The Retelling of a Fairy Tale (Dorlana Style)
I’ve been using fairy tales to inspire my paranormal short stories and novels for many years. Instead of a straight retelling of the classic tales, I love using them as a stimulus by borrowing elements, capturing the mood, or using them as a backstory, etc., to write contemporary interpretations. Sometimes I even use a formula: classic fairy tale + paranormal element = supernatural fairy tale. I also often add a fun challenge.
Here is a list of my favorite methods that I have used over the years for you to try:
- Have someone list all the words which they associate with a fairy tale and then write a story, using the fairy tale as your muse, but without using any of the words on the list.
- Add another element: I usually use something supernatural, like werewolves, mermaids, vampires, etc.
- Pick a genre (mystery, romance, sci-fi) before you read or reread the fairy tale you are going to use.
- Interpret the moral, and only use that for your story.
- Pick one of the supporting characters from the fairy tale and put that character in a predetermined setting or time.
- Use a picture/snapshot plus a fairy tale to write the story.
- Use one of the motifs ( love conquers all, jealous sisters, good vs. evil)
I while back, I received a comment on my short story, Forbidden Beach:
“I really enjoyed this tale but can see no relation to Thumbelina at all.”
These are actually the stories I’m most proud of. I love when the inspiration get absorbed into the rewrites Sure, you can see the fairy tale in some of my stories more than others, but my goal is to write an original story.
And most of all, it can be a really fun challenge.
I believe I have written 22 short stories using these and similar methods. I chose nine of my favorites to include in my collection: Supernatural fairy tales.
If You Feed a Wolf – Inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This is one of my favorites because it was experimental. I just let myself be free to write without a real plan. As far as what I took from the original story: it reminded me of how I feel in dreams – so some of the things that happen in this story are taken from my actual dream journal. The
Vampire’s New Suit – The Emperor’s New Clothes but with Vampires. *shrugs* One of my favorites because it has vampires.
Blueberry Eyes – One of my very first supernatural fairy tales. I’m not going to say which fairy tale this one was inspired by because it would give away the ending but I am working on a YA novel using this short story as my base.
The Gift – Inspired by The Ghost of Christmas Past from “A Christmas Carol.” This one was one of my favorites because I wrote the entire story backwards – line by line – It was my daughter’s idea to write it that way because I was stuck. I also like it because it is my first and only western – and it has a touch of steampunk and ghosts. If it weren’t for Bad
Luck – Inspired by Rumpelstilzchen. You see, I have this theory about luck…
Muse – Inspired by Prince Ariel from, “The Fairy Tales of Madame D’Aulnoy.” I had to do a lot of research on birds for this one. This story has a fun “twist” at the end.
His Soul Inspiration – Inspired by The Little Mermaid, this tale is more of a mood piece and uses lines from the original story.
Quiet on the Nightingale – Inspired by Jorinda and Joringel with mind reading as my supernatural element. What if you could read minds, what if your mark could also?
Forbidden Beach – Inspired by Thumbelina and mixed with mermaids, this short story is probably the truest to the fantasy genre of my stories and also the creepiest.
The Supernatural Fairy Tales collection is in eBook and is only a buck on Amazon. Here are a couple of links – but are worldwide.
Thanks for visiting my blog. If you write a story that has been inspired by a fairy tale, I would be happy to link to it from this page. Use my email or twitter.
Love, Laughter and fairy tales,