Book Review: No Plot? No Problem!

In honor of the impending arrival of NaNoWriMo, it stands to reason that I should highlight the book written by NaNoWriMo founder, Chris Baty: No Plot? No Problem! When he dreamed up the first National Novel Writing Month in 1999, he had no idea how to write a novel.

He also could not foresee the tens of thousands of writers who would eventually join him each year.

Baty, with his trademark sarcastic wit, has collected the tips and wisdom he's gained in novel-writing--and surviving the month of November--over the years. If you need a book to teach you about writing, and enduring a marathon like NaNoWriMo, then this is the volume for you.

Learn from the past. After an amusing history of the early NaNoWriMo movement, Baty explains everything you need to write your novel, from your environment, to your schedule, to your story arc.

Survival guide. A chapter is dedicated to each of the four weeks of November. Each one is chock full of exercises, survival strategies, and pep talks to keep you going. After all these years, Baty knows exactly when writers will decide to quit their endeavor, and how to get them excited about their manuscript again.

The wacky and the weird. This is probably the only writing book with a section titled "How Do I Get Rid of My Children?". Baty compares the pros and cons of different writing environments, from the coffee shop to "the can". He'll help you find inspiration in strange places, and teach you to use the "TimeFinder" to discover more moments to write.

If you're considering NaNoWriMo this year, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better cheerleader than Chris Baty. Yes, you could learn how to write a novel from other books, but it won't be nearly as entertaining.

Where do you turn for NaNoWriMo inspiration?


  1. Always wondered how NaNoWriMo got started. Now I know. Thanks. Should be a fun read!

  2. I absolutely love this book! It's written in such a witty and humorous style.
    I first read it for my first Nanowrimo. I've gone through it twice. Very exciting!

  3. I wish I were as funny as Chris Baty. My daughter can pull it off, but not me. Definitely a book that keeps your spirits up!




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