Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday J. K. Rowling

Today is the birthday of Harry Potter's creator, J. K. Rowling. The Writer's Almanac has a nice little piece. The Harry Potter books now rank as some of my favorites I've ever read. I still hold a special place for book 3, The Prisoner of Azkeban, mainly for its history and SF aspects. Oh, and the trailer for the sixth Harry Potter movie is out. The Houston Chronicle has it.

There are some good quotes in the Writer's Almanac piece. Here are two of my favorites (italics are mine):

She planned out the entire Harry Potter series before she wrote the first book, and she says: "I wrote the story I meant to write. If I lost readers along the way, so be it, but I still told my story. The one I wanted. Without permitting it to sound too corny, that's what I owe to my characters. That we won't be deflected, either by adoration or by criticism."

And she says, "You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good."

What struck me is the planning part. As I mentioned in last week's post on writing, I outlined my entire first book before I started writing. And, even though I manipulated certain segments along the way, I still mapped everything before I wrote those new segments. I wrote the book in less than ten months. As of tomorrow, I will have officially spent two years NOT writing my second book. Thus, I'm going back to that which I know: outlining. I'll save the experimentation for book three or later.

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