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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2007 :  14:23:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sunsethill

I disappear for a few days and this thread explodes with great stuff. What you just mentioned, Theo, is one of the main reasons I homeschool, and use an online tutor who goes through the Great Books in high school. My kids have fabulous vocabularies because they READ! Amazing concept, huh?
Same here, Sunset. Daughter surprises people (including myself) with her vocabulary. We've never "dumbed down" our vocabulary, so she's grown up with words some children don't hear until they reach college. She's picked up a lot of words, and to some extent their meanings, just by osmosis. We've always emphasised reading over the television and computers as a learning tool. Look how much we learn by picking up a good book! Beyond vocabulary, we learn psychology, sociology, history, science, writing, etc.-- and that's just in fiction!

I read a book (a while back) called The Language Police that explained the reason for a lot of the curriculum changes in our public schools. The author pointed out that most school curricula try to incorporate "balance." That means including authors based on their gender and ethnicity. Great idea in some respects but not in others. It can mean excluding great, classic, literary works to insert something else based solely on the author, not the work.

Another problem is that there are a lot of restrictions placed on what can be read (see all the arguments about what can be on library bookshelves) in schools. Everyone has a problem with something. Once the list gets whittled down to please one group or individual, there's bound to be something else that needs to come off to please another.

There's also the idea that one of a school's goals is to make kids feel better about themselves (don't even get me started on that one!). This leads to teaching easier material to boost ego and grades. How exactly this is supposed to help kids, I really don't understand. Once they hit the real world, there are few rewarding opportunities for people with great self-esteem but no learning to speak of. Pretty soon we'll have a society of Lockharts.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2007 :  15:16:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

quote:
Voldemort fully expected his spy to go prowling through Harry's thoughts at every opportunity, so sensing Snape's presence in Harry's mind would have been no surprise
But sensing Harry in Snape's mind would be a surprise, yes? It should be on several levels. One, what is he doing there. Two, why is he there? Three, how did he learn to do that? and so on.

Im not trying to beleaguer the idea. It's just fascinating and a possible loophole opening that I'm trying to close in my mind.

Snape was a good enough Occlumens to keep Voldemort from spotting Harry in his mind. Dumbledore could have easily managed that as well. Harry was the weak link because he had no ability to keep Voldemort out of his mind. So it was his emotions and the tell-tale presences in his mind that had to be carefully managed.

quote:
My kids have fabulous vocabularies because they READ! Amazing concept, huh?
Yes, it really is that simple and it's a pity that the schools have lost sight of this. It shouldn't even be that onerous. If they want to give everyone 'A's for reading the book and participating in class discussion, go for it, but get the kids reading and reading in volume.

My freshman spent six weeks on the Odyssey this year. Now this is an important piece of literature, but six weeks for high school freshmen? They don't need that depth of analysis nearly as much as they need the experience of reading varied works, discovering what they like and what they don't, how different styles affect the feel of a story. And they need to find some enjoyment in it. In short, they need to learn how to be a discerning reader so that they aren't afraid to walk into a library and pick up a book.

I insist that my kids read at home and my biggest criteria is that they find a story they can actually get excited about. If they can find even one book that does that for them, they'll be hooked. That happened for my now-freshman a couple of years ago when he read Ender's Game. He loved the book and his eyes lit up with excitement when he told me about the story. That is the excitement that every child needs to feel.

quote:
Pretty soon we'll have a society of Lockharts.

Now that is a truly terrifying thought!

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/04/2007 15:18:00
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2007 :  17:03:36  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
My freshman spent six weeks on the Odyssey this year. Now this is an important piece of literature, but six weeks for high school freshmen? They don't need that depth of analysis nearly as much as they need the experience of reading varied works, discovering what they like and what they don't, how different styles affect the feel of a story. And they need to find some enjoyment in it. In short, they need to learn how to be a discerning reader so that they aren't afraid to walk into a library and pick up a book.

I insist that my kids read at home and my biggest criteria is that they find a story they can actually get excited about. If they can find even one book that does that for them, they'll be hooked. That happened for my now-freshman a couple of years ago when he read Ender's Game. He loved the book and his eyes lit up with excitement when he told me about the story. That is the excitement that every child needs to feel.


