Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Finished The Hunger Games

I finished the first book of The Hunger Games last week.  It has a dystopic setting, but the story's told as an action adventure. I recommend the book for both readers and writers. =)

In my second story-writing class, I needed more conflicts for the character. The Hunger Games constantly has conflict, which keeps the story going and gives the character Katniss many decisions to make. The book is now an example for me.

I started reading one chapter at a time until some point in the game. I was then reading three chapters at a time. One day as I cleaned my room, I read a section after each time I put something away. I read even before an interview.

When I had three chapters left, I rationed them again. Willy Wonka's reaction to Augustus Gloop's situation is a great way to describe the thrill of reading The Hunger Games:
"The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last." 
(The line is originally from 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea).

Here's an interesting passage from chapter 13 (Small SPOILER):
Where are the Gamermakers driving me? ...To a whole new terrain filled with new dangers? I had just found a few hours of peace at the pond when this attack happened. ...The wall of fire must have an end and it won't burn indefinitely.  Not because the Gamemakers couldn't keep it fueled but because, again, that would invite accusations of boredom from the audience.
Think of a Gamermaker as a writer and the audience as the story's actual audience (Meta!). Katniss is then questioning the writer's direction. Readers would have been bored if Katniss got to rest a whole day at this moment. They want the story to keep moving.

She's also alone at that moment so just like the Gamemakers, both writer and reader want her to interact with the other characters.  We feel sorry for her pain but back to danger and love! I'm curious if the author, Suzanne Collins, intended to draw attention to the reader's self by mentioning an audience. How much pain and drama did you wish upon Katniss and Peeta?

The quoted section also shows writers that they drive their characters into an adventure. Give them opportunities to make decisions and grow. Character growth gives your readers more than suspense and entertainment.

In addition, writers have to push their characters around to view more of the setting and society. Like pushing a cameraman around.  You push to capture more, but the character or narrator is the one recording details.

How was the suspense for you?

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