Write Here, Write Now: NaNoWriMo – Challenge Me.

For the third year in a row, I am going to take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For those of you unfamiliar with this annual contest, the challenge is deceptively simple: you have the 30 days of November in which to write a novel of no less than 50,000 words. Sounds easy, right?

Wrong. My first attempt ended in failure. I shut up shop after ten days, much to my dismay. Last year was better, though; I completed the challenge with days to spare. The story itself was a bit iffy but it served as a template of sorts to my ongoing work in progress.

This year I want my friends and readers to challenge me. Last weekend I went to see the musical Wicked in London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. As you may know, it’s based on a novel written by Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Basically it’s a retelling of the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but paints Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the title) as a misunderstood character and one that readers ended up rooting for, or at the very least sympathising with.

The musical is stunning and seeing it is definitely a high point of my year so far. (I saw Les Miserables, too, but that’s a subject for another day.) But what really got me thinking was the sheer audacity of the author. Maguire took a well-loved classic and twisted it into something else, something distinctive, something with its own identity.

My challenge to you is to pick a classic for me. Find a book that is as popular as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, then challenge me to do a Wicked on it. As long as it’s not as massive as War and Peace or as obscure as Ulysses, then I’ll consider it. Allow me at least a week to read it, if I haven’t done so already, then let me at it.

Am I being foolhardy? Am I setting myself up for a fall? Or do I have no original ideas of my own? The answers are possibly, very possibly, and yes, I do. But I fancy this.

Please give me your ideas, please. I would love to hear your feedback.

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12 responses to “Write Here, Write Now: NaNoWriMo – Challenge Me.

  1. How about something that SOUNDS simple, but which could get interestingly tricky. The Three Little Pigs are scam artists who trade in wolf hides, and trick unsuspecting victims?

  2. Pingback: New NaNoWriMo site for 2011 is online

  3. “Incantation of Immortality” by Piers Anthony personified Death, War, Time, Fate, Nature, Satan and God. How about something similar with emotions? Perhaps Love and Hate or Pride and Humility.

    How about a comedic send up of “Matrix”?

    In line with Richard’s suggestion: Was Goldilocks merely burglar? What was Red Riding Hood really delivering to those houses in the suburbs?

    How about a novel about writing for NaNoWriMo?

    Perhaps a different look at Quasimodo?

  4. By the way, I’m giving my idea the green light. If I survive, all well and good. If not, please make sure it says “Wrote hard and put away whet” on the tombstone.

  5. Pingback: National Novel Writing Month – Common Problems And How I Faced Them « My Two Cents

  6. Pingback: National Novel Writing Month – Common Problems And How I Faced Them

  7. Jack and the beanstalk. Parallel worlds – the giants have everything – in Jacks world there is only poverty and hard work. Somehow Jack finds a way to move between the worlds and steal the goose that lays the golden eggs.
    Perhaps the giants live in those tall buildings on Wall Street.

  8. Pingback: The Road to Writing – History « Cheddar Nightmares

  9. Pingback: NaNoWriMo Update « Smokebear

  10. Pingback: The Road to Writing – History |

  11. Pingback: The Road to Writing – History | Keyboard Pizza

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