number six of seven…and looking back

The buzz right now is all about Harry Potter.  The final book of the septology (okay, I made up that word…seven books, you know…) was released last Friday evening.  I, however, am taking my sweet time and am about halfway through book six, trying to ignore the buzz so that I don’t discover the ending before I read it.  Today one of the girls I am babysitting finished book seven, and she had to use all her power to keep herself from telling me about the story as she was reading.  🙂  A girl after my own heart, to be so enthralled in a book!

I am curious…did Ms. Rowling know what she was starting when she wrote book one?  Did she imagine that it would turn into such a phenomenon, with movies and midnight lines and bookstores?  Did she even know where the story would go?  Did she know how things would turn out for Harry Potter even as she began?  Not that I know how things turn out, yet.  But the things that I am reading about now–did Ms. Rowling know she would be writing about such events back when she was writing about Harry meeting Dumbledore for the first time?

The stories get more and more intense and complex as the series goes on.  Book six is very different from book one.  Book one is the story of a kid finding out who is, making friends, discovering the world behind Hogwarts’ gates, beginning to come of age.  It’s a kid-friendly story, not too much harder to understand than any chapter book enjoyed by children Harry’s own age.  By book six, we are in a battle of good and evil, with barely a clue as to which characters are on which side of the battle.  The kids that enjoyed book one…do they grasp all that is going on in the world of Harry Potter? 

Or…did it just take me this long to catch on?  🙂  Was the complexity obvious from the beginning and I just didn’t see it until about book three or four?

I am so impressed.  I would love to know more about the process that writers go through to make a really great story, whether for a book, or a movie, or much more for a series of books or a television series.  How much of the story do they really know when they begin? 

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