Most of us remember being read fairy tales. The stories our parents would read to us after tucking us into bed but before we drifted off to the land of dreams. Many may have left these in their childhood, but now fairy tales are making a comeback.
Reason 1: They Provide a Well-known, Generic Story
When first looking at this reason, it might not seem like such a good idea for fairy tales to be making a comeback. But trust me, it is a good reason. Some examples of this include series such as the Cinderella based Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, the Beauty and the Beast based A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas (Maas is one of my favorite authors, so expect to hear quite a bit about her and her books), as well as The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer which is based on the fairy tales Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Rapunzel, and Snow White.
So how are authors able to find inspiration in the same fairy tales but create vastly different story lines, characters, and worlds? It’s because in fairy tales, there is very little detail. Because of this, authors are able to fill in the blanks to create different characters in different worlds. Which brings me to my next point, the fact that these stories are so well known makes it so that an author can change as much as they want to and still have the story be recognizable by the reader.
Reason 2: They Teach Concepts of Good and Bad
As children, we learn the differences between good and bad from fairy tales. Concepts that we carry into adulthood. In fairy tales, there is almost always a good person and a bad person: the princess and the villain, the little girl and the wolf. And in these fairy tales, good always prevails; teaching children the consequences/rewards of either good or bad behavior.
But life isn’t always like that, isn’t it? People in real life are neither purely good nor purely evil. They are a mix of both. And that is an important concept in both writing and life in order to understand people and their actions as well as to create fully rounded characters.
Reason 3: They Teach us the Basics of Story
For me as a writer, the hardest part of writing a story is the plot. I have trouble identifying what my inciting event is, or where exactly my climax should be. But I do know the basics. Why? Because of fairy tales. Through fairy tales, we are able to learn the very basics of storytelling: beginning, middle, and end. We are able to learn the basics of how a character goes from their ‘normal life’ to what their life is like after the story. Also, from fairytales, we are able to learn more about setting and how it affects the overall story.
So maybe when you have a worse than usual case of writer’s block, try revisiting these well-known stories and revel in the simple characters and just the pleasure of reading a story. The joy you want your readers to experience while reading your novel.