From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Fairy Tales, Folklore and Frasier

Once Upon a Time by James Christensen

What better way to be inspired then by collecting stories and characters from the fairy tales and folklore all around the world. The original way is to listen to the stories you hear from other people, and that still works. But with the advent of the internet we have an endless supply of fairy tales and folklore at our fingertips. Plus there is still the good old fashioned book.

There is a great list of people to look to for these kinds of things: The Grimm Brothers, Charles Perrault, Andrew Lang, Hans Christian Anderson. I think thats where I plan to start. I've got the Grimm Brothers collection and a Hans Christian Anderson, but the other two look fantastic. It's amazing to look at each of them and see what stories we owe to them.

There are lots of ways to use folk-tales as inspiration in your own writing. You can use them directly and put your own twist on them. The new Red Riding Hood movie did that. Or you can do a blend of them and see what you come up with. Even for us mainstream writers, though, there are proven plots and character types that come from these stories that are usable in any genre, and can actually do a lot to help. Think of how many wicked stepmothers and kindly strangers we have in literature that probably all originate from these fairy tales. The more you know, the more you can use. So get reading and writing :)

And of course, I could not let F day pass without sharing one of my favorite all-time scenes from probably my all-time favorite show. If you have the same poignancy and sweetness in your writing, I want it.

Happy writing!
Sarah Allen

p.s. Back to the design theme, I'm having a minor frustration (there's an F word :). I've been trying to work with the blog description text to make it slightly more legible, but the template designer won't let me change it, though it will let me change the title, and the trying to fiddle with the HTML isn't working either. Any ideas would be fantastic!


  1. Oh! That broke my heart, and I never followed the show.

  2. I can't wait to get back into re-reading fairy tales during my short story month, it's so much fun brainstorming new twists on the old classics. Thanks for the author recomenndations, I don't think I'd heard of Andrew Lang before.
    - Sophia.

  3. Oh I love that image at the top. I love myths and fairy tales, but I am steering clear of Andrew Lang as Tolkien considered his collections of fairy tales to barely qualify as true fairy stories and thought he displayed an abysmal understanding of the function of fairy stories (they're not just for children).

    Anyway, good post. :)

  4. I knew I liked you - anyone who appreciates fairy tales is okay with me! I am currently rewriting the first novel for kids that I wrote about 8 years ago - it's about fairies, so I guess that makes it a fairy tale!

  5. I love fairytales, especially remakes. I haven't seen Red Ridinghood movie but I am looking forward to it. Great post.

  6. Great post. Stories like that are so influential.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. :)

  7. I agree about fairy tales. There's so much possibly locked up in those stories. In fact, one of my WiP's is a twist on a classic fairy tale.

    By the way, used to watch Frasier all the time. Love that scene.


  8. I never watched Frasier, but Niles is such a magnificent tragedy, isn't he? Forever in love with this gorgeous Daphne (and what an accent, huh?) to never have her feelings returned. Except I assume at some point in the show they get together. Yay!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Marie at the Cheetah

  9. Nice ideas, here. I think about fairy tales once in a while because have realized my interest in politics and the presidency began when I was a very small child. (I remember the presidential election that took place when I was barely 6 years old. Weird, I know.) -- but can remember, my mother read the traditonal fairy tales to me when I was very little, and many times kings and queens, etc. were featured, and have a memory of asking my mom, "Who is the King of our country?" And she told me -- I remember getting the Concept -- we don't have a King in America; we have a President, and the people Elect him. He doesn't just get to "Be" the President because of who he is. He has to work for it, and the People have to say so.

  10. Fairy tales are the most beloved children's books ever. I still read them since I write for the little ones. I get ideas for my own stuff from just reading a sentence out of the classic fairy tales.

    Great post. :-) Thanks for the blog visit.

  11. I agree that fairy tales can be excellent places for inspiration. I just read The Brothers Grimm "Fairy Tales" recently.

  12. I love Frasier. I have all 11 seasons on DVD and scenes like this still makes me tear up. I was so glad they got together and so sad when the show ended. It was brilliant, thanks for sharing this memory.

    Gregg Metcalf
    Colossians 1:28-29

    Gospel-driven Disciples

  13. Thanks for all the comments everyone!

    Gregg, a kindred spirit! I own all 11 too :) Best ever!

  14. Great post!

    If you love fairy tales (as do I) check out Mercedes Lackey's Elemental masters series - fabulous retellings of classic fairy tales with a slightly more modern twist. Then there's Clarissa Pinkola Estes audio recordings, too.

    Brilliant example in Frasier of each character trying to go somewhere different, the conflict is fabulous.

  15. I miss Frasier. Niles was just so sweet. Gotta love a fairy tale ending. Now if only life were only so accommodating.

  16. What a great post! I love fairy tales, and loved Frasier, so perfect for me. :) Niles was one of the best characters ever on tv in my book.

  17. love that scene. *sigh* Fraser remains one of the best. Love fairy tales too.


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