Friday, March 23, 2012

Are You Hungry?

by G.Parker

I've noticed a lot of "hunger" affiliation usage this week.  It couldn't be because of a certain movie release, do you think?  Nah...publicity never takes advantage of anything...NOT.  It just kills me how everything feeds something.  If it were my book that had been made into a movie, I'd be so thrilled with it all I wouldn't be able to sleep.  One of my good friends is having a book launch tomorrow for her second book, and she's nervous because it is her second book and now that she knows what can happen, she's scared it won't.

But back to my original thought.  If you've read the Hunger Games, then you're probably excited for the movie.  If you haven't (like myself) then you're glad you'll be far away from any theater for the next three days.  Perhaps at the City Creek Shopping Center?  I'm staying far away from that too...

Anyway - I read an article comparing the Hunger Games with Twilight.  How the two heroines were so totally different, and yet, much alike.  I was surprised that they even compared them, and then I realized that of course they would.  These are two books that have become popular with teenagers and have become money making enterprises.  Much like the Harry Potter craze, the Hunger Games has eclipsed Twilight (no pun intended, lol).  What I find interesting, is how our society has kind of shaped the characters in the books.

Twilight has a female character that is a wimp, spineless, mopes around and is in love with a 100 year old vampire.  Not the best role model, and yet, most young women were able to connect with her, feeling that way a lot themselves.  I never did see what Edward OR Jacob saw in her.  She's pathetic.  (Please don't send me hate mail).

The Hunger Games main female character is apparently more selfless, caring for family and friends -- but still ends up being used by those around her (from what I've read in the reviews...sorry, haven't read it so this is coming second hand).  The way they describe her says that what those around her think of her almost matters more than what she thinks of herself.

So we come back to society.  Today's society has so little in common with when I was growing up.  When I was a teenager, there was a greater difference between right and wrong, good and evil and what was acceptable behavior in public.  The hippies were gradually fading away, but Earth Day was on.  It was wrong to be a divorcee, but there wasn't a lot of help for someone in an abusive marriage.  What went on behind closed doors was rarely known to anyone else, let alone those who were celebrities.  The classics were books written by Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott and the like.  We played outside most of the day during the summer, swam in the public swimming pool and did lots of physical things.  Kick the Can and Hide and Seek were the neighborhood favorites.  Halloween was a fun holiday that you could get a pillowcase full of candy from strangers and not have to worry about it.  Until I was 15.  Then the world started changing.  You had to be careful who you talked to.  You couldn't take candy from strangers and you had to be careful of wrapped candy.  A friend of mine got sick from eating some that had a broken needle shoved in it.  The innocence that had been around me had begun to wear away, and it hasn't gotten any better.

What I'm hungry for is a good character.  A strong, honest, worthy character with integrity and faith.  That's something I could get behind.  But you know what?  It would never sell outside of the LDS community.  The masses don't want to read something like that.  They accepted Harry Potter because it was a boy, and because it was magic.  Because it's not real.

That's the reason I began writing as an adult.  I wanted my daughters to have something worth reading that was clean and uplifting.  Something that they could sink their teeth into.  Not stories about sinking teeth into others or something equally gruesome.

What are you hungry for?  I'd like to know.

Until next week....keep writing!


James Duckett said...

I'm hungry for good characters. Somebody I can root for and care about. He or she doesn't have to be perfect, just likable and in a lot of trouble!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm also hungry for good characters. There can be lots of interesting action in a book, but if I'm not invested in the characters, I don't really care what happens to them.