Be Brave Friday!

Hey! It’s Be Brave Friday!

And I’m being super brave this week in quiet ways. Bravery doesn’t always have to be loud or on social media or flashy, right? Sometimes the best kind of brave is the quiet kind. Fingers crossed.

I hope you’re being brave and going after your dreams. And here’s a bit of an abstract landscape I made this week. It’s still terribly hard for me to post these especially when I have so many artist friends, but here you go.

So much love to everyone. Stay safe and well, okay?

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday!”

When Children’s Book Writers Are Supposed To Dance Things Might Not Be Pretty

Back before COVID-19, I went to my first big writing conference (as a speaker) in L.A. (California) and I learned that there was a big gala thing and all of us children’s book writers (published and prepublished) were supposed to dance and schmooze there.

Despite the fact that my aunt owned a dance studio and I started dancing when I was two and despite the fact that author/poet/musician/playwright Ozzie Jones once gave me the best compliment about my dancing ever at a Bates College party and despite the fact that I’ve been in far too many musical theater productions, I get uptight about dancing.

Cough.

This is awkward to admit.

And I was supposed to hang out in a group of 900 children’s book writers who were going to be dancing? It was already super obvious who the extraverts are in the children’s book world and let me tell you? It’s the dancers. It’s the schmoozes. It’s the people who introduce themselves to you and aren’t awkward about it.

It is not me.

I thought children’s book writers were my people. Apparently, I was wrong. The whole situation was a lot more like a middle school dance than I thought it would be.

What I learned

1. Some writers can actually dance. I mean, they bend backwards. They throw off shoes. They are not me.

Get your boogie on and shuck off those ukeleles, authors!

2. Author John Green blushes and sort of crumples in half when kids tell them they’ve read Looking for Alaska‘s scene that involves a penis.

I am not spoiling here, but… I’m sure you can guess the scene. The truth is that scene has a bit of the Judy Blume phenom going for it. Kids I knew flipped to it, shared it with friends, even before or after they’ve read the whole book and I could go on for awhile about this and how it’s a very okay thing, but that would be a much longer post for later in the week. 

Also, despite a lot of lady writers asking him to dance, John Green managed to not dance. I envied him.

See, John. This is almost as steamy as your scene, and Raintree County is ancient, although steamy. 

3. It is hard to find people you know in a crowd of 900 and sometimes you just have to give it all up and hang with people you barely know. When doing this, try not to talk about the positive beauty of fleece TOO much. They will run away. 

4. Holding a beer makes dancing easier. I did not do this, but I should have. Thanks for the tip, Lisa Yee!

5. Once you tell people that you’re running off to get someone else to come dance it is REALLY REALLY hard to find those people again. Try not to worry that they think you were blowing them off and you are an evil mean girl or something.

I’m so sorry I lost you! I was busy dying inside from social anxiety.

6. Author Lisa Yee tells amazing stories. Many include peeps. Some include pee. Does there seem to be a connection?

I found this photo on Pinterest. Thank you, Pinterest!

Rock on, Little Peep. Rock on!

7. It’s okay to stand in the big grass circle by the taco makings instead of dancing because there will be other people there who aren’t drunk enough to dance either. These are some of your fellow introverts. Embrace them. Ask first though because not everyone likes embracing.

8. Even when there’s lots of room to spread out people will clump up to dance. I am not sure if this is because it is fun getting elbowed in the head or just for the hiding-your-dance-skills in a bunch of other people factor. Or maybe it’s just the hope for getting lucky is greater the closer you are to other bodies. Does anyone know? Is this an extrovert thing or an introvert thing?

9. Sometimes people can do amazing things with aluminum foil. Sometimes people can’t. This can be dangerous when the foil is used to make clothing. No. I am not posting a picture of this here. But also foil-clothing and dancing can lead to some NSFW photos of writers. Don’t enthusiastically dance if you’re only wearing aluminum-foil clothing unless you’re okay with other writers seeing body parts that are usually covered up and stuff.

