Saturday, January 04, 2014

No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days, Chris Baty. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2004. e-book, 145 pps.

     For those who do not know this, Chris Baty is the founder of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a novel in the month of November without any editing or re-writing. After completing the novel (of at least 50K pages), the writer can then proof-read it, edit it, publish it or search for a publisher.

     The first section of No Plot? No Problem! is the sort of preliminary stuff that some writers will go through before actually writing. Also included are tips on how to get the people around you to become your cheerleaders.

     The second section deals with a week-by-week breakdown of the process of writing the novel and the emotions that are sure to bedevil the NaNoWriMo participants. The author cautions not to read ahead on Section Two but rather to read it week by week.

     I did not decide to write a novel until November 13th. Thus I did not officially sign up on the NaNoWriMo website. Nor did I want to participate in a silent group of people getting together to write. But I did want to write a novel in thirty days. And I did do that. My novel was completed on December 13th, one month after I made my decision to write it. I am currently re-writing, editing, and proof-reading.  I expect to self-publish Up the Rebels! as an e-book by the end of February 2014. After that, I plan to write and self-publish two more novels in the year 2014.

     No Plot? No Problem! was my personal cheerleader. Although I did not manage to convert my housemate into a supporter (he groaned about the computer being hogged during the time that I was writing), I did have a bunch of people on [tm]Twitter known as the #BogBuds and a couple of lawyers cheering me on.
sapphoq reviews says: The lack of a plot was the thing that held me up from writing a novel. I've written many poems, short stories and a few essays. I've had my work published in a bunch of zines, lit mags and magazines a bunch of times. But something was lacking. That something was the satisfaction that I derived from writing a novel. With No Plot? No Problem! on my e-reader, I was able to achieve a dream. So yeah, if you are serious about writing a novel and just haven't yet, get this book and challenge yourself with writing 50K or more words in a month. Highly recommended. Infinitely more satisfying than the formula writing how-to tomes abundantly available. 

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