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My new literary demand: Books are no longer allowed to use science-y titles when their subject is not science or science fiction. That is, if a book is titled, "The Doppler Effect" or "Avogadro's Number" etc. that book is not allowed to be about a woman living on a farm in Kentucky contemplating leaving her abusive husband nor about a teen girl with romance issues nor a widower who has lost his faith and searches for meaning on a trip to India etc. I demand truth in advertising.
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Continuing my thoughts on the deleted scenes from The Avengers.

Scene #3: Steve Rogers
Read more... )

Scenes #4 & #5: Alternate opening/ending
Read more... )

Scene #6: Fury talks to the council some more
Read more... )

Scene #7: "Commodore 64" and Hill and Fury on bridge
Read more... )

Scene #8: Extended Black Widow & Hawkeye fight Chitauri
Read more... )
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Looking for meta and discussion about The Avengers (beyond here, I mean)? [livejournal.com profile] metavengers was just created in the past few days for the purpose! Come join, come post, push your favorite Avengers pairings and recs; it's all welcome.
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Avengers deleted scenes are making their way onto the net. I love the ruthlessness of directors to edit films into crisp effective storytelling, and I almost always agree with the cuts. (My favorite version of The Lord of the Rings films are the theatrical releases. They're better storytelling, honest.)

But I still like them in the same way I like fanfiction--seeing what else was in the director's head. I think I'll post little metapieces on each as they get released.

Scene #1: Banner and Security Guard
Read more... )


Scene #2: Loki & Barton (*cue sonic squeals*)
Read more... )
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So I fell and fell hard, and a lot of you did too--what was it about Avengers that made it a Fandom Global Event? For the definition of that term and some speculation why it happened, check out [livejournal.com profile] fabularasa's blogspot post, A Unified Theory of Fandom. Agree, disagree, discuss.
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*laughing again, because every new realization about my reaction to this fandom is cracking me up* Oh, man, this is not only just like Harry Potter was ten years ago in the obsession and the sleeplessness and the need to write and read ALL THE FIC, but in the type of fic I'm writing, too.

First I started with the story that spoke to my heart but can't yet finish because I'm still fighting the characters in my head to sound the way I think they should, and they keep telling me that they know better; then I interrupt it to create the darkest thing I can imagine for my viewpoint character, stroking and stabbing at the fic because it's the first that's going to go up and how dare it not be perfect, and then yesterday, finally, the story that I dashed off in five effortless hours of frenzy that I can't describe any other way than "cozy, fluffy non-con." Oh my god, there is just no other term.

It's exactly the kind of thing I used to dash off in HP fandom, short little non-con pieces with premise rather than plot, that can tuck right into an imagined storyline without creating more than a bump, designed to allow the villain to posture and the story to climax when he does. If mystery fiction has its "cozies," then so does non-con smut. I've decided this, and I've decided it's a trait of mine.

(Default Lucius icon, honey? You stay right where you are, for the moment. Trust me, this is homage.)

And it's a gift for my best guy. When I fell into HP fandom I forced him to come with me, and, guys, this is the man who dealt with his girlfriend's (me) conversion to male/male fantasy fodder all those years ago and has indulged it nonstop every, every day, because he loves me and he's the greatest thing ever. And I haven't even had to drag him into Avengers; he's fallen for the fandom nearly as hard as I have. Before I leap full force into the slash that beckons, I'm so glad I could write him some non-con het as a tiny thank you.

Conversation which inspired this:

Me: Hey, sweetie, check out this fandomsecret. It's WONDERFUL. This person confessed that she fell really hard for Loki in the film, and she and her husband roleplayed Natasha/Loki all day and it ended with the hottest roleplay non-con sex imaginable.
S.O.: Oh, my god. That's beautiful. That's so US.
Me: You like that idea? That pairing?
S.O.: Are you KIDDING?
Me: ...wait, wait, I'm getting the premise! Let me call you back!

So, yeah, going to be staggering about on reduced sleep again today. And HE LIKED IT. *hugs S.O. to death* I love you, sweetheart.

