Iím in the process of writing a modern type fairy tale. Iím not sure if I should be that exact in how I describe fairy folk. I feel I have to say enough to explain why my characters behave the way they do. But if say too much I feel people who already have their own ideas about fairies might disagree and be uninterested.
Posts: 3 | Registered: Nov 2009
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I wouldn't worry about it. When I was younger especially, I had very definite ideas about what fairies, vampires, etc etc "were" but then I came to realize that, even within their own context, they are fluid, variable things.
However you depict them, its not going to fit in with everyones "vision" of those types of beings, so instead my suggestion would be, write them according to your vision of them.
I agree with ME. If I'm reading your story about faries then I want to hear your interpretation of faries. If it's too far from my preference I won't enjoyyour story (like the sparkly vampires in Twilight), but that doesn't mean other people won't (like the hordes of Twilight fans).
Posts: 238 | Registered: Jul 2009
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Reading a story isn't about having your own vision justified. It's about being informed by the author's vision. No one has the right to say to you, "That's not how fairies are." They're your fairies, tell us how they are because we want to read your story about your fairies.
Be as exact in your description as the story calls for. Don't worry about how someone might disagree with you on how you should have told your story, because it's your name on the top, no one elses.
I've seen the term "fairy" occasionally used so broadly as to include basically all supernatural creatures as "fairy creatures." In the Landover series, for example, there are Fairies but all magical beings come from the Fairy Mists and are, I believe, some times refered to as "fairy creatures."
Now I will say that if you want to try to write fairies that fit as closely as possible to real world folklore, you should certainly do your research and stay true to that, however, even that is difficult as there are Fairies in many cultures and even within a single culture (Irish/Celtic for example) there can be many versions and interpretations.
When Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover saga erupted, publishers and agents were saying castles and magical beings wouldn't sell. Same for Anne Rice's vampires, Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern, and Bradley's Arthurian legends reinvented. They were considered played out motifs. Vampires and castles and magical beings came around again in the '90s to be widely disparaged and rejected. Rowling reinvented castles and dragons and magical beings. Meyer reinvented vampires. Male centric fantastical fantasies played out in the '60s and women authors reinvented the art in a different light.
Vampires for example, social parasites reinvented as misunderstood parasitic holdovers from a forgetten age of gallantry and noblesse oblige, reinvented yet again as sympathetic yet parasitic social cliques.
Dragons from the age of Romance as forces of nature to be conquered by noble knights reinvented as helpmates.
Reinventing faeries or other fay folk when their traditional depictions are so widely disparaged might reinvent them as sociological forces representing contemporary social issues. Say, faeries represented as embodied temptations and distractions with the power to grant or quash pipedreams.
[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited January 05, 2010).]