Part Two: Warrior: Like Goose Girl, Enna is split into parts, though four instead of three. I have them in my robust outline (the one that I made as I worked, more in detail than my original). I felt the story arranging itself into these parts and wanted to call that out with the part names Sister, Warrior, Prisoner, and Friend.
Lyrical language: When Goose Girl came out, several reviews praised its "lyrical language." I was finishing up Enna Burning at the time and the reviews made me nervous. Somehow I had managed to write lyrical language in Goose Girl and people would expect that in Enna Burning too. But I didn't think this book was lyrical and was sure everyone would be disappointed. Reading this chapter, I think I was always a lyrical writer and just didn't know it till the reviewers said it.
Fire: I spent so much time thinking about fire, observing it, reading about it, watching flames. After writing Goose Girl, I thought I knew what fire-speaking would be, but not till I was writing the story did I have to really work it out in detail and understand. I like to be able to believe that whatever is magical in my books is actually possible.
Enna & Isi: I hope everyone has a friend like Enna at their side.
Recently I read an article that bemoaned the lack of female friendships in YA literature. I thought through all my books and couldn't come up with one that didn't have at least one strong female friendship, as well as male friendships and female/male friendships. I didn't do this intentionally. I hadn't thought about it before, but clearly friendship must be important to me.
Enna's fire-speaking: I'm curious, in this chapter are you rooting for Enna to give in and embrace the fire-speaking or are you rooting for her to resist it?
The Tiran tent: Whew! That was exciting. I'd forgotten about that scene. I liked it when she booted the soldier in the head. Does that make me bad?
Eliza says, "One time I told my brother to read a story of mine "until you get bored". Forty nine pages in, he handed it back. "I'm bored now." I read over that page and realized he'd stopped at the first death scene. Gasp! What was I thinking, letting my sweet eleven year old brother read a book with a gory decapitation scene? When I asked him why he stopped, he told me, "Only one person dies in the first fifty pages. Usually someone dies in the prologue."" When adults worry about too much violence in children's books, I appreciate their concerns. I'm not a fan of violence. But I also think children read stories differently than adults with experience. They don't visualize the violence. It doesn't enter them. Books are gentler that way than movies. Our minds only show us what we already understand.
Carlie says, "I gave birth to my first baby six months ago, and I can't now read certain things without becoming emotionally invested (and often crying). My husband has suggested I stop reading the news. (And why did I think it was a good idea to reread "Walk Two Moons"?)" Yeah, I'm the same. Much more sensitive after children. Any child that gets hurt is my own.
Anna asks, "What was your favorite part about writing Enna Burning?" Honestly? The burning. It was fun to find the words for it. Also the relationships: Enna with Isi, Finn, and Razo.
Audrey says, "Finn is a wonderful character and I love how he's one of the Forest Born shown to understand what a battle means. The contrast between him and the younger boys playing at swords is stark; I can only imagine what sort of things were going through his mind during this chapter." Yeah, those boys playing swords before their first battle kinda killed me, but it also felt so true. Thanks about Finn. As a writer, I should be able to write the entire novel from any of the character's POVs. I should understand all the characters enough that the reader can guess what the others are thinking, imagine their internal story, even if I don't reveal it.