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Out of These, Which is More Important for a Fairy Tale Re-Telling to Have?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by icerose05, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. icerose05

    icerose05 Scribe

    This is a question I always thought was important. My ideas for books are in all kinds of variety, but I'd consider myself a fairy-tale-mixed-with-high-fantasy person. I mainly write bad ass versions of various stories, such as Cinderella, which is what I'm working on now. And I have to know, which do you believe is most important to keep from the original tale:

    • The Main Character's Personality
    • The Magic (fairy god mothers, witches, wizards, etc.)
    • The Love Interest
    • The Villain
    • The Plot
    • The Moral
    • Other (please explain your veiwpoint)
  2. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

    Hmm, my best guess is to change whatever you feel needs to be changed. That might change depending on which story you intend to modify.

    Speaking of fairy tales, a lot of them weren't really literary masterpieces if you bother to analyze them. Take the one with the three little pigs. There's not much to it other than a wolf blowing down a couple of houses and failing to blow down the first, with little character development on the part of the pigs. What could the theme be, something about the virtues of living in a secure home?
  3. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    I don't think it's necessarily about keeping things, but about responding to things. You need to know what moral or message the fairy tale is really about, and then you need to find something you think about that subject that isn't discussed in, or contradicts, the original fairy tale. To continue with the three little pigs, if you think the message is about preparedness, you could reinforce that (showing a way the third pig was unprepared), put it in a different context (showing a way the wolf was unprepared for the pigs), or subvert it (having the third pig be prepared for the wrong problem.)
    icerose05 likes this.
  4. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    I'd say the magic, the plot, and the morals because that's what defines the point of a fairytale. I think that in a remake, there should be a resemblance to the original tale. And the elements I listed are the substance imo.
  5. Addison

    Addison Auror

    The elements of the tale itself. There have been so many stories who claim to be re-telling and are actual re-tellings. Just take a breath and ask yourself what you really remember about the fairy tales. What makes it stand out?

    Cinderella: The glass slipper
    The Fairy Godmother
    Wicked Stepmother and Stepsisters.
    The Ball
    The Spell Ending at Midnight.
    Animal Friends

    Sleeping Beauty:
    The Fairy's Gifts
    Poisoned/Cursed Spindle
    The Fairies
    Maleficent. (Forget her and she'll come after you. :( )

    Beauty and the Beast:
    Young Girl
    Enchanted Items

    Hansel and Gretel:
    Brother and Sister
    Lost in the Woods
    Gingerbread/Candy house.

    So long as you get the key elements of the fairy tale then you're set.
  6. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    Counterpoint: I once read a retelling of Cinderella that didn't mention the animals, the stepsisters, or the godmother. (In fact, it never made it clear how Cinderella got fancy clothes for a ball.) What the author saw as important was Cinderella's jump from common life to high society, and whether she could navigate that, so the whole story was about the prince conversing with an ordinary charwoman who might or might not be his beloved.
  7. Addison

    Addison Auror

    Well everyone has their own telling of Cinderella. I think Cinderella was one of the few tales that the Brother's Grimm found in France and rewrote to fit German culture. I know two others were "Blue Beard" and "Red Riding Hood".

    The Cinderella I read had the wicked step-mother and step-sisters. At the beginning her father brought cinderella, upon her request, the first twig that fell in his cap. She planted it and it grew. When her sisters started nagging her and torturing her around the ball she ran to the tree, sang, and birds and such little animals hurried over and helped. I've also heard of one where each sister, to make her foot fit, cuts a part of her foot off. One sister cut her fat heel to size and the other cut her toes off. Yuck! :eek2:

    But here's a fairy-tale re-telling that I'm fleshing out. It's a modern re-telling of Hansel and Gretel. Brother and Sister get lost and find-for now- a candy factory. They go in for shelter against the weather and food. The factory's owner and manufacturer finds them and is at first nice and sweet but then, like in the tale, throws Hansel in a cage and forces Gretel to work. Like I said I'm still fleshing it out. But I've kept the key elements; brother and sister, witch, candy place.

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