3 Lessons from the HUNGER GAMES

I think March Madness should include the much anticipated movie HUNGER GAMES. Author Suzanne Collins has to be beside herself with excitement to see the words she penned take the stage.

But Collins did such a spectacular job of writing, I don’t need to see the movie to see the characters in my head. How did she do it? Well, besides crafting an incredible story, here are three points to consider:

1. Described things specifically. On the first page, Buttercup the cat is described like this: The world’s ugliest cat. Mashed-in nose, half of one ear missing, eyes the color of rotting squash. She could have stopped her description at “world’s ugliest cat” but taking the time to give us three unusual descriptive phrases makes Buttercup leap off the page in 3-dimensional power.

2. Dressed her characters. Page 4: Katniss swings her legs off the bed and slides into her hunting boots. Supple leather that has molded to her feet. She pulls on trousers, a shirt, tucks her long dark braid up into a cap, and grabs a forage bag. Collins could have just said Katniss dressed for a hunt. But by describing her costume, especially her supple leather boots, we immediately relate to how it feels to have shoes that fit us well. Understanding that feeling makes it possible for us to feel some of the same things Katniss feels and that makes her real in our heads.

3. Detailed body language. Page 5: Even so, I always take a moment to listen carefully for the hum that means the fence is live. Right now, it’s silent as a stone. … I flatten out on my belly and slide under a two-foot stretch that has been loose for years. You can almost smell the earth as Katniss slips outside of the District’s boundaries. Descriptive body language awakens our senses and makes it possible for us to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell things that aren’t even written down.

Oh, if only I could grow up to write like this!


About lynnegentry

Wife. Mother. Writer. Acting Coach. Director of Dallas International Performing Arts Academy.
This entry was posted in Characterization and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 3 Lessons from the HUNGER GAMES

  1. Julie Marx says:

    Excellent job of bringing these points to life, Lynne. After reading H Games, I caught myself thinking and trying to write in 1st person present. LOL. I want to grow up to write like her, too. 🙂

  2. You do write like this and thanks for sharing with us! You go girl. hugs,

  3. Marji Laine says:

    I agree with Holly! You do write like this. A word-smithing pro!

  4. Lynne Gentry says:

    Awww, thanks, Marji! You’re not to shabby yourself.

  5. Julie Garmon says:

    Gotta read this series. I think I’m the only one I know who hasn’t! Thanks for inspiring me, my creative friend!

  6. Pingback: 3 Lessons from the HUNGER GAMES | STAGE WRITE with Lynne Gentry, Author | Marji Laine ~ Writer

  7. Pingback: 3 Lessons from the HUNGER GAMES | STAGE WRITE with Lynne Gentry, Author | Marji Laine ~ Writer

  8. Carole Brown says:

    Lynne, first time I’ve visited your blog, and love it. I just read your book and enjoyed it very much. I’ll be leading the ACFWbookclub next month on the book and looking forward to it. Be sure to check in!

    • lynnegentry says:

      Carole, so honored that you stopped by. Thanks for taking the time to read Reinventing Leona. I’m so looking forward to the fun with the ACFWBookClub next month. Thanks for all of your help.

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