Fairy tale

From the very first sentence of a fairy tale, you need to pull the reader into the fantastic world of the story and encourage them to use their imagination.

How? You make the details heightened and fantastic. You don’t set your story in Germany, it happens far, far away where the swallows fly when we have winter. You don’t say the family was rich, you say they wrote with pencils of diamond upon golden slates

You also make your reader an active participant. You say things like you could tell at a glance how princely they were to encourage them to imagine, and but it did not last forever to get them predicting what happens next.

Have a read.

Far, far away where the swallows fly when we have winter, there lived a King who had eleven sons and one daughter, Elisa. The eleven brothers, Princes all, each went to school with a star at his breast and a sword at his side. They wrote with pencils of diamond upon golden slates, and could say their lesson by heart just as easily as they could read it from the book. You could tell at a glance how princely they were. Their sister, Elisa, sat on a little footstool of flawless glass. She had a picture book that had cost half a kingdom. Oh, the children had a very fine time, but it did not last forever.

Now let’s look at an example of the same treatment using this painting as the starting point.

‘Collins St, 5p.m.’ by John Brack

A long, long time ago when men wore hats and ladies wore gloves, there was an enormous city teeming with hard-working employees. The men and women, committed workers all, marched to their workplaces with collars turned high and briefcases slung low. They did important jobs in important offices, and could write strategic mission statements as easily as they could manage financial imbalances. You could tell at a glance how industrious they were. Their chief overseers sat in high glass offices, walls filled with operational plans and cashflow statements. They watched their employees with studious care, reported to their superiors, and checked a checkbox when they did. Oh, the city was productive and successful, until the day it broke down.

Write part of a fairy tale, based on the painting. Use grand images and metaphors and describe your fantastic world in a way that encourages your reader to use their imagination.