The other joy of dashing this off is that it proved to me that, yes, my Loki has a voice, and there's no point in fighting it to be anything else right now; if I want that voice to be different it will come in time. It's not [livejournal.com profile] astolat's Loki (but, I have to face it, no one else's is, oh, god, why can't I write like that, Revelations is KILLING me, just slaying me dead with the beauty), whose Loki-voice I would give years off my life to be able to write, but he's my Loki, and at the moment I have to accept that. And I kind of like him, when I do.

Yanno, when I finished seeing the film, I said out loud, "Natasha was terrific. I don't identify with her, I absolutely and completely cannot feel the inside of her head, but she's a great character." So, YEAH, did not expect my first two fics in this fandom to be Natasha-centric, jeebus. And I have to apologize to Clint for making him the damsel in this one. Yes, AGAIN. CLINT I PROMISE YOU YOU WILL ACTUALLY GET TO DO THINGS IN MY FUTURE FICS. NO, REALLY.
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Yuletide fic is finished! I should be banned from writing in that style; it's criminally easy for me to slip into that kind of voice. The format, though, is one I don't think I've tried before, so that was enough to give me gleeful cackles.

Writing for these small Yuletide fandoms gives me the sense of That's it; there is no other story I can ever write for this fandom; that was the behind-the-scenes tale I wanted to see told, and that's all I have for it, even if I didn't really have any idea what behind-the-scenes tale I wanted to write for that fandom until the recipient requested it. Somehow just one story solidifies, and I feel as if know that's the only one I can write for that fandom ever; the wad is shot. Does that happen to anyone else?
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Ever write a fic, and have others look at it, and discover that the fic they're reading is not the fic you thought you wrote? Yeah, I hate that. But that's what betas are for, and revisions, and at last my [livejournal.com profile] hd_worldcup fic is off to the mods, yaye.

I'm on Team Fanon in the Harry/Draco Worldcup tournament, and we had a discussion regarding what Fanon is--thought I'd share.

I think the beauty of "fanon" is how broad an interpretation it can be. For me, fanon can be considered anything that didn't happen and isn't likely to happen. And now that canon is closed, how wide a range that is.

Your fanwork:

-is an AU and/or departs from canon at some point (e.g., EWE)? Fanon.

-is an AR (alternate reality)? Fanon.

-is a "behind the scene" from canon, but who can say if it really happened like that? Fanon.

-contrasts something we're meant to assume about the essential nature of the characters (e.g., their sexuality)? Fanon.

-takes something canonical and weaves an explanation that debunks the plain-and-simple explanation for it (e.g., affection, death, etc.)? Fanon.

-narrates canonical events from another point of view, delving into the brain of a character whose motivations we can't truly be said to know? Fanon.

-speculates on the canon's future in a way that the original author probably did not plan for the future to go? Fanon.


Fanon is...what a fan creates.
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[livejournal.com profile] woman_ironing, on [livejournal.com profile] hp_essays, invites readers to discuss their disappointments on Deathly Hallows (in hopes that it may salvage dismissal of the entire series, and lead to a second look at DH), and I seem to be on a roll after my epilogue post. I've posted my summary points on DH disappointments (and positives) here and here on her post, but I'm also going to repost it below if anyone would like to engage in discussion here.

Structure problems and positives in Deathly Hallows


1. We've been set up for Snape to play a significant role, but instead get vast exposition on an already-dead character.

My disappointment with DH began with the previous book; HBP displayed from the second chapter that Snape was loyal to the Order and playing a dangerous double agent game, and would soon be required to do a terrible thing to keep his cover or be killed himself. I was dumbfounded when this was treated like some great surprise at the end of the book; while it deserved to be one climactic moment of the book, the true climax should have been the revelation to Harry that Snape and Dumbledore had planned the deception together. If the reader was told this at the beginning of the book, Harry should also have been told it by the end of the book. Leaving Harry in ignorance is poor narrative structure; the tale cannot be left to dangle like that, incomplete, at the end of a book.

Given that this plotline turned out to be the most significant part of HBP, whetting our appetites with Snape going into deep cover, DH should have followed through. In HBP Snape went from "side character who's loathsome but interesting" to "the other hero of the story." Snape should have played a significant role in the structure of DH, but instead he all but disappeared until a few pages before his death. While there are moments where his influence is there--Gryffindor's sword in the pond--they are invisible until after Snape has died. Only then is his story told, in one massive chapter of exposition.

