Today is the third part of my series on using fairy tales to write your own quest stories.
For the first two parts see
I’ve been working my way through The Leaves That Hung But Never Grew, which you’ll find in my collection of Welsh Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends.
Our hero, Seren, unhappy that she and her mother were too poor to afford food, set off to seek her fortune. A rude old man told her that if she wanted to do something, she should look for the leaves that hung but never grew. Over her travels, she discovered that these are magical leaves that can grant wishes, but they were stolen by a wicked witch long ago. Eventually, she finds the witch’s cottage where a magic talking boar tells her that the witch keeps the leaves in a purse under her pillow at night.
Now, we are reaching the end of the quest. This is the final challenge your hero must overcome to gain the reward, and the challenge has to be something big.
Think of the hardest, most frightening thing you can possibly imagine. Bonus points if it’s something your hero is especially afraid of.
Your hero hates snakes? Make her fight a giant, multi-headed cobra. She’s afraid of drowning? Make her swim across a freezing river, full of rocks and crocodiles.
Whatever this final obstacle is, we have to believe that your hero may die in the attempt. Your hero must believe they could die, too. If it’s terrifying for them, it will be even more terrifying for us reading about it.
When you write the scene, think everything your hero can see and hear and what they’re feeling. Spend a few minutes with your eyes shut, imagining the scene in your head, before you write it down.
Here’s my scene from The Leaves That Hung But Never Grew
Scared? You should be.
Luckily for Seren, she manages to grab the leaves before the witch wakes, and because the leaves can grant wishes, she can use them to defeat the witch and get herself safely home.
Once your hero has achieved their quest, it’s time for them to go home too. And you can give yourself a big pat on the back for finishing your story.
I hope you enjoyed this series check out my videos for more fun writing games.