Bring It To the 21st Century

Classics have often been used as a basis for new, and sometimes quite popular, stories.

They can be given a modern twist like these:

  1. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice)
  2. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet)
  3. The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesy (based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre)

Or the story can be retold from another perspective:

  1. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (based on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan)
    The story is retold from Tiger Lily’s perspective.
  2. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (based on L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
    The story is retold from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West.
  3. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre)
    The story is retold from the perspective of the “madwoman” in the attic

Or just take the story and change it in some other way; like these:

  1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre)
    Turned into a playful fantasy where modern detectives must stop criminals changing the plot of books.
  2. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (based on Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
    Turned into an epic fantasy with main character Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne.
  3. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D.James (based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice)
    Turned into a mystery crime novel when Wickham is accussed of murdering someone on the Pemberley estate.
  4. Rebecca’s Tale by Sally Beauman (based on Daphne de Maurier’s Rebecca)
    After receiving an anonymous package concerning Rebecca, Colonel Julyan, an old family friend, searches for the real Rebecca and the truth behind her mysterious death.

So, need some writing inspiration? Take your favourite classic story and retell it whilst turning it into a short story.

Vanessa

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4 thoughts on “Bring It To the 21st Century

  1. The Eyre Affair is not really based on Jane Eyre, but Jane Eyre features prominently in it as the villain threatens to take actions that will result in changing the story. This is an amazing book and highly recommended, as is the rest of the series.

  2. Jane Smiley’s book, A Thousand Acres, is another version of King Lear. I think there are zillions of examples we can look to for inspiration.

    I’m part of a group that comments on children’s 100 word stories based on writing prompts: http://100wc.net/2014/03/02/week24-2/

    This past week, the kids gave some well-known fairy tales their own twists. Some of them are hilarious, as in the story where the third little pig let the wolf in. The last words of the story were from the wolf’s POV: Excellent pig.

    😀

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