Contrary to what some folks may have you belief, man does not live by high art alone. Yes, Mahler and Mozart are irreplaceable components of our civilization. But I would argue that so are Motorhead and Motley Crue. Hot dogs are just as important in our world’s cuisine as foie gras. And when it comes to our writing diets, I believe there are times we should aspire to create works that would shame Faulkner and Joyce. And there are other times when we should give ourselves the liberty to write crap. Or, as Chris Baty describes it “you should lower the bar from ‘best-seller’ to ‘would not make someone vomit.'”
Baty’s No Plot? No Problem: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days may be just the thing to knock you out of your ivory tower, artistic garret and just get some writing done. Too often, we handicap ourselves fretting about our style, our message, and our “art.” I knew a guy who talked endlessly about his signature style even though he had never finished a single story. Baty, who founded National Novel Writing Month, isn’t out to teach you to create great art. He’s just out to get you to create. And have fun doing it.
But even if you’re not going to try to write a novel in 30 days, this book contains some good advice on finding time to write, ways to keep yourself motivated, and techniques for losing your inner editor and just have fun with putting stuff on the page. This ain’t John Gardner and I don’t believe Baty would claim otherwise. This is about the literary equivalent of plugging in, cranking the amp to 10, and just jamming and seeing what happens. You might create great art and you might just piss everyone off. But you’ll have fun doing it and learn a little along the way.
Keep an eye out for an interview with Baty soon. Check out the book here.