No Plot? No Problem! Revised, Part One

One of the most important books in my writing life was No Plot? No Problem! and I credit that book and the online NaNoWriMo community with giving me the small step goals that got me here. If I can write 50,000 words in a month, can I write a full story? If I can do that, can I write a longer full story? What happens if I plan out the book beforehand? Incredibly important questions. And incredibly important skills.

Which means this review series will be a little biased because I love the idea, the process, and the community. But, a bias declared is a bias acknowledged, so keep it in mind.

This book is designed to get you through a month long writing project, a guidebook for the NaNoWriMo process. You can start whenever you want, and you can do it all without getting online. Unless, like me, you have the digital copy. Not the point.

As usual, the first section not only gives some background on the crazy endeavour that is writing a book in a month. It also busts some pretty necessary myths that really can hamstring your attempts. Don’t worry about it being perfect, make time to write but actually write, write if you don’t know what’s happening, write if you do. Basically, write first and worry about editing later. Which is largely how you get through NaNo, in a blaze of writing glory much like a firework set off at an odd angle…

Thankfully, the first section contains tips, tricks for getting yourself set up. This includes people wrangling, contingency planning, novelling headquarters options, tools lists, and suggestions on some ways you can make more time available to you for your epic writing month. All very handy things, and some of them do creep into your habits if, like me, you end up doing a lot more than one month novel push a year.

It also gives you information on how to work out what level of pre-production you need. As the title suggests, you can have as little as you want. The important thing is not to overdo the pre-production.

One of the best pieces of advice here are the two Magna Cartas. The list of things you like, and the list of things you hate. This means when things from the second list creep in, you can kick them out much earlier because you know what they look like.

There are also some good questions to ask yourself about character, and good guidance on starting out your plot.

And because I am going to use this Camp NaNoWriMo to read the book as it was intended, I’m stopping here. No writing on the story itself until Day One. No reading ahead.

So far, the book has lived up to its purpose. It makes the idea of writing a novel in a month fun and not scary, it gives good guidance on how to set yourself up for success without sacrificing things unnecessarily, and has good titbits from Wrimos in there too. So far, it’s made me more confident rather than less.

It currently has a place on my writing craft shelf.

One of the things recommended for the month is to find a writing totem. Here’s mine for month!

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Catch Up Post, Again.

It should come as no surprise that I ended up overwhelmed and forgot to blog. Again.

It should also come as no surprise that I intend to do something about it. Again.

What this means is the blog is getting an overhaul. Again. Are we sensing a theme?

The first part of this transition to a hopefully more productive, helpful blog will be a running review  of the revised ‘No Plot? No Problem!’ by Chris Baty. I’ll also try to keep my progress updated during Camp NaNoWriMo, and this session’s Abernath the griffin book. If I’m lucky, it will actually be the first book in series this time. There is always hope it will work as planned…

Which brings me to the part where I’m hoping for some input from anyone popping in.

There are a few themes of blog posts I could start with as the beginning of a more consistent schedule. I’d love to know what interests you most.

Would you like to see reviews of texts, fiction and nonfiction, books and other media?

Would you like to know the tips and tricks I’m learning and implementing? What’s worked for me and what hasn’t?

Would you like to know how I’m going about retraining my brain to do creative writing when pain and medication interfere?

Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see first.

Thank you for sticking with me, hopefully this time the processes I’m changing will work long term.

 

The Bunny and the Cat

Plot Bunny and Fluffy Cat are ready!