First sentence (and a half): After winning the Newbery Honor, Bloomsbury made prints of the cover art with a quote from the book to give to the Newbery committee members. The quote was the first sentence and a half of this chapter. I didn’t pick the quote, but I thought it was a nice one. I wonder if every publisher gives gifts to the committee after winning and what their gifts were.
Page 63: I like that phrase “the agitation of his nearness” and “Feeling herself lean to him as she would to warm herself at a fire.” Some phrases come whole and perfect in the first draft (rare). Some I worry over again and again and again every draft until they’re right. Some I steal from myself. The latter I’d written for Enna Burning, cut for some reason, but remembered because I liked it and reused it here.
page 64: Miri makes a decision--scholarship over friendship. Was it the right choice for her? What would you choose?
Tales: Reading for pleasure taught her how to decode words on a page, and soon she found she could read anything with confidence. Smells like a bit of personal philosophy peering through.
Friends: Such a dangerous endeavor! There are still times in my adult life when I feel lost, unsure what to say and what not to say, never knowing if I’m wanted around or simply tolerated. And how much more I felt that way when I was young. What Miri needs, I think, is a true friend she can relax with and trust, who honestly likes her. What a relief that would be. I hope she finds one soon...
Mary and Amy both asked about outlining: When I came up with the idea for this story, I wrote it down. ALWAYS WRITE DOWN IDEAS or they go away. As more ideas came to me--scenes, characters, images--I wrote them down. I did this for a couple of years. When I'd finished Enna Burning and was ready to start a new book, I went to my file of Princess Academy ideas and orgainized them more-or-less chronologically. I then began to write from that loose outline, discovering many un-outlined things as I wrote and sometimes tossing out bits from the outline if they no longer mattered. I don't think there'd be any way for me to outline each chapter and write a book accordingly. I change far too much during rewrites. No chapter is intact from first to final.
Heather asks, "How do you hear the characters names pronounced in your head?" I hear them different ways. I'm not particular. As a reader, I'm visual. I look at the way the name looks more than how it sounds. I'm reading a book right now that has two male characters with four letter "D" names and they are interchangable to me. I honestly pronounce Katar in three different ways.
If I missed your question feel free to reask. We'll be back on Monday with chapter 6!