Time for the Apple Seed to Die

8:56 PM



Hello all,

For those who have been hanging around this blog for a while, you know that one of my current WIPs is destined for the Rooglewood Five Poisoned Apples Contest. It was also my July Camp NaNo piece. Yes, I'm talking about The Apple in the Snow.

And you probably know that since my disastrous Camp NaNo, I've been really really frustrated with that story. Nothing seems to be falling into place. The flow has been shut off. No sparks of imagination in the whole work, really.

And I have come to the conclusion that the definition of the term "fairy tale re-telling" is really misleading.

Most people define fairy tale re-tellings as dropping characters or themes from classic fairy tales in new settings or time periods.

But in reality, a fairy tale re-telling should be thought of the same way as a makeover on a room in a house. Some people only change minor things - a paint color, rearranging the same furniture, etc. And there is nothing wrong with that, especially if you are on a limited budget. But it decreases the "wow" factor. It's not really all that fresh. It's just the same stuff that has been shifted. Boring, right.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Now, lets say you want to put a little more effort and money into that makeover. You add tiles to the walls to feature some knick-knacks you have. You repaint the room a totally different shade than the previous one. You get brand new decor, different curtains, possibly even change out the furniture. If you really get ambitious, you can knock out a few walls or change the flooring.

The result is a really fresh, really different, HGTV-worthy room that is totally unrecognizable from the original. It's still the same "room" that you started with, but you've jacked it up. Some elements from the original are still there, but they aren't as noticeable until someone points it out.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My point is, I need to stop telling Snow White's story and tell Eirwen's story instead. The apple seed needs to die before an apple tree can spring to life.

This is one of the reasons why Spotify and Pinterest were not working as well for me this time as with other stories. The images and music pieces that I had for Apple in the Snow had their own story attached to them already. It was like taking salvage parts from wrecks and making a modern art sculpture with them.  

This is probably also why my characters are also really flat. Trying to tell a German tale in Wales is not working because German characters don't live in Wales. That's like trying to re-use chartreuse chairs in a room that you repainted sea green or something.

And maybe I'm forcing my muse to create this story. It was one of those ideas that I was really mixed about trying for - knowing my muse does not cooperate under deadlines. I also felt as if I was going with the flow with so many other bloggers also participating in the contest.

Does this mean I'm giving up on my WIP?

No.

Because I'm a stubborn little authoress, and dad-burn-it, this story is going to be written. I know that there is still some salvageable parts from that trainwreck of a NaNo piece I created in July. It just needs a new title, new characterizations, a major plot surgery, new aesthetics, and a new soundtrack.

Will it get done before December?

Maybe.

But honestly, that's not really important to me right now.

The important thing is that Eirwen's story gets told. The right way.

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

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24 comments

  1. It takes a lot to decide this. Have grace for yourself. This story will be amazing because you're putting your heart into it. If you need someone to beta read, I can help. I love fairy tale retellings.

    Also, totally unrelated, but what's your favorite HGTV show? :D

    ~Ivie
    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    2. OHMYGOSH, I LOVE FIXER UPPER! That's really the only show I can handle from HGTV because all the others are so over the top dramatic. But Fixer upper is calm and wonderful. (plus its in Texas, so that's also why.) I love that show! <3

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  2. I understand your frustrations; I've had it with other WIPs before. I suggest following what I call the "story's truth". Each story is unique, and has its own truth it wants to tell. Follow the muse, and find it's truth. (Not sure if that made any sense...) I believe in you! <3

    Best of luck with it all Catherine! :)

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  3. Wow, this is such a brave decision, Catherine. I love how you've decided to take control, I think that's so important in writing, I wish I realized that before this year.

    I hope it all goes smoothly!

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  4. Courage, dear heart! You can do this!!!

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  5. Good luck with the story! It's wonderful that you realized what didn't seem right so now you can change it up and your muse will be happy. XD

    Also, you made some great points about fairy tale retellings! I'll have to keep them in mind ;)

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  6. I hope you figure out your story!:)
    -Quinley
    P.S it's good to see that you are back *hugs*

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  7. Well said, Catherine. I would love to read your story when you get it all worked out! I so enjoy fairytale retellings.:)

    ~Elanor

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  8. This is so relatable, I kind of am going through this with my WIP but its honestly enlightening. What doesn't kill you makes you better!

    (And I've always loved your book idea always will ;)

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  9. YAY!!! I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE NOT GIVING UP!!! *highfives* I really liked this post. :-)
    Can't wait to read your story someday!!! XD XD XD

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  10. The title kinda scared me, I thought you were giving up on your story. You can do it!!! I believe in you. (also please please let me read your draft):D

    -Lia.
    catholicgirlstuff.blogspot.com
    lilahsmusicals.blogspot.com

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  11. I so thought I commented. Sorry about that.

    Catherine, what ever you do I am behind you all the way. YOU are the author. YOU get to decide what happens. If the story doesn't turn out to be a Snow White retelling, it will be even more amazing because YOU wrote it.

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