This will my first time. Excitement mounts with each passing day. The epic adventure I am about to embark upon starts November 1st: National Novel Writing Month.
Grandious prose aside, I am looking forward to participating. My first draft of my play Love Labors Happily Ever After took up the duration of the 3 Day Novel Contest, leaving me itching to write fiction. Since Chrysalis is simmering until the new year, I decided to use NaNoWriMo to write the first draft on my second novel, currently titled Mercy and Justice.
The story is a retelling of Robin Hood, split into two parts: the first from Marian’s perspective, the second from Robin’s.
I’ve always loved the legend of Robin Hood, growing up with Disney’s animated animal rendition of the tale (by far one of my favorite versions) and the Errol Flynn movie. I enjoyed most of the first season of BBC’s Robin Hood (let us not speak of the other two seasons) and read Stephen Lawhead’s Robin Hood trilogy set in a Welsh setting.
I don’t know when I decided to write my own version, I think it was during the second season of Robin Hood when Marian went crazy. The character portrayals of Marian throughout my lifetime was the primary reason I wanted to write my own.
With the exception of the foxy Maid Marian from Disney’s cartoon, I have found the reditions of Marian less than satisfying. She is either a damsel-in-distress, good for little else than her beauty, or she is a full fledged warrior woman.
I wanted to see a Marian who is useful, smart, and normal. There are damsels-in-distress and warrior women in the world, but in my experience and culture most of my female friends are somewhere inbetween trying to figure out what being a woman looks like.
That’s a question I’ve wrestled with myself and I love processing through writing, so this means a novel.
It’s a risk to take beloved characters and mess with them, but I hope by the final draft I’ll have done them justice.
Nanowrimo stars in three days! I’ll report back in December.