Friday, February 17, 2012

Why retell? Why not?

Everybody has a favorite movie, book, song.

Most have more than one.

But many have one that really sticks out.

I think it must be really great for a director to remake their favorite movie. For a singer to cover their favorite song.

But what about your favorite story?

What do writers do?

Why, they retell it of course!

I really love how many fairy-tales are are going under the knife and getting a modern face-lift. It makes me full of squees.

With "Ryder" I started out with just wanting to write a girl werewolf story. But once I figured out how to incorporate a Little Red Riding Hood vibe the story came to me more easily. And totally made me more excited. Now I had a chance to play with the Big Bad Wolf!

But would some say that is cheating? That this author can't come up with their own plot?

I disagree with those Negative Nancies.  Re-telling a beloved story is just plain awesome. It gives the author a chance to tell the story the way they wished it would have been told.

Do you have a favorite retelling? I'd love to hear what it is.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with what you are saying. No matter what you choose, there is always someone who has used it somewhere, in some way. Story elements, especially old tales like red riding hood, or ancient lore like mythology, belong to everyone.

    The key, of course, is to find a way to tell it and make it your own. (Which you totally did, by the way.) There has to be a "why". What can *you* bring to the tale that will make it stand out? That will compel us to take that journey (again)?

    Not only that, but I feel that as writers we are well served by recognizing themes, patterns and ideas in our work. A fairy tale retelling is a great opportunity to deliberately examine and play with those themes -- sometimes be expanding on them, and sometimes by bending, fracturing or twisting them in new and exciting ways.