It applies to writing as well (spoilers)

ImageI just finished reading The Hunger Games Trilogy. I enjoyed it. (Why do I feel strange saying I enjoyed a post-apocalyptic, kill-or-be-killed set of YA novels?) I’m also following Larry Brooks, at Story Fix, as he deconstructs the first volume, The Hunger Games.

In the third volume, the pace changes and Suzanne Collins takes you into a newly born revolution.

The character of Beetee is a tech genius and survivor of two hunger games. He is now designing weapons to exact some revenge for the loss of his partner, Wiress, in the arena. He has shown the heroine, Katness Everdeen, a personalized weapon and she asks how he thought of it. He says: “So, I left the outside simple, and left the inside to my imagination.”

When I read this, I was immediately how this applies to writing. The story should be simple, elegant in it’s first presentation to the reader. This is why cover blurbs are so difficult and people are employed specifically to do this work. When the author tries, they have the entire story bursting in them and trying to reduce it to 50 to 100 words is agony. But when you do it right, it’s like breadcrumbs to the reader, enticing them to follow you inside.

There is a lot more to say, but how about you taking this phrase and elaborating on how simplicity, well-done, hits the mark.

Take care–Susan Kaye

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8 thoughts on “It applies to writing as well (spoilers)

  1. Robin Helm

    Interesting sidenote – I read yesterday that Suzanne Collins has decided to go indie with her next book. It’s really shaking the publishing world.

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    1. Susan Kaye Post author

      That’s very interesting! I’ll bet she looked at all the figures concerning numbers of books sold and the figures on her royalties statement, and figured it was more profitable for her to go indie.

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  2. Laura Hile

    Is she? Good for her!

    Shaking the publishing world, no kidding! She’s got name recognition now and a long, long tail of devoted fans. Why not hire the services she needs and keep the profits?

    Not to mention getting the book in the hands of her loyal readers almost as soon as she finishes writing it …

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    1. Susan Kaye Post author

      Aren’t these the reasons most are bailing on traditional publishing? when you look at all the infrastructure that authors are supporting, and they can now get a lot if not most of it on a freelance basis, why not?

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  3. Gayle Mills

    Many of the kids at school are reading this. In fact, our last academic meet had 18 questions from this series (which I thought was a bit unfair as the book is new and not required reading).

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  4. Susan Kaye Post author

    The story itself raises a boatload of questions, but rarely does Collins have the characters philosophize about their world and circumstances. She leaves that to the reader. The third book is the heaviest in worldview and I think that’s because they are dealing with what comes down to just war theory.

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  5. Robin Helm

    I have the first one on kindle, too, but it will have to wait a while. I have to do rewrites, edits, and formatting of Legacy this week.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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