So here's my story! Its changed a fair bit after several idea revisions, but here is a complete MS.
In working through some plot points, I now have a theme for the story, which is:
'Remember who you are'
This relates to at least 2 of the characters in the story and hopefully ties things together somehow. The bracketed text is illustration notes.
I'd love to hear what you think of it!
Jessie's Maiden Voyage
(The sun is beating down on a rickety seafood cafe by the beach. A tired looking man is just about to hang a 'closed' sign on the door.)
"No customers again... We may have to close for good!"
(A girl is sitting on the floor drawing a treasure map. A book about training dogs lies next to her.)
"If only you found some real treasure Jessie! Then maybe we could paint the cafe, make it look nice again... And I could finally get you a puppy!"
(A huge ship sails into the dock.)
"Get to work Jessie! Looks like some very hungry guests have arrived! This is our big chance!!"
(Jessie dashes here and there carrying plates of food.)
"One seaweed sandwich over here, sweetheart! "
"Sharks eggs on toast!!"
"Squid burger for table 6!!"
(She struggles under the weight of a huge plate of tentacles.)
(The whole cafe laughs as she lays on the floor covered in tentacles. Dad looks very embarrassed. )
(She runs off and hides under a jetty.)
"I'd rather be anywhere than this stupid little island! "
(A voice from above whispers:)
"Hey there little girl, how would you like to go on a real adventure?! "
(A pirate is hanging off a rising anchor just above her head.)
"You'll have to choose quickly, we're about to set sail!"
(Jessie looks back at the cafe. Then she clings tightly to the anchor as it ridea up to the deck.)
Jessie was on a REAL pirate ship!!
"This way!" said the pirate.
(The pirate ushers her to the captain. Jessie notices the anchor is attached to the tail of a huge, nervous-looking tiger wearing a cute collar. A big pirate is roughly pulling up the tiger's tail like a rope.)
"Ahaaar! Welcome aboard young lady, welcome aboard! The captain said, "We have a very important job for you, you're going to help us catch the giant golden dog fish, isn't that right lads?! "
"Aye captain!! " they replied.
(The ships cook brings out lots of food. Jessie stuffs herself full of chicken, cakes and ice cream)
(The crew is singing a shanty about the giant dogfish)
"Yo ho, there he goes,
He's got sharp teeth and a shiny nose,
And where he comes from no one knows - WOOF, WOOF, WOOF!
Yo ho, hear him come,
He'll gobble up children just for fun,
He makes us pirates cry for mom - WOOF, WOOF WOOF!"
"Yo ho, away from here!
We'll catch that dogfish by his ear,
And we'll be Rich! What's that I hear? - WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! "
"You'll make a tasty meal..I mean did enjoy your tasty meal?" The captain corrected himself.
(Jessies mouth is too full of cake to answer).
(The captain takes Jessie down below to the dark hold).
"Get some rest sweetheart, you'll need it! You can sleep next to that useless kitty cat. Har har haaar!"
(The tiger sits alone in the corner.)
Jessie frowned. "Hey, What are you doing in my room? I'm a very important person on this voyage you know!"
(Tiger says nothing)
"Hmm... I don't think you are just a kitty cat... But what kind of cat are you? Maybe a cheetah, or a lion?"
(The tiger looks at her, puzzled).
"Well whatever you are, you do have lovely warm fur."
(Jessie snuggles up to him and goes to sleep. The tiger gives a tiny smile.)
(Jessie is having a scary dream about sea monsters. )
(The captain has loudly opened the hatch.)
"Now then where's my special girl? And get up here too, you mangy cat!"
(Jessie fumbles up the ladder followed by the tiger).
"Now my brave young thing" said the captain, "You're going fishing! Here!"
(He hands her a tiny fishing rod with a little maggot on the end. Then a big pirate ties her to the anchor on the Tigers tail, and begins lowering her downwards towards the water.)
"Good luck sweetheart!!" Laughed the captain.
Jessie started feeling nervous. The waves looked rough. A strong wind blew her from side to side. Then all of a sudden a whirlpool started to form directly underneath her.
"Har har this is it lads!!" yelled the captain, "we've found the giant dogfish at last! we'll be rich! Rich I tell you! "
Jessie knew something was very wrong. But then she remembered something.
"A tiger!! You're a TIGER!!"
'I'm.... a .... TIGER!'
(The tiger lets out a loud roar and rips off his collar. The Pirates back off in surprise.
He hoists his tail up and Jessie jumps onto his shoulders.
He charges the Pirates with his anchor raised high above his head. They are so terrified they climb high up the rigging.
Jessie nuzzles tiger happily)
"WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!"
(The ship rocks violently. )
(A huge tentacle like thing shoots up and tears chunks of the ship away. Barrels and bits of wood whiz everywhere. Jessie and tiger climb up towards the crows nest. Jessie can see the giant dog fish below. Then it sees them. It rises up and heads straight for them!)
(Just before it reaches them, Jessie yells: )
The monster paused. It's dinner had never spoken to it before.
"SIT!" shouted Jessie.
(With a whoooosh the dogfish spirals underwater, before coming up again with its tongue hanging out. The tongue is covered in gold and jewels.)
"Whooooah take a look at that!" says Jessie.
(The ship is sinking further as Jessie and tiger jump onto the dogfish's head.)
"Now we can afford to fix up the cafe!
Dad won't believe what I've been up to!"
(Jessie waves to the pirates clinging to pieces of wood in the water. She pats the head of the dogfish)
"Good boy. HOME!!"
(The three friends swim off into the sunset).
Jessie discovers that the life of an adventurer on the high seas isn't quite what she hoped for when she runs away from her boring island home.
When she is kidnapped by pirates, she finds help from an unusual passenger aboard their ship, but something worse than kidnappers lurks beneath the salty waves...!
My story idea has changed a LOT since I first thought of it (over a year ago!) and could still change a fair bit. However I hope it will help to get something written down at least.
The following is now OLD (I've left it in for progression's sake):
Here is my story overview. The colours represent the emotional intensity. I haven't written out my ms yet, but this hopefully gives an idea where it's going:
I'd appreciate your feedback!
Hi there picture book class!
Unit 1: Exploring Picture Book History
What type of picture book you plan on writing
I want to write and illustrate a fun, adventurous picture book for children aged between 3 and 6. I want the main characters to have interesting flaws that are essential to the development of the plot. I aim to keep the overall plot simple, but make it interesting through the interactions of the main players. At this stage, I don't plan on it being anything other than a fun story, but this may change.
My example of a good story is a classic, sorry if its a boring choice. The reason I like Where the Wild Things Are is that it has honest, flawed and very human characters, and a dream like mysterious setting. I also like that much of it is left to the reader to think about. I've no idea if I can achieve all this but at least I want to create believable, relatable characters.
The art style I want to achieve will be bold and recognisable, therefore the characters will be based on clear shapes and silhouettes, and have colours that complement each other in a character line up. However I also aim to have a hand drawn feel to the book, as I feel the charm this style brings will be essential to the life and believability of the characters.
An example of an art style I like:
Do Not Enter the Monster Zoo. Whimsical lines and loose, bold colouring make this a pleasure to read. However the character designs are actually very tight and distinctive.
Unit 2: Deconstructing Picture Book Anatomy
Descriptions of any of the structural details
This is where I will need to put in a load of work. I need to learn how to make the images flow through the book, and Christine's breakdown of image types will be really useful here.
I will post a premise and some more progress soon, thanks for stopping by!