Let’s take a brief tour of fairy tale techniques, all of which can help any writer if given the chance:
Intuitive logic: fairy tales don’t conform to the rules of our world, but it does have rules. They will not be explained by insistence. Furniture will sing and dance. Paths will appear when you need them. Children can outsmart ancient witches. Disarticulated limbs will turn silver and you can sell them to save yourself later. Resist the urge to explain the logic and let your readers just accept what’s happening. Remove transitions like “therefore” and “because.”
Flatness: In fairy tales, characters aren’t deep, psychologically anyway. Snow White doesn’t have depression or PTSD after getting hunted by her stepmother, Belle doesn’t have a psychotic break after the candelabra and clock talks to her, and little red riding hood doesn’t have a panic disorder after finding her grandmother had been eaten by a wolf. But they all had reactions. Now, there’s nothing wrong with adding psychological depth to fairy tales (in fact, this is beneficial if you’re going for a longer piece). But flat characters leave space to exceed limitations surrounding individuality, uniqueness, and self.
Happy endings: J.R.R Tolkien once defended happy endings as a vital technique in literature, because joy can be as poignant as grief. Creating poetic joy in your prose is okay. A lot of fairy tales end with dark, terrible lessons, but you can let the sunset on a girl in a white dress smiling at the tide. Happy endings aren’t bad.
Fairy tales are some of the first stories we read and often the first kind we attempt to write.
So now, go find an old fairy tale or myth and look for instances of intuitive logic, flatness, and happy endings in it.
Then look at your own new stories and look for examples of explained logic, character depth, and tragedy. Remove efforts to explain logic, tighten character depth, but do not remove the tragedy. Instead, quickly add a unique and strangely blissful image afterward, your own Grimm gesture to emote through your setting.