How I Write- Reflection on Suzanne Collins Interview

Since I unfortunately was unable to attend the second How I Write event, I instead chose to watch an interview of Suzanne Collins discussing how/why she wrote the Hunger Games Trilogy

I found it very interesting to listen to an interview with Suzanne Collins about how and why she writes.  As a big fan of the Hunger Games trilogy myself, I was very curious as to how she came up with the idea and the characters, and what her plan was for the story when she initially began to write it.

I think the concept of coming up with a completely alternate story-world with such intricate detail and developed characters is completely fascinating and incredible. I have never understood how someone like J.K. Rowling thought up Harry Potter in her head.  The same goes for the Hunger Games.  There are so many different story lines and specific details about how the world works, and that is what makes the trilogy so rich and intriguing.  Collins spoke about how she was initially inspired for the idea of the Hunger Games through her love for Greek Mythology.  She also mentions that she was flipping through some reality television shows and being bombarded with images of young people participating in various competitions doing crazy activities for rewards.  Juxtaposed with this, she was seeing images of the Iraq war on the news.  She says these two things kind of came together in her mind in a very disturbing and chilling way, and this sparked the idea for the Hunger Games.  It is very interesting to see how different aspects and things you are exposed to in your life can come together and create this story.

I was also wondering a lot about what the writing process was like for these books.  Collins speaks about not knowing that the book would become a trilogy when she first wrote it. She focused on the first book only initially and just wrote that as its own story.   However, when it continued to evolve, she realized that the tale was not over and she would need to continue.  She talks about how she did plan out the basic ides for the next books, but she has found that it is not good to over-plan.  Sometimes it is better to just let the story evolve and see where it takes you.  I really like this idea because I am someone who generally tends to over-plan my writing, but I have learned this year that sometimes it is better to just write (like a shitty first draft) and see where it takes you.

One thought to “How I Write- Reflection on Suzanne Collins Interview”

  1. It is interesting to hear where the inspiration came from of such a successful writer, especially one that has a unique story. I truly believe that everyone has a story to tell, and in one way or another, they will find a way to express pieces of their story through their wiring. That is why writing is so intriguing to me. Each unique person has a different way of expressing themselves through writing.

    I resonate with Collins writing process approach of, “allowing the story to evolve.” Within my project for the minor, my pieces often took a different route than my original plan. In fact, after several revised drafts for my re-purposed essay, I still have to write the final piece. Once I completed my re-mediation piece, I discovered I wanted to take a new route. I had to completely re-work my re-purposed essay. But by allowing the story to evolve on its own, I believe my final project is much better.

    Although at times allowing the story to evolve was difficult, it allowed my pieces to fill their full potential. I had to unattach myself from any “finished” piece. If the story called for a change, I needed to make it, regardless of where I thought the piece was in the writing process. I had to be flexible and willing to re-write my re-purposed essay from a different point of view. However, my project benefitted from allowing the story evolve because more of “my story” shone through my work and created something greater than I had even planned for.

    I appreciate the introduction into new media writing by the gateway course. It has exposed us all to new ways to share our ideas, opinons and STORIES! Writing in new media has inspired me to write more often, and although I may never share a story in a way that Collins may, I will not hesitate to share my story. The hope is that my writing will inspire others to share their unique ideas!

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