and book 2 of Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity. I will not, of course, spoil anything in book 3.
It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Not just since I’ve written one of these blogs, but since the curtain flapped closed on the end of book 2. I must say I was pleased with how this year progressed. Looking back now, there are a lot of technical writing things I don’t love. Going full-time as a writer near the end of last year sparked a lot of growth that had no time to show in book 2, but overall, it’s still a product I am pleased with. I am well-known for loathing my old work, but this is not the case here. I have said for a long time that PoP is my most well-executed story. Despite meandering prose and a great deal of needless exposition, book 2 set the stage very well for what is to come in book 3, which I am now pleased to announce.
The first chapter of book 3 will be posted next Saturday, October 1st, 2022 on Fanfiction.net and AO3. Most of you reading this are probably from the Discord server, in which case you have likely read the first five chapters already. You’re in luck if you enjoyed them; both Discord members and public readers will receive chapters every Saturday — barring perhaps the holiday season — until the book’s conclusion. There are twenty-seven chapters, so you will have a consistent stream of content for some time. I should also mention here that all twenty-seven of those chapters are available on my Patreon page and that I will begin posting book 4 there the first week of October.
I am very excited to finally post this. I am a broken record in saying this, but very little of what I have posted publicly reflects my current ability as a writer. Most of it is wildly outdated and written in a completely different style that I no longer care for. I cringe anytime I am judged for past projects. I understand that is all there is to judge and that it is therefore logical, but it is painful to watch people judge you for things you have long-since grown past.
This year will be the most accurate reflection yet of what I am actually capable of. It’s not a perfect display — most of this book was written while I transitioned from style to style and is still technically outdated — but I have worked very hard on revising each chapter to bring it up to speed. I am very pleased with the end product and think it is, by far, the best thing I have yet posted — though I suspect it will lose that title sooner rather than later.
These revisions were extensive and difficult. The year’s first draft was roughly 140,000 words. The final product stands at around 107,000 words. No content was removed; the difference in word counts is merely a demonstration of my updated approach to prose. There were actually a handful of scenes added during revisions that helped really shore up a couple arcs I felt needed a little bit extra.
I do apologize for how long this story has taken. Writing and revising its entirety was a long process, but it is how I will go about posting this story from now on. The good thing is that I plan to start writing book 4 in nine days, so hopefully by the time this wraps up, I have most of that year done. Here’s hoping — I expect book 4 to be significantly longer than book 3.
Despite the lengthy break between years, I am happy with my process. It has led to the most complete product I have yet shared and I am very excited for you all to read it.
So let’s talk about the story itself!
Book 2 left off on quite the cliffhanger. I would apologize if I didn’t enjoy them so much. Voldemort has returned, Harry has set himself some lofty goals, and Gellert Grindelwald lurks in the shadows.
I have, in the past, described book 3 as Harry’s coming out party. Book 1 showed just how naive he was. That naivety began eroding over the course of book 2, and by its end, Harry is a very different person but one with many uncertainties. I will not claim that all of these are answered in book 3, but this is the year in which Harry begins establishing what kind of person he will really be. There is an extreme amount of growth this year and it is the most character-driven work I have posted so far. Though the revisions were hellacious, it was enjoyable going through the year and watching Harry change. I hope that is an experience you will all enjoy as much as I did; some of you may be surprised how his character shapes up.
That character-driven approach was taken not just with Harry, but with others as well. I often lament how so many in this fandom dislike viewpoints that are not Harry’s. Those people can rest assured that the vast majority of this book is told through Harry’s eyes. Several other characters do get their own scenes — two, in particular, get a handful throughout the year — but this is the most singular I have been when writing points of view. I think both sets of people will be relatively happy — the ones who love expansive stories with lots of characters, and the ones who prefer a narrower focus.
Ron and Draco have big years. There is no Draco point of view scene this year, but he evolves plenty through the eyes of others. I think I have done a good job so far establishing that Draco is still very much the arrogant boy we know from the original series. Many fanfictions operate under this illogical idea that he was misrepresented or that he really wasn’t that bad. The truth is, Draco was a self-centred bully lugging around an ego larger than either Crabbe or Goyle. I would like to think I have shown that to remain true in the first two years. Book 3 will not be taking that back, nor will Draco make some miraculous one hundred and eighty degree swerve. What you will see is the most in-depth look at his character so far and a lot of indirect work to further his development. I am very interested to see what you all think — I have worked hard developing a realistic arc for Draco and await your opinions.