What do we get instead of Snape's presence? We get, to my disappointment, considerable exposition regarding the life of Dumbledore--Dumbledore, who is dead. Again, poor narrative structure. The controversy surrounding Dumbledore is unfolded for us after he is dead. Snape's backstory is only told after he is dead. We no longer have any stake in what this means to the future actions of these characters, to their interactions with our protagonist. How different this knowledge would have resounded with us had these characters still been alive when we learned this! How we would have imagined Harry confronting Dumbledore, how much hope we would have had for Snape's survival (and how much more devastating his death), had we only known these things first. They would have been active portions of the story structure instead of past-tense exposition.

2. A change from the expected story structure established through six books--and not a well-executed change, either.

DH also disappoints by abandoning the school year structure that books one through six follow. Because of this DH feels like a book from a different series. We are used to the Harry Potter series being a tale of student interactions, knowledge gained through classes and textbooks, and contrivances by our heroes that are used to get around the restrictions of school rules and the school year itself. The last book abandons that, and that violation of reader expectations should not be forgiven lightly. DH could be considered an alternate reality story of the Harry Potter series, where the characters are placed into a high-fantasy quest story. One can argue whether it is a good quest story or not; I do not feel it is that good of one, myself, what with the time wasted doing nothing in the forest, the "madcap hijinks" feel of the trio's escapades (too silly right when the books should be at their darkest and most serious), and the flimsy contrivance to set the final battle at Hogwarts. These leech a great deal of dignity from the book, even the moments that are meant to be somber, such as Dobby's death. But whether it is a good quest story or not, it is a deviation from the structure that the reader has been asked to expect and now does expect.

3. Lack of emotional engagement in Harry's romantic destiny.

Both HBP and DH disappointed me in the romantic plotline regarding Harry and Ginny by failing to show their connection and/or affection for each other; instead we were told Harry was struck by sudden jealous lust for her, and this is all we have to support the concept of these two having a lifelong love. They may be right for each other conceptually, but there's nothing to make the reader feel it.

A positive! How Harry has been set up both to die and to live.

Despite all these negatives, one element within DH--arguably the most important and central element--shines through as well-planned and well-executed. At the end of book four, GoF, we are given a hint of something significant in Dumbledore's "gleam of something like triumph" when he is told Voldemort used Harry's blood for the ritual. We don't know why. We're left to think about it all through books five and six. And when we get the payoff, it's big. Harry learns he holds a fragment of Voldemort's soul (hinted at when we first learn of Horcruxes), and must die for Voldemort to die. But he does not know until after his death that his blood in Voldemort's flesh maintains enough of a link to return Harry to life if he chooses. It's wonderful--the theme of the entire series is that some things are worse than death and many things are worth death and death should not be feared if it must be faced. Harry has been groomed by Dumbledore to go to his death willing and unflinching, and go he does. The theme of the books required that he do this at the end. Yet he is saved from death not by a cheap cheat in my opinion, but by an element that has been established from the first book and hinted at, in a clever yet still obscure manner, in the fourth. Harry both dies and lives within this tale, and while it might have been gutsy to leave him dead there's a narrative justice that he goes willingly to his death but is allowed a happy ending.
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The epilogue to Deathly Hallows is the sort of thing I should like. Seriously, in a good long story I love hearing who married whom and how many children they had and what their names were and what their lives were like. I eat that up with a spoon. On that level, yes, I do like the epilogue. I do not think it reads like bad fanfic, as some have criticised--I did not expect revelations to 2001: A Space Odyssey depths, I did not expect The Sixth Sense-level twists, in terms of their post-Voldemort lives. Ordinary, day-to-day, kid-raising lives. How deserving that Harry should have obtained something so plain and wonderful for himself. And we have concrete evidence that Harry grew to understand and forgive and even &hearts Severus Snape. So, yes, in principle, I do like the epilogue.

The epilogue does jar me in two significant ways, and in one I have a reader's eyes, and in the other I have a fanfiction writer's.

