In spite of a few setbacks (I seem to have caught some kind of illness that I really hope is not the flu, among other things), work on the minicomic-based-on-words-you-sent-me is progressing. I seem to have cruised right through the story outline phase into a partially finished script. Keen readers will notice that what we have here is a story within a story, and one is a lot closer to being finished than the other– and that I can’t finish the second without actually writing the first. This is the part of storytelling that writers don’t usually let the readers see because it makes us look stupid, but trust me, most moderately complex stories go through exactly this process. This sketch of Little Maudie and Shadow the Small Bad Wolf is at a slightly less awkward place. If you look carefully, you can read fragments of the first bit of the story within the story that is coming soon.Click on “continue reading” to read the script in progress for Birds in a Sluddle:
Birds in a Sluddle (outline/first draft)
The Professor has lost his glasses and this has given him a huge headache. How will this situation be resolved? Cast: Iowa, Gideon. Little Maudie and Shadow the Small Bad Wolf (being read aloud). Also, some birds. Words: libation, portmanteau, conscientiousness, serendipity, shadow, song, ponding
Front cover/page 1: Live panel, Iowa reading aloud. “Little Maudie and the End of Winter. Chapter Three: Birds in a Sluddle” Words are typset in the same font as the story excerpts, in such a way that it should be clear that “Birds in a Sluddle” is the title of the piece.
Page 2 (left)
Iowa: are you sure you want me to read from this? It’s a kid’s book. And it looks like it’s for girls.
Gideon (getting increasingly dramatic until he is flopped down on the office couch in his dressing gown) Don’t be biased, Ms. Ginsberg—that last sentence smacked of sexism, and well, ageism. And it’s not like I haven’t caught you with Ballet Shoes or Anne of Green Gables. The fact remains I’ve lost my glasses, and I can’t see, and I have a splitting headache, and it’s snowing again and I just want you to read to me from a nice soothing book about slush.
Page 3 (right)
Mostly full page from the little Maudie book, with Iowa reading aloud.
Page 4 (left) Another full page, this one introducing Shadow the Small Bad Wolf. Iowa looks up to see that the Professor is now listening in his wolf form as the Moondog.
Iowa: Now I see why you like these books so much—there’s a wolf in them.
Page 5 (right)
More Little Maudie, this one bringing the first part of the story snippet to an end
Page 6 (left)
Eureka—the Moondog leaps up looking alert and heroic
Iowa: You are really picky today—first you want a story, now you’re all Timmy fell down the well … I wish I could understand what you were saying like Little Maudie does
The Moondog drags Iowa on a chase through the basement of the library until they find his glasses in a really weird place.
Page 7 (right)
Iowa holds the glasses and turns her back while the Professor changes back and puts on the dressing gown. Explains serendipitous way he was inspired to find the glasses by what happened to Little Maudie and the birds.
Page 8+9 discussion of the book.
Iowa is leafing through the book. Says book is pretty cute. Expresses curiosity as to why she has never seen the books before, since it’s a whole series. And why is Little Maudie a “devil girl”. Gideon: Remember that library we visited? The one that was very far away? Iowa: the one where the librarian was a … Gideon: Yes, that’s the one. Her people prefer the word “demonic”—explanation of where books come from, the new editions with the illustrations that make Little Maudie a baseliner, but the originals are better, as Iowa is discovering. Read on Ms. Ginsberg—let’s see what happens with the birds.
page 10—read on Ms Ginsberg—two more panels of Little Maudie—need to find a way to get it to end in the right place.
Shadow has the last word. Gideon says something about Shadow being smarter than he is or being upstaged.
Page11: Last panel of story, full page drawn in the style of the Little Maudie. Maybe with the Professor in his wolf form. This doesn’t have to be explained if Iowa is dressed as Little Maudie.
Iowa: Don’t worry. You’re at least a medium sized bad wolf, sir.
Back cover (page 12). Birds in a sluddle drawing, explanation of portmanteau words. Credits.