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The secrets of fairytales and the reason we love them

A little girl opening the magic book of fairytales

Fairy tales accompanied most of our childhood. Writers today have a lot of competitors while at the same time they are trying to make an impact. Authors who write books for children are unlikely to give up this exciting habit. Writing for children is more important than anything else. Our first readings touch us deeper, affect us more actively and accompany us many times throughout our lives. In view of the fact that social conditions and legislative arrangements are constantly changing, fairy tales last in time. A researcher’s work in a few years will be nothing but footnotes to studies by other specialists.

On the contrary, fairy tales have no expiration date. They are forever, like diamonds. Some may argue that fairy tales also have an expiration date. Many creators at some point renounce a part of their work. The works are in a way scions of the authors. For the author to disown one of his works is as if the father disinherited one of his children. But even then disinherited children have their own value and can be loved. So, it is hard to say that art will stop having a reason to exist just because time has passed.

Learning how to write – a talent or the result of hard work?

Art is something that we receive and something that we create and ”produce.” Not everyone can be a writer but everyone can give it a shot. Just as one can take acting lessons at a theatre academy, music lessons at a conservatory, or painting lessons at a school of Fine Arts, they can also take creative writing lessons at a workshop.

These studies undoubtedly provide useful knowledge, information, techniques, and directions. They are neither necessary, however, nor guarantee that anyone will succeed in their field of choice. If one has the appeal, the most useful apprenticeship to be initiated into the secrets of writing is the study of as wide a range of books as possible, beginning with the masterpieces of classical literature.

The much-discussed “message” in a children’s book and what to avoid

Graham Greene had classified his fiction into two categories: literary novels, such as the Power and The Glory, The Heart of the Matter, etc., and in novels which he called “entertainments”, such as the Ministry of Fear, Our Man in Havana. In an interview with the magazine ”The Paris Review” he had defined the difference between the two.

Novels of the first class, he clarified, carry a message, while novels of the second category did not carry any message. Since then it has, of course, been argued that even Greene’s second-rate novels carry messages and that the real difference lies in the way they are transmitted. A children’s book can be enjoyable, in whichever category it falls. After all, the reader may well discover messages, which the author did not even imagine.

What one should avoid is blatant didacticism, which, instead of admonishing, repels the reader. The children’s book should primarily entertain the child, cultivate their imagination and broaden their creative horizons. Indirectly only to transmit values and messages, after first winning the child by surprising and exciting them. Trust us, children are not an easy audience to conquer.

The themes and the audience – both taken into consideration

The language of the fairy tale is not only timeless but also cross-cultural. Imagination has no borders, and children are everywhere children. Some fairy tales often refer to “cruel” concepts such as racism, dictatorship, and genocide. A writer can present sensitive and even painful topics to children through allegories and symbolism.

They will have to try to balance danger, violence, and despair with courage, humor, and hope. Some books are not aimed exclusively at children. Perhaps one of the hardest bets when writing a fairy tale is to find a way to make it suitable for all ages. Books that are enjoyed by both children and the grown-ups who read them to the kids. Louis Carroll’s ”Alice In Wonderland”, for example, or Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s ”Little Prince”, are both simple and complex, understandable and profound. They can be enjoyed by both a small child and a mature adult.

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Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at anna@ceoworld.biz