Tuesday, January 21, 2014

30 Day Writing Challenge: Re-write a classic fairy tale

I haven't written creatively in years, not thoughtfully since I taught a creative writing class about 10 years ago and it wasn't until NaNoWriMo 2012 that I realized that I still had it in me. While the book that I wrote in a month is not anywhere near ready for publication (it doesn't really have an ending or a beginning per se) it did make me realize I want to write more. At My Creative Writing Challenge and Yellow Brick Road Fiction) I found creative writing challenges, I've messed them together and here's what I've come up with for my next challenge. I'm combining the best of these two challenges to let the creative juices flow.

Re-write a classic fairy tale
"Hansel and Gretel"

OK, so I've been trying to think of a way to re-write "Hansel and Gretel" ever since I watched "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters"...I'm still pretty disturbed.

Summary of the original according to Wikipedia
"Hansel and Gretel" is a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. Hansel and Gretel are a young brother and sister threatened by a cannibalistic witch living deep in the forest in a house constructed of cake and confectionery. The two children save their lives by outwitting her.

Here's my story:

Once upon a time there lived a man and his two adorable children. Their mother having died at child-birth, the man felt he had to have a mother for his children and he married the first woman that seemed interested. This didn't really work as the woman was evil and selfish. One night while the man and his two adorable children were asleep, she sneaked the children out of the house and left them in the woods to die.

When the children woke up they were lost and disoriented. Just when they thought they were going to perish from lack of food and sunstroke, they stumbled upon a house.

Thank goodness it wasn't one of those houses made of food, instead it was filled with every food imaginable, all they had to do was think about it and the type of food they wanted would appear. They feasted on tacos and biscuits and gravy and bacon and spaghetti with meatballs, ice cream cones, hot dogs, pot pies, salad and apple tarts. Sated they went upstairs to sleep but were excited to find that they could watch satellite television and check their emails on his and her laptops while relaxing on the most comfortable bed known to man. Gret sent an email to their father telling them what happened and Hans watched "X-Files" reruns on Netflix. Soon they fell asleep. This house seemed too good to be true, and it was.

Not long after they dosed off, there was a light tapping at the bedroom door and then in walked most hideous woman the children had ever seen. She had brownish green skin and warts and smelled like sewer, rotten eggs and cat farts. They knew enough to know that she was a witch and they began to scream, which made her scream and run away dropping the plate of warm cookies and glasses of milk she was carrying.

"A witch carrying cookies?" Hans questioned aloud. Gret looked at him skeptically.

They left the room to investigate, crept slowly down the stairs and found the smelly, brownish green skinned woman crying at a delightfully decorated breakfast nook. The smell of cookies blended with the smell of the nasty witch.

"We're sorry to frighten you," Gretel said. They crept closer.

"Have you had enough to eat?" croaked the lady, she really was frightful.

"Yes, thank-you," the two adorable children chimed. "Thank-you for your kindness," they whispered.

Hans, never one to mind smells and always the braver of the two especially when cookies were involved, gave the woman a hug and Gret, never one to be upstaged by her younger brother, did likewise. The smelly, brown-skinned lady turned and kissed them each on the forehead, got up from her chair, twirled three times and became the soccer mom of their dreams.

See, the witch wasn't really a witch at all and the love of the two children broke the curse that had been placed on her and set her free. She showed them the way back to their house, where she immediately fell in love with their father. Which wasn't a surprise to anyone as they were both so nice and good-looking. Their father had called the police and had their stepmother arrested as soon as he'd received the email message. The father and the now sweet and not so smelly woman were soon married and moved in to the house deep in the woods. After all breaking the curse didn't stop the perpetual supply of food and who doesn't love food?

They, of course, lived happily ever after.

Want to find a fairy tale for your own writing challenge? Or, just want to read all sorts of lovely fairy tales? Here's a list complete with links.

The prompts are:

Day 1: Re-write a classic fairy tale
Day 2: Write a fanfiction
Day 3: A story that takes place pre-1950
Day 4:  An important conversation, in the style of a movie script.
Day 5: A story revolving around an object in your room
Day 6: Start your story with: “He glanced at his watch impatiently…”
Day 7: Create a superhero. Have he/she save the day.
Day 8: Write a prequel to that Superhero. Pre-Superhero life. Maybe their childhood.
Day 9: A story in 250 words or less about your favorite city
Day 10: Start story with: “She touched the little box in her pocket and smiled…”
Day 11: A story where the characters go without power for a day.
Day 12: Describe a significant place, allowing the details to reveal why the place matters. Describe it from a tree or rooftop or from a hawk’s point of view. Describe it from the height of a dog or a turtle.
Day 13: Begin with “I thought I saw…”
Day 14: Choose a photograph from a published collection of black-and-whites, of humans in uncertain conditions. Write the story of one of the individuals or one of the groupings.
Day 15: Write about a stranger you see. Either their back-story or what they are thinking in the moment you see them.
Day 16: Go to iTunes, put your music on random. Write a story about the first song that comes up. (250 words or less)
Day 17: Use time travel in a story
Day 18: A story set in a ghost town.
Day 19: Describe a “first” (first apartment, first kiss, first time driving a car, first lie, first big success, first roller coaster ride, first time in this setting).
Day 20: Use these words in a story: grandfather, photo album, post office, and folder
Day 21: Write about your early memories of faith, religion, or spirituality; yours or someone else’s.
Day 22: Write a story based on a dream you had
Day 23: Describe/fictionalize a childhood memory
Day 24: Write a story that takes place 100 years in the future
Day 25: Write a story about a mythical creature.
Day 26: Write about the 30th picture on your phone or computer. Write about the story behind it, or make up the story behind it.
Day 27: Story taking place during a sporting event (any sport)
Day 28: Story on a ship. Past, present, or future. 
Day 29: Story about space
Day 30: Story or poem about ice

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