I Am Small

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
I Am Small
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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.

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

Creepy Stories Randomly On The Internet

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Creepy Stories Randomly On The Internet
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Our creepy stories episode!

Writing Tips Putting Scene and Sequel Together

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
Writing Tips Putting Scene and Sequel Together
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It’s the last in our three-week series on scene and structure the Dwight Swain way. Let’s go.

Like we said in the first week, Swain makes us writers think of basic elemental structure and creating our novels in four steps:

  1. Making cool characters.
  2. Grouping your sentences and paragraphs into motivation reaction units.
  3. Grouping those motivation reaction units into scenes and sequels.
  4. Grouping those scenes and sequels into story patterns.

Last week we talked about scene and sequel and how it helps keep our novels not-episodic and logical because it’s all about cause and effect.

A quick recap.

Scenes have goals, conflicts and disasters. That is the sequence.

Sequels have the character’s reaction to the disaster, a dilemma where she figures out what to do next, and then a decision where they decide what the hell to do now.

So how do you make those scenes and sequels that we talked about in last week’s podcast work together?

You have to think of scene and sequel as a single unit, says The Manuscript Shredder.

They write, “One builds to the next, establishing a chain of causes that leads the reader through the character’s story. They are two sides of the same coin. Bring them together and make them both work for you.”

Or as Raven Oak writes.

“Scenes and sequels should continue to alternate the entire length of the novel, and in doing so, they’ll create a natural flow for both plot progression & character development. Many authors plan or outline the sequence of events using scene & sequel on index cards before writing.

“Just about any novel you read will follow this rhythm. It seems simple, but structure usually is.”

Tomorrow on the blog, I’ll be talking a tiny bit more about this and the types of disasters that can happen in scenes.

RESOURCES OF AWESOME

http://themanuscriptshredder.com/scene-and-sequel-making-them-work-together/


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.

For exclusive paid content, check out Carrie’s substack, LIVING HAPPY and WRITE BETTER NOW. It’s basically like a blog, but better. There’s a free option too without the bonus content but all the regular stuff is there.

Baby Wipes, Drug Farts and How Foreplay All Day Helps Your Relationship

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Baby Wipes, Drug Farts and How Foreplay All Day Helps Your Relationship
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This week’s podcast is all about Belgian psychologist Ester Perel who has two great podcasts and talks all about relationships and sex and you know, the stuff that gets us an explicit rating.

Listen in! There’s some great stuff in there!


RESOURCES

https://www.ted.com/speakers/esther_perel

https://www.estherperel.com/about


IN OUR RANDOM THOUGHTS, WE MENTION THIS ARTICLE AND THE LINK IS HERE

https://www.npr.org/sections/strange-news/


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.


WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

Our brand-new-amazing-creepy podcast is DUDE NO! It’s true crime with an occasional foray into the paranormal and macabre and it’s awesome.

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

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

FINDING THE STORIES, WRITING DESPITE BANNING

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
FINDING THE STORIES, WRITING DESPITE BANNING
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“FINDING THE STORIES”

What does it mean to find story when you are the one who is oppressed?

What does it mean to find story when you are the one who is barely surviving in your own life?

When your mother cries to sleep every night because she can’t find a job, pay bills, fix the furnace. When the food she feeds you comes from  the government line even though she’s too proud for that, too smart for that, too strong?

What does it mean to find a story full of magic when you are dying for magic in your own life?

When your body doesn’t work the way other kids’ bodies work? When your body gets used in ways it is not supposed to be used?

When people make fun of your clothes, your sex, your gender, the way you say your s’s, the shade of your skin, the curl in your hair, your last name, your first name, the way you see letters backwards, the way you see or don’t see at all, the way you learn?

What does it mean when there are these stories out there – these magical truths – these enchanted people and places when you are just barely managing to survive?

It means there are tiny life lines.

It means there are little pieces of help.

Story is powerful. We’ve know that for forever.

Books are burned and banned because people fear them.

Books are powerful because they are information wrapped up in empathy, they are reflections of our world as it is, how it was and how it could–it should– be.

And people fear that.

Instead of coming together to celebrate the enchanted, they attack it, call it evil, ban the ideas that do not match their own and say that they are doing what?

Protecting us, the children, the enchanted, the country, the people, the stories.

We do not need that kind of protection.


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.

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

The sexy part of story structure: Scene and Sequel

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
The sexy part of story structure: Scene and Sequel
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So last week on the podcast and on our blog where we elaborated a bit, we talked about the four main elements of story structure according to Dwight Swain, who wrote The Techniques of the Selling Writer.

Those were:

  1. Making cool characters.
  2. Grouping your sentences and paragraphs into motivation reaction units.
  3. Grouping those motivation reaction units into scenes and sequels.
  4. Grouping those scenes and sequels into story patterns.

And we talked about motivation reaction units, the sequence of cause and effect within a scene.

Swain describes a scene as a “blow by blow” account of the character as they take the time to get their goal despite the fact that someone or something is opposing them. The scene propels the story. The scene takes place in the a certain space of time.

