Writing Inspiration: Your Favorite Classic

22 May

Trigger Warning
Fan fiction is a popular activity online with whole communities of writers sharing works based on their favorite stories and films.  I have been running a weekly short story discussion through Discord where we discuss stories from Neil Gaiman’s terrific Trigger Warning collection (we have some really great discussions so you should join us if you are available on Friday afternoons) and some of our favorites are stories that have been inspired by other works such as “The Case of Death and Honey” featuring Sherlock Holmes or “Nothing O’Clock” set in the world of Dr Who, which we are discussing today at 2 O’Clock.

For Today’s Writing Prompt think of your favorite classic story (no longer in copyright means you don’t have to worry about intellectual property issues that pop up if you want to publish your piece).  What could have happened if the story had been set in a different time period or was told from a different character’s perspective?  An example of this would be Wicked, told from the perspective of the “Wicked” Witch from The Wizard of Oz.  Maybe you didn’t like the end of a story and you want to give it a “better” one.  Maybe a romance should have happened that did not.  Perhaps as your story unfolds it will lead to something more original and you will find your own characters or world lurking in the works of your favorite author’s.

This is a fun prompt for poets too.  I’ve written several poems inspired by other poets including one inspired by “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens.

Gaiman says in the opening to Trigger Warning, “Writers live in houses other people built…[those who] built Speculative Fiction, always leaving the building unfinished so the people who came by after they were gone could put on another room, or another story.”

If you love Gaiman’s work as much as I do, check out our next post on Monday about Coraline.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services


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