The whole world celebrated the release of the first book installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in June 1997 (Allsobrook, 2003). Since then, the world patronized the next six books in the series. It became so popular that it has been made into an eight-part film series by Warner Brothers Pictures and was dubbed as one of the highest grossing film series of all time (Thompson). But what could be the reason for this huge success? What magic did J. K. Rowling cast on her writing style that made this story captivating to its audiences?
Truth be told, I am a fan of J. K. Rowling, and her Harry Potter series has inspired me to pursue writing. I like how she compressed several genres, including fantasy, mystery, adventure, romance, and coming of age, then slowly transitioned to a darker tone as you go deeper into the story. She remained consistent throughout the series, which is very important in sorting out natural events. She is very descriptive in a way that it allows the reader’s imaginations to open up to a whole new level giving the feeling of actually being there in the story. She makes every character in the story important and unique in a way that the readers could relate to their strengths and weaknesses. The plot is amazing in its own way as it grows darker and more complex in each book.
However, Rowling can be very creative, and may be too descriptive, in that she could spend two pages describing a character or a place to the point that it almost slows down the pace. This can be considered as one of her flaws in writing. Aside from her over-creative approach, she also has the knack of using a lot of semicolons, ellipses, dashes, parenthesis, and strong verb choices. This fact is evident in J. H. Trumble’s analysis based on a two-page-spread from J. K. Rowling’s The Deathly Hallows. Apart from the flaws, I can say that here writing style is average and simple, and it can easily capture the hearts of children and teens. However, adults (especially those who are knowledgeable in literature) would find it disappointing.
So what made Rowling’s story successful? It is all in her flaws. These flaws set her apart from the other writers of her generation. She created a story where she allows and requires the reader to use their own imagination. She remained consistently simple throughout her novels to avoid overwhelming readers. Her use of humor, straightforwardness, and the use of creativity are her best techniques she has used to maintain readers’ interest in the story. As Edgar Poe would have stated, “There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion.” I believe this is what J. K. Rowling is all about.
Allsobrook, Marian. “Potter’s Place in the Literary Canon.” BBC News, 18 June 2003, www.news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2996578.stm.
Thompson, S. “Business Big Shot: Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling.” The Times: London, 2 Apr. 2008.
Trumble, J. H. “An Exhaustive Analysis of J.K. Rowling’s Writing Style – Based on a Random Two-Page-Spread Sample from the Deathly Hallows.” J.H. Trumble Blog, 7 July 2010, www.jhtrumble.com/blog/2010/7/7/an-exhaustive-analysis-of-jkrowlings-writing-style-based-on.html.