Ender's Game was loved by my 14 yo son, also. He did the SATII just this weekend in English Literature. So to get him ready for it, I had him actually reading English and American Literature. Makes sense, huh? Well, when he got home he said the whole test was reading comprehension and analysis. That's why your freshman had to spend so much time on the Odyssey that he(?)/she(?) may have learned to hate one of the most exciting stories in our culture.

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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2007 :  20:21:53  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I've never been a big proponent of home schooling--until I started talking to all of you. When my girls were little I typically met home schooling moms with their own agenda, most of which revolved around--"I didn't do well in school, I hated it, and I don't want my child to go there." Not exactly a qualified sort of person to be home schooling, is it. But it seems that there are more and more people who are home schooling for educational reasons, and who actually know what they are doing. So good for you.

And all those Lockhart models are apparently alive and well in Washington state--turns out on that WASL that is supposed to show that students have learned what they should (ahem), doesn't require that the students spell anything correctly on the test. Now that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Anyone with any common sense can see the problem with that. My friend works at a dental office and they wanted to hire someone to help in the operatory (whatever that is, but anyway). This young woman put on her application that she is experienced in the "Opera Tory". Yeah, good education the state paid for with that one. Needless to say, she didn't get the job. I hope someone told her she needs to brush up on her spelling.

The vocabulary in HP is one of the first things I noticed with the first book. Most books aimed at that age group do seem to dumb down the vocab, and it's something that I really hate. But here's JKR using words that might have to be explained to a few of the younger readers, and with each book, the vocabulary is growing.

Anyway, sorry for the wandering OT.

Eeyore

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2007 :  22:10:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sunsethill

quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
My freshman spent six weeks on the Odyssey this year. Now this is an important piece of literature, but six weeks for high school freshmen? They don't need that depth of analysis nearly as much as they need the experience of reading varied works, discovering what they like and what they don't, how different styles affect the feel of a story. And they need to find some enjoyment in it. In short, they need to learn how to be a discerning reader so that they aren't afraid to walk into a library and pick up a book.

I insist that my kids read at home and my biggest criteria is that they find a story they can actually get excited about. If they can find even one book that does that for them, they'll be hooked. That happened for my now-freshman a couple of years ago when he read Ender's Game. He loved the book and his eyes lit up with excitement when he told me about the story. That is the excitement that every child needs to feel.


Ender's Game was loved by my 14 yo son, also. He did the SATII just this weekend in English Literature. So to get him ready for it, I had him actually reading English and American Literature. Makes sense, huh? Well, when he got home he said the whole test was reading comprehension and analysis. That's why your freshman had to spend so much time on the Odyssey that he(?)/she(?) may have learned to hate one of the most exciting stories in our culture.

Yes, plus there seems to be a large amount of discretion in what is taught and how it's taught. My son's English teacher teaches one section of freshman English and four sections of Latin so naturally he wanted to disect the Odyssey. Conversely, I think they spent one day on poetry. Other teachers take exactly the opposite approach. It seems that in English, more than any other subject, the teacher really does have tremendous leeway.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2007 :  22:18:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you go back to Philosopher's Stone *ahem*, they changed quite a bit of the wording simply because they thought kids were too dumb or idle to go find a dictionary to explain British English. Daughter could find the words/phrases on the internet, now, of course. I have always believed that we are a more resourseful lot when given the necessity to be so.

Yes, Lockhart is doing well in Washington, and will be doing better. Seattle has something to look forward to in their new school superintendant. She is so dedicated and truly loyal-- almost as much so as Rick Neuheisel.

Spellcheck is not an educational tool. I have a friend at our karate studio who is a College of Charleston poly sci/constitutional law professor (did his postgrad work at WSU). He commonly sees "band books" and "statue of limitations" on papers-- he also is the only prof in his department that counts down for misspelling. How can this be? This points to a complete lack of understanding about what is being discussed. This isn't a simple matter of misspelling, it's using the wrong word entirely. On the other hand, I have been compiling spelling words for fifth grade recently. It is amazing the number of non-words that are being taught in public schools (I've downloaded several lists from public school sites around the country). I had to check several words against the Oxford on-line dictionary just to see if I was correct. If they are going to teach "wellness," they may as well add "truthiness" to the list. Stephen Colbert would be so proud.

