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Are fairy tale PBs fiction or nonfiction?

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Hi,


I'm relatively new to this PB writing thing, so I am begging for help.


My idea was to do a retelling of a fairy tale from an Asian country. From what I've read, the allowable word count for PBs is between 600-1000 words. I have whittled the story from 2200 to 1078 words, but it doesn't really flow because of that. So I'm wondering whether a fairy tale is considered PB or NF in the publishing industry?


I know that if I were to go to a library, fairy tales are included in the nonfiction section. Not so sure how it works in publishing though.


Thank you! :)


#1 - June 09, 2014, 12:30 PM

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A lot of times, fairy tales are shelved in with Folk Tales in nonfiction, but they are fiction. Still, a lot of fairy tale and folk tale retellings are on the longer side and intended for older children, so I think that length is OK.
#2 - June 09, 2014, 01:09 PM
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I never noticed that! Why on earth would a folk tale be put in the non-fiction section? Because it's a culture-based story? I don't get it. Some clever librarian person explain please?  :eh2
#3 - June 09, 2014, 06:36 PM

Franzilla,


Yes it's because they are considered cultural tales.
#4 - June 09, 2014, 06:58 PM

If a folktale stays true enough to the original it goes in nonfiction. Example, "Sleeping Bunny" may be considered nonfiction because it is only slightly modified from the original. Though the characters are all illustrated as rabbits, the basic story is not altered that much.

If it is a retelling, reimagining or fractured fairy tale, it goes in fiction. Examples would be "Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters" (Cinderella retelling), "Petit Rouge" (Cajun LRR Hood) or "Cinderella Skeleton."
#5 - June 09, 2014, 07:02 PM
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Yes, Franzilla--they are considered Literature. Myth, poetry, plays, graphic novels and folktales/fairy tales go in nonfiction. I don't make the rules, I just know 'em. ;)
#6 - June 09, 2014, 07:04 PM
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Graphic novels, too? Too weird. No wonder I can never find the books I'm looking for. I need to learn the rules of the library. Thanks, Amanda!
#7 - June 10, 2014, 08:00 AM

It is a pretty weird system. My favorite: the range beginning with 973.9 is for American History, 1901 onward. The inauguration of Barack Obama is 973.932. Eventually, we are gonna run out of 973! And 974 is already taken with information about states, so we can't just go into 974. When Dewey made the system in 1876, I'm sure he thought that would be plenty of space!
#8 - June 10, 2014, 04:00 PM
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It is a pretty weird system. My favorite: the range beginning with 973.9 is for American History, 1901 onward. The inauguration of Barack Obama is 973.932. Eventually, we are gonna run out of 973! And 974 is already taken with information about states, so we can't just go into 974. When Dewey made the system in 1876, I'm sure he thought that would be plenty of space!


Well, that's settled then. No more making history! He he. Maybe it's time for an update to the system? Or is that like librarian blasphemy?!!
#9 - June 11, 2014, 11:34 AM

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Wow. Learn something new every day!
#10 - June 11, 2014, 12:03 PM
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It is definitely time for an update. The world has changed so much since Dewey was created. There's a ton of Eurocentric bias inherent in the system, etc.
#11 - June 11, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Although I love fairy tales, I don't know.

My guess would depend on the scope of the book?

For my adult collections of fairy tales, they would probably be non-fiction because it's more a collection of culture, folklore, and myths for study.  The introduction chapters and the authenticity of the tales themselves would be more historical and research-relevant.

My kid book fairy tales would probably be more fiction since they are more like derivative works. They would be adapted and abridged stories and some wouldn't be suitable nowadays.
#12 - June 21, 2014, 01:39 AM

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My public library has the Tomie De Paola books in non-fiction, even the ones where he completely made up the stories.
#13 - June 23, 2014, 12:33 PM
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Well, all novels and short story are Literature, right? So they could be shelved according to the Dewey system as well.  They just are not because of librarian wisdom about how patrons look for books. And according to Dewey, wouldn't adult and children's titles be shelved together? But they're not. There's librarian latitude there...
#14 - June 23, 2014, 01:20 PM
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