Features of Fairy Tales

June 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm 1 comment

According to my research (I love this line in The Magic Schoolbus!  It’s so Hermione Granger.) there is a book written by Laura Kready written in 1916 that explores the essence of Fairy Tales.   I loved this list of 11 features she says occur in fairy tales.  Here it is,  keep it in mind if you are trying to write your own fairy tale:

1. FTs (Fairy Tales) are filled with aspects of family or familiar life.  Not too much variety.

2. There is a surprise that stands out from the familiar such as a peculiar child in an ordinary environment.

3. FTs must include things that bring joy such as sex, songs, food, hugs, jewels, colors, flowers, dancing, beauty…

4. There is everyday magic such as talking animals, wishes and  imaginations that come true.

5. Material objects symbolizing love and beauty occur in the environment such as crafts that celebrate the beauty of nature, family heirlooms, hand crafted furniture.

6. Experiencing novel experiences that don’t come with all the baggage of normal life.  Curiosity invoking adventures rather than fear driven adventures.

7. Action for the joy of movement such as dancing, skipping, playing or the magnificence of a horse galloping.

8. Humour that celebrates the human spirit.

9. Na overall feeling of simplicity and sincerity.

10. Celebration of the small.

11. A strong unifying central message that appeals to emotions.

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Fairy Tales What’s with the Red Cape?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lorne A  |  June 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Kim: Thank you for another interesting blog. The general understanding these days is that fairy tales are for children and myths are for adults, but my limited reading on both forms of narrative suggest otherwise. Adults have traditionally been drawn to fairy tales (as well as children) as stories of enchantment and imagination, while children share adults’ interest in the epic, legendary qualities of myths. It may even break down along feminine and masculine lines respectively but I’m not sure about that.
    I have two questions for you: 1) What purpose do fairy tales serve in society, and 2) How do fairy tales relate to your own writing?


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