When I read, I read for enjoyment and the craft of writing. In my "Reading While Writing" blog posts, I list and discuss the lessons I feel each book contained for me. Feel free to follow along and add your own lessons learned :)
Craft lesson #1: come up with a KILLER idea!
And yes, PUN INTENDED :)
Okay, spoilers aside...this novel idea was excellent! I don't usually delve into YA (I couldn't get past page 2 of the first Twilight book, let alone attempt another...) I LOVE a book that brings to life a whole new way of looking at things. At life. And, with an odd slant that I find sad, the way things are in the world of The Hunger Games is basically how life is as we know it. Only we don't know it. Those who we unintentionally and unknowingly step on to have the kind of lifestyle we have, have the lifestyle akin to those in The Hunger Games. IMO...
However, as a craft lesson, the point is simple: come up with something catching, brilliant, exciting, and different from the whole gamut of what's out there already. And a whole new world to boot! I kept wanting their world to be more like our world, where cruelty of that kind wouldn't be tolerated and would, eventually, be overturned. But...Maybe that's the point of the series...I hope!
Craft Lesson #2: Don't misplace backstory...
This is the ONLY lesson I took from this book that came from something I felt the author/editors should have caught and fixed. The entire book aside from two spots of misplaced backstory was without flaw, so bravo! Not many books become so polished and, therefore, so wonderful to read. I mean, how else can one submerge themselves into a whole new world if they have to keep sidestepping crappy writing style and choppy flow (again, Twilight, gag me with a spoon)...
The backstory in The Hunger Games was vital, and plentiful. Hence, some spilled over the top. There were two spots where the backstory that would have been relevant and, therefore, better suited for somewhere in the beginning of the book, were placed so far inside the action at the back that it actually takes the reader (aka, me) OUT of the action.
I think there's a lesson to be learned from this for sure: know when to cut off your backstory and CUT IT OFF. Don't feel the reader needs to know something that isn't really all that crucial all the way near the end of the book that takes 2 pages to read through, thus circumventing the action that's taking place.
Or move it.
Either way, don't put backstory at the end of the book in the thick of things!
As a side note, if you can email me with the two misplaced backstory spots, you win a free copy of The Hunger Games!
The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins is truly brilliant. Awesome. I loved her book! (yes, I am drinking a glass of wine while blogging...why do you ask? ;) I had to dedicate - read, HAD to - dedicated a whole weekend to ignoring housework and the kids to finish this novel. And, aside from a few pouty face moments, it was well worth it. Every minute of it.
A wonderful read!
I can't wait for the next!!
But...oye...first, I must fix my own chapter 18...where or where did that research I was sure I did go??!? Oh, the dread of redoing research in the thick of editing (hence, ceasing the action!)