Twisting Fairy Tales

I broke down last week and finally bought Writing for Comics with Peter David. I loved Peter David’s work as a teenager, and every time I’ve thumbed through the book in the bookstore, I’ve found something very useful, something that’s made me think. The purchase was very overdue.

What ended up being the final straw was thumbing through and finding a section that suggested taking a myth or fairy tale and shaking it up a bit. Of course, this is a fairly common recommendation, and I’m planning to create templates for as many fairy tales as I can think of (thank goodness for my upbringing!). What ended up making that afternoon different was that I was looking for a starting point to play with interactive fiction. (I’m not using my original plan because it just has too many flaws that would be nightmarish to straighten out.) reading that page just triggered something in me. I took the book into the cafe, bought it and a hot cocoa, and sat down and started fleshing out some general ideas.

It was that trigger that caused the book to join my library.

A couple of days later, I was reading Shojo Beat, which features a series on creating manga co-written by a manga-ka I’m somewhat partial to. This month’s installment focuses on story plots, and talked about taking an old familiar story and twisting it into something else.

In my notebook right behind my notes from the day in the cafe are some notes I wrote while waiting for a movie. I took the old (mostly forgotten) fairy tale “Rose Red and Snow White” and started playing the What-If game. It’s a brief outline, full of symbols you have to follow to get through everything, but it’s a start. At the very least, it’s got my brain working in what I hope is the right direction.


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