Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published June of 1997 in the United Kingdom. Quickly gaining popularity, the Harry Potter series became a worldwide phenomenon, garnering fans from all over the world. It’s safe to say that this book series has been a huge hit. For any aspiring writer, it seems like the very best that you can accomplish. If you want to ever publish a book, it wouldn’t hurt to look at the ways in which Harry Potter succeeded to see how you can implement some of its winning strategies in your own writing efforts.
Harry Potter often brings to mind a long list of memorable and well-developed characters. The Harry Potter experience leaves you feeling like you personally know each character in the series. Harry Potter is a great series to study for writers who want to better understand the art of characterization.
Harry Potter possesses a chiastic structure. This term is used to describe a structure that is symmetrical. An example of this is when Harry arrives in Privet Drive with Hagrid in the first book. He arrived on a flying motorcycle. When Harry and Hagrid leave Privet Drive for good, Harry once again uses the flying motorcycle.
When plotting a story, it is important to consider the length of your novel. We learn from Harry Potter that this is especially true when a multiple-book series is in the works. Writers can also learn from Harry Potter the importance of remembering that their readers should never be able to figure out upcoming plot developments before they happen.
Consider the Length of Your Novel
The Order of the Phoenix is the longest book in the Harry Potter series. It is a whooping 257,045 words and J.K. Rowling explains that it is due to the new places and things Harry did during his fifth years. She explains that he had to get him to and away from these places, and that had added a considerable amount of words. Thus, if you’re writing a journey-esque novel or a novel where your characters are going to be exploring, consider that when estimating your novel length.
The Art of the Series
Harry Potter is the perfect study for writers interested in producing a series. All writers were readers first and know the disappointment of losing enjoyment with subsequent books in a series. But J.K. Rowling does a masterful job of creating books that continuously rival the quality of their predecessors. If questioned on their favorite book in the series, Harry Potter fans will often mention multiple works by J.K. Rowling.
Proximity to Publishers
J.K. Rowling was near London when going through her publication efforts for her first novel. While she encountered a lot of rejection, the proximity to the publishing industry in London helped. Similarly, if you’re in the United States, you’ll want to see what cities would be best for publishing your own writing. Depending on what you want to write, this city will differ. For example, people seeking to publish nonfiction or political books would do rather well in Washington D.C. Evaluate what you want to publish and do your research.
Aspiring writers who are looking for ways to improve their craft will do well for themselves to study the Harry Potter series and examine the reasons why it was so popular with so many readers around the world. The four lessons above are excellent learning points that can improve the craft of writers at all experience levels.