Skip to content

Review: No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

“You’ve always wanted to write, but . . . just haven’t gotten around to it. No Plot? No Problem! is the kick in the pants you’ve been waiting for.

Let Chris Baty, founder of the rockin’ literary marathon National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo), guide you through four exciting weeks of hard-core noveling. Baty’s pep talks and essential survival strategies cover the initial momentum and energy of Week One, the critical “plot flashes” of Week Two, the “Can I quit now?” impulses of Week Three, and the champagne and roar of the crowd during Week Four. Whether you’re a first-time novelist who just can’t seem to get pen to paper or a results-oriented writer seeking a creative on-ramp into the world of publishing, this is the adventure for you.

So what are you waiting for? The No Plot? approach worked for the thousands of people who’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, and it can work for you! Let No Plot? No Problem! help you get fired up and on the right track.”

What I thought:

With NaNoWriMo 2017 just around the corner, this is THE book to help you prepare! It’s short (50,000 words, actually (or so Baty claims, it’s not like I counted)), witty, and it gives you permission to write a messy terror of a first draft.

Past a certain point, novel planning just becomes another excuse to put off novel writing. You will never feel sufficiently ready to jump into your novel, and the more time you spend planning and researching, the more likely you’ll feel pressure to pull off a masterwork that justifies all your prewriting work. give yourself the gift of a pressure-free novel, and just dive in after one week.

It has advice on how to get rid of your kids, case studies, and ideas for snacks you can munch on throughout November that won’t turn your keyboard into a sticky mess. But my favourite part is the weekly breakdown. Baty dissects each week offering advice on how to get through each, what’s often easy and difficult about each week, and gives you creative exercises to help you keep writing. It even has advice on how to query an agent from an agent!

Then there’s a motivational speech, a high-five should you make it to the end, a proclamation for you to sign before you enter Week 1,…. In short, this book is excellent NaNo prep.

I borrowed this copy from my library but might just buy it so I can revisit it every time I throw myself into a new first draft. It’s incredibly motivational and understanding, and will help you reach the end of that mad word count.

When everything has been properly laid out, I take a few steps back from the work, close my eyes, and offer up my thanks to the writing powers for another bountiful harvest. At which point, I get a running start and dive headlong into my wordpile, rolling around and snorting like a pig.

And then I fall asleep for three days.

How you celebrate is up to you. But know you can’t possibly overdo the whooping, hollering, and carrying on. No matter what your neighbors might say.

Speaking of NaNo, I’ll be hosting weekly prep sessions throughout October 😉 We’ll cover your characters, world, and plot, and there’ll be worksheets for you to download! Keep an eye on this blog if you’d like to join me 😉

If this is your first year doing NaNo (or even if it isn’t) I recommend you read this book. It’ll prepare you well, and you’ll have a  better idea of what to expect.


Have you read No Plot? No Problem!? Will you be participating in NaNo this year? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

Published inBooks I Love

Be First to Comment

Get a tea and a cookie, and let's chat!

%d bloggers like this: