Chris Baty, founder of the wildly successful literary marathon known as National Novel Writing Month, has completely revised and expanded his definitive handbook for extreme noveling. Chris pulls from over 15 years of results-oriented writing experience to pack this compendium with new tips and tricks, ranging from week-by-week quick reference guides to encouraging advice from authors, and much more. His motivating mix of fearless optimism and practical solutions to common excuses gives both first-time novelists and results-oriented writers the kick-start they need to embark on an exhilarating creative adventure.
What I valued the most of this book was the normalization of the process, outlined week by week...the energy, the doubts, the hopelessness. But, he also gently offers ways to deal with those challenges that inspire the novelist. A lot of writing books offer good advice. But this book condenses to what is necessary for the NaNoWrimo-er. See you in November!
I had decided that this year, instead of writing a new novel, I would use the month to edit my existing non-fiction book (NaBoEdMo). But reading this book has me fired up again. It would be good to write another novel. This book talks about the genesis of the NaNoWriMo Challenge, and the pitfalls. It walks you through the process, and the problems. But it does not give you a plot. It gives you a mental attitude of excitement and charging up your creativity. November starts next week. I have some half-formed characters and attitudes swirling in my head.... after reading this, I'm thinking I should go for it. Recommended.
The thing any writer must do with books on how to write is to hold on to the tips that work and let go of the ones which don't. Each writer must find their own path and what works for some may not work for others.
This was an interesting view into what works for the man who created Nano.
The only thing that irritates me is that the sidebar articles are written in black on dark grey. I'm 25; I should not be getting eyestrain yet!
50,000 words that were written is such haste that they should be scrapped and rewritten isn't much progress towards writing a novel... unless of course it helps get you over some kind of fear factor or other writing inhibition.
The world is saturated with reading material at the moment. It doesn't need your novel. Everyone could stop writing today, and we'd still have more literature than anyone could possibly read in a lifetime. The world doesn't need more books. Which doesn't mean I don't think good books aren't important or valuable. But I'd rather see someone take five years to craft a true masterpiece than slap out something in a month and try to hoist on an unsuspecting public. If you can write good stories that fast, more power to you, but you are a rare person.
On the other hand people writing for the joy and challenge of it is a cool thing. NaNoWriMo has helped breed a community of writers who compete with, support, and challenge each other.
I'd like to see more emphasis on quality and stronger participation in the follow up Editing challenge. Because while you may not need to start out with a fully formed plot, you do need to end up with one, or all you've accomplished is a high word count.
Also written in a way that had me giggling out loud a lot.