Naked Lady in the Drain and Why Authors Should Show and Not Tell

When you tell, you are blunt. When you show? You are laying out little truths that compel the reader to turn the page and read on.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Naked Lady in the Drain and Why Authors Should Show and Not Tell
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So a lot of writers get rejections that say, “Show, don’t tell.”

And then they are left wondering, what does that even mean?

And then everyone uses the Chekov quote, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

That’s because writers and editors like to quote other writers and editors because it makes us sound:

  1. Pretentious. Cough. I mean intelligent!
  2. Like we know what we’re doing.

Definitions Time

Showing is what it sounds like. You are showing what’s happening in the scene or with the character.


Telling is also what it sounds like. You are blunt and direct and are just stating things. Sometimes you’re stating and summarizing.

Here is a quick example:

Telling:

Shaun was cranky.

Showing:

Gabby the dog barked for hours at the dogs trotting by the house that morning and after a quick pause for a drink from her red water bowl in the kitchen, she’d pranced back to the living room sliding glass door and started again.

Shaun tensed. He slammed his fist against his desk and roared, “Will you just shut up already?”

So why do you want to show more and tell less?

It’s more community oriented.

It gives the reader the truth about the character by illustrating it on the page rather than laying it down like an edict.

If I tell you, Carrie is a timid person, then you’re like okay. Whatever.

But if I show you a scene where Carrie steps outside and starts crying because the grass is long and things could be hiding in it and she starts sweating and shaking because she’s so afraid of the grass? You’re going to probably have a better understanding of how timid a person Carrie actually is.

Yeah, showing takes more words, but writers are word magistrates. We are dealers in the sentence and the language. Words are our friends.

The other reason is that telling makes things dull.

It’s hard to be suspenseful when you just say everything all bluntly. When you tell, you are blunt. When you show? You are laying out little truths that compel the reader to turn the page and read on. You are giving the pieces of a meal, one bite at a time, rather than shoving a four-course dinner down their throat and making them gag.

It’s the difference between reading the episode recap for Wanda Vision and actually watching the show.

Telling kills immediacy.

Just like distancing language, telling puts a wall up between the reader and the experience of the characters.

If I write, Carrie heard the bomb explode, it’s not as gripping. You are distanced from the experience.

Compare that to if I write,

The bang rippled through the air. The cops’ radios all began squawking with orders and directives as the cops turned as one towards the source of the sound and the smoke…the smoke billowed out and up. Carrie turned with them. The plastic, the soot, the burning on her tongue made it hard to swallow.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Show more. Tell less.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Show it as best as you can for all the good treats.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Our random thoughts this week were about:

A stray dog at Dollar General stealing a purple unicorn. He’s okay and found his forever home! Yay! Link from People.

A woman who was allegedly stuck in Florida tunnels and a drain for three weeks. She’s okay! Link from the Miami Herald.

How Shaun announced at the Covid vaccine place that Carrie doesn’t bleed. He’s okay, too. Link from our life.

HEY!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

SHOUT OUT!

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

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

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

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about strange habits.

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

Three Quick Tips to Show Instead of Tell

As writers, showing allows us more control over what we’re trying to communicate to the reader. Pretty cool, right?

This week, I’m talking a bit about showing versus telling.

There will be more about this in our podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

As I say there, a lot of writers get the note that they need to show more and tell less and then they are stuck thinking a lot of swear words and end up screaming into their pillow, “HOW DO I EVEN DO THAT?”

Showing is what it sounds like. You are showing what’s happening in the scene or with the character.


Telling is also what it sounds like. You are blunt and direct and are just stating things. Sometimes you’re stating and summarizing.

Showing Example:

Carrie was hungry.

Telling Example:

Her stomach grumbled as Carrie opened the refrigerator. Nothing. Just shelves of sourdough starter and orange-vanilla soda water and left-over crumbs of pizza crust. Pressing her face against the dirty shelf, she tried to lap them up with her tongue. The world wobbled.

“Food,” she whispered. “Please, just a little food.”

Those seem like two totally different stories, right? But they are both just about me being hungry.

When you tell people, they are left filling in the gaps. If you heard, “Carrie was hungry,” I bet you didn’t fill in those gaps quite the way I just did.

As writers, showing allows us more control over what we’re trying to communicate to the reader. Pretty cool, right?

Three Quick Tips to Try to Show Instead of Tell

Use dialogue.

We learn a lot about people by how they talk to other people. Do they use big words? Little words? Dramatic words? Do they just grunt?

“I am terribly disappointed in your behavior.”

“You suck. I can’t believe you freaking did that.”

“Wow. Buttface.”

Those are all about the same thing, but three very different responses, right? Those responses tell us about the characters.

