Friday, June 23, 2017

First Snippet



I am still playing with my story idea for a good queen.  One of my favorite things is to incorporate pieces from the original Grimm tale -- pieces that were proof of the queen's wickedness -- and show how they were misheard by the minstrels who passed down the tale.

For example, what if the huntsman failed in his job to protect Snow White from the dwarves because of an inopportune boar attack?  And what if my queen is so distraught that she lashes back verbally, as she is prone to do, and her words are overheard and misunderstood?  What kind of story do you think would be circulated among the common people?


      “Please, I did try to protect her!  Here!  I have the lung and the liver of the boar as proof!”  He swung a bag from his shoulder and held it out.  “There was a beast attacking, and I did kill it!”

      “Then make it into a soup, you idiot!” Moriah shouted, angry now.  “What do I care for them?  It’s Snow White’s heart I wanted!”  Moriah dropped her head into her hands.  Snow White was so tender and delicate.  What would the evil dwarves do to her?  “Leave!  Leave now!”

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Evil Seven Dwarves


     Don't count the dwarves in the picture.  There's thirteen of them instead of seven like I was trying to find.  Pinterest isn't perfect, and I'm not a master in digital photo editing.

       But here is part of my twist on Snow White, and I am having more fun with it than you can imagine. 

     I have a queen...drop-dead gorgeous...cold...reserved...tormented...but not evil.

     I have a princess...sheltered...trusting...a little na├»ve...generally believes the best of people...but not stupid.

     I have a huntsman...big...terrifying to behold...but well-meaning.

     I have a maid...tender-hearted...driven to reveal the truth and set things right...but completely mistaken on so many points.

     I have an herbalist...talented...bound to serve the dark side but resenting it.

     I have 7 dwarves...blood-thirsty...twisted...scheming...evil.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Wild and Crazy...or Very, Very Ordinary

     Have you heard some of the ideas floating around for this contest?  The next 7 months of writing is going to be so much fun.

     I started my one of my own ideas for a story before I heard everyone else's.  Then the rumors started flying in: mythical creatures, play-on-words, historical or foreign settings, other worlds, sci-fi, steampunk, abstract art forms, and so on.  Everything sounds so exciting, and each idea stirs my imagination as I try to guess what sort of tale it will turn out to be.

     It's hard to not feel intimidated...or to kick myself, wishing I had thought of such a genius twist.  Some of the brilliant ideas make my story look very, very ordinary.  Others are so crazy and abstract that I probably wouldn't care for them much, but others will.

     I'm somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the way through my first draft, which is an easy time to feel discouraged and wonder if your story is worth the effort.   The typical artist cycle has points of self-doubt, and it's easy to deepen that when you read of other's exciting plans.

     If others' stories make you feel like hiding under a rock, you may ask me, then why did you say the next several months are going to be so much fun?

     There are two ways to approach others' writing in this contest.  You can either compare the reality of your own work with your imagination of others' works.  Or you can drop all comparisons and link arms.

     Our stories are all going to be different.  Some will be wild and crazy.  Some will be sweet.  Some will be ordinary.  Some will be realistic.  Some will spin in a world all their own.  Yours will not be exactly like anyone else's.

     But our path as writers will be similar.  Even the most confident, braggart of a writer has moments of self-doubt.  Even the most skilled wordsmith drops ordinary sentences on a page that will need to be edited.  We all have things we are prodigiously good at, and we all have weaknesses that we work through.  That's why we enter a contest.

     Look around at the other contest writers.  We're in this together, and we all want to get better at what we do.

     That means that, instead of feeling intimidated by someone else's dazzling plot, we should get excited.  "Oh, cool!  That is such a fun idea!  Good job!  Can't wait to read it!"  And then we contently go back to plodding away on our own tales, confident that we will be proud of them once they are finished and polished.

    So, yes, this year is going to be very, very fun.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

It's Elementary, Dear Watson

It's brainstorming time, guys!

     We have a story to write.  It must be based on Snow White (here is the original tale).  The rules dictate that we include the original elements of the tale in a recognizable way, even though we are given creative license in that.  So here is our brainstorming for the day:

What ARE the key elements of Snow White?

     In other words, which parts of Snow White make it Snow White?  What characters or items or pieces of story line are important to keep (even if you recreate them in a new way)?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Blind-sided!

     So I freely admit that I was not expecting the tale to be Snow White.  In fact, I had carefully laid out all my reasons that it surely would NOT be Snow White.  Clearly...I was mistaken.

     My hat is off to all of you who predicted Snow White.  Nice work!  Your validated guess, as Mr. Bennett said, "shows some greatness of mind."

     I am not a dark-and-disturbing sort of writer.  The fact that the tale was not what I expected plus the thought that contest winners would be of the dark-and-disturbing sort made me highly in favor of skipping the contest this year.  I felt disappointed and petulant.

     I called my husband to complain and fret and assure him I intended to sit this one out.  But, far from offering sympathy, he expressed only excitement of what I could do with the tale.  And I have to say his enthusiasm was contagious.

     Think of it, he said.  How much fun I could have developing the characters of the seven dwarfs?  And the story has a strong villain -- he loves stories like that.  Good.  Evil.  A country under a dark rule.  What all could I come up with in such a  tale?

     I continued to whine, throwing at him all of my reasons for my disappointment.  But he answered each one.

     And, you know...he was right.

     So, this post is mostly directed toward those who DIDN'T want Snow White.  Because maybe you don't have somebody at home to be so encouragingly contagious.  If you don't want to write for this one, who am I to judge?  I'm sure you have some other excellent writing project to work on.

     But you will come up with some good ideas for this one if you give yourself a chance.  Even if it is not the tale you expected, or not the tale you planned for...do you really think a little twist like this is going to stop you?  My husband was right -- there are some amazing things you can do with this tale!  Think about the key elements of Snow White.  What can you build onto that?

     And so what if the judges are looking for a different tale than the sort you write?  For me, the best part of entering a contest is the process of writing and finishing a story.  I learn so much each time I do this!  Who cares if it doesn't win!  And, you know what?  Writing a story from your heart...a story that is your very own...well...it has more of a chance of winning than you might think.

     So, come on, and give it a shot!  I'd love to hear about what you come up with!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Cover Reveal and Contest Announcement for the Rooglewood Contest

THE FINAL FAIRY TALE CONTEST!
The announcement is finally here!  Are you ready for it?  Are you ready to see the cover for the last Rooglewood fairy tale contest book?  Here it is!



     That's right!  The final contest will be on Snow White.  Did you predict that or were you surprised?  Anne Elisabeth Stengl is excited over the stories you guys will write for such a "dark and lovely" tale.  Ready to get started?  You will find the link to the contest rules below:
THE FINAL FAIRY TALE CONTEST
Rooglewood Press invites you to join the adventure of the Five Poisoned Apples creative writing contest!


     It's a gorgeous cover, isn't it?  I like covers that make me want to step into them and see what it is like there.  ;)  The design was done by Julia Popova as always (her website is here), and the cover model/photographer this time is Wynter Clark (her website is here).

      Time to get started now.  Put your fingers on your keyboard and start weaving your story strands!  And check back here.  Whether you are writing this year or just following along, we should have some fun tracing the progress together.  There's also a Rooglewood Fairytale Contest group, if you want to join in!  Because...

Once upon a time...


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Eight Days to Rooglewood announcement!!!

In only 8 days, we will find out the topic for the next Rooglewood contest!!!
I will be participating in the cover reveal so... Stay tuned!!!