The Boy Who Lived by Susan Lute
Posted by Susan
J.K. Rowling has said, “Harry came into my head almost completely formed.” Since that time, she’s written seven books about the boy wizard, his friends and their exploits; sold 400 million copies; seen them translated into 67 languages, and eight larger-than-life films.
When she wrote that first paragraph (and I quote here from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone)—
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.
—do you think she knew she was penning the beginning of what was to become a worldwide phenomenon; that she would capture the imaginations of not only the children, but their parents as well? I think not. I think she loved to write and wrote the story that wouldn’t let her be. The-Boy-Who-Lived captured her first, before he “lived” to capture the rest of us.
I’ve thought about this a lot, and it makes sense that authors who make ‘a good living’ from their writing, do so because they love to write and they write what they love. We three ‘Janes’ will be spending the next months talking about the stories we want to write, and how we will get them published, but the bottom line is, if we’re to be successful at this venture (and the definition of success is a topic for another blog), we must write the stories that won’t let us go; that capture us as Harry captured J.K. Rolling.
Can an author write what we call, the story of their heart, and be a happy writer? I’m betting so. I have a lot of stories I want to tell, and a couple that want to be told right now. But there’s one—hmmm—a series actually that has captured my imagination and won’t let go. I love this series—the characters, their world.
There are times when you have to write the story you have to write. But every once in a while, you get to tell the story that’s demanding to be told. You don’t think about how successful you, or it, will be, if it will circle the globe, or if it will be made into a major motion picture. You just begin by writing that first paragraph—
Logan Pen slipped out of the lusty crowd and into a bar that was only a decimal quieter. He’d been in New Orleans six hours and in the French Quarter half that time. Already he’d picked up a tail.
—and then the second—
The dragon mark that had its beginnings on his right thigh—sharp, piercing talons morphing into an undulating body of blue-green scales arching over his hip, and ending in a fierce snout breathing powerful flames—burned in warning.
—and if you’re lucky, your words will capture readers the same way the story captured you.
I’m off to write.