Or How You Take a Well Known Fairy Tale and Make It Your Own
I love fairy tales. I always have. I devoured every single one in my elementary school library. Yellow books, Red books, Andersen’s and Grimm’s, I’ve read them all. And even back then I began to realize that they had more in common than a happily-ever-after. More in common than quests and adventures and the search for true love. More in common than princes and princesses and evil witches.
Fairy tales are twisted intertwined versions of each other.
This makes sense. Originally the tales that we see as unchangeable classics were told by the fireside, passed down through the generations. And as anyone who has ever told a friend a tale knows, by the time it’s been told to three people, the facts have changed. And so the tale that starts with a princess and an evil queen morphs into not just an evil queen, but an evil stepmother. Or the rescued princess is not just rescued from behind a castle wall, but she’s waiting for her kiss encased in a glass coffin.
That brings us to today. Now we have print and once something is printed it becomes static. Or does it? Can we take those classics and continue the fine tradition of storytelling by taking a classic and further changing or twisting it to suit modern or adult tastes?
Of course we can. And we do, with stellar consequences. I’ve been reading twisted tales ever since I discovered my first anthology. They shocked and amazed me and made me realize that every story we have can be re-told a thousand different ways. And so I fell in love.
I fell in love with taking a known story and making it my own. In my novella, Little Red Riding Wolf, I’ve taken liberties that twist it well away from a children’s cautionary tale. By making my heroine an adult, I’ve taken the power and handed it to her. Modernize the tale and the hero woodsman becomes a young hot forest ranger. Twist it a little harder and Red (my heroine) becomes a werewolf. And that’s where we can really get creative.
When you are trying to re-write a classic tale, you need the well known pieces that make it a classic. A red hood morphs into a modern hoodie, and grandma becomes a shape-shifting granny ready to use tooth and nail to defend her granddaughter. Keep the classic line about Grandma’s eyes, but make it different, fresh.
And what about the cautionary portion of the tale? Do you keep the theme of danger?
Tighten and twist till the plot that was meant for children is now only suitable for adults. Weave a little danger into the woods by adding another werewolf, this time an angry one. Make the ranger forbidden. The romance taboo.
By disassembling a fairy tale down to its basic elements and then reassembling choice tidbits, you keep the theme and the flavor of the original while at the same time creating something entirely, deliciously, different. That’s why as an author I’m a fairy tale fan. Are you?
Many thanks to the Dames of Dialogue for having me as their guest today. Leave a comment or a question for me today here on The Dames of Dialogue. Don’t forget to enter my contest by clicking HERE and following the link to the Rafflecopter widget on the Paranormal Freebies News page for fun prizes including e-copies of Little Red Riding Wolf.
Are you a fan of twisted fairy tales? Tell me why and which ones are you favorites?
Jessica Aspen writes paranormal romance near the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Her books are full of elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. She loves dark chocolate, walking the dog, hiking and is obsessed with her new lap-top. Jessica is also obsessed with writing and learning about writing. She is a member of RWA, CRW, FF&P and PRO. You can find Jessica the first Friday of the month at http://ParanormalFreebies.com and most days during the week at http://jessicaaspen.com
Follow Jessica on twitter @jessicaaspen and on Facebook.com/Jessica.Aspen and don’t forget to enter her contest HERE to win novellas, chocolate and more!
Come into the woods with Little Red Riding Wolf, Jessica Aspen’s spicy paranormal novella available now from Passion in Print Press. Discover what if Little Red Riding Hood was a werewolf and a sexy forest ranger wandered into her woods?
Fraternizing with humans is taboo, but when feisty werewolf Red runs into hunky new forest ranger Evan Brewster, she jumps on the opportunity to let loose her desires. Evan is stoked when he meets the petite red haired hottie, and combined with his new discovery of wolves in Colorado, thinks his career and life are made. Then Red pushes him away, her hostile brother threatens his life, and things begin to spiral out of control. Caught between her sexy lover and her pack can Red trust Evan with her secrets, or must she sacrifice her human lover and her heart?