‘What makes Albus Dumbledore so Fond of You?’

Sam, Following the relative success of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in my opinion), Crimes of Grindelwald was something of an enigma for me. Coming in to the theatre, the film’s ability to meet the level of its predecessor balanced on a knife’s edge. I thought I knew which way the weight would shift given my…

Choose, Sacrifice, Adapt

Sam, One of the key elements to a story is having the protagonist make a sacrifice–pay a heavy price–at the climax or breaking point; what makes that good is when the author has had enough build-up to get the audience to care about the protagonist’s sacrifice and how they adapt. There is the creation of…

“Not Slytherin, not Slytherin”

            Sam, Just last week, readers in the UK (and outside it) celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In the spirit of Chamber leaving its teenage years behind, I’d like to examine a question that started in Philosopher’s Stone and was answered in Chamber. It deals…

“. . . a chasing after the wind.”

Sam, Icebergs have always symbolized a goal, habit, or lifestyle someone wishes to have. I get a lot of “oh, I’d love to write a book!” when people find out I’m a writer. That mentality is the top of the iceberg, not even a quarter of its mass. It’s the stuff below that truly separates…

The Authority of Canon

Sam, What decides the canon of story? Does it matter which comes first? Which should hold more weight, book or film? Discerning canon is an important aspect of literary scholarship because the authority of canon decides which stories we will keep telling long after their authors have returned to the dirt. After all, myths have…

A Spark in the Dark

Sam, I wanted to take a moment to recognize a small success in my writing career, a career that–until yesterday–I had nothing substantial to show for. I have been accepted to attend the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference: May 17-20, 2018! This comes as a supremely welcome surprise. The piece I submitted was ten pages…

The First Spell: ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ Part II

Sam, In ‘The First Spell: Philosopher’s Stone Part I’, I discussed the expertise of the Scholastic’s layout job, and how Jo begins her story on a plane we (as uninitiated Muggles) can understand. She then gradually transfers our interest – our support – for characters from the Dursleys very quickly to their severely oppressed nephew, Harry….

The First Spell: ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ Part I

Sam, While researching for the first post of this Perusing Potter series, I read up on the rankings of each of the Potter books. What I found was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was received as the weakest (at the bottom three) in a majority of the lists. There were reasons of “most childish,” “simplest plot,” and “fairly predictable.” Despite…

Abandon Origins?

Sam, The past decade (and then some) has given us something many thought would never happen: comic book stories part of the cultural zeitgeist. This “revival” had allowed for the Muggles of comics to take them seriously. Accordingly, there has to be a proper introduction to the characters and worlds they operate in. This is…

When the Turkey’s Ready and Only Then

Sam, I write to you this post at a timely moment. November hosts the annual challenge many writers will take up: National Novel Writing Month. The objective of NaNoWriMo is to compose a 50,000 word manuscript within the dates of November 1 and November 30. Whether or not you accomplish the assigned criterion by November’s end…