Folktales (or, fairy tales) are a convenient source of inspiration. Adaptations of the Grimm Brothers’ tales are especially good at inspiring new stories. Whenever I read one to my daughter, I think of ways to absorb familiar elements into retellings.
Most of the time, I jot down my ideas in a few lines for for later. One of these stories poured out into an eight-page outline that could result in a 30,000- to 45,000-word story. This novel (or novella) will feature iconic characters from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and the friendlier “Snow-White and Rose-Red” within a fantasy world based loosely on Germany in the Twelfth Century.
Here’s a logline I’m playing with.
A magical family of dwarves save a princess and overthrow her evil parents to reclaim their rights among humans.
You can read about the main characters and watch for updates on the Dwarves of Seven (the working title) page under my new Projects link.
My short series of 15 Every 15 story bites allowed me to share my work after the latest quiet spell.
Did you see the posts? Here are all seven story graphics from the series!
Thank you for reading. Writing without an audience is like swimming without water. You make the motions more meaningful.
My daughter is a storyteller. She collects words as readily as rocks and plant seeds. While bits of nature fill her pockets, her mind fills with tools for her stories.
As soon as she knew how to speak a sentence, she recounted her observations in rambling detail and her dreams in disturbing clarity. She not only tells the story, she performs it. Her hands wave in the air and her voice changes to set the mood.
This is the micro version of her favorite story to tell when she was four years old. She insisted it was “the good story”. I would try every time to rewrite the story into a happier version, yet she held on to the key points that gave her versions a darker tone.
Her versions are better, anyway.
This is the last part of my 15 Every 15 series. Keep an eye out for the graphic cards all together in an upcoming post, and please feel free to comment on your favorite part of the series. Thank you for reading!
The last day of September feels like an awkward time to post a piece this dark. Autumn started a week ago, harvesting the crops that grew over the summer, making this a time of preparing the soil for next year, and planning for holidays known for treats and companionship.
However, anyone who follows big news stories and politics or has been caught in the worst of this month’s storms is seeing this isn’t the time of plenty for all. Too many people were already struggling for basic comforts. Looking forward to the future doesn’t always bring a sense of longing.
For me, I’m frequently reminded of what I have that I didn’t grow up with. I can go to bed, intending to sleep, without needing to prepare myself for that night’s fight, prepared to claw my way out of nightmares again and again.
The last year brought several of my repeating nightmares out into the daylight. That’s when I realized how much my fears needed expression. I felt as if I was a keeper of darkness that, when shared, helps others see what they refused to face.
It’s funny that I’m acknowledging this feeling years after creating this blog, Shadows in Mind. Understanding oneself takes patience.
This is a part of my 15 Every 15 series. Check back October 15 for the next edition.
Sometimes I wonder what the perspective of other life forms is like. Understanding the perspective of a monkey is a big enough challenge. Could we ever understand the life of a flower?
An organism doesn’t need sentience to feel. Do they need thoughts to yearn for more life?
This is a part of my 15 Every 15 series. Check back September 30 for the next edition.