On Reading and Writing

This will be a short, somewhat random post – an update, if you will.

I’ve been making decent headway in the novel over the past two weeks. Word count is now pushing 44,000 and late last night, I finished a core scene that I have been planning since the very first concepts of this story began to materialize four years ago. I feel a sense of completion and good about how it turned out. I’m sure I will revisit it several times in future drafts, and I’m looking forward to seeing what others think of it, but for now, I’m ready to continue to blaze forward (well, as blazing as a dad of four can get).

I have also been reading a lot! In a previous post, I mentioned that I had finished the Hunger Games trilogy. Since then, I have read an interesting mix of books: The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, and half of Matched (before I abandoned it) by Ally Condie. I’ve also started Divergent by Veronica Roth (I know, color me trendy), and The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Continue reading

First-Person Present Tense: Strengths and Weaknesses in the Hunger Games Trilogy

I recently finished reading Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy of books. I will admit that when they first came out, I avoided them, thinking they were going to be another Twilight-esque set of stories. It is a little unfair for me to criticize Twilight because I never read any of the books, but I did suffer through the first movie and that was enough for me.

On a whim, I decided to try The Hunger Games because I needed an audio book to pass the time while doing chores at home. In the end, I am very glad that I did. I found all three books to be the audio equivalent of page-turners, in particular the first two.

The most striking aspect of the books was their mostly effective use of first-person present tense through the eyes and mind of the central character, Katniss Everdeen. First-person present seems to be the current rage in fiction, especially in young adult fiction (though I would question the appropriateness of the Hunger Games for early teens). I also recently finished James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard, which also used first-person present, though to lesser success.

Continue reading