An aspiring author confronts the literary demons of the world and sets off in search of an agent.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zero Confidence Fairy Tales

I have an idea for an anthology series to which I would like to lay claim: Zero Confidence Fairy Tales. Each collection would feature stories by famous writers imagining ways to overcome the challenge of losing one's confidence.

The first book in the series would offer the following challenge to our intrepid writers:
Imagine a curse has been laid upon you; it drains every last bit of your confidence as a writer. Each time you confront the blank page, the horror of having Zero Confidence overwhelms. Write the story of how you regained your confidence (Note: This is, of course, a bit of a paradox, but what the heck!).
Remember,you are writing a fairy tale. For purposes of this anthology, let's borrow/modify a few ideas from Tolkien's On Fairy-Stories. Your tale should include these elements:
Escapism:  By this we mean escape from an accursed condition. Each writer should consider the specific nature of the curse that robbed him of his confidence. What elements of the curse is specific to your condition/circumstances as a writer? Why did this curse befall you?
Recovery: In this case, recovery means a return to, and a greater appreciation, of your normal (i.e., mundane) condition as a writer. What is that you (re)discover upon regaining your confidence?
Eucatastrophe:  This was Tolkien's term for the sudden, unexpected turn of events that leads to a happy ending. This may be the most challenging aspect of your story, coming up with a turn of events that absolutely makes sense given the context of your writing career.
I don't know about you, but I'd love to see the likes of Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Haruki Murakami and others take a shot at this. Heck, I wouldn't mind if a publisher contacted me about making this book a reality.


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