I wanted to do a little blog series breaking down the characters for my current WIP, specifically how they relate to their true-life counterparts in the Biblical book and historical account of Queen Esther. As I mentioned in my post about Finding the Story, a big reason I wanted to write this retelling is because the story of Esther is usually watered down and romanticized, dimming the darkness that makes this story so powerful.
I think it is so important to allow stories to be dark. The darkness is why Esther’s story is so amazing: even in the darkest despair, God is faithful, God is good.
In creating this retelling of Esther, my biggest goal is to help the reader to not only understand what Esther’s experience might have been like, but also to journey alongside her as she learns to find courage through faith, even when surrounded by enemies.
My deepest desire is that the reader can leave their preconceptions about this story behind them, and be open to a perspective that they might not have ever heard or considered. A big thing that you will notice when reading the book in the Bible is that the author leaves out character motivations almost always. We don’t know what was going on in their heads or why they do certain things, and the lack of explicit faith in the story leaves room for a lot of questions.
Many of the current dramatizations of Esther that we see in today’s culture take these motivations and always adjust them in favor of our main characters. Vashti was prideful and rude to Xerxes. Esther and Xerxes fell in love. Mordecai was a man of great faith with only good intentions.
But what if there was little Biblical support for these assumptions? That was the first questions I had years ago that set me on the journey to write this novel.
In this breakdown series, I will be sharing with you not only the scripture that inspired these characters, but also the historical context and commentaries that helped me to develop them into three demensional people. I found that by allowing the motivations to bend more grey or black than we often see, I have found such encouragement that it wasn’t human goodness that saved Esther – it was the faithfulness of a sovereign God.
Here are the characters I’ll be exploring with you:
- Esther (Roxana Fairwing) – 3/22
- Xerxes (Frederick Lindholm) – 3/29
- Mordecai (Arsin Fairwing) – 4/5
- Special Surprise the Week of 4/7 – 4/13
- The Second Favorite (Lilith Lange) – 4/19
- Haman & Zaresh (Torgny & Kissa Moghdam) – 4/26
I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts and I hope that I’ve piqued your interested a little bit.
And just for fun, here is one of the tag lines that I’m playing with for this story:
A timeless tale of miracles in the midst of forgotten faith