|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| Ainscough chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Some unsolicited insight into your dilemma with updates, although I can't guarantee it will be of any help. This mainly addresses your hypothesis that you might be losing interest in MoR, whether the latest chapters or the story in general.
You mention these latest chapters are less fun to write, and I think this comes across in the writing. In any event, they are less fun to read. That is not to say that the latest chapters are not enjoyable at all; MoR on its worst day is much better than any other fanfiction save exactly one I know of on its best; that said, these latest chapters feel more like an obligation to read than previous chapters. For me, it's because Hermione and her journey are not as involving as Harry's were. Her character, in general, is simply frustrating to have to work with, when the vast majority of the story has been in Harry's voice and train of thought. The good news is that this means you have effectively averted making Hermione a female clone of Harry. The bad news is that, seventy chapters in, a new perspective is not easy for us, well, sorry, for ME to adjust to.
What it comes down to is that MoR's strengths have always been the developing relationship between Quirrel and Harry. Almost every one of your best scenes have involved them interacting in some way. Without that driving element, this story is beginning to lag. And I respect that you are giving Harry some time to do homework, because honestly if his episodes were scene after scene of Azkabans, the only sensical move would be for Harry to peace himself out of Hogwarts forever. So yeah, I understand the narrative value in switching to Hermione's perspective. But as long as we're at this, it's not going to be the same story, it's going to be more like a side story, and we're going to be impatient for something that seems to move the main plot along.
How can you fix it? All I can suggest is that you write a few non-canon drabbles, maybe just for yourself, that focus on character dynamic rather than any plot. Have them sit around and break the fourth wall and discuss what has happened so far in MoR, maybe. Try and discover something new about Hermione or one of the other first year witches that maybe you didn't know before, something that makes you want to write them again. Or maybe, just to keep yourself in the spirit of MoR, take Quirrel and Harry or Snape or Dumbledore or ASDF FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MORE REMUS out for a spin, remember what made you love writing it, and use that energy to produce something.
I'm not saying I'm displeased with the concept behind the current arc, but I think, honestly, in execution, it is lacking a lot of the life and passion that Harry's, or even Draco's has. I trust you to turn it into something excellent.
I feel like I was probably just telling you tons of shit you already know, but whatever. (HAHAHA DO YOU LIKE HOW I SAY THAT AS IF THERE IS ANY ALTERNATIVE TO THAT ANYWAY)
Okay. Me and my run-on sentences retreat back to the Batcave, now. Hope the rationality book revising is going well!
| Overlooked Supporting Cast chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Oh my. After such a long hiatus, you write what may as well be a love letter to me. I'm not quite self-absorbed enough to be flattered, Mr. Yudkowski, but it's a very near thing. Thank you for this little look into the ordinary mistakes of ordinary people, in the middle of a great, soaring, passionate story about the exceptional, privileged, and unique. It's utterly charming.
My little sister, a Harry Potter fan, recently turned sixteen. I had been holding off on recommending this story to her since she shares my misfortune of being brought up with fundamentalist Christian traditions, and I didn't want to risk anything possibly divisive. I had thought to hold off on telling her about it until some later, more opportune moment, but your advice through Mr. Greengrass about getting into the habit of letting those moments pass struck a chord with me. More importantly, the ongoing saga of Tracey Davis, is a delightful reminder to the conversation I had with my sister on her birthday. Too many people go through life without ever being properly trained to think honestly about what they want. I grew up thinking it was wrong to do so.
It's funny. I think I've gleaned more practical insight from this one-year fanfic than I managed to gain from two decades of misspent religion. It's nice to know that even the art (the science?) of myth-making has seen remarkable progress in a scant few thousand years.
| db chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
outstanding! I loved the children being children.
But you might be stretching yourself and your readers thin, trying to cover too many perspectives.
| Tall Tails - Feline Jaye chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Sometimes, you get in this tangent of thought and sooner or later you're going to be wrenched back to the original thought path and it's going to feel very off because your tangent was just SO far out.
Nice chapter. :)
| Brian chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Absolutely fantastic chapter. Well worth the wait.
| Kevin S. Van Horn chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
This chapter opens with an advertisement for a female-only organization. Explain to me why, although it's bad to discriminate against women, it seems to be perfectly OK to discriminate against men.
| ARMH chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Fun chapter. I liked it a fair bit more than the last few Hermione chapters, but I think that's because we finally got some Draco and a bit of Harry too.
| Violet Shadows chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Well that seventh year isn't going to survive long outside of school.
| janefanatic chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Everything about this chapter is frickin' hilarious! I loved seeing Tracey and Daphne being "friendly" with their fellow slytherins, and especially Draco Malfoy after Tracey's departure: "I can't believe I believed every word of that". Awesome.
| bakapervert chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Thanks for the update.
| Paganimagus chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Sorry to hear you're not enjoying writing as much...
Its quite worrying to hear- I don't want this fic to die!
Whilst this wasn't your best chapter it still has so many moments of funny. It only wasn't *awesome* because it felt like it was 'between' plots. That problem doesn't look like it'll last long though- I'm really looking forward to the messy plots that you've set up with the chapter.
Slytherin's ghost eh.. with both Draco and Snape taking it seriously!
| Loonynamelass chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
Daphne couldn't quite let that one go past. "You think Lord Slytherin would've put the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets in a bathroom -"
"decided that Draco Malfoy would be one of her husbands too."
"Professor Snape did terrible things down there to innocent helpless young girls but that was probably just wishful thinking on her part."
I am quoting things back to you because it is faster. So, quickly: 1) Ironic, 2)&3) Plain funny.
I'm finding this arc rather frustrating and pointless, to be honest. Especially after the incredible Stanford Prison Experiment... But I trust your judgment as to what's best for the story, so we'll see how it goes.
Thanks for the update!
| BluePard chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
I got quite a few good laughs out of this, especially about where Felthorne's mind was going.
| jollygreendragon chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
I disagree with Hermione's estimation about Hannah and her reason for striving for heroism.
Feminism is all about equality between genders, right? It's about women saying that it isn't fair for men to have certain freedoms and women not to, among other things (yes this is super-simplified I know but bear with me). Hermione feels that wanting to become a heroine to impress a boy is not feminist.
But what about all the male heroes who do what they do to impress women? Denying the opposite seems, to me, to deny gender equality.
| Incendiarist chapter 71 . 4/5/2011
I should not be able to smile that much in a year, less fifteen minutes. And yet, I still do. So congratulations on that, I suppose, despite the fact that I'm really rather proud of generally not understanding humanity enough to find anything humorous.
I love S.P.H.E.W. (Though my mind is insistent on calling in S.H.R.E.W. for some odd reason, nevermind what exactly it would stand for then.), and Hannah is adorable with her crush on Neville.
And either I completely missed the sarcasm, or completely missed any suggestion that Millicent Bulstrode was a seer (Which is, now that I think of it, an interesting idea.).
-Though one were strong as seven,
He too with death shall dwell, -
-Nor wake with wings in heaven,
Nor weep for pains in hell; -
(Algernon Charles Swinburne, Garden of Proserpine, lines 41-44)