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From: Richard Martin
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:03:42 +0200

On 19. Apr 2018, at 17:19, Maria Gomez de la Torre wrote:
> I’ve been trying to find stories for young adults onwards- intriguing
> stories, or how Richard Martin would put it “tales to wonder at” but I
> haven’t had much luck.

Well, Richard Martin might put it like that, but it doesn’t mean that he is necessarily much better than you at looking! And over the years I’ve quite often felt exactly the same as you do now, that I need to get more to expand my repertoire.

This is particularly the case when I see that one of my annual gigs is coming up. Some places I’ve played at for almost 20 years and there have been occasions when I felt that I really needed something new to tell. However, miraculously, by the time of the gig I have always found I have a programme I’m very happy with, usually containing a mixture of tales I haven’t told there for years and new tales.

But your question is specifically about where to find new tales. Once we’ve been telling a few years, most tales we come across, both in books or from hearing them told, are going to be familiar. Yet many of the tales I bring into my repertoire are ones I have suddenly seen with new eyes. And here the Storytell discussions are particularly helpful.

It also helps me if I have a clear notion of my audience – as you seem to have when you mention young adults. Remembering that dictum “The amateur tells the words, the professional tells the story – but the artist tells the listeners!” has often helped me see how I can shape a known story in a new way. The story may not be completely “new”, but the repertoire is certainly greater.

So I try to follow the tales mentioned in Storytell threads to see what I could do with them. And then to archive them as a Word.doc. (I find keeping them all in DevonThink makes searching a lot easier.)

Btw we did have a thread a year or two back about fairy tales for teenagers. I have put that here:

Generally I have come to trust the strength of our tales: they tend to find us perhaps more than when we go looking for them!

Richard Martin
“Small Bird’s Wisdom” is the latest upload to the video gallery of 80 folk tales
Watch here:

“The Magic Pisspot: Swedish folk tales” (Per Gustavsson, trans. Richard Martin) published Oct. 2017

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