RTW: Once Upon Another Time…

This week’s Road Trip Wednesday challenge from the YA Highway team is:

Name a fable or story you’d like to see a retelling of. If you’re feeling creative, come up with a premise of your own!

Of course, I’m feeling creative! Here’s a query letter for a novel I haven’t written, and may never write… but it sounds like it could be fun:

Kelli is gorgeous, and she knows it. She won beauty pageants as a child, and she’s set to be crowned Tarramont High School Class of 2312 prom queen. Jealous rivals? She’s earned them. One, whose father works for the government, has found a way to trap her in a cryogenic freezer for a few hundred years. And one of her geekiest enemies has found a way to program it so only a person of royal blood can release her. And once she’s released, she has three days to fall in love with her prince, and be loved in return, since only the fiery glow of true love can melt the last crystals of ice in her blood. Without it, she will die.

Unfortunately for Kelli, the last royal dynasty is not known for producing princes of the classic “handsome” variety. A prince’s nerdy curiosity might be able to release Kelli from her icy tomb, but will she be able to see beyond his less-than-attractive exterior and fall for the man within? And will the prince think this stuck-up, self-important blond bombshell worthy of his deepest affections? Only time will tell… seventy-two hours, to be precise!

THE ICE QUEEN is a 70,000 word YA science fiction romance re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, with a Beauty and the Beast twist. Fans of CINDER will hopefully like the idea.

Can you tell I recently finished ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis? :)

What do you think would make a good fairy-tale/fable/story retelling, in the vein of CINDER? Comment below, and/or join in the Road Trip Wednesday fun on YA Highway by blogging your answer and posting a link to your article in the YA Highway comments.

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43 Responses to RTW: Once Upon Another Time…

  1. That sounds like such a fun MG or YA novel!

    • Thanks, Emma! I must say, I’m tempted to put it on my TBW (To Be Written) list… but I’m not sure I would do the best job of it. There are others (some of whom visit this blog) I’m sure could make a much better novel from this idea than I could. :)

  2. Pingback: RTW: Once Upon A Time | Juliana Haygert

  3. Colin, this sounds sooo good! You should definitely write it! Love Beauty and the Beast and I do like me some Sleeping Beauty too! I would definitely read this ;)

    • You’re very kind, Juliana–thanks! Perhaps perhaps perhaps… I don’t know… could I be persuaded to add it to the TBW list? Like I said to Emma, I’m not sure I’d be the best person to write it. But… we’ll see. :)

  4. Aw come on Colin, you had such fun writing the query, you know you’d have fun trying the book!

    • You know, it sounds wrong somehow to say I had fun writing a query–they’re torture to write! But actually, it was fun. Perhaps writing the query before writing the novel isn’t a bad idea. There’s less pressure because the query’s not the only thing holding you up from emailing agents–the book still needs to be written! And you don’t have to worry about what story elements to include since the query is helping you decide what story elements are important.

      And, yes, it might actually be a fun book to write. Thanks, Angelica! :)

      • For Crow’s Rest, my current WIP, I did write the query first. Well, technically it was a video pitch on Pitch University, but it served the same purpose of keeping me on track with writing the book. If I’m tempted by shiny tangents, I can remind myself of what the heart and guts of the story are, and does this tangent fit? It changed how I approach plotting, that’s for sure.

      • I had fun writing my little mock query, too. I think Angelica had mentioned to me that she did this, but I think we may really you may really be on to something with writing the query first!

        • ..oops, proofread before posting, Laurie. Can you tell I’m up past my bed time?

          • I’m definitely going to try doing this in future. It’s very likely the query will need to be tweaked before the novel’s finished (unless you are an uber-plotter-extraordinaire!), but I like the idea of having to think through your story and boil it down to its most essential and captivating points before you start writing.

