Today's post is inspired by a Facebook group I belong to and the current thread about blogs and a reference to fairy tales. Thanks Liz!
Of late, I've been writing a lot of urban fantasy and dark fairy tales. For some reason, it's struck a cord with me and the words have come easier than other projects. Another reason is that I love the various characters that I've come up with during the process and want to explore them further. During the last NaNo, I wrote a side story using three of those characters for the fourth time. This morning as I was being bothered by one of the cats demanding pets, the thought hit me on how ideas come to me based on a someone's throwaway line or idle comment. One such occasion brought to life those three characters.
In the "old days", fairy tales weren't not all brightness, sunshine, and happy endings. Many were dark, brooding, and violent. In a conversation with a friend, we talked about reading them as kids and the sort of inspiration that we pulled from them and how tales are being retold from different POV's or with a twist on the setting. Beauty and the Beast came up and how the POV is one of them for most of the time. My friend mentioned that it would be interesting to see the POV of the rose. That's the comment that sent the wheels in motion.
What about the rose? What did it feel? How did it "see" the events? Did it lure the father to pluck it, knowing the consequences? What if it was holding Beauty and Beast captive, toying with them at a whim? I loved the notion that the rose was the antagonist of the story and what if? That's was the genesis of The Flowering Princess of Dreams, The Tamer of Beasts, and Justin [aka Beast]. To date, the stories "The Flowering Princess of Dreams" and "The Tamer of Beasts" have been sold and published. Tamer was written first, but FPoD got the glory of seeing print first. The other two stories are hanging around, waiting for calls or revisions. Not a conscious effort, but I've noticed that my fairy tale stories get titles referring to characters and it seems to work so far.
In the process of spinning stories, I've come up with a nice dynamic on how they interact with each other and what I hope is a different spin on a familiar fairy tale. The stories in question are in "Someone Wicked" by Smart Rhino Publications and "A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court." by Seventh Star Press.