Rewrite a Known Fairy Tale

Children love hearing fairy tales. The stories take kids to places dark and scary, filled with villains and heroes. Add in an element of magic and the scenes brim with mystery.

Many of the protagonists are male who rescue the maiden from evil forces. However, in modern retellings the roles are often switched. What if it had been Maid Marion who stole from the rich? What changes would there be to the story?

Imagine Prince Charming having lost a boot and Cinderella searches far and wide for the foot that fits. The Prince might have been the one abused by evil cousins while Cinderella lived in a luxurious palace.

Your task is to rethink a fairy tale that you loved as a child. Where will it take place? Who are the characters and what things do they do?

Hang on to enough of the essence of the original story so that your readers will recognize it. Give readers drama through danger and resolution from chance or magic.

Have fun with this one.

Making New from Old

You have to admit that the old stories are great. Think how many Disney has turned into marvelous cartoons that intrigue young and old.

Those classic fairy tales hold our interest as average people battle monsters, overcome obstacles, fall in love with beasts who turn out to be wealthy men, prick their fingers on thorns and try to climb the tower to get to the beautiful blonde.

The musical Into the Woods combined together as many fairy tales as possible into one rollicking story.

Imagine taking your favorite story of all time and retelling it. Change the characters names. Change the setting. Maybe add a twist to the story by making the male protagonist female and the evil witch a terrifying wizard.

Your task is to do just that.

Begin by making a list of five fairy tales that you know well enough to rewrite. If you can’t think of any, visit the local library and read a few.

Narrow your list down to the one that you think you could have the most fun with.

Remember to incorporate those issues that society still cares about: poverty, war, race, gender. Also update the story by giving it a contemporary setting with those things that are so important in our lives: technology, politics, and the ways that those two consume our attention.

Don’t forget the key elements of relationships, mood and theme.

Have fun with this one.