No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

Heather and I have three of the greatest kids in the world. Guess what they got daddy for Christmas? Yep, you guessed right, gift certificates from Chapters/Indigo. On Boxing Day after we got back from Mom’s place, Vicky and I went to Chapters. I grabbed two books by John Ringo (hey, I like military SF), and this wonderful little book called “No Plot? No Problem!” by Chris Baty, one of the founders of NANOWRIMO.

Heather took one look at it, and stole it, and it took me a week to get it back from her. The book is about how to write for NANO, and it’s an absolute riot to read. Here’s a paragraph from the introduction:

The aimless, anemic characters we’d invented in the first 14 days began to perk up and do things. Quirky, unexpected, readable things. They sold their SUVs and started commuting to work in golf carts. They joined polka bands, and got kidnapped by woodland creatures, and found themselves organizing jewel-heist capers with their next-door neighbors from the nursing home.

At this point Chris is talking about the experiences of those who completed the first NANO. 21 people started, and 6 “won”, with winning being defined as writing 50,000 words or more. The book covers the things that Chris has learned from being involved in NANO, and writing several novels. It’s a fun read – and very inspirational – I recommend it highly.

Go buy it and read it. I’m going to go thank the kids for the gift certificates once again.

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