Oh the Irony

So after all that procrastinating Monday I bet you think I just couldn’t handle the pressure of revealing more on my WIP yesterday. But actually, I couldn’t find the original written draft. I guess that’s what I get for tearing it out of the notebook.

Or maybe not because you won’t believe what I did find? The lost pages from the other project that I’d been looking for back in January when I stumbled on Le Cirque.

I love me some good irony.

Anyway, I did find a version of the first page of Le Cirque in the same notebook as the lost pages. Super weird, I know, but I keep at least half a dozen notebooks around at all times and I don’t discriminate when an idea pounces on me, so each one is an eclectic mix of randomness.

So I haven’t worked on a pitch line or anything because I don’t plan to submit this particular work to a publisher but for clarity before we begin:

Sailing Le Cirque is a picture book about a boy named Mario and a visiting circus ship.

As I said in the last post, this book evolved from a line I loved in Game of Thrones (which I marked below with a star).

And evolve it did. I wish I’d kept a record because I tested so many lines in this rhyme scheme and it changed and changed, especially the first stanza.

Anyway so let’s compare.

First Draft

They sail into your dreams
On sails of colored silk*
Through the dreamy mist they glide
And anchor in a sleepy port
The sun will rise and people will see
The colored sails
And the children’s steps will bound with glee
Even adults will work more merrily
For when that day’s work is done
They will all have some fun
Clamor for their tickets
To see the show firsthand
Feelings of excitement rise
At the start of the band.

So here is the current draft roughly to this point:

Current Draft

Work dawns
before day breaks
Mario yawns
Not fully awake

As the sun rises, Mario spies
Patchwork sails as they’re slipping by.

He gives a shout and points them out.
When work is done,
Its time for fun.

Dancing to the port he goes,
Clamoring to see the show.

Different, huh?

So one thing I did was add a character to the story.  The original draft was just about the boat and the show, but after reading and learning about children’s books, it was glaringly obvious that I lacked a kid here.

So in a mid-early draft, Mario appeared, dropped into the action about half way into the story in a few lines that went something like this:

A little boy named Mario
Is in the center seat, front row.
He’s looking ’round to and fro.
He’s counting down to the show.

Those lines are still there (albeit edited) but as I worked on the beginning of the story, trying and tossing stanza after stanza, and finally, painfully, evolving away from the original line about “colorful sails of silk,” I realized that if Mario was to be the main character, then he needed to incite the incident, he needed to see the boat.

The other thing I worked on was the pace. Actually, that’s probably not the proper term, but what I mean is I made sure each stanza had a similar or corresponding number of syllables and that no line had more than ten syllables (although I think there is at least one exception).

Why ten syllables? Because its a kid’s book and longer felt boring.

So that’s my little draft comparison.

Tomorrow, Next time, I will to share the story of a little sketch I mocked up for this book, the weird way I was inspired to draw it, and how it played a part in the continued evolution of Sailing Le Cirque.

What about you? What are you working on and how has it evolved? Tell me about it or leave a link in the comments so I can check it out.

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3 thoughts on “Oh the Irony

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