I was about to write a whole piece on how I create characters… until I realized I just did that post a few weeks ago.
My mind is clearly not working well.
Instead, I will briefly wax rhapsodic about some of my favorite all-time characters… the whole cast of Harry Potter. The books, not the movies. I’m not against the movies, but I just saw Order of the Phoenix right after once again reading the book, and there was so much chopped out that it didn’t work for me at all.
There are a zillion reasons Rowling’s series is a phenomenon, and while strict continuity isn’t one of them (what do you mean Harry can’t see thestrals until after Goblet of Fire? He saw his mom die when he was a baby!!!), characters absolutely are. The way they speak, the way they act, the way they carry themselves… every single person Rowling creates stands out as a distinct individual. By the time you’re a couple books in, she needs only to lob out a keyword, and the full image of the person springs into your mind.
Curtain of greasy black hair? Snape.
Drawl? Draco Malfoy always drawls.
Nearly any word ending with an apostrophe? You see Hagrid lumbering through your mind.
Yes, her world and her mythology are beautifully engrossing, but it’s the characters that make you want to spend time in her wizarding world.
Speaking of wizarding worlds, as you read this, I am AT the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. I’ll have my phone with me and will be checking, so if you’ve been there, please let me know if there’s anything specific I should see!