Then there is Ron. Many disliked Ron in book 1. They felt that I was using him as a stand-in for canon Harry or that I was being too kind to him. I disagree with both those notions and insist that his usage has been very purposeful. I think others began realizing that over the course of book 2 because the complaints about Ron dwindled until they faded nearly from existence.
I think Ron’s is the arc I’m most anxious for in book 3. There is less focus on him this year than in the other two. It is a transitional year of sorts for Ron, who will play a larger role in books to come. That being said, I had a couple of key things I wanted to execute and think I have done them well. I have also been fairly bold in how I approached their execution and worry slightly how some may receive it. Patrons seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, though my three separate audiences — Patreon, Discord, and FFN/AO3 — often have very differing opinions. Let’s just say there is some narrative misdirection that I think will lead to false assumptions being made way too early. I ask for a little bit of patience on this front and for you not to assume you know where Ron’s arc is going by the time we reach mid-year.
Then there is Hermione, who I am finally doing things with. She is the trickiest canon character for me to work with most of the time. She is in a very awkward spot. She is very important to the original canon, but her disposition often leads to poor fits in my writing. I have often shunted her off to the side as a sloppy way of fixing this problem, but I am going to play around with her character in this story. There has been some subtle setup in the first two years, but this is where it really begins. She gets several scenes throughout this year, but all of them are short. I think the longest may be 600 or 700 words, though I would need to fact check that. The point is that not many words were spent working on her, but I think I accomplished a lot in very little time, which was my goal. Her arc is setting up future events, so I didn’t want it to dominate the year or take away from other stories.
One of my favourite aspects of this story is the dynamic between Harry and Grindelwald. I know the memory scenes are somewhat controversial. It feels like people either love them or hate them. They are among my favourite scenes to write, so I am firmly in the former’s camp. I will say that I think people who disliked them in book 2 may change their tune in book 3. Grindelwald’s memories are no longer about watching his foundations being forged — they are about exploring the wider wizarding world, watching how the war bloomed, and understanding what really led to its end.
These memories are not only a vital component of Harry’s growth, but in book 3, they are a serious vehicle for non-expository worldbuilding and foreshadowing for events long down the road. I have done my best, like with the other side-plots, not to allow these domination over the year. I have tightened the prose in these scenes more than most and tried to make sure I accomplish a lot in relatively few words. I am interested to see how they are received this year. Some will never like them because they are not from Harry’s point of view, but many of them are among my favourite scenes in the story, so I am always eager to share.
I mentioned how this year was a transition for Ron. That is largely true for the story in general. I hesitate to call it a ‘transitional year’ because I think that comes with some negative connotations. I think when people hear ‘transitional year’, they falsely assume it is non-essential reading and that not much will happen.
I am going to risk using the term anyway. This is a bit of a ‘transitional year’, though plenty happens and I would dare say it remains interesting throughout. It just happens to bridge books 2 and 4 in interesting ways and contains lots of setup for future years whilst plots brew and thicken in the shadows. It will be clearer what I mean when you all read more of it, but again, I would like to stress that calling it a ‘transitional year’ does not imply a lack of essential content.
I am going to try and avoid such a long wait between books 3 and 4. Nine months have passed since the posting of book 2’s final chapter. I am much further ahead this time, so it shouldn’t be so bad. I was fewer than ten chapters ahead when book 2 ended — more like five, I believe — and I am now twenty-seven chapters ahead of Fanfiction.net and AO3.
Like I mentioned above, I will be writing then revising all of book 4 before it is publicly posted, but I am starting that in nine days. Given that book 3 consists of twenty-seven chapters and that I may miss a week or two of posting due to the holiday season, let’s assume it wraps up in seven months — starting from the first chapter’s posting on October 1st. That means book 3’s final chapter should be posted publicly some time in April, with Discord members getting it a little over a month sooner.
I doubt I will be finished writing book 4 by then. It is a very packed year and there is a lot to juggle. There are many more points of view and the story often takes place in two different countries at the same time. That’s going to pose its own challenges and lead to a longer tale. My hope is that I will make very good progress in the next seven months and that I won’t need to revise book 4 as heavily as I revised book 3. I am a much better writer now and think my style has been found, so that should save a significant amount of time. Here’s hoping we avoid another nine-month wait.
I hope you’re all excited to read book 3. I know I have waxed poetic about this above, but it really is the best thing I have yet posted and it means a lot to me that I am finally posting things less outdated than what is currently on Fanfiction.net and AO3. Again, all twenty-seven chapters are on Patreon and I will begin work on book 4 starting October 3rd. If you would like to keep up with those drafts as they’re being written, head on over there.
Thank you all for your patience these last nine months — enjoy book 3, at long last!