Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Spotlight (Suzanne Collins)


“If I actually write three to five hours, that’s a productive day. Some days all I do is stare at the wall. That can be productive, too, if you’re working out character and plot problems.” – Suzanne Collins

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Suzanne Collins is the well-known author behind the recent phenomenon known as “The Hunger Games”. Who doesn’t know Katniss, the Girl on Fire whose books sales overtook the Boy Who Lived? But did you know that Suzanne Collins actually began her writing career with “Clifford’s Puppy Days”? It is always amazing for me to learn more about these successful authors who started out in minor obscurity. While many children enjoyed “Clifford’s Puppy Days”, as I did, I would never have known Suzanne Collins’ name if not for The Hunger Games series.

While Collins, like her protagonist Katniss, prefers to remain outside of the spotlight, she has shared some of her knowledge with us in interviews and readings. In an interview with Scholastic, Collins discusses her routine on workdays:

“I grab some cereal and sit down to work as soon as possible. The more distractions I have to deal with before I actually begin writing, the harder focusing on the story becomes. Then I work until I’m tapped out, usually sometime in the early afternoon. If I actually write three to five hours, that’s a productive day. Some days all I do is stare at the wall. That can be productive, too, if you’re working out character and plot problems. The rest of the time, I walk around with the story slipping in and out of my thoughts.”

This week I encouraged you to keep on writing. And I stick by it, set some time aside every day to write, even if it’s just scribbles on a piece of paper. Give your writing some attention, you both deserve it!

Happy Writing Everyone!

17 thoughts on “Writing Tip: Spotlight (Suzanne Collins)”

  1. Thanks for the helpful post. I find it helpful to carry a little notebook with me so that I can jot down an idea or new plot that comes to my mind, especially when it’s out of no where. One day I was walking and I noticed this squirrel kind of following me. I had a protein bar in my hand and I guess it was waiting for me to drop a scrap of food for him to eat. So. I did. I wrote that little incident down, because hey, you never know when you’ll ever use a something like that in a story or poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s such a great idea! I’ve heard of authors doing that! One of my favorite professors has post-it-notes EVERYWHERE in his office (including covering his diploma haha). You should totally write a poem about it

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok, I give up. You win. You convinced me. I’ll give it a try. Big smiles. But first… I want your opinion on something. I submitted two of my poems to an online publication. The chief editor liked what I wrote about, but said rhyme was old hat. Your opinion?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha, I’m glad you’ll give it a try, but like I said, you don’t have to write a novel a day, just have to write (or edit) something.
      I did see your email and replied, but I’ll reply here too. Sorry it took me so long, today I was drowning in thesis.
      I think that if you are so focused on your rhyme scheme that it distracts from the content, flow, diction, or meaning of your poem, get rid of it. If it convolutes what you are trying to say, get rid of it. However, it is flows naturally, keep it. If you have free verse but want particular lines to have emphasis, rhyme those. There’s all kinds of methods but it never hurts to try an old poem in a new way.
      There will be haters on both sides of the rhyme argument so do what you feel is best for your poem!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Your best shot with poetry is to self-publish as an ebook, with the option of POD (print on demand). POD has become the “norm” for most publishing houses these days; even some of the BIGGIE publishing houses are opting for POD for their mid-list authors. Costs are way down these days. Do your research. Don’t get taken in by any “publishers” who offer to share costs with you. They are scammers. Best of luck with your writing endeavors!

      Liked by 3 people

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