This is a really fun writing exercise – one that many writers have been running into the wilds with in recent years.

The dark and wild woods.

another character

If you really want to stretch your imagination and play with storytelling, one of the most effective ways to do this is to pull a switch on the narrator’s point of view. In other words: change who it is who tells the story.

When writing our own stories, it can be intimidating to try something like this even before we’ve started writing. There’s something untouchable about the traditional narrative style (third person, indirect). We don’t like messing with that.

This week, we’re going to do exactly that. We’re removing the third person narrator and replacing it… in a fairytale. Here are the steps:

1. Take a fairytale – any fairytale. In my article about Storybook Genres, I talked about the surprising historical importance of Cinderella. I’d love it if someone chose that one, but you can pick your own favorite (of course).

2. Pick one of the side characters. It can be any character, so long as it isn’t the main protagonist.

3. Spend about 20-30 minutes writing in that character’s voice. Use first person, direct. (If you’re not sure what that means, check THIS. It’s an article about the characters we can use to influence plot – including narrative points of view.)

NOTE: You can either narrate the story we all know from that other character’s perspective, or a sequel. What happens next?

ANOTHER NOTE: Write fast and stormy. Try not to edit as you write. Let it just flow.

4. Now it’s time for editing. For this exercise, cut what you’ve written by a third.

5. DEADLINE: You’ve got until Monday to post here in the Comments what you’ve written.

The best way to get into the habit of writing is to meet deadlines that someone expects you to meet. If you don’t have a creative writing group and you don’t have a writing consultant or an editor who hounds you for more, do the Wednesday exercises.

I will post these every week. I will acknowledge your work; and if I think you’re good, I’ll invite you to be a contributor here on Great Storybook.

Keep writing!


--Download Topsied Fairytale Writing Exercise as PDF --

This entry is part of the series
Creative Exercises
Be sure to check out the other posts:
Story Starters for Writers >>
K.C. Hill
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