Friday, July 10, 2015

What J. K. Rowling Means to Me

By Kelly Bridgewater

If you had been following my posts for the last two months, I have decided to share in how 12 different writers have affected me as a writer. First, in January, I started with C.S. Lewis who gave me the gift of imagination. Then, in February, I discussed how J. R. R. Tolkien taught me that conflict is necessary for a story. Now in March, I want to talk about world building.

J. K. Rowling
From J. K. Rowling's Amazon Author Page
J. K. Rowling does a great job at creating a wizard’s world right alongside the world of Muggles. When the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone hit the shelves in America during 1997, I was only sixteen and didn’t pay attention to the books. I grew up in the church. I went to Bible quizzing and puppet practice while doing fundraisers to pay for the annual conference. Every time the church doors were open, my family was there, worshiping and learning about God.

When I turned twenty, I was a newlywed bride with a little baby boy to take care of. I worked at a Christian bookstore, which was my favorite job to date. We could borrow books and return them directly from the shelf. Great perk!  The Christian community was up in arms about this young adult series that allowed the hero, Harry Potter, to use magic. I remember the community, even customers that came to the store, downgrading this book series. As an avid reader, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

So I went to the nearby library and checkout the first one. By that time, J. K. Rowling had just released the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If anyone could get kids to read a 752 page book, how could the book be wrong? I devoured the book.  After reading all four of the books that had been released, I truly enjoyed J. K. Rowling’s writing style.

She had captured my attention with describing every detail of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. Rowling has a great way of including her reader in the plot. Every person who read the book felt like they were in the hallowed halls of Hogwarts, hunting alongside Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they tried to solve the clues. I loved watching Harry and his friends mature through every book, including developing Harry into a hero when he defeated Voldermort.

J. K. Rowling also has a great way of writing sentences that defy every grammar book. I own a book, Grammar for College Writing: A Sentence-Composing Approach by Don and Jenny Killgallon that explains how J. K. Rowling wrote such masterful sentences. It includes other sentence structures by other great novelist. I have been working my way through the book for a while now.

Rowling has taught me to build a world that everyone will love, even if it is the most popular genre at the moment. Write what you love and what you feel inspired to write. If God allows you to have the desire and the skills to write it, then God will help make it a reality.  With her ability to story build and her sentence structure, I have improved my writing.

Did you read the Harry Potter series? Go back and look at some of her sentences. They are well-constructed. I have even used them in grammar lessons in my college classes.  What was your favorite part about Harry Potter?

*This blog entry was first published on Hoosier Ink on March 18, 2015.*

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