What Harry Potter Can Teach You about Character Development
Anyone who is a fan of the Harry Potter series probably looks at these books with the same sort of awe that the rest of us do when it comes to character development, because these characters are absolutely alive to us. In fact, many of us know the characters and Harry Potter better than we know some of the people in real life that we talk to every day. Why are these characters so incredible? Obviously, because J.K Rowling is an amazing writer, but there are some specific things that Harry Potter can teach you about character development.
Heroes can be flawed
the first thing that Harry Potter should have taught you is that heroes can be flawed. There is no doubt that Harry is flawed. Harry is jealous of lots of different things in his life, wishing that he had Hermione’s mind as well as Cedric Diggory’s looks. Harry is not the nicest person on the planet, but he is a hero and all of his flaws make them even more realistic for us.
We Truly Grow Through the Crucible
What Harry goes through is what we actually learned in fiction. Harry learns what he needs to know to be able to save the magical world by going through the crucible. The only way that he is able to come to terms with his own death and be able to kill himself as one of Voldemort’s horcruxes is that he understands himself fully and accepts that his death is for the greater good. Your characters need their own crucibles.
Friendship Transcends the Superficial
You should also know from the Harry Potter series that friendships transcend the superficial. Harry, Ron and Hermione should not have been friends. Ron and Hermione hated each other first, and Harry thought that Hermione was a know-it-all. But their friendship somehow transcended everything that they thought about each other. That’s the way it works in real life too.
It’s Okay for Members of the Opposite Sex to be Friends
You should also have learned from the Harry Potter series that it is okay to be “just friends” with the opposite sex (or same sex if that is what you are into). Harry and Hermione could never have dated. They thought of each other in a completely different way, and that was totally okay. Think about how your characters feel about each other and do not force them into romance they don’t want.
Even Magic Can’t Cure Human Cruelty & Evil
Finally, magic cannot cure the human condition of being evil, but that’s because being evil has its own motivations. You should be aware that evil people can sometimes believe that what they are doing is right, because that is the way that the world actually works. That means that you should not be writing your “evil” characters as cardboard cutouts that are like villains in a Power Rangers episode. They are real people who think what they are doing is right.