Rebel Reading the Hobbit & Talking Head Syndrome

Rebel Reading the Hobbit & Talking Head Syndrome

 
 
00:00 / 00:23:47
 
1X
 

A lot of time I’ll be reading scenes in books and it will be two characters talking and I’ll only have a vaguely general idea about where they are. Maybe I won’t have an idea at all. We call this evil beast the talking heads syndrome. 

Cue scary music here. 

WHAT IS TALKING HEADS SYNDROME?

No, it’s not about the iconic 1980s group. Sorry!

It’s where there’s a lot of dialogue going on but there’s no actual anchor for the characters. It’s like they are floating in space blabbing at each other. There’s no physical world placement. 

This happens a lot and it’s because some of us are writers who really hear our scenes rather than see our scenes or live in our scenes. It’s also because we sometimes forget to get those anchors in there. 

How to Imagine Yourself in a Scene

To do this exercise you have to step away from the keyboard for a second and stand up. We know! We know! Writers are all about sitting down and putting their butts in the chair and getting the work done, right? Well, give yourself five minutes and stand up in a quiet place preferably not in Starbucks or anything. 

Now close your eyes and think about your scene where there are talking heads.

SMELL

There you are with your characters. Maybe you can even imagine yourself as one of the characters. Possess them like they’re Zac Bagans and you’re filming Ghost Adventures. Inhale. What kind of smells are you smelling? Remember that. 

SOUND

You’re still there with the characters standing in the setting. What do you hear? Remember that. 

TOUCH

Your characters don’t stay completely still for the whole scene, do they? Have them move even if it’s to fidget. Let them touch things. What do those things feel like? Are they hot? Textured? Hands aren’t the only things that touch. Does their hair sweep over something? Does their foot kick against a table? Do their shoulders lean against the rough wood of the wall? 

TASTE

What does it feel like inside their mouth? Dry? Coppery? Do they need to brush their teeth? Please make them floss. Everyone should floss. 

SIGHT

This is the fallback for most writers and it can have some issues. We want to be able to visualize the setting and where things are happening, but we don’t need the buffer of the character seeing what’s happening. 

There are a lot of stories where it says, 

“Shaun looked over and saw the cat dangling from the curtain.”  

Don’t pad the details with distancing words. Don’t tell us that Shaun’s looking. Just have us see. 

Instead write, 

“The cat dangled from the curtain.”  

It’s so much more powerful. 

MOVEMENT

Have the characters move. Give them actions and objective correlatives to their emotional states. 

What are the next steps to Banishing the talking heads?

No, it’s not casting David Byrne to an isolated bunker in Nebraska. It’s also not putting him on SNL. It has nothing to do with him! I promise.

The next step is incorporating what you imagined for tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing, movement into the actual scene. You have to have your characters’ perceptions of the outside world and setting incorporated into that dialogue and action. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper. 

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Don’t be full of talking heads. Write scenes that come alive. 

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Be in the moment, man, and actually notice things. 

Note: In the random thoughts in bed section of our podcast we talk about Liberal cheers, famous for being losers, getting thick thanks to the Coronavirus and Shaun binging Swedish Fish, and golf balls. How’s that for random? 

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 “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.

Last week’s episode’s link.


WHERE TO FIND US

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

This week’s episode link. 

NEWS

Over 180,000 people have downloaded episodes of our podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, you should join them.

Continue reading “Rebel Reading the Hobbit & Talking Head Syndrome”
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What’s Killing Your Relationship and Your Character?

What’s Killing Your Relationship and Your Character?

 
 
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There was a post on Medium on PS I LOVE YOU called, “The Silent Relationship Killer You Never See Coming” about how the silent relationship killer is basically routine and sameness.

The author, Barry Davret, compared relationships to a song that you love so intensely you listen to over and over again obsessively, but then suddenly, you are done with that song.

Couples, he says, set weekly and daily routines after that initial burst of frantic attraction and then? They get bored of having intercourse every Saturday, date night every Friday, laundry every Monday.

If they’re polite, they’ll still ask each other how their days went, but they won’t actually care about the answer because the answer is always the same.

He writes

“Look back on the last six months. Does it feel like it was one day lived 180 times?”

How do you defeat being bored in your relationship?

He suggests two tips to not be bored

  • Occasionally be spontaneous
  • Pursue separate passions


This has never happened to us. As you can tell from our random thoughts, we’re weird. We’re so weird especially when we’re alone. I will fall down laughing because of the things Shaun says.

We think that Barry has it right, but he also has it wrong.

