|Reviews for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality|
| w chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
| Astrid chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
Maybe you're finding it more difficult to write SPHEW chapters because the girls of SPHEW, as you've written them, just aren't that interesting. You've 'leveled-up' Quirrel, Draco, et al. so that they match Harry quite well-Draco in the books was cruel but acted and thought like an 11-year-old boy, while MOR Draco is cunning enough to (nearly) keep pace with Harry. So why has Hermione barely become more rational at all?
Of course she's still brilliant- but she was brilliant in the books. Of course a major plot point is her struggle not to fall behind Harry- but instead of studying, inventing, or plotting like any other MOR character, you decide she'll protest (without thinking through how that could have any consequence at all) and moronically 'look for Trouble'. She's becoming the Ron character (with better test scores, granted)- angsty and jealous of Harry's success but useful when the author wants a respite from the action.
Why do that? You don't write angst nearly as well as you write logic, and besides, you're not teaching readers how to be more rational thinkers (presumably most of the point of MOR)when you do. You do end up belittling nearly all your female characters. I'm not accusing you of intentional misogyny. In Hermione's case, for instance, it seems like her role was overtaken by Draco, and you've been trying to distinguish her character from Harry and Draco. But why include something like this passage?
"She tried to explain, and then after the resulting argument tried to explain again, while the other seven girls looked at her more and more skeptically...Padma closed off further discussion by observing wearily that she didn't see much point to going on arguing, since S.P.H.E.W. wasn't about anything to do with feminism in the first place, it was just about more girls becoming heroes."
11 year old girls who bicker and don't know the meaning of 'feminism' is at least plausible (although it doesn't sound like you've spoken to any intelligent 11-year-old girls recently), but now you have to make your characters so dumb they can't understand the definition of a not-terribly-difficult word when it's repeatedly explained to the?
which is not only insulting (nothing necessarily wrong with that) but totally pointlessly so.
You wasted half of this chapter with SPHEW. That half taught readers nothing about rationality. You also wrote characters so thick that a) it's impossible to see SPHEW having any further plot significance, unless it's to bumble and create a situation for someone else to heroically fix. b) even should they become heroines, they will have failed to prove witches' equality, because as they're written, they simply aren't capable of resolving problems half as well as Harry or Quirrel could.
| grins chapter 11 . 4/6/2011
On the last one: Poor Minnie, there's no end in sight now.
| Hunterw chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
Awesome as always (though I'd like to second the notion of a Dramatis Personae somewhere... maybe if I made one, it could be linked to from the A/Ns? we'll see). I personally am tremendously enjoying the sphew arc, and am quite willing to wait a bit for it to be re-integrated with Harry's Story. However. Someone below mentioned Rosemary Kirstein, but I had already had this thought in re: Robert Jordan. Don't spin out so many threads you die before you can tie them up!
| A-Knight4 chapter 22 . 4/6/2011
Something like magic being a recessive gene?
| Peregrinate chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
Lol... I loved the ending! Brilliant, as ever. Almost to 12k reviews! Nice!
| braindoll chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
I'm sorry to say that I suspect writing this story is not going to get any easier. This is the point in the story where you have to start tying up all the dangling threads into a satisfying climax and denouement. And while you were spinning out those threads, you thought you could see how they were going to fit together. But now, closer up, the fit isn't as good as you thought it would be, and that's not fun. Yes, you can fix things and rethink them, but you're much much more constrained in doing so than you were earlier.
So, how can you motivate that work? How can you free up your imagination from all those constraints? Well, I have one crazy idea. It's probably stupid, but hey, there are worse sources of inspiration than other people's stupid ideas, so I hope it might be useful anyway.
Write the end first. That awesome multilevel Xanatos pileup you're vaguely imagining? Actually write it, paragraph by paragraph. C'mon, you know that it's going to be fun. Then come back and write the bridging parts later.
What's the point of that? Wouldn't that just be procrastinating the worst part of the chore, and adding the further chore of re-revising the end once the pre-end is done? Maybe. But it frees you from the constraints of moving one step at a time, and maybe makes the writing fun. Also, you have literally thousands of fans, several of them very creative. If there was some bridging part that you don't want to write, I actually think that you could probably find a way to get discreet help which would lighten your load noticeably. (Sure, we'd be working just as hard as you, to give you something of which you could use maybe 30%, for a reduction in your workload of 15% - but if you did it using the pair writing etherpads, at least it would be a change of pace from slogging through writing it by yourself, and as you've correctly deduced, the most important factor here is your motivation.)
So anyway. That's my idea. In general, what I want to say is, do whatever you gotta do to get this finished. If we know you're busily writing the conclusion, and giving occasional progress updates, we - well, at least I - would be happy to wait even multiple months for the next update.
Whatever you do, don't be Rosemary Kirstein. The "steerswoman" books are incredibly awesome - for instance, she is as good as you are at blending swashbuckling action with scientific inquiry, and off the top of my head I can't think of even one other person of whom I'd say that - but she is so much better at spinning new threads than at tying them all up, that several decades after the first book, there is no end in sight. I've even read her blog, and I respect her in many many ways - but I don't want you to have her problem.
In fact, if you do invent some cure for the "last part's the hardest" disease... talk to her about it. Seems as if she'd be a really fun person to meet, but you have no reason to make the contact until you're done, and so that's an extra motivation for solving this thing.
I'll review the actual chapter later.
| iwannabeX chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
a few days back i was going through my favourites list, and realized that i haven't seen a new MOR chapter in AGES. and now i see it, and now that i see it, i see it is good :)
i love your story, an if it takes more time now to get a new chapter up, what with your non-mor book coming up, i won't mind, and will be happy to wait for a chapter quite patiently, as long as you don't abandon the story completely.
| A-Knight4 chapter 20 . 4/6/2011
I don't think there is anything I can say that would do fully emphasize how good this chapter was.
| Carl Jakobsson chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
It's nice to see that Hobbes have found a new spokesman in you, although it's fortunate that you have the resources to speak more plainly. I however. who also have found myself having some affection for that man's cryptic ideas, if I've understood them completely, believe that, the role of Salazar cannot be easy. In some ways it is strange that the house he founded, given that he must have had some knowledge of what later became known to those who attend his school, would produce such manevolent offsprings. In some other ways, it is perfectly natural.
Oh, please, I would love to show that I can beat the crap out of you at your experiment. I am certain that no puny human, nor you, can invade my inner thoughts so deeply and control my behaviour so much that I would let you out in an experiment. In other words, I would never let you out, of course, on the condition that you follow the protocols slavishly.
| 2642379 chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
"Isn't very feminist"
"It's pronounced feminine, actually."
It's sad that I'm a guy, and thus a really bad person if I ever use that line in conversation, because it's like the funniest thing ever.
| atymer chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
This chapter left me with many questions and no answers to them. I must read forward to find them. My head is all twisted around on the intrigues of little kids who are all being influenced and/or manipulated and used to a degree beyond which poor muggles can understand.
The author continues to fascinate, where all these strings will go before they tie into the knot.
| Raineh Daze chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
'"What?" said Rianne Felthorne in sudden horror and disgust. "She's in her first year! Ew!"'
The way that was phrased generated extremely perverse thoughts. How irritating. XD
| thewanderingmonster chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
Brilliant! (as always ;) - particularly liked the character's Thoughts ;)
| Oxi-Nu chapter 71 . 4/6/2011
Entertaining, but I can't wait for it to be Harry-centric again.