1. Harry/Ginny is dreadful.

2. Bitch chewed up nineteen years of my fanon.

Does any of that need much explanation? The romance of Harry and Ginny sucks. Harry feels nothing whatsoever for Ginny for five books--any moments of interaction they have are devoid of any emotional engagement on Harry's part--and then we are, violation of all storytelling violations, told that Harry suddenly feels passionately for Ginny. I don't give a shit if that's how romance happens in real life. Storytelling doesn't have shit to do with "how it happens in real life." Storytelling is about engaging the reader as the narrative is spun. Storytelling is about making it happen and making the reader feel as the protagonist feels without trying to tell the reader how to feel. Harry/Ginny does none of these. Harry/Ginny is shitty romance, and the epilogue throws that in my face yet again. (Wow, that's three uncensored "shit"s in one paragraph. Don't hold back, Amy, tell us how you really feel.)

And it's the fanfiction theorist--I include fanartists in that, because their work creates fanfiction in graphic form--who gets upset over the shutting-off of nineteen years of open canon. The "whatever you want to imagine it to be from this point on," cut short. Nineteen years. That entire stretch of narrative boxed in by that epilogue. Restricted. Caged! How dare she! Attica! Attica! Azkaban! Azkaban!

I mean, I would like to whine that the epilogue is all so unabashedly heterosexual, isn't it, but that's just an extension of "Give me back those nineteen years so that I can correct that crappy romance and add all the other stuff I like to imagine instead." Can't fight that scene. Can write around it if you want--can get damn clever in writing around it--but it's canon. Epilogue What Epilogue has become its own dominant AU subspecies, and no wonder. Epilogue no fun. Epilogue go 'way.

So I think the fanfiction kind of fan is more likely to dislike the epilogue than the casual fan, for reason that it makes our sandbox tinier. Though I think both kinds can have the taste to hate the Harry/Ginny for just being blah.
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While common sense tells me I should see Enchanted--it's a Disney movie, Menken songs, well-reviewed, likely to be seen by enough Disney fans that I will want to assimilate it into my reference knowledge--there's something about the premise that hits my squick buttons: the humiliating fish-out-of-water factor.

Watching someone flounder (no pun intended) in a situation completely unfamiliar to them--a situation so familiar to us, the audience, that it's meant to provoke laughs at the someone's expense--is hideous to me, makes me run out of the room crying. Whether the floundering is because the situation is merely alien to the individual, or because the individual has a mental handicap, I react the same way. It doesn't matter how well it's done, or how warm-heartedly it's meant.

I can't listen to people tell me how Being There is one of their favorite movies, or how Star Trek IV (the one with the whales and the time-travel) is the best film of the franchise. I wept fat howling tears over Pleasantville and The Jerk. Don't even think of asking me to see Elf. I especially--god, it's hard to talk about this trigger--will freak when someone is portrayed as being hungry but does not know how to go about getting food in their alien situation. Not because they're being denied it--watching someone starve because they're trapped or having food deliberately withheld is awful, but in a general "horror" sense--but because it's easily obtainable if they just knew how to get it. The idea that they might go hungry under those circumstances terrifies me.

Some people have tried to tell me I'm viewing these all wrong, that they're meant to be uplifting, to show how adversity can be met with innocence--I can't hear it, can't even listen to the defense without running away crying.

And it's because each time it's a situation the viewer's familiar with--our world, one we adapt in every day--that I'm sickened, struck by the humiliation. Stanislaw Lem wrote a book called Return From the Stars where an astronaut from our era returns to Earth far in the future, and refuses to spend precious time in re-orientation--he just chucks it and goes out into this unfamiliar world to acclimate as he goes. And that doesn't distress me, because our heads are with him, in his head--not in the heads of the people who see him and are puzzled at his ignorance. From his point of view, we move along with him and think he's doing pretty well, we're doing pretty well, for someone who doesn't know the rules and is feeling his way. Pleasantville doesn't bother me to watch the brother and sister try to function in the television fantasy world, because they're more knowledgeable than the people of the world into which they go. What gets me is when the rules of the fantasy world start breaking down, and the fantasy world inhabitants have no idea how to cope with the new rules as their world turns into ours.