As for testing, well, in my day it was simply "fill in the circle" mark sense forms, so spelling couldn't be efficiently tested except in multiple choice fashion.

What is truly fun, or at least I find it so , is to go back to board posts from several years ago and read our discussions. I've printed out all our HPEW stuff-- keep it with my printed copy of the manuscript. We all sound so intelligent!!!
Now, I realise that we ARE, of course, highly intelligent (and good looking and wealthy and have beautiful hair ), but it never strikes me as unusual when we're in the thick of a discussion. Later, though, the eloquence, sensitivity, and overall intelligence of the conversations is very striking. If a stranger picked up the pages and read them, they would be amazed, then probably dismayed, to find all the talk is about Harry Potter-- a series of books that people still write off as kid stuff.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  00:14:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiobhanWhat is truly fun, or at least I find it so , is to go back to board posts from several years ago and read our discussions. I've printed out all our HPEW stuff-- keep it with my printed copy of the manuscript. We all sound so intelligent!!!
Now, I realise that we ARE, of course, highly intelligent (and good looking and wealthy and have beautiful hair ), but it never strikes me as unusual when we're in the thick of a discussion. Later, though, the eloquence, sensitivity, and overall intelligence of the conversations is very striking. If a stranger picked up the pages and read them, they would be amazed, then probably dismayed, to find all the talk is about Harry Potter-- a series of books that people still write off as kid stuff.
Oh Siobhan, do you really have all our HPEW discussions?! How wonderful! I think I've got most of it courtesy of Eeyore. I haven't had a chance to go back and look at it in ages, though when I'm done writing HPCS, I will take some time and do so.

Btw, did I tell you guys that a friend of mine gave me a hard bound copy of HPEW for my last birthday! It was so cool to see it printed out in a real book. I must find out how to get that done, so that I can have HPCS done as well.

(I can do without wealth and good looks, but I would LOVE to have beautiful hair.)

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/05/2007 00:15:01
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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  02:24:13  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

If you go back to Philosopher's Stone *ahem*, they changed quite a bit of the wording simply because they thought kids were too dumb or idle to go find a dictionary to explain British English.


It is much easier now to find out some of the more obscure British meanings. I remember reading "Circle of Friends" a very long time ago, and I was amazed that the girl (whose name I cannot remember) always seemed to wear a jumper whenever she got dressed. It was only towards the end of the book that I realized it was a sweater and not a dress without sleeves that she was putting on over her blouse. Actually there were several words in that book that I found rather mysterious. But I don't think we had much to do with the internet when I read it, so I just shrugged my shoulders and kept reading.

quote:
Yes, Lockhart is doing well in Washington, and will be doing better. Seattle has something to look forward to in their new school superintendant. She is so dedicated and truly loyal-- almost as much so as Rick Neuheisel.


That's rather dismal news. Makes me glad that my girls are grown and out of school, and we're not in the Seattle school district, although we are close enough to be influenced by what they do--or don't do.

quote:
Spellcheck is not an educational tool.


No kidding. I use spell check to look for those obvious spelling mistakes that I make--such as the word occasional--which I often get wrong. I think I learned to spell it incorrectly, and now I have a sort of mental block about it. It never looks right, whether I put two "c's" or two "s's", it doesn't matter. But there are times when I find that I have misspelled something that, because it is another word, spellcheck says it's OK. I turned off the grammar check as soon as I figured out how to do it, as it routinely wanted to change things. And aside from my enjoyment in using fragments, the changes that the grammar check wanted to make completely changed the meaning of the sentence, and used words incorrectly to boot. I wonder how often kids accept those changes when they are writing a paper. Hmmmm, rather scary, that one.

