My Journey…Writing from Ponies to Ballerinas
In researching what I wanted my picture book story to be about, I took inspiration from where I could find it. So, one day, when one of my triplet granddaughters leaped off the couch, the idea of ballet and triplet ballerinas was born. I started researching ballet and found the book, “Ballerina: A Step-by-Step Guide to Ballet”, which was very informative. I decided to have my one main character be the triplet who loved ballet (Macie). I wrote the other two triplet girls (Annie and Jamie) as being more interested in horses to make them seem “boyish”. I found the book, “For Horse-Crazy Girls Only: Everything You Want to Know About Horses”, which was also very informative about horses and ponies. At that time, my story was about Macie trying to convince her “horse-crazy” sisters to be in a ballet show with her.
Sadly, through editing, I had to cut out some scenes that didn’t fit and the “leaping off the couch” scene was one of the first to go. But, it had served its purpose anyway by giving me the idea of ballet and ballerinas. In one of my early critiques, the horses the girls got for their birthday were called “ponies” instead of “horses”. It dawned on me then that it would probably be better to have the triplets get ponies for their birthday rather than big horses, so the horses then became ponies in the story.
When I decided to take my story in a different direction with three main characters who love ballet instead of one, I cut out the ponies altogether. I also changed the character name of “Jamie” to “Julie” for a more girly-sounding name. My characters of triplet sisters were truly “triplet ballerinas” now. Beverly