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Why Open with the Dursleys?

Discussion in 'J K Rowling' started by Cli-Fi, May 22, 2015.

  1.  
    Willow Beck

    Willow Beck Member

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    Oct 16, 2016
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    I think she knew she was playing a VERY long game, and had the confidence in her work to start not with main characters.

    Given she's now making FIVE Fantastic Beasts films...yeah, she was seeing the series for what it could be WAY down the track.
     
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  2.  
    Eli Grey

    Eli Grey Active Member

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    Philadelphia, PA
    I think it's a good idea to open with the Dursleys. They're not wizards but they are in some shape or form enemies of the wizarding world. One thing I will say on the Dursleys is that I didn't fully buy Petunia's dislike of her sister or harry because they were wizards. It was pretty generic in my opinion.
     
  3.  
    aThenian

    aThenian Well-Known Member

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    All I know is I read the opening chapter to a nine year old who was adamant that they had no interest in Harry Potter, would hate Harry Potter, wanted nothing to do with Harry Potter, and they were hooked. So she was obviously doing something right.

    I've always found the Dursleys very Dahl-esque in comparison to the other characters (interested to see @Hex compare them to Dahl also) - i.e. more grotesque, and with a lot of emphasis on their unpleasant physical characteristics - e.g. Dudley being fat. Actually I have more of a gripe with the way she focuses on Dudley's weight than the messages the book sends about child abuse. Myself, I'd suggest children/teens that age don't want to read a book with a "message" that they should ask adults for help - I think they want the protagonist to work their own salvation: Harry frequently outwits and humiliates the Dursleys, so I'd imagine that is actually quite empowering.
     
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  4.  
    The Big Peat

    The Big Peat Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, there's very clear echoes of Roald Dahl.

    All I can say is the intro works for me. There's a great voice to it. I guess you could say she's very swiftly defining the Wizarding world by showing everything its not, but the main thing for me is that after that first chapter I trust her to entertain me.
     
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