Mikey Brooks reports:
"Ever wonder why there are so many different versions of the same story? Take the classical tale of Cinderella. There are more than 15[,]000 versions of this story spread from Asia to Europe. All of the stories are similar but also have strong variations. This is attributed to the ancient ways these stories were told—[f]olklore...All folklore was passed down from person to person through oral sharing...Folklore can be a terrific writing tool. So many wonderful stories have been adaptations of folklore...Folklore has shown that people love stories and they will willingly take them in many forms. There are specific structures that make folklore what it is...The first is that all folklore has narrative. There is a sequence to the telling. Mostly it’s chronological, sharing what happens in a series of actions or events. There is also plot. All folklore has a beginning, middle, and end. The stories start with a conflict and give a resolution in the end. A common element is that something has to be at stake. Also[,] the characters are very two[-]dimensional...There are also three specific genres in the folklore narrative: [m]yth (superstition vs. folk belief), legends (these challenge the reader[']s belief, plays out in real time with real people), and folktale (a story that takes place outside of reality, like a magical land)...Try using folklore in your own writing. Take a fairytale, [a] folktale, or an urban legend you heard as a child— maybe even a family legend[,] and try [to] spin them in your own way. Try to think about the situations you are in right now. Perhaps you want to share the story of Cinderella, but you want a new spin on the classic folktale. What can you add to the story to make it different? A great way to do this would be to orally share the story with someone, maybe a child. Later[,] after you’ve shared the story[,] ask them to share it with someone else. The version you told and the one they give will be different. Perhaps Cinderella is now a dragon and she is not helped by a fairy godmother but a dragon slayer. Who knows? There are so many ways in which stories can be bent and shared[,] especially by using folklore."
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