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A Review of The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling - Part 1

Posted by Brook on September 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

A Review of The Casual Vacancy - Part 1: Where is the magic?

If you are asking if there is any magic to this story, then you are thinking beyond the obvious - that this is primarily a black comedy.  From what we know about Rowling, who has been living a lifetime of seventeen plus years immersed in a magical world diagonally separated from reality, we can't help but wonder - could she resist bringing enchantment to her Harry Potter Va...

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Themes of Alchemy

Posted by Brook on September 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

"I've never wanted to be a witch, but an alchemist, now that's a different matter. To invent this wizard world, I've learned a ridiculous amount about alchemy. Perhaps much of it I'll never use in the books, but I have to know in detail what magic can and cannot do in order to set the parameters and establish the stories' internal logic."


A General Look at Alchemy says in order to understand the esoteric science of alchemy, it is necessary to discuss briefly the foll...

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The Influence of Amnesty International

Posted by Brook on September 7, 2012 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

‘I began to have nightmares, literal nightmares,about some of the things I saw, heard, and read.  And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before.’

J. K. Rowling, 2008 Harvard Address


‘One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of...

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A Case for Perfectionism

Posted by Brook on September 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I think it is safe to say that Jo is a bit of a perfectionist.  She edited one chapter a total of thirteen times.


In the Biography by Sean Smith one restaurant owner who witnessed Joanne in action recalls, ‘It was pen and paper, and scribblings out and looking through, just going over and over it.’  Even a purchase of a word processor didn’t put an end to writing in longhand in one restaurant or another.


‘One of the thin...

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The Benefits of Failure

Posted by Brook on September 6, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

‘So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still a...

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Role Models in Harry Potter

Posted by Brook on September 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

When focusing upon creating strong role models in your writing, it’s advisable to forge a solid link between your individual characters and a character trait or moral. Your writing should seek to demonstrate their alignment with this trait consistently, enough so that the reader can easily identify with these elements early on in the story development.


The positive and negative effects of the role models in Harry Potter are widely debated.  It is true that Harry...

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Intelligence and Points of View

Posted by Brook on September 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Jo knows her story so well, that she is aware of each character’s history, motivation, state of mind and physical position in any given scene.  The wide selection of characters express a wide variety of views.  From the shopkeepers in Diagon Alley to the high officials in the Ministry of Magic; from Muggles who hate magic to Squibs who long for it; from ancient historians like Bathilda Bagshot to the young adulation of Colin Creevey, everyone has a voice and more importantly a...

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Ingenious Imagination

Posted by Brook on September 6, 2012 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)

There are so many instances of ingenious imagination that shine throughout the entire Harry Potter saga that it is impossible to list them all. But I shall do mybest to hit on some of the highlights here in order to illustrate how well acquainted Rowling was with her fantasy world.

  • Photographs in tabloids, wanted posters and other publications are essentially live animation, and this is a given in theworld of magic. Also, it is made apparent that those who have died can still commu...
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Introduction to J.K. Rowling

Posted by Brook on September 6, 2012 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

‘Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.’ Archimedes


J.K. Rowling - estimated to have sold over 400 million books; first female billionaire novelist; creator of the popular Harry Potter fantasy series – also recognised as a multi-million pound brand.

‘(Harry Potter) is an epic saga of childhood confusion, danger and adventure… but it’s more than just a childrenR...

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