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More backwards words from JKR.com


Recently we shared the work of Secca from Potterskeys.com who transcribed the words showing from the reverse side of a Scrapbook page on Jo’s site. (These pages are extra content hidden around the site, and are only available once you’ve worked out the puzzle to find them. See the Tips and Tricks page in the Lexicon’s Guide to JKR.com for all the details.)

Secca has transcribed the reverse writing from another: Page of doodlings (Page 2). This time it is an early edit from the stories, and gives us a glimpse at one of her ideas for introducing Harry to Nearly Headless Nick and his first encounter with a ghost.
Read a copy of this transcription here: Page of doodlings (Page 2)!


Pensieve (Comments)

  • Bandersnatch

    Secca, you are freaking awesome.

    This fandom rocks. 😀

  • Reader2

    Sounds like JKR orginally inteded for the ghosts to do some unseful work, like waking up the students in the morning, but then figured that it woul nod work out.
    Bloody Baron, for example, would probably consider running errands beneath him. Also, Sir Nickolas would never dare float into a girls dormitory.

  • Wonka

    I think it would have been awesome if that was how he was introduced…

  • I love these updates 🙂 thanks!

  • John D.

    very very interesting

  • Natalia

    I’ve always wondered what the ghosts do to keep busy all year round. I guess this was one way for JKR to feel they were more a part of the plot. I like them introduced at the feast more, because I think it very Dumbledore-ish to want to include everyone at the Beginning Feast rather than exclude them just because they are dead. However, I do find humor in all those poor first-years waking to see their first ghost!

  • Torill

    *Clapping hands loudly*

    Thank you so so much, this was so great!! When looking at those barely visible shadows on the doodlings page, I can’t believe you were able to dechiffer any of it at all! Awesome!

    I love all the litte peaks into Jo’s writing process, and how she gradually created her universe, it’s so interesting!

    I agree, introducing them at the feast works better, although the ghost waking them up in the morning is a fun thought. More fun than realistic in a way – at the feast, it all seems so natural, it one of those little details that leads us to completely believe in this magical world while we read about it.

    If she had kept the idea of ghosts scaring the wits out of all the muggleborn students by waking them up on their first morning I think it might have demanded more of our “suspense of disbelief” as we were introduced to this magical world Harry had just entered. It wouldn’t have been a very good way to run a boarding school, would it, and more weird than “realistic” (as if a ghost as an ordinary dinner guest is realistic at all – but you get my point I hope…)

  • Big_Kelpie

    actually ghosts weren’t introduced in the feast itself, they were introduced just before the sorting ceremony in another room.. nick was introduced formally to us (and Harry ) in the feast.

  • DA Jones

    Some of these first drafts of JKR’s are hardly better than some of the fan-fiction I’ve read.

    It is always said that good writing is re-writing and we can see the result of that in the difference between this and
    the final version. More then any of her other books in MHO the PS/SS is a masterwork. Mostly because she had many more years to edit it.

    Great writing is really more great editing then great writing. Plus superb imagination which JKR has in bushels.

  • Hedwig June

    I disagree that PS/SS is her best work. Yes, that was the one she had to edit the most, but only because publishers kept refusing to purchase it because it was so long. Now, she is unhindered by anything but the art of writing itself.

    Still, thank you Sicca, for all the hard work!!

  • Peanut

    I agree with DA Jones that the re-writing improved the flow immensely. When I saw what was written originally to introduce Nick I thought it read like some kind of fan-fic. But it’s a huge credit to JKR that she saw the potential of the orignal drafts and moulded them into what they are today. It must have taken a lot of hard work.

  • Thanks for all the nice comments everyone!

    It might help the discussion about editing to see this section with all Jo’s edits cleaned up:

    “Time to wake up, gentlemen, breakfast will be served in half an hour.”

    Harry looked up at the red velvet curtains drawn around his four-poster. His first happy thought was, “I’m at Hogwarts,” his second, after he had thrown back the curtains and found his slippers was, “I’m hungry.” The third was something he had never needed to think before. It was “That man’s transparent.”

    After he had thought this, his mind went completely blank. He sat frozen, staring at the man in the middle of his dormitory who had just woken them all up. There was no doubt about it. There was a ghost at the foot of his bed.

    “Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington at your service…” said the ghost, sweeping off his broad-brimmed hat and bowing to them all – for Ron, Seamus, Gary*, and Neville were also staring open mouthed at him, “…Resident Ghost of Gryfinndor Tower”

    Certainly not ready for print, but seeing it that way, it reads better, IMHO…

    (BTW — Hi Bel!! ::waves::)

  • Jenny

    Wow! Great work.

    I really want to see the page that comes up and is hidden by the news page on JKRowling.com – has something to do with wands on it. Hidden clue maybe?

  • Jenny

    Update: Managed to get screengrabs of JKR’s desk just before it loads:
    – the wands business is to do with the fake wands sold by WWW. It also has a list of other merchandises available at WWW.
    – the paper at the top left hand corner says something about Merope, Morfin, Marvolo and Tom Riddle with a little note beside it which says History? Dumbledore’s pensieve.

    So, I’m guessing all these clues are relating to HBP not DH.

    Sorry for posting this here – just wanted to clarify my above comment.

  • clock_maker

    Well done Secca. You are very talented.