Fooled by Mr. Keating (How I Learned to Love Structured Writing)

The Dead Poets Society is one of my favorite movies of all time. Even as a young kid I remember enjoying it. Robin Williams performance as Mr. Keating electrifies the drama, bringing passion and heart to a story which could have fallen flat. In the movie, Mr. Keating has several iconic scenes which argue against stale, passionless writing, but rather encourages all artists to not be bound by rules or structure. In essence, Keating’s message to his students and to the audience is: Be free.

A Study on Human Behavior

Occasionally, I write movie reviews for a local online website which gets me into early screenings. At these early screenings, marketing companies bring in tons of people who usually win tickets or are signed up to get sporadic tickets inviting them to the show. Most of these people have to just find a seat while movie critics get reserved seats. Yesterday, I went to see The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, and when I got to my row of seats, a couple was sitting down at two reserved seats.

10 Books That Changed My Life

I write for a living. Writing and reading are what I love to do most. So I figured I’d throw down some of the most important books which changed my thinking and shaped the writer and man I am today. There isn’t a doubt in my mind I forgot a book on this list but these are the ones that rose to the top first.

Why I’m an Omni-writer and not a Genre-writer

Many successful (and unsuccessful) authors have to make a choice about what camp they’re going to sit in. Usually, though, that choice is made for them. When an author writes a fantasy book, and it becomes successful, he’ll forever be known as a fantasy author. It would behoove him to keep writing fantasy if he wants more success. These genre authors are usually scoffed at by elitists and pretentious writers. Which, I shouldn’t have to say, is pointless and cruel.

However, when I first began writing, I never intended to be pigeon-holed, come hell or high water. There are writers who love a genre so much they never want to leave. Others, like myself, would rather just be a writer and leave it at that. But most writers start out not wanting to write one genre but are forced into like I mentioned previously.

How to show in your writing

The old chestnut of every creative writing teacher is “Show, don’t tell”, but they rarely give you much else. If you always show, won’t all your stories be insanely long? Yes, they will. Showing every last detail of information is just bad writing and bad advice. Showing can become overwhelming, overbearing, and will bog down the narrative of your story. Once upon a time, I was in love with this style of writing typically found in Romanticism like Novalis. It doesn’t work to modern sensibilities, unfortunately. If we’re really going to get the most out of this maxim, then we need to get to the heart of it.