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Well Begun

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Old January 3rd, 2007, 8:26 pm
blaqlives  Female.gif blaqlives is offline
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Well Begun

Discussion of the editorial Well Begun by Robbie Fischer.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 12:01 am
stwonks  Female.gif stwonks is offline
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Re: Well Begun

good editorial. just one lil thing. There's no need to defend 'The Boy Who Lived" by putting down chapter two. We all know that if we're trying to get someone to read the books for the first time we have to tell them, "just get through chapter one and you'll be set, it gets so much better after that." Its just something that has to be accepted in our world. JK wrote an amazing book, she's aloud one less than amazing chapter.


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Old January 4th, 2007, 12:18 am
saddrummer saddrummer is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Decent work but to be honest most of it was retelling the story...and also you haven't really developed a point...you have just summarised the first paragraphs of the books.

Some things you said were interesting well done.

I remember 2 thoughts i have had in the past about beginnings of the harry potter series.

1) The beginning of book 4 was not as interesting at first as I did not really understand what was going on until i finished the book and then re-read the intro. So basically i dont think it was a very good intro...

2) The beginning of book 6 bored me a bit because it was a really long wait until it came out and then i had to sit through 2 paragraphs where again it was hard to understand what was going on and also i think a lot of people just dismissed the spinners end chapter as it was just too 'out there' making snape basically admit he was on the dark side in the second chapter of the book...

Well done anyway...

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Old January 4th, 2007, 1:04 am
squibpott  Female.gif squibpott is offline
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Re: Well Begun

My prejudice will always favour Azkaban, it was my first book of the series. Book 6 had the worst opening though. I had to re-read and re-read the first couple of paragraphs without much sinking in, I kept drifting out - much like the Prime Minister reading the memo. But 1 and 3 so far remain my favourites. Good editorial by the way.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 1:37 am
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Re: Well Begun

A long editorial that does seem to lack a central focus. It really is only a review of the openings for each of the books to date with some comments added in that readers may or may not agree with. Overall I would say this is not one of the better editorials I have read although it isn't the worst either.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 1:47 am
blessed_dragon  Female.gif blessed_dragon is offline
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Re: Well Begun

I thought this was an interesting editorial, especially because when I saw that a new one was added, I figured it would be about book 7 and what the title means and all of that stuff. I did like it, to an extent, but it did get kind of dull because the editorial basically summarized the books, books which I have read multiple times. However, it was still well-written, if a bit long and about a topic any good Harryr Potter fan already knows all about.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 3:22 am
Sheikgoddess  Female.gif Sheikgoddess is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Originally posted by blessed_dragon

I thought this was an interesting editorial, especially because when I saw that a new one was added, I figured it would be about book 7 and what the title means and all of that stuff.
Same here! I was expecting that too but I was so going to read it anyway!

As it turns out, it was another fantastic editorial by Robbie! Absolutely love your work, you have a of drawing the reader in with your writing. I was really interested in your analysis of the first chapters and it was good that you also gave a bit of good criticism.

Looking forward to reading more of your work!


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Old January 4th, 2007, 7:56 am
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Quite an interesting editorial in that is brought all first chapters together for summarising and pointing out how they draw the readers into to books, but didn't Snape make an Unbreakable Vow to stopo Draco killing Albus? I was unaware that Draco was supposed to kill harry as I get the impression throughout all the books that Voldemort wants to finish Harry off himself.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 9:20 am
misskneazle  Female.gif misskneazle is offline
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Re: Well Begun

I enjoyed the editorial. My favorite opening chapters are "The Boy Who Lived" and "The Riddle House". I find them to be the most mysterious. You can tell something is hidden beneath the surface when reading those chapters, but I do love 2,3, and 5's opening as well. I admit book six is my least favorite opening, but Spinners End more then made up for it.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 12:14 pm
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Well Begun

