More Storytelling Projects – example of Book Writing Plan, Synopsis, Series Schema, Opening and Closing Lines, with links to Page Layouts

000227Me and My Strange Family (Provisional Title for first in Series)

Writing Plan (page 1)

This is the story of Tania, the main character, told through a set of nine tellings about her strange family, friends, neighbours and pets. Tania is referred to as ‘Me’ in the book title. In the first book, Tania is almost 9 years of age (she ages one year per book). There are nine books in the series. Each book is stand-alone for the general reader. Written in the past tense with dialogue. Target market 6+. Story themes are, growing up, friendship, belonging and courage.


Tania is a young author. She has written a book about the people and pets she knows, and is annoyed that the production of her character-rich book has been put to one side in favour of some secret new book. She is given a conditional wish which allows her to explore the pages of this new book so long as she does not interact with its story or its Characters.

Tania ignores the terms of the Wish. By doing so, she discovers the dreams of others, tips to culture her own life and an insight into the links that connect all Characters and tales.

Series Schema

The author introduces the characters, using doggerel rhyme, part-profiling them using a ‘tell-not-show’ , old fashioned ‘Victorian’ intrusive manner. This rhyme is typeset. The main character, Tania, speaks of the same characters, personally, in a ‘show-not-tell’ dialogue manner. Her words appear handwritten, and at times, intrude in a graphic manner on the typesetting e.g. score line across author names on front cover.

The general reader follows the story of Tania and her journey as she enters the new book, with the help of her new friends, during its design stage. The reader who becomes immersed in the book, picks up on several story threads in the images and text, thus enjoys many sub-plots. These sub-plots combine over the nine books. In the ninth book, there is a “twist in the tale” for the general reader that ties up the ‘new book’ storyline and that of Tania’s own book.

Closing line of last book

“You kept your promise. Now I realise, everyone can have their say.”

Opening line of first book

“They have stopped doing my story.” Tania said. “I have been sitting on this shelf with you and Tapman for three long weeks waiting for my next page to start. I wonder what’s so wonderful about that new story?”

(c) 1996, 2011 World of Water (Reg. Charity 327188)
Writing Plan (Page 2)

Story Characters

There is one central character in my book (named ‘Me’) and she becomes the storyteller, guiding both reader and fellow book characters through her own exploration of the book. Characters in my book series include the storyteller’s strange family, strange neighbours, and strange pets. Each book in the series includes a ‘tree’. (‘Strange Family Tree’ example on next page)

‘Me and My’ Series includes:

Strange Friends
Strange Pets
Strange Neighbours
Strange Dreams
Strange Stories 1
Strange Stories 2

Opening page of first book

“They have stopped doing my story.” Tania said. “I have been sitting on this shelf with you and Tapman for three long weeks waiting for my next page to start. I wonder what’s so wonderful about that new story?”

Tapman blew her a kiss as she was very upset.

“Perhaps the other story is stranger than yours.” suggested Pluggy. Tania gave him a look, the sort of look that would sink most plugs and have them rolling away into the nearest deep dark plug hole with their chain around their nose.

“My story may seem strange to you Pluggy,” Tania replied, “but at least it’s got more in it than water!”

Tapman looked up when he heard the word ‘water’. He closed the book he was reading and took off his second best hat to scratch his head.

“In some way,” he said to Tania, “we must get you
inside this new book . This is a job for Helitapter.”

(END of page 1)

Critical Exposition


Nowadays, we subject ourselves and our children to a rich multi-media, multicultural and multi-technological world. Some children’s books reflect this world, some ignore it – I am writing a book that explores its growth potential and direction.


I started to write this book following a two-week ‘artist-in-residence’ with the UK Reg. Charity, World of Water (WoW). During the residence, 26,000 words and over one hundred line drawings were created. These were used in an exhibition to promote the Charity and raise awareness of its community work.The drawings are story-rich and upon seeing them, everyone becomes keen to know the story behind and within them. So that is where my journey to create the book of the drawings began.

For the book and as a Trustee of WoW, I continue to research some of the social, ethical and environmental issues that are likely to form a large part of tomorrow’s World water use. Profits from book sales will go to support the work of the WoW Charity.


I have used a whimsical writing style, editing my words to the barest bones to attract a young readership. The illustrations are rich in ‘message’, designed to promote open-ended thought, so all my readers, adults and children, will ‘close’ on issues in their own way.

My influences

Tree and Leaf. Tolkein.
Marianne Dreams. Catherine Storr.
Rainbow’s End (Theatre Play). Noel Greig
Hermitage (Web Site). Rima Staines

Page Layout Examples:
Grandma and Grandpa
Uncle Brad
Kev and Rob
Sid and Dan
Pam and Pat



The World of Water Picture Library has supplied an image of the World’s first School of Aquaculture for inclusion in Peter Brigg’s book “Call of the Stream” (Subject: History of Trout Acclimatisation and Fly Fishing in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa).

Gordon Volke is writing further books in the ‘Murphy the Gnome’ series being developed by Roark McMaster. The series is published by

Cult animator, Doug Wilson, has published a wildly dark comic book – details at

Bradley Shields has forwarded details to WoW about the following publications: “Aquaculture in ancient Hawaii,” by Barry Costa-Pierce, BioScience, May 1987, Vol. 37 No.,5; and “Prehistoric Hawaiian fishponds,” by William K. Kikuchi in Science July 23, 1976. This will be useful in updating WoW’s page on the History of Aquaculture.

Julie Ford is working to make the entire E.L.F. Scheme available, on download, through subscription. For the latest HoBB News on the English Literacy Foundation Project, CLICK HERE

Pete Stonehouse at is looking for alternative Braille and Moon printing techniques. For our Project update, CLICK HERE