(Forrest Gump doesn't bother me much, but that's just because it's dumb and I can't suspend my disbelief for any of it. About the time we got to the "I taught Elvis how to move" part I was gagging.)

So I may just have to read the synopsis on Enchanted and leave it at that.
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Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: One Fan's Screenplay
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amanuensis1
Words: ~25,000
Rating: Nothing more objectionable than was in the text to begin with. Whaddya think, maybe PG-13?
A/N: (Unauthorized) Adaptation of HBP to screen, so, many lines deliberately lifted and/or altered from the original text. This is a screenplay (an amateur one), not a shooting script, so not all actions/camera angles/actor directions/etc. are detailed.
More detailed A/N at the conclusion.

(Read it at my website)
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Finished the audiobook of Deathly Hallows the other day.

Audiobook is not always the best way to experience a book. Some books aren't cut out for that kind of word-for-word read, some voice actors make you want to scream. And it's a lot lot lot slower than I can read, and I can't really pay attention to it unless I'm in a car. So I guess if they ever perfect teleportation, audiobooks and I will part ways. Anyway, I found the audiobook of DH much more enjoyable than my first read-through of it, but it's of course difficult to separate what of that was the audiobook experience versus the second go-through experience.

It's easier to see how that first four-hour read of DH was affected by my expectations. The first time through I was too wrapped up in the what will happen, too focused on what is happening to enjoy the actual prose--which is Rowling's real gift. Critics say of her works, "It's not genius lit, but it's a helluva good story," without ever defining--maybe they don't know?--what they mean by that. I hear people praise her characters, her storytelling--what is all that? Characters and story are still just words on a page, kidlets. Rowling does words on a page very, very well. Here, this is the sentence that follows the moment Voldemort is really and truly dead:

"One shivering second of silence, the shock of the moment suspended..." --you guys missed all that lovely alliteration the first time through, didn't you? I certainly did. That's freakin' gorgeous. Those words actually hold their breath in all those hissed little esses.

You can't notice mere prose when you're focused on who's gonna die and will I get to see enough of the characters I like. Similar to my first experience of the film of The Fellowship of the Ring, all I could do was watch to see how it was executed, and only after it was done could I say, "Oh! Let's do that again, so I can actually try to enjoy it this time!"

So, somewhere combined in the second go-through and the slow narrative experience of the audiobook, there's a more interesting book in there for me. The pacing did not jar nearly so greatly as it had the first time; the Great Camping Trip did not have me screaming to get on with it. Plot twists were better explained, better wrapped-up. (All those "When was that? I don't even remember that," conversations I had just post-book received their "Ohhh, THAT" counterparts at last.) Goofy bits (the ministry mission to get the locket, Harry's facial disfiguration when they're caught by Greyback, Hermione's impersonation of Bellatrix and the raid on Gringotts) still felt goofy but not quite so humiliating. The rush of pensieve scenes concerning Snape did not feel nearly so much like an info dump. Plus, I cried this time through, multiple places. The first was Dudley's plaintive, "But where's he going to go?" I cried for Kreacher not being able to tell anyone that Regulus was not merely missing but dead because he'd been commanded not to (plus I'm no longer as upset over The Reformation of Kreacher because he doesn't, really--Harry is tolerant now that Kreacher isn't hostile to him any longer and is trying to make up for his past behavior, but he's still never fond of the little shit)--I think I was even crying for Mrs. Black, a little, during that, the idea of her awful bewilderment over where Regulus might have got to. I choked up during Snape's memories at the line, "...something was making a terrible sound, like a wounded animal." And I actually had to turn the CD player off for a bit and sob, mascara running down my face and not caring what other drivers thought of me, when Harry, knowing he has to go to his own death, hears the injured girl in Hogwarts crying to go home, and thinks, "He wanted to be stopped, to be dragged back, to be sent back home." God, that hit me like bricks--how many times have I been in a dreadful, dreadful situation and been reduced to a child's whimper of, "I want to go home," as if the concept of going home would make everything not so?

