Do you love the story of Hansel and Gretel? I do.
The idea for this novel came to me in a strange, roundabout sort of way. I knew I wanted to write a novel based after the classic Hansel and Gretel tale, but I wanted to switch things around and examine the story from the villains point of view. Turns out, this wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be.
When I first began plotting this novel, my characters were all switched around. And as I worked, I got the sense they were fighting me. Something wasn’t right. They felt wrong and off, and I needed to figure out why instead of just pushing on. So I went back to the beginning. The roots of the story were solid, but the details needed cleaning up. Slowly, after a lot of digging, everything began to fall into place again.
I was left with an idea very different than what I had original intended. But it worked. And the further I get into the first draft, the happier I am for all these changes.
I’ve written up a synopsis, so let’s see what you think?
913. When young and inexperienced witch, Gingerbread, is stripped of her magic by the self-proclaimed Royal Council, she vows to do anything to reclaim it. She sets her sights on Prince Valor, heir to the throne. Not only is he pure of blood, but he is also remarkably handsome – the perfect offering to those who feed on the souls and youth of mortals.
She concocts a plan to lure him to her and trap him with a secret potion. Once in her control, it will be more than easy to offer him as a sacrifice at the annual Witch’s Gala.
Yet as the Gala approaches, Gingerbread begins to realize that without her magic, just how powerless she truly is.
Gingerbread is very different from the types of novels I usually write. I’ve never written about witches or blatant magic use before, so working on this was quite the challenge. At first I was nervous-what if I was doing everything wrong? But once I got about halfway through, it felt like my characters were tired of being restrained. Just like before, they wanted to do things their way. The moment I relented magic exploded left and right and everything burst with life.
I realized I needed to let go of my uncertainty. The story knew where it needed to go, so I had to let it be and simply write it all out.
Some other facts about Gingerbread:
- about a PoC protagonist
- who is also chubby
- lots of magic and spells and sparkly things
- and cakes
- a pretend Royal Council and a real Prince
- there’s also a calico cat
I like to think that working on Gingerbread has really helped me to grow as a writer. I’ve stretched my writing skills in more ways than one, and I’m left with a novel I’m pretty darn proud of.
Have you ever read a Hansel and Gretel retelling? What’s your favorite one? Have you ever worked on a novel that pushed you out of your comfort zone?