I actually enjoyed the bit about the British PM and Wizards as it does tie the wizarding world in with the muggle world which adds a little bit of reality to the books. After all the Dementors must have had some affect on the muggles and in a way it does make global warming and the wild weather the world has been experiencing more in tune with the wizard world as they have been oneo of the causes according to the books. Wouldn't it be nice fi that's how we could explain the wild weather the world has been having and blame the Dementors for it rather than our overuse of the natural sources nature has given us. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to wave a wand, say a spell and have all natures problems solved. Then again if we could rid the world of all the evil people it could solve our problems - but who is to say who is really evil and who is good? I for one think soome of the so-called good guys are really some of the bad guys.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 1:10 pm
HP_hedgehog  Male.gif HP_hedgehog is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Well, I think that Chapter One "The Boy Who Lived" is the best way she could ever have opened her series. We get to know how the Dursleys are, and from that point onwards, there's this climax, ending with Dumbledore showing up. It is great that the most important adult people in the series, Dumbledore, Sirius, Hagrid and McGonagal, were introduced already. The book also opens with a double murder and a lot of mystery, so the reader wants to read on. Then, we finally leave Harry (touching paragraphs), knowing that he'll have a horrible time with those Muggles and that it can't and will not last forever. The reader knows that Harry is to be reunited with the magical world somehow, and is eager to find out how and how he will react.

Also, I really liked the beginning of book 6. The first chapter shows the crisis and provides important background information. We are more eager to finally meet up with Harry again. Then, we get... Snape. No Harry yet. But the things revealed are so incredibly deceiving, or not, that we don't know what side he's on after all. We're confused, because Snape seems to be bad, while we were finally a bit inclined to believe that he might be on the good side. Then, we finally get to a (chamingly snoring) Harry. The chapter after that is humorous, mysterious and we want to know why Dumbledore is there and what's with his hand. The Dursleys finally get what they deserve.

Well, I like the analyzing parts of this editorial I just expected it to have theories on the beginning chapter of book 7 as well. Ah, not that we can say anything about that...



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Old January 4th, 2007, 2:02 pm
lmk  Female.gif lmk is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Like others who have posted before me, I found your article, while undeniably well-written, to be nothing more than a rehashing of each opening chapter of the books in the Harry Potter series. It seems to me that you haven't offered any new insight or idea to the continuing debate over the books. As I read your article, I kept waiting for something to really spark my interest or make me think about the story the books are telling in a different way. I was very disappointed when that didn't happen.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 3:51 pm
phoenician  Undisclosed.gif phoenician is offline
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Re: Well Begun

I enjoyed this editorial for several reasons, most of them unexpected. Your writing skills and use of logic are amongst the best examples I have read on mugglenet. You have created not only a thorough analysis of each of the book's beginnings, but you have also enticed the reader to think for himself or herself. I originally assumed that you were planning on proposing an outline of the opening chapter to Deathly Hallows. I am glad that I was mistaken. Your comprehensive analysis has presented enough of a cohesive pattern that now I can imagine that chapter outline on my own. Thank you.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 5:30 pm
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BublGumPnkHar  Female.gif BublGumPnkHar is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Well written, Robbie. "The Boy Who Lived" hooked me right away. In 1999, I was picking up a "children's book", which I hadn't done for many years, and I was loving the imagery and the humor of Jo's writing.

The only "first" chapter I haven't enjoyed was "Spinner's End", probably because of my dislike of Snape and the bigotry of the "Black sisters" (plus I wanted to get to Harry, not read about the "Dark Side").

Picking up my first children's/fantasy book in many years, has opened up a new world for me. I had read LOTR and The Hobbit back in the early 70s and nothing like it since. I love mysteries - which Jo also has in her books. The best of both world appears in her writings.

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Old January 4th, 2007, 7:13 pm
notasquib2  Female.gif notasquib2 is offline
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Re: Well Begun

I have actually liked all of the opening chapters, but I think that the two for book 6 and the Vanishing Glass have been my favorites.I loved the beginning to GOF, too. I think I may be less critical than some because I feel that any time spent in the wizarding world is precious. We have only one more book to look forward to, after all.

