JK Rowling with tweet about novel plan

JStone/Shutterstock @jk_rowling/Twitter (Licensed) Remix by Jason Reed

J.K. Rowling used a color-coding system to map out her next novel

She reveals more about her writing process.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Published Jan 31, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 2:37 am CDT

J.K. Rowling is hard at work on her next novel, but while interacting with fans she pulled the curtain to reveal a bit of her rather colorful writing process.

On top of writing the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy, Rowling pens the Cormoran Strike series under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. She’s currently writing Lethal White, the fourth book in the series, which Rowling described as her longest book in the series to date after one fan asked if she had an update on it. 

Fans have known for years that Rowling planned out much of the Harry Potter series long before she published it with “a mass of notes” containing plots, characters, and details. As a writer, Rowling is a planner—something she also encompassed with the Cormoran Strike series. While she normally plans her books with tables, Lethal White is complicated enough that it involved her color-coding her table of suspects with red and blue pens in order to keep track of what she needs to include in the novel.

The plot of Lethal White, Rowling said, is one she’s had in mind since 2013 (though it’s been revised since the initial conception). And she even revealed her physical writing process, which includes what mediums she prefers to use for her novels. (For those who followed Rowling during her early days on Twitter, one of those methods should sound very familiar.)

Lethal White doesn’t have a publication date, but when it is released fans will be able to see just what Rowling makes from her color-coded charts.

H/T Bustle

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*First Published: Jan 31, 2018, 12:23 pm CST