Have you ever wanted to retell a fairy tale? You’re not alone.
I love fairy tales. I’ve been crazy about them since I was a little. There’s something about the bare bones of the stories that make me wonder what the people were thinking. Why they made their choices. In my mind, the Grimm Brothers, Anderson and other recorders of folk tales have essentially recorded a newspaper story, short and to the point. Or, in other versions, rather longer. I want to know what else was happening. The perspective of a minor character. Or, what if the character that we know and love as the “good guy” actually isn’t? I want to know.
Disney has produced several fairy tale stories, including The Frog Prince, Tangled, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Mulan. But they don’t have a copyright on fairy tales, because fairy tales are public domain. Disney didn’t come up with them. They simply took tales that have a long oral tradition and wrote their own versions. Their stories are often “lighter” than the original tales, which have rather gruesome beginnings, middles or ends.
If you love fairy tales as much as I do, you might be thinking about telling one of your own, particularly if you’ve seen all of the other retellings rolling around lately. Consider this very small selection:
The 10th Kingdom
A Cinderella Story
Red Riding Hood
Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Snow White and the Huntsmen
Beauty and the Beast (The 80’s)
Once Upon a Time
Beastly by Alex Finn
Beauty by Robin McKinley
Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Entwined by Heather Dixon
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
The Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Stardust by Neil Gaman
Again, that’s only a small selection. The amazing thing is there’s still a market for retellings because people can’t get enough of them. Do you have a fairy tale you want to retell? What intrigues you about fairy tales?
If you write short stories and you’re thinking about a retelling of a short story, consider some of these magazine publications that publish fairy tales: Enchanted Conversations, Faerie Magazine and Cabinet des Fees.
Come back next week for tips about how to rewrite a fairy tale.