Having finished writing my NaNoWriMo novel, I sat down to read the final chapters of No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty. The book is all about writing a novel in a month, and though it says you can pick any old month, it was clearly designed to promote and/or accompany nanowrimo.org. And I was forbidden to read these last chapters until after I finished!
Baty has a lot of fun with the book and its a nice read even if you’re not intending to do NaNo. He walks you through getting ready to write, coming up with a starting point, and then sends you off. But the back part of the book has a chapter for each week of November, and it was uncanny how accurate they were. When he said I’d be struggling…I was struggling! When he said words would be flying by, they were.
The end of the book talks about next steps. Determining if your NaNovel is worth polishing into a finished novel or not, and if it is, how to go about doing that. (Interestingly, he suggests it’ll take about a year to do re-writes on the book you wrote in a month!)
Throughout this month-long process, No Plot? No Problem! has offered tips as well as inspiration. Doing NaNoWriMo would be really freakin’ hard on your own, I think. I was lucky enough to have friends who supported me in ways beyond imagining. But if you were on a desert island, cut off from humanity, this book could serve as your friend and cheerleader.
Absolutely recommended, but probably not until next fall when you’re gearing up for NaNo. (I’ll be re-reading it then, too.)