Describe the action rather than state the action.

Telling:

She loved Spring. It gave her joy.

Showing:

She spiraled around, arms out in the air as she waited for the light to change. The moment it did, she started across.

“You’re skipping,” the lady next to her said.

She smiled back at her, weaving around the school children crossing against them. A dog wagged his tail, sniffing some daffodils in the medium. “It’s Spring. Spring is the best.”

Use the setting and make your character actually interact with the setting.

Telling:

I stepped on the porch. It was hot.

Showing:

The rotting wooden boards of the porch popped under my weight as I sniffed my pits. Before I knocked on the red door with its peeling paint and bright orange STAY OUT sign, I pulled at my t-shirt fabric. The humidity made it cling.

There you go! Like I said, I’ll be talking about this in this week’s podcast, but also in my Wednesday post. Just click on the tab for SHOWDON’T TELL to see all the posts about this topic.

Hm. That seemed a little telling, didn’t it? 🙂

Chapters Begin, Chapters End and There are Ways To Do That

This week we’ve been talking all about chapters. Check out the tag CHAPTER to navigate to the other posts and today we’re talking about…

How Do You Begin a Chapter?

There’s a few things you want to do here.

You want to start in a way that makes your reader want to read the story.

You want there to be continuity from the last chapter so it doesn’t feel jerky and episodic.

You want to have a good first line to pull the reader along for the whole length of the chapter. It is the Oreo cookie or potato chip of the writing world. You want to make it so delicious that the reader just can’t eat/read just one sentence, but send them on a gobbling frenzy.

Usually, you want to:

  1. Show where the characters are.
  2. Have some action.
  3. Actually have a character. That should have been #1.

You can start A CHAPTER BY oR WITH:

  1. With setting the scene.
  2. Dialogue, but this isn’t a big hot thing to do right now. If you do this, make it exciting and give us some physical grounding and characters pretty quickly.
  3. In the middle of the action. If you want to be fancy say, in medias res. That’s fancy.

You want to make sure THE CHAPTER Is:

  1. Not boring.
  2. Makes sense with the rest of the story.
  3. That we readers know where the characters are. You don’t want them just floating out in the ether (usually). That’s why you want to give us the who, what, when, where, why of the story, too.
  4. That the chapter has a point. If you took this chapter out, would you still have a story? If so, the chapter needs to go. (I made that rhyme.)

That’s really such an important question that I’m going to repeat it:

If you took the chapter out, would the story still make sense?

If it does, then you want to take that chapter out.

Or — If so, the chapter needs to go.

I really can’t resist a dorky rhyme.

Along those lines, your chapter should do a couple things:

  1. Help the character transform.
  2. Give the character a goal and show movement or loss towards that goal.
  3. Be part of the novel’s cause and effect that creates the novel’s plot.
  4. Have an ending that compels the reader to keep reading after the pause.

This is really part of what it means when I say that your chapter needs to have a point.

Chapter Endings.

These little babies are what worry a lot of writers. How do you end things? You’ve been in a relationship with this chapter for a long few pages, hammering out the words on the keyboard, spending time together.

It’s so hard to let go!

But seriously, when should your time together end?

Good times to end your chapter are:

  1. After a big turning point in your story. If you’re following a beat sheet or outline, those turning points are great places to pause.
  2. Right before a big turning point in your story.
  3. Right after something scary happened.
  4. Right before something scary happens.
  5. Right after something emotionally resonating happened.
  6. Right after something is figured out.

Look at your favorite books and the last three paragraphs of each chapter. What just happened? What’s about to happen? You can learn a lot about chapter breaks and structure this way.

A lot of times you’ll see that where The Chapters end are:

  1. Moments of suspense. Something big is about to happen.
  2. Moments of reflection. The character is thinking about something big that just happened.
  3. Moments of questioning. The what do I do or what did I do times.

There! I hoped this helped a bit!

LET’S HANG OUT!

Do you want to take a little online course, learn with me as your writing coach, buy some art or listen to our podcasts? Or give me a buck and read unpublished books on Patreon?

Just  CLICK ON THIS LINK and find out how we can interact more

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE about bears in outhouses and chapter titles, click here.

Bear in the Outhouse. Chapter Titles and You

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Bear in the Outhouse. Chapter Titles and You
/

This week on Carrie’s blog, carriejonesbooks.blog, she’s talking all about chapters and so we’re talking about them on the podcast, too, because Carrie’s controlling like that.

And what we’re talking about specifically is chapter titles.

You can divide your books into chapters and just label them numerically, 1, 2, 3… But you can also give them a title like:

Chapter One

Surviving the Podcast

Here’s the thing.

