Is “The Hunger Games” the future of writing? I sincerely hope not.

Okay, before I’m set upon by rabid Hunger Games  fans dressed in tribute uniforms brandishing axes and knives, let me clarify: we’re talking writing style, not content. I personally didn’t care for Suzanne Collins’ writing style; I get why she wrote the story the way she did, but it did nothing for me. I didn’t finish the first one and I have no desire to read the other two (blasphemy, I know). I tried, but I grew very bored very  quickly. Sparse writing like Collins’, in my opinion, is more suited for shorter works.

But some author I’ve never fucking heard of has weighed in and believes this stark, short, quick-punch style is the future of literature for the internet generation. The English major in me is weeping and flipping tables by turns.

…So what is this about? Why is The Hunger Games so popular? I don’t think it’s an accident. Collins knew exactly what she was doing. And  modern writers would do well to follow her lead…

Young adult fiction is red hot right now. But why? Two reasons:

1.  Youth culture is now the dominant culture.  Go to the mall and see how many 40- and 50-year-olds are dressed like their teenage children. Turn on your TV and watch the commercials; they’re geared towards youth and those who want to preserve it.
2.  We live in a world of distractions.  Not surprisingly, most people are reading at the attention level of a sixth grader.

… How does Collins accomplish this? She writes short novels, in large fonts, with quick chapters. If you’re going to get people to read your content (whether it’s fiction or nonfiction), you should consider doing the same.

You could, of course, fight this trend, but it’s an uphill battle. We’re all scanners now, right? Better write like it.

I’m sure you’ve thought long and hard about this, Goins, and your theory can probably be backed by some fast statistics, but I might add: I kinda don’t give a fuck. The wonderful thing about writing styles is that they’re just that: styles, and everyone’s is different. Believe me, if everyone wrote like Collins or — gag me — Stephanie Meyer, the youth culture you obviously view as superior to others would die a fast death. The tense, spare writing should be used only when the subject matter calls for it. Fucking The Catcher in the Rye  wouldn’t have been the same if Salinger forewent Holden’s rambling thought process and instead went with, “EVERYONE SUCKS. I MAY NEED THERAPY TO DEAL WITH MY ANGER ISSUES. I THINK THAT DUDE MIGHT BE HITTING ON ME. BOOBS.”

So, to any aspiring writers, take Goins’ (I keep saying his name out loud in a terrible French accent) advice with a grain of salt. Write how you want, but also make sure the style fits the story. And if you’re planning on writing the next Twilight, you can just go ahead and put the pen down now.