How I've changed WHEN WALTER WAVES

In my last post I talked about the recent revision revolution that happened in my head (and heart). I promised to make a post about some of the changes in my beautiful newly revised WHEN WALTER WAVES dummy. As promised, here you go!

Big Ah-ha change #1:

This book is about Walter discovering the wonder of the beach for the first time. Figuring that out was the biggest ah-ha moment for me of all.

In the book, Walter waves at stuff. And the stuff waves back. I got distracted by the fun of the waving. Don't get me wrong. The waving is and was essential to my story. But why was Walter waving? It was a greeting of sorts. It was a way of seeing the beach for the first time. That's what I was missing.

And DUH! He needed to go in the water. Honestly he did not do that in my earliest versions.

This used to be the second to the last picture in the book:

Now the climax includes Walter getting wet, as a kid should at the beach (DUH!):

It was actually this, the simple act of realizing he needed to go into the water, that opened my mind to what my story was really about and let me make big ah-ha change #1.

Big Ah-ha change #2:

If the book is about discovering the wonder of the beach for the first time, I needed to go back to my drawings and really bring my readers to that beach and have them discover the wonder of the beach with Walter. I needed to bring the waving thing to the beach in the best way that I could. This seems really obvious in hind-sight. I feel dumb writing it even. But, it took a while.

There was a flag in the old version. Of course it waved:

Now there is a sandcastle in the new version. It waves too:

While a flag is kind of beach-y, a sandcastle (with flags and shells and shovels and pails and sand) is really much more beach-y. I also used perspective and composition to bring Walter into the world of the objects or animals of the beach more. With the sandcastle, I got up and close (closer in the picture before this one). I made these kinds of changes throughout. I even widened the whole book to give it more of a landscape feel (just a little -- I wanted to keep the cozy feeling of the old size too). To see another example of one of the smaller of these kind of changes, see my recent post, "Revision Of A Sketch."

The book flows now, as an ocean book should. I hope the book allows kids to discover and rediscover the beach over and over. I hope it also invites them to wave. After all, that's what inspired me to write this book in the first place: a toddler who waved at me.

Big Change #3:

I have one more change I'm working on: The color palette. The dummy is finished (hopefully! Who knows? Maybe I'll have more Ah-ha moments to come...), but I still have the color samples to finish redoing. They are in the works and I'm very excited about the changes I'm making. I'm working on the atmosphere and mood in the color. My old samples were too bold and don't capture the feel that I now want. Off I go. I've got some paper to make!

Hopefully I'll have pictures soon!