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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by LocNess View Post
    Going to have to disagree with some of this if I read it correctly. I found Harry Potter's story to be fairly basic at a simple look, but honestly really complicated pieces that tie all the books together. Mundungus Fletcher doesn't become important to the fifth book, but he is first mentioned getting arrested in the second book IIRC. The entire political corruption of the ministry was fairly straight forward, but little tidbits like the wizard who was supposed to be arrested for the blowing up toilets (if I am recalling it right) got off because he reported Harry Potter's meeting to the ministry. Little things that just add to it, and there are a ton of them.
    Oh yes, but adding all of those tidbits isn't a particularly difficult (and certainly not a technical) task as a writer. JKR is very good at going back and joining the dots, picking up on little things she's added here and there and ascribing new meaning to them in retrospect, but it's rarely constructed in a setup-and-payoff style where any of the later plot developments are clearly foreshadowed. With story construction I'm referring more to the purpose of her writing choices, the *way* in which she tells the story and the reasons for what happens in it.

    The most striking example is probably how she handles character death, it's horribly misused in almost every case to the point where it becomes completely baffling in the final book. Most writers with a technical background will understand that a dramatic device like that has to be used very carefully and appropriately, with the right emotional context in mind and for a very clear purpose within the story. As it stands off the top of my head the only character I can think of that met an appropriate and meaningful end in writing terms was Dobby.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    The most striking example is probably how she handles character death, it's horribly misused in almost every case to the point where it becomes completely baffling in the final book. Most writers with a technical background will understand that a dramatic device like that has to be used very carefully and appropriately, with the right emotional context in mind and for a very clear purpose within the story. As it stands off the top of my head the only character I can think of that met an appropriate and meaningful end in writing terms was Dobby.
    The latter half of the final book was all about war, and in that context the deaths were appropriate. War stinks, and not everyone is going to die a meaningful death.

    Major deaths before the final book (Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore) were handled quite well and they all had major impact on Harry & other characters.

  3. #43
    Legendary! Callace's Avatar
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    I doubt it will be as good as the HP books. I envision her using the same conventions without inventing people, places, and things that will be as attractive as the ones in the HP books.

  4. #44
    i heard its about dick people from planet dick invading earth to come steal our woman away

  5. #45
    Try the sword of truth series, definitely a book series for adults and IMO better than the harry potter books, and I looooved the harry potter books.

  6. #46

  7. #47
    Legendary! Callace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrostNova View Post
    An adult novel?!
    For grown-ups. Not pornography.

  8. #48
    Herald of the Titans Bathory's Avatar
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    I liked the Harry Potter series, but I won't go out of my way to find another book written by her.
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  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Skizzit View Post
    I will direct you to these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dresden_Files

    And yes, the whole series is quite good.
    Love those books.

  10. #50
    I would actually like to see something other than Harry Potter, I enjoyed the series and I guess I wouldn't mind if she revisited down the road with some fresh ideas, but I feel she is one of the best writers out there today and I think she could come up with something else that would still appeal to the older Harry Potter fans. We were told we were going to get 7 Harry Potter books, we got them and the story is wrapped up, anything further in the series right now is just squeezing out more money she really doesn't need. This doesn't necessarily mean I expect it to be as grand and original as Harry Potter, but I think expecting a new and fresh 'harry potter-like' series is unlikely.

  11. #51
    Legendary! Callace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bathory View Post
    I liked the Harry Potter series, but I won't go out of my way to find another book written by her.
    Her writing isn't special, but her creations are appealing like nothing in a really long time.

  12. #52
    Moderator Axethor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flay- View Post
    I'm still holding out for Pottermore....signed up last year.
    Pottermore is meh. Potions are annoyingly time consuming, wizard duels are impossible to win unless your a bot, and you can only go through the first book. For something that was supposed to come out in October, it's still horribly unfinished.

    I love the Dresden series, and if she was to go the wizard detective route I'm sure I would love her new series just as much. I doubt it will be in the HP universe though, as much as her fans want it to be. I'll definitely give it a try though.

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  13. #53
    wait what, you can actually do things on pottermore right now?

