A Pirate's Resources

Exercise 19 :: Princess :: Does the Princess have to wear a tiara?

Ah, the fairy tale princess. Now, before your student gags quietly in the corner over this stereotype, this is NOT what we are talking about. The princess may be, but often isn’t, an actual princess. She doesn’t have to be female. And she might not even be a character. Really?

Really. The
princess is the character or thing that is being fought over. It is something that is desired - it performs the function of being the thing in the story that is desired or needs to be saved. It could be magic jelly beans. It could be sea turtles. It could be a monkey slave. It could be the shire or Middle Earth. It could be the Ark of the Covenant. It might be a princess. Truly, the princess can be anything that someone in the story wants, or needs saving in some way. This opens it wide up!

How does this character or thing become the princess? They might be stolen or lost, or under threat of harm. This might be from the
villain, or it may have happened before the story even starts. Whenever the danger occurs to the princess, it causes other characters to desire to take actions to rescue or protect her.

In Real Life :: Sometimes in a story, as in life, something happens. A virus strikes the world. When this act of villainy occurs, any number of people might become the princess :: the elderly, the immune-compromised, small businesses, first responders, friendships, political position, airlines. All of these are possible princesses, and the author’s job is to make the choices necessary to move the story forward. Each of those potential princesses would have different characters who would desire to protect or save her.

Throughout these exercises on character, your student will be asked to identify who different characters might be, based on how they view what AoV is presented. It is a marvelous lesson in perspective, and I encourage you to help your student see this very aspect of it. Because as valuable as it is to be able to identify the
villain or the princess, being able to see the same AoV from different perspectives, to understand why one character reacts they way that they do, is of incredible value in life. So take some time and investigate the problems, big and small, that you see around you. Talk through how one person might see it as a problem, and another might not, and why. Ask who or what needs saving. Ask who might want to solve the problem and how they might go about doing it, and you are on your way to creating a storyteller who lives a compassionate life.

Finding it in the Story :: pg 225 :: the princess is the Kanadien ship and all the people on it. (The really astute student might even recognize that Meataloaf becomes the princess when the kraken swallows him - at that moment, there is a new AoV, and Meataloaf needs rescuing).