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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > August 2016 > Fiction focus: Tales retold

Fiction focus: Tales retold

Writers have always reimagined stories, and retold classic tales in their own way, says author Margaret James

Fan fiction as a literary definition is of course a comparatively recent phenomenon.

But fan fiction itself has been around for a very long time, probably ever since people first started telling stories thousands of years ago.

You’ll be aware that novelists, playwrights and movie makers have reworked Shakespeare’s more popular plays over and over again. But Shakespeare himself often reworked older stories, turning a tale from Giovanni Bocaccio’s Decameron (this was reinvented as All’s Well That Ends Well) and Giraldi Cinthio’s novella Gli Hecatommithi (which was reworked to become Othello) into the nowclassic plays.

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Earn from your writing and get published: Cash prize competitions, calls for submissions and writing opportunities in 20 pages of Writers' News Discover your inner writer Cut to the heart of your novel – without losing the plot Social skills: Learn to use your online time to the max 10 top tips to get your book published and keep it selling Reader successes: Readers share their success stories Meet our publishing deal competition winner Star interview: Prize-winning poet and author Kei Miller on writing without boundaries

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