Monday, April 19, 2010

Sisters and Fairy Tales

This post will be much shorter than the hefty title implies. While researching the fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red for one of my WIPs, I started thinking about sisters in fairy tales. One of the aspects of the story that makes it unique is that the sisters love and care for each other, and neither of them is the bad or downright evil sister.

I think that was one of the main reasons why my twin and I loved the story so much. The sisters even marry brothers--which we managed to do in real life. Although that is a story for another day.

I wonder if this is the main reason why I've always loved The Twelve Dancing Princesses. All the sisters work together to keep the secret of their lovers' kingdom. They take care of each other. And they are all clever--outwitting their father and countless unwanted suitors in order to seek their own happiness.

And also. Twelve. Dresses. Lots of dancing. That pretty much guaranteed I would like it.

But every time I read it I get so mad at the ending. What happens to the princes that the sisters are in love with? And what about the sister who is forced to marry that pesky, sneaky, underhanded man that discovers their secret?

Someday I'll rewrite this story. There will only be three sisters, maybe seven. They will help each other and they will save the princes in the secret kingdom, who are obviously trapped there under an enchantment.

And it'll all end in one, big, fabulous....

****Choreographed Dance Party!******


  1. I think it was Nickolodeon that had this series which retold fairy tales, usually the slightly less familiar ones, like the dancing princesses [and one about a girl turned into a bird, who sings the clue to her freedom to some guy]. Anyway, that show is how I was first introduced to this story. I remember wondering how the princes had their magical kingdom below the other king's castle. How could he not know?! And yeah, what happened to the princes afterward? For that matter, what happens to the other 11 princesses, does their father lock them up at night or something?

    I just finished rereading the Fables graphic novel series. I want to compile as many Andersen and Grimm stories as possible in one place (Word doc or something) so it's easier to reference them. But then there's the issue of multiple versions, not too mention how long it'd take to do that. How are you doing with Gloaming, by the way? Querying yet?

  2. I remember that series!

    OMG I'm totally picturing the 11 sisters all locked up in their room. Question: Why don't the princes come to rescue them? I suppose because they are under an enchantment?

    I just bought The Annotated Brothers Grimm and it is AWESOME. Definitely worth buying for your collection if you don't have it already.

    You're so thoughtful to ask about GLOAMING, which I'm thinking of calling THE CHARMED BRACELET (thoughts?). I'm in the querying stage, doing small batches at a time. Not much to report beyond that.

    I've been thinking about reading Fables, although I'm sort of on an anime/manga binge at the moment. Was it good?

  3. Did you read Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing? It is a rewrite of the 12 dancing princesses and I personally love the story. But it is so different. So you can totally rewrite it your way.

  4. Ello, just looked up Wildwood Dancing and read some reviews. It sounds really interesting so I'm adding it to me to-read list. Thanks for the suggestion! (also the cover art is delicious)

  5. I really enjoyed Fables. Even rereading, knowing where it was going, there were parts that made me cry (in a good way). What manga are you reasing? I have one copy of Grimm tales (about 60 of them?), but I'm thinking of investing in a Complete Grimms. I also want to hunt for that series. I wonder if it's on DVD?

    When I was young, I don't recall if I thought the princes just lived there, or if it was a spell and they were forced to stay there. The latter makes sense, so the princesses always had to go to them, and they couldn't help the girls.

    I like both titles (I love charm bracelets in general), but Gloaming is very unique and attention-grabbing, at least for me. I think it might appeal more to men and women. But that's just my own opinion. Good luck with the querying.

  6. Hmm, I'll think over the title some more. I'm desperate for any way to stand out from the querying masses these days. Thanks for your input!

    Right now I'm OBSESSED with Kenshin. I try to be about 10 or more years behind with all of my obsessions.

    I feel like if the princesses were so good at 1. discovering the secret underground kingdom, 2. keeping it a secret from their nosy, overbearing father, and 3. landing themselves some sexy boyfriends who are also good dancers (a near impossible feat!) I feel like they could have also managed to free the princes and rescue their sister from the forced marriage. Maybe the story just ends too soon?

  7. Rurouni (sp?) Kenshin? I enjoyed that. Samurai Deeper Kyo is good, too.

    Since we were talking about this series, here's the YouTube link for part 1 of the dancing princesses.

    I had to wade through a bunch of 'Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses' posts before double-checking the specific name of the episode. Apparently, this version has only three sisters, and they seem to be as much under a spell dancing as their princely counterparts.

    And here's the song that's been stuck in my head for decades: Jorinda and Jorindel. Doesn't look like they have the show collected on Amazon, but YouTube was pretty accomodating.

  8. Yep, Rurouni Kenshin. I'll definitely check out Samurai Deeper Kyo next!

    Ha! Thanks for the link. I like this version. The soldier is so much nicer ("I'd like your daughter's hand in marriage--if Genevieve will have me." What? He actually knows her name??) and I like the idea of the princes being monsters. I looked up the story in The Annotated Brothers Grimm last night and apparently in certain versions of the tale do make the princesses nightly dancing a darker compulsion.

    I think this story offers a lot of opportunities for different interpretations!