Last week we celebrated World Book Day in the UK, with many schools spending some extra time on story-telling and writing. It was great to hear all the stories the children had brought home to retell.
When I was walking around the supermarket last week, I noticed lots of costumes for World Book Day, many from traditional tales. And I still wonder how some stories have managed to stay with us for so many years, some for centuries!
There are traditional tales that are still made into movies, some that are being retold from a modern perspective, some which keep only their core message but change in setting and even character descriptions. So why do people still rewrite these stories instead of writing whole new ones?
There isn’t one answer for this. Some people may have enjoyed a story as a child and may think that today they want the story with a twist to appeal to adults too. Some may have felt that they were not represented in the traditional story, and may change the characters to reflect that. Some may just find it more interesting to use someone’s work as a starting point and create a spin-off, though in any case it takes a lot of work to retell a story, even if the groundwork is laid out for you.
This week I want you to think of a story that you know very well, and take that familiar story for a ride down an unexpected road. You may choose a classic like Pinocchio or a familiar character like Spiderman, and you can change their reality a little bit (or a lot!). You can give Little Red Riding Hood a twin sister, or you can send the Three Little Pigs to space.
Try a well-known story with your own unique twist!