A Quick Overview About Point of View

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
A Quick Overview About Point of View
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First, we should define point of view just in case you need a refresher. Truth is, we all often need a refresher even when we don’t want to admit it.

Point of view is all about who is talking and/or telling the story.

YOUR NEXT QUESTION IS:

Is There One Narrator Or Many? And who the heck is it?

That’s really one of the first questions you want to think about. You have to decide if you’re going to have just one point of view in your story or a lot.

A lot of our stories follow one character scene after scene after scene. Things that happen to the story happen to this character. We are invested in that character pretty heavily.

But sometimes, the story is about a person one but not told by that same person. This makes us a little more  worried that Person One might not make it through the story because our subconscious brain thinks, “Um, why isn’t Person One telling the story? DO THEY DIE?!?!”

Or sometimes the events of the story happen to a ton of people. Think of that zombie story that became a movie. We have a lot of different narrators because there we want to show all their stories.

Then, you have to decide which of the main point of views you want to use. They all have good points and bad points, but let’s just set you up with the big three. Each can be determined by the personal pronouns that the narrator uses.

First-Person Point of View.

This is the land of I. It’s all about me. It’s all about my story.

Here’s an example.

I went to the hospital and brought pizza.

Second-Person Point of View.

This is all about you, you, you. Yes, you.

You went to the hospital and brought pizza.

Or to some cooler

You went to the hospital, bringing pizza with you.

Third-Person Point of View

This is all about them and her and him. It can be omniscient or limited omniscient.

Here’s third person limited

Sadie went to the hospital. “I’m bringing pizza,” she thought. I hope they like it.

Or third person omniscient where you aren’t directly in the characters’ heads with internal monologue but know everything about everyone.

Sadie went to the hospital, a pizza box carried in her steady arms, the smell of pepperoni whisking around each person she passed, the orderly, the struggling father, the mother with the heroin-track arms, the gunman. He would kill for that pizza, but how could she know that? To be fair, right now he’d kill for anything and nothing.

There you go! There is also a Fourth Person Point of View, but that one would require its own podcast. So we’ll try to get there next week.


Hey, thanks for listening to Write Better Now. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in us, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Mr.ruiz and the track is Arctic Air and the album is Winter Haze Summer Daze.

Take a Nap Like Alexander the Great and Fight Burnout

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Take a Nap Like Alexander the Great and Fight Burnout
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So, sometimes we burnout.

We work and work and strive and strive and juggle multiple obligations and opportunities and we just stop being fully there because we’re so tired.

Before I go on, let’s define burnout. I’m going to go with this definition because it’s not a Medium or blogger guru, but from the National Institute of Health.

“The term “burnout” was coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions. Doctors and nurses, for example, who sacrifice themselves for others, would often end up being “burned out” – exhausted, listless, and unable to cope. Nowadays, the term is not only used for these helping professions, or for the dark side of self-sacrifice. It can affect anyone, from stressed-out career-driven people and celebrities to overworked employees and homemakers.”

That NIH article also has some nice rundown of symptoms:

  • Exhaustion: People affected feel drained and emotionally exhausted, unable to cope, tired and down, and don’t have enough energy. Physical symptoms include things like pain and gastrointestinal (stomach or bowel) problems.
  • Alienation from (work-related) activities: People who have burnout find their jobs increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may start being cynical about their working conditions and their colleagues. At the same time, they may increasingly distance themselves emotionally, and start feeling numb about their work.
  • Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work, at home or when caring for family members. People with burnout are very negative about their tasks, find it hard to concentrate, are listless and lack creativity.”

It’s a lot like depression, right? But it’s not the same. Typically, people with burnout don’t’ feel hopeless, suicidal or have low self-esteem.

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, how do you get some down time when you’re working so hard that you’re either burnt out or in great danger of getting there?

GETTING A GRIP AND GRATIFY YOURSELF

First you want to look at the patterns of us overachievers who tend to burn out. We often were the ‘good kids’ in school who learned that in order to get praise (and not get in trouble) you had to get all your assignments done and on time. We’re all about the goals and completing those goals.

Chilling out? Resting? That doesn’t feel goal-oriented.

We think that we can delay our gratification and keep delaying it and keep delaying it so that we can get all our goals done. Delayed gratification, we all learn in our beginner psychology classes, means we will have better success in our life. They test children about this. It’s a thing. But when we’re super focused on achieving, we burn out because that delayed gratification equates to us not realizing that we are breaking down physically and mentally.

BE CHILL AND LET GO OF THAT DAMN GUILT

And it’s not just that. We want to get a lot done and to do it well. If our work isn’t awesome, we feel like we aren’t awesome. Resting, we foolishly think, keeps us from getting all our awesome things done. It keeps us from writing, running three miles, finishing the project for work, making the perfect lunch for our kids.

