In this latest guest blog post, Rebekah DeVall the author of When Your Melody Fades gives us some tips on how to be inspired.
Fairy Godmothers got all the good stuff. Seriously. You don’t see pretty capes or magic wands sitting around anywhere besides a costume store, do you? And if you do, they’re most certain to be counterfeits.
Figures, when we writers need all the magic and bippity-boppity-booing that we can get. After all, we’re expected to pull full worlds and stories out of thin air, aren’t we?
Now, my fairy godmother is out somewhere today, but she’s left me a note giving me her Top 3 Tips on How to Be a Fairy Godmother.
- Steal for all you’re worth.
As somebody sometime said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
Did you really think the Beast’s enchantress (from Beauty and the Beast, of course, what other beast do you know?) just invented a mirror for him out of thin air? Ha ha. Yeah right. She stole the idea from the Evil Queen’s fairy godmother, fifty-seven years ago, in 1937 to be exact.
Be a fairy godmother. You see a worldbuilding aspect you like in someone else’s work? Steal it. Just make sure you cover up your tracks. Fairy godmothers don’t take kindly to the theft of their ideas.
- Choose a time period.
Use your gifts wisely. If you must bippity-boppity-boo a magical object or gift out of the air for one of your damsels in distress (ahem, characters), make it time-appropriate. Cinderella was given glass slippers, not neon pink stilettos.
A modern-day damsel in distress must not be given the art of drawing on cave walls—unless you intend to lock her up in a cave somewhere, in which case you deserve whatever grief she gives you.
This includes their names. Fairy godmothers aren’t just called to bless a baby on their birth, they’re often called to christen the baby too.
Cinderella was christened Ella. Christening her Apple or Montana would have been a dreadful mistake. Though Rapunzel’s name was ridiculous in its meaning, it fit her time period, as did Charming for the prince.
Be a fairy godmother. Name your people according to their time period.
- Storm castles.
Fairy godmothers are too often envisioned as being weird old ladies who give gifts—or curses, remember Ella Enchanted—to little girls and nothing more. That… isn’t always true.
Fairy godmothers have affected royalty for many ages, far longer than most care to admit. They raise kingdoms, demolish kingdoms; begin wars, end wars; bring to life and send to death. They stare fearlessly into the face of battle and of death and laugh.
Be a fairy godmother. Bring your people—your characters—to the brink of death and back. Take them to the depths of the deepest ocean—and don’t be afraid to let them drown.
Raise kingdoms and demolish them. You weren’t given that magic wand—I mean, pen—only to whip dresses and slippers and pumpkins into existence.
Give your stories meaning. Bring them to their peak, drop them to their deepest depths. Don’t fear danger. Don’t fear adventure.
Be a fairy godmother. Be brave.
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