One of my favorite books is the Complete Grimm Fairy Tales. While there are some familiar favorites, the version I have contains two hundred and eleven stories. Some are familiar, others are stories that sound sort of like stories I’ve heard and others just sound vaguely fairytale –esque. Some are complete tales in their own right and others are little story snippets that just leave me wanting more. For the most part they are written as “Tell and not show” stories. They present the facts in a way that reminds me more of a police report than anything else. I find this oddly tantalizing.
Occasionally I have delved into this book and taken a story from it and spun it out, using the elements of the story to create my own tale from it. One of the things I’ve noticed is that even though each of the stories clearly has a point to it that it is hoped the reader takes away, when I rewrite the story often times the ‘lesson’ of the story adjusts. Part of that is of course several hundred years of cultural distance from the initial story. Some things remain the same which, to be honest, I also find interesting. When I spin out my version from the original, I try to keep the same basic storyline. It is almost, in a larger way, a version of the daily writing prompts, except that I am provided with a basic outline and not a simple sentence.
While I know some of the characters have a life elsewhere and relate to other tales, myths and legends, my goal is to only deal with these tales as a story outline rather than to keep with the cannon of the original.
Personally I find this fascinating. This year, I plan to break these stories out in a more organized way. These posts will be Tuesdays and Thursdays this year. For the membership section I will pick a tale. I will post it as it is written in the book on one day, say Tuesday, and give everyone a chance to look at it and read it, possibly think about how they would break it down and maybe take some time to break it down on their own. And then on Thursday I will post my version of the story. In some cases my version may be too long to present in one go and I may have to break it into parts. If so then the parts would be posted until the tale is told and then a new story will be posted for break out. So I will start with the original on Tuesday, post my version on Thursday. If it ends up being only one part then on Tuesday there will be a new story to break out. If it is a two parter then on Tuesday I will post the second part and then the new story on Thursday. At least that is the planned schedule. I suspect it may be something that has to be adjusted once it is in motion. But for now we will start with the first story chosen randomly from the Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales. (my version is from Doubleday, Inc and was published January 1, 1960. This Link will take you to the book in case you are interested in the version I am using for these stories.)
Hopefully you will find this project as fun as I do. And so we start with our first tale of the year…
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