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How to Modernize a Fairy Tale
Transcript of How to Modernize a Fairy Tale
You should have your story take place in the modern day or be "modern" in its ideas
Update the Characters
There are usually the same cast of characters in every fairytale: the damsel in distress who either is a princess or ends up becoming one by the end, the dashing prince, an evil king, queen or witch and a few loyal, comical sidekicks. In your modern fairytale, it’s important to obviously have a character your story centers around. Your female character doesn’t have to be a princess and her love interest doesn’t have to be a sword-fighting prince who rides a white horse!
Villains can win the day
In the fairytales of old the only winners are the heroes, the good guys. No matter the fairytale, the main character is almost always the good guy. But in the modern day this isn't the case. The protagonist can be whoever you want it to be, whether he/she is a good guy or a bad guy. You decide!
Magic is Optional
A fairytale without magic sounds completely ludicrous at first but it’s a way to put a fresh twist on your story. Think about the movie A Cinderella Story: it follows the storyline of Cinderella without having an actual fairy godmother to wave her wand and help transform Sam, the “Cinderella” character. If you want to challenge yourself to writing a fairytale without magic, it can provide a more realistic story but if you want to keep the magic in your fairytale, that’s totally fine too!
In 5 easy steps
How to Modernize a Fairy Tale
Happy Ending Optional
Most people typically think that all fairytales conclude with the line, “and they lived happily ever after.” Your fairytale is a modern version, so even though readers might still want your book to end with that sentence, or a variation of it, you don’t have to have it end that way. Although it’s not mandatory to have your story end all wrapped up nicely, it’s what readers are accustomed to when it comes to fairytales. You’re the author so it’s your choice!
by Alex Flinn
Modern Day Beauty and the Beast
I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.
by Marissa Meyer
Modern Day Cinderella
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
by Jackson Pearce
Modern Day Little Red Riding Hood
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris — the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend — but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
by Nancy Ohlin
Modern Day Snow White
Looks to kill for...
Ana is nothing like her glamorous mother, Queen Veda, whose hair is black as ravens and whose lips are red as roses. Alas, Queen Veda loathes anyone whose beauty dares to rival her own—including her daughter.
And despite Ana’s attempts to be plain to earn her mother’s affection, she’s sent away to the kingdom’s exclusive boarding school.
At the Academy, Ana is devastated when her only friend abandons her for the popular girls. Isolated and alone, Ana resolves to look like a true princess to earn the acceptance she desires.
But when she uncovers the dangerous secret that makes all of the girls at the Academy so gorgeous, just how far will Ana go to fit in?