Everyone Loves a Good Story, Part 3


Sorry for the delay. Life got busy.

Anyway, back to the point. Here are some reasons I like the Harry Potter stories.

Before I begin I think I should just acknowledge that there are some folks who have problems with these stories. I applaude the notion that we should judge literature and moral content is part of that. But I think some folks have taken some elements in these stories a little too seriously while completely missing other things.

Some of what they miss isn’t so good (from my earlier posts you can see that I think J.K. Rowling is a little unrealistic about human nature in some areas and the true nature of magic) — but other things are very praise worthy. Over all I’d say the underlying morality of the Harry Potter stories is excellent.

Now, to the point.

1. The stories are well crafted. Rowling is a good story teller, she particularly is good at weaving character, plot and subplot together into a coherent whole. This takes a great deal of work and is accomplished largely by feel.

2. The larger moral vision of the stories is wonderful — it is the power of self sacrificial love to protect and preserve. This is what I think most negative critics miss. Harry is The Boy Who Lived because his parents died for him — especially his mother. (Others die too — i.e. Dumbledore. I’ll give away who I think will die in the last book — Snape will die for Harry.)

3. Rowling actually seems to like and admire good men — not only as human beings, but as men. I find this refreshing in our world of man-hating. She shows in Dumbledore what a true father looks like — a true patriarch. I think she knows that one of the problems with our world is not that there is too much patriarchy — the real problem is there is not enough.

4. Finally, I could say a lot more, she correctly sees the connections between fear and evil. Voldemort is a coward — his fear of death is the reason he dominates and crushes others.

These are some of the elements that make the Harry Potter stories good stories. They are well-crafted and edifying.


Explore posts in the same categories: Mortimus on Writing and Books

5 Comments on “Everyone Loves a Good Story, Part 3”

  1. xlinkx Says:

    I would have to agree with you there. I have also read through the harry potter series. I was pleasontly surprised. I just ignore the bad things and look for the good.

  2. jollyroger1225 Says:

    I very much enjoy writing stories, especially fantasy stories where the characters reach heights that the people of this world can only dream of acheiving, but I always miss the key elements that makes a story truly great. I have been working on one story for about two years now, but no matter how hard I try, it doesn’t catch the attention of the reader as I want it to. These are some of the reasons that the Harry Potter books are great. Though, I do wonder, what makes all popular fictional novels, such as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicals of Narnia, truly great?

  3. jollyroger1225 Says:

    I posted that last comment before I read what you wrote in “How to Write a book” so I sort of understand now. Though I still could use some advice. Help?

  4. Mortimus Says:


    I would say that the best way to make your stories grab people is to read them out-loud to yourself as you write them. You’ll find that the writing will have to change to sound right. It will force you to use short sentences and action words. It will also force you to create descriptions that appeal to the senses — sight, touch, smell, etc.

    Hope that helps.


  5. jollyroger1225 Says:

    Thanks for the advice.

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