Christina's Writing Wishlist


The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes all the gift-themed squealing and Internet-wide merriment that one might expect. This is especially fun for us readers, because we get to talk BOOKS and how they make the best gifts of ever. And how WE WOULD LIKE BOOKS YES THANK YOU.

But sometimes we wordsmiths neglect our writerly sides during this time of peppermint-flavored fangirling. While this works for a lot of people (good for them!), it unfortunately doesn't work for me.

The writerly thoughts never stop.

Enter the Writing Wishlist, a post idea brought into the world by Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer (whose post you should most definitely check out here). Essentially, it's your typical list of things you absolutely need (*cough* books *cough*), but on the writer's end of the spectrum - things you'd like to write someday!

(Also Cait @ Paper Fury and Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer wrote lists and they're very, very cool.)

A few of you may remember my Story Ideas post a while back and might be thinking that this seems a little similar, but this list is much more amorphous. As in these books don't have anything to them yet - not even Pinterest boards, which everyone knows is the first thing I do when I have a real book idea.

So! Enjoy this mash of wishful thinking, in the spirit of holiday hopes.

1. A Poe retelling

Because how could I not? I adore Edgar Allan Poe's writing, and there's so much retelling potential in all of his work I just can't. The mystique of the macabre, the tragedy that saturates the words, the smell of the grave. Magic, madness, malice. The doleful tolling of a funeral bell. There is just such a magnetism in Poe's particular brand of darkness.


My favorite of Poe's works that I've read so far is "The Masque of the Red Death", but I'm aware there's already a YA retelling of that out there. But we'll see. We'll see how it goes. *nefarious grin*

2. A Korean fantasy

Being Korean myself, I've always wanted to write a beautiful, sweeping fantasy steeped in Korean mythology. But I have, as of yet, never been able to think up a good premise for one.

My brain, true to form, only fails me when I need it most.

3. A contemporary anything (without magic)

I know, I know. Christina wanting to write something without magic? Unheard of! But yes, I've always had this itch to write something contemporary, possibly in the vein of some of my favorite contemporary books. Maybe The Fault in Our Stars is too lofty of a goal, but something like Golden by Jessi Kirby, maybe. Hmm.

4. Something witchy this way comes

It's no secret that I love witches. City witches, ice witches, forest witches - anything goes. But for some reason, my brain fails to come up with a good idea that centers around witches.

Someday, I'm telling you. Someday.

5. A retelling of something in Arthurian legend

Do I even need to talk about how much pure-gold potential writerly energy is stored in these legends?

I've always been drawn to Tristan and Isolde, personally - there's so much there that goes wrong, like in most tragedies, and it's fascinating. I also personally adore Elaine of Astolat, the Lady of Shalott. So much unexplored emotion! Look! It's making me overuse exclamation points!

OOH MAYBE I COULD DO MODERN ARTHURIAN LEGENDS. I have no idea how this would work, but it'd be awesome and we all know it.

6. Tudor England

Tudor England is probably one of my FAVORITE HISTORICAL THINGS OF EVER because just look at Henry VIII and his court. Just look at the intrigue and the passion there. Just look at the deception, the secrets, the way everything unraveled. Just look at Catherine of Aragon, a Spanish princess turned thoroughly capable queen who had to fight for her own rights when her husband's attentions strayed. Or Anne Boleyn, a lady-in-waiting who rose to power with her feminine wiles and tenacity only to be beheaded. Or the rest of Henry's wives, all ill-used by this terrifying king. Now look at the next generation. Mary and Elizabeth, Catholic and Protestant, respectively. Two very different queens - and yet, half-sisters.

*screams internally some more about Tudor England*

DO YOU SEE ALL THE POTENTIAL HERE? Please tell me you do.

7. A Shakespeare retelling

I know that several of Shakespeare's plays are actually retellings themselves, but the way he brings characters and storylines to life within those tried-and-true frames is just marvelous. And being the devious writer that I am, I'd love to play with some of those characters and storylines and put them in new frames.

Probably my favorite Shakespeare plays that I've read are Hamlet (suicidal prince tries to avenge his father's death? oh my gosh yes) and Macbeth (I'd retell this play for Lady Macbeth alone). But I also already have a vague idea for a retelling of The Winter's Tale involving a quaint countryside town and a mad sculptor and MAGIC EVERYWHERE. And I'm reading Othello for school and really enjoying it so far.

So. Developments on the Shakespeare front remain to be seen.

8. A retelling with a southern gothic feel

I've seen Tumblr posts about this kind of thing, and DANG this seems like something right up my alley. The whisper of dust settling and cigarette smoke and burnt-gold sunsets. Curses carried to the grave. Maybe a southern gothic Cassandra/Apollo (one of my favorite Greek myths because MY CASSANDRA FEELS ARE NEVER-ENDING) or Macbeth (you know you want it) retelling is in order.

Or heck, maybe just a collection of southern gothic Greek myths because UGH. SO COOL.

Now, turning it over to you! What's on your writerly wishlist? Which of these items on my list should be prioritized? Do share your thoughts!

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  1. OH MY GOSH. JUST WRITE ALL OF THESE AND PUBLISH THEM SO YOU CAN TAKE MY MONEY AND AND AND I WAAAN TO READ THESE! Specifically I would love to read the Korean fantasy. That totally needs happen. Witches rock. I am planning a witch story currently, heh. x) And A Poe retelling?!! Ohhh, you have a fabulous imagination that I think I would like to steal.

    1. Eeeek! Korean fantasy, or Asian fantasy in general, is always a good thing :D And you can never have too many witches, so plan away on that witch story! Plus yes POE. SO MUCH LOVE FOR POE.

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Cait! I'm honored :)

  2. Okay, so I WANT ALL OF THESE NOW. Not even kidding, all of them. Korean fantasy would be absolutely killer, and Tudor England is just a beautiful complicated mess of courtly intrigue. And Shakespeare, of course. Hamlet's also my favourite, but I won't deny Macbeth has its charms too. Great list :D

  3. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Arthurian retellings. Also Shakespearian retellings. Fantastic wish list!

  4. Ooh, a southern gothic Macbeth! That sounds like the PERFECT setting! Also, all those retellings sound glorious, especially Poe and Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare, and Poe, too, especially The Raven--oh, yes, Poe's poetry would probably make marvelously dark and creepy books, haha. :) Actually, I'm pretty enthusiastic about ALL of these ideas--I mean, I love historical and contemporary fiction! And books inspired by folklore, oh my yes. And don't even get me started on books about WITCHES. *love* You must get writing these books, Christina! Definitely! :)

    Also: if you like Tudor England, you should check out Katherine Longshore's Royal Circle books, Gilt, Tarnish, and Brazen. I've only read the first two, but they're all set in King Henry VIII's court and the ones I've read were very good.


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