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swin0041
Registered User
(11/26/07 6:01 am)
Writing a Horror Fantasy Fairy Tale
I am writing a story, or I will be sometime in the very near future, and I need to do a little research for it. The trouble is, I don't have any idea where to begin looking.

The story I am tasked with writing is situational. I have to design and flesh out a character, and drop him into any compelling situation of my choosing, and basically dictate what happens.
In essence, I make the man, and I decide where he goes, but I can't decided what happens. His personality and the situation should decided that for me. I just have to watch, and report.

My first idea for a situation was this: a fairly world inhabited by witches, dwarves, and trolls under bridges actually existed behind the reality that we all know. When human civilization began to unravel, for whatever reason, the Fairy world emerged from the shadows, and meshed with the real world. The problem being that while the fairy world was locked away, it stagnated and grew dark and evil.
So my character would be traveling through New York City in this world halfway between post apocalyptic human civilization, and disturbed evil fairy tale land.
I was basically going to take a ruined NYC and sprinkle elements of various different fairy tales all around. (A troll under a bridge, Witches flying the skies on broomsticks at night, casting spells to transform people, Cannibal Dwarves popping out of tunnels and nabbing humans for food, Dragons marauding and devouring people, etc.)

However, I have changed my mind. That sounds weak to me, like I'm not really creating my own place, I'm just stealing ideas from fairy tales, and making them evil.
Then it occurred to me that many Fairy tales are very dark and horrible in and of themselves, and don't require much if any manipulation.
So now I have decided to craft my own Fairy Tale (I still want to blend it with the real world) and put my character in it, not just create a parody of other peoples works.

(Okay, this is getting pretty long, and I shall now get to my point)
I want to write my own fantasy Fairy Tale, staying as close as possible to the literary style of classic Fairy Tales. (Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretal, you all know them) How do I do that?

If anyone knows of any other works of the same sort that I could look into, or has any pointers on how to imitate the style of a Fairy Tale, that would be great.
I read something about a Propps Morphology, containing a certain number of elements and character types. If anyone knows where I can find out more about that?
Anyway, thats my issue. I don't really know if this is an appropriate post for this site, but hopefully someone can help me out.

AliceCEB
Registered User
(11/26/07 10:56 am)

Re: Writing a Horror Fantasy Fairy Tale
Quick question: is this for a class or for yourself?

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(11/26/07 8:00 pm)

sources
Imo Propp is very good. His original stuff was about Russian fairy tales which were longer and more complicated than ours, but simplified versions of Propp free on the web might be useful.

Max Luthi also had some very good 'specs' for fairy tales, contrasted with 'local legends.' See his ONCE UPON A TIME and FAIRY TALE AS PORTRAIT OF MAN; probably at a local college library, or through interlibrary loan.

There's also Tolkien's famous essay "On Faerie Stories(?)" which may have been in a collection called OF OTHER WORLDS with some Lewis stuff.
It is less about structure and more about traditional content.

Really, there's a third alternative, besides your NY idea or making a tale all your own. Why not look at some less familiar tales and pick out one of them, and put your hero into it, and see how it all works out? If you need a tale longer and more complicated and realistic than Grimms', try Italo Calvino or some classic Russian or other northern European tale.

For a traditional feel, you might look up 'omni POV'.



MaryCatelli
Registered User
(11/26/07 10:42 pm)



Re: Writing a Horror Fantasy Fairy Tale
Humm. By literary style do you mean folk tales? The literary style of literary fairy tales is rather various.

I would recommend reading a large dose of fairy tales that at least tried to render folk tales, to get a feel for it. Some of the ones I've found useful in that vein:

Grimms

Joseph Jacobs

Asbjornsen and Moe

And (not online), Georgios A. Megas, Folktales of Greece; Paul Delarue, The Borzoi book of French folk tales

Edited by: MaryCatelli at: 11/26/07 10:42 pm
MaryCatelli
Registered User
(11/27/07 8:45 pm)

Re: Writing a Horror Fantasy Fairy Tale
Another one is Marie Campbell's Tales from the Cloud Walking Country. It's much closer to the oral versions -- and gives you an idea about the kind of rewriting that usually gets done to make

Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales is another.

Thomas Crane's Italian Popular Tales is online.

Edited by: MaryCatelli at: 11/27/07 11:04 pm

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