LESSON #10 IN REVISION
Chapter Two of the 2005 version of THE PRINCESS AND THE HOUND begins with George’s mother’s death by a boar, and George goes out into the forest soon afterwards and confronts a boar. My editor felt that the reader needed still a better sense of his relationship with his mother and possibly a chance for George to learn more about magic from her, since she is his only source of information for pretty much the entire book. (And thus also the reader’s only source of information).
One snippet I added to show the queen’s relationship to the king, and to soften the reader’s perception of the king later on in the novel. For me, it’s always useful to show how a person sees himself in his own mind, compared to his experiences, and though King Davit isn’t one to judge himself so liberally, his wife is:
“I think that I admire him most of all for his fairness to all. He does not make summary judgments as his father did. At the beginning of his reign some saw him as weak, but he has never been that.” Her voice was fierce. “He is so deep to himself that I sometimes wonder if I will ever come to the end of him.”
But George did not like to hear about how much his mother loved his father. He wanted her only to love him. And perhaps horses and other animals, as he did, but no more than that.
The other story I added starts at first as a story about a young girl whose father is a traveling veterinarian of sorts, but it turns out to also be the story of her childhood and the death of her father. I think it is very effective at making the reader care more about her as a character and at the same time telling about the back story of the novel, the climate of the kingdom regarding animal magic.
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