Which brings me to another point; the reason I like this editorial. It's time for a few like these—those that look back on the series as a whole and pick out new and unusual threads to offer further opportunities for analysis. While I love editorials on "What happens next," I also like those that look back at where we've been and think they are important, too. That said, the editorial might have benefitted from a little more pattern finding and speculation about the last chapter. Robbie, if you want to write that as part two to this one, based on your observations about the other first chapters, I would love to read it.

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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:46 am
Tweak  Female.gif Tweak is offline
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Re: Well Begun

I enjoyed the retrospection of this editorial. It's time for me to begin reviewing the past books of the series in preparation of what will come in book 7. I personally have less of an interest in potential storylines in Deathly Hallows as I have an interest in what went on in the previous books.

I recently re-read the Philosopher's Stone and when I read this editorial's comments about the first chapter, it reminded me of the struggle I had reading it all those years ago. I did not find it compelling in my first read. In fact, I distinctly remember skimming it (I can't believe I admitted that) and not getting caught up until further on in the story. It wasn't until my second re-read that I came to appreciate it.

Anyway, Robbie, thanks for the retro...you've served to increase my anticipation and resolve to re-read the series before the summer release (please, please, let there be a summer release!!!!).

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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:48 am
DeathlyHabitue  Undisclosed.gif DeathlyHabitue is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Overall I liked this editorial, it was well written and thought out. You make a good point about the irony of how the Dursley's obsession with being normal is the very things that makes them abnormal.

I think book 6 would of been better if "Spinner's end "was put after "Horace Slughorn" making "Spinner's End" chapter 4 instead of chapter 2. "Spinner's end" is a good chapter, but after "the Other Minister" "Spinner's" feels somewhat tiresome. "Horace Slughorn" is a good chapter, but it ends on a low note, making it the ideal place to switch narratives.

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Old January 5th, 2007, 1:14 am
HarryFan  Female.gif HarryFan is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Good, I do agree on you with the runthrough from Harrys Point Of Veiw issue, I liked them always!
I also like run-throughs of the past series, its also fitting as the next book is the last book too!

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Old January 5th, 2007, 4:05 am
FishEByrd  Male.gif FishEByrd is offline
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Re: Well Begun

Thanks for the interesting variety of feedback. From the above responses it is clear that people's preferences are "all over the map," as far as which books had the best & worst openings.

Sorry to disappoint those who were hoping for more analysis with an eye toward predicting what happens in Book 7...I've tried that sort of thing in the past and generally, it either wasn't very interesting, or it ended up being way off the mark. In defense of my editorial I do believe I did more than just rehash the story; it was an appreciation of JKR's craft and the heady mixture of mystery, suspense, tragedy, humor, etc. that she used to "hook" readers into the books that followed. I've never been great shakes at in-depth analysis, and I'm sorry if I wasn't as clear as I tried to be in bringing out this recurring pattern in JKR's opening chapters. At least I hope the article was entertaining to read, which in my opinion is as good as a ton of in-depth analysis any day!

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Old January 5th, 2007, 6:58 am
kerri  Undisclosed.gif kerri is offline
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Re: Well Begun

what can i say....it was fun looking over the first chapters of the books. there is so much to connect and answer in the last book Im curious how she'll begin it. Just think, somwhere in Edinborough, JKR has the first chapter tucked away already written.....and the last! great insight, thanks.

just to say, my favorite first chapter is in Order of the Pheonix. The way she collides the two worlds and lets out the secret of Mrs Figg was just great. The way she paints Harry as someone that muggles from Little Whinging look down at, strongly contrasts with his fame status in the wizarding world. Loved the humor of Mrs Figgs rantings, and especially the way Petunia showed understanding and fear for the first time, great first chapters!

Last edited by kerri; January 5th, 2007 at 7:03 am.
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