A reader recently described “The Omega Children ” as Harry Potter on steroids. When I asked them exactly what they meant they could not articulate it immediately, but upon discussing it with them, the following list was arrived at.
1. The pacing of the Omega Children is faster and more intense than Harry Potter.
No character mentioned in the Omega Children is in there just for a fill-in; they all play an integral part of the whole complex tale. A lot of Harry Potter characters got left by the wayside as the story evolved.
2. While at first, it seems it is good vs evil (yawn – been done before) the Omega Children expands it to encompass other concepts. Harry Potter was really only about good vs evil, and while a great yarn (one that I enjoyed reading) was very one dimensional.
3. The storyline of the Omega Children is unpredictable and they could not tell how it was going to end. The ending to Harry Potter was predictable by the end of the first book; that one day Harry and Voldemort would have to face each other in a cataclysmic battle. And according to them, there was no way Harry would ever be allowed to lose.
Right from the outset much was revealed about Harry through the story, that he was a wizard and all that went with it, whereas the main characters in the Omega Children are told nothing of what they are to become. Left totally in the dark the reader only finds out what is going on when the characters do. Because of this, it has the feel of a murder mystery.
4. There are multiple layers to the narrative of the Omega Children (they said plot. I am using a writers’ word), whereas Harry Potter’s plot was linear. A multiple layer narrative entices readers and puts the characters in a continual guesswork and really lays challenges before them.
5. Show don’t tell. The word “was” is used a lot in Harry Potter books. I thought this was especially insightful as many writers overuse the word “was.” There is an old adage in writing – show don’t tell. If I state the following, “John was sad.” I have told you this. However if I state, “tears formed in John’s eyes,” you would know John is most likely sad. But also consider there are a number of reasons that John’s eyes could have tears in them. This adds to the mystery that all is not what it may seem. Even better – use actions to show emotions. Why? No one is static. People are not talking bubbles, saying things without moving or ever changing their facial expression. Now if I had said, “John dropped his head, turned and shuffled a few paces, then slowly turned his head to glance back. With glassy eyes, he said, ‘It’s not fair;’ then the reader can fill in their impressions and their experiences to align with the character.
The overall result is a much more enjoyable book and it helps the pacing of the narrative.
Having said all that I loved the Harry Potter books, and they occupy a special place in pop/cult history, and if I could find the time, I would read them over again.
Lastly, the reader hopes it has a better ending than Harry Potter. I asked what they meant. Harry should have got Hermione, not the Ron they said. The romance between Ron and Hermione developed too late in the story and seemed like it was added in for an extra spark. And as for Harry getting Ginny, with whom he had little interaction they were appalled.
I assured him the ending of the Omega Children will be spectacular, and in line with the events in the narrative.
I never knew the ending when I started writing it, which is why a lot of feedback from readers state they cannot tell where the story is going. The ending only hove into view after a few years of drafts when it became obvious, based on the characters personalities, what had to happen.