Tag Archives: cinderella

We Are Family

Happy Friday everyone!! Casey here.

One of the fun things about being a writer is breathing life into your characters. Imagining a back story, figuring out their goals, their appearance, and so much more. But my all time favorite act is creating the hero and heroine’s family and friends.

Often times, I don’t have to think too hard. They present themselves rather quickly and can be scene-stealers if I let them. Early on, I usually know if the heroine has siblings and whether they get along. Or maybe her parents were overbearing and smothering. Perhaps, they weren’t there at all and she’s been raised by someone else. Same goes with friends, colleagues and pets. My stories have them all!

Coming soon to a story near you!

When I think of my favorite books and television shows, I can’t think of a single one where the main characters don’t have family or friends in their lives. Often times, their loved ones can push their buttons like no one else. And on the flip side, no one understands them better than anyone else.

Imagine how dull and boring Little Women would have been if Jo didn’t have her sisters. Or how lifeless Stephanie Plum’s adventures would be without Lula or Grandma Mazur. Even Ebenezer Scrooge, super curmudgeon, has his faithful nephew Fred to anchor him to his past through his beloved sister Belle.

On the other hand, the lack of a solid support system is just as telling and can define the character’s actions and reactions. There are a lot of orphans in books – Oliver Twist, Cinderella, Harry Potter, James Bond, Heidi, Clark Kent, Jane Eyre, and Frodo Baggins – to name only a small fraction!

Granted all of the characters I mentioned rose above their orphanhood and went on to perform good and heroic deeds. But none of them did it alone (thank you Ron Weasly and Hermione Granger).

Gather round family and friends!

And that brings me back to family and friends (aka secondary characters). For me, secondary characters are just as important. Like in real life, we would all be lonely if we had no friends or family. We are social beings by nature. Even if your character is mostly a loner, there is usually someone (either human or animal) in his or her life.

If you need inspiration, <ahem>, borrow bits and pieces of personality from your family and friends. Now that we’re in the full swing of the holiday season, there are more people than ever around. If you don’t mind the crowds, people watch!

Life is boring without friends. . . and wine!

So remember, when you’re creating your world, populate it with more than just the hero and heroine. Otherwise, all you’ll have is an empty and lifeless world.

Who are your favorite supporting characters? And without naming names, have you ever “borrowed” traits from friends and family?


What Is Up With Nursery Rhymes?

Hi!  J here.  Jamie blogged about poetry on Monday and that inspired me to share with you all a project that I’ve had on the back burner for quite a while. I have 3 year old twin boys and a 6 year old niece.  Over the last 6 years, I have read more nursery rhymes and fairy tales than I can count and mostly, they are terrible! 

Example: Rub a dub dub, 3 men in a tub, who do you think they be?  The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, all heading out to sea.  Really?!  Come on!  3 men in a tub might have been reasonable fare at one time, but it’s pretty ridiculous now. 

How about the Princess and the Pea.  In this one, the king opens the door on a rainy night to find a rag-a-muffin standing outside claiming to be a princess.  They test her by putting a pea at the bottom of 15 mattresses.  Since she’s bruised in the morning, she must be a princess.  What is that about?!  Let’s torment our guests to see if they’re telling the truth?  And don’t get me started on the idea of a king opening his own door.  Can you say butler?

And even though Disney/Pixar/WB has done a decent job with princesses lately, I’m still quite tired of our princesses waiting to be rescued by Prince Charming.  Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella all have no character develpment of the hero.  None.  He doesn’t even have a name!  Could be the same charming fella rescues them all and has some kind of harem!

I know these were written ages ago as cautionary tales for kids, but I think they need serious updating.  This brings me to my back-burnered project and today’s secret: I’ve started to write a collection of new nursery rhymes and I want to do an updated collection of fairy tales.  Unfortunately, I’m not a very good poet.  I have always hated poetry and it’s tough to write.  Click here to read my first nursery rhyme.

Today’s question: What is your favorite fairy tale?  Mine is The Little Mermaid.