And there's a thing an audiobook does--it removes the tricks that your eyes play when you read. When I read, I take in a paragraph at once with my eyes; I can't ignore the other words in the paragraph. The sentence directly before that one about Harry wanting to be sent back home is, "He wanted to shout out to the night, he wanted Ginny to know that he was there..." And there's no way that I can see that entire paragraph and not see the word Ginny in there, leaving me groaning, Oh, gag me, no more about Ginny, please. One word can poison the whole paragraph for me, and the power of the rest of the prose is lost. Not so with an audiobook, where the words are not visible, where they're gone as soon as they're said aloud, where you are sense-deprived of what your sight could have done to you. I could never have wept over those words while reading the text visually because of that "see the whole paragraph" handicap.

Some dissatisfactions remain. The concept of the Deathly Hallows still feels minor, coming as late as it does in the book and feeling more like a sidebar rather than something that earn's the book's title. Ariana Dumbledore is a terrible bit of late-insertion who-cares backstory. The delay in going to Godric's Hollow reeks of retconning, given what Harry says at the end of HBP. I also would have liked to have had more of a denouement rather than having an epilogue try to substitute for the lack of one. And Harry/Ginny is still the dullest romance ever.

As a four-hour read, Deathly Hallows invited a lot of "Wha?" from me. As a 21-hour audio experience, it's better. (Which, significantly, wasn't my experience after doing the same first-read-then-listen thing with Half-Blood Prince. I was still pissed at it for ending when it did.)

(crossposted to insanejournal)
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1. There's a growing movement to choose InsaneJournal as a settlin' place, and I like the reasons it's being praised, so, I think it is likely I will start getting my InsaneJournal up to speed, makin' it pretty, adding friends and communities. And I will likely begin crossposting to both LJ and IJ--I've got a Mac, so, I'll be doing that the old fashioned paste-and-post way--and then we'll see how the traffic goes, shall we? My thoughts right now are that as long as LJ allows me to keep my livejournal I'll keep using it to connect to those who are content to stay on LJ. I'm on the net all the time, so, what's one more flist, after all. ^_^

2. GIP. (DH spoiler) Variation on an earlier icon.



3. Here's the quote: "(Harry's) black hair reached his shoulders and there was a dark shadow around his jaw." -Deathly Hallows, Ch. 23, Malfoy Manor --Okay, fanartists drawin' me all those wonderful "I open at the close" illustrations? GIVE ME MY LONG-HAIRED FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW STUBBLE!HARRY. BECAUSE OMG CANON.

4. I wrote non-con comment porn this morning and it felt so good I'm sharing it uncut even though it's not HPverse, it's classic Doctor Who-verse and thus probably only a handful of people will care, but, dammit, in these times of upheaval I celebrate all smut. It arose in response to a thread over on [livejournal.com profile] violetisblue's lamenting the lack of Nyssa smut, and I think all you need to know is that The Master secretly took over the body of Nyssa's father and got very much younger-looking. So this is Nyssa/Master semi-incestuous non-con, OOOOH!

*****
"Father...how has this happened?"

How fragile she is, how little and delicate. Not her body but her trust. Though now that he thinks on it, he can indulge in the former even as he violates the latter.

He touches the cream-smooth cheek, fingers the auburn curls of her hair with fatherly affection. "Child, it is more than I can explain with words. Perhaps I might show you instead."

His touch on her hair changes. Grips. First draws, then drags her near.

She has time for one more utterance of "Father?" before he bites at her mouth with his, hooks his fingers in the neckline of her dress and tears.

After that, it is largely screaming.

*****
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So very behind in:

1. Replying to comments. (You guys are wonderfully articulate and I crave the dialogue, so, dammit, I still want to get to 'em.)

2. Setting up GreatestJournal, InsaneJournal, and JournalFen to be something beyond placeholders.

3. Making new icons. So many DH jokes to be played with!

4. Writing post-DH fic. Isn't that the most heinous of all? Plotbunnies should always be fed. Hey, how about this for a standard disclaimer in the future? "All characters in this story are fictional and thus have no age."

I still have DH meta to spring on you, though. Bits and pieces seems to be as good a method as any, so, here's one: Remember the film of Philospher's/Sorcerer's Stone? Do you think that Columbus and Kloves were told by Rowling, "Listen, you have to make sure Harry really does catch the Snitch in his mouth; it's important later"--or did they just get lucky in choosing to include that in the film?
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(Uncut as per my "not cutting for spoilers any longer" warning, but not that spoilery.)

