Harry Potter: Great story, bad writing?No school-in-the-park today (rabbits and ducks most distressed!) but a good discussion over drinks at the end of the first day of the Conferenz Media Relations Conference, where I was speaking today.
Brett from MAF, Angie and Alison from Waikato University, and (oops! didn't get her name) from NZ Post were standing around talking about ... well, all sorts of things!
One thing: Harry Potter. I've got to confess, I haven't read any of the Potter books. Not because I think they're occult and evil (well, I won't know until I read them!) but just because I tend not to read fiction; there's so much non-fiction for me to read.
Anyway, Bret and Alison were saying Potter is over-written. Could do with some severe editing. And kids find it hard to read. Worse so with the later books - maybe JK Rowling is getting careless?
Anyway that's what they said, and I remembered, story isn't the same as writing. Good to get both things down pat.
Then we started telling another story, and here it is without any context, and with a few embellishments I thought up as I drove over the Harbour Bridge:
Benji was a beagle who worked at the airport. His job was to sniff out food, and when he did he got rewarded. But when Benji got too old for working at the airport, he was pensioned off and sent to live with the Howe family.
The Howe family were nice, but they didn't understand him. He would sniff the kids' packed lunches and try to let them know there was food there, but they didn't reward him. What was he doing wrong?
One day, it was all too much for him. Benji decided to end it all. He started swimming out into the ocean. On and on he swam, but he didn't drown.
Instead, Benji reached Australia. Sydney. Circular Quay. Benji climbed up some steps and decided to look around. Maybe there was some food he could point out!
Instead, he discovered a rat the same size as him, a huge beast, with a tweed cap and a waistcoat, smoking a pipe.
They fought and fought outside McDonalds in Circular Quay. At night.
And there they are to this day, fighting.
Interesting story, huh? :)