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Series title `River Tales From Glossop`s Bridge

by Miss Bower 

Posted: 22 January 2009
Word Count: 291
Summary: A bunch of eccentric very British river creatures who like nothing better to do than go on adventures and as long as they can stop for afternoon tea and cakes then they really are a happy bunch. Oh did I mention that Gerald Gander organises these adventures with very little thought or plan, Monte Frog then organsies them all and Molly Mole makes and bakes enough cakes to feed a small army and Billy Rat is more than happy to be her best friend as long as he is close to the food that is LOL!!

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The Country Ramble

Chapter 1: Billy's Surprise!

The morning was busy at Old Glossop's Bridge. The market was selling all things for the fridge.

Molly was buying fresh cream for a cake for that afternoon she was going to bake.

Gerald was walking along all the stalls whilst Geraldine bought paintings to hang on the walls.

There was Billy who has eyes for only one stand, stacked high with cakes he had one in each hand;

And was eating another whilst looking around when all of a sudden hot pies his eyes found.

He dashed through the crowd without giving a care, shoving and pushing and pulling of hair.

Then stopped and thought 'I'm being rather rude, shoving and pushing just to get to the food'

So he turned to the folk who were in disarray and looking at him with utter dismay.

'I'm sorry' he said and then to their surprise 'please let me buy you all some hot pies'

Well the scene that followed was rather silly. The crowd rushed forward squashing poor Billy;

And down to the ground poor Billy he fell, yet nobody seemed to hear his yell.

When out of nowhere was heard Monte's shout. The crowd all stopped and looked about.

'Do you know' he said 'you've trampled on Billy 'that's why you found the ground so hilly!'

'So please step back and clear the way for all these pies he has still to pay'

As Billy got up from off the ground he saw his pennies had scattered around

SO scooping them up he paid for the pies, handing over his money with tears in his eyes.

And for his kindness he received three cheers and several bottles of ginger beers!

To be continued.........................

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Comments by other Members

NMott at 23:14 on 22 January 2009  Report this post
Hi, Faye and Welcome to WriteWords

I'm afraid as a part member you can only upload one piece of work, and, although this looks interesting, it is too short to comment on. But if you have any queries about publishing or technique, you can still post questions on the Topic Forums.

If need any help navigating the Site, feel free to ask.

- NaomiM

Issy at 13:30 on 24 January 2009  Report this post

Are you thinking of the Wind in the Willows competition? It certainly reminds me of the original.

Why not go into owner edit and continue the story?

All the best


Issy at 22:58 on 27 January 2009  Report this post
Hi Faye,

Sorry to be so long coming back with my thoughts on your story. There is nothing really wrong with the story, and the rhythm and rhyme, both work quite well, just a couple of places where I found an extra word. My problem is that even beautifully illustrated, I don't think that this is commercial as it is written, at the present time.

It has the feel of "Rupert the Bear" stories, which have an individual charm. Yours does have a similar charm, but I do think most publishers would see it as a little old fashioned.

I know you are going to point out series like "Blackberry Farm" by Jane Pilgrim, and "Little Grey Rabbit" but I think quite a bit more work will be needed in order to get the modern child's interest and to get into that league.

I would respectfully suggest that you transfer the story and my comments to the Young Children's group to see what they say.

Anyway, to make it commercial, my view is the following needs doing for starters:

(1) Abandon the verse. I am sure it took ages and ages to get this going,and again you will say, look at the pic books that have verse in them, and there are certainly some brilliant ones around ("Room on the Broom" for example) but they are likely to be established writers. The late great award winning Henrietta Branford told me - if somethings coming out in verse, squash it. It is 10 times more difficult to sell, and starting writers need all the help they can get to get noticed. One of the main problems with verse is that it does not translate well, and loses the punch, and publishers need co-editions in foreign languages to make it worth their investment.

I know it's incredibly difficult to rewrite in prose, because the words in verse are almost mesmeric in the head. What becomes important then is the storyline and characters in their own right, as the story is no longer dependent on the verse, and they need to become much stronger.

(2) Introduce the characters one at a time, with a little story which shows their character and how they fit together. The story needs to have some unexpected events in it, some "wow" moments, and to have things happen in 3s for this age group.

Having them all coming in together is confusing. They also need idiosyncrasies and eccentricities that the young reader can relate to. I think something more than liking cakes - maybe a certain sort of cake or pie, (like Paddington, always keeps some spare under his hat) and he has a special way with the cake...drops a trail of crumbs everywhere, feeds half to his pet budgy, guzzles it in one bite and gets indigestion - just brainstorming, am sure you have far better ideas.

I have done quite a bit of commenting on pic books in the childrens group and plenty of that will apply to your story too, as I would estimate this is a short chapter book with colour or b/w drawings, probably the latter, lots of humour, and the next age group up say 4 -6ish.

I do wish you all the very best with this. Please do get the views of the YC group and do ignore anything that isn't helpful - it's only my views after all.



PS really meant a little story about each perhaps, or if there is a mc, have a little story with the mc and the other characters one at a time. All seen from the mcs perspective.

NMott at 19:21 on 09 February 2009  Report this post
Hi, good to see it's been extended.

It is a charming story, and you have put a lot of work into the rhyme. Rhyme is much more difficult to get published than prose since it doesn't translate so publishers can't recoup their costs by selling the foreign rights.

Over an above that I'm not convinced the content of the story itself would appeal to a modern day publisher. The young boy realising he's been rude by pushing and shoving comes across as a little moralistic, which is seen as a bit old fashioned these days. Children are less tolerant of overtly moralistic stories these days, compared to when my parents were children. Also the poor boy then gets trampled by the crowd as they rush to take him up on the offer, which is funny, but a little surreal.

It's all good practice, but if you are writing with one eye on publication, I have to be honest and suggest moving on from this point and writing a different childrens story, preferably in prose.
All the best with the writing.

- NaomiM

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