The Good And Bad Novel Lists

I am planning my NaNoWriMo novel (*screams*) and I am using the lovely book called No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty (aka NaNoWriMo founder). In it, Chris suggests listing two lists: the Good Novel List and Bad Novel List (or, as he calls it, Magna Carter I and Magna Carter II). On these lists, you’re meant to put things on them that you like/don’t like in a novel.

I’ll tell you what’s on my lists (so far):

Good Novel List

  • chemistry
  • humour
  • love
  • found objects (I copied this one from Chris Baty)
  • cliffhangers
  • happy endings (and this one)
  • animals
  • families
  • friendships
  • badassery
  • humanity

Bad Novel List

  • limp characters
  • stupid characters
  • books written pretentiously
  • heavy description
  • confusing settings
  • unnecessary death
  • OP characters

I think these lists are going to end up being really helpful, because I’ll try and put them into my novel. So, I should be able to write it easier (and feeling happier about it), as it’ll include loads of stuff I love!

Obviously there’s a possibility that without these lists, I would end up putting/not putting them in the novel anyway, but I think having them there is really helpful. It means I can avoid putting in something on my ‘bad novel list’ if it slips through my writing net.

And it’s something I’ll definitely recommend in the future! I’ll probably make other lists for short stories and poems, because these genres, in my mind, are different to novels.

Do you think you’d have lists? Would they be helpful to you? What would you put on your lists? Should I share more of my lists in the future? Is this enough questions now?

Last thought for you:

If you won’t enjoy reading it, you won’t enjoy writing it. – Chris Baty

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