Monday, November 15, 2010

Why I Love Harry Potter: World-building

Reminder: Go check out Laura Diamond's awesome guest post over @ Operation Awesome today!!

The countdown begins, my friends. The Deathly Hallows Part I premieres this week. No, I am not teary-eyed yet *wipes eyes quickly*

So. Today we start with Reason #1 on the Why I Love Harry Potter list.

Which is...


 Come on, now: an orphan kid who discovers he's a freakin' wizard? And there's, like, a special school for his kind? With games that involve stealing dragon eggs? And flying on broomsticks????

I. Am. Sold. 

But I wasn't sold so easily *blushes with shame* The minute my middle school BFF told me about Harry Potter, I went all indifferent and "meh." Then I gave the book a chance and bought it. And read it. And wanted to be exactly where Harry was. His reality was my fantasy, one I never saw coming. Everything about Rowling's world is just plain beautiful, even the not-so-beautiful parts (i.e. all the Dark Lord stuff). Sometimes I feel like Hogwarts is just around the corner, Hogsmeade is a couple steps ahead, and Godric's Hollow is a one-hour bus ride away. 

And that, my friends, is excellent world-building :D

What about you? Any books who have such excellent world-building that you feel like they're real?


  1. Her world is seamlessly constructed. I totally agree as another huge HP fan.

  2. You've hit the Muggle on the head! Her worldbuilding is so much fun and seems so realistic because she has such an eye for detail. I think the two other elements that made HP such a success were her characters and the mysteries she strung out from book to book.

  3. I KNOW I am going to be in the minority here, but I never got on the HP bandwagon, despite knowing as a writer, I could learn a lot from her. I think I've always steered clear of wizard type books because I wrote one for middle grade that I never did anything with and now wouldn't want it in the same market as a JK Rowling book :-)

    That said, I do know about her world building and I love it. One of my favourites is a Roald Dahl classic - James and the Giant Peach. Great world building in that book.

    Some of the books I love today do a great job of merging fantasy world with real world - like Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, where (dark) faeries and humans coexist.

    With all of the HP hoopla, I'm tempted to give the books another try :-)

  4. Yesss, I love HP and am counting down the days :)

  5. I really need to read HP--I'm so embarrassed! I've had struggles with world-building, so I can say reading the books iss for research. :)

  6. I totally <3 HP too! Hmm, Hunger Games has great world building. So does Matched by Ally Condie. Those are the two I can think of off hand.
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  7. I just remember wanting to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone cos of the cover - boy with round glasses next to a steam train! It was just so old fashioned and a snip at £4.99!
    Oh but what a book!! and series!! Yay!

    Terry Pratchett's Discworld is also pretty fab too - and it feels real cos of the rounded characters!! :-) take care x

  8. Okay, so I just started reading them after watching them on the family channel for a while. Yes, I 'm a writer and I have said forever I need to read them, but I was in high school when they came out. Very excited for HP7. Going to feel so old LOL

  9. Yay for HP. I just booked my tickets for Friday. Soooo excited. :)

  10. Just bought my tickets, too! And we actually got a babysitter, so I won't have a baby in tow this time. *happy squee*

    World building in HP: Yes, yes, and YES! I think the fun little details, like Rita's feather pen that takes its own notes or paintings that seem to be alive and talk to you, really complete the experience.

    Other books that drew me in:

    Twilight--sometimes her descriptions were too detailed, I thought, but I always knew exactly where I was standing and how I should feel about it.

    Percy Jackson--there are so many gods and creatures mentioned, but the world building gave them each a setting so I wouldn't get them confused.

    Where the Red Fern Grows--I felt like I'd been coon hunting for years at the end of that book, and knew those woods like the back of my hand.

    Great post, Amparo! I need to work on more showing vs. telling in my Nano WIP world building.

  11. Well said! Can't wait until Friday!

  12. You can go to Hogwarts now! Seriously, the Wizarding World of HP is freaking amazing. I cried when I walked there and it was all around me. It captures everything I loved about the books.

  13. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan too. May the child in me never die!

    Good post.

  14. So.very.true. I am IN that world when I read the HP books and never want to leave!

  15. I know these have been up for a while, but I just finished reading all your Harry Potter posts and they are WONDERFUL!! I laughed so hard I almost cried when I saw the "I'm too sexy for my robes" beneath Snape's picture.

    These were wonderful! Thanks for sharing and for the laughs :)