Monday, May 5, 2014
The book I wish I'd written: The Hunger Games
by April Henry
Our topic this month is the book we wish we had written. For me, it's The Hunger Games. Any of us could have clicking through the TV channels and seen snippets of Survivor and the war in Iraq. Heck, most of us probably did.
But only Suzanne Collins thought to combine the two and come up with The Hunger Games.
And while I might have been able to come up with the premise, I don't think I would have been able to execute it as nearly as well as she did.
I actually cried when Rue died. Cried! And I have trouble crying when real-life people die.
I have to admit I did not read this book as a writer, which is a relief. When I turn off my internal editor, then that's the sign of an excellent author.
One thing I noticed on a second read, though, was her kick-ass chapter endings.
Chapter endings should look ahead, not behind. They need to end on a note of drama (and, if possible, a cliffhanger) rather than just summing up what has just taken place.
Take a look at some of Collins':
• Chapter 4: “Which also means that kind Peeta Meelark, the boy who gave me the bread, is fighting hard to kill me.”
• Chapter 5: “But because two can play at this game, I stand on tiptoe and kiss his cheek. Right on the bruise.”
• Chapter 6: “I wonder if she will enjoy watching me die.”