Yes, people get dulled by routines and because of the comfort in routines, and that might be partially be because they’ve stopped doing things on their own. But it’s also more about empathy and building walls around yourself so you don’t get hurt. The person you’re in a relationship with sees you warts and all? And that, my friends, can be a bit scary.

To have a relationship that lasts and evolves you have to do the following things:

  • You have to find humor in yourself and each other even during the bad times.
  • You have to blow off the assumption that you know absolutely everything about your significant other as if they are a blank piece of paper rather than a living, breathing, changing organism. There is still mystery in them even if you aren’t seeing it.
  • You have to be willing to be vulnerable so that your partner can see that mystery inside of you. There is nothing dull in courage and it takes courage to be vulnerable.

How does this relate to writing? Hold on! We’re getting there.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Our novels and characters also need to have tiny doses of the unexpected to keep people from being bored. We want to have each character have differences and not be the same. That sameness, that lack of diversity? It makes Johnny a dull boy. Insert quirks into your characters.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Even when you’re on the same walk that your person always takes you on, there’s going to be a nuance in the smells you sniff up on the side of the road. Rejoice in that nuance. Seek it out. Live in the moment. It’s a good way not to be bored.

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 “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.


WHERE TO FIND US

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Big News!

I just published a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?

Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.

But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor. 

As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.

You can order it here. Please, please, preorder it. 

So, um, please go buy it. I am being brave, but that means that despite all my reasons for doing this, I’m still terrified that nobody will buy it and I really, really love this book. A lot.


IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!

My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!

Gasp!

It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!

Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?

In the Woods
In the Woods

ART NEWS

Becoming

Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site. 

Cloud the Kitten’s Cat Inspiration

Some days feel like a battle, right?

But you can defeat that tablecloth.

You can scratch your cheek on the edge of the chair & squint at the camera.

You can hope even when hope seems a radical act.

Let’s make hope not a radical act.

xo Cloud the Kitten

Hey you, human!

Hello!


Relax your shoulders. Lick your lips. Hope for treats. No, just take some treats. Stretch.Look at you! You’ve got this day. You are made of stars and dreams.


We believe in you!


xo

Gabby and Sparty Dogs


I just published a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?

You can order it here. Please, please, order it. 

So, um, please go buy it. I am being brave, but that means that despite all my reasons for doing this, I’m still terrified that nobody will buy it and I really, really love this book. A lot.


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST- DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE

This link to our last episode, Are You Beige and Do You Think in Words? 

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

BALLSY SPONSORED THIS EPISODE! 

We’re super psyched because this episode is sponsored by Ballsy. 

Best sponsorship ever. 

And why is that? 

Because Ballsy is for fun couples like us who are not into lame gifts for Valentine’s Day and they have a cool gift set just for Valentine’s Day and people like us. 

You want this, don’t you?

There’s an I’m Nuts About You gift set and the You’re Incrediballs heart box set. 

They are running a promo right now for LOVE DAY and all days, really. The retail price is $less than $50, and the coupon code is for 20% off.

Here is your code for you, our cool listener: DOGS20 

It has the word DOG in the code. That’s so cool. Just like you’ll be cool if you give this to your special man for Valentine’s. So go check Ballsy out at ballwash.com

Sparty Dog on a Wednesday

It’s easy to rip other people apart.


But you aren’t about easy. You’re about lifting up so we can all hit new heights, have cuddly beds, good treats.


Look at how beautiful you are. You. You sparkle. Go share that. Go be you.


Also, bring treats.


xo

Sparty Dog

Are you Beige? Do you Think in Words?

Some people, it seems, have a constant inner monologue that never stops.

Are you Beige? Do you Think in Words?

 
 
00:00 / 00:20:20
 
1X
 

This week, I’ve been editing two male authors’ stories and there is a lot of internal monologue embedded within the paragraphs of dialogue and exposition. At the same time that I’ve been doing this a man’s reaction to some people not having an inner dialogue has gone viral. 

It began with a tweet as so many things do. 

Kyleplantemoji wrote: 

Fun fact: some people have an internal narrative and some don’t. 

As in, some people’s thoughts are like sentences they “hear,” and some people just have abstract nonverbal thoughts, and have to consciously verbalize them. 

And most people aren’t aware of the other type of person. 

Later, on his blog, Ryan who is also Kyleplantemoji wrote: 

My day was completely ruined yesterday when I stumbled upon a fun fact that absolutely obliterated my mind. I saw this tweet yesterday that said that not everyone has an internal monologue in their head. 

This became a very big deal.

Some people, it seems, don’t hear thoughts in word or sentence form in their heads. Ever. 

Some people, it seems, have a constant inner monologue that never stops. Ever. 

