Blanche’s Book Club: ‘No Plot? No Problem!’

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We are in “Preptober” people! If you’re in the #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) club, then you know exactly what I mean.

Basically all of us that are planning to write a novel in 30 days during the month of November are either waiting until Nov. 1 to even think about our books or we’re doing some prep this month.

As part of my prep, I read “No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days” by Chris Baty.

Chris Baty is the Founder of National Novel Writing Month, so he has a lot to say about how he came up with the idea, and his philosophy on why it works, and some tips to help you get through it.

Although I won NaNoWriMo (anyone who completes a 50,000-word novel is considered a winner) last year, I feel really anxious about it this year — I almost feel like it’s going to be more difficult to do it a second time!

So, I read this book in hopes of getting some helpful tips and it was full of them.

Here are some of note:

  • A rough draft is best written in the steam cooker of a busy life. When writing your first draft, being busy is key.
  • By giving yourself the gift of imperfection, you tap into the realms of intuition and imagination that your hypercritical brain normally censors.
  • If you won’t enjoy reading it, you won’t enjoy writing it.
  • If you are easily swayed by the reactions of others, resist the temptation to share your work-in-progress.
  • You aren’t shooting for perfection here; you’re just exploring the outer reaches of your imagination, and building a book one day at a time.
  • A novel is largely a personal miracle; the tiny joys of your writing process usually won’t resonate with other people, no matter how close you are to them.
  • Allow yourself to enjoy the madness and euphoria that comes with writing a novel in 30 days.

There’s an entire book full of tips, many of which are more actionable — I would definitely recommend this book if you’re participating in NaNo in just a few weeks!

And if you are… be my buddy!

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Also, check out my printable bookmarks and Book Club Journal Pages in my Etsy Shop

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