Starting a Novel Case Study: Harry Potter | Barbara Vance | Skillshare

Starting a Novel Case Study: Harry Potter

Barbara Vance, Author, Illustrator

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10 Lessons (1h 6m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. What Makes a Good Beginning

    • 3. The Prologue

    • 4. POV, Voice, and Establishing Character

    • 5. Building Suspense through POV

    • 6. Suspense

    • 7. Suspense Continued

    • 8. Enter the Protagonist

    • 9. Establishing the Situation

    • 10. Ending the Chapter and Project


About This Class

This course is a case study in which we analyze a work of literature for what makes a good start to a novel. We will discuss how J.K. Rowling sets up the first two chapter of 'Harry Potter and the Scorcerer's Stone'.

While how-to courses are certainly beneficial, I believe the best way to grow as a writer is to read an analyze literature. This case study is designed to be a deep dive in an acclaimed book in which we see what we can learn.

Among the things we discuss will be:

  1. Which characters are introduced and how?
  2. What is the point of view (POV), and what is the authorial voice?
  3. What is the conflict of the chapters and how does it relate to the grand story conflict?
  4. How is suspense built?
  5. How does each chapter begin and end?
  6. How to weave character description into plot

While you can absolutely watch this course without having read the chapters, you will get the most out of it if you read the chapters beforehand. The book is readily available at bookstores and libraries as well as in e-book form. Many libraries also have it available to check out as an e-book.

Warning! This course contains plot spoilers!!