Pg 184: "Her mind and heart tangled." What Miri believes she knows and what she years for at sometimes not the same. How often I've felt this way about so many things.
Miri cheats: This part of the story is one I've been criticized for. Miri can pass the test on her own, but she helps the other girls cheat. There are no negative outcomes in the story for her actions here. Does it seem as if I'm promoting dishonesty? Were Miri's actions wrong? Is it okay to have a main character do something wrong and not be punished for it? Why did Miri do what she did? Given Olana's actions, could you justify Miri's?
I have some personal opinions in this matter that may not be relevant. But I'll say this much: the ability to memorize the years of a certain war are not the best criteria for selecting a princess.
Katar: A character is what they do and say. When writing, if a character is feeling weak, examine their relationships with the other characters. Relationships are the key to character strengthening. My characters feel quite flat to me in a first draft. I have to see them act, hear them speak, allow them to form relationships in order to understand them. Katar is one who grew. Miri had never wondered why Katar was the way she was before. Perhaps that's a failing on her part. This scene was not in the first draft, but now it feels essential.
"All her life she had seen herself as the only lonesome thing in the world": I love Miri, I identify with her, and I can say I think her personal doubts and sadness made her self-centered in many ways. She looked inward so often, she missed noticing the struggles of those around her. I think this encounter with Katar will change how she sees other people forever. I think we all need these encounters to give us more empathy. What a gift it can be with others entrust to us their vulnerabilities.
Weekend. Family time. I'll get to questions tomorrow. Thanks for staying on this journey with me!