Review : No Plot? No Problem!

Before any of you can ask me, yes I finished today's NaNoWriMo word count with 2502. Which leaves me with a perfect segue-way into my first review for November is D*I*Y Planner Review Month or DIYPlaRevMo. *ahem* Okay, sorry... I'll try and refrain from the jokes. But it should come as no surprise that the first book I'm reviewing this month is Chris Baty's No Plot? No Problem!. Not only is the book a wonderful companion to this month's NaNoWriMo excursion but it's also a great stand alone writing book.

For those of you who want to try the NaNo experience but have way too much going on in November, I whole heartedly suggest that you get this book. It's jam packed with the same sass, intensity, whimsical prose and gentle prodding that makes participating in this event fun. Baty doesn't really help you write better prose, per se. Instead he focuses on the culture, the things that help you produce writing, give you time and help you turn off your inner editor and write uninhibited prose. Fast and uncensored. His goal, and it works as I can attest to this, is to help you write a full first draft of a novel, in little time. No Plot? No Problem! contains lots of suggestions, pep-talks, exercises and humor to help you get off your butt, silence the inner editor and learn to love counting words.

The first part of the book discusses the history of this writing phenomena, his own personal views on writing and what he thinks it takes to create a work within this framework. He really doesn't believe that it takes an original, perfect and strong plot to write a novel. Sometimes all it takes is an basic idea, maybe a character name, writing buddies and your family to keep you going and maybe a writing totem and the promise of hefty rewards when you reach particular goals. Therefore, this section dispels the myths behind writing alone, secluded without toys or rewords. Baty also sprinkles thoughts and articles written by other NaNoWriMo participants throughout this section that coincide with the topics he selected to write about.

The second half gives you a portable NaNoWriMo. Baty guides you week by week into writing and finishing your 50,000 word novel in 4 weeks. Amazingly, this guide captures the same feeling and style that actually participating in the competition every November has. Baty shares with you tips and tricks that you can use to help get you past the various hurdles associated with marathon writing. He also includes special pep-talks designed to keep you writing. And at the end of your 30 days, you too will have a complete draft of a novel.

I highly recommend this book, if only to compare the size of 50,000 words. The book itself, is about 50,000 words... if not a little bit more. Out of all the books I own on writing, or exercises to help me write, I can say that this is the one book that helps cheerlead me to a writing victory. This book is all about the passion, the culture and the insanity that happens to us writers when we go word crazy and silence the editor who tells us that zombies and romance should not coexist in a work of fiction.

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You forgot to mention

the busty lesbian ninja pirates!

oh noze!

*Shhhhh* i don't want them to hear me... lest they take away my plot bunny.

happy nano'ing!

Just bought it!

I just got this book tonight based on your recommendation. This month is crazy for me so maybe early next year or in November of 2007.

That's the beauty of the

That's the beauty of the book, it allows you to create a nanowrimo experience that can fit into your hectic schedule. Of course, the really crazy ones (like me) do like to participate in the November madness that is the global experience.

Thing I've learned from NaNo is... that your life will always be hectic, especially in November where in the states, we have Thanksgiving and work and weather to contend with. Which makes writing a novel and finishing in this month so sweet. You've done it all, despite all the other stuff that goes on around you. It's a great feeling that becomes addicting year after year.

Good luck on your first attempt whenever it is!

Good call!

Good review; good call. My copy of NP?NP! got me through my 1st NaNoWriMo.

Have you seen the The No Plot? No Problem! Novel-Writing Kit? I've seen it in the local Borders, but haven't picked it up.

I've seen it... but I'm not

I've seen it... but I'm not sure I'm as impressed with it as I am with Chris's writing style. It seems very kitchy and the official gear is so much neater than what seems to be offered in the book.

On that depressing note, does anyone have the Kit and can give a more impartial review?