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Retelling Stories/Legends

Forums Fiction Plotting Retelling Stories/Legends

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  • #58581
    aborland
    @aborland

    Have any of you guys thought about re-telling stories and legends? They don’t have to just be fairytales. What about King Arthur, Robin Hood, or Tom Sawyer? Do you think retelling stories conveys a lack of creativity to the reader?

    I think retellings of stories and legends can be great, it just requires a lot of work to make your version of the story unique.

    I have read multiple fairytale retellings by an author named Melanie Dickerson, and I have noticed that some of her retellings are unique and just have glimpses of the original fairytale, while others rely heavily on the original story and don’t seem as original.

    What are your thoughts?

    Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. (Lam. 3:22)

    #58583
    The Fledgling Artist
    @the-fledgling-artist

    @aborland I actually have a Robin hood retelling idea that I want to pursue as a comic (or children’s book?) as soon as I have the time. 😀 I think retellings are great, so long as you have a reason to be retelling it.

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

    #58588
    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @aborland

    Hey, nice to meet you! And great topic, by the way. I’ve toyed with this idea for a long time, actually.

    I started a retelling of Cinderella which was just a terrible hack-job where I made everything turn out wrong for Cinderella and she never actually married the Prince. I was really mean. 😛

    Currently, I’m working on a retelling of the Wise and Foolish Virgins from Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25.

    Also, the MC in my novel-in-progress resembles Robin Hood and Sir Percival Blankeney from the Scarlet Pimpernel, so yes I do support the idea of retelling stories and legends. And I don’t think that they suggest a lack of creativity in the author…that’s kinda silly because you have to be pretty creative to come up with a plot that retells a story without out crossing the line and becoming a plagiarist. If you know what I mean. 😀😀

     

     

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    #58589
    Princess Foo
    @princess-foo

    @aborland I once read two Beauty and the Beast retellings by the same author that were practically identical! I have also read the Melanie Dickerson books you are talking about, and I didn’t think they were that creative, although they never used magic so I didn’t think they stuck that close to the original stories either.

    However, I do write fairy tale retellings, so I do absolutely believe that they can be done. There is so much room to do creative things with. I have four Beauty and the Beast retellings alone planned, and they are all unique.

    1. One is from the POV of the enchantress, as she realizes what a mistake the curse was, and how she hurt all the servants that were now forced to serve a jerk of a prince for forever, and were totally reliant on him to save them, more than she hurt the prince himself.

    2. One is about Beauty as she travels the world with her huge Beast of a dog. Beast transforms into a human every night and asks Beauty to marry him. She refuses, and he says “Great, I didn’t want to marry you anyways. The curse made me ask.” This one has a really cool magic system I like a lot too. 😉

    3. One is where the magical house is the antagonist. It traps people and transforms them into Beasts. The only way they can escape is by passing the curse onto some else, via falling in love. Beauty and Beast are trapped in the house together, and spend the book trying not to fall in love so that the cycle will stop. I don’t know how this one ends, and it is pretty twisted, so I probably won’t ever write it, but it is an idea.

    4. My current WIP is about a Beast who is using his huge empty house, unlimited invisible workforce, and immortality (until the curse is broken) to create an orphanage. Beauty is the governess, and they fall in love, but they can’t get married, because that would break the curse and the orphanage would be shut down. What will they do?!?!

    These stories are all hugely different from each other, but they are all still Beauty and the Beast.

    The cake is a lie. acaylor.com

    #58737
    Chelsea R.H.
    @seekjustice

    @arborland

    *scrambles into topic hastily*

    This is my favourite thing ever! I love doing retellings of all different shapes and sizes 🙂

    I personally think its very easy for retellings to fall into uncreative and dull (Melanie Dickerson, I think barely even uses the fairytales so I’ve never enjoyed her books as retellings) but I think a well done retelling is twisty, unique and a lot of fun to write and read.

    I also think fairytale retellers often rely on Disney a little too much, which annoys me.

    My favourite retellings are ones that take an old story and look at something from a different pov.

    For example, in the Disney movie, the Beast is made into a beast because he’s a horrible jerk. But in the original story, all we know is that he’s been cursed. One of the ideas that’s been haunting me for a while is “what if the Prince wanted to be made into a Beast so that someone would love him for who he was, rather than his handsome looks or wealth?” That idea completely changes the story, but keeps it familiar enough that people can actually recognise.

    I think that’s the key to retellings of all kinds.

    @princessfoo

    I love those ideas! Do you have anymore retellings you’ve written/want to write? A Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Little Mermaid, The Wild Swans, King Arthur, Beauty and the Beast, The Princess and the Pea and Marie Antoinette have all fallen under my retellings at some point or another.

    Mahalo keia huiʻana

    #58738
    Chelsea R.H.
    @seekjustice

    @princess-foo

    See above

    Mahalo keia huiʻana

    #58739
    Princess Foo
    @princess-foo

    @seekjustice That is an amazing take on Beauty and the Beast!

    That’s a lot of retellings you have. 😉 I only have a 12 Dancing Princess, a very loose Little Red Riding Hood, Midnight Summer’s Dream, and a Cinderella.

    The cake is a lie. acaylor.com

    #58742
    Chelsea R.H.
    @seekjustice

    @princess-foo

    Thank you.  I would love to write it soon.

    Haha, its probably not as many as it sounds. The Little Mermaid and King Arthur are actually the same story, The Wild Swans and Beauty and the Beast are only short and the first three are a series where they’re all woven together.

    12 Dancing Princesses sounds really cool 🙂

    Mahalo keia huiʻana

    #58938
    aborland
    @aborland

    Wow! You guys all have the best ideas!

    I’ve been thinking about doing a Robin Hood retelling also @the-fledgling-artist because that story has captivated me since I was little. I’ve read/seen a ton of different twists on the story, but I want my version to be really unique. Still just working on ideas.

    And I agree that people too often look to Disney for retellings @seekjustice because Disney really changes what happens. The real Little Mermaid story was completely different and even had a sad ending (and to me a more fitting ending).

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by aborland.

    Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. (Lam. 3:22)

    #58972
    The Fledgling Artist
    @the-fledgling-artist

    @aborland Really?? Cool! I hope that goes well for you. ^-^

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

    #59020
    I, David
    @i-david

    @aborland Retelling stories and legends is amazing. I find that the best ones usually take a classic–like Robin Hood, which seems to be a cultural favorite–and add one specific twist, and take it from there. It totally reimagines and reanimates the story in fun and interesting days.

    Something I’ve realized and actually been thinking about a lot recently is the retelling of things like nursery rhymes. Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary in particular has me really intruiged, especially from a Fantasy magic standpoint. I mean, those sort of tales can be interpreted in so many ways… How did these things happen? Why? What don’t we see? There’s just so much to delve into, and it’s amazing. Maybe I’ll get to writing something like this some day…

    Four
    INFP
    songwriter

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