Tackling A Fairytale Retelling
Hey everybody! I’m back! I finished up my last class of the semester on Friday, and now (despite exams), I have much more time to concentrate on my writing and on this blog. I have been trying to brainstorm topics relating to writing fantasy that readers would be interested in. I have a few, but if you have any ideas or topics that you would love to read about, please shoot me a comment or a message!
For today’s blog post, I want to chat about a subgenre of fantasy that I am thinking about attempting: the fairytale retelling. After the Chasing Fae trilogy, I’m considering taking on a Robin Hood retelling. It is one of my favorite childhood stories, and I have some pretty solid ideas to take the story in a new direction. It’s a subgenre that I enjoy reading, but it has to be done right. So I have been exploring the web for the best tips for writing a fairytale retelling, and these are the top three that I found.
Tip #1: Read Your Chosen Fairytale Carefully.
Before you take on your fairytale retelling, you must read the original! Whatever the story or fairytale may be, find the original version and read it from cover to cover. Make some notes on the various elements of the story. Essentially, you have to take stock of what you have to work with: characters, general plotline, what details of the world are available. It may seem tedious, but you want to capture every detail you can so you can build from there.
Tip #2: Figure out what you want to change.
Next, you’ll want to decide how much you want to change for your retelling. Here’s a few ideas you may want to think about:
Whose perspective do you want to tell the story from? Will it be the protagonist, or will you take it from a different perspective?
Do you want to update the setting? For example, will you be changing the time period to the present day? How will the world change?
How do you want to enhance the characterization? How can you make the main characters more full, more well-rounded to suit your purposes? What minor characters might jump into the spotlight?
What is your twist? What is your unexpected element that is going to make this retelling unique?
Tip #3: Build a world around the story.
One of the things that is interesting about classic fairytales is that often the setting can be quite nondescript. You hear about the “beautiful castle” or the “rolling hills”, but it has very little other details. This gives you the ability to dream big with your worldbuilding. That is one of the things that I am most excited to tackle in a fairytale retelling. Take this opportunity to take those little details and go wild. If you want more inspiration on how to take your worldbuilding to the next level, check out my Worldbuilding tab for worldbuilding questions and tips.
That’s all for now, friends. I’ll write more posts soon! Happy writing!