Tag Archives: Adaptations

Thanks For Being Adaptable

Another November is in the books, a weirdly warm one where I live, with leaves still on many trees. It’s been a great month of posts here at Fictorians. When I selected the theme, I didn’t come close to guessing the variety of topics on display. But that’s always the case when you work with such a great group of writers! My thanks to everyone who contributed posts. In particular, I want to thank our guest posters for the month: Ken Hoover, R.R. Virdi, Gama Ray Martinez, Ramón Terrell and Aubrie Nixon. I hope to see each of you back providing more great content for us in a future month!

I’d also like to single out outgoing Fictorians President Kristin Luna for praise and thanks as she finishes out her term of office and returns to the ranks of the membership. She’s done a fantastic job steering a course for us this year, keeping us on-track and growing as a blog. Anytime I needed someone to bounce an idea off of or a piece of advice, she was there to lend an ear.

Lastly and most importantly, I want to thank all the readers who dropped by for a visit each day, particularly with so many other matters clamoring for your attention this month, such as NaNoWriMo and, well, other things.

Now I’ll turn matters over to Kevin Ikenberry, who will be taking the reins in December for his Year in Review. Happy December, all!

The Classic, and Not So Classic, Fairy Tale

I’ve heard it said a thousand times that there are no new ideas, just old ideas recycled, rehashed, recajiggered and repackaged. Maybe that’s true, but there’s one niche of stories that never seem to get old, no matter how many times they have been retold. Classic fairy tales.

You know the ones I’m talking about: Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Not only have moscinderellat of these been turned into movies—including classic cartoons by Disney—but each of these stories have been rewritten again and again.

I won’t take you down the proverbial Rabbit’s Hole, but Google “Alice in Wonderland Adaptations” and go to Wikipedia. You won’t be disappointed.

For now, let’s stick with Cinderella. I once sat next to a single mother turned author at a book signing that told me if she saw a gap in finances approaching, she would write a quick Cinderella retelling and put it up on Amazon. Instant cash. Unfortunately for me, Cinderella is generally free of fist fights, action scenes and random ninjas, so I have yet to try this tactic, but she swears by it.

Then again, what must a Cinderella story include? A lonely, mistreated young woman, living with an evil step mother, who only wants to go to the ball. I could work ninjas into that. Now that I think about it, Prince Charming is a bonus that comes with the ball. Hmmm.

Movies seem to be a good platform for adaptations. Here are just a few that feature the Cinderella story:

-Disney’s classic Cinderella. I grew up on this one, and was wary of shrinking pumpkins for ages.

The Slipper and the Rose. A comical, musical retelling that harnesses the charm of a young Richard Chamberlin dancing in his own mausoleum, and the fantastic idea of a bride finding ball. (There’s a song about that too.)

Elle Enchanted. Put a curse on Elle that forces her to do anything anyone tells her to and see what happens. This one was a book first.

Into the Woods. Insert a handful of fairy tales, squeeze, twist, shake and pour. This is what happens. It was a stage production before it was a movie, by the way.

Ever After. Set in historical-ish France, this version brings modern ideas (independent women, education for all and inventors) into the classic story. Funny. Snarky.

There are plenty of novels as well, Cinder being among the most recent and the most unique. A science fiction backdrop, cyborgs and more.

As the world moves on, these adaptations will keep coming. What if Cinderella had access to social media? #evilstepmotherssuck #opressedstepsistersunite #sneakingouttonightnomatterwhat

It can, and will, go on and on. Bring it.

Adaptations Month at Fictorians

Turn on the TV (or Netflix or Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus or whatever) or head over to the local movie theater and there’s one thing you are certain see: adaptations. People complain about it all the time. “Why don’t they release more original material?” But the answer is obvious. Not only is it less work to adapt something than to generate it from scratch, a preexisting story has a built-in audience, guaranteeing that at least some people will plunk down their dollars for (or point their eyeballs at) the movie/show/video game/novelization. No property is too small, provided the audience is believed to exist. If you need proof of that, J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is going to be a five film franchise! So studios keep looking for new properties to adapt. And the oft-dreaded reboots? They are just adaptations of existing shows or movies, some of which were adaptations themselves to start. Don’t even get me started about the Matryoshka doll of nested adaptations that is The Lego Batman Movie (not to be confused with Lego Batman: The Movie) As for original properties? They often underwhelm, discouraging creators from going down that path in the future.

Like it or not, adaptations are here to stay. But it’s not the end of the world. “There’s nothing original under the sun,” as the saying goes. As we delve into adaptations this month, we’ll see both examples of adaptations done well and discussions on how best to translate a story from one medium to another. It promises to be a very interesting month. So stop on by when you are taking a break from NaNoWriMo, and happy reading!


About the Author: Gregory D. LittleHeadshot

Rocket scientist by day, fantasy and science fiction author by night, Gregory D. Little began his writing career in high school when he and his friend wrote Star Wars fanfic before it was cool, passing a notebook around between (sometimes during) classes. His first novel, Unwilling Souls, is available now from ebook retailers and trade paperback through Amazon.com. His short fiction can be found in The Colored Lens, A Game of Horns: A Red Unicorn Anthology, and the upcoming Dragon Writers Anthology. He lives in Virginia with his wife and their yellow lab.

You can reach him at his website (www.gregorydlittle.com), his Twitter handle (@litgreg) or at his Author Page on Facebook.