Sunday, July 6, 2008

Norwegian Fairy Tales

Today it's time for a trip into the world of fantasy and fairytale. One of the inspirations for my writing is A Time For Trolls, a wonderful little book of Norwegian fairytales. I received this book as a small child from my Norwegian relatives, and I've read and reread it countless times since.

I'd like to try and incorporate some of the techniques and themes from these fairytales into my own fantasy stories. One of my favorite devices is the frequent use of repetition, left over from a time when the fairytales belonged to an ancient oral tradition. In the stories, the protagonist often reaches one goal, only to learn that he or she has been given a new, similar task. For example, a heroine will climb to the top of a hill to find a wise woman, and then be told that the wise woman doesn't know the answer she seeks. However, if the heroine climbs up the next hill, she will find another wise woman who MIGHT know the answer. I think it helps involve readers in a story when they see that the characters also struggle with reaching their final goals.

Anyways, I think I'll read the book again sometime soon, and hope that it inspires my fantasy to new levels of depth and creativity. Skål!
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