Rowling and elitists

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Wed Oct 29 00:34:51 EST 2003

On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 19:11:10 -0700, Robyn Starkey wrote:

>It horrifies me when I hear about people teaching writing like there is a 
>correct style for fiction: you know, no more than x adjectives per 
>paragraph and that kind of stuff. Way to kill people's creativity. If you 
>want rules and formulae, go be an engineer or a chemist or something.

I thought I'd share some of this individual's pronouncements on the subject
of what is good.  He is getting very frustrated because he thinks no one
understands what he's saying; he fails to realize that we don't AGREE with
what he's saying.  Gotta love those insecure academics.  (I really have no
idea what he does for a living.  For all I know he is an engineer with
delusions of grandeur.)

"To begin with, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a book that could
easily be 300 pages shorter. Though it can hardly be called dense, or
even long. There's a lot of air in them there pages, which is maybe why
they're so easy to turn. If the reader is a car, then Rowling has
written an interstate.

"That I don't hold against her (though she leans over and grabs hold of
the wheel too many times). What bothers me about Harry Potter IV is,
well, like I said, too many words that throw slop and play into what
should be a tight story line; too many adverbs and participle phrases
and parentheticals that don't belong in even pedestrian prose. Like: "a
very heavy load of homework." There are two unnecessary words in that
phrase, maybe three. And: "very slowly and very carefully." How much
slower than slowly is "very slowly"? And can you do something very
slowly and "not carefully"?

"Yes, but it'd require some explaining."

Yeah, and all that explaining would consist of very small words about what
it means when you say "should be" in the context of a critical review.

Melissa Proffitt

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