October 6, 2011

Book Review: No Plot? No Problem!

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , at 11:45 pm by Tamara

Title: No Plot?  No Problem!  A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

Author: Chris Baty

Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing

Verdict: **** (out of 5)

Written by the founder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), this is a funny and encouraging guide for NaNoWriMo participants.  The goal of NaNoWriMo is to stop saying “Someday I’m going to write a book” and forcibly  kick it off your bucket list by writing a 50,000 word novel in one month (November).  Hundreds of thousands participate in NaNo every year around the world, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys writing but is too much of a perfectionist to just sit down and do it.  NaNo forces you to focus on quantity, not quality, because, as they say, a horrible first draft can be edited, but you can’t do anything with a blank page.  If you’d love to write a book “someday” but the very idea of writing a book in a month makes your perfectionist self want to scream, faint, or huddle in a corner whimpering, this is the book for you!

The first half of the book is tips on preparing for NaNo: imagining your basic plot, fleshing out your characters, choosing a point of view, etc.  The second part is a week-by-week guide for NaNo, offering advice and encouragement for the ups and downs of the month.  This is the perfect book for anyone who dreams of writing a book “someday” but thinks they don’t have the time now, or who finds themselves paralyzed by perfectionism every time they try.  The book is chock full of encouragement to keep writing, ignore your vicious inner critic, and relish the thrill of finishing the month and actually being able to say that you wrote a book!

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3 Comments »

  1. Ermilia said,

    The Nano can be so daunting, I love it but it is very daunting and quite the commitment. I know from my experience participating in the grand challenge often leaves me exhausted midway. I run out of ideas for the plot. I restrict myself from writing anything because I want it to be perfect, I want to do more than just produce 50,000 words, I want to create a worthwhile novel. I think when you are approaching the Nano you have to want to finish the 50,000 words and let the first ideas be the one’s you write. You can clean it up later and rewrite rather than get bogged down in perfectionism. It sounds like an interesting and helpful read.

    Thanks for sharing!

    – Ermisenda

    • Tamara said,

      You are exactly right!! I had to repeat to myself constantly: “A horrible draft can be edited, a blank page is nothing but a blank page.” It was such a challenge, but so good for me to get over my perfectionism and just PRACTICE writing. Good luck this year!

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