I didn't ever print out the comments from HPEW, but I really must take the time to read through them again. I had also saved some of the comments from the Barnes and Noble group I was in after HBP came out, and read through some of those last winter. Someone else asked if I had anything on a particular topic. I sometimes think that Rowling would be very frightened to learn of all the questions that have been asked--not on the fan sites that she visits, but on the sites where there are more adults or the ones that are pass-word protected. She really has no idea, I'm sure. I noticed that in some of the interviews and on her site when she posted a question that had never been asked, and I thought "I'm sure that's something we discussed at length, but gave up trying to figure out because there weren't enough real clues in canon". I think she'd be really amazed by some of the HPEW discussions, as those often involved our picking Theo's brain about why she had the characters doing certain things and seeing how it all did fit in with canon. We haven't done that as much with HPCS because we have already established that level of understanding.

A bound copy of HPEW, Theo. That's great. And what a great thing for your friend to think of as a gift. How many pages did it end up being? Is it the same size as what we have or did they format it to fit a regular book size?

Eeyore

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Edited by - Eeyore on 06/05/2007 02:25:12
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  10:50:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My printed copy is in a binder that makes it about the depth of GoF, but that's formated as it was sent, and paginated as individual chapters. I'll bet if I imported it all into Word it would repaginate for me.

Yes, my printed forum pages are from the very beginning of HPEW, Theo-- back when guilt was first mentioned as a driving force behind Snape. I'm not certain how far ahead from there I've got. I'm sure I got all the stuff off the YoYo's for HPEW, but I haven't any of the pages for HPCS that may have been over there (like the heated discussion of the broken bottle ). I probably should go save the ones off Diagon Alley.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  10:54:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by EeyoreA bound copy of HPEW, Theo. That's great. And what a great thing for your friend to think of as a gift. How many pages did it end up being? Is it the same size as what we have or did they format it to fit a regular book size?
It's the same size as what you guys have, which I think is over 400 pages when you get it all together. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never actually looked at the number of pages, since that does change with formatting. It's the word count that I pay attention to. HPEW is almost 169,000 words and I still can't believe I wrote that much. And HPCS is going to be even longer!

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/05/2007 10:56:26
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  14:50:27  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
It's the same size as what you guys have, which I think is over 400 pages when you get it all together. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never actually looked at the number of pages, since that does change with formatting. It's the word count that I pay attention to. HPEW is almost 169,000 words and I still can't believe I wrote that much. And HPCS is going to be even longer!



HPEW is one of only a few fanfiction stories that I have printed out. It sits in glory in a box specifically used for the stories I want to be able to read comfortably in bed rather than sitting at the computer. I'm also printing out HPCS. It must be really nice to have a bound copy. What a special gift!

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  16:08:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sunsethill

quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
It's the same size as what you guys have, which I think is over 400 pages when you get it all together. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never actually looked at the number of pages, since that does change with formatting. It's the word count that I pay attention to. HPEW is almost 169,000 words and I still can't believe I wrote that much. And HPCS is going to be even longer!

HPEW is one of only a few fanfiction stories that I have printed out. It sits in glory in a box specifically used for the stories I want to be able to read comfortably in bed rather than sitting at the computer. I'm also printing out HPCS.
I feel very special.

quote:
It must be really nice to have a bound copy. What a special gift!
It is and it's right on the shelf next to my HP books.

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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
311 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  18:22:44  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
And now back to the writing of HPCS--how goes it, Theo? And are there really only 3 chapters left? I thought I remembered you saying at one point that it would be 31 chapters. As much as I want to know how you are going to wrap this one up, I'll hate to see it end.

Eeyore

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  19:24:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Writing is going well at the moment. I should be ready to send chapter 29 off to Myf tonight. And yes, there are only two chapters after that. I need to finish this before DH, after all, since that will be an enormous emotional rollercoaster, I'm sure.

You should be getting the last chapter of HPCS by the end of the fist week of July, followed a week later by OotP: the movie, followed a week later by DH. So I think the timing will work out very well.

And there's always room for future stories...


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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/05/2007 19:25:11
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2007 :  19:58:43  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
You should be getting the last chapter of HPCS by the end of the fist week of July, followed a week later by OotP: the movie, followed a week later by DH. So I think the timing will work out very well.

And there's always room for future stories...




