"A Writer’s Fairy Tale"
If you’ve been writing long enough, you’ll recognize a familiar fairy tale motif integral to success--transformation. The “lowly heroine/writer” who attends the “ball/writing conference” and lands the “prize/publishing contract” isn’t always the same gal who stayed home by the cinders “scrubbing/writing.” The “trait/story” that catches the “prince/editor’s” eye, isn’t often in the same form as it was at its creation.
It’s not enough to create a lowly heroine and send her to the ball. This character must have a history and a goal. She must transform into something bigger than herself, come alive, jump off the page she is written on and speak to the reader. Cinderella scrubbed more than her fair share of floors before the visit by the “fairy godmother/writing mentor.” When the “magical moment/opportunity” arrived, Cinderella was ready. She wasn’t just an ordinary girl, but one with a past, a dream and the desire to fulfill that dream.
With Cinderella and her fairy tale ending in mind, get down and scrub those floors! Read/study successful books, from fiction to fantasy and everything in-between. Take notes as to what works/what doesn’t in different stories and genres. Identify what sets a particular story apart from the rest. Focus on voice, character, plot, motivation, conflict, resolution, style, theme and motif. Use what you learn to transform your efforts into publishable stories and yourself into a published writer.
As an exercise in creativity, take a familiar fairy tale and transform it. Give it an unusual slant and breathe your own life into it. Work your fingers to the bone and bring your writing to the next level. Who knows, there just may be a fairy godmother waiting there!
BONUS *WORD WEAVING* CHALLENGE:
Write a picture book story using as many words from this list as possible. Give yourself bonus points for using all of them. If this practice becomes a project, feel free to discard any words that don't serve your story. They will have done their job by inspiring something new!
Word weaving exercise inspired by popular fairy tales. Please check out any one of these books!
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Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten - illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books, 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- illustrated by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling, pending) and Let's Eat! Mealtimes Around the World -- illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books, 2019). You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com
To order the Star in the Christmas Play, click the title.