Fractured Fairy Tales

Hello everyone!

“Tale as old as time. Tune as old as song.” – Beauty and the Beast

Many of us grew up hearing fairy tales told the same way. There may have been some slight variation from one retelling to the other – for example, in the original Cinderella story the ball lasted for three nights instead of just one – but the essence and elements of the fairy tales always stayed the same.

More recently, I have noticed authors altering our beloved tales by deviating from the traditional outcome, moral, characters’ roles, etc.

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to choose a fairy tale and rewrite it in an original way.

Below are a few examples for how to “fracture” your fairy tale:

  1. Put it in a different time period.
  2. Switch the characters’ roles.
  3. Switch the characters’ genders.
  4. Cut or combine characters.
  5. Change the plot.
  6. Change the ending.
  7. Create a backstory explaining why the hero or villain is doing what he/she does.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Your imagination is the only limit to your fracturing abilities.

Below are a few picture book examples of fractured fairy tales:

Prince Cinders by Babette Cole

Falling for Rupunzel by Leah Wilcox; illustrated by Lydia Monks

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Lane Smith

Little Red Writing by Joan Holub; illustrated by Melissa Sweet

This prompt was inspired by an acting project Brenda Eppley, one of my theater professors, assigned while I was earning my Associates in Performing Arts at Harrisburg Area Community College. My group’s story was Aladdin. We fractured the fairy tale by setting it in Chicago, making the Sultan the head of the Mafia, Jafar a dirty cop, and Aladdin a con artist. We further fractured it by making the Genie and Jasmine siblings. Jasmine wanted to take over the Mafia after her father, but he thought that his daughter should be innocent of the family’s illegal activity. The Genie, on the other hand, was the Don’s chosen successor, but he wanted to be free from his Mafia ties.

Happy writing!

Katie

The $10 Million Dollar Comma Omission

Oxford CommaHello everyone!

Shocking news, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit made a comma ruling which will cost a dairy company approximately $10 million.

For the synopsis, read “Case Dismissed!” by Cherie Tucker http://authormagazine.org/articles/2017_04_tucker.html

For those of you who want it straight from the horse’s mouth, you can read the opinion here: http://media.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/16-1901P-01A.pdf

For punctuation guidelines, check out my blog post: “Punctuation: Commas, Colons, and Semicolons.”

Happy writing, and watch your commas!

Katie

Truer Love

Hello everyone and happy Easter!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (NIV)

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to write a story involving a minimum of two characters who have some sort of love relationship. Remember, love does not have to be romantic.

A few potential character pairings are:

  1. Two friends
  2. A parent and child
  3. Siblings
  4. A romantic couple

Something to consider: Both characters do not need to have the same depth of feeling.

Sometimes in relationships, one person feels more strongly for the other and/or invests more in the relationship. One of the characters could be ambivalent or even hostile towards the other’s love.

Important: You must have a strong plot.

Having a good relationship dynamic is not the same thing as having a good story. Choose a conflict or issue which your protagonist must resolve. His/Her relationship with the other character can be the conflict, but your story will probably be more interesting if the conflict is something else. Use the relationship to add pressure or to interfere with the resolution of the conflict.

As an additional challenge, do not use the word “love” in your story. Focus on showing the reader the relationship between the two characters through their actions, body language, facial expressions, and the way they talk to each other.

Happy writing!

Katie

April is National Poetry Month

Hello everyone!

In honor of April being National Poetry Month, below are four links which poets ready to be published and writers wanting to try their hand at poetry may find helpful.

“Writing and Publishing FAQ” https://m.poets.org/poetsorg/text/writing-and-publishing-faq

“Poetry: Submissions & Letters to the Editor” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/submissions

“How to Write Poetry” http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-poetry.html

“Types of Poetry” http://www.poeticterminology.net/

Happy writing!

Katie

Alternate Reality

Hello everyone! Happy April Fools’ Day!

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to create alternate story lines (think the musical If…Then or the end of the movie La La Land).

Tell a story where the protagonist has to make a life altering decision. Your character’s choice will put him/her on one of two distinct paths. Have the protagonist choose one option and write about what happens. Then, go back to the point of decision. Have him/her make the alternate choice and write about what happens. Be sure that each option has consequences. Some can be positive and some negative.

Happy writing!

Katie