Why You Gotta Hate Like That Bad Guys In Writing and Life

Why You Gotta Hate Like That Bad Guys In Writing and Life

 
 
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This week we’re revisiting the idea of bad guys in our lives and in our writing because lots of us actually have bad people in our writing and our lives. These antagonists run the gamut from people who make us scream at their Facebook posts of Fakeness to actually physically hurting us and our community. Politics is full of making the other party the bad guy. People at work tend to make other employees or bosses the bad guys. We make bad guys everywhere.

Sometimes we make entire groups of people the bad guy like this week on Facebook a guy who manages an inn had a post that said,

The Facebook Post That Started It All

I have a couple staying with us, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The woman came to tell me how she loves the Inn, but has been treated horribly by so many locals. Being told “go home” and have had obscenities shouted at her and her husband. I’ve seen posts in this group and others from people discouraging tourism. My question is.. .Do we want our town to be known as openly hostile towards visitors? Is this how the level of discourse is supposed to be?

Facebook person

And the responses were all over the locals. People saying locals were the bad guys. People accepting and expecting that those tourists’ side of the story was right and the locals were the bad guys. This might be true. It might not.

It’s like everyone just took one story, without verifying it, accepted it as truth and then jumped on the bad guy wagon.

The question is why? Why do we do this?

I’m sure the original poster believes that woman and that woman may absolutely telling the truth or at least her version of it, but why do we all jump in and take it as reality when it’s hearsay and just that woman’s side of the story. I mean, she obviously doesn’t want to think, “Hey, all these people are swearing at me. Maybe I’m actually doing something wrong.” Instead, she cast herself as the victim and the others as being the bad guys. Which could be entirely accurate.

We don’t know.

And that’s just it. In real life, a lot of the time, we don’t know. Things aren’t always as simple as good and evil; absolute right and absolute wrong.

Although, sometimes it really is. There are certain things that are just evil.


One of the biggest questions a lot of new writers have is this:

Do I need a bad guy?

Yes.

But your bad guy can be yourself or your main character.

Like in our random thoughts, Carrie is often showing that she is her own worst enemy. Watching tv gives her anxiety, but she almost always watches tv at night for a couple of hours.

When it comes to life or writing stories, this can help you figure out what the antagonist is.

Here are the steps:

  1. Figure out what your goal or your main character’s goal is.
  2. The bad person is whatever stands in the way of your character (or you) achieving your goal.

So, in life Carrie is her own antagonist because her goal is to not feel anxious at night, yet she still watches television for an hour or two. That’s an example of an inner-antagonist or bad guy.

Also in life, when Carrie doesn’t let Shaun watch American Pickers and makes him watch Pen15 or Teenage Bounty Hunters? She’s Shaun’s external bad guy, keeping him from his goal to chill with those picker guys.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Every story needs conflict. Sometimes that conflict and opposing force (what’s keeping your character from their goal) comes from the character themself.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

There are enough bad guys in the world. You don’t have to make them up.

Sparty Dog
Sparty Dog, our rescue who saw way too many bad people out there.



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.


Carrie Jones Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Continue reading “Why You Gotta Hate Like That Bad Guys In Writing and Life”

Flour Tattoos and Hyperbole is the Biggest Danger in the World (That’s Hyperbole right there)

Flour Tattoos and Hyperbole is the Biggest Danger in the World (That’s Hyperbole right there)

 
 
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So, this woman, Aileen Weintraub on the Huffington Post, has an article that’s headline is, “I’m a Grown Woman and I Still Sleep with a Stuffed Animal.”

“George is my deep, dark secret, and I’m sharing our story now in the time of COVID-19 because many of us are quietly struggling.”

Aileen Weintraub

And the article is sweet and lovely, and poor Aileen had COVID-19 and was terribly sick and was even more stressed because George, her stuffed dog has been with her for thirty years and she didn’t know if her stuffed animal would be able to go with her if she had to come to the hospital.

And she was ashamed because stuffed animals are allegedly “transitional objects.”

She wrote,

“I love my family, but this little hound doesn’t take up much room and he doesn’t shift the sheets. I don’t have to explain myself to him. He doesn’t ask questions and he’s always there, a personal touchstone I can depend on. George doesn’t judge. He never complains and I never have to cook for him. He never rummages through the fridge and tells me there is no food in the house. He doesn’t leave towels on the floor. He doesn’t bark while I’m on a conference call. George gets me.