Chapter Titles Help Your Readers

How do they help your readers? In a lot of ways.

Grab attention.

You put these bad boys at the top of the chapter. And the reader thinks, “Ah! Look at that! I am paying attention.”

Tell readers who they are focusing on now.

If you have a story with multiple point of views, you can put who this chapter is focused on here.

Show location or time changes.

You can give the reader some help. If you have a time jumping, place jumping novel. You can use this space to say, “Hey, we are in sexy Scotland in 2021.” Or you can say, “Look, we’re in Zambia in August.”

Show theme or the future.

It’s like a happy little spoiler where the reader goes, “Oh, that’s what this chapter is about.” This can be about theme, too.

Show Echoes.

A chapter title can be a first sentence.

Summing it up: And there you go. A quick bit about chapter titles and what they can do for you.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Chapter titles are good tools. Use them.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Use whatever you can to communicate things to your human. Wag. Growl. Bark. Spin in circles. Hit them with your paw. They are stupid and need a lot of help understanding what you’re putting down.

In our Random Thoughts We Talked About

Bears in the outhouse

Snake in an Inhaler

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

SHOUT OUT!

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

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

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

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about spontaneous combustion and poop styles.

Fighting With Yourself – Making Internal Conflict

On this week’s podcast, we talked about the types of conflict in your story. You can check it out here.

But I wanted to delve into internal conflict a tiny bit more.

Internal conflict is when your character is waffling about something important in the story. Sometimes that’s hard to figure out.

Here are some hints about creating internal conflict.

Think about the character.

Yep, that’s it. You have to think and know about your main character to understand their internal struggle.

Think about:

  1. What are their morals? Are they all about peace? Justice? Freedom? Creativity?
  2. What are they afraid of happening more than anything else? What’s their biggest fear?
  3. Is that biggest fear related to their core values?
  4. What do they want more than anything in the world? What do they yearn for? Why?
  5. How can their biggest fear and their biggest values mess up them getting their goal in the story?

Boom. Done. Brilliant right?

If you’re still stuck, this author, John Vorhaus, uses the BUT method.

I love my husband, but sometimes he turns into a Big Foot and I’m allergic to fur.

I want to get promoted, but my boss never promotes gerbils and I’m super proud of being a gerbil and don’t want to be a hamster.

My twisted brain

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

You can’t hiss if there isn’t an s-sound.

You are always trying to give your reader the best experience they can get out of your stories.

My fingers were poised above my keyboard, ready to spring into action as soon as my mind had a good thought on what I might write about today.

Mind you this was a rather long pause and poise and behind me, Carrie, who was diligently working as always, said this, “I really wish that authors would realize that you cannot hiss a sentence that has no s sounds in it.”

It’s truth.

She did not say it angrily, but the way that she stated it made me laugh incredibly hard! I laughed at the way that she said it, but once I had finished with my joyful endeavor I thought that this makes perfect sense, but yet I had never, ever had that thought.

As somebody who does not consider themselves an author, I don’t think of such things often. However, in hindsight, it seems like one of those jewels of wisdom that once heard from the mouth of another makes perfect sense. I mean what if snakes made buzz sounds. Would they still hiss? I think not, that is a bee’s job!

Carrie Talks to Gabby About How You Can’t Hiss a Sentence That Doesn’t Have S or Sh sounds.

Shaun thinks more.

Then I got to thinking about this a bit more. How important is our understanding of the languages that we speak and their interpretation to how we view our world? What if we woke up one morning and s sounds were now z sounds? Bees would hiss and snakes would buzz?

What if our native language is one that does not have the s sound, or perhaps more importantly, the z sound? How would we know if we were in close proximity to a bee and we couldn’t see it?

Of course, if our native tongue didn’t include those sounds it makes sense that naturally we would still hear the same sound and most likely experience the same warning signals due to our experience with the sounds, but my point is, know your language and how it relates to your craft.

This is your job, writers.

As a writer you are constantly setting a scene. You are always trying to give your reader the best experience they can get out of your stories. You want them to be immersed, involved, and able to imagine that they themselves are there in that scene, living every nuance of the adventure that awaits them!

It can be tough and take a lot of time, patience and learning, but most all crafts are only mastered through tedious and frequent practice.

Shaun Pretends Like he Isn’t a Writer

Again, I will say that I am not an aspiring author and most of my experience in all areas of the writing craft comes from the guru who sits behind me every day. I am not judging but merely trying to pass on what I have learned by assisting or listening to Carrie talk to herself while she works, so please don’t think that I believe myself to be any better than you.

I do however, encourage you to get back to mastering your craft and enjoying the process of writing, revising and always learning!

Shaun Does a Shameless Plug in A Way Carrie Cant.

