Friday, November 25, 2011

No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty - a Book Review

Excerpt from the back of the book “No Plot? No Problem!” by Chris Baty:
NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty’s mercilessly pants-kicking guide walks novelists through the process of finding workable story ideas and tweaking busy schedules for maximum noveling bliss before sailing off into a month of literary abandon. The high-velocity handbook also includes week-by-week overviews, exercises, and pep talks, and also features heaps of tips from NaNoWriMo veterans. Great for November, or any month you find yourself needing a creative boost.

Granted, it might have been smarter to at least start reading this book before NaNoWriMo, but that would have been too easy! I do things the hard way. Which is probably why I’m writing a novel in a month. Anyway, I picked this book towards the latter half of the second week, and found it a great reason to avoid writing (yes, I’m good at finding those, aren’t most writers?).

The good thing is that it quickly pushed me back towards writing. I couldn’t help wanting to dive back into my own work as I read through Chris Baty’s adventure in starting NaNoWriMo. The rest of the book was like that as well, I always put it down wanting to write more, and I think that’s the best review I could give for a book like this.

Other than how much it helped me want to write, the two other things that jumped out at me from this book are it’s great suggestions and writing exercises, and that it’s just plain funny! I kept laughing while I read this book, as Baty talked with a straight face about ways to manipulate others into letting you have your writing time, and beating people who talked at Write-Ins instead of WRITING.

If you’ve never done NaNoWriMo before, then next year I both encourage you to join in the fun, and have this handy while you do so. I’d recommend picking it up and reading Chris Baty’s story about how it all started the week before, then reading each week’s chapter full of encouragement as you are actually in that week, and wrapping up the book in December. Mind you, I didn’t follow my own advice, so you don’t have to either.
Overall I give this 5 out of 5 stars. 

Now excuse me while I go back to writing. It is still NaNoWriMo you know!



  1. Holy crap, I loved that book. (NaNo winner...'04, I think?)

  2. I love love love this book! I have it sitting next to my desk, nestled with my other writing books, and flip its pages often! Great review :)