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How to Write Engaging Fiction Using Folklore and Fairy Tales | Guest Post Written by Signe Maene

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

How to Write a Fairy Tale Retelling | Signe Maene

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A lot of bestselling novels and blockbuster films borrow from folklore, mythology and fairy tales. Stories that were told centuries ago are often the same stories that we still encounter in books, on television or in the theatre today.

Granted, they have been rewritten, and they have changed, but there are often still many similarities. Sometimes it’s obvious that this is a new version of an old tale, and sometimes this is less obvious.

Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was inspired by the Finnish epic poem the Kalevala, Norse and Celtic mythology, the medieval poem, Beowulf, and many other similar sources. Some claim that Gandalf is based on Odin while others have noted that Väinämöinen, an old and wise demigod who possess a magical singing voice, has a lot in common with Tolkien’s Tom Bombadil.