It’s worse than that though. We feel guilty. If we rest, we feel guilty.

We should be working, doing, creating. We should be better than this. We don’t need naps.

TAKE A NAP, DAMN IT

Here’s a secret: Alexander the Great took naps. He still got to be called ‘great.’ Ben Franklin? Took naps.

So, the first step is to realize that.

People who have changed history actually rested. That means you can, too. If you don’t, your performance starts to get kind of crappy. You don’t want that, do you, super goal-oriented one? No, of course not.

Then you have to remember that everything doesn’t have to be a goal and everything doesn’t have to be your job and responsibility.

Make a to-do list, sure. But in that make a top priority list and focus on those.

And remember, it’s okay to not be amazing all the time, to not be reliable all the time, to not do everything for everyone all the time. It’s so hard especially when you’re struggling to survive, but you have to remember it’s okay to suck sometimes. We all do. And it’s okay to nap.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Take naps! Only get off the couch for food. No, not really. But do take a nap if you need one.

LINK WE REFERENCE

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/mystery-terrifying-big-grey-man-26996822

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

AND we have a new writer podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Here’s the link.

best writing podcast WRITE BETTER NOW
Write Better Now – Writing Tips podcast for authors and writers
best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird
best poetry podcast by poet
Carrie Does Poems

King Kong Trolls

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
King Kong Trolls
/

Hi! This year (2022), I’ve decided to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!

King Kong Trolls

The self-appointed 
writer-guru 
on Substack
with four-
thousand 
devotees
to his biweekly 
missives
has decided 
there are 
no 
more 
geniuses,
really,
not any
more.

Someone
needs 
to tell him
that he 
just doesn’t 
know

where to look.

The geniuses
aren’t banging 
their chests,
King-Kong like
in their glory
despite being
ground dwellers,
telling the world,
“Look at me! Look
at me as I roar
and pontificate.”

They are the 
discarded, 
dreaming,
creating, 
thinking
outside 
the main

streams
of 
plagiarized
discourse, 
unnoticed 
beneath
the giant
feet of 
oversized
apes 
capturing
all the attention 
as our culture
dangles 
from 
their
plump, 
hairy 
digits. 


Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

While Carrie only posts poems weekly here, she has them (in written form) almost every other weekday over on Medium. You should check it out!

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

Writers Get Addicted to Things Not Just Drugs and Booze and Coffee

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
Writers Get Addicted to Things Not Just Drugs and Booze and Coffee
/

Hi, welcome to Write Better Now, a podcast of quick, weekly writing tips meant to help you become a better writer. We’re your hosts with NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones and copyeditor extraordinaire Shaun Farrar. Thank you for joining us.


Sometimes us writers become a little stylistic. We get addictions. We might fall in love with the ellipses or certain words. Or, we might forget things like what a comma splice is or—gasp—what a sentence is.

Yes, I said it.

Sometimes writers forget what it is to make an awesome sentence. So we’re here to quickly tell you.

LET ME SET THE MOOD.

A good sentence brings the reader into the story and grounds them or gives them information or makes them feel. It doesn’t confuse them. It shows emotion and makes the reader feel sometimes. It creates an image for your reader to imagine via detail.

YOU COMPLETE ME.

A good sentence is complete. What does that mean? It means it isn’t a fragment, but it has a subject and a verb in it and that subject and verb combine to make a thought. In grammarian fancy language we call that complete thought an indepenendent clause.

It’s independent because it can stand all by itself like a mighty sentence. It’s not broken with its leg in a cast and has to have crutches and lean onto other thoughts.

A good sentence doesn’t need other sentences to complete it like an annoying character in a rom-com.  

So a sentence fragment is an addictive little poop and it is broken or fragmented because it doesn’t have a subject (what the sentence is about), a verb (what the subject of the sentence is doing) or a complete thought.

Here is an example of a fragment that isn’t a complete thought:

            Although Big Foot sits.

Wait. What?  We don’t know what happens although Big Foot is sitting, right?

Here is a sentence:

Although Big Foots sits on top of the garbage disposal, nobody can get a good photo of him.

Here is an example of a fragment with no verb

            Smelly Big Foot, sexy Big Foot.

Here’s an example of a fragment with no noun

            Running through the YMCA like he was human and not 8 feet tall and naked.

Fragments can be fun to throw in your story once in a while for impact, but too many and you just stop making sense.

IT MAKES SENSE.

We are not all James Joyce. We do not need to replicate Ulysses, his novel of massive sentences that are all contortionists. A good sentence makes sense and doesn’t make our readers’ brains hitch up.


