6 Rules for Retelling Classic Stories – Written By Bethany Henry

Bethany Henry published a post about six important rules for retelling classic stories. Thanks for your advice, Bethany!

on Fiction University:

I love retellings of fairy tales and classic stories. They can be filled with adventure, love, and magic that is both familiar and fun. When done well, these retellings can resonate with us deeply and be wildly entertaining—the base of the original story providing extra background that enriches the experience.

However, not all retellings are created equal.

There is a tricky balance in recreating a classic story in a new way. Readers have expectations and high standards for stories they may already love. Too many changes to the story and the reader will feel tricked or confused. Too few changes and the reader is bored.

And of course the story we tell needs to be good.

No pressure.

Whether you’re inspired by Shakespeare, Jane Austin, or Grimm’s fairy tales, here are some simple rules to guide us in writing great retellings.

Continue reading HERE

6 thoughts on “6 Rules for Retelling Classic Stories – Written By Bethany Henry

    1. Hmmm… interesting comment. I admit, that wouldn’t be the first book that comes to my mind. I was more considering Jane Austen, for example.
      One of the stories I found EXTREMELY intriguing was Susan Kay’s ‘The Phantom’. Here she did not ‘continue’ the story, since the main character died… she fabricated a childhood and history of the Phantom of the Opera’s life before Erik became the phantom. I’m still fascinated by that story.


      1. Ah, I see what you mean…as for Jane Austen the best example of (not) her work told by another (that I can think of) is Susanna Clarke’s Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell where she sets a Jane Austen tale in an alternative Britain. With Nocturnes I was more suggesting a retelling of classic Faerie Tales.
        I have not read Susan Kay’s “the Phantom”, since you have recommended it I will give it a try.
        If you enjoy tales of “the phantom” it is always worth reading Terry Pratchett’s “Masquerade” which is a very (VERY) funny spoof on the Phantom story.

        Liked by 1 person

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