What a great July we'll have. And I'm SO glad that you feel there are future stories knocking around in your brain. I've taken a look at several of the reviews you've gotten at FFNet--many of which are the BEST reviews I've ever seen for a story--and they note how close the stories are to the feel of HP canon. So after JKR finishes her canon, I would love to know that there will be more Thanon coming.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2007 :  00:50:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sunsethill

quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
You should be getting the last chapter of HPCS by the end of the fist week of July, followed a week later by OotP: the movie, followed a week later by DH. So I think the timing will work out very well.

And there's always room for future stories...




What a great July we'll have. And I'm SO glad that you feel there are future stories knocking around in your brain. I've taken a look at several of the reviews you've gotten at FFNet--many of which are the BEST reviews I've ever seen for a story--and they note how close the stories are to the feel of HP canon. So after JKR finishes her canon, I would love to know that there will be more Thanon coming.
It is entirely possible. I would really like to try my hand at a short story and possibly something a bit lighter. We'll have to see what DH inspires, though.

Btw, as planned, I've just sent chapter 29 off to Myf and it came out much better than I expected. (Hopefully Myf won't disagree with me on that. ) It's inevitable when writing a long story that you'll like some chapters better than others and the way my outline was written, I didn't expect this to be one of my favorites, but with a couple of tweaks here and there it has actually turned out to be.

Right, so after that build up, you'll probably all be disappointed.

Ah well, on to chapter 30!

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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
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Posted - 06/06/2007 :  07:55:04  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Theo, I doubt that we'll be disappointed. I don't think that's something you need to worry about.

Oh, and before I forget again, with all the serious things in chapter 28, I laugh every time I read about Neville having trouble with the gender switching charm on Trevor, and not being able to tell.

Eeyore

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
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Posted - 06/06/2007 :  10:45:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank goodness he didn't miss Trevor and hit someone else!
Miss Goyle (or Crabbe-- it's so hard to tell)?

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2007 :  12:13:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eeyore

Oh, and before I forget again, with all the serious things in chapter 28, I laugh every time I read about Neville having trouble with the gender switching charm on Trevor, and not being able to tell.
Thank you! I love it when I have the chance to write this sort of thing. It's just a quick, throwaway line that's completely irrelevant to the plot. Anyone could skim over it and miss nothing of the main story. And yet it paints such a delightful mental picture that it's a joy to write.

quote:
Thank goodness he didn't miss Trevor and hit someone else!
Miss Goyle (or Crabbe-- it's so hard to tell)?
Lol! Now that's a whole other story!

PS: Chapter 29 is done.

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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
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Posted - 06/06/2007 :  12:44:44  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
tonight??????

Eeyore

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Theowyn
Looney

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Posted - 06/06/2007 :  12:47:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eeyore

tonight??????
Lol! Yes, I can send it out tonight.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

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Posted - 06/06/2007 :  14:40:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn

It's just a quick, throwaway line that's completely irrelevant to the plot. Anyone could skim over it and miss nothing of the main story. And yet it paints such a delightful mental picture that it's a joy to write.
PS: Chapter 29 is done.

And it's just the kind of thing JKR does in her writing as well.
For Chapter 29!

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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
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Posted - 06/06/2007 :  16:56:32  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, indeed. And it seems to me, now that I've started rereading HPEW, that our very own Theowyn is more like JKR than we might have guessed.

Specifically, chapter 4, Theo. There are two things that jumped out at me, that at the time were significant, but didn't seem to be more than anything to do with HPEW. The one seemed to be resolved and explained later in HPEW (chapter 18? anyway, the one where Snape tells Harry everything, which apparently wasn't quite everything).


quote:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm more than a little curious. What else is Snape hiding that concerns Harry so much?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Theowyn's answer)
You already know the answer to this. You just don't realize it.




Sooooo, the one thing in Chapter 4 is to do with the conversation that Harry and Snape have when Harry is feeling depressed about Ron and Hermione now being an item and he's left out. The other one is towards the end of the chapter when Harry sees Snape's memory of becoming a Death Eater. I'll leave it at that so it isn't any more spoilery than it already is, but is that what you were alluding to when you made that comment earlier that we already had the answer to the questions about what else Snape is hiding?

And one more question--did you already have HPCS in mind when you were writing HPEW? It seems that you had a nice bit of foreshadowing for the second book in Chapter 4 of the first one--very much like that sort of thing we've had with JKR. Nice.