“When I was quarantined for 16 days as the coronavirus ravaged my body, no one in my family could touch me. I communicated with them via text or through a closed door. But George was there. He is so quiet that it would be easy to forget him. I never do.

“George is my deep dark secret, and I’m sharing our story now in the time of COVID-19 because no matter how strong, confident or successful a person may appear, the truth is that many of us are quietly struggling. When everything seems hopeless, when it looks like we will never get out of the hellfire that is 2020, perhaps it’s OK to admit to finding softness and comfort from something as simple and familiar as an old threadbare stuffy.”

Aileen Weintraub

God bless this lady because if George, the stuffed animal in her bed, is her deep dark secret? What a nice life she’s had.

What Is Hyperbole?

Hyperbole is basically defined as an exaggeration that people use to emphasize an effect. It’s extravagant. It’s bullshit. It comes from the Greek word for “excess.”

I’m not sure if this ‘deep dark secret’ is hyperbole, but it sure feels like one.

And the problem with hyperbole? Is that it’s not truth. It’s inauthentic. It’s the tool of politicians and apparently op-ed writers and we’re all freaking too used to it. We don’t examine the extravagant claims of influencers, writers. Headlines and tweets and speeches and email subject lines are full of them.

 In writing fiction especially, hyperbole can be a brilliant tool. Listen to this Monty Python bit about being completely not rich.

You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for 14 hours a day and when we got home, our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!​

Monty Python people

The Problem

Writers, you can use hyperbole but don’t use it in your nonfiction. Even Aristotle was anti-hyperbole saying it was amateur and childlike and that it was the tool of bad, angry politicians.

Why is it bad?

It’s bad because it’s used to manipulate us and our emotions. It makes normal things suddenly feel over the top, excessive, the deepest and darkest of secrets or the most terrifying moments of existence. It’s when someone yells at you for your opinion or your actions and you call it an ‘attack’ in which you are in fear of your life. It’s when you’re pushing for your agenda and twisting truth so that you can be the savior or the victim and it is dangerous AF.

And it’s normal now. We’re used to seeing the exaggeration of truths becoming lies. No, that article is not going to make you instantly a best selling book writer or super fit in three fast weeks. No, that politician isn’t going to save your country. No, that person with an opinion different than yours does not deserve to die.

Hyperbole pulls us away from the truth. In the excess and exaggeration often comes an otherness, an us versus them mentality that prevents us from finding truths, middle roads, and we become so engrossed in it that we see a story about a woman’s deepest, darkest secret being about sleeping with her stuffed animal and we believe it.

We’ve got to return to truth, to discourse, to authenticity.

And we have to do it before it’s too late before that extremism is the norm, exaggeration is the defacto position for all of us, before we forget what truth even is.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Write truth. Write things that resonate. Hyperbole is a great tool, but it shouldn’t be your go-t0 response.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Don’t hyperbolize the simple stuff.

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.

Continue reading “Flour Tattoos and Hyperbole is the Biggest Danger in the World (That’s Hyperbole right there)”

Marriage is Gross and Just Say Yes!

Marriage is Gross and Just Say Yes!

 
 
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Carrie has talked about this in her blog before, but we decided that it’s time to talk about it in the podcast thanks to an inspiring presentation writer Sami Main made for the Writing Barn last week.

It’s about one of the basic tenents of improv comedy and how you can use that for your writing and/or your life.

Do both! Overachieve.

Anyway, it’s amazing how Patricia Ryan Madson’s Improv Maxims, apply to writing and life and love and all that sexy stuff.

Her first maxim in Improv Wisdom (New York: Belltower, 2005) is basically, “Say Yes.”

In improv, when two characters are doing a scene, both characters have to be positive, to say yes to each other’s suggestions.

If one guy stands up there and says, “Let’s go party.” And then the other guy says, “No way.” Well… the scene falls on its face and everyone goes home saying they hate improv and the improvers think they suck and everything is just BAD, BAD, BAD.

So, writing is like that too.