10. Writer Cecil C (BEIGE) can hold while dancing:
    1. Plate of food.
    2. Eating utensil
    3. Massive funky-cool bag/purse
    4. Video camera
    All at the same time with a still-healing wrist, which obviously qualifies her for this status

 Yes, she is the dynamic force of both Wonderwoman and Superman combined! That’s super power.

And there you go. Helpful hints for when you go to a conference and there are a bunch of children’s book writers dancing.

Continue reading “When Children’s Book Writers Are Supposed To Dance Things Might Not Be Pretty”

The Dog Peed on My Bridesmaid Dress

Sometimes things happen that you can’t control. We call this chaos, usually. But chaos is a part of our lives and our societies and sometimes? It comes in the form of a small dog.

The set-uP

  • I was in seventh grade.
  • My stepfather had just died. It was my brother’s wedding. 
  • I was totally in love with Tim, my much older (22) step-cousin. He had nice hair. It was silver. Plus, he always tried to make sure I didn’t fall off boats. You’ve got to respect that.

The dress

  • Was two sizes too big. That’s because I lost a lot of weight because my dad died. 
  • Was this Pepto-Bismol pink
  • Required a hoop skirt.
  • Had fake flowers for shoulder straps.
  • Was tiered like a wedding cake.

What happened


Right before the wedding, at the house of the parents of the bride, I put on my horrible gown.

This mauve gown sagged everywhere including where my breasts were (still are, actually. My breasts have not. I repeat: HAVE NOT moved) and the head maid of honor lady was trying to duct tape the sides in because you could see right down it.

The attempt to keep my dress from gaping didn’t really work and the tape was scratching. I was super paranoid that everyone was going to be looking down my dress and my mental state? It was like super anxiety blow-out.

Then when we were heading out to the car, I picked up the bride’s family’s dog, Midge. It turns out you are not supposed to pick up Midge. Why?

Midge pees when you pick her up. Apparently, Midge also had anxiety.

I did not know this.

Midge peed all over my dress. Yes, this happened while I was wearing it. There was this dark stain, going down the mauve. It hit the duct tape. It hit everything.

Hell Breaks Loose

Cue: Mother of the bride swearing.


Cue: Maid of Honor yelling, “CARRIE!!! YOU PICKED UP MIDGE! JESUS! JESUS! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”

They rushed me inside, dabbed at me with a face cloth, and then dried me with a hair dryer. 

Me: I smell like pee.
Bride: YOU. SMELL. FINE.
Father of the Bride: She smells like piss. 

Cue: Maid of Honor spraying lilac perfume all over me. I associate lilacs with pee now.

So, I went to the wedding smelling like lilac and pee. My super cute cousin asked me to a pity dance. I was in Heaven. He leaned in. I was in super Heaven. I was ready to die of bliss. 

Super Cute Cousin: Does it smell like urine?

Me:

Super Cute Cousin:

Me: Lilacs. I smell lilacs.

So smooth.


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

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.

Join the 251,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


This week’s episode about poop, dentists, surgery, flavored alcohol and Jung.

LAST WEEK’S EPISODE about slug bait, sages and archetypes. 

Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

A link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.

You Are More Than The Things That Have Happened To You

So, a long time ago, I was driving the very unhappy cat Lyra to the kitty spa so that she could not be one massive, walking clump of kitty fur, I was listening to the radio and Bob and Sheri, these syndicated talk-show people.

They were talking about what your purpose is in life.

This made Lyra howl even louder, because a ‘life purpose’ talk is pretty heavy stuff for a cat at 7:55 a.m. especially when you’re in a kitty carrier.

Lyra’s Ghost: That is not while I was howling. I was howling because I was in a small, dark place; the radio was on much too loud and existential questions are dull. Your purpose in life was to feed me, that was all.

And Sheri said that her purpose in life is to make people realize that they are more than the things that have happened to them.

You Are More Than The Things That Have Happened To You.

This was way too big a wow moment for me at 7:55 a.m.

This was a big wow moment for two reasons:

1. My old book GIRL, HERO is all about this. It’s all about Liliana defining herself and taking control of who she is instead of having the horrible things that have happened to her define her. Yeah, she figures this out while writing letters to John Wayne, a dead movie star with some major issues of his own, but whatever.

