Another randomly selected excerpt from Cobault, for your reading delectation:
“Someone catch your eye?” Bertrand nudged him with a sharp elbow to the side. Algernon staggered, off-balance and unprepared. He hadn’t realised he was being so obvious, but then again he had been staring.
“I’ve been trying to work out who she is,” he felt the need to explain. “She seems different from the other girls at Eastward.”
“She is different,” the other boy informed him gravely. “High-born, I’d wager. By the start of term I expect no end to the gossip concerning that one.”
“What do you mean?”
“High-born girls don’t live in dormitories, they live in fancy boarding houses with their fancy friends,” Bertrand was beginning to slur his words, and drained the rest of his wine before snatching up another glass off a proffered platter. “That this girl, fancy as she is, lives at Eastward – well that’s a conundrum, my friend. There’ll be a story, and the story will soon be all over the Academy like wildfire, mark my words.”
Algernon watched as the girl in blue smiled at someone in the crowd, and how that smile froze as its object turned away. “A conundrum,” he agreed, echoing his friend.
“That means puzzle, farm boy.”
“I know what it means, and I’ve never worked on a farm,” he retorted.
“Could have fooled me. Manners like yours belong in a pig yard. Staring after strange girls – shocking behaviour.”
So let’s talk about love. More specifically, love as it’s portrayed in popular films and literature.
The Husband and I were watching (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Harry Potter: The One Where Dumbledore Dies (/SPOILER ALERT!!!) and both of us couldn’t quite get the Harry-Ginny dynamic. It just seemed thrown in there. Ron-Hermoine make sense, it was built up properly, but for H-G it just seemed an afterthought tossed in because JK Rowling couldn’t stand to let her main character be lonely.
Get some balls, JK Rowling!!
Personally, I would have loved to see a lonely, angst-ridden Harry – the lone Chosen One in the face of evil, blahblahblah, doomed to wander lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills… you get the point.
It would have been better.
But ultimately, the H-G pairing just wasn’t very believable. And unrealistic. What are the chances of everyone pairing off so perfectly, getting married, having kids – and oh look the kids are friends too, how sweet.
My favourite love story of all time is from His Dark Materials. It was perfect. Realistic not in the sense that the events in the story could occur in real life, but realistic in the sense that the relationship between Lyra and Will is believable and seems to grow naturally. And the ending is tragic, beautifully so, but exactly as it should be.
So I’m confronted with the feeling of utter humility I always get when I think of how much I want to emulate Philip Pullman’s amazing trilogy. Sheesh, makes me want to throw out everything I’ve ever written and put my heart and soul into something worthier.
So that’s what I’m trying to do. I want to make a realistic, beautiful, tragic love story that doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending because life doesn’t have a happy ending. The end that it has is the end that it needs to have, regardless of sentimentality, fairness or hope.
And that’s why JK Rowling needs some balls.