Mailund on the Internet

On Writing, Science, Programming and more

Little Red Ridinghood (writing exercise)

My birthday is coming up, and since I cannot do anything interesting during lockdown, I got myself a subscription to MasterClass to look at some writing classes.

I have written a lot over the years. More than a hundred articles and 15 textbooks, but until I started this story as a bet, I had never written fiction.

So for something to do while we wait for Our Saviour The Vaccine, I will try that.

Neil Gaiman is one of may favourite authors, so I am going through his class there first. One exercise is to retell a fairy tale as a newspaper article. Below is my attempt.

It isn’t particularly good, I know, but it is short, and that must count for something. I will try to get better at writing before I expand the word count.


Franz Jäger, 47, was yesterday apprehended by the police on charges of killing a wolf in the forest near his home in Heimatort. Wolves are considered a protected species within the European Union, and penalties for killing wolves range from fines to prison for up to two years. As Mr Jäger allegedly used an axe to kill the wolf, the case is considered especially egregious, and he is likely to face prison time.

A witness, Miss Rotkäppchen, 16, claims Mr Jäger acted in her defence, saving her life and the life of her grandmother. The grandmother, suffering from PTSD after the event, has not made a statement.

Animal rights groups are in uproar and do not accept the excuse, stating that wolves are unlikely to attack humans, and easily chased away without the use of deadly force. Constable Schutzmann, in charge of the investigation, ensures the public that they are carefully examining all evidence and listening to all witnesses that have come forward. However, he points out that there is preliminary evidence that Mr Jäger, after killing the wolf, sewed rocks into its carcass. The police believe the intent was to dump the dead wolf in a nearby river, thus hiding the killing. This casts some doubt on the story of acting in defence of a wolf attack, as told by Miss Rotkäppchen.

The Newspaper has contacted Miss Rotkäppchen for a comment, but she has not responded at the time of printing.

There are two more exercises for this lesson that I haven’t done yet. One where a fairy tale character must explain himself/herself to a jury and one where a character is in a therapy session. I have no idea what to write there yet, but I will probably figure it out once I start typing. That is how it usually goes.