Hey, thanks for listening to Write Better Now. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in us, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Mr.ruiz and the track is Arctic Air and the album is Winter Haze Summer Daze.

Loneliness

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Loneliness
/

Hi! This year (2022), I’ve decided to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!


Loneliness

He is known as he enters the emergency room, jeans sagging off his waist as an orderly ambles

To meet him. He is hunching at the precipice between lobby and hall, intake and bathroom, and

Ready to be seen. It is hard to be seen these days in a little Maine town full of tourists

If you are Old. It is only easy right here, right now, in the liminal space before becoming

A patient. We watch him totter, trying to decide. Go in? Stay out? Become

Or remain. Before we arrived here ourselves for broken bones; children who gulped down

Their own therapies in too many numbers; corneas scratched by tree limbs; we had to make

Those decisions, too. Did we want to save ourselves or should we just embrace

That all we are is pain and numbness and pain? We came, but others didn’t.

We sought help. And waited and waited for it, looking at our origins in heart beats

And blood levels, skeletons pinned and set straight again, stomachs pumped,

Eyes numbed with drops we are told not to get addicted to. In his room now, just curtains

For walls, the hunched man yells, Hello. No answer to his polite entreaty. Hello. Hello.

There is no easy cure for him. Hello. He gives up, changes tactics, and bellows. I have to pee.


WordPress won’t really allow me to format this the way I’d like so I’ll show you a screenshot of how it is meant to be.


Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

While Carrie only posts poems weekly here, she has them (in written form) almost every other weekday over on Medium. You should check it out!

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

A Couple Tips On How to Write More Engagingly

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
A Couple Tips On How to Write More Engagingly
/

Hi, welcome to Write Better Now, a podcast of quick, weekly writing tips meant to help you become a better writer. We’re your hosts with NYT bestselling author Carrie Jones and copyeditor extraordinaire Shaun Farrar. Thank you for joining us.


Here are some fast and dirty writing tips today that’s going to make your writing more intense. Ready?


Think about your tenses

What’s that mean? It means don’t be writing like things are happening now and then shift over to writing like things were happening in the past. If you want the most immediate writing experience, write in the present tense. If you want a little padding? Write it in the past tense.

Here’s a quick example:

I lost feeling on my entire left side of my body during our long run on Friday. I thought I might have been having a stroke.

That’s in the past tense, right? We read this, notice it’s in the first person and figure that the narrator has survived because she’s telling us about this after-the-fact.

Try it out in the present tense:

I lose feeling on my entire left side of my body during our long run. I think I might be having a stroke.

It’s more intense, right?

Let’s make that phrase even more intense.

Take out the distancing words.

In first person especially, it’s really hard to get away from a lot of looking and knowing and words that pull us out of the moment and the immediacy of the character’s experience.

Distancing language tends to be the words like ‘seem,’ and ‘look,’ and ‘heard,’ and ‘know.’ When I revise, I think of these words as placeholders for where I can go back and dig in more deeply in certain places.

So, let’s take that sentence again in the present tense again and make it more immediate.

The original

I lose feeling on my entire left side of my body during our long run. I think I might be having a stroke.

Change that up and it looks like:

My entire left side of my body starts going numb during our long run. My left foot numbs first. Then my left hand and arm. When the left side of my mouth starts going numb, I gasp. I might be having a stroke.

You’re in there a bit more with that character now right. Is she having a stroke? What the heck is she running for? SHE IS BROKEN!

Try not to use the same word too many times too closely together.

In the example above I deliberately use the word ‘numb’ and ‘my left’ over and over again. I’m cool with the repetition of ‘my left,’ but not so much with the numb. There are better, sexier words to mix in there and grab the reader’s attention. Let’s try.

My entire left side of my body starts going numb during our long run. My left foot disappears first. Then my left hand and arm. When the left side of my mouth starts to tingle, I gasp. I might be having a stroke.

Switch up your sentence structures.

This just means don’t have all your sentences always be the same lengths. If you are woman who uses a lot of clauses, try to add a few shorter sentences in there. And vice versa. Simple sentences and compound/complex sentences can be your friends. The same goes for paragraphs. Uniformity makes a lot of readers bored and they start to skim.

Let’s take that example again and mix it up more.

My entire left side of my body starts going numb during our long run. My left foot disappears first. My left hand and arm go next. When the left side of my mouth starts to tingle, I gasp. A stroke. I’m having a stroke.

Pretty cool, right? Five minutes or less of work can really change how immediate, how engaging, and how dynamic your sentences are.


Hey, thanks for listening to Write Better Now. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in us, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Mr.ruiz and the track is Arctic Air and the album is Winter Haze Summer Daze.