When our characters want to take us to new unexpected places in the plot, we just have to go with it. If we don’t, our story stagnates.

We have to be willing to say “yes,” to take risks with our characters and our plots and our language.

According to Madson, “Saying ‘yes’ is an act of courage and optimism; it allows you to share control. It is a way to make your partner happy. Yes expands your world.”

I could go on about this forever. Like, how we get in ruts. Such as, my characters always have a love interest. And it’s always a boy. How cool would it be if the love interest were a cat? Or a hamster? Or a fig tree?

Okay. I know. Banned book.

Or, how we get into habits with our writing just like we get into habits with our lives. How cool would it be to break a writing habit and make a better writing habit? To get out of the safety of routine, change our process and expand? To just say yes?

Writing Tip of the Pod

Say yes to new ideas. Don’t be in a writing rut or hold to your preconceived notions of what your story or writing life should beDog

DOG Tip for Life

Try new things. Eat food off the floor. Go for it, humans!

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. 


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.


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

This week’s episode about generalizations and what men want. 

Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

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

Queen of Misfit Toys and the Parenthetical Hipster

Queen of Misfit Toys and the Parenthetical Hipster

 
 
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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. With us today is Lindsay Schultz

Any time I’m driving through or near Tennessee, Lindsay always offers to show me around Nashville and I just have to tell you that some day I am going to take you up on that. What’s it like in Nashville now during a pandemic? 

Lindsay tells us that and why on her Facebook profile she has the word hipster in a parenthetical. She also claims to be the queen on the island of misfit toys.

Check out our interview to find out why.


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.


This week’s podcast about sexiness and consistency!

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.

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

 
 
00:00 / 00:24:50
 
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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!

My Dog Is A Skunk Killer AND I Had No Clue!

See this face?

It’s a cute face, right? It is an innocent, adorable, sweet face. This is the dog who lets us hug her for hours and actually leans into it. This is the dog who refuses to take food out of your hand unless you assure her that you really don’t want it. This is a dog that allows kittens to climb through her fur and hitch rides on her back.

But also, apparently, Gabby the Dog has been hiding an entire other side of herself and she is a killer. Not just a hornet killer. She’s really good at swallowing hornets and wasps whole.

No.

She is a skunk killer.

The Scene

We let her and Sparty Dog (our non killer, not even hornets) outside to the backyard before bed. The yard is fenced. She rushed out, running full-tilt, which is hard for her because:

  1. She is old.
  2. She was abused and starved as a puppy and her muscular system and skeletal structure didn’t form correctly do to lack of nutrition and also being tied to a tree in Alabama all day, every day.

But according to He Who Let Her Out, she sprinted, silently to the back corner of the yard where the fence meets the shed.

A Smell Happens

I was at my desk making my to-do list for the next day when I smelled burning.

I jumped up and flipped my laptop over because I’m super paranoid about laptops catching on fire.

It was not my laptop.

“Do you smell burning?” I yelled to Shaun aka the bodyguard aka Person Who Let The Dogs Into The Yard.

“No. I don’t smell any–“

“SKUNK!” I screamed, slamming shut the windows. “Dear God, did you let the dogs out there? Oh no! Oh no!”

Gabby has had a skunk encounter before. She chased it out of the yard and it slid under the gate but first shot its odoriferous defense system straight into her muzzle. It took a lot to make her smell good after that. I did not want a repeat of that event.

But instead, instead…

The Scene Evolves INTO POOPY BUSINESS

We ran to the back mudroom door, flung it open. In the middle of the yard was Sparty the Non Killing Dog doing his poopy business. He was walking across the yard while he did this, head down, doggy posture looking ashamed/horrified and definitely not making any eye contact with us or Gabby the Dog in the back corner.

“Sparty! In here now!” I yelled.

Sparty is a perfect dog and scampered in. I shut us in the mud room. Smelled him. He was good to go.

“You are the best dog ever,” I told him.

He agreed and went into the living room to jump on the couch and wait out the drama.

WHO EVEN IS THIS KILLER?

Meanwhile, Shaun was still out on the back stoop staring into the darkness that is our yard. I could just barely see the white form of Gabby in the corner. She was doing that dog thing she does with her toys where she flails her head rapidly back and forth. Something was in her mouth. That something was not her favorite froggy toy.

