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A Few Things Writers Can Learn from Harry Potter


Cheryl Klein is the continuity editor for the US version of the Harry Potter books.

I suggest that, when you finish your first draft, you go back and outline the entire book, chapter by chapter making a “book map,” as it’s called, describing the key action and plot or character-development points of each chapter and writing down key thoughts or lines. 

I do this with each and every novel I edit because it allows me to see how the conflict develops, where the clues to any mysteries are being laid, how the protagonist is getting what he needs and more important, it lets me see how the book isn’t working. Where the author is going for long periods without introducing any new developments or information. Where characters are behaving inconsistently. Where there’s a dialogue scene that’s fun but sort of pointless or where two scenes in a row establish the exact same plot points, so one isn’t necessary. 


Walloon Sword

  • Dated: circa 1700
  • Culture: German
  • Measurements: blade length: 91.5 cm, width: 38 mm 

Source: Copyright © 2014 Viking Sword

Favorite cutscene: Eden Grand Prix Race 

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Our search will take us to every corner of this land. The beautiful, the dangerous, the ancient places where no one walks alone. This is the world we’re trying to save.

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