Image for post
Image for post
A snippet from the 3rd draft of Star Struck

The evolution of a story

Jun Loayza
Jun 13, 2017 · 3 min read

The idea for Humble Bee started 10 months ago. For 1o months, we’ve been writing, illustrating, testing, re-writing, re-illustrating, testing… you get the idea.

We started with a story about Steve Aoki and pivoted to a story about Neil deGrasse Tyson.

We’ve been inside classrooms nonstop to get real feedback from real users.

Image for post
Image for post
We printed the draft of Star Struck…
Image for post
Image for post
… and tested it in front of 2nd grade and 3rd grade classrooms.

Finally, after 10 months of testing, we’ve created a story that passed the ‘kid test’ — kids actually want to read the story again and again.

This is a BIG milestone for us.

It means that we no longer have to re-write the entire story; instead, we can optimize the story by focusing on the details of each page.

It means that we’re one giant step closer to launching our Kickstarter at the end of July.

Today, I want to show you what our hard work looks like by showing you the evolution of our story.

  • Draft 1 of our story is on the left hand side
  • Draft 3 (not final of course) is on the right hand side
  • The pages are not in any order (I chose them at random so that the mystery of our story is still intact)
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Our story is about a little boy named Neil who has a big question: how many stars are in the sky?
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
As you can see, we’re really focusing on adding detailed background in our illustrations. This gives kids the opportunity to find something new each time they read the book.
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
From our tests, we learned that kids love funny, quirky, whimsical characters that they can find on each page. Check out what Milton the cat is doing on each page.
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Not only are we telling the story through the illustrations, but we’re finding ways to style the text on the page to match the narrative.
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
We decided to create giant, 2-page, beautiful illustrations that show the magnificence of Neil’s adventure.

Will Neil find the answer to his question?

You’ll find out soon enough when we launch our Kickstarter at the end of July.

Also, we’re planning a launch party in the Bay Area for our Kickstarter. We’d love for you to come join us.

If you would like to support us, then you can help us in two ways:

  1. Follow this publication on Medium, Twitter, or Facebook to get notified when our story publishes
  2. If you know Neil deGrasse Tyson, then we’d really appreciate an intro

Dream on!

Humble Bee

Contemporary children’s stories about inspiration, art, and…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store