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Monday, April 28, 2014

Tips for Writing a Fairy Tale, from Kelly Martin!

Kelly Martin joins us today to discuss tips for digging in and writing a fairy tale! Click through to see what she has to say, and what has worked for her, when it comes to what she looks for and what she strives for in a fairy tale retelling!
And keep an eye out later in FTF for a snippet of her book Betraying Ever After!


Fairy tales have always interested me. Not just fairy tales, but fairy tales told in a 'different' way. If you do a search on Amazon, you can find a whole bunch of pages dedicated to them. Some are obvious retellings {so obvious you wonder why the author changed the characters names anyway} and some are subtle.
I'm a fan of the latter.
There is nothing wrong without retelling a fairy tale flat out. If you have it on your heart to write [and you've checked copyright issues] go for it.
However, I love the stories that you don't know are based on a fairy tale unless you read it on the back cover or inside blurb. Those are the ones I love to re-read and find the clues to let me know what I've missed.
Right now, I'm editing a regency fairy tale romance called BETRAYING EVER AFTER: A Shattered Fairy Tale. In it, the main character Emma {my daughter named her} doesn't have an evil step mother. She has a villainous employer, Mr. Dodsworth, who blackmails her father into forcing Emma to work for him. Emma doesn't have two step sisters, but she has two girls in her life who might as well be her sisters. They are close and love each other very much.
...And Emma meets a handsome earl-- who needs a wife and has his eyes set on Emma, though he doesn't know she is a servant.
The sequel, The Beast of Ravenston, is based on Beauty and the Beast. My FAVORITE fairy tale.  I can't wait to get started on it.
When I decided to do a fairy tale series, my first question was when was it going to be set. I chose regency England (1800s) because of the gowns, the class system, dukes, lords, ladies, and castles. The most fun thing to do was to research the customs, clothes {mainly the clothes} and people who would have lived back then. (You can check out my pinterest board dedicated to the Shattered Series: http://www.pinterest.com/KMbooks/a-shattered-fairy-tale-series/ )
I can't wait to find a home for these books! Normally, I write YA or NA, but the regency is something totally different-- and totally fun. I'm excited to write more!
My tips for writing a fairy tale retelling (especially one set in regency times):
1. Have the same series of events as the original story-- but not where it is obvious.
People love plot twists... okay, *I* like plot twists. Throw them in your retelling. Make people excited about your story, not one they have read 100 times.
2. Be creative.
Try writing in a different time period than you are comfortable (like I did with my regency). Throw in a different character... kill someone off (I know how hard that is...). Put your own personal twist to the story. There are so many fairytales stories out there, make yours stand out.
3. Research..... research.... research.
The really fun and the really hard part of writing (for me) is research. I have a  huge binder full or information about regency England. It is important especially with fairytales (especially if you include magic) that you make the background as real as possible. Readers will believe what you tell them-- but only if it makes sense in the world you create. But that is a whole other blog post. :)


Fairytales are my favorite thing to read and write. When I did my student teaching, it was my favorite subject to teach too. If you haven't read SMOKEY MOUNTAIN ROSE, you should. It is a really cute Cinderella re-telling that my kids loved!
I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be on this blog to celebrate all things fairytales! Very excited for the next few weeks.

~ Kelly Martin



About the Author:
 Kelly Martin is a southern girl who writes... a lot. In the past three years, she has published seven books-- some with publishers and some self-published. Her books range from sweet Christian (Crossing the Deep) to dark inspirational (The Sloan series) to mystery (Hindsight series) and of course the 'zombie' book (The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe). She is also a full time teacher and publicist for Astraea Press. With a husband and three little girls running around at home, her life is tiring but never boring.
Find her on Twitter | Blog | Facebook | Tumblr



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4 comments:

  1. Such great advice. Fairy Tales that are just barely based on the original are my favorite also.

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  2. Fun garb is always the answer with era. ;)
    Given the simmering emotional tensions of that era, I think it would be ripe for any fairytale retelling, especially something like Rapunzel. Or Goldilocks. Or Hansel & Gretel, Dickensian-style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, Hansel & Gretel is PERFECT for a Dickensian story.

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  3. Thank you for having me on the blog :) <3

    ReplyDelete

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