How this tale fits in to the “canon” of the world
As you may recall, Count Wolfram declares that there are several true stories in the Book of Tales he received from his grandfather. This twisted/gender-reversed version of Sleeping Beauty is “truth” in his eyes.
In fact, this was illustrated and written out in semiscript format a long time ago before I had started really working on Red Riding Hood. The names of the characters were not the same (as I have used several placeholders over the years), but the general thrust of the woman knight coming to save a prince was always there.
There are a few important nods to the worldbuilding. We have our first glimpse of a “dragon” in fairytale world, one that speaks and doesn’t seem to live up to the terrifying images we have from most folklore.
Also, the sword that is described here and given by the dragon is something that will reappear many hundreds years later.
The characters within this story also are linked somehow to one of the characters in the Red Riding Hood arcs.
Thematic Issues /Why it’s hard to write this story
When I began exploring how to take this beyond a short comic story to a novella/novel length written work, I executed yet another few twists. First the “Kill or Kiss” motif is something I gradually have shifted towards in various rewrites. (I generally enjoy philosophizing about death and life, so you may have noticed some allusions to the spiritual worldview of the female character in the narrative.) But I also really wanted to explore the penalty for having messed up the curse-breaking and the eventual sequence of events that would lead to a lasting peace to the kingdom.
I also wanted to do a lot of flipping around. One constant theme would be to talk about dream vs. reality. Another would be to attempt to attack the normal concept of fairy tale love. Sleeping Beauty is flawed in today’s retelling because true love is something we don’t quite conceptualize the same way as past generations.
The curse is not broken when chapter 2 finishes. In fact, because it was poorly rendered, a series of problems emerges by which our characters learn about each other and then revisit the “Kill/Kiss” decision outlined thus far.
So there you have it, after all this thinking through these two parts this week I am still on the fence whether to go back to a graphic form or continue writing it out. We shall see! 🙂