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Author
Comment
Wonderlicious
Registered User
(8/13/07 3:36 pm)


Help on writing new fairy-tales
I've been writing some original fairy-tales recently, and I've been pondering on some things recently. First of all, the tales that I'm writing reference real places. A lot of fairy-tales do actually reference real places ("The Pied Piper of Hamelin", "The Bremen Town Musicians", "The Nightingale" etc), but one of them that I'm writing not only references a place, but also a time (which is the Tudor era, by the way). All the characters are fictional, and the motifs used in this particular story are similar to those in classic fairy-tales, but even still, would the mention of era make it more of a legend or general fantasy?

Also, do you feel that it is a sin to start a story with the archetypal "Once upon a time"? I feel really tempted to, but it equally seems a bit of a cliche. I find it easy to not close with the typical "happily ever after" line, but starting seems to be so much harder.

MaryCatelli
Registered User
(8/13/07 5:20 pm)


Re: Help on writing new fairy-tales
Err -- why is it important whether it is a legend or a fairy tale or a fantasy?

And on the opening line -- is this the first draft? I wouldn't worry about it until I came back and revised it. The opening line can be the last thing you write.

moonway
Registered User
(8/13/07 7:47 pm)


Re: Help on writing new fairy-tales
Referencing real places and times is an attempt to make the story seem real. Ditto for very concrete and specific details.

I live in Boston, and once read one of the Spencer detective novels in which Spencer shoots a bad guy on the bridge in the Boston Gardens. For a long time, whenever I went over that bridge, I felt a shudder.

Even though I *know* it wasn't real, it had the taste of reality.

Kaleigh Way

westolorin
Registered User
(8/16/07 12:07 pm)


Re: Help on writing new fairy-tales
I think you should do what makes you most happy. If I'm writing a story in a real place I do tend to try to mention areas that those from the area would find familiar. Like, I'm from Maryland in the US, Silver Spring to be exact. So I love to mention going to the monuments in DC or little areas that you'd only recognize if you're actually from the area. Of course, I'm not published. But friends that read my work always tell me they know exactly where I'm discussing and I do hope to publish one day.

Also, I love saying Once Upon A Time. But instead of having it be your first line, make that the prologue. For instance, have the very first page of the story say nothing BUT "Once upon a time" then on the next page begin with your own words and just tell the story.

Just my $0.02
Amy Elizabeth

Writerpatrick
Registered User
(8/18/07 11:50 am)


Re: Once Upon A Time
I can't think of any original tales that actually start with "Once upon a time..." There are some variations on them, but I can't think of one with those exact works. It seems to be a modern development.

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(8/21/07 2:50 am)


from Lang
Here are some that open that way from Lang:

search.freefind.com/find....T=+Find%21

Writerpatrick
Registered User
(8/21/07 6:24 am)


Re: Once upon a time
So it would seem to be something that Lang introduced along with "happily ever after".

A common source makes more sense than many stories from many backgrounds all starting the same way.

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(8/21/07 12:32 pm)


consistency
"Once upon a time" and "happily ever after" are not the only formulaic openings and closings for folktales, but formulaic openings and closings are part of the folk tradition. Openings that suggest a different 'sort' of time are common, even if for some of them Lang did translate their wording into the English idiom.

bielie
Registered User
(8/22/07 12:12 pm)


Once upon a time
If you feel "once upon a time " is jaded but you still want its archetypal magic, give it your own original twist: eg
Once upon a time when the earth was young and there were dragons and giants...
Or
Once upon a time when the air was still clean and sex was still dirty...
Or
Once upon a time when humans were more than a myth...

Have fun!

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