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What is it about us writers, that we put our beloved characters through an emotional wringer?

Ross has his share of lucky, happy moments, but he’s got to deal with a lot of heavy seriousness, too. Here’s an excerpt from (the recently-rewritten) Chapter 11, that always touches me a little:

Ross walked into her room, to find Amber still asleep, just as Sam had said. Still propped up by the thick, confining torso brace moulded around her, to keep her back in position. Still hooked up to those tubes and monitors he hated. And yet, despite all of that, still so lovely, like the faery tale sleeping beauty whose story she’d once told him was her favourite.

He blinked; the thought was ridiculous. But that didn’t stop him from bending close, to press a kiss to the ridge of her cool brow, his heart pattering with anxious hope.

She didn’t wake.

Not that he’d really thought she would, because that would have been mad. But it brought a low smile to his lips anyway, and he kissed her again, leaving her with a promise for tomorrow.

I’ve always enjoyed writing parallels in my stories. In my last big story, one of my favorite moments was a retelling of the Orihime/Hikoboshi myth, as it related to my two protagonists. For this story, there’s a throwback to Brier-Rose, or Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping Beauty

I think faery tales and folklore are a charming way to draw parallels to situations in modern tales. Do you use classical stories references in your own work? How? Why?