I am searching for different fantasy tropes and fairy tale archetypes from around the world to weave into a single fantasy story, as well as research in an academic fashion. I’ve already written about the archetypes of the Lost Princess and the trickster Jack, both of which have been incorporated in the story with a slightly different twist or ending.
What I’m going for is a two-fold project. I want to research commonalities between cultures through their fairy tales and write about them seriously, whether within the world of academia or just here on my blog. I also plan to include as many different archetypes/tropes within one storyline, using the different archetypes to undermine each other. For example, if you have the Hero of Unknown Origin and the Jack travel together to Rescue the Lost Princess, logically the Hero and the Princess fall in love and get married. PSYCH–not in my world. I’m too busy building up the Beautiful Servant Girl (possibly a Changeling) for the Hero to fall in love with later.
The goal is to take the stock archetypes and put real characters in their roles to see where they go with actual ambitions and desires instead of just fulfill the pretty face and True Love’s Kiss.
What I’m looking for now is information and ideas. What is your favorite fairy tale and why? What do you know about different fairy tales from around the world? Which tropes from fantasy novels/movies impress you the most? Which ones hit you as being cheesy and overdone?
If you’ve ever done research on fairies or monsters, if you studies Arabian Nights in school, if you’re just a Terry Pratchett/HP Lovecraft enthusiast, if you know anything at all about East Asian or African folklore, let me know. What should I be reading to make this project come alive?