Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Importance of the Re-Write!: Part 2

Part 2: Otter and Bubble Transportation

Image #5: I always knew I wanted a character to sidekick and assist in Bobby's bubble adventure. I thought, "If I had a loner/bully character who joins in on Bobby's adventure, they would become the best of friends."  So I originally created Otter as the nosy, spying and pesty kid, (who looks somewhat like Curly from the Three Stooges.)

But I started to find that the story was already getting too wordy. I had Otter always in the backgrounds, occasionally making snide comments and snooping around to see what was happening. The transition of them being strangers and then suddenly best friends was a bit too abrupt. Because of the limited pages, I gave up on having the two eventually become friends -- instead, I just had them as friends from the start. This made it so much easier and it actually allowed me to add two more pages of the boys' with their crazy gumball activities.
(FYI: Those four pages are my favorite part of the book.)

Image #5: Otter getting closer but still casually strolling by the crate . . .  

 Image #6 : Having Otter become the best friend freed up a lot of explaining.  It also allowed me to use Otter's reactions to focus of what was happening on each page. But most important, Bobby needed someone to assist him moving that giant bubble around. My original writing simply had them head to the hills in the park. No interactions with the townspeople at all (not at all like the book today.) 
This part of the story always annoyed me; just running the huge bubblegum bubble to the hills was boring. So I did a fourth re-write -- and then it came to me. I would have Bobby go to several locations, each one stating that Bobby could no longer stay because his bubble was getting too big. (This was the biggest change I made from the original story and it makes me so happy to see that the alternative idea worked so well.)
Image #6: Headin' fer them thar hills!

Image #7: Now moving the bubble from place to place was crucial to help show the overall size of the bubble and how much it was growing. To help emphasize the massive size, I would start to have them struggle with controlling and moving the bubble, especially uphill.
Image #7: The struggle of moving the world biggest bubblegum bubble uphill.

Image #8: I knew how I wanted the story to end, but how to get there wasn't easy. In the original story, they make it to the top of the hill -- and then a gust of wind takes it away.

Image #8: A similar image is used in the book, except the boys don't lose the bubble -- yet!

Image #9: This page was totally left out. It was always the weakest part of the book to me.  But it was my only solution at the time. I can safely say that the story has gotten considerably better because of the rewrites. It's important to step back from your work, give it a rest and then approach I again with new eyes.
Image 9: Chasing after the floating giant bubblegum bubble heading towards the town

Tomorrow I will try to cover and explain . . . (shudder) . . . the original ending. 

\(Warning: spoilers abound. I will be revealing how the book ends!)