Once Upon a Time we pondered;
Why do we use Fairy Tales in our Work?
is the third install met of our Fairy Tale blogs, inspired by recently discussions
about, what fairy tale are, over at the SCWBI (Society
of Children’s book Writers and Illustrators) British Isles Facebook page. This
made us think a bit more about what fairy tales mean to us, so we posed three
questions which we have answer in the series of blog posts;
1)What do we think
fairy tales are?
2) What is our favourite fairy tale and why?
3)Why do we use fairy tales in our own work?
I’ve written historical adventures,
picture books set in the real world and a contemporary teen novel. But from now
on, I’d like to write what I would classify very loosely as fairy tales –
stories in which the magical appears, not for its own sake but in order to take
the heroine out of her ordinary world and give her a new stage on which to
learn courage and compassion and come home changed.
In the book I’m currently writing,
characters live in reality but the numinous can break through at any moment.
Hovering just out of sight is a world of wonder and marvels. Why does the
mountain near the castle hum day and night? Why does Meg see stories when she
hums along with it, or when she touches someone? Gifts from that unseen world are
bestowed on my heroine, who will have to make brave choices in order to use
them well in this one.
Why I use Fairy
Tales in my Writing by Sally Poyton
In the year 2012, after thousands of years of
stories been told and written, it is a hard task for any of us to come up with something
completely original. So unless you have lived your entire life living under a
rock, anything you write will be influenced by something you have watched, read
or heard. To tackle this I try to use lots of influences to come up with
different ways of looking at things, trying to bring a fresh perspective, but
referring and/or commenting on what has been before.
books I’ve ever read are layered, their stories constructed on foundations of
what has been laid before; fairy tales, mythology, history, science… the list
goes on. They make for a rich manuscripts,
their worlds seem real, and tangible.. J K Rowling and Terry Pratchett are good
examples - so much so, there are now books on the Science and Folklore that’s
found in discworld.
I use fairy tales in my work; firstly I love
them, and secondly because they have a perennial
appeal, adapting to culture as it changes. Ultimately I use them because they are
about the things that matter. Love, life, death, survival. They don’t shy away
from the dark matters; seclusion from society, cannibalism, incest, murder, and
yet they have a universal appeal to people of all cultures and ages.
|Through Mortal Eyes |
is my YA Fairy Tale Themed Fantasy
an illustrator I have always been fascinated how different illustrators
interpret the fairy tales. I was brought up in a very art filled environment.
Books, music, painting. Both my Nana and my Mother were artists and my Father a
photographer. My parents collected old books, mainly children’s books, which I
still have and treasure. Illustrators such as Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, W
Heath Robinson, Harry Clarke, and of course Arthur Rackham filled my
bookshelves and bedroom walls. These fantastic illustrators works somehow
infused into my passion for books and were the foundation of my passion to
love to read and draw, my great inspiration is from the old stories, whether
you class them as fairy tales, fantasies or fables. They are full of colour,
crazy mystical beings and enchanted worlds, perfect for an illustrator to
create from and stories I will always go back to over and over again and always
get new ideas.
|Little Mermaid by Emma|
I do wonder what ‘modern’ stories will one day become the fairy tales of the
future? But that is another question!
Thanks for checking out the blog. We really hope that you
enjoyed the Fairy Tale series. Please do leave a comment and tell us
whether Fairy Tale influence you and if so how they inspire you work.