June 14, 2011

Fairy Tale Survival 101

by Ivy Thorn

Fairy Tales are so predictable. But they're not. You think you know what happens next. You think you know all the patterns and archetypes. But the thing about fairy tales is: you never know when some fairy is going to change things up because he's bored. Or you might change the story without meaning to. There's no rule that says Snow White has to take a bite from a poisoned apple. You can pick all the apples in kingdom, but that's not going to stop the queen from going after Snow White.

Believe me. I've tried.

I had a friend who got stuck in The Clever Little Tailor. And things went horribly wrong because he broke into the town's cheese shop. But that's another post.

The point is: anything you change can come back and bite you.

So the first rule of fairy tale survival is: Don't touch a thing. I don't care if it's pretty or sparkly or if it looks delicious. It's probably cursed anyway and you don't want it.

The second rule completely contradicts the first one. You have to change something. If you're being trapped in a fairy tale, it's most likely because a fairy is bored and wants to watch something entertaining. So you have to change something or the fairy will change things for you. And believe me, you don't want that.

So start small. Start by talking to characters. Get them to think about their situation differently. You want the character to make the big changes, not you. For example, one of my better ideas was when I jumped into Snow White this latest time. (Yes, I get trapped in the same tale more than once occasionally.) I told the queen she'd be better off leaving Snow White alive. Of course, she didn't listen to me. Until I suggested that she make Snow White ugly. Not dead, just ugly.

My third and best tip for surviving a fairy tale is to make friends. I know it sounds cheesy, but it works. You'll get past all those witches and enchantresses trying to test you. Friends are allies and can help you be in more than one place at the same time. One of the best friends you can make? The kitchen staff. Everything revolves around food, just like in our world, and if you can make friends with the cook, you've got a leg up on all the big parties, balls, royal dinners, family suppers, even that basket of poisoned apples...

So there you go. You're ready for a fairy invasion. If you ever wake up in front of a castle, you know what to do.

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