October 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

It's that time of year again when writers try to pen a 50,000-word novel in just 30 short days! This will be my third year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I'm proud to say that I completed the challenge on my first two attempts. :-)

One thing I've learned about NaNoWriMo is that, as with most things in life, your odds of success are greater if you prepare for it. I've gone into the previous two NaNoWriMos with a rough idea of what I'd write, and this year is no different. Two months ago, I already started thinking about the story I would tackle. I went through my notebook of ideas and picked one that interested me and that I think will sustain me for a grueling month. After that, I expanded the idea into a half-page synopsis. Later on, I turned the synopsis into a plot outline encompassing about two pages.

(Now that I think of it, a logical next step would've been to break down the outline into thirty chunks so that I had a daily plan. Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to do that and probably don't have time to do so before November starts. Next year, I'll remember to do it!)

The story I plan to write this year is a modern retelling of the Cassandra myth. In Greek mythology, Cassandra possessed the gift of prophecy but was cursed so that no one would believe her. I thought that was an interesting combination and wanted to explore how it would play out in a current day setting.

As with the last two years, you will be able to follow my NaNoWriMo progress on Twitter. Wish me luck!

October 1, 2016

And zombies

Not too long ago, I watched the movie adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was primarily due to the undead element rather than any love for Jane Austen. The experience made me wonder what other literary classics would be improved by the addition of zombies. My conclusion? Just about every one!

Here are ten examples:
  • 1984 and Zombies - What if the reason that Big Brother suppresses freedom is because it's trying to hide the existence of a zombie apocalypse?
  • A Christmas Carol and Zombies - Scrooge visited by the Zombies of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
  • The Great Gatsby and Zombies - I didn't enjoy reading this story in school, but I might have if Gatsby's extravagant lifestyle took place despite an ongoing zombie apocalypse outside his mansion doors.
  • Jane Eyre and Zombies - Like the women in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I can see Jane growing up as a great zombie slayer.
  • Lord of the Flies and Zombies - Let there be zombies on the island where the boys landed!
  • Of Mice and Men and Zombies - Lennie as a domesticated zombie?
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray and Zombies - This one isn't too far of a stretch since Dorian Gray already possesses certain undead characteristics.
  • Romeo and Juliet and Zombies - How would this classic fare if zombies were thrown into the feud between the Montagues and Capulets?
  • A Tale of Two Cities and Zombies - I might have enjoyed reading this book in school more if it was set in the midst of a zombie apocalypse rather than the French Revolution.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird and Zombies - Could a story of racial prejudice be as effective if it was about zombie prejudice?