Just How Cleverly was Harry Potter Plotted? JK Rowling Reveals her Spreadsheets

Harry Potter was just not a book that we loved, we associated with it too. Harry, Ron and Hermione were are own personal friends. We grew up with the memories and the stories that were spread to the lips and engraved in our minds. The so very acknowledgement that we are a Muggle, when we didn’t receive our own personal Hogwarts letter was devastating enough. And so now we have made our peace with the story that Harry Potter is just a “book to remember, cherish and keep in the chamber of our hearts always”.

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Well, whenever asked why Harry Potter was so much loved and embraced, the general opinion of the devoted readers was “the story is good” or “JK Rowling is endowed with the art of storytelling”. The main focus of the storyline was to bring upon the facts from the future or the past and then to collaborate it in such a way, that it looked perfectly natural. Well, guess what, J K Rowling didn’t just do it like that. She had a spreadsheet of when to and what to disclose at the perfect points of time. When you are writing a novel with zillion of characters, plots and subplots you need to keep a track using a tool and our beloved author did the old school way, using the piece of paper. 

She divided this spreadsheet in the columns by story timeline, chapters, main plots and subplots. The organization was done on the basis of months, where a clear distinction was made between main plot, primary subplots and other five subplots. All the markings on her sheet of paper are a bit sketchy with the exception of a few which are not mentioned in the book. 

jk rowlings phoenix plot outline


The photo of the plot that is shared with you is a bit of an extract of how she made the plot of the Order of Phoenix connecting from the minute details to that of big one., i.e. from the main plot of Prophecy to the love life of Harry Potter with Cho Chang. While we are discussing the same, let us bring some light over some of the marvelous plots she made.

Sirius Black

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The first time Sirius name was mentioned in the Philosophers Stone as a lone guy who lent Hagrid his bike to deliver Harry at his uncle’s place, the Dursleys. The later parts delivered that Sirius was just not some lone guy, but James Potter’s best friend and Harry’s godfather. And yes, while we are on the bike subject, Harry Potter was taken away in the Deathly Hallows on the same bike in which he was brought.

Also cleverly done was the naming, Sirius is the brigtest star in the sky, many of us know that. Also, it is in the constellation of 'The Great Dog' which our very very own Sirius' animagus was. 

The RAB

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All the Potter fans know, this was the necklace from where the actual journey of Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione took place in the search of Horcruxes in the seventh book. The first reference was made in the fifth book, Order of the Phoenix when the trio came across a necklace that wouldn’t open or get a dent.

Also his name, Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo, was truly a lion at heart.to have given up his life for the want to stop Voldemort so badly. 

And many more…

Listing all the clever plots would take about an era. We always knew that JK Rowling was brainy and intelligent, nowhere less than Hermione Granger. But an insight into her planning of the novel brings so much light over the fantastic snippets of the book detailing. 

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