Literary and Wizardly World News

     Besides the usual news of Halloween related blog posts for the month of October, I read some intriguing blogs related to J.K. Rowling and book genres. And since the next installment of Harry Potter does come out in theaters this month, I couldn't help my nerdy self to include these posts in my own blog. 
    On the Best Damn Creative Writing Blog, there was an interesting post about "A Lesson in World-Building with Harry Potter". For those writing newbies like myself, "world building" is the description of the world or setting a character resides in. Obviously since the author chose Harry Potter as an example world building certainly does not just pertain to actual places. The idea is to make it so the place seems believable, almost tangible to the reader. It's astounding when the author compared an excerpt from Harry Potter with all its sensory descriptors to that same excerpt with just the bones of the paragraph. As my creative writing teacher stressed several semesters ago to my class, it's important to show and not tell. What he meant was that a reader should identify with the character and his or her surroundings from the sensory cues, instead of just bluntly writing down what is going on. As simple as this writing rule may seem, it's easier said than done and I was thankful for this blog post using J.K. Rowling and several other familiar authors as an example of entering the character's world and thoughts. 

     Another blog post also about J.K. Rowling and from the Best Damn Creative Writing blog was about "J.K. Rowling Being Sued for Plagiarism" The blog briefly stated that J.K. Rowling allegedly stole ideas from a fantasy novel published back in 1987. A one-day hearing will be in the near future to consider the case. Now, I remember when I first started reading Harry Potter back in 5th grade and hearing similar cases of authors suing J.K. Rowling for stealing their novel ideas. Being a fan of Mrs. Rowling, I cannot offer an unbiased opinion about the authors who have accused her of such a crime, but it does make me wonder where Rowling got her inspiration in the first place. This also makes me worried as a writer myself because inspiration comes from all sorts of outlets, what if it is a coincidence that I write a story similar to one that I have never read yet alone heard of!?  Now I'm just scaring myself, so moving on.  

     The Fiction Writers Review has a blog post about "The Dangers of Book Recommendations" that I was instantly drawn to since I often look at what recommendations I get from book, movie, and online store sites. The author explained the problem of book recommendations and the "difficulties that ensue when friends recommend books you hate." I thought the article was humorous and it does bring up a question about individual tastes. I know that some of my dearest friends and I would have completely different tastes when it comes to books, but that doesn't mean I won't hear them out if they are really enthusiastic about a book they like. 

     On a different note, some believe that reading different genres is not only a way to expand your literary horizon, but a way to learn about some great books that might otherwise be disregarded. Jan Rider Newman is one of these literary idealists as she discussed this topic in her post "Genre Hopping: Thoughts on Reading." The post gave some interesting feedback about different genres that she particularly enjoys, however I must admit I'm guilty of reading certain types of genres. Luckily, being in school has introduced me to some wonderful books that I would typically not even give a second look at. As cliché as it sounds, I still find myself judging a book by its cover, or in modern times by its movie. 

erica lewis

1 comment:

  1. I've heard of the whole "plagiarism" controversy with J.K. Rowling's books, and Ed. Anonymous posted a blog about one lawsuit earlier this year. A cursory reading of the selected text seems sufficient to prove that Willy the Wizard would have been the last thing on Rowling's mind while writing Potter.

    On the flip side, a friend was reading the Earthsea series and pointed out to me that the main character enrolls in a magic school, strikes up a rivalry with snooty blond aristocrat, and when the protagonist is not getting into trouble he is staying up nights in the dormitories, ready by wand-light.

    Guess everyone takes some sort of inspiration.