From The Atlantic's review of DH by Ross Douthat:


(Rowling's) genius is for crossing genres, mixing the sword-and-sorcery tale with the boarding-school novel, and merging both with the intricate plotting of an Agatha Christie story. And this is the first problem with her saga’s grand finale – it’s more of a straightforward high-fantasy novel than any of its predecessors, and Rowling isn’t quite up to the task. She needs the Stover at Yale structure, it turns out, and the Ten Little Indians plot mechanisms; without the “something fishy at Hogwarts” framework, her story sprawls and meanders through a baggy quest narrative. The more time Harry and Ron and Hermione spend hopscotching around England, the more the reader misses the familiar rhythms of a school year at the wizarding academy...


I'm more enthusiastic about Rowling's work than this reviewer is overall (he's liked the series but feels the last book compromises the series' ability to hold together as a classic-to-be), but he describes a lot of my dissatisfactions with DH.

But! I am on my second go-through of it, via audiobook, and I'll see how it feels to me this time through.
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Remember this post? January 24, 2006:

My predictions for who might bite it in Deathly Hallows (before we even knew it would be called Deathly Hallows).

Let's see how I measured up:

Spoilers for DH, obviously )
So, no one's going to start placing bets on me when I predict the Oscars, but at least it looks like I was reading the same books JKR was writing, in thinking about the characters.
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DH gave us backstory about Snape's motivations, so, when JKR in her interview yesterday reaffirmed what DH told us, I didn't raise any eyebrows at it. Now, if you didn't like that backstory, then, yeah, I can't help, but for those who are thinking (and fuming) that her interview answers cut away at Snape's character, here's what I have to say.

Yes, Snape's motivation spoiler. ) DH told us that. JKR stated yesterday that if Snape had not spoiler. ) I don't find this upsetting. It's like asking if Hermione's initials weren't HG, would she have monogrammed her towels with the initials HG. No, likely she wouldn't have.

Motivation starts somewhere. That does not mean that motivation remains the only factor, especially as years and years of one's life go by. See, everybody's talking about the scene when Snape lots more spoiler material )
amanuensis1: (Default)
One day after:

Better impression of the book now, now that I've moved away from the reading and am on to the processing of what the book told us.

I think the plot is Spoiler-filled analysis for DH behind the cut )
amanuensis1: (Default)
We're nearing the end of the time I can meta on this: I've said (oh, how I've said) that Snape's loyalty to Dumbledore isn't remotely in question because of the structure of Book 6 and the series as a whole, and that I dislike how Harry's been left in the dark at the end of Book 6, since it's unfair to make the answers plain to the reader but leave the protagonist unenlightened at the conclusion of a volume. (To clarify, this does not mean that Harry is stupid not to have seen it--Harry didn't get to read the Spinner's End chapter.) But here's another way that cheats us: do you realize, if Snape's motives had been revealed to Harry--if Snape or a glimpse into Dumbledore's pensieve or his will or what have you had communicated this to Harry at the end of Book 6, and Harry as well as the reader saw that Snape had gone into deep cover at Dumbledore's command--does everyone realize that that ending would actually have made Snape's ultimate loyalties ambiguous? That the "is Snape good or is Snape evil?" stickers and debates and contests would actually have had meat, if that had occurred?

Seriously, a third of us would be saying, "Snape killed Dumbledore at Dumbledore's command; we now know that the last book will be about Harry and Snape being on the same side, and if they will triumph over Voldemort and live." Another third would say, "Snape's pulled the wool over everyone's eyes--Dumbledore thought Snape was reluctant to kill him, but in reality Snape's been on Voldemort's side all the time, and just wait until Harry confronts Voldemort expecting Snape to have his back and Snape starts to laugh, 'What, you didn't believe that claptrap I told you, Potter? I've never been so delighted to cast a spell in my life as the day I killed that Slytherin-hating old fool.' It'll be amazing!" And the last third would still be insisting, "Snape is his own man, and his actions at the end will do what is best for Snape."

Another reason to resent the ending of Half-Blood Prince. I would have loved seeing all the sides of that debate.

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