From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter Countdown...2: Writing Lessons from the 4 Hogwarts Houses

It is a question fans have been asking since the books were first published; would I be Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin? Well, that's a hard question to answer, but I thought today we could look a little bit at what writers can learn from the typical traits of each house.


The Gryffindor writers love telling stories. They write action well, and write fast. They are brave writers, writing what they like and not worrying too much about so called "rules." They have a healthy confidence in their writing ability and don't weary easily. They have a natural and unintentional knack for writing towards what become trends. Typical genres might be thriller, action or romance. Gryffindor writers should watch out for slipping into sloppiness. They should remember that its okay to slow down, and take time to learn how to improve.
Possible example: Charles Dickens


A Ravenclaw writer is a beautiful writer. They take pains to make sure their language is exquisite, and in most cases it pays off. When they brake rules, they do so only because they know how to do it effectively. They are the most careful writers, and therefore often the slowest. But because they are so careful in their writing, a lot of wisdom and experience is distilled into every word. Typical Ravenclaw genres might be literary fiction and regular form poetry. They should beware of aloofness and appearing haughty. They should remember that the mass is who supports their career, and putting time and effort into networking and communicating with readers can pay off.
Possible example: Cormac McCarthy


Hufflepuff's are kind writers. The joy they find in writing comes from being able to use words to really connect with and understand other people and human nature in general. They are fiercely loyal to their fans, and most times that loyalty is returned. They like networking, and are particularly supportive of other writers. They may not write as quickly as a Gryffindor, but they are consistent. Typical genres might include adult mainstream, YA and free-form poetry. Hufflepuff's should beware of hinging their confidence too much on what someone may or may not have said in some online forum somewhere, and keep their personal reasons for writing strong and at the forefront.
Possible example: John Green


It goes without saying that Slytherin writers are ambitious. They enjoy the sway and influence that comes with being a well-known author. They work hard, and teach themselves whatever they can about craft and marketing. Like Ravenclaw's, they know all the rules and break them when it suits. They often have a tight-knit group of writers around them, who stick together and support each other. Typical Slytherin genres might be sci-fi or screenplay. They should beware of becoming too cliquey, and letting ambition get in the way of the simple joy of writing.
Possible example: Orson Scott Card

Obviously these are generalities, and no writer fits exactly in one category. But I think its fun to look at what each Hogwarts house might be like as a writer, and what lessons we can learn, both good and bad, from each.

What do you think? Which are you? Can you think of any other examples?

Sarah Allen


  1. This is great. From reading the above, I think I'm a definite Hufflepuff writer.

  2. I'm closest to a Ravenclaw (except for the genre since I'm a spec fic writer). I'm very slow when I write, but my work needs very little revision when I'm done.

  3. Great post! It's really interesting to see the similarities from the houses. :)

  4. Yes, OSC must be a Slytherin...

    Fun post, thanks!

    I think I'm a Gryffindor, or I would be if this project was behaving itself. Accio finished manuscript!

  5. In real life I would be Ravenclaw with a side dish of Gryffindor. I scored in the 98th percentile for math, science and mechanical reasoning on my ACT scores.

    As a writer, I would fall into 75% Gryffindor and 25% Slytherin. I write fast, I will end a sentence with a preposition and I want to tell a story. But I spend too much time doing it all myself when the writing is done to get it out there.

  6. I feel like I'm a mix between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.

    Of course if Hogwarts was a real school, I'd want to be in Gryffindor :)

  7. AAH this is an adorable idea! Loved reading it. Although as a person who almost certainly would be in Slytherin I wish we had a sexier author. :)

  8. I love this! :-) I took one of those ridiculously long nerd quizzes to find what house I'm in and it was Hufflepuff. As I read these descriptions, I think I am a mix between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. I write very slowly and am particular about what words I choose. But I hope my writing is friendly.

  9. I think I'm a hybrid...maybe a Gryffinpuff?

  10. Haha, love this post! I took the sorting hat quiz today and it told me I'm a Gryffindor. I guess I should slow down every once in a while. ;)

  11. I'm a Gryffindor wih a smattering of Slytherin. I can see a lot of dark sensationalistic crime dramas coming out of Slytherin as well.

  12. I LOVE THIS POST!! I think I might be a Gryffindor with bit of Hufflepuff. :D

  13. The Sorting Hat had barely grazed my head when it bellowed, "RAVENCLAW!" I am such a purebred Ravenclaw according to this scheme that I think I'm a distant cousin of the Gray Lady.


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