“How did you decide what to keep and what to change? Did you read a lot of versions of Cinderella before writing?” – submitted by F-BOM member
I did not read a lot of versions of Cinderella immediately before writing, but I have been exposed to many different book versions and movie versions over the years. I did read the original Grimm’s version while I was working on this. I chose to keep the classic elements we all associate with Cinderella’s story, such as the ball, the prince, the glass slipper, the fairy godmother, and the wicked stepmother (and stepsisters). But I tried to change each element so it’s not what you expect it to be. I asked myself, “What will the reader expect? How can I make it different?” For example, in most versions of Cinderella, the stepmother does not want the prince to find Cinderella after the ball and actually tries to sabotage his efforts to locate her. So in my version, I have the stepmother trying to help the prince find her, as a twisted act of revenge. Other than that, I simply added whatever I needed to support the plot, such as the addition of the white magic which gave Cinderella the motivation to appear good even if she really wasn’t, and the introduction of the prince’s daughter so I could transition into the next book.
“‘One spoonful never seems to be enough’! Did you always think of the magic as a liquid, or did you have other potential ideas that you tried out first?” – submitted by F-BOM member
The white magic was a very early idea during the plotting phase and manifested itself as a liquid quite organically. I needed a motivation for Cinderella to pretend to be good. I was creating a character who was deeply resentful and vindictive, but these qualities had to be hidden from her stepfamily until the right moment. The only thing I thought would persuade Cinderella to behave herself was if she gained something from it, something very important to her. I had already decided at this point who Cinderella would become in the next book. If you know who that is, then you understand that her appearance matters tremendously to her, something she uses as a measure of her own self-worth. So if good behavior could earn for her a type of magic that improved her appearance, she would consider this worth the trouble. I wanted the magic to be something outside of her, something visible and measurable so she could see the effects of her actions by how much she earned. Because Cinderella is not magical herself, she would have to consume the magic to apply it. So the idea of a drink or magic potion came naturally from that. And because it represented goodness, I made it white. Hence, the white magic.
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