|I love this quote!|
One of the biggest differences is in the main character, the hunchback himself. In the film, Quasimodo is portrayed as a misshapen bell-ringer, and while that's true, Disney tones it down for the kids. Quasimodo is in fact much more hideous, and in addition to being ugly and bent, he's also deaf from ringing the bells. All those huge bells, and the tremendous noise they make... well, that would definitely make someone deaf. Yeah, Disney kinda glossed over that fact.
Then I began thinking about how a deaf person would narrate a story. If he/she had been deaf for as long as he/she could recall, how would they view the world? Without hearing, it would be impossible for them to understand dialogue, so naturally the writer foolish enough to indulge in this plot bunny could not write dialogue from the deaf person's perspective. Interesting, eh? How to write a book with no dialogue? Is it possible?
Now, I'm not entirely sure this story will remain all dialogue-less. Many times I begin a project and it completely turns itself around on me. Just so you all know. But I am determined to see where this goes.
Usually, when a story like this jumps out to me, the story name leaps out along with it. But for this particular story, I'm having a difficult time trying to pinpoint a title. I've been debating with a list of them, and I'm hoping to get some feedback from you, my lovely readers. I'm stuck with Le'seur's Bells for now, but I'm not totally sold on it. I want something that implies the connotation of being deaf, but still speaking. Almost oxymoron-ish. Any thoughts?
The Evaristé is undoubtedly the most beautiful building in Cotédor, and perhaps the greatest building in the world. Majestic, ancient, and with a bell tower stretching to the skies, it stands proudly as a symbol of the glory of kings past. Once the Evaristé housed the law courts of Cotédor, royal families and peasants alike flocking the granite steps to hear sentences read on the most desperate criminals.
Bartrid was one criminal whose case was an accident. Convicted of a felony he did not commit, he was acquitted and offered the position of the bell ringer for Evaristé as no one would trust a man branded a criminal. Even when disaster struck and the great building was left to its own ruin, he refused to abandon the only home he knew. Years later, he still remains the bell ringer of the Evaristé, faithfully plying his trade every morning and evening. His only companion is his young grandchild, a girl born beneath the great bells and sorely affected by their song. She is simply called Le'seur – the deaf one.
Le'seur is content to live under the golden splendor of the Evaristé's bells. Being deaf, how could she ever gain friends? What more could she ever want than the joy of being with her grandfather and the bells? When Bartrid's loyalty to Cotédor is attacked, and he is taken into custody, Le'seur will have to clear his name no matter what the cost. And that will mean leaving her beloved bells behind and trusting her safety to strangers. But who can help her? How can one little deaf girl speak the words to change a kingdom and save the life of the only person who ever loved her?
And, just because, how about a bit from the first chapter? I haven't gotten very far yet, but I just couldn't wait to share this with you.
She was strong in body and mind, she was an orphan, and she had the most beautiful smile in Cotédor. Of all of that, Bartrid was certain. But he also knew one thing more about his granddaughter – she was deaf, and the world would not look kindly upon her for it. So he thought on the day she was born, and so he thought twelve years later. But it wasn't her fault; nor did the fault lie with her mother or her father. No, if any could bear the blame it was Bartrid himself. The bells were his, and it was their song that had stolen the sound from his granddaughter's ears. And for that, she was called simply Le'seur – the deaf one.
It must also be pointed out that Bartrid did not have perfect hearing either. His fifty years under the bells of the Evaristé had not gone without consequences. He could hear little, but what was that to him? Le'seur could hear nothing, so it was only natural that he shared in her silence.
But for her silence, Le'seur never made any complaint. She always greeted her grandfather in the morning with a hug and a smile, and her eyes always flashed with the wonder of her surroundings. She did not know what it was she missed, nor did she need to miss it. The work of the bells contented her well enough. And Bartrid was content to let it stay that way.