watcher dark

You scream and you leap. Got it.

Argh. Argh. Argh. Story panic. Have worked on three stories in the last two days, none of them the one due Sunday. Now have no choice; must crunch. Which is what makes them all suck every time: no time to ponder them over and figure out what's really going on. No. Stop. Don't think like that.

Might pitch it entirely and write something from scratch. Blindfolds, revelations, Giles/? is the prompt.

Am liking this essay on Deathly Hallows; not finding much to argue with at the moment. Which makes me sad.
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I'm sending you this virtual chill pill--one of my Xanax should do it. Deep breaths don't help me, but I hear they work.

I'm sure it will be great. Blindfolds, revelations, Giles/? for kink site sounds dreamy. Canna wait!
Essay on DH-- ouch. But so very true.

Your stories, even the crunch ones-- nonsense. You'll do great, as always. But if it helps you to know it, I'm suffering too. All day with the Boy Scouts selling root beer floats (I will now be unable to have root beer or vanilla ice cream for a not inconsiderable stretch of time, damn it) and now trying to write to the end of the nano novel. At this point, that prompt of penwiper's pretty much gets me about to the end anyway, so I might as well fit it in properly and set it up in a couple more connector scenes.

Hang in there.

Hob
Ha. Ha. No. This will be a piece of fluff, because I tossed out my dark character-driven misery piece because I just can't make it work in the time I have. I might need to toss it entirely. Sigh.
Fluff is good. But you know I have a thing for character-driven misery, so I hope you get back to that one sometime....

I send you a virtual root beer float to aid the creative process....
You loved DH best of all the books? I'd really love to see a journal entry from you explaining why. I loved Parts of DH quite a lot-- Rowling's humor sparkles, and when she does hit something just right, it's wonderful. But she fell far short on some things, too. I think my essay on why Snape is not brave hits a lot of my mixed feelings about the book. I'd be interested to see what you think, though. What is the "heart of the story" for you? And how do you characterize the moral points?

I see Harry more in terms of an echo of the Abraham and Isaac story (which is bizarre on a literal level). And I think the essayist is a little wrongheaded to think that in the world JKR set up Harry could do anything else. If prophecy could have been circumvented in the rules of that world, surely it would have been in the intervening 16 years. Harry's going to an inevitable death with grace is not one of the things I had trouble with in the story.

And, um, I like some Thomas Hardy she says in a small voice. But I admit I would not have read him outside of class (or I haven't since classes became a thing of my past about 20 years ago). And I never finished The Mayor of Casterbridge. So maybe that redeems me a bit....

Hob,
who abjectly apologizes to antennapedia for starting a conversation with someone else in her journal while she's trying to write wonderful stuff. Which will be wonderful when she gets through it.
(Rant away! I like the conversation! More thoughtful responses from me later, when I am less engaged with struggle to death with story.)
Oh! Also: v amusing coworker Jeff says he likes to contemplate Hardy novels backwards, so that the characters move from misery and death and everything being entirely awful to everything being pretty nice and okay. He once spent a coffee session complaining about the bizarre behavior of the Mayor of Casterbridge-- no real human being would be that silly. (Though of course sometimes they are.)
See, I'd actually make an even stronger point than the essayist about JKR's detail use: There was no planning. She did not plant clever clues in the first book that the truly thoughtful fan might have decoded. She strewed amusing details about her half-serious wizarding world around her for four books... and then she had to start pulling together her plot in the last three. So she looked around herself and picked up what was to hand and cobbled together a plot.

Planning? No. Not so much. Even things as important as the invisibility cloak / Hallow of Passivity were not planned to be as important as she claimed they were in the end. There aren't any cues in the book 1 text that the cloak is a god-level artifact, ya know?

As for his third point... I was grateful that at last I read something articulating what bothered me so deeply about that ending. I am left thinking that the glow of satisfaction I felt after finishing it came from 1) yay we were all right about Snape and 2) Neville rocks! It's all vanished when I look back at the series as a whole. To my dismay.
I found, too, that my enjoyment of the series increased a bit when I thought of Harry more as a Galahad pure type character, where the point really is that this horribly abused boy somehow maintains his essential goodness in spite of everything. Someone gave me the idea while arguing against my feeling that a flaw of the book is that he is never truly tempted by the darkness. That person said such a tale would have been too formulaic. Galahad is, as I pointed out in reply, just a different formula. But point taken, it's less used than the Luke Skywalker type myth.

I think what a lot of people who disliked the ending of the series really objected to was not planning vs. not, but how well she seemed to set up themes and situations as important (particularly one's choices matter more ultimately than one's abilities or intrinsic qualities) and how she didn't follow through on them (Slytherin abandons the school en masse, Snape's choices and motivations are problematic at best, etc.)

I think she got overwhelmed by her ideas and didn't really have the ability to truly live up to them. So in this case, intrinsic abilities do matter more than choices (to me as a selfish reader). But I also think she took some easy ways out of the implications of what she created, to the detriment of the whole.

I, however, having satisfied my civic and religious obligations for the day, should now be getting back to wrestling with living up to the ideas in earlier parts of this story of mine. So perhaps I should be a little more charitable in my judgments, lest I also be judged....

Thanks for this cool discussion, both of you.

Hob