Wednesday 13 July 2016

Considering fairy tales

Genre fiction writers love tropes - or their readers love tropes. I just looked up the definition - 'significant or recurring theme'. In crime that's probably the serial killer, the hard bitten detective with the broken life, the chalk and cheese crime fighting duo. In romance, readers apparently love friends-to-lovers, hidden babies, marriages of convenience. And then there are the fairy tales.

The setting for that fairy tale romance?
There seems to be a whole sub genre re-working those themes. And why not? All the stuff of romance is there. How often have you encountered the Beauty and the Beast theme as the reclusive, maimed and sometimes disfigured hero, and the woman who saves him from himself? These days he's likely to be an army veteran and the heroine can be anything, as long as she is nosey and determined. And then there's Cinderella. It may not have anything corresponding to the glass slipper, but rags to riches is a favourite theme. Red Riding Hood - all those 'nasty stuff in the woods' books - vampires, werewolves and things that go bump, or growl, in the night?

I haven't thought of  one to correspond to Jack and the Beanstalk yet, but there's probably something. And a modern Aladdin, with something supernatural in the mix?

It doesn't have to be the full story either The bad fairy or wicked step mother can be translated into 'the other woman' - the predatory ex girlfriend, the demanding ex wife, maybe even the overbearing (bad fairy) boss. And villains? Writers love creating villains, so they might not need role models, but every good fairy story has to have one.

As you can guess, I've have a so-far unfulfilled urge to write a modern fairy story. I've got a romantic suspense with a reclusive hero who has survived a car crash, but it's not quite fairy tale stuff.

One day.

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