2. I think that making people realize that they are more than the events in their life is really the purpose of all writing even when we (the writers) don’t realize it. 

I mean, isn’t it?

On that ancient tv show Lost, the people stranded on the island realize that they are more than survivors of a plane crash. One by one, they face demons, encounter fate and destiny, make choices that determine who their character is.

Lost Cast: Our purpose is to look sexy while running from smoke monsters and falling out of helicopters and being shot and being locked in cages meant for panda bears and standing fully dressed in water. Isn’t yours? 

Or even on, um…. The Princess Diaries. Do you all remember The Princess Diaries?

Isn’t Mia more than someone who drives a convertible in the rain and gets really wet, and totally messes up the car’s interior and everything? Isn’t she more than someone who stinks at math? Isn’t she more than someone who learns how to shoot an arrow while a really cute boy watches?

Anyway…. Yes. She is. She is more than just the events that happen to her. She is more than the bad things. She is more than the good things. 

I think we all are. Aren’t we?

I hope so, because I’d like to think that I’m not defined just by that one time my skirt fell down when I was getting out of a taxi in New York. Or that time the man in the grocery store parking lot gave me the finger. Or that time…. You get the picture, right?

And when we write stories, we want our characters to be so full and rich that they sing off the page, so we can feel them.

Lyra’s Ghost: Carrie, sometimes I am so embarrassed that you are my human. But I still love you and haunt you from the kitty grave.

Yes, she really does. Haunt me. I’m not sure about the love part. 🙂


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

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.

Join the 250,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s podcast about sexiness and consistency! 

Last week’s bonus podcast with Lindsay Schultz, the queen of misfit toys and parenthetical hipster.

A link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.

Dark Tourism and When You Lack in the Sexy Department or Do You

Dark Tourism and When You Lack in the Sexy Department or Do You

 
 
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Karen Nimmo in “On the Couch” wrote that the The Most Unsexy, Under-rated Secret of Success is consistency. 

Yep. And she’s calling that unsexy. 

“I know, you’re rolling your eyes: I’ve seen my clients do it. “Consistency” as a concept lacks verve; even the word is boring. (And no-one rates consistency in a partner until they’ve been messed up by an inconsistent one!)”

“But the truth is consistency rules — in your job, your art, your relationships, your friendships, your health habits, your knowledge, your interests.”

“And the danger in a volatile world is that we’re destabilised, that we lose our good habits, that we lose faith in what we know is good and true.”

Karen Nimmo

So, she’s right. The whole reason I’m successful at writing is that I’m consistent as hell. I work every single day usually. I work on other people’s stories and my own. Our podcast has had over 250,000 downloads and that’s not because it’s any good. It’s because we do it every single week. We’re still married because Shaun unloads the dishwasher every morning. 

I know tons of brilliant minds, brilliant writers who haven’t published yet (and want to) because they haven’t been consistent and finished their stories and done the work to get there. There’s no one way to be a writer, but one thing that really helps is actually consistently writing.

So, Nimms who is a communication genius and a lovely writer has some helpful hints about how to be consistent. That we’re going to share with you. 

First she says: 

“Just Aim to ‘Get Good.’”

That’s pretty easy right? Don’t try to be Lance Armstrong, but if you want to be a bicyclist, ride your bike all the time. Don’t try to be Homer, but if you want to write an epic poem about the gods, write as much as you can. 

Her second bit of advice is a bit harder.

“Show Up Even When You Don’t Want To.”

That’s the whole ‘butt in chair’ adage that all writing teachers tell all writers. In order to write the story, you have to sit down and actually write the story. This helpful hint is a lot like the first helpful hint, isn’t it? Practice makes you better. You don’t get results if you don’t do the work. 

Her other hints are also lovely, but my favorite is this one: 

“Tuck your feelings on a high shelf.”

“‘Just being there is ninety-nine percent of what matters when your world falls apart.’― Holly Goldberg Sloan

 Holly Goldberg Sloan as quoted by Karen

“Our moods and feelings are valid, especially now, but we can’t afford to let them govern everything. Especially when we’re struggling with motivation. So don’t ask yourself how you’re feeling before taking action. Just schedule it and follow through.”

