Author Topic: Wooden Faces. A children's story.  (Read 971 times)

Offline Yushu na baka

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Wooden Faces. A children's story.
« on: July 06, 2010, 05:41:24 AM »
Hey folks. So I am working on my book but in the middle of some typings I remembered a story I had thought up
last year for my son. I've NEVER written a children's story and I fear I'm terrible at doing such things, and I'm
by no means an artist so I'll have to find someone who can do the illustrations I am looking for from description.
Anyway before the idea left my head I quickly typed up something rough and I would really like input from
possibly other Children's book writers about where I can improve. I fear it's sort of long for a children's book
but I remember 'The Giving Tree' was pretty long too and I loved that book.
So, here it is. Hope it makes sense.

PS. There's not much imagery because most of the pictures I feel would tell the story. I put small ideas for illustration in it too)




Be nice = P
Wooden Faces


A monster sat in the woods alone and unhappy.
He watched the world pass by its noises and flapping.
He grumbled and groaned for he hated the bump and grind.

"This world too loud" he would rant as he trekked through wood and stream.
You see he didn't like peoples.
He didn't like deers.
He didn't like mices, or chirpers, or grasses, or ribbits.
The monster didn't even like the trees but at least they were quiet.

So he sat in the forest and watched the world go on without him.
And when passersby entered his forest he would sneer.
The monster would jump behind the trees and shake them about.
He would wear them on his font and "Ooga booga booga" chasing the people around.
Of course the people were scared, seeing a monster trees that were really just a mask.
They would run away crying, tears splashing cold cheeks.

"Good," he would say. "I like to be alone." And the monster thought he meant it.
In fact he scared so many people that the forest became empty. Even the animals left because the monster was so grumpy.

The monster wasn't happy that everyone was gone. But he wasn't happy ever, so it made little difference.
He walked alone among the branches and streams, a chilly wind blowing.
And in the air he heard a sound, one he knew he didn't like because something else was making it.
He came towards a small clearing and there in the middle, sitting on the ground, was a fairy.

The fairy was sad, for she cried. Her wing was hurt and she couldn't fly with her friends.
The monster snarled, he didn't like fairies.
He sneaked around to in front of the fairy and grabbed a tree.
"RAWR!" The monster jumped out at the little fairy to scare and spook her.
But the fairy had stopped crying, and stared at the monster without blinking.

The monster peeked around the tree, eager to see her fear.
But she was not scared. In fact when she saw him she smiled.
"Smilings? Not at me!" The monster thought.
He quickly tossed the tree back to the woods and grabbed another.
"BoooooooHoooooo!" The monster wailed through the weeping willow.

Surely this will scare that fairy; the monster snickered silently behind his mask.
And the fairy giggled.
The monster sneered and threw the tree away, putting his hands on his hips.
He got to another tree and put it on his face. He cried a loud shriek, one that made his own skin crawl.
The fairy though, she laughed so hard she fell backwards in the grass, rocking side to side.

The monster was really mad now; he threw the tree and ground his teeth.
He marched over to a big tree and pulled with all his might.
He grabbed the roots and yanked and tugged, the little fairy watched eagerly.
The tree came up from the earth; the monster though had taken a little too big a tree.
He teetered to the left, he stumbled to the right.
He shuffled forward, and tripped backwards. He fell and the great tree fell too.

The fairy roared with laughter, tears coming to her eyes.
The monster jumped up and stomped over to the fairy. She tried to put on a straight face.
He got down right in the fairy's face and stared at her.

(Illustrations, monster making a scary growl face. Monster makes cross eyes face with tongue
sticking out, Monster sticks his tongue out at the fairy)

The little fairy giggled and stood up on the stump, and flittered her hurt wing.
Then the fairy jumped forward and roared, startling the monster. He stood up and took a step back.
The fairy laughed and laughed and rolled on the floor.
The monster grumbled, he mumbled and he cursed the strange fairy. He glared at her and sulked.

The fairy was sad; she hadn't meant to hurt the monster’s feelings.
She ran up to him and hugged the monster's leg.
His eyes widened in surprise and he jumped a little.
The little fairy looked up and smiled at the monster. The monster just stared.
Slowly, and without knowing quite why, the monster smiled at the fairy.
He reached down and picked her up, and the fairy was glad to have made a new friend.
The monster was just . . . glad.

