Let’s get weird! How to generate weird ideas

In her poem, we’ve seen how Carol Ann Duffy took a very familiar story and made it into something new, something strange and something exciting! I love how she subverts our expectations and uses our assumptions against us!

We’re going to do the same by taking a fairy tale, changing the story, and that add a writing challenge to the mix!

If you have dice to hand, roll two dice three times so you have three numbers.

For example, I rolled a 6, a 10 and a 2.  

Looking at the table below, I have to rewrite Goldilocks and the three bears BUT It’s written in the style of a horror story AND It’s written in the second person as a letter to someone you know. That could be interesting!

If you don’t have dice, choose three numbers from 1-12 at random and find the corresponding entry in each list. If you like the look of another entry more, no worries, use that instead! 

The story you’re rewriting is: 

  1. Little Red Riding Hood
  2. Hansel and Gretel
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
  5. The Golden Hand of Midas
  6. Goldilocks and the three bears
  7. Jack & the beanstalk
  8. Rapunzel
  9. Three little pigs
  10. The Ugly Duckling
  11. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
  12. The Little Mermaid


  1. The story all takes place in a single room
  2. It’s set in the far future
  3. None of the characters can speak
  4. The story is set inside a videogame
  5. The main character is a ghost
  6. The story is relocated to your home town in the present day
  7. The story is written from the point of view of the antagonist
  8. All the characters speak different languages and find it hard to understand one another
  9. One or more of the characters know they’re characters in a story
  10. It’s written in the style of a horror story
  11. The story is being told on the news or written in the style of a newspaper article
  12. It’s a musical


  1. Your writing must make a shape on the page, like a circle, a triangle or a star
  2. It’s written in the second person as a letter to someone you know
  3. You must remove all punctuation
  4. Use as many cliches as you can
  5. Your story starts with the line - “You may think you know this story, but you’re wrong”
  6. Start at the end of the story and work back to the beginning
  7. Write from the perspective of a child who is retelling the story
  8. Every line must start with the next letter of the alphabet. Start with the letter A, then the next line starts with the letter B, then C.
  9. Use an unreliable narrator who tells lies
  10. Write from the perspective of someone who keeps forgetting the story
  11. Write three or more sentences of the story in another language (use Google Translate if you don’t know another language!)
  12. The first and last line of your piece must be a question

Write either a story or poem using these rules. You have ten minutes!

Complete and continue