Revisiting Folk Tales for Inspiration

Taking influence and inspiration from previous works and incorporating it into that of your own.2 min


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Creative writing is another one of the ever growing list of interests I have. Having a personal project that I’ve been writing for a while, I decided to take a visit to the writing workshop on the last day of the con for some inspiration along with a bit of personal feed back. Ms. Jasmine Skye was our speaker for the panel and she opened up the panel with the idea of interpreting and innovating previous works of folklore and literature as inspirational sources for new and creative works while shifting into an more open work shop setting towards the middle of the panel.

Skye opened up with this idea of taking influence and inspiration from previous works and incorporating it into that of your own, either from adding your own twist to a classic story or all the way to a complete overhaul which has elements of the story that inspired but is completely different from the previous work. For example: take the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl who wanted to bring sweets to her grandmother but accidentally tells a menacing wolf of her intentions ends up putting her and her grandmother in danger, yet are saved by a local lumberjack. If we were just getting started at creative writing, we could do something such as omit or change a plot point or two along with changing the settings. In this case, we could have our Little Red Riding Hood be in a modern day setting, where she is a teenager that has just learned to drive and is off to deliver her grandmother insulin that she needs. Along the way from the pharmacy she encounters the Big Bad Wolf, who is a human in this story, whom asks her about her plans and such. The story plays out, but instead of the Wolf character eating the grandmother, we can take the premise in which he locks up the grandmother in the closet and dresses up as her in order to trick Little Red Riding Hood for his nefarious intentions. At this point we could omit the lumberjack and allow this story to become a modern cautionary tale, or we can remain true to the story and modernize the lumberjack as a modern day gardener and such. By having this story serve as a base, it is fairly writer friendly to adapt and mold if they’re just getting started with working in the realm of creative composition. After becoming more and more conformable with creative writing, it soon becomes possible to make huge leaps from the original story to where only certain elements remain, or in some cases, your work completely dissociates itself from the folktale entirely. From taking the theme of caution and integrating it into an original work to having characters that are inspired by the ones in the folktale, the possibilities become limitless which gives writers a new tool that melts down writer’s block along while re-igniting their creative flame.

A huge point Skye wanted to hammer down after taking the time to go through a very in-depth example was that this is not exclusive to folk tales in the slightest. The same principal could be taken from just about anything that’s happened in history, literature, music, anything! In that, the panel switched to open forum in which I had the chance to talk with other writers and see what was flowing in the creative pool. A few had renditions that were sparked from the popular manga such as One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach while others drew off of writing within the universe to that of Tolkien or Dick. When asked myself, I was thrilled (beyond belief) ┬áto answer of my influences and inspirations towards my main story. As someone that’s always loved science, I’ve yearned for a manga that would be science heavy while being fantastical at the same time. By taking actual principals of science along with historical figures in the scientific community, I’ve been working on this creative writing project for sometime.

When everything was said and done, there was a lot to take away from the panel from both Ms. Skye and the audience of creative writers that were more than willing to receive feed back as well as give feedback to their fellow peers. With passion fired into our hearts, we took our exit from the con to our laptops to write the future tales that shall make literary history.

 

 


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