Subject-less Sentences

199 wc

Originally posted on my writing blog which was active from 2010 to 2018.

I noticed another little trick Suzanne Collins used to pull readers along at breakneck speed in The Hunger Games. I hadn’t noticed it in the first two books, but I saw it often in Mockingjay, the last book.

She often clips the subjects off of sentences, especially in scenes of intense action or confusion. For example, she might take a paragraph like this:

I walk into the room. I open the curtains. Then I put some clothes in the washing machine.

And turn it into this:

I walk into the room. Open the curtains. Put some clothes in the washing machine.

It reads ten times faster, but it also seems to devalue the action occurring in those clipped sentences, as if the narrator doesn’t consider it important. It all sort of blurs together, and the eye just skips over them. It almost feels like this:

I walk into the room. Yada yada yada.

I don’t really have an opinion on whether it’s good or bad, it’s just something I noticed. Another tool for the tool belt.

Stay tuned for what I hope will be a Hunger Games wrap-up post, because I’ve been writing way too much about it lately.

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