Anybody ever write a retelling?? I beg your advice.

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Anybody ever write a retelling?? I beg your advice.

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    Hi everybody, I have had an idea bounding around in my brain for a while, and I need some advice from some other writers.


    I want to give it a try this November, and I am totally unsure about what it should be about. I have had several ideas, and I know that it is a backstory to a different series I am writing, but I am not sure what idea to use. Recently an idea hit me that really intrigued me, but I want to know what y’all think about this.

    Ever since I was 10-11, I have been in love with the story of Esther. I thought it was a fairy tale pretty much, and watching One Night With The King deepened the feeling (JOHN RHYS DAVIES WAS IN IT!!!!!!!). I’ve had an idea to do a retelling of the story of Esther in a very Celtic fantasy setting… Only I need some rehashed ideas, and I’m not sure if it is even a good idea at all. So, if this is a terrible idea, somebody tell me that I need to drop it. However, if it is not a bad idea, and turning Esther into a fantasy story is an interesting idea, I want some second thoughts on it. If some of those who have ever done retellings have some advice on how to hack a fairy tale apart and glue it back together, I would love to hear it!!! Thanks!

    Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

    Olivia Giordano

    @ericawordsmith Ahh!!!! I’m in love with this idea. I’ve always loved the story of Esther. And I love that Celtic type setting. So it would be fantasy?

    Yeah, you definitely need to write this.

    Something to consider (which is probably really hard to actually carry out) is not making it obvious. I don’t really want it to be the kind of allegory that everyone knows right off the bat. Weave elements from the story of Esther in, but don’t make everything identical.

    I think one thing well-done retellings (or allegories) do, is show the story in a light that we’ve never seen before. I want to see a new side to the story of Esther, or it to have  a different feel to it.

    Does  that make sense? Yeah, I don’t really have a ton experience in this area, but I definitely think you should write it!

    Ahh! You’re making me want to write it now. XD. I’ve always wanted to write a HF on Esther, but then I realized that HF isn’t my genre. This is an amazing idea, and I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this before.

    Yeah, go for it. 😉



    ISFJ / Poet / Realistic Fiction / TCK


    Thanks for the thoughts on that!!! I totally agree on the DO NOT LET ME KNOW RIGHT OFF THE BAT. I hate it when I know within the first two chapters how the book will end because I already know the story. Thanks for the encouragement about it!!!

    Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!


    I’m currently working on a Fantasy retelling of a fairytale, but Esther is definitely on my list for HF in my series, Of Wives And Women. Good luck with the Celtic setting!

    Don't blame me if I spill the ink of my mind on your carpet. I just figured it needed a makeover.

    Princess Foo

    @ericawordsmith I love retellings! I mostly do fairy tales, and what I like is how they show me a part of the story I never really considered before. (Like what @livgiordano said.) For instance, one of my Beauty and the Beast retellings is about how the enchantress was really cursing the castle servants more than anything, forcing them into servitude into a guy who she knows is a jerk, and the only way out of the curse if is their boss decides to shape up and stop being a jerk, something they have no control over. Another retelling of the story I have is about how, in the original Beauty and the Beast story, Beast asked Beauty to marry him every night. She always said no, until she didn’t. But what if he didn’t want to marry her? What if they were just friends? What if he is forced to ask someone to marry him every night, even if he doesn’t want to?

    Retelling Esther is trickier though. It is more important than a fairy tale. The Bible needs to be treated respectful. You can’t just take apart Esther and put it back together like you would another fairy tale, and leave out the parts you don’t consider relevant. It really happened, it’s history. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t do it. (The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black is retelling Bible stories in a fantasy setting, and they are pretty good.) You just need to be really careful and sure you are going about it the right way. Pray about it.

    The cake is a lie. acaylor.com


    Thanks @princess-foo, I have read the first three of Chuck Black’s Kingdom books. Another book, which I liked was The Princess Adelaina Story. That was sort of a medieval version of the story, but I think it might be based on true events? I can’t remember. I guess when it comes to history, you have to find the right balance between showing a new side and not giving it justice. I am not entirely sure what I am going to do with the plot bunny, whether I should let it merge with another fantasy series I am writing or whether to make it a whole new world setting, so that affects how much I am going to change things up. Thanks for the advice again!

    Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

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