The Book, the Movie, and the Story of The Hunger Games

Last weekend’s release of The Hunger Games movie has generated a lot of fan discussion about the differences between the book and the film. Some fans have expressed disappointment, even outrage, at various aspects of the book that were “left out” or “changed” in the movie. Other fans have praised the new material in the movie for expanding the story or increasing its impact compared to the book. And some, like a parent with two children, love them both just as much, but in different ways.

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Star Wars, The Hunger Games, and the Storytelling Power of Thematic Resonance

Good stories always have great characters. The great stories always have something more. What sets them apart are themes that resonate deeply with the reader, viewer, or audience. Great stories don’t just entertain – they make us think, challenge our assumptions or beliefs, or inspire us to do great things ourselves.

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Journey of a Strong Female Heroine: Katniss Everdeen

What sets The Hunger Games apart from the rest of the field, though, is its lead character, Katniss Everdeen, and the skill with which Collins executes a novel trilogy centered around a young female lead. Where so many others have failed, or not even bothered to try, Collins not only creates a Strong Female Heroine, but also makes the story her Heroine’s Journey from impoverished nobody to national symbol. There are far too few stories of this kind in the genre – or anywhere else for that matter – even amid the prolific storytelling boom of recent years. For authors, screenwriters, and others struggling to figure out how to write better female characters and better female-centered stories, The Hunger Games has to be at the very top of the list to read, analyze, and learn from.

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Team Katniss: Collaborative Success in The Hunger Games

In The Hunger Games novel trilogy, Suzanne Collins created another fantastic example of an heroic story centered around one principal character, without losing touch with the role that teamwork and collaborative success play in human nature. In a very real sense, the trilogy is not the story of the rise and triumph of Katniss Everdeen, but rather the success of Team Katniss.

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Seeking SFH: Kate Beckett

When seeking strong female heroines, a comedy-drama police-procedural television series like ABC’s Castle probably wouldn’t be at the top of most people’s list of places to start. Yet the show’s female lead – homicide detective Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic – is a great example of a well-designed, successful character who also fits the bill as strong, female, and heroic.

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Shaping a Heroine – A Father’s Daughter

The more I write, the more I’ve come to the determination that writers really do write what they know, and if you really want to know who you are, it’s as simple as looking back at what you’ve written. Ultimately that requires being critical of your flaws and weaknesses. And it’s true, self-awareness can be a bitch sometimes. When I started creating my heroine, Vespa Wynde, I realized that she, like me, would be defined by her family. Most importantly her parents – Daemyn Wynde and Utara Fireheart.

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REVIEW: Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors

As I prepared my review of Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology by Jennifer K. Stuller, I found myself jotting down some comments about fandom, feminism, and storytelling that I wanted to share in the introductory blog post. Some turned into more – then a lot, and I reconsidered how to present all the ideas the book had inspired for me. So I’m keeping today’s post short; I don’t want a voluminous blog with my own commentary to overshadow how important Stuller’s book is.

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