Saturday, November 27, 2010

Good Characterization is...Well, Good.

I finally got out from the rock I've been living under for the past week and saw Harry Potter 7 (Part 1). Of course I've read the books, and I've also seen from what others have posted online that certain characters died. I knew I was going to cry. I did cry, but the death scenes did not affect me as greatly as another scene.

I knew this scene was going to be important. I was looking forward to it. If you haven't read the book, stop reading this now. If you have read the book or have already seen the movie or both, keep reading. There are a few minor spoilers. If you haven't seen the movie but have already read the book, then no worries. I won't give anything away you don't already know just from least nothing important. :-P

One of the climactic scenes in the book/movie was when Harry followed the doe patronus out into the forest and found Godric Gryffindor's sword in the pond. He was an idiot and went into the water with the horcrux locket around his neck; the locket proceeded to try to kill him. Ron, who had previously deserted Harry and Hermione, was there to rescue Harry and use Gryffindor's sword to stab the You-Know-Who out of that horcrux.

But before Ron's triumphant moment, he had to face some demons. It was one of Ron's finest moments. I loved this scene in the book, but seeing it on screen was just amazing. It took it to a whole other level for me, emotionally. I connected to Ron in a way I never have before.

When Harry opened the locket, the voice of the horcrux tortured Ron. Ron who had always felt like he was competing with his brothers, who always felt unwanted compared to his sister, who always felt like he was in Harry's shadow, was being tortured by all his insecurities. And the part that really really got me was when the fake Hermione looked down at Ron and said, "You're nothing. Nothing."

I started crying there in the theater. I got it. I got who Ron really was, and how important it was for Ron to defeat that horcrux. He had to prove to it and to himself that he was NOT nothing. Even in the midst of a totally inappropriate scene (why did fake Hermione and fake Harry have to be naked while they were kissing??--sorry if I gave something away there, but I think it's better you know beforehand), I was weeping.

And then Ron stabbed that horcrux, and I wanted to stand up and cheer. I didn't, because I was already feeling awkward for crying over a scene that probably wouldn't make most people cry. Then Ron said something funny to lighten the mood, and my tears melted into laughter.

But wow. I just have to hand it to J. K. Rowling that she's a fantastic writer. She handles plot so well, but she's even better at characterization. I just reread that scene from the book, and the movie was almost word-for-word what was Rowling had written. It was just so powerful to actually see her words portrayed. I'm pretty sure I was affected so deeply by Ron's defining moment because I'm a writer.

In a way, Ron really reminds me of one of the characters I wrote for my first series. He's an underdog. Things don't go right for him. He is always facing insecurities. This particular character is more like myself than any other character I've written. Because I'm insecure. There are times when I feel unloved. To actually write that into a character and make him/her believable is an incredible experience.

I don't know if I'm as good at it as Rowling. Probably not.

One thing I'm fairly sure about is that J.K. Rowling probably knows how it feels to be Ron. That's how she was able to write him so well. And I'm glad he got to stab that horcrux. I'm glad he got to prove to himself that he was NOT nothing. It's those incredible moments that us writers live for--the moment when our characters become something more than what they were.

And as always, good writing spawns good writing. Creativity spawns creativity.

I'm back in the game.

...oh, and Weasley is our king!

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