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They say a rule was never made that hadn't been broken. In this case whoever "they" are...are right. I've come across a lot of horrid fan fiction in my day, but if there's one thing that really really bothers me, it's a poorly written Severus Snape. Therefore, I have compiled these twenty-five simple rules to aid authors in writing him.

25 Rules for Writing Severus Snape
By Lauren K.

Rule Number One:
Severus Snape is a Potions Master who has been known to have been a spy, as well as exhibit extensive knowledge of the Dark Arts. The fact that I need to state this as a rule makes me die a little inside.

Rule Number Two:
Severus Snape does not refer to students by their first names unless otherwise instructed, and even then it takes effort.

Rule Number Three:
Severus Snape is not interested in anyone's personal life unless it has some bearing upon his own. Any interest shown would be done so begrudgingly.

Rule Number Four:
Severus Snape portrays himself as a snarky, sarcastic bastard who also exhibits intricacies of character as well as layer and depth. He is NOT a one-sided bit of fluff who really just wants to express a repressed need for love in an Oprah-like fashion.

Rule Number Five:
If he can help it, Severus Snape does not use Muggle transport. In other words, he does not willingly use a shuttle or sub-way on a regular basis.

Rule Number Six:
Severus Snape does not have innumerable illegitimate, witty, shining, intelligent (ie. Mary Sue) female children.

Rule Number Seven:
At his leisure, Severus Snape wears wizarding robes. Wizarding Robes. He does not voluntarily wear Muggle clothing.

Rule Number Eight:
Severus Snape does not orchestrate elaborate plots merely to get men, women, or children to sleep with him. He actually has dignity, you know.

Rule Number Nine:
Severus Snape does not talk about sex openly if ever. He especially does not do so with individuals he has no reason for trusting.

Rule Number Ten:
Severus Snape does not hire prostitutes. I really hope I don't have to elaborate upon this.

Rule Number Eleven:
Being a witch or a wizard in the Harry Potter universe does not automatically merit the belief in one or more god or gods. It also certainly does not mean Severus Snape practices Wicca.

Rule Number Twelve:
Severus Snape does not use the internet. (Note: If you ever happen to come across someone on the internet claiming to be Severus Snape, cease communication immediately.)

Rule Number Thirteen:
Severus Snape does not provide special affection in public areas, exceptions to school rules, or pet names for students.

Rule Number Fourteen:
Severus Snape is a very controlled man in speech and in action. This fact is apparent in his thought process as well; he has spent years perfecting this trait. Being such a controlled man, upon the occurrence that Severus Snape may have an erection, he would NOT under any circumstances be bold enough to thrust it upon unsuspecting people. Especially not at random.

Rule Number Fifteen:
Severus Snape would never, I repeat NEVER have sex in the potions closet. Considering how long it takes to organize, the rarity of ingredients, the volatile concoctions stored on the shelves, et cetera, this would NEVER happen. Really, I can't be more explicitly clear.

Rule Number Sixteen:
Severus Snape is not the kind of person who would "throw caution to the wind." Use of such a literary cliche in general is also cause for flogging.

Rule Number Seventeen:
Severus Snape is a Slytherin. Slytherins are cunning and ambitious, not inherently evil. Shall I repeat this one?

Rule Number Eighteen:
It is common knowledge that, being a Slytherin, Severus Snape is surrounded by the color green. As a writer, never under any circumstances describe the shade as "puke green". If a reader comes across this aberration, promptly cease reading the story; assuredly, it is not going to get any better.

Rule Number Nineteen:
Severus Snape is not the happy recipient of a multitude of love letters on a regular basis. And if he were, he would not owl back.

Rule Number Twenty:
Severus Snape does not teach sex-education. Furthermore, he does not give crash courses in "mind-blowing sex" either.

Rule Number Twenty-One:
Severus Snape does not pine for his students like a pre-pubescent school girl.

Rule Number Twenty-Two:
Severus Snape does not rape students. Nor does he stalk them. These authors in particular should seek mental health counseling.

Rule Number Twenty-Three:
Severus Snape was loyal to Dumbledore. Severus Snape was not Dumbledore's bitch. Most importantly, Severus Snape was not providing Dumbledore with sexual favors.