Eeyore

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Edited by - Eeyore on 06/06/2007 17:03:54
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2007 :  19:16:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eeyore

Yes, indeed. And it seems to me, now that I've started rereading HPEW, that our very own Theowyn is more like JKR than we might have guessed.
That is incredibly flattering!

quote:
Specifically, chapter 4, Theo. There are two things that jumped out at me... the one thing in Chapter 4 is to do with the conversation that Harry and Snape have when Harry is feeling depressed about Ron and Hermione now being an item and he's left out. The other one is towards the end of the chapter when Harry sees Snape's memory of becoming a Death Eater. I'll leave it at that so it isn't any more spoilery than it already is, but is that what you were alluding to when you made that comment earlier that we already had the answer to the questions about what else Snape is hiding?
Snape is hiding a lot of things - mostly from himself. The conversation you mention has a number of elements to it which resonate in HPCS, but they aren't specifically what my earlier comment was referring to.

Your second point, however, is spot on and we're at the point now where it isn't too much of a spoiler anymore, so anyone who's curious should go and re-read that bit [p22]. This scene is what provided the basis for HPCS as well as its title.

As to the foreshadowing, it wasn't planned during HPEW. Also, aside from that pivotal scene in chapter 4 and Snape's confession to Harry, I haven't gone back and tried to do "reverse-foreshadowing". Rather the connections develop organically because the same issues and personality traits are driving the characters in HPCS as in HPEW.

This is especially true of Snape and I have his backstory and emotional/psychological profile down inside and out. This makes writing very easy and natural and it automatically creates connections, most of which aren't planned.

The other day on the Sugar Quill someone commented that my take on how Snape's mother died made so much sense. She said that she'd never understood why Snape was such a great healer in HBP. Where was the motivation in his character? I answered that question because having watched his mother die simply because no one knew how to save her would have been a powerful inducement for him to learn the healing arts so that he'd never have to go through such a thing again.

This is a fabulous idea, but it wasn't anything I'd ever even considered. It just happened. Another example from SQ is that someone asked me when it was that Lily had said, "Don't throw your life away on vengeance!"

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I'd never really thought about this, before - I just knew that Lily had said this. And yet, once asked, I knew immediately when this had happened. It was after Sirius's prank at the Shrieking Shack. Snape was so bitter over that and this is when he finally decided to become a DE. "Don't throw your life away on vengeance!" was Lily's last ditch effort to talk him out of it.

I guess what I'm saying here is that a large part of writing seems to be subconscious. In fact I'm beginnig to suspect that Jo doesn't plan as much as we think she does. Look at all of the myriad references to literature, literary analysis, mythology, etc that we (rightfully) ascribe to her. No human being could possibly plan all of those connections deliberately. Rather I think Jo's subconscious has done a large part of this work - creating connections that are only apparent in hidesight. That is part of the mystery and magic of writing.

Edited to say that chapter 29 is now up!

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/06/2007 23:29:07
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Krabat
Giddy

Germany
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Posted - 06/07/2007 :  04:58:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beware the Spoilers!!!

Oh my, things are really coming to head at a dizzying speed. It makes sense that Dummbledore's health forces the hands of his allies. More so, since the ministry still isn't very helpful. We still do not know if Harry needs to be in close proximity to Voldemort to attack him, but I guess that, given their connection and the experiences of entering Voldemorts mind in HPEW, it won't be necessary. And Voldemort probably cannot prevent Harry from diving into his subconsience seeing as Snape, a superb occlumens, also has no defense against it. However, Harry still has to deal with the consequences his success would have. He cannot afford to hold back in a crucial moment of the fight against Voldemort if he wants to stand a chance. Snape knows of Harry's biggest weakness (strength?) and so he should realise that he needs to give Harry some kind of closure regarding their realtionship. By the way, the conversation they have just before the giant attack confirms me in my suspicion that we will see another parallel between HBP and HPCS. Harry's efforts to persuade Snape that he didn't ruin Harry's life probably had just the opposite effect.

