Fairy Tales

Some stories persist across cultures, across time. And there are a hundred thousand retellings and variations already, some of which I really enjoy, and some of which I despise. (The latter often break the story in order to make it “modern” or fit the moral they wish to tell, instead of the universal truth underneath.)

But I never thought I’d end up writing one. And then… then I was stuck hard on the WIP. (With a little distance, I can see that I have structural weakness to it that will require an edit severe enough to almost be a new draft from scratch, and I don’ wanna. Not so much writer’s block as writer’s pout, really.) So, I decided to free-write just to get some words, any words on a page.

And what comes out? Beslan meets a ballroom. Really, brain? Can’t do something cute and funny, or sweet and sappy? *sigh*

And then when looking at it more, I realized.. it’s a Cinderella story fragment. Upon grumbling about such to my husband, he perked up, and teasingly asked me if I was going to have a Gunny Sergeant for a fairy godmother.

My muse said: Challenge Accepted.

So here’s a snippet, of something completely unfinished and currently in progress.

(Snippet removed to comply with Amazon rules about percentage of a work posted elsewhere. Now available as Blood, Oil, And Love )

27 comments

  1. Moar s’il vous plaît!
    Is possibly same universe and planet as Going Ballistic?
    I really like that fiction’s potential.

    1. Twitch is the redheaded team member in Going Ballistic, so, yes. Why he turned up here, I dunno, but he is quietly laughing about it.

  2. Oooh, lots of silken plot threads snaking away from this snippet… I’ve learned to treasure these orphan scenes masquerading as pleasant reprieves between panics; they always wind up being the hinge point for something critical.

    “I can see that I have structural weakness to it that will require an edit severe enough to almost be a new draft from scratch, and I don’ wanna.”

    In my observation (both as writer and editor) that sort of complaint usually means not that you need to break out the machete, but that the target of the complaint is underdeveloped.

    1. *shakes head* In this case, it’s that I killed the wrong people early on, and the way the rest of the story flows, the character doesn’t actually acknowledge them as dead… emotionally. So either I have to find a way to not kill but remove them, which has cascading consequences, or I have to redraft the entire emotional tenor.

      It’s not writer’s block, like I said, it’s writer’s pout. I’ve already gone back and edited from the start on this one, fixing other plotholes and problems; I don’t want to go over the same material a third time in this depth instead of moving on.

      1. Badly injured/sick/off for experimental treatments/fleeing Ex’s hired guns . . . There are way to remove a character without killing them.

      2. Might not apply or help at all, but a failure to acknowledge as dead seems (to this person of Norse decent anyhow) a perfectly reasonable way to deal with loss. It may break at some later point though. (I say this as someone who burst into tears six months after *not* crying for my grandmother, when I saw someone who looked a little bit like her in the grocery store.) Particularly if it would be normal to part from those people and not see them for years at a time even if they weren’t dead.

          1. I was about to say it is a long haul from Texas to Drak’s neck of the woods so he probably doesn’t need to worry, but then I remembered Dorothy just discussed cleaning her plane a few posts back, so I wouldn’t be so sure. ;P

  3. I like it! You’ve definitely gotten my interest. Please complete it … or at the very least add more!

  4. I like fairy tale rewrites that turn in unexpected ways but not in wildly implausible — because real people would never act like that — ways.

      1. Sure, but the way the characters behave aren’t implausible. Jealousy, hate, resentment, love, the need to belong and find your place in the world, cleverness is needed to defeat brute strength, and the fact that monsters exist but they can also be killed are very plausible.

        The seven deadly sins and the seven cardinal virtues remain the same.

        1. Actually, there are four cardinal virtues. Combine them with the three theological virtues, and you get the seven Christian virtues.

          There are also the seven lively virtues.

          1. Per Aquinas, yes. But Cardinal and Capital are both frequently used names for the whole group of seven, probably because people like the symmetry; the four hinge virtues are also called the natural, with the other three being theological, which probably complicates things or makes folks’ OCD demand that they do a similar division of the Seven Sins.

      2. Having a boat that sails over land and air is one thing. Having your characters act like they don’t have it (when they do) is another.

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