ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Literary Remix Project

Updated on July 14, 2011
M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer is the author of four novels and received a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University.

It's kind of hard to read the text on the book, but I think it's a fun picture.
It's kind of hard to read the text on the book, but I think it's a fun picture.

Sherman Alexie is a great author. I’ve mentioned him in my hubs before and I recommend that anyone who is willing should give his books a try. When I had the opportunity to hear him speak, I learned a great deal from him. One of the things he said that stuck with me was that, unlike musical albums, books don’t get remixes when they are re-released. The paperback, in general, is exactly the same as the hardcover. He didn’t think that was right so he set out to create a remix of his then current book “War Dances”. Since then he has released the paperback version with “the remix” clearly printed on the cover. I’m glad to see he did it as it helps to pioneer what I think could be the next big thing in literature.

But there is a lot more to this than just Sherman Alexie’s pet project. In fact, the idea I will be following involves the use of other writers’ work, not my own. This style of writing was first introduced to me by one of my drama professors in college. We were given a very short story to adapt into a stage play. There were only two rules: none of the dialogue could be changed in any way (some could be removed, but nothing could be reworded or added) and we could take as many liberties with the story as we wanted for everything else, which included an ending that was difficult to stage. The story was called “Little Things” By Ramond Carver and suggested, at the end of the story, that an infant was put in harms way (I won’t get any more detailed for anyone who plans to read the story). Anyway, I decided to take the creative liberty my instructor had given us and run away with it. The final product was a short play about Bonnie and Clyde fighting over a golden statue. All of the dialogue was the same, so I technically completed the assignment. In the end, the teacher loved the interpretation and it planted in my mind the seed of an idea.

Many years later a book was released called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The book had a similar concept to my old assignment; it meshed a literary classic with a modern day zombie narrative. The book was so popular that it warranted a movie adaptation. This fueled my earlier thoughts of such a wild form of writing being viable, as did the realization that one of my favorite authors (H. P. Lovecraft) had the copyright expire on his work, therefore making it public domain. All of these ideas didn’t come to a focal point until I received a secret santa book from my writing club. The book, “Return to me” by Rosemary Rogers, was a romance novel set in the civil war era. I didn’t really have much interest in reading it, but our group decided that the next assignment would be to write something about the book, or something in the style of the book. I don’t know if someone said something to cause it, but suddenly it clicked in my head; I would take the dialogue and write my own story out of it. The result was a steampunk romance that I am very proud of, though I can’t post it because of copyright laws on the book. So I then decided to seek out books/stories without copyrights (public domain) that I could share with other people.

The rules are as follows:

1. Must use Public Domain material. I have no desire to plagiarize or offend any authors past or present. Only if given permission by the author would I consider doing this to a modern story.

2. All original dialogue must remain the same. Lines can be removed, but not added or reworded. Names must also remain the same because they appear in the dialogue.

3. Since most of the stories are too long for the HubPages format, I will focus only on excerpts/scenes that I feel have the most potential. Should one or more projects become successful (or I just really enjoyed writing them) I will consider writing more from the same story.

4. Everything else is open to complete creative freedom.

My hope is that this will become an ongoing feature I can revisit again and again. A lot of that depends on how well this first effort goes, but I also believe this method of writing can be very therapeutic and fun for authors. I wrote about a similar subject in my hub about Fan Fiction, but the basic concept is that it gets you writing faster because you don’t have to worry about dialogue or character names. One might think that it limits your creativity, but I found it far more beneficial to find creative solutions around any problems I might encounter. It really helped direct and refine my writing. For this reason I encourage everyone interested to give it a try, even if it’s just a fun project you never show anyone. At the bottom of this hub you will find a few links to public domain material as well as my own remix projects.

A Question of Respect

As I tested the waters for how a project like this would be received there was some concern about disrespecting the original authors, and stories, by stealing their dialogue. I want to reassure everyone right now that I will always give full credit to the original works of literature. The purpose of this series is not to create a parody of the original works, but rather find a creative new interpretation of the dialogue. I find that many writers excel when they are forced to write around an obstacle, rather than being given complete creative freedom. By adhering to the original dialogue it encourages new paths of writing and often results in something much better than a completely original tale (or creates the option of turning that idea into an original tale at a later time). These authors, from whom I am borrowing, are merely jump off points. I respect them and the stories they created, and want to use their writing as a tool to enhance my own writing. I am making no such claim that my interpretations of their work are better than the original. I think of this more like fan fiction; an exercise in writing that isn’t meant to be marketed as an original piece by me, but rather a tool for all writers to use. In every installment I will always list the title of the original story, the author, and a link where the original can be read.

My Remix Projects:

Literary Remix: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Links to Public Domain stories:

(Disclaimer: Literary Remix has no affiliation with any other projects with a similar concept. If the name is similar to another feature, it is purely coincidental.)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Rusty - I would love to post more, but finding the right story and writing into it can be time consuming. Hopefully it won't be too long before another installment is posted. Thanks for the comment!

    • Rusty C. Adore profile image

      C Levrow 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      I really like this idea. You should post more. :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)