Earlier this year, Donna M Smith from Jelli-beanz Publishing visited Literary Clutter to tell us about her publishing venture and about the yearly Packed Lunch anthologies (see “Jelli-Beanz”). She’s back again — this time as part of her blog tour for Billy Cart Derby…
Character Development in Billy Cart Derby
By Donna M Smith
Hi George. It is wonderful to be here today.
The characters of Billy Cart Derby were relatively simple to create as they are based on my three children. TJ is my eldest son, short for Timothy and he is very comical and animated. Ben is my youngest son, short for Benjamin and he is somewhat the cheeky one. Jazmine is the eldest of the three children and is often the bossy one! When I first wrote the story Jazmine was in grade 1 (she is now in grade 5) and Benjamin was a new born. I named the characters in the story after my children and then as time went by and I re-wrote subsequent drafts, the characters in the story began to develop their own individuality which mirrored my children’s individual personalities.
As my children became older and Billy Cart Derby continued to evolve, I lengthened the story into a chapter book. This allowed me the freedom to create more depth to the character’s personalities. The original story was about 1000 words less than what the published story is today, which is considerable. This is where I was able to add depth to the character’s personality and their roles in the story.
Miss Peterson was my daughter’s teacher in prep and was just wonderful in helping her settle in and was the special teacher who set up the garden club to help Jazmine make new friends. These special moments have their presence in the story.
Billy Cart Derby is based on a Grade 2’s class fundraising event, a billy cart race to try and whip the pants off the Grade 3’s skateboard fundraiser day. The story introduces the characters in the beginning and quickly takes the reader on a rip-roaring race through the school yard. It is fast paced and really exciting. Grade Preps to 3 classes really enjoy it.
Of course my children are quite chuffed to see themselves in the book!
Thanks for hosting my visit today, I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting Literacy Clutter.
‘where imagination comes to life’
George’s bit at the end
Thanks for stopping by, Donna.
To find out more about Donna and her writing, and to find out about the other stops on her tour, check out her blog. To find out more about Jelli-Beanz Publishing, check out their website.
Catch ya later, George
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