Saturday, October 10, 2009

Retellings Or, The Former Story Is Now...

Good Morning Folks,

Last night (well really after 1 a.m.) I finished reading Judith Ivory's Sleeping Beauty. Pretty interesting work, tying in the fairytale with a story of the author's imagination. Towards the end it really picks up as you find out about a huge betrayal and the hero finally gets the heroine as his bride.

I've read a lot of retellings (and some references to well-known stories). Of course, there's some I like more than others. (I absolutely adore Cameron Dokey's Belle, a retelling of Beauty & The Beast and Robin McKinley's Beauty: A Retelling Of Beauty & The Beast).

Years ago I wrote a retelling of my own. Unfortunately, due to computer glitches (and my own failure to save more of it to diskette) I lost the majority of the story and mourned the loss of a character I had come to love. The story yet remains unpublished and rewritten. I have moved on to telling my own stories. I can think fondly upon the character I had really come to love fondly without feeling mournful. I have other wonderful characters now that need my attention and I will always be grateful to that story for the experience of writing it.

But I still love other authors' retellings.

Older fairy tales brushed up into a different point of view are lots of fun. Most of them take the beloved story and tell it from another angle rather than change the story much. Those are my favorite because often times you get the story from a different character's point of view and the chance to get inside another character's head is exciting.

Another great author on retellings is Gail Carson Levine. I positively loved Ella Enchanted (and I own the movie with Anne Hathway) and several others of hers, including one of her newer ones, Fairest. She takes a story that's well known, gives a different spin on it and adds a lot of her own elements, thus, while you could say the evidence of the original is there, she's taken upon herself to come up with almost a whole new story--or spin on it. I've read almost everything she's published.

So what about you? Do you write (or read) retellings? Were you ever influenced by retellings or stories that are well-known and loved?

Have A Stupendous Saturday!

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