I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a good-old fairytale retelling! And what I love even more is watching an author subvert and adapt these classic adventures to create new and exciting storylines that we can’t help but love. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas and Heartless and The Luna Chronicles by Marissa Myers are a perfect examples of this, not only are they both wonderful retellings that only use the basic framework of the original story but they use their characters to create something entirely different and unique.
Growing up Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favourite Disney classics, but after reading so many different retellings I’m getting a little bored of the same old storyline, which breaks my heart because it’s such a beautiful tale! This then got me thinking about all the other incredible and magical stories that have yet to be retold and adapted, so I wanted to share a few of my favourites that I believe need more attention!
This has been one of my favourite posts to write this year, and has even inspired me to start writing some modern day fairytale inspired flash-fiction that I hope to share in the future! So if you’re up for the challenge or are looking for a new writing prompt then I challenge you to adapt one of your favourite fairytales!
I loved re-searching all the different fairytales from around the world, so much so that I’ve had to write an entirely different post about some of my new favourites that I found as well as the Myths that I think need retellings, so keep an eye out for them soon!
And finally, shout out to the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson for creating some wonderfully dark fantasy fables!
Peter Pan – This whole idea about not growing up sounds pretty good to me, being an adult is WAY too stressful! This beloved children’s classic has so much potential and I can see it being adapted as both a fantasy but also a contemporary novel. I can also see it as a sci-fi inspired adventure, with Neverland being some distant planet with a secret.
Jack and the Beanstalk – What if Jack found something else at the top of the beanstalk? What if instead of a beanstalk, Jack climbed out of a broken elevator only to find a portal leading to a hidden world?
Rapunzel – Tangled is hands down my favourite Disney film EVER, so it’s only right that I request more Rapunzel inspired reading. I loved Cress by Marissa Myers but I need more, so any recommendations would be great!
Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet tells the story of the doomed love of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette. Prince Siegfried goes out hunting one night and chases a group of swans – one of which transforms into a young woman, Odette, who explains that she and her companions were turned into swans by the evil Baron Von Rothbart. The spell can only be broken if someone who has never loved before swears an oath of undying love and promises to marry her. This tale of broken hearts and deception is one that is packed full of drama and one which I could see featuring an enemies-to-lovers-to-enemies dynamic?
The Frog Prince – Another Disney favourite that I’d love to see! If we break it down, the story ultimately revolves around a fatal kiss and from that there is endless opportunity!
The Little Match Girl – This is such a underrated and beautifully heartbreaking story and focuses on a dying child’s dreams and hope. I’d love to see this powerful story used as a narrative to raise attention for youth homelessness.
The Twelve Brothers – One of the lesser known tales by The Brothers Grimm but ultimately is a tale about who should inherit a mighty kingdom. A king wants to kill his twelve sons, but only if his thirteenth child would be a girl. This way, she alone can inherit his kingdom. The Queen warns her son and urges them to escape into the forest where they are forced to live, until they are discovered by their sister years later. I’m a sucker for a fantasy that focuses on a fight for the throne and is another classic fairytale with lots of potential.
A Christmas Nutcracker – A Christmas classic that I’d love to see adapted into a romanic and lighthearted festive contemporary!
The Twelve Dancing Princesses – Aside from the cinematic masterpiece that is Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this story adapted. In short the story follows 12 princesses who are locked away securely every night by the king, but in the morning their dancing shoes are found to be worn through as if they had been dancing all night. Determined to uncover their secret the King offers a reward to anyone who can uncover their whereabouts every night, and is revealed by a solider that every night they escape through a trap door to meet 12 waiting princes and embark on a night of fun and dancing.