NaNo prep: ideas

Back in 2010, my students completed the YWP NaNo and really enjoyed it, well some of them did.  I then discovered that the Office of Letters and Light hosted a ScriptFrenzy in April of each year (unfortunately this event has since ended, but scripts are an option for Camp NaNoWriMo).  Since my kids had enjoyed NaNo I thought we’d try writing Scripts.  I gave them the option of writing movies, tv shows, comics, or even the script for a video game let’s face it games like Zelda take some serious script writing.  On the YWP page for Script Frenzy there was a dare machine much like on the NaNo YWP page.  I don’t remember the exact dare I came across when showing it to my students but it was something about your characters ending up in a children’s game.  Between this and the fact that I was reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my 6th graders at the time I was inspired.  Well inspired enough to write down a few ideas.  Then they sat for another year.  At the start of the 2012 NaNo season I wrote in more detail about the ideas and some of the characters and settings, then November came and I never started writing.  Flash forward to two days ago when I came across those ideas and was inspired all over again.  I’ve been working with those ideas, changing, updating, talking back to them 🙂 and here’s what I have.

Inspirations: Script Frenzy dare machine, Jumanji, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wizard of Oz, Phantom Tollbooth, Toy Story 2 & 3, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Absent Minded Professor

Idea 1: man, a scientist, experimenting on ________ (transportation a la Star Trek?) loves candy, experiment goes awry and he ends up in Candy Land and he has to work his way through the places in the game, meets all of the characters? maybe has to care for the gingerbread kids along the way, or maybe his kids become the gingerbread kids

Idea 2: experiment goes awry, the man becomes a game piece, his kids come in to see him and find the board they either:

  1. play the game just for fun
  2. throw the game away because they’re sick of it and he has to find his way back home (too much like Toy Story 2 or Honey I Shrunk the Kids?)
  3. donate the game and he has to find his way back home (too much like Toy Story 3?)

Idea 3: a group of scientists or candy inventors is together for some reason, conference, workshop, doing a group experiment and something goes wrong, they all end of up the game

Idea 4: scientist candyman’s kids are angry he never spends time with them or are just very curious types so they sneak into his lab and begin to play with his chemicals, they end up transported into Candy Land (too much like Honey I Shrunk the Kids?)

Idea 5: Combine ideas 1 & 4, kids mess with the chemicals and get “poofed”/transported into Candy Land, (game boards line the walls of the lab), each kid is in a different area. He comes in not realizing the kids have been there and continues where he left off only to be “poofed”/transported into the game as well.  Works his way through the game rescuing his kids as he goes.  At some point he gets in trouble and his kids have to rescue him?

Additional thoughts: different versions overlapping. property disputes between old and new characters?  or old/removed characters wandering through the game (too much like Wreck It Ralph?) they’ve been evicted, maybe they all band together and create a new area of their own with houses there, or one big house, Plumpy who has been taken out of game and reinstated has an empty room he comes to stay in to visit once in a while?

Clearly I’m going to be writing a kids/YA book, leaning more to the kid’s side.  Thinking along the lines of Magic Tree House/Flat Stanley/ Dinosaur Cove kids’ chapter book.

My biggest concern right now is keeping it original.  I don’t mind including nods to my inspirations but I don’t want what I write to be too close to anything already out there and popular.

My final choice, well as of now is Idea 5, that’s the one I’m going to start developing.  We’ll see how it goes.





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