marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

where do they come from?

There's an old woman in the woods. She gives good advice to the heroine, and possibly something of gold that she can use to bribe the villainess.

Or an old man who can speak to all the beasts, and has two brothers who can speak to all the birds and all the fish respectively.

The evil sorceresses and witches and wizards can be stepmothers and stepsisters and brothers who fled once their plots were uncovered. But what, then, are the beneficent ones? Perhaps princes who never found the princess again, or the ogre's beautiful daughter who gets away on her own but has nowhere to go except a hut in the woods.

The thing is, if the heroine speculates that she might end up one of them, I have to explain where they come from. And if I can't explain, the heroine has to have a different speculation about a future fate that doesn't involve becoming queen.
Tags: backstory, characterization, fairy tales (retelling)

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