By the time the last word is written, your readers have already fallen in love with a beloved story.
In fact, if you’re a storyteller or novelist, you may have a special gift for writing stories that inspire awe.
“My favorite fables are the ones that people tell me they can’t wait to read,” says writer J.K. Rowling.
“If you can write a story that makes them smile, or makes them cry, or stir their hearts, then you’re going to be able to sell millions of copies.”
Here’s a list of ten fables that you should know about.
The Tale of the Beret and the Mules by Alice Munro (1890) Alice Munro’s classic tale is a great way to kick off a writing session.
When a young couple falls in love, their paths cross and the tale takes a dark turn, with the Betson family and their young son struggling to keep them safe.
“The Betsons are the best-kept secrets in England,” says Rowling.
And that’s true: “When I started writing, I was working with the Munro family, so the story really started as an Alice Munros novel.”
You’ll need to spend some time with the characters and understand the setting, but Rowling says her favorite parts of the tale are the ending, which takes a moral twist that ultimately makes sense.
The Book of Mormon by Nephi and the Lamanites by Mormon author J.R.
R Tolkien (1922) “I love the idea that we are both the sons and daughters of a great white God,” says Tolkien, whose father was a famous writer and the second-oldest of the four giants of Norse mythology.
Tolkien’s epic story of the exodus of the Nephites is often compared to Lord of the Rings, and the similarities are there: the story follows a group of people who flee into the wilderness and survive for many years.
Tolkien, who is also the author of The Hobbit, also wrote a version of the story that was inspired by the work of Tolkien’s nephew, Joseph Conrad.
“I wrote a story based on the novel of Joseph Conrad called ‘The Book of the Long Journey’ that was a short, epic story about the search for the Lost City of Jerusalem,” says author Jodi Picoult.
The Story of Robin Hood by J.M. Barrie (1885) In “Robin Hood,” Robin, a young burglar, is trying to find a thief who’s been following him.
The thief steals a diamond and hides it in a tree and gets captured.
Barries famous story about Robin Hood is set in the early 1900s, when Barrie was a young man and a reporter for The Times.
“When you write about a character who was in your twenties, or who was just out of school and had a really bad day, you’re writing a story,” says Barrie.
“He’s a good guy, he’s a kind man, he doesn’t take any crap from anybody.
He’s always there to help you, and you’re never disappointed.”
The Jungle Book by Lewis Carroll (1939) Carroll’s famous children’s book has had its share of critics, but it’s not as well known as some of his other children’s works, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
In this book, the hero has a problem with a certain monkey who is always following him and he tries to get the monkey to leave.
“That’s a great story,” explains Rowling.
The story, which is based on Alice’s story “The Laundromat,” is a story about a boy who gets stuck in a rainforest and can’t go home because of the danger.
Rowling’s favorite scene is when the boy tries to escape by jumping over a tree into a stream.
“There’s a really great scene in the book where he falls in a river and swims to safety,” says Carroll.
“And then he comes out, and he looks at the water and says, ‘I’ve done it!’
It’s the perfect scene.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by JRR Tolkien (1981) You may not know this, but Tolkien is best known for writing The Lord of The Rings, one of the most beloved children’s books of all time.
But he also wrote “The Hobbit,” a story of a young hobbit who wanders into Middle-earth, where he meets his old friend Bilbo Baggins.
“Tolkien had an extraordinary imagination, and it was such a joy to be a child when he wrote these stories,” says Picoult, who’s the author for the Harry Potter series.
“It was such an amazing experience to see Tolkien and to be the child of his world.
And then to have that adventure and have that moment where you see it all, you just cry.”
The Wizard of Oz by Lewis Carrol