11 June 2012

It's All a Matter of Perspective

It's been a crazy, busy few weeks, but I promised myself that I would do it, so I'm finally playing catch-up on the Conference Challenges issued by the MD/WV/DE chapter of SCBWI. I tackled Challenge #1 last week, but I'm just getting around to blogging about it. (I plan to do Challenge #2 today and #3 tomorrow, so I can be caught up before #4 is posted on Wednesday.)

The first of 8 weekly challenges given to prepare us for our upcoming regional conference was to think about the way a change in perspective alters the voice of the story. We were given the challenge to tell three classic fairy tales, each from a different point of view from the original story. (A 30-minute time limit for writing each retelling kept me from overthinking.)

I will probably post the other two stories later in the month, but for now, please enjoy my retelling of "The Princess and the Pea" from the pea's perspective.

Almost everyone knows the story of the Princess and the Pea. At least, almost everyone knows the story about the shallow, spoiled prince and his domineering, stuck-up mother. Chances are, you already know all about how the pretty, little diva who calls herself a princess “proved” it by feeling a tiny, little pea through a thick pile of mattresses.

But come on, people! The story is called the princess and the PEA, for goodness’ sake! Let’s give credit where credit is due, already! I mean, if it wasn’t for me, that little diva wouldn’t even be a part of the fairy tale.

It all started when Prince Lazybones decided he wanted to get married. Of course, he declared that he could only marry the most beautiful girl in the world, because that’s the kind of thing that princes do.

Queen Bea couldn’t wait to start planning a royal wedding. It would be the perfect excuse to throw a huge party with flowers and balloons and fancy dishes, to which she would only invite the Most Important People. Because everyone knows that the best parties always have a long list of people who are NOT invited, who can watch from a distance, green with envy, wishing they could be a part of the in crowd.

But the more the Queen planned for the ultimate party, the more she worried. She’d noticed a growing trend in fairy tales, where common, but beautiful girls were winning the hearts of princes everywhere, completely messing up the purity of the royal bloodlines. She couldn’t risk allowing Prince Lazybones to marry a commoner. Why, what would her friends think?

So she came up with a great plan. She put me, a tiny, little, insignificant pea, on the frame of the giant bed in the guest chambers and piled dozens of mattresses on top of me. Then, she invited the princesses, one at a time, to spend the night at the castle, in the guest bed.

I was just supposed to lie there, like a lump, all night long. The princess who guessed I was there would prove she was sensitive enough to win Prince Lazybones.

Well, do you know how hard it is to get comfortable when you’re squished underneath a stack of heavy mattresses, topped with princesses who aren’t always as dainty as they look? By the twelfth night, I couldn’t take it any longer. I started rolling around, trying to find a comfortable spot to sleep in.

I guess my tossing and turning woke up the diva, because the next morning, she announced that she’d had the worst night of sleep ever. She said that she couldn’t get comfortable, because it felt like there was something in her bed.

And that’s how I made the diva Princess a star.

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