Take an online class from me and Cat Rambo! May 21, 9:30-11:30 AM, Pacific Time.
Personally, I love retellings. As a kid, I had a collection of picture books retelling the Cinderella story in a dozen different settings. SFWA president Cat Rambo and I are teaching a class on the subject.
Authors constantly draw on the stories that have preceded them, particularly folklore, mythology, and fables. What are the best methods for approaching such material and what are the possible pitfalls? How does one achieve originality when working with such familiar stories? Lecture, in-class exercise, and discussion will build your proficiency when working with such stories.
Retellings are one of writing’s basic tools. We’ve been collectively dabbling with Greek mythology, and Shakespearean plays, and oral folklore (and urban legends and a hundred other things) for centuries.
To a certain extent, all fiction is retelling. It’s all in conversation with past writing and storytelling. A retelling is conscious of its place in that conversation–whether that’s “This is Rapunzel, but my way” or a slantwise satire of Narnia.
If you’re curious about our retellings, here are a couple from Cat and me.
Alice in Wonderland: “Tea Time”
Dr. Who: “The Girl Who Waited (for the Guidance Counselor to Get to His Point”
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