I don’t spend money. I just don’t. Whenever I get money for my birthday I put it in my savings account and let it gather interest. I think in all of my years of having that savings account, I’ve earned a bit more than a dollar, but hey, it’s money. I’ve never taken any of that money and spent it. I think I have about $800. I know, you’re jealous. I’m unbelievably rich. Not really, but still. The biggest purchase was an 8gb 3g iPod touch last year. I was thrilled and proud that I had bought it (mostly) myself.
Why am I mentioning this? I’m mentioning this because I’m going to make the biggest purchase of my life. I’m buying a car. HAHAHAHAHA! Did you fall for it? Nah, I bet you didn’t. Well, I tried. I’m actually buying a laptop. I wanted to buy a laptop this summer, but then I decided I wouldn’t. Now, I want one again. What caused my change in thought? No Plot? No Problem! was the thing that made me want a lovely, portable writing device. Yes, I started that book! Today the new NaNoWriMo site is supposed to launch. I’m waiting. I’m waiting. Why isn’t it here yet? I’ve been looking forward to this all day. I ran a mile! Don’t I deserve a little something-something?
But back to the wonderful book. This book isn’t about how to write a novel. This book is about writing a novel in 30 days. About half of the book is explaining how you should prepare. Well, that and it talks about the wonders of caffeine, but you get the gist. Speaking of caffeine, I need to learn to drink coffee. Learn? How do you learn to drink coffee? Drinking coffee is a skill that must be learned, or acquired in some way. Why? Coffee tastes horrible. I’m actually quite fond of the after taste, but the taste is just gross. I must learn to drink coffee. Then, and only then, will I be prepared for NaNoWriMo.
The Time Finder is one of the many helpful things in No Plot? No Problem!. The Time Finder will help you find time that you didn’t previously think you had for writing. All you need is a pen, paper, and three different colored highlighters or colored pencils. Treats are involved, so don’t zone out on my now. Every night before you go to bed write down EVERYTHING you did that day broken down into half-hour intervals. Start from the time that you woke up and end at the moment you activated the Time Finder. Afterwards, reward yourself with a unhealthy treat. Once you’ve done it for a whole week, break out the highlighters! Highlight everything that you absolutely have to do in one color, things that you really, really want to do in another, and, finally, things that you could live without doing in the last color. After you do all of this, you should add up everything in the final color and see how much writing time you have! By the way, homework should be in the mandatory color, or, at the very least, in the highly desirable color. Trust me, it’s for the best.
The best part about this book is that it’s hilarious. I was trying not to laugh so hard in English class! I would have been so embarrassed if someone came up to me after class and asked what I was reading that made me laugh so much. “Uh… A book on how to write a novel…” I would say. Yeah, doesn’t sound like the funniest book. No Plot? No Problem! also tells you about all of the places to novel (most of which you need to be able to drive/over 18/21 to be able to get to), and the essential materials that you need to novel with. One of the things that you need to novel is a Novelling Totem (apparently). This is an item (or, more often than not an article of clothing or an accessory) that tells you it’s novelling time. For me, I chose my designer Snuggie. That’s what my mom calls it, at least. It’s like a poncho/cape. It has a hood, goes down to my waist, and it’s basically some sort of wrap. But I chose it to be my Novelling Totem because it can be so many things. It could be a cape, a blanket, a poncho, a magic carpet, even a skirt!
In short, what I’ve read of No Plot? No Problem! is definitely worth paying for. I love it, and I think you would too. It explains that NaNoWriMo is about quantity, not quality. One of my favorite passages is about getting your family and friends to support what you’re doing. Here you go:
“Amateur writers who take years and years to write their rough drafts are sentencing themselves and those around them to a constant barrage of “novel guilt…” It explains what novel guilt is here, but I’m going to shorten it up. “… By writing your entire rough draft in a month, you are no so much taking yourself out of your loved ones’ lives for weeks as you are giving yourself to them for the years to come. By compressing all the procrastination and ensuring self-loathing into thirty manageable days, you’ll be more pleasant to be around the rest of the time. (Don’t mention the word ‘rewrite’ until much, much later.)”
Many X’s and O’s,