Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hunger Games

We got our tickets for the Hunger Games. My daughter reported that their high school cancelled a dance Friday because of the movie. Teenagers giving up a dance! Panic. Tickets could be sold out. We might have to wait another week after waiting months. My husband had the week off, and I nagged him relentlessly until he secured a set for us. Now we wait with pent up excitement for Saturday afternoon. Snacks are already packed in the giant movie purse. (I’m not paying $5 for milk duds.)  
My son introduced me to the books last summer. Anything that got my son to read had to be good. I read them in a matter of weeks. Personally, I prefer the first book though all were enjoyable. Now I’m eager to see whether the movie trumps the book or vice versa. Usually books are way better than their visual rival. No question of it. Except for Lord of the Rings, I can’t think of any case where a movie has been better.  I guess I will find out Saturday. Tune back in next week to hear my verdict.
As a writer, I noted several points of this book with interest. Places where the author broke the rules so to speak. (Though yes, you can afford to break the rules if you’ve been published before.)
Suzanne Collins didn’t dive into the whole dramatic incident until the end of the first chapter. She used small tweaks, starting in the first paragraph, to imply what was coming but held off.  That gave readers time to absorb the main character and her world, digesting and becoming invested. Many writers’ guides press that you lead off with the incident that propels your characters into chaos, which, of course, gives readers no time to care about the characters. Not the case with Hunger Games, and it is wildly successful.
Another interesting point is the lack of an antagonist you can point a finger at. There is no typical bad guy in the first book of the series, no one until the next book where President Snow takes that role. I’ve been on writing sites where they want you to detail a section about your antagonist, and if you cannot list one, your book must lack conflict. Hunger Games clearly doesn’t lack for conflict. It comes from the plot and the games themselves and not any one individual.
Just something to think about when you’re worrying about breaking rules.    


  1. This is an excellent post, Michelle. So you have your own blog now? :D

    Maddie and I were supposed to see the Hunger Games tomorrow, but we're holding off for a number of reasons. :( We plan to go in the middle of April, but I can hardly wait!! :(( I just love the first book (haven't read the others yet) and I have a feeling the movie will be fantastic.

  2. Hey.

    Just saw the post on my FB feed, decided to check it out. Nice little blog you have here. :)

    This is a great post! Excited to see the movie with Raven sometime in April. I'm hoping the movie will live up to the books (and from the trailers it looks like it does thus far)

    Following :)

    - H (Maddie)

  3. Thanks, guys. So great to have followers!

  4. I still haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't wait to hear what other people thought of it.

    And you're so right--rule breaking done right is done well! That's crazy about the whole lack of an antagonist equates to lack of conflict. Haven't they ever heard of man vs. nature or man vs. the system?