Parsing Ideas For Fantasy Stories

Today’s topic will be helpful for anyone who has wondered how to develop story ideas from classic stories.

For me, I’d always wanted to rework the classic fairy tales. Did you know that they weren’t meant to be the iconic cute stories we currently read? With this in mind, your first step is to get a copy of a classic book. This is my go to:

Using this reference, I looked up the original stories for Cinderella and Snow White. Step two is to identify a tale. When searching for the ideal story to adapt, think about what you want from this manuscript. Is it a message? My intention was to create a screen-worthy world full of magick that wasn’t another take on Harry Potter.

Step three is to brainstorm an idea. We’ve all read the many novels with a twist on Cinderella. Everyone I’ve explored had a girl who may or may not bear the same name. I hadn’t seen a gender-flip on the classic. After I decided to make the main character a male, I started constructing a scenario. This included worldbuilding since I was planning on using magick.

Step four is identifying what makes your story different. The classic story provides a very loose framework, but your tale doesn’t have to end the same way. All Things Dark & Magickal: The Glass Watch ends on a not-finished-yet point. Trevor is leaving the time period and looking forward to new adventures. The big difference between The Glass Watch and the Brothers Grimm’ version is time travel. Both stories have magic, but mine is with a ‘k’ and it’s a different type of magic. Instead of a glass slipper, I have a glass watch.

Four little steps that are very important if you want to put your own spin on a story. Let’s look at how these steps turn Snow White into All Things Dark & Magickal: Bitter Fruit.

I used the same reference book (Step One) and chose the fairytale of Snow White (Step Two). I wanted Bitter Fruit to pick up where The Glass Watch left off. I’ll utilize the looking glass and the apple as key motifs. Esther White, Arabella’s aunt, takes on the role of the evil queen. I’m also keeping the idea of wanting supreme power in the story. Arabella wants it for herself and to help her younger brother. Esther White wants it because she wants to be the strongest in the land (Step Three). What will make Bitter Fruit different? The apple is mechanized, Arabella is stealing seven souls instead of living with seven men, and the souls she’s stealing correlate to the seven deadly sins (Step Four).

Now, it’s your turn!

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