A friend just texted me that while at girls' camp this week sitting around the campfire, on at least two occasions she heard girls mention Enna Burning. I spent a lot of time watching fire, finding new ways to describe it. I remember writing in Princess Academy after finishing this book in which there was a bonfire and I automatically started to delve into the description, giving the fire a gravitas that the scene didn't require before catching myself.
Hesel: I like her name. I always wished she could be a bigger character so I could write her name more.
Enna's rules: This was an important point in the story for me. The augury is a catalyst for her action. But she defines rules for herself to keep from going too far. Will she be able to keep them?
Alone outside on a winter night: There is something so poetic about this situation to me, transcendental even. Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. That feeling of life and stillness, wonder in being somewhere inhospitable and the danger of it too. Magical, silent.
Enna burns: I can't help but read this book like an author, examining my choices, and so far I approve. (that's a relief) I see this chapter as an essential step in the story's and Enna's arc. It's hard for me sometimes to risk analyzing the book, explaining each choice and why it had to happen, but I don't want to go down that rabbit hole.
This chapter was getting so dark...and then Razo! Hooray for Razo! He brings hope, a laugh, and a companion. Even the darkest books need moments of victory, some reason for the reader to hope, to care.
Catherine asks, "I've always found Enna and Finn an interesting pair, because they are so different. You mentioned before that in an earlier draft Enna was already married. Was she married to Finn or someone else? What made you bring Enna and Finn together? Was it always going to be that way?" I can't remember. There was the beginnings of something between Enna and Finn in The Goose Girl, but the note I had about Enna being married I made before I'd ever written a final draft of Goose Girl, and before it sold as young adult book. I never wrote a draft with her married, it was just a note in an outline.
Lindsey asks, "at the beginning of the chapter we learn that unlike Enna and the rest of Bayern, Isi does not necessarily believe that the augury will determine the outcome of the war. Although Enna points out that such things might only have power in Bayern. Do you believe that, within the bounds of Bayern, the augury really does have magical powers over the outcome of the war? Or is it just an old superstition, which by some fluke may or may not prove to be accurate (maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of thing)?" I purposefully didn't decide. I thought as the narrator I had to remain impartial. I know that Enna believed it and Isi did not, and I would not pick sides. Maybe that sounds silly but I made a real effort to keep myself from deciding what was true.
I really appreciate all your comments! Thank you! What wonderful readers you are to write for.