  14. #54
    Moderator Axethor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flay- View Post
    wait what, you can actually do things on pottermore right now?
    No, I'm one of the "lucky" people in the beta for the site. If it were to go live now, it would be a mess and flop. I'm surprised there are people still beta testing it cause I stopped a while ago. People get mad at Blizz for the Mists beta, I would hate to see them complain about Pottermore. The content updates are few and far between. I think it took them 4 months just to release wizard duels, which is impossible to win unless your a robot. The second book isn't even accessible over 7 months in, and there are 5 more after it. If there is a way not to run a beta, Pottermore is it.

    EDIT: Apparently it's supposed to release to the public this month. I wouldn't hold your breath on how good it is though, or if they even hold to it.
    Last edited by Axethor; 2012-04-08 at 04:42 AM.

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  15. #55
    Legendary! Callace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axethor View Post
    No, I'm one of the "lucky" people in the beta for the site. If it were to go live now, it would be a mess and flop. I'm surprised there are people still beta testing it cause I stopped a while ago. People get mad at Blizz for the Mists beta, I would hate to see them complain about Pottermore. The content updates are few and far between. I think it took them 4 months just to release wizard duels, which is impossible to win unless your a robot. The second book isn't even accessible over 7 months in, and there are 5 more after it. If there is a way not to run a beta, Pottermore is it.

    EDIT: Apparently it's supposed to release to the public this month. I wouldn't hold your breath on how good it is though, or if they even hold to it.
    A Harry Potter MMO? That seems... like a bit of a fish out of water...

  16. #56
    Stood in the Fire Rickarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    If it's not in the Harry Potter universe, I don't think it will be a SUPER good book, but we will see. Most grand authors have their one awesome universe, which they should keep themselves to (George R R Martins A Song of Ice and Fire and J R R Tolkiens Lord of the Rings comes to mind).
    That's not always true though, Stephen King, and Orson Scott Card come to mind as authors known for their "big" series (dark tower and ender saga, respectively) but are very highly accredited for their books outside of those series as well.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    The latter half of the final book was all about war, and in that context the deaths were appropriate. War stinks, and not everyone is going to die a meaningful death.

    Major deaths before the final book (Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore) were handled quite well and they all had major impact on Harry & other characters.
    The problem with the majority of the deaths in the final book however were that they came as almost an epilogue to the rest of the novel. They would've been a little more justifiable if they'd happened nearer to the start, because that at least can be used to set a tone for what's to come (the idea of war you mentioned). Even if they'd come shortly before the final confrontation it'd have at least served to heighten the tension and build up that climax a little more.
    But as a literary device, you just don't kill off major characters as a footnote to your story. There's no time for the emotional impact to be absorbed or drive any of the coming narrative, nor any time for closure, which sets them very awkwardly, like a bunch of dangling loose threads.


    There's also the "missed opportunity" aspect of some of the earlier deaths, Cedric and Sirius spring to mind in particular. Cedric is, as you mentioned, a death that has probably more of an impact on Harry than any of the others in the series, but it's accomplished via killing a background character that we never really get to know particularly well, nor that means anything particularly significant to Harry. This was a situation where the idea of a main character's death was actually very appropriate, but the character used to accomplish it was more of a sacrificial lamb than the genuine article. I don't know anyone who got misty-eyed when we had to say goodbye to poor Cedric.

    Then with Sirius you have a character ripe with untapped potential for exploring Harry as a character. He's the father-figure, he represents everything Harry's lost, and a link to his past. Aside from Dumbledore he's probably the adult that Harry's closest to on a personal level, but the fact that he's also a hunted fugitive creates a fantastic conflict within that. Scenes and ideas for where to go with his character practically write themselves, and his potential had barely started to be tapped before he's killed off as seemingly nothing more than the token sacrifice of the fifth book. Harry's parents having been killed by Voldemort already serve the exact same thematic purpose as Siruis death, and the revenge angle is never really explored in a meaningful way.

    These kinds of decisions just seem half-finished. You can see why they're there, and the kind of impact the author was going for, but the pieces are just slotted in awkwardly. Characters that die aren't given the kind of closure they need, or their importance is overemphasised. And sometimes it's just plain baffling.

  18. #58
    Screw reading... I'll just wait until they make it into a movie, whatever it is.
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  19. #59
    Stood in the Fire Rickarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    The problem with the majority of the deaths in the final book however were that they came as almost an epilogue to the rest of the novel. They would've been a little more justifiable if they'd happened nearer to the start, because that at least can be used to set a tone for what's to come (the idea of war you mentioned). Even if they'd come shortly before the final confrontation it'd have at least served to heighten the tension and build up that climax a little more.
    But as a literary device, you just don't kill off major characters as a footnote to your story. There's no time for the emotional impact to be absorbed or drive any of the coming narrative, nor any time for closure, which sets them very awkwardly, like a bunch of dangling loose threads.


