February 23rd, 2012
Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling

We finally bought the last Harry Potter movie. We’d seen it a few times at the theater, but wanted a copy for home. Last night we were watching the special features, which included an interview between Dan Radcliffe and J.K. Rowling. Every time I see them interviewed, I love them even more. There is just something so utterly charming and grounded about Dan that really comes through when he speaks. He’s smart, funny, driven and self-depricating. A wonderful combo for an actor to be.

I find J.K. Rowling to be all those things, too, but when she speaks it always puts me in a ponderous mood. Her answers about writing are so thought out and the emotions behind them so deeply ingrained that I find myself thinking about them for hours/days. I think I relate to the emotion that she conveys. She makes me think about whether I’ve dug down deep enough with my characters, whether my world/s are rich enough to support a meatier story, and to be honest, whether I’ll ever be good enough to write something that hits people so profoundly. When I read her writing, I see some of the things that have been ‘ruled’ right out of mine. It makes me realize how easy it is for the ‘rules’ of writing to get in the way of good storytelling.

As I edit my YA again, I’m going to try to keep some of the things that J.K. Rowling talked about in mind. I’m going to be more conscious of the story and the world, than the rules of writing. If I can do that, then maybe I’ll end up with something I can be proud of.

4 comments to “Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling”

  1. Well stated. The rules of writing should be far down the list from storytelling as to what an author considers. I believe the dialogue tag, simile, adverb, plot and POV police have turned writing into a mine field of what not to do while creating a story – and each time we writers place a marker flag down to avoid word doom, the creative cops put down another mine. Of course it helps if you attain JK Rowling status before you address these observations. 🙂

  2. Bernard, I agree about the rules being drummed into writer’s minds. As for J.K. Rowling, she wasn’t really making those kinds of observations in the interview. It was more a case of being true to the story and the characters. She said no writer, including her, could EVER anticipate the level of success her books have achieved. We as writers know that to be true.

  3. Yeah, I agree with that. She would have had to of been the all powerful OZ to have anticipated the success she’s had. 🙂 You gave me an idea for a story though.

  4. Bernard, Yep, and she makes it very clear that she wasn’t.

    Glad I could help. 😉