Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Channeling J.K. Rowling

My first awareness that J.K. Rowling and I were sharing a brain came in early 2006 when one of my Other Prince readers pointed out that Orion (Sirius’ dad) and Cygnus (the Black sisters’ dad) were not brothers, but cousins according to the Black family tree. I frowned and followed the link to the newly released tree, then proceeded to point out I’d named BOTH characters the RIGHT name before the tree was released. Who could have predicted Jo would have Orion marry his first cousin (eww…) who was Cygnus’ sister. Now granted, all the Blacks have star names, and there are only so many star names that make good people names, but I named two important ones the right thing… made me feel pretty darned omnipotent! And then I wrote a (WACKY) version of book 7 called Best Laid Plans (sometimes go awry) that oddly enough had dozens of accurate predictions. Jo actually wrote in nudity and cross dressing, SURELY in honor of me. Here’s the list: http://www.hpana.com/forums/topic_view.cfm?tid=66406&p=63#p6529620 if anyone is curious… What I would love to be able to channel though, what I admire most about the Harry Potter books, is that there is a different story for every kind of reader, all nestled in and not interfering with each other. There is the fantastical, magical world, complete with vocabulary for us word-geeks. There is the classic, good versus evil story (with believably flawed heroes). There is the coming of age love story. There is the search for one’s identity. There is the layered ‘can’t always trust the people in charge’ message. There is the masterful use of foreshadowing and mythology that gave thousands of people clues not even in the books as to what might happen next—a search through Veela folklore predicted disaster at Bill and Fleur's wedding, and Jo delivered. Complex characters (who could have predicted Narcissa helping Harry? erm... besides me, of course...), madness, mayhem: it’s all there. My goal is to write something that complex, yet so simply understandable and followable. So Jo, if you’re paying attention… maybe now would be a good time to channel yourself through me again. Anyone interested in my Potterverse exploration can find all my links here: http://www.hpana.com/forums/topic_view.cfm?tid=84843

3 comments:

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Nice analysis of the many HP series dimensions. I’d never thought about it that way before, but they’re right on-target. Good work.

I’m wondering how much of the series, JKR had plotted in advance, and how much was book-to-book. Seems like I read she had the idea for a series from the outset, but, that doesn’t really address how much detail she had planned. Seven books seems like a logical thing to have determined in advance, but the storyline twists and turns?? Hmmm. That would be tougher.

As for channeling…maybe she’d allow you to channel into her bank account a little bit. She’d never miss it.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Watery Tart said...

I think she had the BIG plot from the beginning, and probably a list of the main things each book had to do to forward the overall plot. There are some details though, that definitely change over time (the way the Fidelius Charm works is the one that bugs me most).

Interviews say that it was the 4th that about broke her to get it out, and that makes some sense--Voldemort had to be brought back to life, so I bet that end scene was part of the original plan, but there were a TON of transition details that had to be brought in and tied together that I bet was a huge mess to organize.

I would LOVE to channel her bank account! She's very generous, but probably 'pre-published' authors aren't on her list! I have a friend who runs a ballet company in London though, who met her and got a signed book donated for an auction--she's apparently very gracious.

Joris said...

Yes... Bloody Fidelius... "'THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!'", to quote Mr Black in Prisoner of Azkaban on how Wormtail should have prevented Lord Mouldyshorts from finding out where Harry's parents were hiding. Only to get to DH where, suddenly, "Mr Weasley had explained that after the death of Dumbledore, their Secret-Keeper, each of the people to whom Dumbledore had confided Grimauld Place's location had become a Secret-Keeper in turn." And then I should probably not even mention how she explained on her site how the Charm worked in her last answer to a FAQ before the publishing of DH...

Still, the series' plot is remarkably tight, especially considering the time it took her to write it :)