Before I get started writing a story or novel, I always have those parts which excite me. You know what I’m talking about. The inspirational part driving the whole thing in the first place. The Spark. The Beautiful Mistress. Maybe it’s a character arc or a climactic scene that changes everything. Maybe it’s a big, surprising reveal in the story. Somewhere along the way you come up with an idea and say, “That’s it! Wouldn’t it be so cool to write that scene?”
Well, you’re 50,000 words into the story and you finally reach the penultimate moment. It’s all come together for this one part. It’s your time to shine. Your time to make it a magical piece of writing.
But, suddenly, you buckle and collapse under the pressure. Writer’s block takes hold. The one part you were waiting to write, your beautiful mistress has metamorphosed into a gargantuan eight-tentacled slug beast with gallons of slime falling off of its gelatinous flesh.
It’s been two weeks since I gave up social media. And I’ve never been happier. First, let’s talk about the some of the interesting side effects of not being plugged in all the time.
When you’re constantly checking social media, you know everything that’s going on in all your family and friends lives, and even some of your not-so-friends and mostly just random acquaintances lives, too. Before social media, my brain took it for granted that it would never know everything that’s going on. Not knowing gave it a lot more space for other stuff. But, after social media, the brains like, “Holy crap, I can know tons of stuff about all the people you care about. Let’s just jack into this 24/7, okay?” Sure, brain. Whatever you say.
Recently, I’ve made two challenges for myself:
The goal is to be able to get my head in the right place, devouring more words on the page and also setting aside time to write. Social media obviously can become an addictive time suck but I think it also gets my head in the wrong places and kills my productivity.
Already I’ve noticed a difference and a change in my thinking and my motivations. And over the course of the month, I’ll blog once in a while, detailing how it’s going over all.
The end result I’d like to see is an increase in productivity in both reading and writing.
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.