I'm over at TGNA today talking about retellings and my four easy questions to help you decide if your retelling is going to be awesome. Below are my answers to those questions in regards to my new retelling project: LOVE'S GRAVEYARD.
First, identify your original - Giselle, the 1841 romantic ballet. Read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giselle
1. What is
different about your version? What makes it unique and separate from
My idea is for a NA contemporary retelling. No ghosts, no graveyard, no magic. A different time, a different country, a different ending (kind of).
2. Do your
readers need to know the original to appreciate your retelling? And will
those who do know the original appreciate small details of your work?
Absolutely not, part of why I want to write this is to bring what I think is a powerful story to a new audience. However, those familiar with Giselle will appreciate names - especially the character named after the original choreographer.
3. Related to the
previous questions, what elements of the original do you want to keep,
re-purpose, or otherwise incorporate?
I plan to keep the general character cast the same. They've got new jobs, etc. to fit the setting but they're essentially the same characters. Also the daisy and he loves me loves me trope that appears several times in the original libretto will be seen (one of those tidbits for fellow Giselle lovers). The themes of forgiveness and powerful love will hopefully remain as well.
4. How do
you draw inspiration from the original?
I've performed in the ballet Giselle 3 times and seen it on two other occasions so I bring a lot of personal experience to this project. However, Claire Legrand (WINTERSPELL) had an awesome suggestion since her book is a ballet retelling as well. She suggested viewing all the versions I could get my hands on and listening to different arrangements of the score. I was already drawing heavily on the libretto but broadening my base of inspiration has already proved really helpful.
So those answers helped me see that I could write this story. That I should because it's different and new and I'm passionate about it. I hope the questions can help you, too!
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