Friday, April 16, 2010

Making The Familiar Fresh

First, check out urban legend number four in this list of 10 Urban Legends That Drove Pinoys Crazy. In brief, the legend has it that former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos had many street-children sacrificed during the construction of The San Juanico Bridge--reflective of pagan rituals--and was punished for it by a supernatural being.

Second, if you haven't already, go and read PGS contributor and guest-editor Yvette Tan's story, "The Bridge", in her Waking The Dead anthology (you can find an excerpt here, and you can find her anthology at Powerbooks and National Bookstore).

One can learn from Yvette Tan's approach on how to turn a familiar tale that is either loosely or simply structured, and turn it into fresh fiction. The same has been done by many other writers for other familiar legends, monsters, creatures, myths, and fairy tales. To use another example, PGS contributor Nikki Alfar has done the same for a familiar Filipino myth which ended up as her story, "Bearing Fruit".

Here's an exercise: As far as I know, no one has tried yet to give his or her own spin on urban legend number one, the tale about a wealthy businessman supposedly having a secret and monstrous eldest son--a half-man-half-snake and twin to the businessman's eldest daughter--and letting him live in the secret corridors of one of his Metro Manila malls. Would anyone like to give retelling this a try? Or maybe you'd prefer another familiar myth/legend that you fancy and try and make it fresh again? You might end up as successful as Yvette has been with "The Bridge" or Nikki with "Bearing Fruit".

2 Comments:

Anonymous Cev Ruiz said...

i think the Trese comics from Budjette Tan and Kaljo Baldisimo touched that urban legend in issue 7 of their series. You can read it here. http://tresekomix.blogspot.com/2007/09/trese-7-embrace-of-unwanted.html

i'm interested in writing but it seems i need somebody pushing me to write as i'm lazy as hell. probably means writing's not for me.n

10:22 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

@Cev Ruiz: Thanks for this. I wasn't aware of this comics. Though I've heard of Trese, I haven't read it yet. I read more prose than comics; maybe I should read more of the latter.

But as far as I know, no prose retellings yet of that urban legend!

4:29 PM  

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