Tag Archives: November

NaNoWriMo 2011: Day 0

It’s the eve of National Novel Writing Month 2011. Thirty days of literary abandon start at midnight. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. I’m stoked, but I’m nervous. Already I’m wondering if I’m good enough to complete the task of writing a minimum of 50,ooo words in November. Already I’m concerned that outside distractions (work, family, friends, life’s problems in general) will cause me to fall at any of the fences in front of me.

I can’t let that happen, though. I won’t let that happen. Barring serious injury and personal catastrophe I shall pass the post with days and words to spare. Okay, if I’m to be more realistic about this, I’ll be equally as content if I pass the 50,ooo word mark at 11:59pm on 30 November.

My preference is to write at least 2,000 words a day: 1,ooo in the morning, 1,000 in the evening. Two hours’ work, tops. Seeing it written down like this makes it a far less tortuous prospect, don’t you think?

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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.