What is the Fairy Tale Writing Style?

What are Fairy Stories?

Fairy stories are as embedded into our history as the trees are rooted into the earth. Every country and culture has a selection of fairy tales, myths, legends, or traditional tales that have been passed down through the generations by word of mouth or books of old. Fairy tales are a wonderful learning tool, as they teach important morals and life lessons. They also motivate children to make good decisions and analyze their notions of right and wrong.

One of the most famous fairy tale writers of our time was Hans Christian Anderson, author of The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, and The Emperor News Clothes. He wrote over 3,000 fairy stories, so there are certainly many to tell. Typically, fairy stories follow a simple narrative style, making them a great tool for teaching children creative writing skills.

How to Write a Fairy Story – in Simple Steps

Fairy stories are one of the easiest to write, as they usually feature similar storylines and a moral or two at the end. They can be broken down into easy segments to show children how to write their own. Fairy stories are a great tool for developing children’s reading and writing skills. They allow children to be inventive and imaginative while improving and expanding essential reading and writing skills. They also enable children to practice their spelling, grammar, and handwriting.

The Magic Ingredients for the Perfect Fairy Story

Here is a list of simple themes that appear in most fairy stories and traditional tales:

  • Overcoming the monster
  • Rags to riches
  • The quest
  • Voyage and return
  • Comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Rebirth

Step 1. The ‘Once upon a time’ Start

Fairytales classically begin with the famous words: ‘Once upon a time…’ When you read those words, you immediately expect to be whisked into a land of magical fairy princesses, dastardly villains, and wondrous worlds. This classic story starter sentence is a great way to introduce children to the art of writing a fairy story.

Step 2. Inspire an Idea Using Story Prompts

If story writing is new to your class, task children with re-writing a fairy story they already know. They can change the characters or give the ending a contemporary twist. Teachers may want to give students a little leg-up by offering a series of story starter prompts to inspire students to create their fairy stories. You can come up with your own, or we have made some lovely examples for you to use:

  • There once was a king who had gone quite mad.
  • Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess. Then, one day, a fierce dragon stole her from the palace.
  • There were once five curious rabbits who wanted to have an adventure.
  • Once upon a time, a very old lady lived in a very large shoe.
  • Once upon a time, there was a very beautiful girl. She woke up one morning to find she had been magically transformed into a fish.

Step 3. The Characters – The Hero and the Villain

Coming up with a brave hero and an evil villain is one of the fun parts of writing a fairy story. Students could use many methods to come up with interesting characters. Take inspiration from existing fairy tale heroes and villains, or draw a character with their ideas in mind. The hero could have magic hair or a magic cape. The villain could have an eyepatch, be cursed to look like a bear, or have completely green skin! They must ensure that the hero is good and the villain is bad. The villain will want to cause all sorts of unhappiness for the hero, often for no sensible reason aside from being very mean and evil. But in the end, the hero must overcome the villain! (Unless they choose to give the fairy story an unhappy ending.)

Fairy tale heroes:

  • Cinderella
  • Rapunzel
  • Prince Charming
  • Snow White
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • Red Riding Hood

Fairy tale villains:

  • The Evil Queen
  • The Wicked Witch
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Dragons
  • Maleficent
  • The Big Bad Wolf

Step 4. The Plot

You can use two simple traditional plots when writing a fairy story. But first, allow your students to pick which one they would like to use.

  • Rags to riches- this plot usually follows the story of a flawed character who ends up rich or marries a prince.
  • Defeating the monster- the story of a character who battles and defeats a monster such as a dragon or an evil witch.

There are more, but keeping it simple means children are not overwhelmed with too many choices when trying to pen that masterpiece.

Step 5. The Setting

Task children to think about where their story will take place. Is it In a dark wood? Deep in the enchanted forest? Inside a magic lamp? Usually, a fairy story is set somewhere quite fantastical or mysterious. Imagination is key when choosing a setting and creating a mood for the entire fairytale. A house made from gingerbread may suggest a warm and cozy story will take place. A dark, gloomy wood might propose a dark, gothic fairytale, but the audience can certainly be surprised. Let your students’ imaginations run wild.

Traditional fairy story setting ideas:

  • Enchanted Forest
  • Dark Castle
  • Gloomy Wood
  • Gingerbread House
  • Magical Palace

Step 6. The Moral of the Story

A good fairy story should have a moral. It could be very simple – be kind or never talk to strangers. Or, it could be a little more thoughtful, such as always reading the small print before signing your life away. Often, children might only realize the moral of their story after they have already written it, but it’s a great practice to get them thinking about it.


Not all fairy stories have to involve magic, but most of the best ones do. Encourage children to think about what magical elements they can introduce into their accounts using the ‘what if’ prompt. What if the cat could talk? What if a genie could grant you three wishes? What if a fairy godmother could turn a pumpkin into a carriage so you could get to the ball on time? The sky is the limit – and the magical beanstalk could grow even higher than the sky!

The ‘happily ever after’ Finish

Another common trope in the history of fairytales is the ending of ‘happily ever after.’

When the prince heard her sing, he saw that the half-fish half-woman was his soulmate, and they lived happily ever after.

The girl’s miraculously small feet led the prince right to her, and they lived happily ever after.

You know how it goes.

The phrase is a great way of ending a fairy story for kids. Of course, they could always do the opposite and give their story an unhappy ending. Sometimes the villains win.

What’s Important When Teaching Children About Writing a Fairy Story?

Children should be encouraged to use their imagination and write a simple story full of colorful characters in the early years. Older children will learn traditional writing methods, how to make their stories better and more engaging, and how to format them correctly. These steps are an important part of writing a good fairy story – or any piece of writing.

  • Planning

students should start planning and mapping out their story idea before writing. This can be done in a few different ways. Alternatively, students who enjoy a more visual learning style might wish to draw their narrative ideas or make a mind map.

  • Drafting & Revising

After the initial marking session, return the work to your students so they can make changes and improvements based on your feedback. Classmates could always swap their stories with each other and improve their work with peer review.

  • Proofreading & Editing

Allow students to re-read their work and make it shine to the best of their ability, considering any spelling and grammar errors they might have created.

Choose your Reaction!