Karen Nimmo

She tells us not to quit even when everything sucks and there’s a pandemic and not to compare yourself to all those brilliant other people who have been consistent and are already successful. She says that you’re allowed to think, “Damn, I don’t want to be a writer anymore.” You can do something different, go after something else. 

The link to her full article is here


Writing Tip of the Pod:

Be consistent even if it isn’t sexy and even if it is. 

Dog Tip for Life: 

Sparty the Dog says that you might feel unsexy when you are reliable, but it gets you treats. Be reliable. Do the work. Sit on command. 


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 OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

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.

Join the 250,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


LAST WEEK’S EPISODE about slug bait, sages and archetypes. 

Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

A link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce

COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.


NEW SESSION OF WRITE! SUBMIT! SUPPORT! 

Write. Submit. Support. for Novelists with Carrie Jones ONLINE

These six-month courses offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions. We offer support whether you’re submitting to agents or, if agented, you’re weathering submissions to editors. We discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, the feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more.

Find out if WSS is right for you at this FREE WEBINAR on Thursday July 23rd, from 7-8:30pm CDT.Founder Bethany Hegedus will share an inspiring talk on the literary life and will be joined by WSS instructors/TA’s, plus past and present WSS writers who will answer all your burning questions!

This is a great opportunity to meet this session’s faculty, talk with previous students about their growth throughout the program and participate in some inspirational activities led by Bethany Hegedus. *If you cannot attend live, no need to worry! All registrants will receive a video playback of the event!
Register Now for the Free Info Session!

Chocolate Squirrels and Author Mental Health: Interview with Jessica Burkhart

Chocolate Squirrels and Author Mental Health: Interview with Jessica Burkhart

 
 
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Hey! Welcome to a bonus interview episode of Dogs are Smarter Than People, the usually quirky podcast that gives writing tips and life tips. I’m Carrie Jones and with me today is Jessica Burkhart

Jessica!
Jessica!

Jessica Burkhart is the author of the best-selling 20-book Canterwood Crest series with over 1.5 million copies in print in multiple languages. Her other works include the Unicorn Magic series and the stand-alone YA novel WILD HEARTS. She makes her editorial debut with LIFE INSIDE MY MIND: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles

Jessica’s mom hates squirrels but she still gave Jessica a chocolate squirrel for Easter? WHY?!? Jessica explains that to us if you listen.

And we talk about being brave, being neurodivergent and being an author. I hope you’ll listen and give Jessica all the applause.

Spoiler: I, Carrie, absolutely adore Jessica.

Spoiler #2: This interview touches on mental illness, addiction, and writing. And Jessica? She is brilliant.

You can find out more about Jessica and her books here on her website.

And check out her Twitter!

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 OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

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.

Join the 249,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s episode link! It’s about dirty feet and archetypes. Sexy! 

Last week’s bonus podcast with writer Holly Schindler!

This week’s link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce

This week’s link to Ronni’s interview.

COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


Continue reading “Chocolate Squirrels and Author Mental Health: Interview with Jessica Burkhart”

To Outline or Not To Outline? That Might Be The Question

If you spend any time with me, you’ll notice that I’m super annoying because I don’t think there is one right way to do things and this is especially true about writing stories. 

Authors, however, like to think there’s a right way, a guide that is perfect for everyone that has all the happy little writing, revising and marketing steps. The hope is that if you follow those steps you become the next writing superstar or at least get a full request from an agent. 

The rules that we love, the guidelines and the steps? They don’t work for everyone or even one person all the time. And this is true about outlining too. Some of us love it. Some of us hate it. Some of us are apathetic. Some of us love it for one book and hate it for the next. 

That’s all okay.

But here are some things about outlining. 

  1. It doesn’t need to be all formal with bullet points.
  2. It can actually be fun for some people. 
  3. It can force inspiration sometimes. 
  4. It is usually big picture and is the big details and allows you to be creative in the execution and focus more (sometimes) on sentence structure and word choice.
  5. It helps keep you from writing 120,000 words before you realize you have no plot. 
  6. You can get a good idea of your plot structure and you can fix that before you write 123,000 words. 
  7. Helps with that big-picture pacing.
  8. Let’s you know where you’re at when you’re writing that first draft and can help you not pull out your hair when you’re freaking out that you’re nowhere near done when you’re actually pretty close.

