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Schreibprojekt 10: Ein Märchen

This writing project will be slightly longer than your previous assignments, and will also involve peer-editing and writing a second draft, and it will be worth 5% of your final course grade. The first draft will be due on Thursday, April 1st.

Write a fairy tale! You have several options, depending on how creative you feel and how adept you may be at thinking up a plot. The main requirement is that you write a story that deals with many of the typical fairy tale elements we’ve been discussing in class, and that you use the simple past tense (e.g. kam, ging) for your narration. Here are two possibilities -- you only need to choose one or the other, but if you want to mix and match between them, feel free:

•  Create your own brand-new fairy tale. This will require quite a lot of thought, but can be very rewarding to those of you who like to be creative. Make sure to include a fair amount of our fairy-tale vocabulary -- this means your story should probably be set in a typical fairy-tale world with kings and princesses, rather than a more modern setting like downtown Madison. However, if you feel you can embellish a modern setting with many of the traditional elements, that would certainly be acceptable. As you create your story, try to incorporate some of the common recurring elements in fairy tales, such as the importance of certain numbers (3, 7, 12), the rewards for good behavior, transformation into an animal or other magical events, the focus on the youngest and most well-behaved child, etc.
•  Take a fairy tale that you already know and retell it from a different perspective. Most fairy tales are told with the hero or heroine as the main character, but in this assignment, you should choose the villain or a more minor character and tell the story as it appeared to him/her/it. For instance, you could tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf’s point of view, or even the story of Cinderella from the fairy godmother’s perspective. If you want to change the story a little to fit your perspective (e.g. the wolf doesn’t get killed at the end), that would be fine. Try to focus mostly on the points that concern your character and what he/she/it does: if it’s a fairly well-known story, you can assume your readers know the main ideas of the original.

The length of your story can vary a bit, but should be at least 120 words, preferably a bit more. That’s still fairly short for a full story (about 3/4 of a typewritten page), so try to focus on the main, important points (telling the entire story with all of the minor details would be much too long -- many full fairy tales are upwards of 1500 words!) and make sure your sentences are clear and the story flows naturally. As noted above, you should narrate the story in the simple past tense, although there may be certain sentences (e.g. spoken dialogue in quotes) that occur in the present tense. Remember to proofread for spelling errors and also for any other common grammar mistakes, such as cases, genders and adjective endings!
Please type and double-space your story. You should bring one copy to class with you on Thursday, but be sure to KEEP A COPY ON YOUR COMPUTER, since you will be editing this and resubmitting it a week later! (You don’t want to have to type everything again, just the parts that need work!) If you don’t have a printer, you can email me your story by Wednesday midnight and I’ll bring it to class. :)
On Thursday you will exchange papers with a partner, and your partner will edit your story (using a worksheet I’ll provide) to help you find common problems and offer suggestions for improvement. This does not mean that you can slack off on the first draft -- in grading the final product, the grade breakdown will be: 50% for the rough draft, 20% for the editing of your partner’s paper, and 30% for the final draft, so all aspects of this assignment will be graded.
Viel Glück und viel Spaß!


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