Suzanne Collins built her reign of young adult fiction on top of the success of her most famous trilogy, The Hunger Games. People who have been inspired by Katniss’s courage and determination and want to write equally strong characters would like to know how Collins did it.
Collins shared a few tips for aspiring writers who need some motivational words from an award-winning author, so we listed out her top 5 writing tips for everyone to read!
Suzanne Collins’s Writing Tips
Start Work in the Mornings
Although not necessarily rigid, Collins’ schedule follows a simple routine: eat, then write. By jumping into work right away, she gets rid of possible distractions that may stop her from even starting to write. As many of you would have tried, getting distracted will make it hard for you actually to start doing work.
Write What You Know AND Love
Collins believes that writers should write about things they know because familiarity allows you to have a lot of information to draw from. It allows writers to simply focus on writing since they only need to work with what they know.
However, in the same vein, Collins emphasized that writers should also write about what they love. This is especially applicable when what you know and what you love may not always be the same things. Passion and excitement easily spill into your work when you write things you love, and when they do, you often end up with a piece you and the readers will love.
A Day Without Writing Can Still Be Productive
Writing is only half of the real work that you need to put into a manuscript. Especially during the planning phase, you might spend hours just ruminating about the plot and the characters. Collins often spends the rest of her afternoon working out crucial plot points and character details.
Collins considers this period of rumination to be productive, and as long as you keep the story in your head, you are still technically working.
However, sometimes, all your thoughts may need to distill into proper words and notes. LivingWriter is prepared for that: our Outlines and Chapters are perfect for getting your plot details laid out in organized notes. You can have each chapter and major arc written in broad strokes before you start on the manuscript.
Our Story Elements allows you to store nigh-infinite information about your characters so that those notes don’t get lost in the void of oblivion. Plus, you can also keep images for your visual reference.
Pick Your Topic First, Your Audience Comes Second
War may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are trying to look for young adult books, yet this topic is central to one of the most popular YA series, The Hunger Games. To pull this off, Collins focused on the topic first, then wrote it in a way to attract her audience.
Contextualizing the just war theory into the world of adolescents was key to the conception of the series, and managing to pull this off is crucial to the success of The Hunger Games.
This goes to show that any topic can become viable on any demographic, as long as you focus on what facets of that topic may attract your target audience. In The Hunger Games, despite being about war, Collins managed to insert a great deal of story that revolves around personal relationships, which are more relevant to young adults.
All Stories are Made The Same Way
Collins does not believe that each genre has a specific “hack” or key thing to include to make a story great. She is quoted to have said that “You need to tell a good story… You’ve got good characters…” And she is right.
Genres differ mostly in the kinds of topics being talked about, yet all good stories have the same ingredients. Having a good plot and good characters will make a story great. There’s no witchcraft in making a good story, just pure good plot and characters that people can relate to.
Write the Next Big Hit in YA Fiction with LivingWriter
Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games with a focus on consistency, productivity, and raw passion. Raw passion is something that all aspiring writers would have, and we expect no less than brimming enthusiasm when you start a manuscript. On the other hand, consistency and productivity are human factors that can be easily improved by external forces.
LivingWriter can help you write consistently and more productively with its vast array of powerful and helpful features that are sure to get a writer a finished manuscript in no time!
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