If you all are into this, I can post about how to start an outline. Just let me know, okay?

Continue reading “To Outline or Not To Outline? That Might Be The Question”

Be Brave Friday

While I was working a little, white kid on the sidewalk outside yelled, “I’m going to run you over. Right now!”

A little white girl hurried out of his way, skittering, almost tripping over her feet.

Their daycare provider then announced, looking at my house, “If that was my house, I’d tear down those trees.”

In less than ten seconds, I heard a threat, saw fear, and then judgement and an apparent disregard for our little baby ecosystem in the cedars.

It made me think about my reaction to things and how important it is to not be a Judgy-Pants especially about other people’s property, but also to not always hurry out of the way when someone threatens you and wants to be where you are.

Usually on Be Brave Friday I share art that I’m working on, but I’m not working on any right now. This whole week I haven’t picked up a paint brush. But I have clacked away on my keyboard, so this is the best I have to offer you today.

It’s a random poem I wrote. If you know anything, you’ll know that poems are almost as hard for me to share as art.

I feel my tooth now that it’s gone,

A hole inside my mouth, stuck

Between the survivors, a gap and fuzzy pain

Reminding me of things.

I said I wouldn’t 

Cry. Damn it all to hell. 

I am not a person who sobs. 

Not over a tooth.

I stared at the surgeon as he sewed me up.

I stared at the white light above him, thinking

About out-of-body experiences and how

The people who return always talk about

The white light. I can’t keep staring at it. 

I try not to think about things.

I try to not remember how I’ve become the person I am. 

“Don’t present as insecure,” other women tell me. “You’re strong

And talented.” And I just want to say, “Bitch, those are not mutually exclusive.”

I don’t care about followers.

I don’t care about how I present 

I don’t care about well-natured advice telling me not to be me. I touch

The letters of my soul like they are traps, but they are magical, offerings of 

Hazelnut charms, nine letters encircling themselves meant to be placed on a door

To keep the evil out. If only it were that simple, right? 

I feel my tooth now that it’s gone. 

December is the month of birthdays of the dead I knew. 

Father. Brother. Jesus. Me.

Try not to skitter. Try not to threaten. Try not to judge. We can all share, okay? And leave the damn trees alone.

Continue reading “Be Brave Friday”

Don’t Force that Rhyme. What exactly even is a forced rhyme?

Forced Rhyme Moments

I was recently helping a poet/author who was worried about forced rhyme moments and then she realized she wasn’t absolutely sure what ‘forced rhyme’ even met.

So, here’s a bit of rundown on ways we can all force our rhymes. 

Weird Phrasing.

The most common way picture book editors balk at forced rhymes is when the author rearranges the phrase or sentence so that the rhyme comes at the end but the whole thing sounds unnatural. Like this: 

            Whenever we go out for a run, 

            With you, I like the sun. 

Look at me! I’m unnatural.

Normally, it would be in natural conversational U.S. English: 

            Whenever we go out for a run, 

            I like the sun.

The ‘with you’ wouldn’t even be there because of the ‘we.’ We just shove that on to make it rhyme, which is why we call it forced. J I love imagining all of us poet-people brandishing our mugs of tea and pens and screaming, “Rhyme, damn it! I force you!” 

Random bits

The other big thing that happens in picture books is we stick random information into the story just to make a rhyme. 

I like manatees. I think they’re great. 

My aunt got sick from a tomato she ate. 

This is pretty cute, actually.

So, if the rest of the book was about manatees, then that line about the aunt wouldn’t make sense, right? That’s another example of a forced rhyme. 

Making a Big Long Line

I did this so much when I was young and I still have to hold my typing hands back because it’s what I ALWAYS WANT TO DO. I would make a really big line to get a rhyme in. 

            I was working over at the Dairy Joy,

            Just minding my own business, scooping the scoops, when I finally scoped out this boy. 

Most of my grade-school poems were about being in love with random imaginary humans

Anyway, if the rest of the couplets are short, then this looks silly and forced. 

