Why Re-Tell Old Stories?

writing quill

Today I want to talk a bit more about why I’m re-writing someone else’s story. The fact is, for centuries — millennia, even — this is the way storytellers learned their craft. They retold stories that had already been told many times. Why? Because the stories themselves were sound — they had survived the test of time — so the writer could concentrate on the telling of the story, not the plot. And, in doing so, he could draw out his own meaning from the events he recounted. This, after all, is what why people love stories — entertaining though they may be, ultimately they tell us something about life. At least, the better ones do. Continue reading


An Experiment in Story(re)telling

Shakespeare pondering

The Bard pondering where he’ll find the plot for his next twice-told tale.

Shakespeare pinched stories from wherever he could find them — Gesta Danorum, the Decameron, Holinshed’s Chronicles, Plautus’s Lives, Sydney’s Arcadia, even his contemporary poets and playwrights — but no one ever called him unoriginal. That’s why I feel completely justified in an experiment I’m undertaking, which I call Twice-Told Tales. Continue reading