You don't want to here my excuses and/or sob story, and I know that, but the winter months have been rough. Regardless, I'm back now, and I will be doing all the Authors of the Month in one fell swoop!
I think my favorite thing about clockwatching's work is that she does these little snapshots of a character's life, but manages to pack so much into so little.
From Mind Games (in Johanna's POV):
With slow steps, I head towards the exit. Three more steps, two more, one last step… I look behind me, making sure no one is watching, then reach for the handle and quickly jump out. Well, that was the goal anyway. Instead I jump straight into Mr. Odair.
"Why, hello there," he smirks.
I narrow my eyes. He still looks at me amused, as if I'm a small child, not close in age. I realize that was the main reason I was looking for him in the first place, because he's close in age. The victor of last year won at age eighteen, the one before that, seventeen. They're not that much older, so I don't understand why I don't care for them.
Well, I don't care for anybody.
But Finnick Odair. He's different.
Perhaps it's the way he thinks he's so perfect. So irresistible. His bronze-colored hair, golden skin, and green eyes probably don't help diminish his ego, either. I think that's why I am so interested in him. The one person who is probably worse than me, or at least a close second. I can despise him without being a hypocrite.
This doesn't help my glare at all, and I can feel my eyes soften for a moment. Finnick looks at me more seriously then, and I can't tell which emotion of mine is stronger right now; the anger for letting my guard down, or the fact that Finnick can be serious.
"Need to escape?" he asks me quietly. "Follow me."
Although Johanna's not my favorite character in the series, I just love reading character pieces on her. Her attitude is so complex, and I love it. Mind Games is a series of snapshots involving Finnick and Johanna, and it's one of the best portrayals of their friendship that I've seen.
montreal-girl's specialty seems to be oneshots exploring character depth, but she's still relatively knew to the site, so I'm excited to see what she comes up with in the future.
She's the last one to see him and has to watch his family go in and out of the room before they finally say it's her turn. He doesn't look at her right away, and she doesn't even think he notices she's there until she's standing next to him and he says her name.
"Don't say goodbye, Finn," She says, but he shakes his head.
"You know I might not come back, Annie." His words scare her, so to silence him she throws her arms around his waist.
"You're my best friend," she whispers against his chest. He hesitates at first, but eventually gives in and they stand there until the Peacekeeper opens the door and announces that her three minutes are up. She's walking out the door when he says it.
She turns around to glare at him for it, but he already has his back to her so she says nothing.
In my headcanon for them (I write Finnick fanfiction), they don't meet this early, but it really doesn't matter. She just gets these characters, especially Finnick and Annie, and it just rips your heart apart in all the right ways.
Few can write the true brokenness of a victor like SabaceanBabe. It's pretty much agreed that every victor has PTSD in some form, as manifested through nightmares, flashbacks, etc. She explores all the other parts though, the symptoms of atypical depression which usually accompany PTSD, the desperate attempts at coping, often in self-destructive ways, the emotional confusion...
From I Want My Innocence Back:
Again, Finnick laughs. "That's one interpretation." He doesn't even think about it when he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the frayed piece of rope, begins to work knots that have slipped into muscle memory, he's done them so often these past few months.
Snow smiles, an ugly and broken thing. There is blood between his teeth, limning them in red, outlining his gums in crimson and Finnick shudders. "What do you want, beautiful boy? Did you come here simply to see me brought low?"
Still working knots, Finnick circles Snow. He can't stop moving; if he stops moving, he might shatter. "What I want, you can't give me." He circles and circles, his gaze fixed on Snow, the white hair, the mottled skin absent makeup, the dark suit with a perfect white rosebud in the lapel. He stops in front of him, looks down. "I want my innocence back. Mine and Annie's and Johanna's and Katniss' and Peeta's. I want the lives you've stolen from us and from all the other innocents you've harmed." He leans down, his hands heavy on Snow's wrists and whispers, "I want my pride, my self-respect back, but I'll settle for your miserable life."This story just rips me apart. Literally. It's intense in the sense of captured Snow et cetera, et cetera, but also Finnick is transparently broken in a way that we don't usually see, and it's written SO beautifully, my word.
I just realized that all these excerpts have Finnick in them >.< What can I say, I love him. I promise all these authors write other characters though if he's not your cup of tea.
Please check out our Winter Authors of the Month: clockwatching, montreal-girl, and SabaceanBabe!