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harry potter

What I Learned About Professional Writing from the Harry Potter Series

My Harry Potter story is unique: I didn’t attend Hogwarts via the book series for the first time until I was 17, almost too old to be a student. The first Harry Potter movie I saw in theaters was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in late 2018. I’d heard of Harry Potter growing up, but I had so many other good books to read, I simply never found the time.

But although I fell in love late, I fell hard. On any given day, you can catch me wearing my Ravenclaw Quidditch (est. 1092) sweatshirt, listening to the movie soundtracks, and drinking a butterbeer latte at a coffee shop.

The book series about a young wizard boy is a classic, but for writers, it’s more than just a good story: Analyzing what exactly made the Harry Potter books so successful can help us become better writers. Here are the top things we can learn from Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling (the first self-made billionaire author) to carry over into our own writing careers.

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favorite content

Our Favorite Content in 2018

As a collective of freelancers who literally live and breathe content, we always have recommendations to give. While we always have our year-end roundup of books, this year, with the relaunch of Writers’ Rough Drafts, we decided to add podcasts to the mix.

As is CYC roundup tradition, we’ve each chosen our top two pieces of content that we consumed this year and written a bit about it. Of course, we have those honorable mentions that we all slip in at the end.

So, if you’re looking to expand your mind or expand your content intake in 2019, definitely take a look at some of the stuff we’ve pre-screened.

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History of the English Language, Part II: A World Language

In part I of this series, we saw how English evolved from a Germanic language influenced by a Celtic language, and later by Norman French, to become a robust language with a vocabulary containing words borrowed from various languages and cultures and with a well-defined yet simple structure.

Starting in the 18th century, the rise and spread of the British Empire coupled with the Industrial Revolution led to acceptance of English as a dominant language in the world of industry and technology.

And with the economic and technological advances introduced by the United States in the 20th century, English is now accepted and used throughout the world in all areas of communication.

Individuals from different countries who wish to communicate will likely do it in English unless they share a common background and language.

Corporations that communicate with companies in other countries need to have a standard means of communication—a language that people will likely understand anywhere in the world. That language is English.

In virtually every area of communication, whether it be personal, business, or government, the interaction takes place using that common factor—World English, also called Global English.

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History of the English Language, Part I: The Rise of English

Today, you can go almost anywhere in the world, and you’ll find someone who can communicate with you in English. Some speak it well, and some speak it with difficulty, but almost everyone knows at least a few words.

With that in mind, it occurred to me recently that I would like to know a little more about how the English language got its start, how it developed, what influenced it, and how it rose to such a position of prominence in the world.

In this piece, we’ll take a brief look at the origin of English and its evolution from the fifth century to the early 21st century and look at what influenced English along the way, including the Industrial Revolution, colonialism, and the rise of the United States, all leading to English being established as a world language.

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