“Sweet mother of all things holy,” I whispered. “Is she playing with the skunk?”

“No,” Shaun said. “No, she has killed the skunk and is apparently making sure it’s really dead.”

I gasped. “My baby’s not a killer.”

Shaun said, “Honey, your baby is definitely a killer.”

He had to turn on the hose to get her to drop it. Gabby is a Pyr, not a retriever, not a hunter. And though she knows the command “Drop it,” her stubborn Pyr genes were in full effect.

The Horror

I brought her in the mudroom expecting to see blood and skunk bits. And I cleaned her. There was no blood and she somehow only had skunk smell in her mouth and on her right paw.

“Who even are you?” I asked.

She wagged her tail and breathed skunk smell on me. I managed to not die, too.

What Does This All Mean?

But that’s not why I’m writing about this whole horrific event. I’m writing about it because Gabby reminded me that we never know exactly what other people (or dogs) are capable of. We never know exactly what we are capable of either.

We think we know how we’d react in certain situations, often imagine ourselves the hero of our own stories and other people’s stories, but we have different sides, instincts that sometimes turn into actions and words that we never thought we’d do or save. And that holds true for the people and dogs we love, too.

Gabby reminded me that while I might think of her as a skunk killer now, she thinks she was protecting Sparty and our house. She reminded me that we don’t all have the same motivations and intentions and no matter how much we think we understand people and dogs and ourselves? Well, sometimes surprises happen.

And that’s okay.

my hands smell like dogs
Cutie Dog and Skunk Killer.
Continue reading “My Dog Is A Skunk Killer AND I Had No Clue!”

Slug Bait Or Sage

Slug Bait Or Sage

 
 
00:00 / 00:27:16
 
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The Sage

It’s not the herb; it’s the archetype in writing and maybe in life, although they don’t seem all that common in the real world. Super common in the tarot and astrology and numerology emails Carrie gets. 

So, what’s a sage? It’s a smarty pants. But it’s also a bit more. 

According to the individualogist.com,

“Unlike other archetypes, the Sage archetype’s education doesn’t cease after graduation. They’re constantly applying themselves and enriching themselves throughout their entire lives.

“What drives the Sage archetype is their goal of knowing the truth behind everything. For that reason, majority of the conversations that they have revolve around their questions. This can be disadvantageous for them as they’ll take any form of misinformation as a form of deception. With that being said, they take lies very personally and feel emotionally affected when they discover that what they learned or believed in turns out to be wrong.”

 individualogist.com

According to a page on Masterclass, the sage is: 

“A wise figure with knowledge for those who inquire. The mother figure or mentor is often based on this archetype.”

Masterclass

They are smart, curious; they learn their whole life, use their intuition and are sort of addicted to information.

Weakness: These people think they know more than the rest of us and they often do and that makes them stubborn in their ideas and a little condescending sometimes. 

Their challenges? According to the individualogist again,

“The Sage archetype needs to confront their fear and hatred for ignorance. It’s important for this archetype to realize that not everyone is able to learn at the pace and with the passion that they possess…. The Sage archetype needs to exercise humility and alter their perceptions of people in general.”

They are bit slow to act. 

The Masterclass site gives examples as:  “Athena (The Odyssey), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars), Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs), The Oracle (The Matrix).”

Do you have a Hannibal in your life?

WRITING TIP OF THE POD:

Use the familiarity of archetypes or subvert them to draw your reader into your story.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE: 

Don’t be a condescending bastard. 

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.

Continue reading “Slug Bait Or Sage”

Torturing Barbie: Archetype, Stereotype, or Cliché?

Torturing Barbie: Archetype, Stereotype, or Cliché?

 
 
00:00 / 00:29:47
 
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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!

Dance Mom, Former Mainer, Alyson Pelletier Seegmueller

Dance Mom, Former Mainer, Alyson Pelletier Seegmueller

 
 
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1X
 

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 Alyson Pelletier Seegmueller, a dance mom who is used to driving 14 hours every day but now she’s stuck at home because of Covid-19, I think.

A former Mainer living in Pennsylvania now and her motto is basically, “I can’t, my daughter has dance.” 

In every post Allyson has, it’s super obvious how much she loves her family.

