Judging from my past 30-Day Book Challenge posts, it should be no surprise that my favorite writer is J.K. Rowling. And it’s not just because I love the Harry Potter series. I have read her other books for adults as well (The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling), and while I don’t think their plots are as interesting as the HP books, the writing style is very similar. Here are a few reasons why I love J.K. Rowling’s writing:
1. She is great at creating worlds. Her magical London crawling with wizards and witches is just as believable and developed as the “muggle” town of Pagford in The Casual Vacancy. She puts you in the center of the story and then builds the set around you, so you can almost see the streets and buildings popping up as you read.
2. Her characters are developed at a great level of detail. I think that J.K. Rowling is probably an excellent people-watcher. She creates her characters in layers, commenting on even their slightest nuances in a way that adds believability and depth to their personalities. I always feel like I can hear her characters in my head long after I’ve finished reading her writing, and I know exactly how they would respond to certain situations. I love this aspect of her writing because I don’t feel like I’m reading about people; I feel like I’m meeting them, and gradually becoming friends.
3. She creates a perfect balance of description and action. One of the things I didn’t enjoy about the Lord of the Rings series was its pages and pages of dense descriptions. I just wanted to know what was happening to Frodo and the gang, but I was stuck reading lengthy commentary on talking trees. Rowling, however, creates an immersive experience that isn’t overbearing. She shows instead of tells, letting the action move along at a fast pace, while subtly folding in the descriptions of settings and characters. You aren’t distracted by long paragraphs explaining the architecture of Hogwarts, and yet you know exactly what it looks like from running through its halls with Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
J.K. Rowling’s writing embodies everything I love about literature and the experience of reading. It’s easy to say that she’s my favorite writer because the Harry Potter books are my favorite series, but there is much more to it. I really do think she has great talent, and I look forward to any books she publishes in the future.
Who is your favorite writer and why? What makes writing “good” to you?