Writing and the Magic “What-If”…and “But Kisses Never Hurt Me”

Sleeping Beauty Cover Design

One of the things discussed frequently in, surprisingly enough,  acting classes is the magic “What-If.” Its original proponent, Constantin Stanislavsky, suggested that this was the place where inspiration began. Basically, it worked by asking yourself “What if this were to happen to me?”… “this” being whatever was taking place in a particular character’s life.

Since graduating with my writing and theatre degrees, I actually find I use a great many things I learned in acting classes when I write, including the magic “What-If.” Most of my writing ideas come from What-Ifs: What if Briar Rose and Aurora were two different people? How would that affect the story? What if the prince only loved himself? What if the woman he met in the forest and discussed with his father wasn’t the woman he was going to marry…what if she was actually Aurora’s arch-nemesis? Questions like these are how I get my stories started. The above examples are actually the written version of my thoughts when I first started writing “But Kisses Never Hurt Me,” a novella-sized retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty.

My cousin, Christina Wehner, and I and a few other friends and writers like to take on traditional fairy tales and come up with completely original versions as part of an ongoing challenge between us all. This time, we were working with Sleeping Beauty, and I was trying to come up with a way to incorporate a Maleficent-like character in the telling of the tale. Most of the original versions are rather short of villains, and she was such a quintessential villain that I really wanted to write what could have essentially been the core story from which our version of Sleeping Beauty sprang up…the true life from whose ashes the myth burst into flame. (I like to do this with a lot of myths, taking a fairly “non-magical” look at them and seeing what could realistically be done.)

In this case, what I came up with is “But Kisses Never Hurt Me,” and I hope you will read it and enjoy…and comment on it and rate it, one way or the other.

To read the free eBook, go to its Goodreads page and click on “read now.”

 © 2014 Andrea Lundgren

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