And within that scene are three steps, he says:

  1. A goal
  2. A conflict to achieving that goal (or opposition).
  3. A disaster.  The disaster in Swain’s structure means that the character is not any closer to her goal and might be even worse off. So sad.

This does not work in the third act of the story when there is a positive change arc and the character ends up in a better place. But it’s great for the beginning and middle of your novel.

And what’s a sequel?

It’s what connects the scenes. It’s where the main character thinks about what just happens and often creates a new goal. It’s where you make the character’s motivation really obvious. It gives the reader a pause between the more active scenes.

And there are three steps of the sequel:

  1. A Reaction to what just happened
  2. A Dilemma that’s what she is dealing with now that the disaster happened
  3. A Decision that’s where she determines what the heck she’ll do next.

A lot of writers that I work with get super confused about the term SEQUEL. Is it not a scene, too? They wonder that. So, sometimes I call them LOUD scenes and QUIET scenes. You can think of them that way, too.

I’ll be going into this a bit more deeply on my blog Living Happy. I hope you’ll check it out.


SOME SOURCES!

Writing the Perfect Scene, by Randy Ingermanson
Scene and Sequel: The Ebb and Flow of Fiction, by Mike Klassan


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.

For exclusive paid content, check out Carrie’s substack, LIVING HAPPY and WRITE BETTER NOW. It’s basically like a blog, but better. There’s a free option too without the bonus content but all the regular stuff is there.

Alligator Hunting and Why Shaun Is Gone, Plus New DUDE NO Podcast Preview

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Alligator Hunting and Why Shaun Is Gone, Plus New DUDE NO Podcast Preview
/

So, Shaun is off in Florida HUNTING ALLIGATORS (!) leaving me alone to podcast, which means that all the talent is gone! This is short and sweet. 🙂

Check out our upcoming true crime podcast for people who don’t like to sleep, DUDE, NO! The website is here. The site for private bonus stuff is here.

And thanks for hanging out with me even when Shaun is off adventuring.


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.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

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

The Enchanted

Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
The Enchanted
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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!

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.

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

It is Super Natural: Four Basic Elements To Your Story

Write Better Now
Write Better Now
It is Super Natural: Four Basic Elements To Your Story
/

When I talk about novel structure, I talk a lot about Dwight Swain who wrote  Techniques of the Selling Writer.

Swain has some really cool elemental aspects that he talks about and no, they don’t have to do with inciting incidents or the climax—at least not initially, and I thought it would be fun if we had a little series where we explored this both here on the podcast and on my Write Better Now newsletter for the next week or two.

Let’s get started!

So, think of basic elemental structure and creating your novel in four steps, and we’re going to start with step #2, but here are the four steps.

  1. Making cool characters.
  2. Grouping your sentences and paragraphs into motivation reaction units.
  3. Grouping those motivation reaction units into scenes and sequels.
  4. Grouping those scenes and sequels into story patterns.

A motivation reaction unit is all about the cause and the effect.

So Motivation Reaction Units (MRUs) are what Swain calls the smaller bits of cause and effect that happen in a story. You want the cause and effect in your story to make sense for the world and for the character. In Swain’s writing world and/or writing model the motivation is the cause and the reaction is the effect.

So a motivation is the stimulus outside your character that affects the character or makes them (causes) react.

Examples are things like:

  1. Turns out the character’s wife is cheating.
  2. Their dog jumps onto the kitchen table.
  3. Their teacher announces a calculus test.
  4. The rice on the stove catches fire.
  5. Someone says something.
  6. They trip over a hamster.
  7. They trip over a president.

Then the reaction happens in response to the motivation/cause.

So your character might:

  1. Tell his bff about the wife.
  2. Rush over to the kitchen table to coax the dog off.
  3. Pretend to be sick.
  4. Throw water on the rice.
  5. Says something back.
  6. Fall over the hamster.
  7. Get arrested for assault or be saluted as hero, who knows?

The proponents of the MRU theory/plan want to make sure that you order things in your story in a very specific way, which they believe is this:

  • Motivation/causes
  • Reactions

You have to show the reader the cause before the effect or the motivation before the reaction.

Reactions are things like:

  • Feelings/thoughts
  • Action
  • Speech.

On the blog, thewritersaurus.com, H.Duke writes,

“If “Scene and Sequel” are large-scale scene structure, then “Motivation-Reaction Units” are small-scale scene structure.”

And there are three components that comprise the reaction. These are taken from AdvancedFictionwriting.com

  1. (involuntary) feeling
  2. (involuntary) physical reflex
  3. (voluntary) action and/or speech

I’ll have more about that in the blog/newsletter I was talking about tomorrow, so you should go check it out.


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.

For exclusive paid content, check out Carrie’s substack, LIVING HAPPY and WRITE BETTER NOW. It’s basically like a blog, but better. There’s a free option too without the bonus content but all the regular stuff is there.


https://katieganshert.com/katie-ganshert/dwight-swain-techniques-of-the-selling-writer/d

Dogs Cry Happy Tears When You Come Home Maybe We Should Too

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Cry Happy Tears When You Come Home Maybe We Should Too
/

In our random thoughts, we talk about dogs crying, empathy, tribalism and social media. Those aren’t fully transcribed here.