Rule Number Twenty-Four:
Severus Snape was not loyal to Voldemort. Severus Snape was not Voldemort's bitch. Most importantly, Severus Snape was not providing Voldemort with sexual favors.

Rule Number Twenty-Five:
Severus Snape does not teach chemistry at your local American high school or college. Don't make me hurt you.
Because it kills me a little more every time I read a poorly written Snape.

...

Hey, everyone! :) Thanks for all the comments and favorites on this piece! I wrote it for a bit of fun quite a few years ago and I'm happy to see people are still getting a laugh out of it. For those of you who are actually writing fan fiction and use this as a guideline, rock on, my friends. I'm glad you've been able to put this to use. :)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwegabluesun:
WegaBlueSun Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
And I forgot:

Rule Number Twenty-Nine:

Severus Snape's hair is greasy, not surprisingly soft and glossy. His body is scrawny, thin, possibly scarred. In no way, shape or form is Severus Snape's build lean but muscular, nor does he possess rippling abs. His robes may ripple in a stiff breeze, but nothing else does, certainly not his body. 
Severus Snape is not cute, handsome or beautiful in any way. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but a thin man with greasy hair, a huge nose and yellow, uneven teeth is not handsome. 

Rule Number Thirty:

Sadly, even though he probably would like them to be, Severus Snape's genitals are not
massively, absurdly huge and throbbing at the least touch. Nor can he ejaculate over and over again, in copious amounts, without losing/regaining an erection. No man can.
Sex fan fic writers are urged to actually have sex with an actual man before writing. And a woman, too, on second thought. Use of the phrase "spasming walls" will be punished with death.
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:iconwegabluesun:
WegaBlueSun Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
Rule Number Twenty-Six:

Severus Snape is not gay or bisexual. Nor is he sexually attracted to children and/or his students, former and/or current enemies, fellow teachers, patronuses etc etc etc. 

Rule Number Twenty-Seven:

Severus Snape detests Lily-Evans-wannabes and is likely to poison and/or curse them on first contact.

Rule Number Twenty-Eight:

Severus Snape takes proper spelling and grammar very seriously and will mock offenders
cruelly. In public, with lots of amused witnesses. It hurts more that way. And it's fun. 
Reply
:icono1m:
o1m Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
we have no absolute way of knowing that he doesn't hire prostitutes..... or maybe take the tube to Kent in a t-shirt who knows really? but otherwise i must quite agree.
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:iconthe-ushi-artist:
The-Ushi-Artist Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, you're right- it's sad how many of these are broken. I always get so annoyed when I find a poorly written Snape. On the other hand this was really funny! I loved the way you worded things! It was great!
Reply
:icongreekprincess143:
GreekPrincess143 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
...lol this just made my day
Reply
:icondontpokeme311:
dontpokeme311 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wonderfully put .[link]
Reply
:iconrightonshootingstar:
RightonShootingStar Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012
Pretty sure Ive only broken #7 out of all of those and only because he was out getting food and even then it wasn't a farfetched attire.

I agree with you...some of it just gets too damn disturbing....
Reply
:iconmaximusx3:
maximusx3 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with all of these in a canonical sense. Some, though, can be very entertaining to break in crackfic.
Reply
:iconhgieladnaz:
hgieladnaz Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011
thaks 4 the advice i wuz thinking on wrighting a story but was havin writers block cause there were no rules you made things somucheasiar[link]
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:iconichi-no77:
Ichi-no77 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011
Rule Number Twelve:
Severus Snape does not use the internet. (Note: If you ever happen to come across someone on the internet claiming to be Severus Snape, cease communication immediately.)

DAMNIT SO SNAPE ON TWITTER IS A LIE AFTER ALL
Reply
:iconlemonade8:
lemonade8 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2012
I love Snape on twitter. Sarcastic bastard.
Reply
:iconpixistixd:
pixistixD Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! :D
Reply
:iconharrygirls93:
Harrygirls93 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2011
this is brilliant!
Reply
:iconthefordiddenrose:
TheFordiddenRose Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011
I love this! More people need to realize these things. I've seen some pretty traumatizing fan fiction of late. It makes me want to cry.
Reply
:iconreddyarts:
ReddyArts Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2011   Digital Artist
O__O I--wow, I think my mind just barfed all over the place.
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:iconwestwardsongs:
westwardsongs Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Love this.
Another rule you should tack on is that he has absolutely no affection for Sirius. It drives me nuts when I read about them being chummy.
I like all the points, they all ring true to his character.
Reply
:iconcharmaine5:
charmaine5 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2010
Hahaha that was great.... don't know if I agree with number fifteen entirely though haha
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol, ahh the potions closet. What is forbidden often seems desirable. ^^

