Author’s Notes, Ch. 80

The Center for Modern Rationality is still looking for applications from excellent teachers (especially those who’ve been quietly experimenting on their own with better teaching methods, or those who’ve taught adults, but also anyone who’s just very good in a classroom) and executive assistants (people who can do moderately complicated work even if it is somewhat boring).  We can promise with some degree of assurance that you will learn more working for us than you could learn at almost any other job.  Don’t be shy, apply!

On the fan art front, Karen Dutton brings us the incredible Phoenix’s Fate, for which artwork she was appointed Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot in Ch. 80.  Samuel Kleiner renders Harry descending into his trunk’s cavern level. Ilae shows us Harry weeping at the end of Ch. 79.  And Nathan Rehfuss depicts house elves stealing our magic.  Another cameo is by Nicodemus Capernaum, the appearance of Mike Obee Lay, who has likewise been appointed Chief Warlock.

Today’s writing tip:  In manga or in anime, seeing a character suddenly start glowing as they draw on a previously unknown power is visually impressive; we get to see it happen, which makes it plausible on some brain-level.  Watching them beat up on the enemy for five minutes after that, if done well as drawings or animation, is a feast for the eyes.  This is not how it works in writing.  Your character’s powers must be foreshadowed or they are not believable.  The battle scenes must be lawful, attack and defense proceeding according to believable rules, without sudden changes in anyone’s strength or ability (unless justified by a previously introduced mechanic).  Otherwise, all the reader sees is the chaos of a set of random attacks and defenses that succeed or fail for no discernible reason except plot.  Can you ever remember reading a book where, at the climax of the story, the protagonist pulled a new, unforeshadowed power out of nowhere?  This sometimes works as a visual spectacle in a picture, but it almost never works as writing, so for the love of the heavens stop doing it in your fanfiction.  This concludes the public service announcement.