Story Deconstruction: The Hunger Games Part 3

Warning: Spoilers Ahead.

In the last two posts I’ve talked about the first quarter of the Hunger Games and how they prepare Katniss and the reader for the first plot point.

The first plot point (in my humble opinion) was a quiet moment I almost missed. I only caught it because I read it on my e-reader so the progress bar proved I was at the right spot for a plot point.

True, it happens at 27% instead of 25%. (Some advice-givers prescribe putting the plot point earlier than 25%, as early as 20%, but there’s enough happening until 27% to keep the story going).

Katniss goes in to get her score from the review panel. She’s #24, the reviewers are tired and hungry and they care more about the feast. If she gets bad marks, she’ll get less audience support and useful things during the Games.

So she sends an arrow flying through their dinner, impaling the apple against the wall.

At first, I argued against this being a plot point because by some definitions it isn’t. After all, Katniss is no less in danger of being in the Games because of this moment. There already was no turning back. However, this does fit some classic plot point definition in that this is entirely a character-based decision that affects the rest of the book. This is a different “no going back” because she, in one action, made a bold statement to important people: I will not be ignored, I will play by my own rules.

And it does push her through a portal of no going back, though it’s a bit hidden in the immediate danger of the Hunger Games. This is the first of many times that Katniss will defy the Capitol. When she survives, she will have to deal with the consequences of these actions.

Next up: The third section of the Hunger Games

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3 Responses to Story Deconstruction: The Hunger Games Part 3

  1. I believe you’re right about the first plot point being the arrow at the game makers. You also have to take in account that Collins wrote the novel in the three act structure. Not four. So while the first plot point happens a little later, other milestones will be off a little due to this change in structure. : )

    • barb says:

      This is a good point. Larry Brooks is doing a HG story construction starting this week so I’m interested to see his take, but for me, the arrow moment is really the point at which Katniss makes the leap from giving up to fighting. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Dan says:

    The first plot point is when Peeta publicly declares his love for Katniss. This revelation spins the story on its head and changes everything for Katniss. The relationship between Katniss and Peeta is central to the second and third acts. The apple incident may reinforce Katniss’ defiant nature towards The Capitol that defines the series, but it is not the first plot point in this first book of the trilogy.

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