Saturday, August 7, 2010

Quotes on Writing from JK Rowling

It seems to me that JK Rowling reveals little in public regarding her writing process. I've never heard of her giving a workshop or opening up extensively on how she crafts her amazing stories. So, I always love it when I find anything she has shared throughout the years.

Here are a few I've just come across from a great site:
Harry Potter's Realm of Wizardry, one of the oldest fansites online.

  • Whatever job I had, I was always writing like crazy. All I ever liked about offices was being able to type up stories on the computer when no one was looking. I was never paying much attention in meetings because I was usually scribbling bits of my latest stories in the margins of the pad or thinking up names for my characters. This is a problem when you're supposed to be taking minutes of the meeting.

  • I have to write the story I want to write. I never wrote them with a focus group of 8-year-olds in mind. I have to continue telling the story the way I want to tell it.

  • I've only suffered writer's block badly once, and that was during the writing of Chamber of Secrets. I had my first burst of publicity about the first book and it paralysed me. I was scared the second book wouldn't measure up, but I got through it!
    (chat, October 2000)

  • I write what amuses me. It's totally for myself. I never in my wildest dreams expected this popularity. There's no formula.

  • Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It's a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.

  • I've no idea where ideas come from and I hope I never find out, it would spoil the excitement for me if it turned out I just have a funny little wrinkle on the surface of my brain which makes me think about invisible train platforms. (1999 Amazon.com chat)

  • I can write anywhere. I made up the names of the characters on a sick bag while I was on an airplane. I told this to a group of kids and a boy said, "Ah, no, that's disgusting." And I said, "Well, I hadn't used the sick bag."

  • During the first five years that I was writing the series, I made plans and wrote small pieces of all the books. I concentrate on one book at a time, though occasionally I will get an idea for a future book and scribble it down for future reference. (chat, October 2000)



  • I write nearly every day. Some days I write for ten or eleven hours. Other days I might only write for three hours. It really depends on how fast the ideas are coming.

  • I didn't write with a target audience in mind. What excited me was how much I would enjoy writing about Harry. I never thought about writing for children -- children's books chose me. I think if it is a good book anyone will read it.

  • I imagine them very clearly and then attempt to describe what I can see. Sometimes I draw them for my own amusement! (talking about her characters and scenes)

  • I've been writing since I was six. It is a compulsion, so I can't really say where the desire came from; I've always had it. My breakthrough with the first book came through persistence, because a lot of publishers turned it down!

  • You have to resign yourself to the fact that you waste a lot of trees before you write anything you really like, and that's just the way it is. It's like learning an instrument, you've got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot, cause I wrote an awful lot before I wrote anything I was really happy with. And read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on. (Vancouver Writers' Festival, 2000)

  • I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I'm in good company there. (March 1999 Salon.com interview)

  • Yes, it has made me happier. Finishing them has made me happier. Before I wrote the Potter books, I'd never finished a novel. I came close to finishing two.

  • There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place.

  • I'll be writing until I can't write anymore. It's a compulsion with me. I love writing.

For more JK Rowling quotes on writing, check my former post at Happy Potter Day, or follow the Quotes-JKR label.

What is your favorite quote from JKR, in a book or out?

P.S. - Need a professional edit on your manuscript before you submit or publish direct? Be sure to check out my services!

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