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Get Back | Tomorrow Never Knows

I Have Finally Figured Out...

...why JK Rowling is so clueless about her own characters.

They're not hers.

Harry's Jesus. Snape is Heathcliff. Dumbledore's some weird hybrid of Obi-Won-Kenobi and the Machivellian prince. She didn't create these characters at all - she plucked them from the works (and thus the minds) of others, their actions and motivations and characteristics basically intact, and nipped and tucked them to fit her story. She can't ruminate on them the way we do, or see the subtleties and intricacies and complexities of them, because she put no real thought into them except insofar as they could advance the plot. She doesn't understand (or frankly CARE to understand) what makes any of them tick because she isn't the one who decided what would make them tick in the first place. 

 
ETA: Okay, so, yeah...I guess I'm a putz. Apparently she does think about them. But what the hell evil Gryffindor edited that Today interview? Ah, well. Glad to hear Jo finally able to answer any and all questions at last. :D

http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2007/7/30/j-k-rowling-web-chat-transcript

Comments

( 3 Things We Said Today — Dear Sir or Madam )
voodoochild9
Jul. 29th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
Um...huh?
acid
Jul. 29th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
> They're not hers. Harry's Jesus. Snape is Heathcliff. Dumbledore's some weird hybrid of Obi-Won-Kenobi and the Machivellian prince.

Er, I think every author goes through that when they write a novel: pin down the archetype for the character (there's hardly two dozen generic ones anyway) and move on from there. I assigned Disney characters to my fanfic characters, for example. Harry was a mix of Tigger and Stitch. Soon enough, the characters begin to grow outside the boundaries of the archetype and take on a life of their own.
abromeds
Jul. 31st, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Brilliant.

And... gah, it seems like she felt pigeonholing these characters good and proper was some sort of substitute for giving them true arcs. If that makes sense...? Harry is good and he's good and he's good. No real conflict, no facing of his darker side. Dumbledore's actions would suggest that there is a WHOLE LOTTA grey where he's concerned, and yet it's clear from JKR's writing that we're all supposed to come to the final conclusion, after all that vague waffling, that DD really IS, after all, "the epitome of goodness." WTF?!?!!

And what about Lupin's struggle with moral cowardice, Ron's struggle with bullying, Hagrid's struggle with bigotry? All these issues, seemingly so carefully planted by the author, are left unaddressed! Oh, that just drives me NUTS!!!

(Though I admit I LOVED how she handled Ron's overcoming his insecurities in the battle with the Horcrux, which was echoed in the Epilogue with the "I'm extremely famous" line.)
( 3 Things We Said Today — Dear Sir or Madam )