Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Face the probability of your imminent death..."

2014.  A Strange New World.  I read a great post about choosing rituals rather than making resolutions.  I've never been big on New Year's Resolutions myself -- part of it is that the gym is always super crowded for a week or so, but mostly it's because of how much time gets wasted if you wait until the end of the year to make changes in your life.  If you want to spend less money, start now.   If you want to eat more pie, start now.  If you're going to write a movie, start RIGHT NOW.  Of course, if you want to take up procrastinating, New Year's 2015 is probably a good time to start.

I know today is supposed to be about TV but I've still got Hunger Games on my mind.  The setting was very easy to get into.  It felt alien and familiar and I've figured it out.  Ms. Collins drew from the world we all know and just changed a couple of cosmetic things so that the more outlandish idea -- the games -- would seem to fit.  The first thing she did was create consistent over-the-top fashion.  It was a great way to separate the haves and have-nots and the rich were so outlandish that they might actually belong at an Elizabethan Ball -- but in France.

The second was in the names.  She found a way to make everything very foreign without stooping to hard-to-follow accents or making up a language (both big no-nos in my book).  She took well-known names or words and twisted them up a little for her character names, creating evocative and easy to pronounce/remember identifiers.  I'm reading a book now that uses completely made up names (and fabricated colloquialisms) and it doesn't work.  It's very distracting and too much effort.  There are 10 characters with names that start "Ka" and the dialogue is filled with apostrophes -- should be KAstastrophes.

Effie, Heymitch, Katniss herself -- great names.  Peeta, Clove, Rue -- the familiar turned into something exotic.  Welcome to a world as vibrant as Ender's.  And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Speaking of which (odds), I’m a featured author today.


  1. I forgot about Katniss being pregnant (if she really was pregnant) until I read your very good "featured writer" story on Write On Wendy. They do leave some loose ends.
    Jarring to me in The Hunger Games is the juxtaposition of the super high tech -- like the TV screens with no wires or circuit boards, etc -- and the doors that have huge gaps at the base in a cold and nasty climate.

    1. I'm glad you liked the prompted story. That's a funny bit about the drafty doors -- I'll have to watch for that.