Be Brave Friday – Becoming

It’s BE BRAVE FRIDAY, and so many of you are being brave in really big ways every single day. Dealing with cancer. Dealing with kids. Dealing with justice issues and war or work things. Dealing and dealing and dealing.

My offering today isn’t all that much. Not in the big scheme of people’s lives.
I think part of this painting was originally inspired by something, but it’s been so long now that I can’t remember.


For years it was just this girl on a blank canvas. She was made of blobs. The blobs connected to make a person. Each blob a moment, a memory, a joy, a pain. She had one hand lifted like she was ready to create something.


But there was nothing there.


Blank canvas mostly.


I took the painting into the basement and because it was so old and so raw and I couldn’t remember what inspired it, I just started filling in the blankness.


And she started to become something else. A dreamer? Definitely. But maybe also a creator? Maybe someone who didn’t care that she was made of blobs because she could recreate who she wanted to be, who she dreamed of being, and it could explode out of her fingertips.


I hope you can recreate yourself if that’s what you want, that you can put all those blobs together and become. Not necessarily become something more, but just become.


And no, I don’t think this is done yet. I think it’s still becoming. Just like me. Maybe just like you?


XO

Carrie


Mourning

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Mourning
/

Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems. These podcasts and more writing tips are at Carrie’s website, carriejonesbooks.blog. There’s also a donation button there. Even a dollar inspires a happy dance in Carrie, so thank you for your support.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

While Carrie only posts poems weekly here, she has them (in written form) almost every other weekday over on Medium. You should check it out!

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/eric-van-der-westen/the-crown-lobster-trilogy-selection

Be Brave Friday- The Overwhelm

I am not feeling terribly brave today.

I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed. My work load these past two weeks (and until Tuesday) has been huge. A lovely writer that I work with in Write Submit Support at the Writing Barn (and who only knows what I do there) said, “I don’t know how you get done all you do.”

Sometimes I’m not sure either. And weeks like these, where I will have read about 700,000 or more words and written well over 1,000 pages of feedback, working from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Plus, my own story, sandwiched in between deadlines, makes me not terribly balanced in this thing called life.

I’m lucky because I have work and work equals money to support my family, and that’s important.

I’m lucky because I really love story and helping people make their best ones.

I’m lucky because I have work. And yes, I’m already stressed about making enough money in May because that’s the way my anxiety rolls.

And Tuesday will come. And I’ll get to rest soon. And I am so lucky to be a part in other writers’ journeys as they forge ahead creating this brilliant stories out of their amazing brains.

Gosh though, right now, I’m so tired.

But Tuesday will come.

And I will jump into its arms, grateful and tired, but mostly grateful.

This is an old painting because I’m not quite brave enough to share thanks to:

1. Money anxiety

2. My tiredness

3. Not having a new painting, mostly because I haven’t had time to work on any.

Get in your crate, Shaun!

On Thursdays, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

As many of you know, we have a new member of our family in the form of a (probably) 14-week-old puppy. We have had her for about a month now and we got her when she was approximately 10 weeks old. She is a rescue puppy so her age is a close guess. Her name is Pogie and she is beautiful and amazing and also quite the handful at times.

We had to drive to Massachusetts to get her and on the way home we stopped at a big box pet store to get some supplies, most important of which was a small wire crate for training and also to hopefully give her a safe and cozy place to retreat to when she needs some down time.

Pogie spends a lot of her sleeping time in her crate and occasionally spends a bit of awake time in it as well, because that is where she serves her timeouts. For the most part, Pogie is well behaved, but on once in a while she will be simply too much to handle when you are trying to get something done or she will forget that puppies are only supposed to pee outside.

One recent night, after dinner, I was acting a little like Pogie. I was being very spastic and bothersome (albeit in a very humorous manner) while Carrie was trying to work. Now, who works after dinner, I just don’t know! But Carrie was obviously doing very important work on this money making (she claims) website. I could barely see the webpage but it said Face-something.

Spoiler from Carrie: He is lying. I was not on Face-something.

Anyway, she was holding Pogie, who was sleeping, in her lap. She turned to me (as I laughed hysterically at something I had just said to her) and said, “Get in your crate!”

I stopped for a second. I was totally flabbergasted! Where was her since of humor? How could she be so cruel as to tell me to get in my crate?

Then it dawned on me. I started to laugh even harder (and I am sure even more annoyingly) while I leaned down towards Pogie. I whispered in Pogie’s ear, “Momma don’t have no crate big enough for me.”

Pogie gave a barely audible whimper and I turned and laughed my way out of the room at a rapid pace. You see, Momma don’t have no crate big enough for me, but she can damn sure take away my favorite toy!

Peace!

And remember to always LOVE YOUR WAY THROUGH IT!

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