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readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Guest blog from Megan Whalen Turner

In September, the postergirlz included Megan Whalen Turner's Attolia books on their list of books to recommend alongside Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Megan graced (no pun intended!) us with her presence at Kristin's chat, then wrote up this guest post:

Yikes, the round-up posts at readergirlz reminded me that it was the end of September (where did it go?) and I hadn't collected my thoughts into a blog post about Graceling.

I've been thinking about the question from the live chat: What's your favorite scene?

My pick is the fight between Katsa and Po when she realized that he reads minds. It's so important to the plot and yet so very far from being a plot-coupon because it rings true - Katsa has a good reason to be angry and Po has a good reason to have deceived her - but also because it is so carefully layered. Katsa is angry because Po lied, but also because he has escaped her fate of being wholly defined by her Grace. The cause of the anger is also the seed for the reconciliation when Katsa realizes she too can assert her own identity.

On top of all that, and maybe the reason I like it best . . . Katsa showed that she may be completely clueless about interpersonal relationships, but she's a smart cookie. Po doesn't have to confess, she figures him out.

-- Megan Whalen Turner

10 comments:

Little Willow said...

Here's to smart cookies!

Dia Calhoun said...

I love the term "plot-coupon." I've never heard that before.

Melissa Walker said...

Great observations, Megan. It really is a well layered scene!

Little Willow said...

Dia and everyone: I'm fond of the term MacGuffin due to Hitchcock. :)

Megan said...

Dia,

I love it, too. I don't know who first came up with it, but I've seen it used to describe the pattern-card quest novel where our hero must collect three magical objects (and presumably get a little stamp at each stop) before he can progress to battling the bad guy.

Little Willow said...

A little bit of research uncovered the origin of plot coupon: The Well-Tempered Plot Device by Nick Lowe as featured in Ansible 46, July 1986.

Megan said...

Ah ha! Thank you, Little Willow.

Little Willow said...

De nada. I am Research Girl.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thanks, LW! Seriously.

And now to think on the plot-coupon...

Cara Mengobati Kencing Nanah said...
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