I asked her if she thought there was a certain vulnerability that happens when you love someone so much? Check out her answers and more.

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” – Barbara Kingsolver

“[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary—it’s an act of infinite optimism.” – Gilda Radner


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 235,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


This week’s episode about archetypes and falling out of cars.

Last week’s episode about archetypes and if your sex life was a hashtag. Cough.

This week’s bonus episode with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez about cosplay, book boyfriends, and being brave enough to get rid of people who hurt you. 

Are You a Seducer or Do You Fall Out of Cars?

Are You a Seducer or Do You Fall Out of Cars?

 
 
00:00 / 00:27:35
 
1X
 

Ah, yes, the archetype. Last week we talked about the misfits and the mavericks because they are sexy as hell. 

Again, Merriam-Webster says archetype are: 

“The original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies.” 

Good ole Merriam-Webster

Archetypes, according to Tami Nantz, help us understand what makes our characters tick. She says to ask:

What does he fear?

What motivates him? 

What does he care about most? 

Tami Nantz

And while I’m afraid to talk about this on the podcast with Shaun because his mind goes . . . places, this week we’re talking about the seductress. 

Over on the Reedsy blog, the seductress is explained pretty well.  

“I’ll give you whatever you want,” is the refrain of the seductress — a character that comes in all shapes, sizes, and genders. They might offer power, sex, love, money, or influence but remember, these things always come with strings attached. If a seductress is involved, the moral of the tale is almost always, “Don’t believe anything that’s too good to be true.”

Strengths: Allure, charisma, lack of morals.

Weaknesses: The emptiness of their promises.

Desires: Control.

Examples: Mephistopheles in Faust, Delilah from Samson and Delilah, 90% of the female characters in The Odyssey.

Reedsy blog

Some more examples would be Mystique in X-Men and Meg in Hercules.

Valeria Black, writing for The Writing Cooperative had a very definite take on the Seductress, which seems a wee bit reductive. She said,

The Seductress cares deeply about being in the spotlight. She loves attention and the way people fall head-over-heels for her.

But most of all, she loves being the most admired woman in the room.

Valeria Black

Why?

Because, if you dig deep enough, she is a child and a dreamer at heart who craves constant stimulation in the quest for her one true love.

This hidden quest for lasting love is the main reason why it seems like she strings people along. But in reality it’s because she just gets bored quickly.

And this is so cool to think about if you have one of these characters or one of these people in your life. And I think we all know one of these seducer or seductresses, the person who is all about the sexual and physical validation, and doesn’t know what to do without it. Their self-worth comes from capturing as many admiring looks or hearts as possible. They are dependent on other people’s affection and attention. And that makes it hard sometimes for both them and their friends. Their dark side is like the femme fatale like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, right? 

That same Reedsy blog has some really great advice about archetypes:  

For authors, character archetypes are a useful concept to understand — if only to save you from tying yourself in knots, trying to create stories and characters completely unlike anything that’s come before. Every story has already been told, so focus on what matters most to readers: creating rich, specific worlds populated by people living specific lives, whose struggles are so grounded in realistic human behavior that their stories become universal — no matter where the reader is from.

But the thing is that this is true about life, too. When you understand those three questions we talked about in the beginning, you can understand your friends, family, and enemies a lot more. What motivates the people you love? 

Also, Shaun is totally not cool with the gender bias implicit in this archetype, which gets him bonus points from me. 

Sparty is worried about archetypes

Writing Tip of the Pod

Think about the motivations of your characters. Is there a seducer in your story? Maybe there should be. 

Dog Tip for Life

Living for other people’s validation is a really hard way to live. When you are all about capturing as many people’s affections for your own self-worth, what do you do when you are rejected? For many of us, being sexy only lasts so long, right? 


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.

DOG INSPIRATION

Every weekday, our dogs have inspirational or motivating tweets on Carrie’s Twitter. Go check it out and be her Twitter friend.


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 235,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s episode about archetypes and if your sex life was a hashtag. Cough.

This week’s episode about archetypes and falling out of cars.

This week’s bonus episode with Vivian Garcia Rodriguez about cosplay, book boyfriends, and being brave enough to get rid of people who hurt you. 


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.