Short Story Challenge: Week 3

Week three has already come and gone. The prompt for this week’s challenge was: “A retelling of a fairy tale.”

I thought about going the conventional route and doing Cinderella or Snow White. But, since those have already been done several times, I decided to look into a lesser-known fairy tale.

First, I considered re-working “The Golden Goose.” I thought this might provide some interesting opportunities to look at selfishness and kindness. However, once I started to read further into the story, I realized it would be a little difficult to fit the plot and characters into a modern context.

I kept looking. I went through a few others in my mind before I stumbled on “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” I remembered hearing it before and reading it at my grandmother’s house when my sister and I were little. I liked this idea of young girls looking for a good time and thought it would be easier to fit into a more modern context.

original“The Twelve Dancing Princesses” by Ruth Sanderson

I changed the setting to a modern day women’s dormitory. In doing so, I decided to re-work all of the characters in new ways in order to best incorporate them into the story. 

I used the same Moleskin Cahiers journal along with my favorite, Pilot V2 precise pen in black.

Short Story - Week 3

I whittled down the 12 princesses to 5 party girls on the same hall of the dorm. The King is the Residence Advisor named Megan. She is a good bit older than the party girls and at the end of her rope with their antics.

I decided to make the soldier an ROTC member or combat veteran from either Iraq or Afghanistan. I think he and the R.A. know each other through family friends. I’m still working through the connection there.

I turned the Old Woman who makes the soldier invisible into one of the girls on the hall, Caroline. He goes to her room as if they’re going on a date so he can observe the five girls throughout the night.

The twelve princes will probably just be five guys who come to meet them after they sneak out of the dorm after curfew. Because we don’t know much about them from the original fairy tale, I don’t plan on developing them too thoroughly.

I have about 1,000 words, which is a good start to a short story. After I got started, I found that I had a lot of dialog, which fairytales don’t usually have. So far I like the way it’s going.

It’s funny, when I started the prompt this week, I kept thinking that this isn’t really the sort of story I usually write. I decided after awhile that maybe that’s a good thing!

Do you all have goals for your writing this year? Would you ever do a short story challenge?


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