Previously, I wrote about how I defied rules and structure in my writing in Fooled by Mr. Keating. Some might call this style “post-modern” writing and I certainly had my head entrenched in that school of thought. It was not to my benefit. I think it makes sense to dig a little deeper. Let’s talk about plot structure in fiction writing.
Before we get into it, I want to make clear no potential genre novelist wants to be a post-modern writer.
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.
I wrote in the library this morning. Well, more like edited, but same thing, right? It was quieter than usual. Most days children swarm around the kid’s books making all kinds of noises while the adults goof around on the computers, doing pretty much anything other than reading. Libraries have become all things to all people, I guess. The books stare longingly at the children and adults who would much rather stare at an illuminated computer screen.
I’m one of those adults. Somedays I’ll go to the library to check out books or look at their “For Sale” section, but it’s rare. Whenever I’m in the mood to check out books, I usually take way too many than I actually need. The librarians probably think I’m crazy with the stack of books I run off with. And yes, I’ve racked up quite the fines in my day (mostly college), but I do better at returning them on time now.
A while ago, a friend told me about a technique where you could write 5,000 words per hour. It’s from a book called, surprise, 5,000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox. The book is good and has plenty of tips, tricks, and techniques to squeeze the most out of your precious writing time.
Last winter I took a little retreat and utilized his technique. It didn’t quite work the way he promised, but it did give me the added benefit of writing faster than before.