While I stand strongly by most of these rules, I say, if you can credibly break one (or a few) while giving a plausible explanation and keeping the characters IN character, go for it.
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:iconseverusliveson:
SeverusLivesOn Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2010
Nice rules. Definently good for anyone trying to write Severus to follow. I liked the one about "puke green". Someone actually used that?! :no:
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. :) Yes, unfortunately, someone actually used that.
Reply
:iconfayzbub:
Fayzbub Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010
Ha! I love all this, and it's so true. As a professional writer myself (who happens to write HP fanfic as a hobby) I tend to cringe at some of the stuff out there. But I'm also a SS/LE shipper, so I'm always on the lookout for good stories. One more rule I'd add if I were writing your list: those stories of inexperienced/virginal Snape. I mean, the man is in his thirties at the time of the series. I seriously doubt he'd not know what was what and where everything goes!
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:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad you like the rules. :) One of the difficulties in writing the list was simply knowing when to stop!

I'd agree with your dissatisfaction with a virginal Snape, though I'd have to say that I find highly experienced Snapes often just as unbelievable...but ultimately, even my grasp on Snape is imperfect as I'm not JK Rowling. :)

After all is said and done, I had to end the list somewhere. I do sometimes wonder, though, why I didn't tack on a rule about Snape not being able to become pregnant...
Reply
:iconfayzbub:
Fayzbub Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010
LOLOLOL! Agree, M/preg is one of my pet hates! I always wonder about what will happen if they can't get a caesarian in time!
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol, omg! I hadn't even thought of that!
Reply
:iconshadowneko133:
shadowneko133 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
XD Well said!
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:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconslytheringit:
SlytherinGit Featured By Owner May 30, 2010
Ah, finaly: someone with some sense coms along! I can't stand OOC charcters in fan-fiction.
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Me either, my dear. Me either.
Reply
:iconthedeseffect:
thedeseffect Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2010  Student General Artist
Hahahahahaa! Love it!
MOST of these were totally justly said!
I've come across some absolutely ridiculous fanfictions where Snape randomly becomes this really sweet guy who uses terms of endearment like "love."
I mean really... While using Characters in fanfiction, it's especially useful to use the actual character IN character. lol
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
In-character Snapes are very important. :)

It's not so much using "love" that bothers me, as Snape IS essentially human and does indeed have a capacity for love (as we've seen in the books), but when his character does a complete and unexpected 180 into a bit of fluff...I think that's what you were expressing.
Reply
:iconangeloftheopera:
AngeloftheOpera Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010
I like this, you are completely right. I'm writing a fan-fic for the HP franchise. If I stick to these rules, will you read it?

I warn you now though. The main character is a Mary-Sue (i.e. she's based on me). She is NOT a student, she is, however, a T.A (Dumbledore's idea of 'emergency subs'). Taking that into account, will you still read it, when part 1/7 is finished?
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry I'm months late on responding, I'm just catching up!

I can't promise that I will read it, but go ahead and put a link here and I'll let you know if I do. :)

Have fun!!
Reply
:iconrandomizedgoldfish:
randomizedgoldfish Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
#26
It's Snape, not Snap.

That one really annoys me.

Emailing someone
Me: Who's your favourite HP character?
Thicky: Definetly Snap
Me: Dot. Dot. Dot.
:nirvana:
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh, that's pretty bad.
Reply
:iconrandomizedgoldfish:
randomizedgoldfish Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
??? When did I comment?
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
In March...I've been a little slow on catching up on these.

