POV: Change It to Come Up with a Whole New Story

Saturday, June 29, 2013
Last week, I read Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist poems by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich. The authors challenge their readers to write fairy tale poems of their own by picking a character in the story and then creating a whole new twist on an old tale.

When Dotlich and Yolen did this, they wrote poems from the wicked fairy in Sleeping Beauty, from the Gingerbread Boy, and the Troll under the bridge in the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Each one brought an offbeat slant to a tale we thought we knew inside out and backwards. These new perspectives make it clear that we didn’t have the inside scoop before and we may not have it even now.

Maybe you’ve got a fairy tale that you absolutely love but you know it has been done to death. What could you do to shake it up for a new picture book story?

In The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, author Jon Scieszka retells this familiar tale from the wolf’s point of view. No doubt, his editor had seen dozens of stories from the pigs’ point of view, but writing the story that the wolf wanted to tell make it fresh and new and absolutely hilarious.

I’ve been working on a Billy Goats Gruff story set in a modern grade school. My story is told from the point of view of the smallest, but the smartest, kid. We see things from this slightly warped point of view that is determined to get even for all the other kids who have been tormented. He may not be bigger or badder than the Troll (bully) but that isn’t slowing him down.

Do you have a story that would benefit from a whole new point of view or a funky twist? We know agents and editors have seen plenty of bed time stories, going to grandma’s for the weekend, first day of school and moving stories. If you have something in one of these categories, explore new points of view and see what kind of story this yields.

You may find yourself writing a poetic tale about a Frog Prince who wants to move but can’t get the King and Queen to look at new ponds.

Sue Bradford Edwards blogs at One Writer's Journey.


Sioux Roslawski said...


I'm a 3rd grade teacher, and my students love hearing about the "true" story of the three little pigs.

I know that when I read a story that has a quirky twist, I appreciate it immensely as a reader. As a writer, I have to provide that same bit of a "surprise" element for the readers of MY work.

Thanks for this post...

Anonymous said...

Those little quirks may be tricky to invent, but, you're right, they sure are fun for the reader.

Margo Dill said...

I can't believe how many fractured fairy tales there are out there--I think I'm using the right term. I think it means when there's a twist on a fairy tale. I love these. Sue, I hope that the Three Billy Goats Gruff one goes far as that's not one you hear very often. These are always so clever!

Anonymous said...

The way I've done it, not everyone even gets that it is the 3 BG Gruff (a story that has always fascinated me). And thank you for the encouragement. Fingers crossed!

LuAnn Schindler said...

I like using fractured fairy tales in my speech and creative writing classes. You never know what you're going to get!

I think POV is important for any story. In one of my WIPs, I was alternating POV by chapter, but I started rewriting - and thinking - like Jodi Picoult, and switching POV within a chapter so you see how the action coincides.

Good luck with your story, Sue!

Anonymous said...

I've never tried multiple POVs within one chapter. I'll have to noodle over the possibilities.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top