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No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days: A High-velocity, Low-stress Way to Write a Novel in 30 Days Paperback – 29 Oct 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 01 edition (29 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811845052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811845052
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Every November, tens of thousands of people sign up for National Novel Writing Month and attempt to write a 50,000-word novel. Baty, the brains behind this competition, has produced an uproariously funny motivational manifesto so readers can get a leg-up in his race or in the larger publishing game. The key is to lower your expectations "from 'best-seller' to 'would not make someone vomit, ' " says Baty, who maintains that stress and a deadline are important parts of writing. Aimed at the nonserious, with an emphasis on summoning creativity and having a life-changing experience, this original approach will appeal to anyone up for a challenge. -Library Journal

About the Author

CHris Baty is a freelance writer and writing coach whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Village Voice, SF Weekly, and Lonely Planet guidebooks. He lives in Oakland, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As one of those people who have "Write a novel" as one of the things on my "Someday/Maybe" lists, I accidentally found myself on the NaNoWriMo website.

Thinking that the whole concept is what I need, to actually force myself to start, I thought I'd get up to speed and buy the book. I fully had the intention of reading it now, doing the writing course I've been procrastinating on for 3 years and then do the challenge in 2007.

Well I read the book in an evening.

Ok, you won't gleam much insight into actually how to write a novel (there are plenty of other books to do that, plus the website has some great information in the forums).

What you get is a very witty (it made me cry with laughter in places) walk through how to prepare and cope through a stessful, painful, delightful, enjoyable etc month whilst you do a, possibly very bad, first draft of your novel.

With tips from past winners, the authors own struggles and the fact that you really are going for quantity over quality. This really has motivated me into contemplating actually entering this competition this year.

Plus how to use fear to get yourself to succeed is a particular useful bit of information I will be using in other aspects of my life.

If you have any interest in writing (or art or music for that matter), then this is an enjoyable romp through how to temporarily motivate yourself to a concentrated burst of creative output.

Lets hope my novel isn't as waffly as this review!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're like me, teetering on the brink of writing a novel but never quite feeling confident that you've researched enough, are talented enough, or have the tenacity to see it through, then read this book. I tried the nanowrimo last July after reading it, and since then have written another one, and am just embarking on my third. What Baty helps you to see is that the first draft is not meant to be a work of great fiction, in fact it's better if it isn't. So go on, get your feet dirty and don't worry about it. I'm enjoying the process so much! It's amazing what you do know when you start to write!
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Format: Hardcover
Just as the previous reviewer did, I bought three of these kits, after initially buying one. I fell in love with this kit so much that I did not want to use it. That is why I bought three more, for myself, or to give away, or both, I haven't decided yet.

Inside the kit you will find:
- a 'novelist' button, so everyone will know what you are
- a progress log sheet, to keep track of your daily input of words. And a set of gold star stickers, for every day you exceed your daily target
- 'ask me about my novel' stickers, to put on your desk, your door, your novel writing note pad...
- I owe you notes, to make you pay for every day you fail to meet your daily target
- a contract binding you to finish your novel
- a sealed emergency envelope, for if you are about to quit the project
- a set of playing card sized daily assignments
- a small handbook, to get and keep you going.

All in lovely colours, mainly orange and a beautiful colour blue.

The aim of the kit is to have fun writing your - probably trashy - novel. Quantity is what counts, and not giving up, in stead of quality (you will judge the quality after you have finished, if you like, that is).

If you want to go for quality from day one, buy 'a book in a month', by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, or better still, buy them both. And buy the just as wonderful, highly motivating 'no plot, no problem' guide book, too, if you can afford it, also by Chris Baty. All available at Amazon.

Have Fun!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
6 months ago I finished my latest non fiction book (about the 3rd battle of Ypres in WW1) and after it's first edit, gave it to my trusted friends to critique. Three days later they asked me out for a coffee and told me that the although book was good, what I had actually produced had real potential as a novel, one that they would put forward to their agent if it worked - and they really thought it would work.


7 non fiction books, a stack of articles, and now a novel?
Plot? Character? Story Arc? Dialogue? I'd never even thought of it, let alone tried the genre. So I sent quite a few authors here on Amazon some money to help me move forward.

And instead of moving forward, imagine a rather large Rabbit and rather bright Headlights.
Everything stopped.

Where I had been comfortable putting words together that told readers about events, I now had to learn to show a reader a scene, and where in the past words just seemed to flow, now I became obsessed with getting the story right; which in turn led to untold frustration as I found I was doing anything rather than 'get on'.
I bought this book thinking it was about helping me with a plot (which it doesn't - other reviewers here have pointed that out very clearly), what it did do was sit me down and talk to me about letting words just come out.

His Inner Editor analogy was in itself worth the price of the book for me, as that is exactly where my problem lay.
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