It’s amazing how story types and forms pop up in the strangest places. It helps us look at our world differently, as I’ve always felt that each of us is the hero/heroine (and sometimes villain) of our particular tale. In determining our role we must not only decide our alignment (good versus evil) but our role: are we pawns, knights, or maybe even kings and queens in disguise?
Two years ago, I wrote a young “fairy tale” aimed at young adult readers titled The Dragon and the Dove. It was well received by my local reading friends and won First Place among YA novels at the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, but . . .
But I couldn’t find a publisher interested, partly because I called it a fairy tale. It certainly wasn’t a myth or legend. It was about a relatively normal young man sent to recover a family heirloom, who meets a fairly normal young lady oppressed by the not-at-all-normal evil man who occupies her father’s home. Neither of them are out to save the world; they’re just trying to survive.
Of course, The blank stares I received from agents and publishers may be due to my tyro status rather than the failure to understand that not all fairy tales start with “Once upon a time.”
Gladstone’s term “metis” may help raise our discussion of modern fairy tales above simple book reviews and integrate them with the broader considerations of who we are and how we react to the “story” around us..
The roles and missions we see ourselves and those around us in influences how we act. What we watch and read colors the filter through which we see the world.
I recommend his column – Die Hard and Fairy Tales