Live like you are not a Christian

Sun 28 June 2020

(my comments on “Breakfast in New York” by Radaslab)

Finished reading the story and there are two overwhelming thoughts in my head. The first is obvious and rather normal for most of the fanfiction stories (and especially so-called romantic ones): it should be cut to like one quarter or so. The plot is not capable of carrying more like seven or eight chapters, but we have thirty-one of them. If you write two-hundred thousand words long story, there is always good testing question “Do I have a plot as strong as Moby Dick by Herman Melville, do I have the same amount of action?” [1] OK, romance can have less adventure than Moby Dick, but this story with its incredibly repetitive nature (where even Hermione gets so bored, she obviously forgot Harry has already told her he was Roman-Catholic and they would have a wedding ordained by his parish priest even telling her his name) and long descriptions of everything completely useless in terms of plot, just goes on and on and on. Thank God it is so easy to skip over huge amounts of boring stuff like that! (hint: from five days between their engagement and the wedding, just gathering in the park outside of Grimmauld Place and meeting at Dursleys’ carries the plot, whole day of visiting Hogwarts and ZOO, which is like two chapters, can be safely skipped)

However, as I have described elsewhere, lack of editing is completely normal in the fanfiction world, and I wouldn’t write this review just because of that. In the religionless universe of Harry Potter, I am very thankful for every even hint of some person who is a Christian, and who takes her belief seriously. However, then there are stories like this one and Strong Blood by CooLibrarian, which are just confusing. Main characters (and many other people) are Christians (here Roman Catholics, in “Strong Blood” Russian Orthodox), but there is absolutely nothing Christian about them. They never pray, never go to the church, never read the Bible, never jump to the unknown because God calls them to, anything. And no, I don’t think it is the traditional Christians / born-again one’s thing. I wouldn’t mind if they go to Masses, pray Rosary [2], wearing devotional scapulars, anything. Why make your characters expressly Christian, when they don’t do anything Christian-like?

And I really don’t ask for some explicitly theological or missionary stories. For example, Why Time Travel Should Be Illegal and Other Morals by mugglesftw makes them normal Christians, even though their faith is certainly not in the centre of the story, it is just characteristic of some characters, who are dealing with some other plot.

[1]If your story has one million words, the question is whether you want it to be as boring as Clarissa by Samuel Richardson, normally considered to be the longest novel in the English literature. ;)
[2]Actually, it is mentioned in “Breakfast in New York”, that Hermione did pray Rosary during the Deathly Hallows camping trip, and just by listening to her whispered prayers, Harry converts to Christianity and only later finds out Potters were as a family traditionally Catholics … no comments.

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