How is it —

That it took me so long to discover The Intern’s blog?

Cause today another very nice bit of analysis of The Hunger Games.

Not that it’s a new idea that, say, readers like a book to be rich in conflict, but this comparison to video games and addictiveness and what causes the addictiveness is really interesting. I would never have thought of a book in these terms because I don’t play video games. (And why not? Because I’m afraid I might like them too much — I have enough to do right now! Don’t need another hobby! So there’s the addictiveness idea right there.)

I wonder, if you did this kind of analysis of all the YA titles you find in WalMart — like Twilight and Divergent and Hush,Hush and City of Bones and so on and on and on — I wonder if you’d find this kind of writing pattern in both the good ones and the not so good ones?

I mean (to simplify) new discoveries prompt internal conflict –> internal conflict leads to a decision –> every chapter ends on an unresolved conflict.

Plus goals that are always, every minute, obvious to the reader. And every action having consequences. All that stuff The Intern describes.

I kind of suspect you would. I haven’t read all that many of the really popular YA titles — I mean, the supply of really popular YA titles appears to approximate infinity — but I wonder whether this particular writing pattern explains why some books that are objectively not very good nevertheless have such wide appeal?

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