What We Can Learn from J.K. Rowling’s Series Grid | Better Novel Project

Another great post from Christine’s blog at the Better Novel Project! ❤

Christine’s note: This is a guest post by C.S. Plocher, a freelance editor, and blogger at writelikerowling.com. She co-authored a chapter about Series in Stuart Horwitz’s Book Architecture: How to Plot and Outline Without Using a Formula. C. S. Plocher is kind enough to offer a free chapter download for Better Novel Project readers! If you are struggling with the first draft of your novel, I recommend you follow in the footsteps of J.K. Rowling and begin with series. Series Is the New Plot “Series” is what author Stuart Horwitz says should replace plot. In his book Blueprint Your Bestseller, Stuart explains why he dislikes the word plot: For one thing, it is a term with nearly unlimited associations. It’s hard to get anybody to focus on what is actually going on in their book while they are worried about whether their plot is good. For another thing, plot is singular, as if it somehow references everything. As such, you can’t work with a plot. Series, on the other hand, is much more manageable. It is “the repetition of a narrative element (such as a person, an object, a phrase, or a place) in such a way that it undergoes a clear evolution.” Instead of trying to chip away at one big beastly plot, you’re working with individual series and weaving them together to create a story tapestry. Sounds much more feasible, doesn’t it? J. K. Rowling thought so. She used series to develop and organize Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Series in Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix Order of the Phoenix weighs in at a hefty 250,000+ words—talk about trying to wrangle a beastly plot! How did she keep it from crumbling into chaos? The answer is found in a one-page outline she released to the […]

Source: What We Can Learn from J.K. Rowling’s Series Grid | Better Novel Project

9 thoughts on “What We Can Learn from J.K. Rowling’s Series Grid | Better Novel Project

  1. I’m sorry to say I really don’t care for her kind of fantasy Colleen. I’m not a huge fan of any type of fantasy, now that I think of it, but my grandkids make up for it. One of them won some coveted tickets to the first Harry Potter movie by winning a school wide (K-12 at his insistence, since he was K and wanted to enter) contest, so he more than makes up for my lack of enthusiasm in my humble opinion. He had the book memorized from listening to his parents reading it to him. Brilliant kid, junior at UK now, proud Grammy here, brilliant parents, not so smart mom here. It all seems to work out in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I wish I could enjoy fantasy, but just never could even as a child. And yet almost everything I read is a fantasy of sorts. Ethan is indeed a wonderful young man, adopted from Romania at age 14 months, followed later by twins, age 2 when adopted, then 8 years later, my daughter successfully gave birth the the baby the doctors told her she would never carry to term, a boy now 12. Miracles happen in my family, my daughter being the first of many. She was reading Tolstoy at age 12, and in some way passed her love of reading on to her children.

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