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A Spindle Splintered: Creative is What's Selling!

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A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables): Harrow, Alix E.: 9781250765352:  Amazon.com: BooksWhen it's all been done before, do it different!

The notion of a fresh fairy tale retelling seems impossible these days. Having lived through the YA genre boom that happened in my own teen years, I thought the concept of a new spin on a Brother's Grimm tale was all but dead. After all, how could you re-re-re-tell the same story?

As I'm sure you've already guessed, A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow proved me wrong!

This novella, as the author herself jokes on her Acknowledgements page, puts a Spider-Verse spin on the tale of Sleeping Beauty. That's something you've never heard before, right? The idea is that there's a Sleeping Beauty in every dimension and that, when there are moments of "resonance" between the various Beauties, one of them might fall into another dimension and (accidentally, messily) save another.

It's a sweet, whimsical concept that perfectly matches the author's equally whimsical writing. Beautifully told with plenty of voice, A Spindle Splintered is a slim story that carries a lot of water for a weary sub-genre, and does so with a ballerina's grace.

Aspiring authors should read Alix E. Harrow's work for her incredible prose alone, but beyond that, this little book is worth picking up for the sheer brazen newness of it. It's the perfect example of high concept, familiar-but-different,  something editors have seen a zillion times but (wink wink) not like this. The fact that the work is playful, lighthearted, and fun to read is a bonus in these disaster-weary times (and one that likely secured the author a sizable advance). But anyone who can take something as hammered-down as Sleeping Beauty and do something different with it is all but guaranteed a publishing deal.

The trick is to make sure it's actually new.

Are you writing a retelling? How are you ensuring that it's a fresh spin on the fairy tale? Let us know in the comments!


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