Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How Hogwarts Houses Help You Know Your Characters Better

Characters are my absolute favorite thing about writing. Naming them, coming up with what they look like, their personalities, and writing their backstories is all great. I love it, but my favorite part is when they spring to life on the page and disregard everything I have written in my outline.

Even when I love coming up with characters, I get stuck on getting to know them on a deep level. I’ve tried character interviews before, but they have to stay in character and most of mine wouldn’t answer blunt questions. A great way, I learned, to get to know characters better is to take quizzes from their perspective. Specifically Hogwarts House quizzes from J.K. Rowling’s fantastic Harry Potter series.
Image result for hogwarts logo
How Hogwarts Houses Help You Know Your Characters Better

Your Results
At the end of the quiz, your character will be sorted into one of the four houses: Gryffindor (values bravery and chivalry), Ravenclaw (values intellect and wit), Hufflepuff (values hard work and loyalty), or Slytherin (values ambition and cunning, which does not necessarily mean evil). Being sorted into a Hogwarts House shows what your character’s core values are. One of my main characters in my fantasy WIP is a Hufflepuff because loyalty is important to her.

The Questions
Okay, this really depends on what quiz you take. I personally try to find one like the official Pottermore sorting hat quiz that has vague questions so you don’t really know which answer goes with which house. Questions like “You enter an enchanted garden. What would you be most curious to examine first?” can bring insight into what piques your character’s interest.

It Opens a Whole New Door of Wizarding World Related Questions
After knowing my character’s Hogwarts House, I usually wonder what they would be like if they lived in the Wizarding World. What class would they like best? Would they play Quidditch? What would their boggart be? Their patronus? What would they see in the Mirror of Erised? Asking yourself even more questions about your characters helps you know more about their interests, fears, and desires.
Links to Hogwarts Quizzes

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