Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nope. Not in My Book

The release of my second fairy tale-based book in my Breathlessly Ever After series is eminent so that means I have to start thinking about the next one. What story do I tackle? What spin do I place on it? What genre? I've been kicking around ideas for the last couple of weeks and yeah, still stumped. The ideas are brewing but nothing's solidified into that perfect blend of characters, motivation, conflict and love. Y'know, like a good cup of coffee. Yet something did come out of my weeks-long ruminations. I know what I definitely DO NOT want in my book. Basing my books on classic, much loved tales, there are certain elements I have to include. Like in Bargain with the Beast, the hero had to be wounded both inside and out. And the heroine had to be able to look beneath his beastly appearance to the beautiful soul of the man.  In Stroke of Midnight, though the "evil" stepsister was the heroine, she was rejected by her family and for one night found magic in the arms of her prince. But...there are some things I refuse to incorporate. Why? Because they're just plain jacked up!

For instance...

Little Red Riding Hood - Besides the hood because it's just a tad bit too cliche-ish for me, there won't be any splitting of wolves' guts and people spilling out. Don't get it twisted, I don't mind a good disembowelment in a book but the only time my heroine is gonna be eaten is...well, you get the picture! In my story Red would kick ass and take names, not be taken down and saved by a passing woodsman. Unless she was taken down by the woodsman...

The Little Mermaid - Anyone within the sound of my voice or has 20/20 vision of their screen, please understand this...I detest Hans Christian Andersen's version. Like loathe. She gave up everything for the prince--her voice, her long lifespan, her heart and eventually, her life. Not to mention endured excruciating pain just to dance for that ingrate. And he was so blind to who stood right in front of him--the very woman he was holding out for!--that he broke her heart and married another woman. There won't be a stupid, short-sighted hero (with no redeemable qualities), a self-effacing heroine or a sacrificial suicide in my book. Damn, I wanted to punch that mermaid's face in... There's meek and then there's mealy-mouth... Grrr! Don't get me started!

Sleeping Beauty - None of that waking with a kiss stuff. I'm sorry. Halitosis, people! Nothing romantic about it! That's all I'm saying. After one night I've been known to have one helluva case of dragon breath! Now one hundred years?? Forget that--a week! Naw. If someone wakes from a coma, there will be breath mints running through their IV instead of saline.

Snow White - First, a huntsman almost takes her heart. Then a peddler woman laces her stay so tight she almost dies because her breath is cut off. After escaping that harrowing experience, another merchant woman comes by and pops a poisoned comb in her head, almost killing her...again. She's saved. Then another old woman comes by and offers her an apple. Which she bites and falls into a cryogenic state. Soooo which murder attempt should've been the tip off that an old woman was out to kill her? I mean, after the laces, I would've have 'ol girl's IQ tested. Therefore, no TSTL heroines in my book!

So two weeks later, I haven't come up with what my new book will be about. But I DEFINITELY know what it won't be about!


Susan D. Taylor said...

Totally loved this post. I recently did a take on a mermaid romance and detoured so far from the victimized female character. Love to see professional woman with a career balancing being in a fairy tale life with aspirations of Fortune 500 company dreams. Let's rewrite fairytales for today's working girls. Touche!.

Naima Simone said...

High five, Susan! I'm with you! You write my kind of fairy tales! LOL! I love stories of love and happily-ever-after. They are my absolute favorite. But the women were such victims--especially that little mermaid. I wish I could reach in that story, grab her by the shoulders and shake her! Hard! Girl, you better get yo' life! There are other fish in the sea. Like literally. Snicker!