    There's also the "missed opportunity" aspect of some of the earlier deaths, Cedric and Sirius spring to mind in particular. Cedric is, as you mentioned, a death that has probably more of an impact on Harry than any of the others in the series, but it's accomplished via killing a background character that we never really get to know particularly well, nor that means anything particularly significant to Harry. This was a situation where the idea of a main character's death was actually very appropriate, but the character used to accomplish it was more of a sacrificial lamb than the genuine article. I don't know anyone who got misty-eyed when we had to say goodbye to poor Cedric.

    Then with Sirius you have a character ripe with untapped potential for exploring Harry as a character. He's the father-figure, he represents everything Harry's lost, and a link to his past. Aside from Dumbledore he's probably the adult that Harry's closest to on a personal level, but the fact that he's also a hunted fugitive creates a fantastic conflict within that. Scenes and ideas for where to go with his character practically write themselves, and his potential had barely started to be tapped before he's killed off as seemingly nothing more than the token sacrifice of the fifth book. Harry's parents having been killed by Voldemort already serve the exact same thematic purpose as Siruis death, and the revenge angle is never really explored in a meaningful way.

    These kinds of decisions just seem half-finished. You can see why they're there, and the kind of impact the author was going for, but the pieces are just slotted in awkwardly. Characters that die aren't given the kind of closure they need, or their importance is overemphasised. And sometimes it's just plain baffling.
    I, honestly, feel all of the deaths were handled perfectly.

    Cedric, being the first first-hand encounter of someone being killed, for Harry, and for the reader, is someone that may not be a very important character per se, but the impact it has on Harry was still significant, simply because of what he saw there.

    The whole point of Sirius' death was an allegory to Harry's parents. Just as Harry is beginning to embrace a new parent figure fully, he is ripped away from him. It's not so harry will want revenge, its more for the loss, especially in the context of that book, where Harry is really at his lowest point. The death of Sirius, and in turn, the subsequent actions of Harry, begin to set the stage for Harry to do what he knows he needs to do.

    As for the death's in the final book:

    Mad eye sets you up at the beginning to know that things have really gotten bad.

    Dobby really does serve to set the tone for what's to come, I mean, they killed a poor old house elf.

    The death's once the war started were perhaps the most important of all, they made you feel like it was a real war going on, because even the central characters were all at risk. The fact that you weren't given time for closure is itself a comment on war. In war you have to move on, and don't get the chance to process death. You're forced to feel the death while moving on to the next thought.

  20. #60
    You make some valid points, I disagree for the most part. I just want to address these comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    Then with Sirius you have a character ripe with untapped potential for exploring Harry as a character. He's the father-figure, he represents everything Harry's lost, and a link to his past. Aside from Dumbledore he's probably the adult that Harry's closest to on a personal level, but the fact that he's also a hunted fugitive creates a fantastic conflict within that. Scenes and ideas for where to go with his character practically write themselves, and his potential had barely started to be tapped before he's killed off as seemingly nothing more than the token sacrifice of the fifth book.
    When to kill a character? I don't think that all of the character's potential has to be exhausted before he/she is killed off. I've seen lazy writers do that plenty enough (particularly in comics), they don't know what to do with a characters anymore so he/she is offed. Now Sirius had plenty of potential, and it's the loss of this potential that made the death so effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wondercrab View Post
    Cedric is, as you mentioned, a death that has probably more of an impact on Harry than any of the others in the series, but it's accomplished via killing a background character that we never really get to know particularly well, nor that means anything particularly significant to Harry. This was a situation where the idea of a main character's death was actually very appropriate, but the character used to accomplish it was more of a sacrificial lamb than the genuine article. I don't know anyone who got misty-eyed when we had to say goodbye to poor Cedric.
    I thought that Cedric was introduced well enough before his death. It was a big turning-point in the series; Voldemort was back and his threat very real and most of all it represented the final loss of innocence for Harry. I don't remember if I got misty-eyed (quite possibly) but it was definitely a very shocking and effective scene.

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