C&TCF Question 1: The Original Manuscript

by Roald Dahl

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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C&TCF Question 1: The Original Manuscript

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:29 am

The following are copies of original notes Roald Dahl made while writing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After reading his notes what do you think of the changes Dahl made from the original manuscript in comparison to the final story?



The story in the early drafts of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
[all dates in brackets are approximate]

RD 2/7/1 Manuscript titled, 'Charlie's Chocolate Boy' [1961]

Ten golden tickets were hidden in Wonka chocolate bars every week so Mr Wonka gave a tour of his factory every Saturday to that week’s lucky finders. In this draft, Charlie Bucket finds a ticket on his first attempt. The other nine children on the factory tour are not introduced to the reader until they meet their respective ends:

• Augustus Pottle, who falls in the chocolate river;
• Miranda Grope, ditto, despite Augustus’ example;
• Wilbur Rice and Tommy Troutbeck climb in wagons running from the vanilla fudge mountain and end up the ‘Pounding and Cutting Room’;
• Violet Strabismus, who turns purple after chewing the three-course-meal gum;
• Clarence Crump, Bertie Upside and Terence Roper who each cram a whole mouthful of ‘warming candies’ and overheat;
• Elvira Entwhistle, who falls foul of the squirrels in the Nut Room.

Charlie Bucket climbs into a ‘chocolate boy’ mould in the Easter Egg room and is encased in chocolate. He is taken to Mr Wonka’s house as a present for Freddie Wonka (Mr Wonka’s son) and, whilst there, witnesses a burglary. As a reward for helping to catch the burglars, Mr Wonka gives him his own sweet shop, ‘Charlie’s Chocolate Shop’.

RD 2/7/2 Typescript, titled 'Charlie's Chocolate Boy' [1961]

The number of tickets per week is reduced from ten to seven. The lucky finders in this story (with their exits) were:

Augustus Pottle – falls into chocolate river, and goes to the Choc Fudge room
Miranda Mary Piker – ditto, and goes to the Peanut Brittle room
Violet Beauregarde – turns purple after chewing gum
Henry Trout – climbs in a vanilla fudge wagon
Marvin Prune – [pages missing from draft, so we never find out what happens to him]
Veruca Salt – tipped down the garbage chute in the Nut Room

Ghostly voices recite the poems after each child’s exit. The workers in the factory are simply described as ‘white-coated assistants’.


[RD 2/7/3 is a bundle of duplicate discarded chapters (typed) from the end of the story in RD 2/7/2. These chapters were not re-used or revised in RD 2/7/4.]

RD 2/7/4 Untitled manuscript - an incomplete draft [1962]

The seven children in this draft are given distinct characteristics, which Roald Dahl listed on the first page, as follows:
Charlie Bucket – a nice boy
Augustus Gloop – a greedy boy
Marvin Prune – a conceited boy [we never find out what happens to him, as his exit isn’t included in this draft, and he was then dropped]
Herpes Trout – a television-crazy boy
Miranda Mary Piker – a girl who is allowed to DO anything she wants
Veruca Salt – a girl who is allowed to HAVE anything she wants
Violet Beauregarde – a girl who chews gum all day long.

Charlie’s grandparents are introduced for the first time in this draft. (Previously only his parents were mentioned as they accompanied him on the factory tour.) Grandpa Joe emerges as the expert on all things Wonka as he was one of the former workers in the factory. There are only seven Golden Tickets in total (not seven every week) and the finding of the tickets is made much more important in this draft.
Tiny people called ‘Whipple-Scrumpets’ are introduced as Mr Wonka’s workforce, reciting the poems as each child leaves.

RD 2/7/5 Manuscript, 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' [1962]

This is the first draft to have this title. It continues the story of RD 2/7/4 (which cut out after the exit of Augustus Gloop) and contains six children only – Marvin Prune has been dropped.
Charlie inherits the chocolate factory at the end of the story as all the other children have been eliminated.

RD 2/7/6 Typescript, titled, 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' [1964]

‘Miranda Mary Piker’ is finally dropped in this draft, leaving the five children of the published story. The ‘Whipple-Scrumpets’ are re-named ‘Oompa Loompas all the way through.

Source: The Roald Dahl archives
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Unread postby suec » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:50 pm

I like the changes; I think they are evidence of the merit of redrafting. Gloop is such a satisfying onomatopoeic name and very appropriate in view of what happens to him. Reducing the number of tickets was good, making winning one that much more wonderful. Reducing the number of children was also a good idea. We have got the point by the time Mike has his adventure. I also liked the idea of Charlie not winning his ticket at the first attempt. We know he's going to. Making us wait, while we learn all about the undeserving ones, is part of Dahl's skill as a writer.
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Unread postby lizbet » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:55 pm

Oh no - the fed ex guy just arrived and I thought he was bringing my copy of Shantaram - he didn't - it's my new computer which I wasn't expecting so soon - I'm mean it's wonderful I'm getting a better machine but I have to shut down for a couple of days and so will not only miss CATCF discussions but I don't even have the next book to read :banghead: oh well - I guess I'll read CATCF again and again until the next fed ex guy comes along!!!!!!! see you on my new machine :disco:
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Re: C&TCF Question 1: The Original Manuscript

Unread postby fansmom » Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:41 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Herpes Trout – a television-crazy boy

Although I think the TV crazed boy's revised name was not subtle, it's still an improvement over "Herpes." :lol:

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Unread postby nebraska » Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:50 pm

One of my biggest problems, whether writing, creating rubber stamp art, or cooking a meal for my husband is to realize that "less is more." I have a lot of trouble with simplicity. It looks like Dahl shares my difficulty. I can't believe how HUGE his original idea was -- but then, the Harry Potter series is proof that a children's book doesn't have to be brief and concise to be popular -- although I think a lot of Harry Potter readers are teens and adults.

