Monday, June 16, 2014

Are Writers Like Voldemort?

Two recent reviews compared School of Deaths to the Harry Potter series. I decided to play on that a bit with this question: are writers like Voldemort?

I say YES.

The first similarity is that both writers and Voldemort use magic.  Voldemort's magic mostly involves torturing and killing people.  He seems especially obsessed with a teenage boy, and finds ways to get into the boy's mind.  A writer also uses magic.  Writers use a group of arcane symbols arranged into clumps they call words.  Like a spell, they can take an image, something that only exists as a slight fancy in their imagination, and dump it into the imaination of their reader.  As I type, an elephant walked in front of my window stinking of manure.  Did you picture an elephant, or smell manure?  What if I then told you there was no elephant?  That transference is the most real form of magic imaginable....

"Writing is magic." - Stephen King, On Writing

Another striking similarity is in what both writers and Voldemort want: eternal life.  Voldemort is obsessed with the idea of immortality.  He kills people to create horcruxes, ironially causing his own downfall and death, when one of the horcruxes fights back.  Writers are no different.  It's true that many might simply want to share their ideas, but in the end, by creating stories that will endure, a writer has taken part of their soul and created something eternal: a part of their soul that can be shared in another's mind, and could last forever.  Sounds a lot like making horcruxes- only without all the murders.  

So what do you think?  Are writers like Voldemort?

Also, don't miss this stellar new review for School of Deaths:


  1. Although I've never considered it in quite those terms I do like your comparison. To me, writing is as close to creating something from nothing as I'll ever get. Then again, I'm only taking things I've experienced or observed and mixing them all together to write a story with a different spin. Come to think of it, it is magic, though. And I LOVE every minute of it.

  2. To me there's nothing more magical than spinning and sharing experiences. In a sense there's almost two kinds of magic- the writing, and then the reading. Still, it's a fun way to think of it Thanks for stopping by!

  3. At first I laughed when I read the title, and imagined myself as Voldemort when I looked in the mirror. And then I realized, yes, you're right! Writing is like magic in Harry Potter, and writers can deal life and death to characters with a flick of their wand (pen). Though I'd prefer to imagine myself as a more Dumbledore-like writer wizard :)