I’m so sorry I took so long! I completely understand if you’ve moved on and don’t want this anymore, but for the sake of promise-keeping I’m going to answer anyway. 🙂
So, this is more of a writing tip than a structuring tip, but make sure that you show the characters and theme developing instead of just showing it. I could see a potential temptation to have them sitting and chatting during bible study, and again when Jade is laying out the problems involved in rebellion–long conversations tend to bore readers. I think your idea of how to introduce characters is really good, though!
Could Mr. Nightingale get natural gas? Idk how you’d store/transport it, but it does burn.
False victory, joy New mindset works when Jade starts to worry about her mom (though God gave her a very forcible reminder!). Jade the proud actually apologizes to Finch and works harder at her weak spots. This results in her becoming the prima ballerina. She’s overall a happier person. Instead of pushing Rosemary and Tray to change who they are for their “safety,” she talks about their qualities in front of the teachers in a way that would help her friends.
I’m not totally sure what her new mindset is, but this is going really well! (You don’t need to tell me what it is unless you want to.)
Relations between Mara and her old friends are now strained,
I feel like it would be downright shattered between Jade and Mara, after what Mara did to Jade’s dad. That could even set up some good things for the next book. If you build Jade’s feelings into hatred for Mara, that could serve as a subplot/undercurrent for the rest of this book, and be brought to a head and resolved in the next book! (I’m getting excited and writing your story for you, lol).
She must give up something. Maybe her obsession w/ protecting everyone? Control?
Control is a good one. I don’t how fearful of a character you’ve made her, but she could give up her fear. Or, conversely, she could actually and finally give up her pride here. But I prefer control. I think that’s a really cohesive sacrifice.
That could be a good set up for stage fright, but instead she conquers this by what she learned from the theme and dances for God in defiance to him.
Ooh, ooh! If fear is a character trait, this is a fabulous moment and could be what the entire book is working toward. Now, when she is scared for herself as well as all her friends, she gives it up once and for all…or something. (Fear is my default character flaw, as it is something I struggle with a lot.) If you decide to go with pride or control for what she sacrifices, I would advise that you have her actually give it up in a real, physical way. (Such as at this performance, the way I was talking about her giving up fear.) If there is some way that dancing for the big baddie can be a chance for her to overcome pride or release control, then make the most of it. That way we see the quieter, mental resolve/sacrifice in the plane, and the real test of her resolve and her sacrifice acted out. (Hope this is making sense!).
Isaias tells her about all
nit-picky writing advice again, but make sure this isn’t an information dump. I imagine it would be fairly easy for Jade to see those horrible things, their effects, aftermath, or destruction, as well as have Isaias tell her.
Sorry again this is so late. Let me know if you need anything else–what you’ve got here is really good! Good luck and happy writing!
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"