When talking about parallels between cannon and HPCS one has to fear that Dumbledore will not make it. If so, the personal consequences of his death for Harry and in particular Snape will be devastating. I'm more than curious how they would cope in a postwar world. Harry (yes, I firmly believe he will survive) having to deal with being a celebrity outside of the protective world of Hogwarts and Snape (yes, I firmly believe he will survive, at least in Thannon) probably shunned and without his only (more or less) close friend Dumbledore. I think, life still has enough challenges even without a war. And I would be more than thrilled if you wouldn't stop fathoming them for the two, Theo (please?).

Because of Eeyore's comment I reread the description of Snape getting the dark mark in HPEW. The description is perfect and really brought home to me what Voldemort did to his followers.

As a last comment I want to mention that I enjoy your discussions about the art of writing, symbolism, and education. Since I'm not a native speaker and have an educational and cultural background somewhat different from yours, I do not actively participate, but it is interesting to read your thoughts on the matter none the less.
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Eeyore
Barmy

USA
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Posted - 06/07/2007 :  07:52:19  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
First of all, thanks for addressing my questions that have more to do with the process than the story--I find it very interesting. And I think you are probably right about JKR--she seems to have a definite beginning and ending point with notes on characters, etc. But it mmust be great when one is writing to have the characters take on a life of their own--I have a hard time imagining what that is like.

Now, for Chapter 29. You had me laughing, worried and crying all in one chapter. I loved the whole thing with Harry sitting in the pub and being found by Snape. How perfect! And while I'm not a proponent of people getting drunk, that did allow Harry to let his guard down enough to say what he was really thinking and feeling. It's just a shame that Snape was so annoyed with him that they couldn't actually talk about it. (He seemed to not hear, but I'm certain that he did, but is just dismissing it as the ale talking.)

You have so many nice tie-ins with canon here--the giants siding with Voldemort and doing his bidding; Grawp's improved speaking ability and his loyalty to Hagrid; the Ministry's (and Percy's) on-going stupidity; Dumbledore near death as a result of protecting the castle and the students; the students willing to fight to save Dumbledore and Hogwarts. And while the situation is dire and bleak, it's great that Snape and Harry had to escape together.

I really hope that they get a chance to have that heart to heart talk that they've needed for a long time.

Now with this mental duel that Harry has to fight in Voldemort's mind, it occurred to me that we still haven't found out what's in the locked room at the Ministry of Magic. Dumbledore is sure that Harry has to kill off all those souls that are chained to Voldemot by the Dark Mark. While that makes sense, it doesn't take into account that power that Harry has in abundance that Voldemort has not at all.

So, when Harry gets into Voldemort's mind, I really hope that he will encounter the younger Tom Riddle and there will be some way he can defeat him without killing all those who are branded with the Dark Mark. Harry made a connection with Severus (and I loved that he actually called Snape 'Severus' and Snape didn't squash him like a bug) that allowed him to talk with and understand him in a whay that he couldn't with the adult Snape. I can't picture how that would work though.

And we're back to the whole bonding thing. If it's the bond that condemns all the Death Eaters, then for that to hold, all the same conditions have to be in place. But was the wording sufficiently vague enough when Snape was branded that he will escape that death sentence? (I know you aren't going to answer that one, but I can hope that that's where you are going with the last two chapters.)

I'm still thinking, but I'll come back later if I think of anything else.

Eeyore

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Theowyn
Looney

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Posted - 06/07/2007 :  13:11:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
We still do not know if Harry needs to be in close proximity to Voldemort to attack him, but I guess that, given their connection and the experiences of entering Voldemorts mind in HPEW, it won't be necessary. And Voldemort probably cannot prevent Harry from diving into his subconsience seeing as Snape, a superb occlumens, also has no defense against it.
Actually, Snape lays out what Harry is going to need to do and the difficulties involved back in chapter 26:

“You say that you plan to fight him in his mind. That’s fair enough as far as it goes, but how do you propose to enter his mind? Do you intend to do it in your sleep? If not, then you will have to face him physically. Where do you plan to meet him that he will not be surrounded by his Death Eaters? And once alone, how will you dissuade him from killing you long enough for you to make the mental contact required?