Enjoyed your comment, though. :)
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:iconrandomizedgoldfish:
randomizedgoldfish Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:)
Reply
:iconjamberine:
Jamberine Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
oh god... do people seriously write about him like that?!?!?!! bloody hell! its his ORIGINAL character that makes him charming!
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol, yes indeed. I quite agree
Reply
:icontwilightprowler:
TwilightProwler Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I swear i've seen every one of these rules broken at least 20 times
It's the ones where Snape suddenly discovers he has a daughter he never knew about turning up in Hogwarts that kill me inside. I mean seriously guys, what is this?
The ones where he suddenly turns into a concerned teacher make me squirm and the ones where he somehow turns up in America for no apparent reason other than to cause outbursts of fangirlism i never read beyond the first chapter I like to give them a chance. They might improve maybe i'm not reading it right or this is a dream sequence.
I've only come across a handful of fics that can break these rules and get away with it.
Poor Snape. He's really quite a simple character when you get down to it but he seems to get bastardized in most fics. Half the fics i've read he's either evil incarnate or fluffy senstive man who cant express himself properly :XD:

Also i would very much believe the things people come up with in Hermione/Snape fics. Cringeworthy stuff. The OOC levels reached are enough to make you wonder if the writers even read the books
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:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol, yours are exactly the reasons why I wrote this in the first place. The suddenly-a-concerned-teacher bit always makes me squirm...especially when he incorporates nicknames.

I actually love the Hermione/Snape pairing, something that very much surprised me years ago when I started reading fan fiction. But then, I would agree it's only a handful of writers who can write an in-character, believable Snape, especially in that pairing.

There are exceptions to some of the rules though, can they be done well and with good cause. The main idea is that these things are not in Snape's nature and would never be done willingly (if ever). So if a fic can break a few of these but still be credible and well written, then they have my respect. :)
Reply
:icontwilightprowler:
TwilightProwler Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Nicknames? Oh no, that's just wrong.

I'll be honest and admit i'm a bit of shipper for those two. I came upon the pairing when i first learned of fanfiction and was stumbling around confused. I didnt exactly take to them straight away but i came across some incredibly well written fics and somehow got sucked in.

Indeed. Breaking these rules is something that should only be attempted by those who know what their doing and where their going. There's nothing worse than and unexperienced writer running with an idea but with no actual plan for the plot Escept an experienced writer with a plan and a brilliant plot that they never finish. That's pure torture
I rarely find fics that can break these rules sucessfully on fanfiction net but i've found a handful on The Petulant Poetess that can warp these rules completely and still win me over
Reply
:iconsuicide-squad:
suicide-squad Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2009
Agreed. I love Snape I am a fan, but I may have only found one good one out of hundreds I have tried to read. Most of them are just stupid and make he want to puke your guts out. And it's not just the rabid Snape fan girls that do this. I am also a fan of Draco Malfoy and fanfictions written about him. But seriously, they are just a bit sadistic, they will not follow you around like a lost puppy. *gag*
And then there are the Joker fans, yes I am one of these as well, he is sadistic, and insane. Not a squishy stuffed animal. But even with him you find far too many people who right the most unrealistic fanfictions. The Joker's creator has stated that the Joker has an almost non existant libido. But never the less, you'll find almost everyone writing him with these wild and crazy sex scenes, that would never happen in a million years. I think that it's great that you put this together, maybe the people who do this will read this and then stop. That would be nice.
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:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol, I doubt it would stop the masses from bastardizing poor Snape, but it's worth a shot... Fanfiction is hit or miss, you really have to look through tons of bad to get to the good ones...I can totally sympathize.

And scars DO tell a story. I like them too.
Reply
:iconsuicide-squad:
suicide-squad Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009
Yeah you're right, the fanfictions will still be around, some good, some bad, some awful. LOL
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol...it's one of those things you accept but make a lot of noise about anyway. :) Makes it almost palatable. Almost.
Reply
:iconsuicide-squad:
suicide-squad Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2009
yep. That iz it. :nod:
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
:D
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:iconblakegreene:
BlakeGreene Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009
Oh god, its all true.

The worst fanfics i've ever read are mostly harry potter, and nearly all of them include snape breaking one of these rules.

Most often, rules 18, 23, 22, 13 and 16.
It pains my fangirl heart to see Snape doing this. And though I don't like or dislike the pairing, one can only see Snape and Hermione have sex in the potions closet so many times before becoming scarred for life.
Reply
:iconeaglechild:
EagleChild Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I know exactly what you mean! I absolutely love the Snape/Hermione pairing, but so often authors take him out of character to bring them together.

Thanks for the favorite. :) :floating:
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