#29: Character Development — JAKE

JNP_iBOOK_STORING-ENDING-JAKEThe World of Jane Not Plain, Jane & Jake’s Adventures to Awesome, began with Jane and Oracle… and along came Jane’s TRUE-BLUE FRIEND, JAKE!

When we went out for the initial Phase One market testing, we began Jane NOT Plain with just Jane, and the intent was to focus on girl’s esteem. Real-time research (in forms of in-person appearances, book signings and trade shows) all directed us to refocus the brand for BOYS TOO! So, we did, to: The World of Jane Not Plain—Jane & Jake’s Adventures to Awesome.

And then came JAKE. A 9 year old fourth-grader that would become Jane’s true-blue friend (once you read the Prequel story, you will see how we developed the story plot to include Jake—a shy and adventurous young boy with a big curiosity and love of jokes–and that’s how he hides is shyness, by telling jokes).

I worked with one of my sons in developing Jake. We knew early on in development what he would look like with cargo pants, big pockets for all his interesting items and gadgets he would call upon to use now and then. A brawny kind of kid with freckles and a fun, crooked kind of smile. His eyes will change colors as he comes to find and understand the great inner awesome he has inside him (just like Jane’s hair turns colors). His skin would also be a canvas palette (like Jane’s) in which kids can change his exterior coloring as he and Jane teach them about their inner awesome.

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  I can’t wait for you to read the stories and get to know Jake & Jane and all their friends! Enjoy your adventure!!

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Note: This Blog is a chronological diary of a start-up-company—The JNP Project’s Journey—reading it from the start, will broaden your understanding of the path we are on, together, and hopefully, positively influence you in some way!

FYI Tip: Take the time to really develop the “who” and “why” of your characters; give them the quality that will supersede your competition’s character(s) counterparts.
The interesting background on who these best-friends are…

JNP_iBOOK_STORING-ENDING-GROUPWhy Jane and Jake? We spent a great deal of time choosing the names of our main characters. It was important to us that they were similar names, with the same number of syllables and the same sound.  The characters,  male and female,  are equals and have an easy relationship  as a ‘team’  of friends, each with his or her own foibles, but learning together about inner awesome! Their simple names don’t convey any particular socioeconomic class, culture, country or ethnicity. Children everywhere can identify with them. We hope your child identifies with Jane and/or Jake.

Oracle’s name comes from the Oracle of Delphi, the wise messenger of Greek mythology. He is the “adult” in the stories, observing, commenting and yet remaining slightly aloof. He knows what Jane and Jake are thinking, but rather than informing and explaining  our Oracle encourages and guides Jane and Jake as they discover for themselves how to manage their emotions and behavior. The undersea world of Awesome is a device which  allows Jane and Jake to confront issues such as truth and kindness, learn about them and conquer their own anxieties and  fears in order to win pearls of power and gain self-confidence.

The undersea journey in Awesome is a metaphor for Jane and Jake’s personal journey, and your child experiences this journey of self-discovery with them. Certain issues may resonate with your child and his or her personal journey may be different, in which case you will be able to use the story to prompt a personal discussion or discovery with your child. The reading experience becomes interactive between child, story and adult.


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