The Page a Day Writers Group

Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy: A great example for fiction writers

Posted on: October 7, 2010

My sixteen-year-old daughter, Paige, and I read young adult fiction aloud to each other for fun. Paige has been reading on college level since about fourth grade, but she loves YA stories as do I. Recently, we picked up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins without realizing it was the first book in a trilogy. Wow. We were hooked by the end of the first page. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on Catching Fire, the second book, and as luck would have it, the third book, The Mockingjay just came out. We couldn’t devour them fast enough. All three books took Paige and I on an incredible page turning ride up to and including the epilogue. The story takes place in Panem, a post apocalyptic North American country, where an oppressive regime called The Capitol, holds a tight reign on districts one through twelve. Each year, The Capitol chooses two random children from each district to fight to the death in The Hunger Games to remind the people what will happen to the districts should they step out of line. Collins makes all kinds of social commentary and creates a world so real, it can be the stuff of nightmares. Paige and I both found ourselves in the “arena” fighting for our lives.

As I’ve been writing my own YA novel Two Feet, Two Worlds – No Shoes, and reviewing  Christopher Vogler’s book, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, it occurred to me that Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy serves as a prime example of including all the elements that Vogler talks about: the ORDINARY WORLD, the CALL TO ADVENTURE, the first REFUSAL of the call, the MENTOR, CROSSING THE FIRST THRESHOLD, and so on. Each character is richly three-dimensional and loveable, no matter how flawed, except for President Snow, who is evil incarnate. Collins takes readers on twists and turns through clever subplots and keeps the reader guessing. Just when I thought something seemed predictable, the story would unfold completely differently than I imagined.

Whether you normally enjoy YA or sci-fi, Collins’s trilogy is time well spent, both as a reader and a writer. The Hunger Games will go into movie  production in 2011.

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2 Responses to "Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy: A great example for fiction writers"

Hunger Games sounds fantastic! Thanks for the recommend, Trish.

Another gritty post-apocalyptic read, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, was one of the most emotionally difficult books I’ve read- but absolutely gripping. Also poignant on the theme of the parent-child bond.

Thanks. I’ll look up The Road.

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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