|Illustration from |
Squibs of California, Or Every-day Life Illustrated
But a fracture is anything but painful in the hands of Henry Herz, because Henry has been fracturing fairy tales!
|LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH,|
I recently tossed a line to Henry, asking for tips on fracturing fairy tales, and he was generous with advice.
Henry: "Before we discuss fractured fairy tales, let's first unpack the term 'fairy tale.' Fairy tales are commonly defined as children's short stories featuring fantasy creatures and magical enchantments.
|THE GOLDEN BOOK OF FAIRY TALES|
"Thomas Keightley indicated that the word 'fairy' derived from the old French faerie, denoting enchantment.
|Ida Rentoul Outhwaite's illustration from|
ELVES AND FAIRIES, 1916
|Henry's other 2016 release,|
MABEL AND THE QUEEN OF DREAMS,
"But today the term 'fractured fairy tale' seems to have broadened to mean the recasting of a story, whether technically a fairy tale or not. WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY from IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE or WEST SIDE STORY from ROMEO AND JULIET are two examples of recasting stories that were not originally fairy tales. By 'recasting' we mean a new version in which the author changes the setting, the character(s), the story arc, and/or the theme.
"When I consider writing a fractured fairy tale, I start with the choice of source material. For me, it must be both a story I love and a story sufficiently well-known so that readers will recognize the provenance, or origin, of the fractured version. The latter is critical, both for market appeal, and because much of the charm of a fractured fairy tale derives from when the reader notices and appreciates the differences between the two stories. A musical analogy would be a 'cover,' like this pair of Slovakian cellists shredding AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck':
"I find the most critical writing decision is which aspects should be changed versus which aspects should be kept the same. I generally try to keep the theme intact, although it's okay to add a layer. For example, in LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH, the setting is changed from forest to underwater, and the characters are swapped for aquatic creatures. I also changed the story arc so that the heroine resolves her own challenge. This makes her more empathetic and adds a layer of ingenuity to the original theme of beware of strangers.
"In INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA, Deborah Underwood not only put the story in space and makes Cinderella a skilled mechanic, she also transformed the story into rhyme!"
I would like to thank Henry Herz for his insights, and I encourage you to check out his new books. If you would like to try your hand at fracturing a fairy tale, readers, begin by studying some mentor texts - Henry provides a list here.
Tara Lazar also offers some advice here.
Go forth and fracture! Just don't get hurt in the process...