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Monday, November 30, 2015

Mockingjay: Why Katniss did NOT Mean What She Voted

(SPOILERS) (Side Note: Don't forget to enter my Comic Con giveaway, where you can choose from several prizes, including a Hunger Games t-shirt.)

Last week I talked about why Prim actually needed to die to in Mockingjay to cement the themes of the entire Hunger Games series. A lot of people were upset and downright angry about her death, thinking it was pointless to the story. But it isn't. You don't have to like the ending of Mockingjay--I mean it's not as if we were meant to feel good about everything that happened in these books--but you can still appreciate and respect it.

A second problem some people had with how the series ended was that Katniss voted in favor of another Hunger Games. A lot of audience members felt betrayed, and they should--if Katniss had actually meant it.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mockingjay: Why THAT Character NEEDED to Die

Earlier this year, I was talking to someone about The Hunger Games books. Okay, mostly about the end of Mockingjay. (By the way, this post has spoilers, if you couldn't tell by the title of it.) This person remarked how awful it was that Suzanne Collins killed off Prim.

They then went on to say, "The author just did it for shock value!"

"No, she didn't," I said. (I mean, yeah, it was shocking, but she didn't do it just for shock value.)

"As a writer, you must know what she did was just for shock value!"

This person was pretty adamant. So I just said, "As a writer, I know what she did wasn't just for shock value. We'll have to agree to disagree."

That's not the first person who has told me that Prim's death was only there for shock. But today I'm going to say what I've been wanted to say every time I hear that.

Primrose Everdeen needed to die.

And here is why.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Leaving Your Stamp on a Scene

Today's post is kind of a follow-up to last week's post, where I talked about ramping up your scenes by taking advantage of everything brought to the scene. But there is also something else to consider when brainstorming a scene: Leaving your stamp on it.

Now I don't mean like secretly putting your name in the text somewhere or doing a cameo or making sure every scene has a mention of water. What I mean is making your scene different from all the other scenes out there in the world.

Let's say your about to write a scene where your protagonist meets his love interest. There are a million scenes in the world of storytelling where that happens, right? So consider how you can make yours different or better than what's already been done.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Starting a Scene: Two Important Questions

One of the most important questions I've learned to ask myself when brainstorming/writing a new scene is,

What am I bringing to this scene?

And then the next important question is,

How can I take advantage of that?

You see, I think all of us consider this on some level, maybe even a subconscious level, because unless you're writing the first scene of your story, your scene is building off the scenes that came before it. You're guiding the reader through a narrative.

But it wasn't until the last year or so that I consciously and actively started asking and considering these questions.

And holy cow, the scenes I've been writing are so much better for it!