One Size Fits All? Cinderella Proves No Such Thing

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In case you haven’t heard the movie Cinderella has already raked in nearly $70 million at the box office since opening, marking itself as a huge success.

As a male author who actually vastly prefers writing female protagonists this doesn’t surprise me. And yes, I better explain that last statement. No, I don’t have anything against my own sex; I just find it easier to write a compelling underdog story with female characters. Part of it is that they don’t have the physical strength that males have. Throughout history, just like in stories and myths, women have had to outsmart their enemies much more often than men who have often had brute force to fall back on.

Thus women protagonists can make for better storytelling in my opinion, and give more interesting possibilities for the main character’s path through the story or adventure. As a reader I’m hoping you see what I mean.

Back to the title of this post though; why am I even blabbing on about Cinderella? It’s a successful movie. So what? Yes, but the reason of its success can be found not in movies, but in books. There’s something timeless about the Cinderella story – something that elementally speaks to humanity the world over. The best stories on Earth aren’t usually unique, at least not in the overall sense. Look at Cinderella stories published and you’ll find that widely different variations on the Cinderella tale exist. Each culture adapts the most timeless stories in its own way, and there’s something precious about that.

You can partake of the Disney classic Cinderella, but for those of you who find your interest piqued to go back and read the Cinderella story because of the recent movie coming out, I hope you’ll consider other options too: the Spanish telling of Cinderella, or the French telling of Cinderella, or the German telling…and the diversity goes on.

There are many ways that stories can be retold to make them fresh or relevant for a particular time, culture, or place. Don’t forget that. Use that. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, don’t shy away from learning or putting your own unique mark on a timeless story.

 

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