GUEST POST by Amanda Tero: My Adventure in Retellings - And Some Tips For You To Try It Yourself

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Hey everyone!  I have one last guest post for Amanda Tero's three month tour celebrating the release of her third novel in the Tales of Faith series, Protecting the Poor!  If you've ever considered writing a fairytale retelling, you'll definitely want to check out Ms. Tero's great tips! 

My Adventure in Retellings – and some tips for you to try it yourself

When I first set out to writing a retelling, all I had was the question, “What if the beast was Belle’s father?” This in and of itself automatically put “Befriending the Beast” as a unique retelling because of the lack of a love interest (which apparently is “my thing” ;)). Once I set that standard, I began to think of other tales I could retell without a love interest. Cinderella (“The Secret Slipper”) required some twists and turns and maybe a little more mystery to keep it fresh and original since there wasn’t a love interest. But Robin Hood (“Protecting the Poor”)? Sorry, Maid Marion, but I went back to the original where she wasn’t even there as a love interest.

In writing “Protecting the Poor,” I kept just the general idea of Robin Hood: an outlawed man who roamed the forest. If you read an original tale of Robin Hood, you’ll find that he was more of a rogue than a hero. I decided against that, because I wanted to instill Christian character in my story—so my Robin Hood (Dumphey) is more hero than rogue; I do have some roguish characters in there though (cue, Patey). And actually… I kind of debunked the whole “steal from the rich to feed the poor” thought. I mean, if you think about it Scripturally, there is never an allowance to steal from others—it is never a noble thing. So, Dumphey actually took a stand against it. Because of this, I had to decide what features made Robin Hood… well, Robin Hood. Archery. Unjust authority. A band of men. And yes, I included hunting the “forbidden meats.” There is enough flavor in there to hint at Robin Hood yet enough added twists to make it originally mine.

I can’t claim to be the expert at writing retellings. I’ve only written three. But it’s something that I have enjoyed immensely and have learned a lot from. Today, actually, I’m featuring three tips on how to write retellings in my my countdown-to-release-day posts (which I’m posting today on my Instagram and blog). Since this fits the topic perfectly, I’ll go ahead and share them here as a bonus.

TIP #1
Make sure it’s a retelling, not a rewrite. I have read some retellings where, if you compared it to the original, all they did was change the setting, era, and character names (and… maybe not even those). The conversations were almost verbatim. There wasn’t much originality to it. 

TIP #2
Give a unique twist. In light of the first tip, be sure that yours has a very you flavor. For instance, the unique twist for “Befriending the Beast” was that the beast was Belle’s father. Ironically, my twist for “Protecting the Poor” is that Dumphey has a disagreement with some of his team about stealing from the rich to feed the poor. Oh, and not to mention that none of my stories have magic in them. That in and of itself violates the backbone of most fairytales. ;) 

TIP #3
Make the retelling recognizable. This seems contrary to the first two points, but it’s just that fine line to balance. If you’re going to market it as a retelling, your readers need to actually be able to recognize the original. I read a story that I realized after the fact was a retelling—and then it was just because another reviewer mentioned the original tale (either I didn’t know the original fairytale well enough, or it just wasn’t strong enough to have that retelling flavor). 

Have you read some retellings that you absolutely loved? Why? Or did you hate it? If so, why?


I'm not sure about you, but this guest post made me want to read Protecting the Poor even more! If you want to read it too, make sure to preorder it HERE! It releases August 26th.

The clock is ticking until the release of “Protecting the Poor!” This is the third and final month of Tales of Faith 3-month tour. We’ve spent a month on “Befriending the Beast,” a month on “The Secret Slipper,” and now, are looking at a month digging into “Protecting the Poor”—the history behind it, behind-the-scenes of writing and editing, the messages threaded through it, and more. Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. 

1 comment:

  1. I have read a couple retellings and they are done very well. I would love to read this series.