Commentary: The Sweet House


I had a lot of fun writing The Sweet House (or The Witch & the Wolf).

I knew I wanted to write a story based around the idea of deceit and disguise in fairy tales, and I also wanted the story to be amusingly intertextual, with allusions to other fairy tale elements, characters and stories.

I enjoyed playing with the motif of the wolf in disguise as Red Riding Hood/Little Red Cap, and setting this against the backdrop of Hansel and Gretal, with the witch as the supposed ‘victim’ of the wolf’s ways.

As the story unfolded, I realised it ended up becoming much more parodic than I had originally intended, so I just decided to run with this. For me, the story takes the most interesting turn when the witch, instead of being afraid (since witches rarely are), stands up to the wolf and their dialogue becomes somewhat farcical.

I struggled for a while with the resolution, trying to figure out how to end it.

Originally, I had intentions of introducing a third character of a real boy or girl and somehow having he or she overpower both antagonists, but eventually, I found that the cliffhanger ending worked nicely – and I like how it ties back to the rest of the cliches that run through the story, and kind of takes the ending to a new ‘cliched’ height.



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