Last post in this series we discussed the mid-point shift. Today, we’ll work up to the second pinch point, which happens neatly in the middle of the halfway and three-quarter points of the story.
From the 4/8 to 5/8 mark of the story, a whole lot happens. Before the 4/8 mark Katniss has reacted and responded and prepared, but she has not really acted, not until she killed some of her opponents with the tracker jackers.
And right after that scene, we go right into a sequel. Her two days of enduring the poison are summarized in a few paragraphs. She is reminded a little of home, but just a few sentences worth, not enough for a real flashback.
Re-reading this part of the book, I count the alliance with Rue as part of the sequel. Because in their conversations, they recount their dilemma: they can not win against the Careers if the Careers aren’t hungry. And so, they make a plan of attack. (Reaction, Dilemma, Decision).
The scene begins as Katniss goes to the camp and destroys it. We get a moment-by-moment account of what happens. And her actions are not without consequences; she wins (the food is destroyed) but she loses (she gets hurt).
Another sequel, as she waits it out. Back into another scene when she tells herself that Rue must be alive and she goes looking for her. Make no mistake that Katniss “accidentally” calls Rue by her sister’s name. We need to know how important Rue is to Katniss and likely a savvy reader would know what happens next.
Rue dies, killed by the boy from District 1. And without too much warning, we’re thrust into the second pinch point. In case, for a moment, we would be confused as to who the real enemy here is, Katniss tells us:
To hate the boy from District 1, who also appears so vulnerable to death, seems inadequate. It’s the Capitol I hate, for doing this to all of us.
The sequence continues and Katniss honors her friend.
The next story landmark we’re looking for is the second plot point, and the text from the 5/8 mark to the 6/8 mark will take us right to it!