Anyone Written A Retelling Of A Classic?



I’m thinking of writing a dark(mature) retelling of a classic. While I don’t consider this fan-fic, I’m curious as to what I should label this story as. Just simply, a retelling? Is there a particular name for this type of story? I don’t have all the details of the story pinned down. I’m still in the early stages of brainstorming. Wondering if anyone else has written or attempted to write anything similar?

P.S. I’d rather not mention the name of the classic just yet.


I haven’t written any retellings but I’ve read a bunch!

You just label it as a retelling as you’re not doing the same things as fanfics are doing with the source material. You can also come up with a whole new title if you want, but the blurb should probably mention it’s a retelling.

I’ve read a Persephone and Hades retelling that was simply titled “Seeds” (a reference to the pomegranate seeds Persephone eats and gets stuck in the Underworld) so you have a lot of options :smile:


It would definitely have a different title, but would still reflect the source material.


The difference between a fanfic and a retelling is, that for a retelling you’re usually basing it on a work that’s in the public domain. So it’s an original work that you can publish and make money with.

As for labels, if you’re talking about the genre here, it could actually be anything. If it contains magic and such, it would be fantasy, if it’s a love story it would be romance and so on.
Do tag it with the retelling hashtag though as it’s quite a popular sub-genre here on Wattpad and it will be easier for people interested in retellings to find it. You could also mention it in your blurb but it’s optional I think, especially since there’s kind of a blurry line between ‘retelling’ a story and writing a story that is simply ‘inspired by’ another work.


True! I wrote a gay romance for fun, along the lines of “Jane Eyre” but whether it’s a “retelling” or not, I’m not sure. It’s not a direct match for the story, so probably more of “inspired by”


Most of my own ‘retellings’ are very loose as I don’t necessarily follow the original’s plotline but simply pick elements from them.


Thank you guys for your feedback. I guess I need to do some more research on this.


When I started Nanowrimo this year, I decided to write a modern gender-swapped reboot of the classic British bildungsroman “Of Human Bondage.” Though I mention the classic in the description of my story, I categorized it as original content because it resembled the classic as much as, say, “Clueless” resembles “Emma.” Which is just as well because a week into November, the manuscript went off the rails anyway.


Did a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood a few years ago. It was great fun to do, and was inspired by a dark retelling of Snow White written by Neil Gaiman. As folks have said, if it’s a retelling of a public domain work then it’s probably easier. Think Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as an example


In my case it’s a little tricky, because while the original book IS in the public domain, the popular movie is not. MGM owns the copyright for the film. So legally, I cant draw inspiration from the film unless it is taken directly out of the book. From what I’ve read anyways


Have you read the book?


I’ve already written my version of Frankenstein through my Codename: Velocity book series. If I think of anything else I can add to another book or series, I’ll let you guys know.


yes, its an old childrens book. I think most people associate with the classic movie, so itll be interesting to build completely from the book, which does differ significantly in a few things. Either way, i think people will recognize the source material behind the inspiration


Wizard of Oz?


Well, that sounds like the movie is actually a retelling itself, like the Disney movies. Basing it on the movie would make it a fanfic.


you guessed it!


I haven’t ever 'RETOLD" a story, but I have written a couple homages, trading on the style, venue, and flavor of a couple. One, “A Thousand and Two Knights Street” amounts to a story within a story, with the middle story patterned closely after Richard Buton’s Arabian nights, as told by a Jinn who is a character in it. It’s one of the shorts in the National Archeologica volume. Another short in it, patterns loosely after Talbot Mundy style adventures. This is a fun way to twist your writing around, and experiment with forms, and get a broader experience of style, I would recommend giving it a try.


sounds fun and challenging. Its something ill consider


There are some really super retelling of the old Fairy Tales that are really great! Older works by fantasy authors that sold well back at that time. I don’t recall the author’s name, but she was top-notch at the time. (Tanith Lee)

So it can be done and will find an audience.

“The Silver Metal Lover” is Pinoccio.

I’ve got a Cinderella in the works.


Right now I’m working on re-creating the stories of video games in novel form. So far, I’ve gotten the true pacifist route for Undertale completed, and am working on re-creating the genocide route (I’ve just about gotten to Snowdin Town).
I’ve also worked on re-creating the Five Nights at Freddy’s lore, and am working on what looks like it’ll be the final draft for the novel. (This is the 5th or 6th draft I’ve made of the same concept.)
I plan to be working on several different novels in the future; two of them are re-creations of Sonic Adventure 2’s story and Deltarune’s story. I also have plans for a major novel that won’t be a re-creation of any specific video game, but I won’t reveal what it is until it’s started :wink:
I’m considering adding other great games to the pending list, such as Pokemon games and The Legend of Zelda The Windwaker, but I’m unsure because it feels like the story’s a little too clear in the game itself to be re-created in novel form. What do you guys think? Should I add those to the pending list, should I focus on retelling of fairy tales instead, or should I continue on with what I’ve got on the pending?