  5. How fun! I like the sci-fi take on Snow White. :)

  6. That sounds like an awesome story! So, when are you going to write this?!

  7. Yes! Exactly like this! I’ve read fairy tale retellings, but they’re usually just more fleshed out versions of the original tale with fantasy type settings (like the original). I’d love to see something paranormal, steampunk, or sci-fi in relation to a fairy or folk tale. Like Cinder really. I think that’s why I loved that book so much. This particular fairy tale that you’ve chosen would be especially good. :)

    • Thanks, Jaime! I know exactly what you mean. I really need to read CINDER soon. It’s on my Autumnal TBR list, so it’s going to happen. Maybe I should read it soon to see how tempted I can be to actually write this novel. :)

  8. You never know when inspiration will hit, it’s always a good idea to keep those ideas flowing! I have a few false starts of novels–one also involved cryo-chambers and space travel, then I realized ACROSS THE UNIVERSE managed that better than I could have. I like the sci-fi angle to a fairy tale. Another YA Hwy blog mentioned that today. Here’s my YA Highway Post

    • Absolutely, Steph–and I have no shortage of ideas. That’s why, though I think I’m the best person to write this story, I’m not saying never. I may start fleshing it out, and feel compelled to drop everything to write it. :)

  9. Nice. I think we’re overdue for a Sleeping Beauty remake.

    • Thanks, Gabrielle! I was a bit cautious since Sleeping Beauty is so very well-known. But this seemed like a not-entirely-obvious take on the story, so I thought, why not? Especially since the “beauty” is not exactly the sweet heroine of the original. :)

  10. So jump on this and write this book!!!

  11. Haha! It’s funny, but I didn’t realize this was a Sleeping Beauty retelling until the end of the query. *face palm* I think it’s a really cool idea though and I love the spin you take. (Cryo instead of spinning needle….very nice.) :)

    • Again, credit where credit’s due, I probably wouldn’t have thought about cryo if Beth Revis hadn’t just planted the idea in my head… but it does seem to work. Thanks, Kris! :D

  12. Ooo I love the sci-fi twist to the fairy tale! After Cinder I’d be quite hopeful that a retelling would work in a sci-fi setting. I’d give this novel a shot! =D

    • Thanks, Robin… it might be worth keeping on the TBW list (which, btw, I’ve just created… I mean, we have TBRs, so why not TBWs?). I really do appreciate the encouragement. :)

  13. Nice! Get writing so we can all get reading!

    • Thank you for your gentle nudge, Melanie. Okay, maybe it’s not such a bad idea. Perhaps I can pull it off… I don’t know… but I guess there’s only one way to find out. :)

  14. I’m totally digging the cryogenic freezing twist here! I didn’t think about it being ‘Sleeping Beauty’-ish when I read ‘Across the Universe’, but now I see how it really could be interpreted that way. Very cool idea for a story. You should run with it.

    • Thanks, Nickie, and in a way I’m glad you didn’t catch the Sleeping Beauty angle at first. I wouldn’t want it to be too obvious that it’s based on the fairy story, otherwise you start anticipating the plot, and maybe not bother reading because you think you know what happens. :)

  15. Oh Colin, I love your posts, every week, without fail. Did you enjoy Across the Universe? That’s on my list! I love your query letter, the retelling sounds really fabulous!

    • You’re so very kind, Samantha! Thank you!! And yes, I did enjoy ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. In fact, I think I gave it five stars on Goodreads. The only slightly negative was that I figured out who the murderer was, and how s/he did it, fairly early on. But it’s still such a good story, that ended up being a minor point (which itself is an indicator of how good it is!). Definitely one that deserves a spot on your TBR. :)

  16. That does sound like a lot of fun! Love the idea of a sci-fi version of those fairy tales.

    • Thanks, Rachael. I think it helps make the tale your own if you set it in a genre the original author would never have dreamed of. Sci-fi fits the bill marvelously. :)

  17. Definitely put this on your TBW list!

  18. This sounds like a great retelling! I love all the elements of it. You should definitely write it. I just started reading Across the Universe. :)

  19. Love the two fairytale combo…sounds like a winner.

  20. Love it! I hope you do write it because it would definitely go on my TBR list. :)

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