The Burning Scar in ‘Order of the Phoenix’

Sam, By the time J. K. Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, our hero and his friends’ accomplishments in Hogwarts (and out) were well known. Their adventures, for all their dangers and thrills, should impress and bewilder readers especially for children’s stories. I don’t see many books for young readers where the…

The Power of Belief: A History of Magic!

Sam, My visit to A History of Magic at the New York City Historical Society was more than I could have hoped for. I never expected to see everything that was listed in the book which accompanied the exhibit’s premier at the British Library, London. The whole exhibition is like an out-of-body experience. Because it exceeds…

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…

The Chessmaster

Sam, I watch a lot of theory, break-down, and character reviews of all my favorite shows, books, and movies. As any good member of a fandom would do, right? Upon watching a SuperCarlin Bro’s theory video on Dumbledore’s original plans for Harry and Co., I discovered a common trend in many of the stories that…

“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…

What’s It About?!

Sam, This piece of advice may need to go without being said, but I’ll talk about it anyway. It deals with that simple question in the title. To most non-writer/non-artists, asking “What’s it about?!” may seem like the natural way of expressing interest in whatever the artists is doing. This may be true in concept….

A Sense of Place

Sam, This post will be a summary of my experience at the third annual Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference. A more detailed account of what I gained and left Brevard College with will be found on the page with the conference namesake. Come here to read more. When I applied to this conference, I knew…

Timing is a B*tch

Sam, I would say there are two kinds of writers: those who detail their woes without being asked and those who wait to be asked by others. I’m not going to say which one is better or worse. However, I cannot ignore when Stephen King once called writers “the secret agents” of the world. We…

Like It’s the First Time

Sam, Is it possible to read the same book, watch the same movie, do the same action repeatedly without getting bored with it? If the answer could ever be no, then those of us who comb the content of the stories we love with more scrutiny than our own history books are in trouble. It’s…

A Hundred Posts Later . . .

Sam, As I cross the one-hundredth threshold (perhaps a little later than I hoped), I congratulate myself for all the work I have done at The Pen-Dragon. Since I started this blog at the beginning of my study abroad in London, in the first days of 2014, I have loved writing and sharing my voice…