After Master Class with Neil Gaiman on line, after reading STORY by Robert McKee, after wrestling with my writing, I come to the conclusion that my genre is FAIRYTALE (or Fantasy).
My writing flows when I work from a content already crafted and re-write that particular fairytale into my own story. Hans Christian Andersen did the same. He looked at old folk tales, legends, and myths and re-wrote them to his specifications, like The Little Mermaid. A few he crafted from scratch, like The Ugly Duckling.
Here’s an excerpt from a fairytale, TLM Unplugged I’m working on:
When he found her, naked and wrapped in her long brown hair, washed up on the beach, he took her for dead.But the look on her face was not dead; an almost heavenly smile lingered at the corners of her mouth and around her closed eyes. He sensed a flutter of life and reached for her hand. It was warm as the dawning day.
How beautiful a sight she was. But why was she here? Where did she come from? Why was she naked? He could find no signs of violence. When he lowered his head to her face he felt her soft breath on his skin. She was lost and his sense of responsibility got the better of him. He carried her to his castle.
“Who is she?” the Queen Mother asked.
“I don’t know, I found her on the beach.” And the Prince put her gently down on the bed. She was awake now. Her big blue eyes looked up at them. But she didn’t say anything.
“Who are you?” the Prince asked.
Not a word or even a sound came from her. Her eyes radiated light while her lips trembled slightly.
“Let me bathe and dress her, my son. Perhaps she’s in shock and has lost her speech. Let’s give it time and see what happens.”
The prince left the room and searched for his dog. He found him in his study by the tall window, lounging in the warm sun light. How he loved him, his Great Dane, he’d known since childhood. Now the dog was old and preferred to lie around.
“Hey, Duke, old boy, time for a walk?” The dog looked up without much attention and the prince sat down next to him, leaning against his warm fur.
“I picked up a girl today on the beach, and I have no idea where she’s from. She’s beautiful but she says nothing. I wonder what happened to her.”
Duke wagged his tail and the Prince loved his listening skills and his intuitive compassion.
“I will miss you so much when you’re gone. You are my best friend! Always at the ready when I need you.” The prince felt a sting in his heart and his sorrow welled up as tears.
Later, another wetness touched his skin and he realized Duke was licking him awake. He got up to find his mother and the lost girl. Dressed in crimson, the girl swirled around light on her feet like a dancer.
“She chose this dress out of a dozen colorful dresses. It becomes her chestnut brown hair,” the Queen pointed to the girl.
“Has she spoken?”
“No, not yet, but she smiles a lot, and she almost talks with her eyes.”
The prince walked up to her and held both her hands in his. He looked into her eyes; she smiled with bright eyes and a luminous mouth.
“Who are you?” he asked.
She spun around and performed a small dance for them.
She nodded and he took hold of her slender waist and her right hand leading them into a waltz.