Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The minutes snailed by.

JK Rowling has a way with words.  She can capture descriptions of setting, mystery, and character in a manner that is both vivid and delightful.

I'll use this post to start a collection of favorite tidbits from her work, chosen for reasons of craft above story, but any type of excerpt that I find special in some way shall be included.  These are just short sentences or phrases that don't require a lot of study, but are worth noting all the same.  I'll update this post frequently.

The minutes snailed by. (CoS, p. 151) - when Harry had detention with Lockhart. This little snippet almost sailed right by me.

"It's a dragon!" shrieked one of the first years, losing her head completely.
"Don't be stupid...it's a flying house!" said Dennis Creevey. (GoF, p. 242) - because seeing a flying house makes so much more sense than seeing a dragon!

Stupefied, painted gold, stuffed into a miniature tutu and with small wings glued to its back, it glowered down at them all, the ugliest angel Harry had ever seen, with a large bald head like a potato and rather hairy feet. (HBP p. 309 Bloomsbury) -- I love those hairy feet.  Because a stupefied Christmas tree gnome is just not funny enough without those hairy feet.

Madam Hooch, the Quidditch teacher, asked Flint and Wood to shake hands... (CoS, p. 213) -- Flint and Wood?  I wonder if they strike sparks off each other.

Wands are only as powerful as the wizards who use them. (DH, p. 337 Bloomsbury) -- We are talking about wands, right?

They hurried along the corridor to the place Dobby had described to Harry, a stretch of blank wall opposite an enormous tapestry depicting Barnabas the Barmy's foolish attempt to train trolls for the ballet. (OotP, p. 389) -- I mean really; what kind of warped mind conjures up trolls in pointe shoes doing a plie?!? Obviously, no simple tapestry of a knights and ladies would do!

Snape's sallow skin had gone the color of sour milk. (PoA, p. 285) -- That's kinda nasty.  I'd never have thought to compare skin to milk.

A loud ripping noise rent the air; two of the Monster Books had seized a third and were pulling it apart...
"I thought we'd seen the worst when we bought two hundred copies of the Invisible Book of Invisibility--cost a fortune, and we never found them." (PoA, p. 53) -- I want to shop at this bookstore!


If you find any remarkable snippets, please send them my way!

Picture credit.

4 comments:

  1. Those make me want to go back and read them again. I now feel like I rushed through the books just to find out what was going to happen next. ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's one of the fabulous things about JKR -- there's so much more to find in the re-reads. Thanks for visiting, Anna!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Norwegian PotterfanJuly 12, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    I truly agree with you that snippets like these enrich the books. Anyone who wants to become a good writer should study JKR carefully and learn how she uses this device to reveal all the quirky details that make up her magical world.

    One a side note: in my native tongue, Norwegian, "time snailing by" is a well-known piece of imagery; a cliché. Funny to see how this varies from language to language! :-)

    ReplyDelete