And people are stunned, flummoxed, and sometimes horrified that not everyone processes information or thinks the way that they do. 

Some people simply share their experiences like Skva who responded to Ryan’s blog post by saying,

I myself have a dialogue going on 24/7, it will keep going non-stop to the point that I cannot fall asleep. I sometime have to chant sleep sleep sleep, Just so my mind doesn’t go off around in loops or one thing to the next.

And some people superimpose their realities upon the others in an attempt towards understanding.

“I can’t possibly understand how people function without one. In fact, when you mentioned the person who “sees words” in her head? That really stumped me. Like you, I asked “But how does she ask question? Answer questions? She has to read her own thoughts before she can speak them?” I can’t take it in. I have come to the conclusion that they have an internal voice but that, like people who claim they never dream, they simply don’t remember their voiced thoughts in the same way some people instantly forget their dreams. It’s the only way I can make sense of it.”

As humans and writers, it’s important to remember that our way of doing things isn’t necessarily the only way, or the only right way and that’s not just true about how we load the dishwashers, or our political ideologies. It’s also true about how we process and think. Don’t be beige.

Writing Tip of the Pod

When writing, try to think of how your characters aren’t like you. How are their speech patterns, values, and thoughts different from yours. Do they all sound alike? They shouldn’t. 

Dog Tip for Life

When living, don’t expect all people to be the same and instead of superimposing your thoughts and values and experiences, realize that they have their own experiences. It’s like in the dog world, a Rottweiler has a different life and interactions than a poodle wearing a tutu. They are both dogs and have similarities, but they aren’t the same. Even two poodles aren’t the same. We’re all unique and amazing. That should be respected not diminished as we all try to raise each other up. 

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 “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.


WHERE TO FIND US

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

BALLSY SPONSORED THIS EPISODE!


We’re super psyched because this episode is sponsored by Ballsy. 

Best sponsorship ever. 

And why is that? 

Because Ballsy is for fun couples like us who are not into lame gifts for Valentine’s Day and they have a cool gift set just for Valentine’s Day and people like us. 

You want this, don’t you?

There’s an I’m Nuts About You gift set and the You’re Incrediballs heart box set. 

They are running a promo right now for LOVE DAY and all days, really. The retail price is $less than $50, and the coupon code is for 20% off.

Here is your code for you, our cool listener: DOGS20 

It has the word DOG in the code. That’s so cool. Just like you’ll be cool if you give this to your special man for Valentine’s. So go check Ballsy out at ballwash.com

Big News!

I just published a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?

Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.

But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor. 

As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.

You can preorder it here. Please, please, preorder it. 

So, um, please go buy it. I am being brave, but that means that despite all my reasons for doing this, I’m still terrified that nobody will buy it and I really, really love this book. A lot.


IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!

My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!

Gasp!

It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!

Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?

In the Woods
In the Woods

ART NEWS

Becoming

Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site. 

Gabby Dog’s Tuesday Motivation

Sometimes you might lose hope.

But the thing is? Hope can come back.

The thing is? YOU ARE AMAZING all the time.

Look at you breathing, thinking, doing.


You’re beautiful. You’ve got this. I believe in you.
xo

Gabby Dog

Sparty and Gabby Inspiration for Monday

Hey! You know what…?

*smiles*

You’re looking brilliant today, super shiny and amazing.

*awkward cough*

We think you’re great. We hope you think so, too!

*runs away barking happily*

Love, Gabby and Sparty Dogs


Ballsy is sponsoring our podcasts this week and it is an awesome company.

They are running a promo right now for LOVE DAY and all days, really. The retail price is $less than $50, and the coupon code is for 20% off.

Here is your code for you, our cool listener: DOGS20 

It has the word DOG in the code. That’s so cool. Just like you’ll be cool if you give this to your special man for Valentine’s. So go check Ballsy out at ballwash.com

There’s an I’m Nuts About You gift set and the You’re Incrediballs heart box set. 


The link to our episode

Our last regular episode.

Cat Inspiration for Your Friday

Humans,

Cats never forget how magnificent we are even when we’re just sitting on a table.

Be like us.

Own your majesty.

Be emotionally honest. Demand your wants. Watch each others backs. Meow wildly.

Rise up & raise each other up. You can do this.

xo

Marsie & Cloud


This week’s podcast.

Sparty Dog Inspiration for Thursday

Sometimes it feels like even when you are in a perfect ‘sit,’ you’re never going to get a treat.


But you. Right there. You.


You deserve one.


I believe in you & your humanity.


Let’s make amazing stories & give each other treats, okay? We’ve got this.


x

Sparty Dog

This week’s podcast.