Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Challenges of Rewriting a Classic Tale

By Nancy Fraser

The criteria for a great fairy tale is not all that different from the formula used for an engaging romance. Both require the following:
A sensitive, brave, intelligent hero—preferably good looking, or at least confident in his appearance.
A strong, beautiful, empathetic heroine who’s not afraid to kick a little butt should the situation call for it.
A plot fraught with angst, danger and attraction. Whether the attraction leads to a chaste kiss or a steamy love scene depends on your audience.
A resolution that is both enlightening and satisfying, not only for the reader but also for the characters.
And, of course, the Happily Ever After required of all great tales.
My Beyond Fairy Tales story, Do You Want Me, is based on the Grimm Brothers tale, The Devil’s Sooty Brother. More macabre than romantic, it’s the tale of a soldier who returns from war to find he’s lost everything he’d left behind.
In order to make a new life for himself, he agrees to work for the devil and earn the money he needs to begin again. The idea of creating a ‘devil’ gave me the perfect protagonist for my story. The original tale also contains a king who has two daughters. While not a huge part of the original story, the idea of sisters fueled my naughty imagination.
So, how does an author of modern-day romances take a fairy tale written hundreds of years ago and make it current?
I started by outlining my hero...it had to be the soldier from the fairy tale...complete with memories and scars. In most cases, the next character I’d work on would be the heroine. However, since in the original, there are no female characters present until the very end, I decided to flesh out other aspects of the story first before getting a handle on who would steal my hero’s heart.
As with any series, there were also certain requirements set forth by the publisher. The biggest challenge among those was the inclusion of a narrator. Nicodemus, the storyteller, is a must for every book. I admit, I fretted over how to include this ‘outsider’. Then, two glasses of Baileys-over-ice later, I had it! (I do some of my best plotting under the influence of Bailey’s and crushed ice.)
I don’t want to give too much away other than to say, I have a sexy, battle-weary hero, a feisty tease of a heroine, a devil of a protagonist, and a father who holds an important position of influence (a king of sorts).
I’ve also done something I’d never attempted before. I wrote the entire story in the hero’s point of view...even the steamy love scenes.

I ended up enjoying the process so much, I’ve started on my second fairy tale and look forward to sharing that one as well in the near future.

Decorated war hero Reece Michaels agrees to go undercover in order to bring down the Irish Mob. In return, the civilian life he’s coveted for the past six years will be returned to him.
Hired by mob boss Sean O’Malley to protect his youngest son, Reece soon discovers the young man needs more protection from his own family than its enemies.
What Reece doesn’t count on is his instant attraction to the police chief’s beautiful and willing daughter. Abby Mackenzie is the younger sister of a woman with whom Reece once had a torrid affair. He’s determined to not give in to Abby’s come-hither ways. After all, one Mackenzie woman was more than enough.

Author Bio:

Website || Blog || Twitter: @nfraserauthor ||Facebook ||Goodreads

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy is currently working on a Valentine’s story for 2016, her next Rock and Roll novella, the third McCade Legacy book and a second fairy tale for Decadent Publishing.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

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