Red writing hood

Red Riding Hood is one of those classic pieces of literature that lends itself to deeper interpretation. There’s the sinister and deceitful wolf, the archetypal hero that is the woodsman, the naughty but innocent girl, and then there’s Grandma who gets consumed by the wolf, comes back from the dead and takes a swig of whiskey to calm her nerves. This thing has been re-worked, parodied and referenced so much it’s practically laughable, and yet every time I see a new Red story, I’m interested.

That a hundreds year old story can still have this kind of appeal is a testament not just to good writing, but also to using the stuff that works:

Archetypal characters

Classic plot arc

Classic imagery (though perhaps this is one of the stories that created the color red, the woods, and the wolf as classic)

Redemption (for Red and her grandma)

and Death (for the wolf)

It’s the kind of thing that makes you go back to your own writing to make sure it’s clean and simple, employs classic plot lines, and uses archetypal figures and strong imagery.

The new Amanda Seyfried movie premieres the week of my birthday, and since I saw Alice in Wonderland for my last birthday, the tradition continues. Though I have to tell you that the trailer and the fact that the director, Catherine Hardwicke, also did Twilight does not give me high hopes. But I’ll give it a shot in the hope that the writing of this movie lives up to the original. And if not, I’ll do my own version. I mean heck, everyone else has.

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