Sunday, October 18, 2009

No Plot? No Problem!


****************A few months ago, when I began to consider participating in NaNoWriMo, I bought a used copy of Chris Baty's book: No Plot? No Problem! Chris is the founder of National Novel Writing Month. I was naturally initially hesitant and didn't want to commit to the challenge, thus a used rather than new guide book.
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Chris came up with the idea of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days back in 1999. He and 21 of his friends and acquaintances from the San Francisco Bay area were the first to give the challenge a try. In his guide book, Chris writes, "The old millennium was dying; a better one was on its way. We were in our mid-twenties, and we had no idea what we were doing. But we knew we loved books. And so we set out to write them."
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Chris also writes, "Writing for quantity rather than quality, I discovered, had the strange effect of bringing about both. It didn't necessarily make a whole lot of sense to me, especially as a writer who had spent days laboring over seventy-five word record reviews for the local paper. But the proof was incontrovertible, and everyone who finished NaNoWriMo that first year agreed: We were only able to write so well--and have such a merry time doing it--because we wrote so quickly and intensely. The roar of adrenaline drowned out the self-critical voices that tend to make creative play such work for adults."
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I've experimented with fast-paced writing over the past few years and have to agree with Chris that the results can be delightful, unlike anything I'd create in my usual writing mode.
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No Plot? No Problem! is entertaining and convincing. I'll be sharing more of it over the next few days. I hope that I'm able to entice a few of you to join in the challenge. Give it some thought. Nobody reads your novel. You submit it for the word count verification and then it's deleted from the site. Word scrambling is an option if you're fearful that your novel will be read.
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You can learn more at http://www.nanowrimo.org/.
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*Below is the back of Chris' book with his photo and a send-off statement for those who embrace the dawning of November 1st as the glorious beginning of their first, or perhaps, fiftieth novel.
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Please go to my previous post and next several posts for more on this topic.
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2 comments:

darksculptures said...

Oh this is fantastic. So according to Chris, our speedy manuscripts may not turn out to be pure crap after all? This is very inspiring. I am glad you directed me to this post.

kathan said...

Shaddy, I am going to pick this book up today! Great to hear you've read it and I am actually getting more excited to start this thing now that I know there are so many who are doing it.