Friday, March 21, 2008

Day Five: The Question Nobody Asks

As writers, we get asked a lot of strange off the wall questions. Questions you couldn’t possibly be prepared for. But sometimes you have an answer to a question you think someone is going to ask… but no one does. Here is Elizabeth’s:

The thing no one has asked me yet (but it’s still early days) is what my favorite line in the book is. I’ve been asked what my favorite scene to write was, but that’s not quite the same thing.

And I can’t exactly answer without spoilers, but I will say that it’s in the very last chapter, and it’s the last thing Charlotte says about Uncle Wheeler.

In a rare-for-me feat of conciseness, it sums up the theme of the entire novel in three words. It reverses everything we’ve been led to think about one character. It puts the final “finished and ready to send” seal on Charlotte’s character growth for the story. And it makes me tear up, every time I read it (sniff).

I knew that Charlotte had to say it, but it wasn’t easy finessing the sentence into the scene. It went through a lot of permutations, most of them pretty awkward. I had to scale it back considerably, tweak Rosie’s lead-in line repeatedly, and finally trust that in that instance, less really was more. And now, when I stand back and look at it objectively, I do really think I nailed it. And I’m pretty darn proud of that!

Of course, maybe nobody else noticed it, but it’s still my favorite line. And since I’m the one who had to slave over them all, I think I deserve one!


Kim said...

I noticed! I noticed! I liked that line too :-)

Erin said...

*rushes to book to check*

Oooh. That whole last Uncle Wheeler scene is powerful.

Anonymous said...

It's a great line - I noticed it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I just wanted to swing by and send up a big ol' THANKS, EVERYBODY! for stopping by this week and cheering me on.