The Wolf Who Cried Boy Book Art

How I Came Up With ‘The Wolf Who Cried Boy’

How did I come up with the concept for The Wolf Who Cried Boy? The initial seed of the idea came from reading an SMBC comic strip where the wolf tricked his pack so he could go eat the boy by himself.

That got me thinking about writing a children’s story from the perspective of the wolf. I took the story in a different direction where the events surrounding the wolf and boy parallel each other. The book also acts as a prequel and sequel with a surprise twist at the end.

I didn’t want the boy to die even though some old versions of the fable did indeed with the wolf eating the boy. But I needed to come up with a reason for the wolf to cry boy. My solution was to have the wolf howl be a warning to the pack of danger.

The trick was coming up with a coherent reason for the pack to not believe the wolf when he falsely cried sheep AND boy. I solved that by having the wolf mistakenly cry boy when the boy first cried wolf. Their mutual deception leads to a loss of trust on both ends.

The climax of the story was originally the ending. But then I decided to make it a fake out where the reaction of the wolf cubs mirrors how kids might react when listening to their parents read the story.

The final version of the story was created while discussing the plot with my Beta Readers, especially my brother. Rather than having the wolf die I left his fate in the air, but then hinted heavily that the old wolf storyteller is in fact the Repentant Wolf.

I believe that having this plot twist in combination with the fake ending makes for a better story overall. Hopefully, kids will get the point that it’s possible to repent and earn back trust even if a person has done wrong in their past.

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