Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cinderella and other such things

About 25 years ago, I started writing a novelization of the fairy tale Cinderella. It was before Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine and the current trend of rewriting your favorite fairy tale/myth/legend into YA fiction. I had read The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley. It contains several short stories based on fairy tales, with one original tale thrown in for good measure. Next, it was Beauty and I was hooked. So I decided to try writing a novel based on my favorite fairy tale, Cinderella. I started with the Grimm Brothers version and not the Perrault (Disney). There's no fairy godmother. There are three balls. There's a tree in a cemetery. There are birds instead of mice. Okay, really just one bird. And her father doesn't die.

In all honesty, that last thing was the hardest part to figure out. How to keep her father alive and still have the story follow it's most basic plot device. Who can imagine a father so self-absorbed that he would let this happen to his daughter? Unfortunately, it's something I've seen in real life. Not my life. My parents are amazing people who love and cherish all of their children, even those not born to them. But it did happen to someone very close to me. The abuse (mostly emotional and mental rather than physical) did not come from a step-parent but from her own mother while her seemingly-loving father did very little to mitigate the abuse. I am happy to say that her relationship with both of her parents is much better now, but only after years of pain, therapy, physical distance, and unconditional love from the abused. Knowing that I've seen this type of abuse might help you understand why things happen the way they do in my telling of the story.

For those of you to whom I had mentioned once that I might post parts of the story on this blog, I found out that if I do that, I might lose my intellectual rights to it. So sorry if you are waiting with baited breath. However, you can contact me directly (see the Random Contacting tab) if you are interested in being a reader for drafts and revisions. I probably won't send it out blindly to all who ask, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

For those of you who have read it over the years, here are some recent (and not so recent) changes:
  • The main character's name is Isabeau (this is a not-so-recent change)
  • Her county is now called Avignon
  • The capitol city is Valedor (from Vale-d'Or [a small city in Quebec, Canada] and means valley of gold in French; it also means protector in Spanish)
  • I've changed several characters' names from British to French (I doubt there has ever been a butler named Severs outside of England)
That's really it for the major changes. I am hoping to start the next major revision next week. I'm taking some time off of work. We'll see if that translates into "Hey, look at Most Happy Girl writing!"

A girl can dream, can't she?

1 comment:

ESN said...

I am SO glad to see this post. I have worried all week!
Of course I want to be a beta reader. I would honestly love to be your alpha reader. I love the story and see SO much potential in it. I think it is awesome you are going to take some time off work to go to work. Oh pick me. Pick me.


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