I spent this morning hunched in front of my laptop, making revision notes on my young adult novel. It wasn’t a bad morning, really. I had coffee. It wasn’t bone melting hot yet. I was productive.
But it wasn’t last year.
This day last year, I was in England. Specifically, I was at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. You know, visiting Hagrid’s hut, watching the Weasley’s dishes wash themselves, making my husband drink Butterbeer and use all his adjectives to make it feel like I was sampling it too…
We spent hours there, wandering the sets and marveling at magic – the movie kind as much as the Hogwarts variety. It was an amazing day. And, when the tour route deposited us in the gift shop after much geeking out, I bought a wand. Ginny’s wand. And my husband was a little confused.
Now, he wasn’t confused about the fact that I bought a wand. As if I was going to leave there without one. I mean, my Harry Potter cloak hangs in the hall closet like it’s just another of my coats. For some, um, unknown reason, it’s not thrown into the mishmash of costumes in the basement, even if I do only wear it on Halloween. So, no, the fact that I bought a wand wasn’t confusing in itself. The fact that I bought Ginny’s wand was.
See, my hubs had only seen the movie versions of Harry Potter. But, uh, he lives with me. So he’s seen them a lot. Last summer, he was pretty familiar with movie Ginny. You know, decent sidekick. Ends up with Harry in the end, for some reason.
But, in my head, I didn’t buy movie Ginny’s wand. I bought book Ginny’s wand.
Book Ginny, who’s a kickass witch. The Ginny who’s smart and quick thinking. The one who takes charge and bends rules when she needs to. The girl who doesn’t do what’s easy, but does what’s right. Book Ginny, who’s flirty and confident, yet tomboyish and caring.
So, I have book Ginny’s wand. The complex girl. The character with dimension. The one who doesn’t end up with Harry “for some reason,” but because she’s a strong character in her own right – not a sidekick, but an equal.
Because as much as I adore the Harry Potter movies, and as much I respect them for the skill with which the books were adapted, I feel like the movies lost book Ginny. Now, I don’t blame Bonnie Wright for that. She actually does a great job of sneaking book Ginny into the movies with her facial expressions, even from the background, but there’s still something missing from movie Ginny. The complexity isn’t there. It wasn’t given a chance to come through.
And that’s not a mistake I want to make.
As I sat in front of my computer this morning, all nostalgic for last year, highlighting and comment bubbling the idealism out of my draft manuscript, I had one goal in mind: take anything that looks or sounds like movie Ginny and turn it into book Ginny.
Because even though I’m not writing fantasy, and I’m not writing a character named Ginny, I’m writing a character. I’m creating her from the folds of my imagination and recesses of my memories. She can be anything I want her to be.
And I want her to be kickass.