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  1. #1
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    August Activities 2012

    In a fit of insanity, I have decided to go off the board and do something random. Yes, I want you to review a story with a title OR author that starts with the letter 'X'. It can be a capital or lower-case, but the author name or story title MUST begin with it.

    As usual, ask and answer a TQ (good luck with this one). I'll get you started:

    Just like this feature theme, random things draw us to stories. What sort of random things make you or have at some point made you want to read a story?

    How often do you judge a story by its title?


    This activity is due to be completed by no later than 15th September at midnight US Pacific Time/16th September 8am British Summer Time.
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  2. #2
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    August Discussion: Muggle Literature in Fanfic

    This is one of the great debates of the fan fiction world, especially in the Potterverse. We have all seen it, where either Rose or Hermione pines over Mr Darcy or, Merlin forfend, Harry read a book about a young wizard's unrealistic adventures while saving the world as he knows it (*chuckle*). Some say that Muggle lit has a place next to wizard lit in the wizarding world, but others insist that it's an author imprinting his or her own preferences onto a character.

    What do you think?

    As usual, ask and answer one TQ. For a starter:

    If you could pick one real book that you feel would fit into the HP universe the best, what would it be and why? Author?

    Most books and novels carry similar or recurring tropes, such as the hero saves the day/gets the girl, bad boyfriend is ousted in favour of feminine independence, etc…you get the picture. What sorts of Muggle tropes do you think would still linger in magical fiction, and which ones would not translate into wizard lit due to their very nature?

    At what point do you get annoyed with the addition of Muggle literature in a HP fanfic? What about non-fanfic reading?


    This activity is due to be completed by no later than 15th September at midnight US Pacific Time/16th September 8am British Summer Time.
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  3. #3
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    If you could pick one real book that you feel would fit into the HP universe the best, what would it be and why? Author?
    I just read 1984 by George Orwell and it blew my mind with its brilliance. I feel that it would fit into the HP universe because it deals with situations they have been accustomed to during Voldemort's rule - although here it might be a little more extreme.


    In terms of fitting with the actual HP world, I think it works well: especially with Deathly Hallows. Harry, Ron and Hermione have to be careful about where they talk, the way they communicate, because they don't know when people are listening. In Orwell's world, telescreens constantly keep watch over citizens, who therefore cannot safely verbalise any kind of rebellious thoughts. I think magical readers could relate to the reign of terror, of not knowing who would disappear next, of what might happen to them in the future. Fortunately for them, their ending is much more positive than that of 1984's, but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't find striking similarities.

    It obviously has the theme of repression running throughout, but the theme of love is, perhaps surprisingly, a strong one. Winston's love for Julia is supposed to be stronger than the tyrannical government, but is finally broken after seemingly undending torture. Perhaps a grimmer note than the HP series, but it's interesting to compare the two alternative messages about love. I wonder what JK Rowling would argue if her characters were placed in the same situation as Winston - would Ron beg that an attack of spiders be given to Hermione instead of him? Or is his love stronger that Winston's? The book raises an unceasing amount of interesting questions, and I think a lot of them could apply to the Potterverse as well.

    New TQ: Hermione is sure to have read a wealth of Muggle literature. Which book or author do you think she would enjoy the most? Why do you think this?



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  4. #4
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    Well, I think my opinions of this have changed quite a bit over time. To begin with, I thought it was neither here nor there whether or not an author decided to include Mr Darcy in a story. But things have changed now.

    If you could pick one real book that you feel would fit into the HP universe the best, what would it be and why? Author?

    Gone With the Wind. <3333 that book so much. A lot of it is set during the American Civil War (I think...) which is pretty similar, maybe, to the first wizarding war. Hmm, not sure about author. I might edit in

    At what point do you get annoyed with the addition of Muggle literature in a HP fanfic? What about non-fanfic reading?

    Oh, I read a fic once where Harry decided to go to university, and I think it was rather contrived in the first place since we know he becomes an Auror and doesn't seem that into school. Anyway, Harry reads all these classics for his, um, English Literature (presumably) degree, and I just think the references were unnecessary because they weren't conducive to the plot, as far as I could tell. Mind, I didn't really like this fic at all, so perhaps I'm biased, but when it gets to that stage where the story contains so many references to books that even you get confused, then you know the author is most likely just putting across their taste in books and that's it.

    Hermione is sure to have read a wealth of Muggle literature. Which book or author do you think she would enjoy the most? Why do you think this?

    Something literary, for sure. I think she'd like Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte because of the powerful female characters.

    In a similar vein, what do you think of fanfic authors who use RL songs within the fic?

    When I say that, I don't mean basing the story off the lyrics -- I mean, you know, "Rose Weasley put in her headphones and listened to her favourite song, Eenie Meenie by Justin Bieber". :P

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    August SPEW Buddies

    Hello, and welcome to SPEW Buddies! If you've never participated in this before, SPEW buddies is an activity in which you are paired up with a fellow SPEWer. You both review each other and then participate in a character chat, an example of which can be found here. You can conduct these chats either by IM or by PM (total word count should be at least 500 words between all characters); the IM chats should be dialogue only and the PMs written like letters, as illustrated in the chats thread. Which you choose to do is up to you.

    If you are a SPEW newbie and are still paired with a mentor, you may be buddies with someone other than your mentor. Maybe even another SPEWbie.

    If you're interested, please sign up in this thread by no later than the end of the day (US Pacific Time, BST -8) on August 20th.
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  6. #6
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    I'd like to do this, please, Jess Any excuse for a chat!
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  7. #7
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    Yay, I was wondering when this would be back. I'd love to do this.

    EDIT: I just realized the 50 character thing isn't there anymore >.< *facepalm*

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  8. #8
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    Yayay. I love SPEW buddies Now I've (kind of) returned from the semi-dead, I would love to do this too

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  9. #9
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    Count me in!
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  10. #10
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    Why not?

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