Today we are introducing a new Summer feature series where we will be discussing a different entry from Pottermore every Wednesday. We have chosen thirteen of our most favorite exclusive contents to discuss throughout the summer. The discussed entry will be announced every Wednesday morning so that you will have time to read the entry first before the post is published.
This week we chose to feature J.K. Rowling’s Thoughts on “Ghost Plots” because we believe it really sums up Pottermore’s main feature – new content, mostly backstory, from J.K. Rowling that didn’t make it into the books.
This is a personal expression, which has nothing to do with tales of the dead.
Over the seventeen years that I planned and wrote the seven Harry Potter books (not to mention Quidditch through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Tales of Beedle the Bard), I generated a mass of information about the magical world that never appeared in the books. I liked knowing these things (which was fortunate, given that I couldn’t stop my imagination spewing it all out) and often, when I needed a throwaway detail, I had it ready because of the background I had developed.
I also found myself developing storylines for secondary (or even tertiary) characters that were superfluous to requirements. More of a wrench were the plots I worked out for some much more important characters that had to be sacrificed for the bigger story. All of these I inwardly termed ‘ghost plots’, my private expression for all the untold stories that sometimes seemed quite as real to me as the ‘final cut’. I have occasionally been in conversation with a reader and made mention of part of a ghost plot; looks of consternation cross their faces as, for a split second, they ask themselves whether they have accidentally skipped twenty pages somewhere. I apologise to anyone I might have accidentally wrong-footed in this way; the problem is, literally, all in my head.
When I first read this, I thought, “This is classic amazing Jo.” She explains her own amazing feat of creating a whole different world full of new imaginary characters, creatures, places, and more. Even today after twelve years reading her, it still impresses us that everybody in her world, even secondary and tertiary characters, were not just one-dimensional thought up characters. They were real people with backgrounds like real people. They there three-dimensional storybook characters rendering people in real life. I think that is what’s really amazing about the Harry Potter universe. It is fictional on a very high level yet it is so full of real life happenings. It’s even more daunting that one person created all of it.
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