Pants On Fire and No Plot? No Problem!

no-plot.jpgWhat’s on my nightstand? No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty.

I bought this book, new, from Powells in Portland, OR, in 2005, and that’s when I learned about NaNoWriMo. I signed up on the site that year, but merely “watched” the action. I dove in the next year.

The book and the NaNoWriMo event are Chris’s attempt to share the wild adventure and joy of writing a novel, and to make that adventure accessible to the common man, woman, and child. He pulls it off beautifully; I am a devoted fan.

I read this book every year, one section a week, during the month of November. It sounds a bit pathetic, but it’s like having a friend on the adventure with me. Chris nails the experience of writing, the difficulties, the thrills, the satisfaction of having done it in the end. More importantly, he offers solid advice and encouragement on getting the job done, and having a blast while enduring the torture.

The idea of writing a novel in thirty days is pretty ridiculous. Add to that the fact that you can head into the thirty days with no plot whatsoever, and the idea becomes absurd. It is the extreme intensity and silliness that Chris brings to this idea that make it possible.

In the end, this book is about dreaming big and acting on that dream.

pants-on-fire.jpgWhat’s on my mp3 player? Pants on Fire, by Meg Cabot.

Meg Cabot books are to problem novels as light is to dark. Kind of. In my opinion. Light, fun, and sprinkled with hot boys and enough mush to make captive readers/listeners of young teen girls. And me!

While this and Meg’s other books are not what I experienced growing up (I was too shy and embarrassed to be boy crazy), I think I would have been able to relate more to them.

Pants on Fire is about a teen girl, Katie, who despite having the best of everything can’t stop lying, about her dislike for the local popular cuisine (quahogs), her boredom with her “perfect” boyfriend, her cheating on said boyfriend, and her part in a cruel prank four years ago that hurt a very good friend. It is yet another boy who forces Katie to admit her lies and finally embrace the things that make her truly happy.

Categories: Reading