No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

no plot no problem

Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Nonfiction

Medium: Paperback

Synopsis: From the creator of NaNoWriMo itself, Chris Baty offers valuable tips, pep talks, and suggestions in his guide to writing a book in 30 days.  NaNoWriMo, as some may know, is a month-long event held in November in which contestants struggle to write 50,000 words.  These words appear on word processors in the middle of the night, before work, and sometimes, whoops, during work.  But, writing 50,000 words in 30 day is tough, so Baty is here to offer you some good advice.

Review: I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, and I’m glad I finally did!  I’m sure this would have helped more when I was writing for NaNoWriMo, but alas, now I have lots of tips for next year.  Baty’s voice throughout this book is so great.  This is probably the third or fourth book about writing that I’ve read in the past two years, and most of those books tended to be very dry.  There was a lot about structure, grammar, revising–the really fine-tuned aspects of writing that we should all learn to become better writers.  But Baty is here to tell you that it’s okay if you don’t know that stuff, and don’t know your plot, and hey, it’s even okay if you don’t know your main character!

What Baty wants you to do is throw out your inner-editor, and let yourself just have at it.  Write what comes to mind, even the bad stuff.  Even the really bad stuff.  Editing and revising can come later.  What matters right now is that you do your hardest to get 50,000 words down on that page.  And the best part about it is that he truly believes you can do it.  He gives you some really helpful tips on how to structure your time, offers you advice given from NaNoWriMo winners, and gives you pep talks.  What’s even better is that he tells you the way to cheat your way to the top of his own contest: make people’s names extra long, write about a weird tree in the park even if you know you’ll edit that part out, stop using hyphens.

Honestly, I’m glad that I read this.  Even if you’re not into writing novels in one month, or you’re not even remotely interested in NaNoWriMo, he offers some great advice, and puts a smile on your face while doing it.

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