Sunday, August 23, 2009

Harry Potter and Writing YA Romance

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Warning: Minor spoil alert.

I enjoy analyzing movies to spot what the writers did well…and not so well. Yesterday I watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. What stood out for me in this film was the theme of young love. The main young characters all seemed to have a “crush” on someone and feelings were getting hurt. Add a strong love potion and you have a hilarious scene where a main male character acts like a young girl.

Humor aside, I paid attention to how the characters showed their interest in one another. This is especially helpful if you write YA or Inspirationals where the romance is more platonic than sexual.

What stood out for me were gazes or hugs held longer than customary. Showing a characters interest when he eavesdrops on a conversation about the dating life of the girl he has a crush on. Looking upset when a competitor shows interest in the person they like. I wasn’t thrilled with the way one of the girls tied the shoe of one of the main characters. It was a bit too submissive for my taste rather than helpful. Of course, its Harry Potter so one character has to risk his/her life for another.

JK Rowling set the stage for romance when she added the love potion and when an older character asks Harry about the time he spends with Ms. Granger. Love is in the mind of all at the beginning of this film. Well done.


Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I haven't seen a Harry Potter film yet. (Yes, I live under a rock). Actually my kids aren't old enough yet, but it's a film I'll definitely have to keep my eyes open for it. Thanks Tina.

Amber Scott said...

I haven't seen the film yet but read the book. Each one in the series seems to have a new theme and I think you nailed that love is definitely this one's. Did you feel the film translated the book well, Tina? Did it give you any particular insights into writing for a young adult audience?

Tina LaVon said...

I never did finish that book. I stopped reading the series with the beginning of that one. I did hear from friends that the death scene was much more dramatic in the book. They felt the movie made Harry act out of character when he didn't fight to save his friend.

I don't write YA, but I did write an Inspirational once - didn't sell it. I think you approach the romance in very similar ways. I believe the film did help identify the nonsexual ways of showing interest.

Nikole Hahn said...

I wouldn't think tying someone's shoes for them is submissive. That's pretty minor. Great review btw.