(Last illustration, is the monster walking with the fairy down a forest path, a branch in the
foreground with a budding flower.)

<br>

« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 05:44:36 AM by Yushu na baka »
A writer is not a liar, they just take your truths and tell it back to you in a way you can understand.

Offline missteek

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Re: Wooden Faces. A children's story.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 07:49:54 AM »
Hi there,

I'm by no means an expert at writing, but I thoroughly enjoyed the short story. It was reminiscent of a scene in the Disney film "Monsters Inc." When all the monsters were scared of the little girl.

Perhaps it was a little long, but looking back over it there are parts not vital to the story. Remember children want something concise and simplistic. The descriptions "Mumbles and grumbles" and "jumping and stomping" are great for children's books. They are easy to understand and imagine. Sometimes I felt like you went into a bit too much description concerning the story itself. I feel like you don't need to explain so much that he was lonely and hiding behind his loud roar. A child will identify that through subtle cues like his reaction to the fairy or through the illustrations.

What age are you specifically aiming for? Boys or girls? What is the lesson they can learn from this? All of these questions must be easy to see within the story.
I'm not sure if the message is don't be afraid of monsters, or if the child is meant to identify with the monster (ie. like a child throwing a tantrum) and see the ignorance in shutting people out.
I feel like the fairy should have been a little boy who mirrors the monster in some way. He yells and grumbles and groans, deciding he didn't want to be around all the happy people anymore either.
Then by seeing the monster behaving badly and showing him how good all the people are he realises that he too wasfoolish to act in such a manner. I just felt a bit lost at the end when the monster was unclear about how he felt and was left holding a fairy with a broken wing. It felt a bit open to me.

Perhaps that's changing it too much. It is a lovely story and I wish you all the best in finding a suitable illustrator!

Katie xoxo
If you enjoy writing it, chances are nobody will want to read it but you ;)

Offline Yushu na baka

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Re: Wooden Faces. A children's story.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 09:37:41 AM »
Thanks miss, the notes actually do help. I had a feeling I was being too descriptive at parts, but at the same time I
think it's because of the audience I want to reach.

This is certainly a children's book in the fashion that I want a child to pick it up and read and find meaning, enjoyment
and satisfaction from the the characters and story; but I think really my target for this is parents. Specifically this is
inspired by autism. The viewpoint of this in my mind is that the monster is the parent, the fairy is the autistic child.
The monster (parent) is someone who's learned to deal with the world around them through the means we have available.
We juggle and wear appropriate masks for what is suited in the moments we need them.
But the fairy would be the autistic child. To them, no matter what mask they see before them they will find what they
will in it. Specifically the fairy finds it funny and enjoyable and even mimics the monsters mask wearing.

I wrote that in the context of: The parent upon finding themselves faced with autism will try to look at it, approach it,
and inevitably defeat it with whatever mask they can. But too often I think, just in watching these families, the child
who is autistic is lost in the minds of the parent. All they see is autism, while all the child sees is life. I want parents to
be reminded that yes there is that sort of blanket thing that you can't deny, your child is a fairy, but it doesn't change
that it's your child and that there's more to it than that. Take the small joys in their lives that you can and walk away with
what you will, and by all means work to help your child overcome what afflicts them, but don't rob them of being a
child while they are one.

I dunno, it probably doesn't work but I liked the thought.
A writer is not a liar, they just take your truths and tell it back to you in a way you can understand.

Offline missteek

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Re: Wooden Faces. A children's story.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 12:23:26 PM »
Wow, now that is the kind of emotive underlying meaning I could see in there, but couldn't quite decipher. Brilliant concept. I love the idea that the child can teach the parent. Ahhh, I get it a whole lot more now rereading it.

That really is a sterling theme, Autism. Have you ever considered writing a more direct and educational book? Aimed at friends or siblings of Autistic children? It may seem contrived, but are there any children's books like "this is my brother Timmy. Timmy is special. He can see the world in a different way to me. When he is mad, I think he sees lots of red fire. When he is happy we...." I'm not all that well versed in the specifics of the disorder. But if you know alot that would be a great book.

Good luck, keep writing!
Katie xoxo
If you enjoy writing it, chances are nobody will want to read it but you ;)