The cuts Dahl made must have been painful at the time, but the end product is just right, it seems to me. At least for the age group he was writing for.

This was really interesting to me, thanks for sharing this information!

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:03 pm

I agree that sometimes less is better--especially for a children's book. I think that Veruca Salt and Miranda Mary Piker's characters were too much alike. So I'm glad he combined them into one.
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Re: C&TCF Question 1: The Original Manuscript

Unread postby axelsgirl » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:13 pm

fansmom wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Herpes Trout – a television-crazy boy

Although I think the TV crazed boy's revised name was not subtle, it's still an improvement over "Herpes." :lol:


Oh Yeah! I think the revisions made an easier book for younger children to read. My daughters teacher read it to her class in 4th grade. I agree that limiting the number of golden tickets to five was a great idea and the suspense does build as Charlie doesn't get the ticket on the first try, even though we know he will get it later.
I really enjoyed this book, I'm so used to heavier reading .
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Re: C&TCF Question 1: The Original Manuscript

Unread postby Liz » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:27 pm

axelsgirl wrote:
fansmom wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Herpes Trout – a television-crazy boy

Although I think the TV crazed boy's revised name was not subtle, it's still an improvement over "Herpes." :lol:


Oh Yeah! I think the revisions made an easier book for younger children to read. My daughters teacher read it to her class in 4th grade. I agree that limiting the number of golden tickets to five was a great idea and the suspense does build as Charlie doesn't get the ticket on the first try, even though we know he will get it later.
I really enjoyed this book, I'm so used to heavier reading .


Once in awhile it's nice to take a break with an easy read.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Bohemian » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:47 pm

It is fascinating to see how this story progressed, or should I say compressed? I agree it is all the better for Dahl's work through multiple drafts.

Although, I must admit a fondness for 'Whipple-Scumpets' ;-)

Thank you for that peek into the work in progress.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:10 pm

Bohemian wrote: Although, I must admit a fondness for 'Whipple-Scumpets' ;-)


I kind of like the "Whipple-Scrumpets" too, Bohemian. I found the whole process fascinating. There were so many major story line changes from the beginning to the final story. It's hard to imagine it any other way but I loved reading about all the possble ways it could have been written.

fansmom wrote: Although I think the TV crazed boy's revised name was not subtle, it's still an improvement over "Herpes." :lol:


I was scratching my head over that one too.. :-O I am hoping there was another meaning to that word back then? Any wordsmiths out there that can help us on this one?
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Unread postby DeepinDepp » Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:00 am

Oh the mind of Dahl. Such interesting thoughts for the book were swimming around in his head. I like the changes that he made from the drafts to what ended up in the book. I've always loved the children's names and personalities that he gave them. Looks like he had a lot of ideas to draw from.

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Unread postby truelymadlydepply » Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:35 am

nebraska wrote:
One of my biggest problems, whether writing, creating rubber stamp art, or cooking a meal for my husband is to realize that "less is more." I have a lot of trouble with simplicity. It looks like Dahl shares my difficulty. I can't believe how HUGE his original idea was -- but then, the Harry Potter series is proof that a children's book doesn't have to be brief and concise to be popular -- although I think a lot of Harry Potter readers are teens and adults.

The cuts Dahl made must have been painful at the time, but the end product is just right, it seems to me. At least for the age group he was writing for.

yes totally agree with you there, also i am of the more is better school especially with cooking, put twice the amount of everything like sugar and cocoa in cakes, often doesnt work out!!!
its interesting seeing how he reworked some stuff

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Once in awhile it's nice to take a break with an easy read

yes its been a real pleasure to read this book just for fun
i found the original movie creepy but liked the book
cant wait to see the movie
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Unread postby es » Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:15 am

great to see how a story divelopped.
i think especially since its a childsbook its good the amount of kids waslessened,easier to remember.
also i think its so great that there was just one chance to find those golden tickets and that charly hadnt find it the first time,it makes the find so much more magical as it was ment to be(or atleast thats how i felt it)
greets,
es

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:32 pm

es wrote: great to see how a story divelopped.
i think especially since its a childsbook its good the amount of kids waslessened,easier to remember.
also i think its so great that there was just one chance to find those golden tickets and that charly hadnt find it the first time,it makes the find so much more magical as it was ment to be(or atleast thats how i felt it)


Good point about the number of children, es. It also seemed like some of the original ones met similar fates or had similar characteristics that might have made it harder for young children to keep the characters separate. I think Charlie waiting until the last minute to get his ticket makes it much more suspenseful and interesting too.
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Unread postby deppraved » Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:43 pm

Simplifying/condensing was appropriate for a children's book. Perhaps he has a format whereby he wrotes down all his ideas and then pares it down.
I agree Herpes Trout is a hilarious name but a bit on the offensive side, somehow. It would go over a child's head, but adults might have aproblem with that name. It was enough for me to read Mrs. Salt's first name as Angina, I nearly spit out my coffee!
I agree with just about everything else that was said--the delaying of gratification and supense of Charlie's winning the ticket at the last minute was very good.
I got a big kick out of Grandpa Joe.


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