Friday Fun-Day Writing Prompt: Retelling Fairy Tales

One of my favorite things to do as a writer is to create new stories from old tales. I particularly love to retell fairy tales. My submission for the Writer’s Digest’s Annual Writing Competition is based on the German fairy tale “The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich”. The poem I posted on this blog earlier this week draws inspiration from Peter Pan. I have many more that have not been completed/have yet to see the light of day, and I will be discussing the relationship between old tales (especially fairy tales) and writing a lot on this blog. Needless to say, I have a passion for retelling fairy tales.

Today’s writing prompt is based on this concept, is rather simple, and is very fun. Choose your favorite fairy tale, old or modern, and write a scene, short story, or poem based on it. You can tell it from an unexplored perspective, update it for today’s world, use it as a metaphor or to explore a particular theme, whatever you want. You’d be surprised just how inspired you’ll be by retelling fairy tales and how much the stories can change in your hands.

If you need some inspiration, I highly recommend Gail Carson Levine’s Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly. That book on writing turned me onto rewriting fairy tales in the first place. Also, in case you don’t know who she is, Gail Carson Levine is the author of Ella Enchanted and, my personal favorite, The Two Princesses of Bamarre. You can learn a lot about writing and world building from her, so anyone who’s interested in writing fantasy should check her out.

Have a fun and productive writing weekend, everyone. I’ll try to post more next week but with my portfolio and essay looming, feeling sick, and other life commitments, that may be easier said than done.


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