Unblocking the dam

I can’t say I’ve made much progress on my repurposing draft what with a million other things on my to do list this week, but this is the gist of what I’d like to do:

My mother, like many, has the annoying habit of saving artifacts from my and my brothers’ childhoods so we can look back on what we created and feel embarrassed more than anything else. Hidden away in my basement with many other childhood creations was a notebook of stories that my best friend, Allie, and I wrote when we were in elementary school. One, titled “The Best Day Ever,” (very original) became the inspiration for my repurposing project. I decided to develop the story and turn it into a storyboard for a children’s book. The idea of creating a storyboard, much less a children’s book, is incredibly daunting. I’ve never tried my hand at creative writing before.  My imagination has always seemed limited to me; the creative juices just don’t flow naturally. But I’m determined to break down the dam and create an entertaining piece of creative writing.

In “The Best Day Ever,” Allison and Christina live on the beach in Florida with their three dolphins. The dolphins live in an indoor/outdoor pool with a secret door that lets them swim inside when it rains. Christina and Allison have trained the dolphins and put on shows for the public. So what I now need to decide is what stays and what goes. And what needs to be added? How do I develop what I have into a real story? What should the plot be? I have made the not-so-difficult decision to cut out the page-long description of spaghetti dinner at my grandparents house, pictured below:

A page out of the notebook that describes dinner

And with the help of my blog group, I decided to add a villain in order to create conflict within the story. The villain will be much like the creepy clown in AirBud who tried to steal the golden retriever. My villain will try to steal the dolphins, and possibly succeed (to be determined). Still, there are other aspects of the plot that need to be developed. And real characters that need to be created. How do I construct characters in such a short and simple text like a children’s book?



4 thoughts to “Unblocking the dam”

  1. Christina – sounds like you definitely have more clarity on the plot of your story then you did on Thursday (probably a good call to nix the spaghetti storyline). I’m glad you decided to add a villain into the mix, it should make the story more entertaining and fun to read. Any more thought to talking dolphins??? As far as creating characters, I’ve found it often helps to base characters off real people in your life or another character you want yo be similar to yours. So, you could maybe base the main character off your 10 year-old self or a younger sibling or cousin. That might make it easier than developing an entirely new character without any basis. Look forward to seeing what you come out with!

  2. I agree with Jeff’s comment about creating characters based off the image of your 10-year-old self. Above all else, I would suggest keeping your characters simple and adorably innocent in the way only children can be. Give your audience of children someone to relate to, and I’m sure they’ll be intrigued with such a hilarious story!

  3. I think it’s really cool that you’re using a story you wrote as a kid for your repurposing project! My mom also saved a lot of my old writing so I briefly considered doing a similar project. I agree that adding a villain to your plotline is a good idea and will definitely help turn your original idea into a “real story” with a purpose and direction. Even though you’re creating a storyboard rather than a full story, sometimes it helps to just start writing and see how the characters develop and where the story line goes. Afterward you can go back and identify important moments in the plot that happened naturally in the course of your writing. I agree with Jeff and Brie about the characters—basing them off of real people of the appropriate age will make them realistic and relatable for the audience. I can’t wait to see where you end up taking this project!

  4. I was waiting to hear about what topic you were going to choose!!! Between our last blog group, you and Annie, did not know what exactly you guys want to do for this topic, so I am happy to see that you were able to roll with your original idea of using materials from your youth. I am happy to see that you were able to get into a group that provided you help in creating an idea of the type of genre you will be doing. I cannot wait to see how the children’s book turns out! Will you be including art? that would definitely be a cool effect– except the clown can be hard to draw all scary. Either ways I think you can illustrate the children book’s characters by using the simple description words because children will know scary but not like frightening (well depending on the age group you are targeting).

    But I hope to see how it ends up!!

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