Almost But Not Quite

Another big thing people do is the almost but not quite there rhyme. They call this a slant rhyme or a half rhyme. Poets actually use this on purpose all the time. Here’s an example that I pasted from the web. It’s a poem called “To My Wife” by George Wolff 

If love is like a bridge
or maybe like a grudge,
and time is like a river
that kills us with a shiver,
then what have all these mornings meant
but aging into love?
What now is straight must have been bent;
what now is whole must have been rent.
My hand is now your glove.”

George Wolff

Wrenched rhymes

This happens when the words rhyme, but different syllables are stressed like here where the stress goes on the first syllable of laughing so on the laugh and not on the ing: 

I was laughing

            On the swing.

Random pretend poem

So, there you go. A tiny little lesson (Lesson? It sounds so formal!) about forced rhymes. Remember force is not cool. Talk to your poems, chill with them, let them decide to hang out with you.

Continue reading “Don’t Force that Rhyme. What exactly even is a forced rhyme?”

Torturing Barbie: Archetype, Stereotype, or Cliché?

Torturing Barbie: Archetype, Stereotype, or Cliché?

 
 
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In the past month, we’ve been talking a lot about archetypes and someone asked us what the difference is between an archetype and a stereotype. 

So here you go, listeners! 

First up, archetypes!

According to masterclass.com when it comes to writing an archetype is, 

“An emotion, character type, or event that is notably recurrent across the human experience. In the arts, an archetype creates an immediate sense of familiarity, allowing an audience member to relate to an event or character without having to necessarily ponder why they relate. Thanks to our instincts and life experiences, we’re able to recognize archetypes without any need for explanation.”

Masterclass

So, what’s a stereotype?

It can be positive. It can be negative. But it’s freaking simplistic. 

And even positive stereotypes can be negative like if you say, “Women are good mothers,” it can be harmful because all women don’t want to be mothers and women aren’t unhappy if they aren’t mothers and some women’s biology doesn’t work for mothering and that doesn’t mean they are unhappy either.  If you go one step further, it equates a woman’s value and role to that biological use. It also makes the assumption that all women are more nurturing and have those motherly positive attributes which means that men don’t. 

And what’s a cliché? 

It’s something you see so many times in tv, stories, life, that it becomes ultra banal, ultra boring and ultra predictable. 

The mad scientist.

The nerdy, but secretly sexy librarian.

The rich old cranky lady.

The egotistical warrior.

How do you stay away from clichés or stereotypes? You can parody them. You can deconstruct them. You can think about how to subvert them into something unexpected. Can the old rich lady actually be kind and not wear high heels and have a small dog? Can the egotistical warrior not be egotistical and self-effacing and neurotic? Can the nerdy librarian not be secretly sexy but actually overtly sexy in a glam way? 


Writing Type of the Pod

Think about your main character and the other major ones in your story. Are they normal? Typical? How can you tweak that and surprise the reader? 

Dog Type for Life

How are you a cliché? Are you fulfilling society’s expectations? How can you step out of your role and people’s expectations? 


WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

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.

Join the 245,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s episode link! It’s about dirty feet and archetypes. Sexy! 

Last week’s bonus podcast with writer Holly Schindler!

This week’s link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce

This week’s link to Ronni’s interview.


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.


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here. 


NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE

I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should. 

And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter! 

And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.


New Session of Write! Submit! Support!

Write. Submit. Support. for Novelists with Carrie Jones ONLINE

These six-month courses offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions. We offer support whether you’re submitting to agents or, if agented, you’re weathering submissions to editors. We discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, the feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more.

Find out if WSS is right for you at this FREE WEBINAR on Thursday July 23rd, from 7-8:30pm CDT.Founder Bethany Hegedus will share an inspiring talk on the literary life and will be joined by WSS instructors/TA’s, plus past and present WSS writers who will answer all your burning questions!

This is a great opportunity to meet this session’s faculty, talk with previous students about their growth throughout the program and participate in some inspirational activities led by Bethany Hegedus. *If you cannot attend live, no need to worry! All registrants will receive a video playback of the event!
Register Now for the Free Info Session!