Playing around with ideas for a new story (old premise, fairy tales in the modern world), I was pondering protagonists. Jack (of Beanstalk fame) seems to be pretty popular, and is usually lumped together with those Jacks of hill-falling and candlestick-jumping renown. Likewise every story with a nameless Prince Charming turns into one single womanizing Prince.
These are not bad things. I like their portrayal in The Sisters Grimm and Fables series, but, as fairy tales often do, they make me wander about the gender roles and amalgamation of characters. What if all the Jacks were separate people, what if there was just one Prince per princess/maiden/heroine? What if "Jack" was a girl, either a female version of the smushed together version, or one girl out of a slew of fellas?
One of the nice things about where my brain is going with this is that it lends itself well to short stories. If you've followed this blog for any length of time, I doubt it's a surprise that short stories are not my forte. I like novels. But the idea of a female Jackie amongst half a dozen other male Jacks is intriguing. I don't know if this thread will make it into the novel that's forming, but I want to write a short story and see how I can play with the gender stereotypes. Not just Jacqueline and Jill went up the hill, or Jackie nimbly jumping over things, but perhaps the most popular Jack finding that beanstalk the next morning, climbing, finding treasures to bring back to her mother, and the subsequent task of killing giants that are trying to kill her.
But for now, like with most of my recent stories, I'm just waiting for a plot to catch up with the characters and premise.