“Even assuming you get that far, delving into his mind will leave you insensible to your surroundings and utterly vulnerable to attack. How will you ward against that? It will likely require the entire Order and every other ally who can be pressed into service to hold off the Dark Lord’s servants long enough to buy you the time you will require to wage the mental battle you propose. And all of this will require planning that you have not begun to consider. Am I right?”


quote:
Because of Eeyore's comment I reread the description of Snape getting the dark mark in HPEW. The description is perfect and really brought home to me what Voldemort did to his followers.
Voldemort is hideously evil. Truly, he is orders of magnitude worse than even Bellatrix. It is the way that he uses people - even his own followers - without the slightest regard. We see this with Pettigrew in GoF and again here. He cares nothing for his followers. They are simply a means to an end.

quote:
It must be great when one is writing to have the characters take on a life of their own--I have a hard time imagining what that is like.
I think it's rather like an actor who immerses himself in a character and almost becomes the character in order to portray a part convincingly. The difference is that an actor is usually given most of his lines whereas an author has to make them all up. But either way, it comes down to reacting naturally to events as they unfold.

When I write dialogue, I am no longer the author. That middleman vanishes and I become Snape or Harry or Dumbledore, etc. Their personality and history become my own at that moment and so their feelings and thoughts come naturally. I don't have to think about how they would react. I just react. But because the author isn't present and in control, the characters can do surprising things.

quote:
Now, for Chapter 29. You had me laughing, worried and crying all in one chapter.
Every author's dream!

quote:
I loved the whole thing with Harry sitting in the pub and being found by Snape. How perfect! And while I'm not a proponent of people getting drunk, that did allow Harry to let his guard down enough to say what he was really thinking and feeling.

It's about the only way he'd ever manage it, too. These people just don't talk. Besides, if anyone's ever had the right to get smashed, Harry did, poor kid.

quote:
You have so many nice tie-ins with canon here--the giants siding with Voldemort and doing his bidding; Grawp's improved speaking ability and his loyalty to Hagrid...
On the point of Grawp, I have to say that I have always found him to be the most annoying character in canon, so it was quite lovely to find him playing a genuinely important role here.

quote:
I really hope that they get a chance to have that heart to heart talk that they've needed for a long time.
Ever the optomist, Eeyore.

As to the mental duel and bond, I don't think anyone's figured out where I'm going with these, but I think you'll all approve when we get there.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 06/07/2007 13:17:06
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2007 :  14:33:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
*peeking through fingers*
OK I'm not reading any posts about the new chapter yet as I've not had a chance to read it. Only just got it printed out and hole punched, next is the chapter art, then (and only then) will I read.

So I'll read Theo's post just before the chapter was sent and then go away for a bit.

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Theowyn
Looney

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Posted - 06/07/2007 :  17:39:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

*peeking through fingers*
OK I'm not reading any posts about the new chapter yet as I've not had a chance to read it. Only just got it printed out and hole punched, next is the chapter art, then (and only then) will I read.

Chapter art? Did you say chapter art?

I want to see the chapter art. *Looks pleadingly at Siobhan.*

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2007 :  15:19:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
“You say that you plan to fight him in his mind. That’s fair enough as far as it goes, but how do you propose to enter his mind? Do you intend to do it in your sleep? If not, then you will have to face him physically. Where do you plan to meet him that he will not be surrounded by his Death Eaters? And once alone, how will you dissuade him from killing you long enough for you to make the mental contact required?

“Even assuming you get that far, delving into his mind will leave you insensible to your surroundings and utterly vulnerable to attack. How will you ward against that? It will likely require the entire Order and every other ally who can be pressed into service to hold off the Dark Lord’s servants long enough to buy you the time you will require to wage the mental battle you propose. And all of this will require planning that you have not begun to consider. Am I right?”
This sounds a bit like they will have to lure Voldemort to some remote location, or at least away from the protection of his DE's. Once there Harry will have a chance to do what he must while others hold off any followers.

My chapter art is not original. It's some celtic clip art I've got.
The art for the covers is a modification of a couple of clip art pieces. I'm not completely happy with my scans, so I'm working on cleaning up the images on the computer. I'll post them when I finish.

Loved the chapter, BTW.
I had a few comments to make, but have forgotten them now (drat, I knew I should have written them down!).

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