[sarcasm]Two of my favorite writers[/sarcasm], Stephen King and John Irving, have joined forces in entreating J.K. Rowling not to kill off Harry Potter.
A couple of points. First of all, John, Stephen, you’re not exactly sterling examples of how to write novels, are you? John with your expert plot recycling techniques, and Steve’s reliance on deus ex machina (rather than rewriting or editing) when he finds himself written into a corner.
And lecturing Rowling on killing off characters? Come on she’s not close to either one of you in sheer terms of body count. John, The World According to Garp read like an obituary page. Just about everybody in that book died. Steve, because of your genre, death goes without saying – like that 99% of the world thing in The Stand. But I’m talking about doing things like killing off a little kid (Cujo – although you let him live in the movie), or killing a different kid and making him a ghastly ghoul (Pet Sematary).
In addition, Ms. Rowling I dare say has made more money than the two of you put together, which tells me that she knows a thing or two about how to plot her books and how to write them in such a way that it best suits her vision of what the story should be.
So let the woman write her book her way. If she does kill Harry off, keep a couple of things in mind. If fans who don’t look past the death to see what it might mean to the story are upset, they don’t have to buy volume seven or anything else she decides to write in the aftermath of Harry. She’s pretty much set for life. And if you’re unhappy about it, I’m sure there will be plenty of alternate universe In-Which-Harry-Does-Not-Die fanfic popping up out there, probably within hours of the book’s release. If it’s not out there already.
(And no, this doesn’t mean I’m contradicting myself because I wrote this post a few weeks ago. That particular piece is not so much an entreaty to Ms. Rowling as it is an examination of the power of the bittersweet ending.)
Hmmm. Wonder what the odds are of Harry dying are over on some of the Celebrity Death Pools?
Time on your side that will never end
The most beautiful thing you can ever spend
But you work in a shirt with your name tag on it
Drifting apart like a plate tectonic
(via iPod Shuffle)