I think every writer has a few lines or passages that they are especially attached to, those “darlings” that managed to stay in the manuscript. In creating this list, I realized that I love most of my favorite passages not because they were particularly well written or poetic, but because they captured a character or a moment in a way that made everything fall into place for me as a writer. I also realized that some of them contain spoilers, so I’ve tried to limit this list to quotes that don’t give too much away. Occasionally, I have hidden the identity of one of the speakers in the quotes from Gold, so as not to spoil some things that happen in Silver. The last caveat- all are subject to change on final publication.
“So you’re saying I’m a slut?” Probably true at this point, but no way I’m going to stand for Joe insulting me in my own car. It’s bad enough that I’m never going to get the hair gel off the ceiling.
– Brianna Paxton, Silver
I loved this moment because it made me laugh when I wrote it. I had no idea Joe was so tall until he folded himself into Brianna’s compact car, and his pompadour smashed against the ceiling.
I don’t mention the fact that I got kicked out of my dojo. I never understood that one. What was the point of teaching someone how to take out a knee if you weren’t actually allowed to do it?
_ -Berry Fields, Spies and Prejudice
Berry is describing an incident in sixth grade where she beat up a boy who was harassing her best friend. It’s a small piece of backstory that helped me understand Berry’s voice and personality.
His breath comes harder as his hand finds the bare skin of my thigh. “Do you want me to make you forget him?”
“Yes,” I say, though I barely remember who it is I’m supposed to be forgetting.
– Brianna Paxton and [???], Gold
This moment came as a complete surprise to me. The scene revealed so much about these two characters, and the guy in particular. It was supposed to be a romantic scene, and it was, but it was also a scene full of raw emotion that I wasn’t expecting.
Tanner’s voice is low and warm next to my ear. “You know I can hear you, right? I’m standing right here.”
I clutch the latte to my chest, creating a makeshift shield. “So you are. What’s the matter? Yogurt not your thing?”
“Something like that.” He starts to smile. “You think I’m hot?”
“You think you’re hot. There’s a difference.”
-Berry Fields and Tanner Halston, Spies and Prejudice.
This moment really captured the push and pull of Berry and Tanner’s relationship for me. Berry deliberately pushes him away because of her dislike of him, but there is an undercurrent of attraction too.
5 Sparks of silver illuminate the green in his eyes. “I know you, Brianna. Not just what you are. Who you are. If you come after me, you’ll have a damn good reason for it.”
- Blake Williams, Silver.
I love that Blake doesn’t sugarcoat the danger Brianna poses, but still wants to trust her on some level, even when she can’t trust herself.
I laugh with him. “You know for an evil killer, you’re kind of fun to hang out with.”
“I could say the same thing about you.”
-Brianna Paxton and [???], Gold
This exchange was fun, because Brianna needs a friend so badly at this moment in the story. I loved that she found one in such an unexpected place.
The school day drags by in a haze of distraction. I try to look forward to my A.P. biology and calculus classes, where everything will have an explanation. A right answer. When I was kicked out of middle school and put on independent study, math and science were my only friends. They helped me make sense of the world again. Today, they’re no help. There’s no comfort in the Pythagorean Theorem, no solace in the Punnett square.
‑Brianna Paxton, Silver
This passage is one of my favorites because Brianna’s ability to shut out the things she can’t explain is slipping. It’s the moment in the story when Brianna can no longer hide from who she is.
So those are some of my favorite quotes from my manuscripts. At least for today.