Allie Visits Matthew at The Academie, Part 2

Amy’s note: I always wondered if this scene actually gave away too much, but I love it nonetheless. The story Allie tells about trying to find her way back to her locker one night in high school and getting totally freaked out is based on my own experience in high school. It’s now almost 20 years since my graduation and yet when I had to return there recently (only the second time I think I’ve been back in all these years),  I saw those old spear-headed wrought iron gates and felt the same terror all over again. I gathered up
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Allie Visits Matthew at The Academie, Part 1

Amy’s note: Now we’re getting into the stuff I really didn’t want to cut. This scene is the set up for one of my favorites of the deleted scenes. I still enjoy this because she tries so hard to outsmart The Academie personnel that treat her so badly, but poor Allie, it’s just not her day. When I called to make the appointment, the woman who scheduled it acted very put off by my request and told me quite curtly that I would have to bring two forms of identification—one a picture ID—and come early to fill out a stack of
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Academie Campus Tour (Matt’s Orientation)

Amy’s note: This scene originally came right after The Academie orientation assembly Allie attended with her family. By the time people began to leave the gymnasium, I had regained my composure, but couldn’t release my anger. The next, and final part of the orientation for families was the tour of the facility. After this, we would have to say goodbye to Matthew so he could finish out the orientation on his own. Since it was my former high school, I was looking forward to the tour, to see how they had changed—and hopefully improved—the place since I left. The tours
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The Orientation Assembly

Amy’s note: There are several things I really liked about this scene and hated to cut, such as the fact that it shows how unconcerned the rest of Allie’s community, let alone country, seemed to be with the new system. I also like that it illustrates how alone she is, and it shows her desire to speak out when no one else will, and you get to see how while she’s an adult, she’s reprimanded like a child (though it pains me even now to read it). I hated to cut this since these are all major themes and issues the
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Matthew Leaves for The Academie, Part 4

Amy’s note: The night of Matthew’s goodbye party I had originally written in a little tiff they get into, reflecting their conflicting ideology and the emotional struggle each was dealing given that their relationship had already changed quite a bit since Allie had gone off to college, and it was about to change more as Matthew was now all but disappearing he went off to The Academie for the next several years. This scene resolves that and was also designed to show how well they get along and how Matt was looking forward to seeing Allie visiting him. This of
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Matthew Leaves for the Academie, Part 3

Amy’s Note: this scene was once part of the second chapter of the book, designed to show just how strict The Academie system was as well as Allie’s confusion at living in a world of values very different from her own. Ultimately, it has quite a bit of ranting in it and the severity of the system could have been illustrated elsewhere in the book, so even if I hadn’t decided to start the story after Allie entered The Academie (a year after this scene took place), there’s a really good chance it still would have been cut. I awoke
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Matthew Leaves for the Academie, Part 2

 Amy’s note: this scene came after Allie’s dad had picked her up from college to bring her home to see Matthew off to his first day at The Academie. As they approached home, it dawned on Allie that they should have been planning a party to see him off. Her dad agrees and she calls home to arrange a throw-together celebration with her mom. Afterward, Allie and her dad head to the grocery store to pick up a cake, card, and party snacks in the few minutes they have before the pizza they ordered would be ready. In the grocery
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Matthew Leaves for The Academie, Part 1

Amy’s note: The original draft of The Academie (before I cut about 50,000 words) began with Allie at college and her brother, Matthew, going off to The Academie. This gave readers an opportunity to see what life was like from the time The Academie began and then experience the horror along with the main character (Allie) when she finds out the program’s been expanded to include her as well, but ultimately it delayed the most interesting part of the story: life from the inside. Here’s a bit of what was cut. (I’ll post it in a series of numbered pieces to keep
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