What I’ve Learned from J.K. Rowling – Writing Methods from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” – Part 1

After reading only a few chapters into Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I couldn’t help but notice all the different crafty methods J.K. Rowling uses in her books. Too many to cover in one post, that’s for certain, so I’ll go ahead and point them out one at a time, post by meticulous post. Without further adieu, part one of the many writing techniques to be learned from such wonderful literature:

One of the methods I’ve noticed so far in The Prisoner of Azkaban is that there is a hook at the end of nearly every paragraph. If the paragraph isn’t wholly dialogue, Rowling always instigates the idea that something else is coming. See a couple of examples I’ve taken from pages 50 and 51 of chapter four, “The Leaky Couldron.”

…but the thing that tested Harry’s resolution most appeared in his favourite shop, Quality Quidditch Supplies, a week after he’d arrived at the Leaky Couldron.

What tested Harry’s resolution most? We wonder.

…a newly erected podium, on which was mounted the most magnificent broom he had ever seen in his life.

Do tell us more about the most magnificent broom he had ever seen in his entire life!

As you can see, hooks don’t belong only at the ends of chapters and the end of a book in a series but also at the end of paragraphs to really keep the reader turning pages.

Do you use this technique in your own writing? If not, try it next time you write some prose; and if you like a challenge, try writing a paragraph with a hook at the end of each sentence, and do leave a comment below.

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