When writing any book, I always cut more than I keep. I just have to go through a lot of sentences, try out a lot of ideas, before discovering what works just right. Sometimes what I cut I really like but doesn't work for the best of the story. In this case, Dean and I adored the Epilogue to The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party. It made us laugh. But we cut it for two reasons.
1. Originally we didn't have a chapter about Frimplepants in book 2, but we decided to add one in order to introduce him again. New readers might not yet be familiar with him. And besides, I just never tire of saying the name Frimplepants. Adding the new chapter 2 also added several pages. We want to be mindful of page count. The more pages, the longer the book for young readers and their parents, the more illustrations LeUyen must complete, and the more expensive for the publisher to print it. This book was already longer than the first, so we had to watch that page count!
2. It was nice to end the story in the celebratory moment with Princess Magnolia and all the princesses enjoying the party. Cutting away to Monster Land after that was funny but also anti-climactic.
But at the least, I'll post it here. It might be fun to read it with a young PIB reader and help them understand a little bit about the process of writing and editing a book. This epilogue would also be a good one to discuss in terms of reading comprehension and inference.
The pink monster could not get out of that goat pasture fast enough. It was good to be back in Monster Land. No shiny sunlight. No unpleasantly fresh air. No yelling princesses.
The pink monster put its clawed hands in its pockets. It went for a stroll.
A slimy monster was heading toward the hole. It had its nose in the air. It was taking in the smell of goats.
The pink monster put out a clawed hand to stop it.
“ROOAARR!” it said.
That meant, “No goat hunting today, my slimy friend. Things are awkward up there. It’s the Princess in Black’s birthday, you see. I wouldn’t dare go up without a gift.”
The slimy monster said, “ROOAAARRR.”
That meant, “Thank you for the warning. You have been most helpful.”
The slimy monster turned away from the hole. It went home.
It wrapped a gift.
Hopefully the Princess in Black liked toenail clippings.