Pharrell Williams says in a Masterclass that his imagination helped him survive, but as he grew up he realized that he was only seeing the world in one way, which was from his experience. The day that you stop being curious, you stop learning, he thinks.

“The universe doesn’t stop,” he says, “so why should my curiosity?”

Empathy helps people be more creative. Empathy towards other helps you realize that you know that they exist. When you’re in partnerships, he said, empathy is the role call, it’s where you show that everyone exists and it allows you to be open and create bigger projects and relationships.

So, let’s think about that in the bigger picture about our society and kids, okay?

In a New York Times article by Matt Richtel, he focuses on U.S. teens and their depression, anxiety, suicide and self-harm. He chronicles one ten-year-old’s journey on an iPod Touch that their grandparents gave them.

The kid posted selfies.

Some people (men) sent photos of their penises and asked for the kid to send naked photos back and also solicited them for sex.

The kid, C, tried to ignore it.

“That plan did not work out. The internet seeped into C’s psyche; severely depressed, they found kinship online with other struggling adolescents and learned ways to self-harm,” Richtel writes.

For teens in the U.S. the risks are no longer drugs, drinking, and getting pregnant. Now they are anxiety, self-harm, suicide, depression.

“What science increasingly shows is that virtual interactions can have a powerful impact, positive or negative, depending on a person’s underlying emotional state,” Richtel writes.

He adds that “The ability of youth to cope has been further eroded by declines in sleep, exercise and in-person connection, which all have fallen as screen time has gone up. Young people, despite vast virtual connections, or maybe because of them, report being lonelier than any other generation. And many studies have found that adolescents who spend more time online are less happy.”

The data? It’s grim. And it effects happiness and empathy.

Richtel writes, “From 2007 to 2016, emergency room visits for people aged 5 to 17 rose 117 percent for anxiety disorders, 44 percent for mood disorders and 40 percent for attention disorders, while overall pediatric visits were stable. The same study, published in Pediatrics in 2020, found that visits for deliberate self-harm rose 329 percent. But visits for alcohol-related problems dropped 39 percent, reflecting the change in the kind of public health risks posed to teenagers.”

He quoted how a doctor who talks about how a lot of kids try to find community online, adopting even the tic disorders of Tik-Tokers. They want, desperately, to belong.

We see tribalism all the time, that need for cliques, for belonging, especially in political parties, but it’s not just there. It’s everywhere—that need to fit in, to belong, to be part of a pack even if you never actually meet the other pack members. Dogs show it beautifully when they are full of joy greeting you at the door. Why aren’t we all like that? Maybe we’re meant to be—about our family and our friends—joyous to see them again, excited to hear about their days and adventures.

Robert Reffkin, who launched a real estate technology company, Compass, realized people wanted community and culture and people who give you energy rather than take it away in relationships and in workplaces. He said that most employees feel that their businesses and organizations need more empathy.

“Leaders need to really honor and respect the diversity of challenges in people’s lives,” Reffkin says. 

It can be as simple as not expecting everyone to be an extrovert and talk over each other at a meeting, understanding communication styles are different, or that sometimes someone needs a day off because they have a life beyond the office. That kindness, that understanding, gives your employees more support and makes them feel a part of something. That goes for your kids, too.

Robin Arzón, an ultramarathon runner, says when you feel a part of something, then you feel like you have agency. During her career, Arzón was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and had to readjust to the changes and challenges to her body. Other runners supported her as she supported them. They empowered each other and empathized with each other during training and races.

“I believe empowerment is contagious. I believe joy is contagious,” she says.

A study in Japan looked at 823 college students and learned that the students with high or moderate physical activity self-reported more cognitive empathy than the students with low physical activity (The Journal of Physical Fitness and Sports Therapy, 2021). That doesn’t happen when we’re all on social media, stuck inside, joining a TikTok group. Or if we’re scrolling through Twitter looking for a hashtag to focus us on hating other people.

“Empathy is everything,” Arzón says. “It extinguishes assumptions and limitations.”

Empathy helps you to empower other people because when you see where they are at, you are able to help pull them along to their goal.

“Empathy’s greatest potential is equality for all mankind,” Williams said. Empathy is the best tool for equality, he says. But it’s also the best tool for belonging. When we realize others’ pains; when we work toward connections? We move out of our tribes, our bubbles, and become something much healthier and bigger.


DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Cry when your people come home, because holy god, they made it back!


SOME COOL LINKS TO LEARN MORE

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/the-power-of-empathy-with-pharrell-williams-and-noted-co-instructors/chapters/do-something

https://www.theledger.com/story/news/state/2022/04/26/florida-school-book-bans-these-library-titles-being-reviewed-school-boards/9542938002/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/dogs-cry-happy-tears-owners-27803328

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.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

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

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