If you need assistance in any phase of your writing you can always contact Carrie who offers a wide array of services and is an extremely knowledgeable and wonderfully kind person to work with and/or learn from.

carriejonesbooks@gmail.com  

As always, remember to Love Your Way Through It!

Shaun

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

Trophy Husbands and Don’t Only Think About the Money, Think About the Creation

Don’t let other people’s assumptions about you hold you back.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Trophy Husbands and Don't Only Think About the Money, Think About the Creation
/

In our random thought (not transcribed here), we talk about

  • Being a trophy wife
  • A woman finding an abandoned apartment behind her bathroom mirror
  • Another couple finding a hidden basement in their rental home.

So a lot of Medium articles and blogs focused on writing are all about:

  • How to increase your audience
  • How to make 60-trillion-dollars a year off your writing.
  • How to be like James Patterson and make 90-trillion-dollars a year.

But all of them seem to forget that writers are creators. Writers are people who make story and art (not just to make money), but also because they are compelled to create, to move, to incite, to inspire.

Especially when so many of us are struggling to make ends meet, it’s easy to focus only on the money. But your life is worth more than that. Your brain is about more than that, too.

You aren’t just about money. You are about creating.

“The guardians of high culture will try to convince you that the arts belong only to a chosen few, but they are wrong…We are all the chosen few. We are all makers by design.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Every single one of us creates something.

My dad built bird houses and engines. My mom embroidered like a beast. Neither of them would think of themselves as creators. Shaun’s dad painted Bob Ross things. His mom probably does something, too.

We all have urges. Those urges aren’t just about food, sex, and survival. There are also urges to create. But so many of us are told, you aren’t artistic. You can’t draw. You’re a math person. We let those moments define us. And we think, “Ah, I’m the left-brained kid.” We think, “Ah, I don’t have an aritistic bone in my body.”

That’s what Carrie’s mom told her, God love her, even though all Carrie ever wanted to do was draw. That’s right. Not write. Draw.

It doesn’t matter that Carrie makes very little money painting. It’s what gives her joy. So she does it whenever she has time. Writing and creating should be about expression, not just about how to make as much money as possible in as quick amount of time as possible.

Don’t be fluff.

There’s a guy who writes a zillion Medium articles and has a massive following and makes tons of money. I’ve read a ton of his articles. I can’t remember any of them. That’s because he’s regurgitating to make money. It’s all fluff. Don’t be fluff.

The most talented, thought-provoking, game-changing people are never normal.

Richard Branson

Don’t let other people’s assumptions about you hold you back.

The most dangerous idea is silencing people.

Naval Ravikant

Shaun’s a big man. He’s six-six. He looks pretty much like an ex-football player. People are stunned that he’s not. But if he wanted to study ballet, the guy should be able to study ballet.

We are born to live. We have to make money to survive. But we have to be about more than money to live. Create things. Explore things. Remember to live, too, okay?

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Write for the sake of writing.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

People are more than their looks or being sexy and this goes for dogs, too.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

Become an Explorer in Your Life. Just Say Yes!

When you say yes to a possibility you get to grow, you get to move beyond the labels that define you

There’s a great improv maxim, just say yes, which is really about when you’re on stage with another improv player, you don’t want to say no to all their ideas because then your scene sucks and nothing happens.

If you keep saying no, nothing happens.

It’s pretty basic, right?

Writing and life are like that, too.

I’ve done some absolutely weird things in my life–things that you would never imagine me doing because they aren’t very ‘me’ things. I’ve been a volunteer firefighter, done stats for a college football team, dressed up like a lobster and danced for a mile, spoken to hundreds of people, been a gymnastics coach, rock climbed, been a church secretary, poetry editor, regular newspaper editor, swam with sharks.

I can’t tell you how many times people laughed at me when I was a sports reporter and they said, “You? You’re a sports reporter?”

Apparently, I don’t present as a sports reporter.

Anyway, I did all those things because when you say yes to a possibility you get to grow, you get to move beyond the labels that define you. You get to say something other than no.

The best things that I’ve said yes to are the things that scare me just a little or the things that make other people laugh when I suggest that I might do it.

“Ha! You’re going to be an emergency dispatcher. Yeah. Right.”

“Ha! You’re going rock climber? Whatever. You’ll die.”

“What? You’re going to run? You always twist your ankles. Ten miles. Ha! No. You’ll die.”

And it’s the same thing with our stories, too. Not only am I a big advocate for living the biggest, weirdest life you can, but I’m a big advocate for writing all the different kinds of stories you want to write. Try new genres. Try short works. Try long works. Try it all.

A year or so ago, I went into a bookstore and the woman who has worked there said, “You used to be so scared, so timid. I like seeing you not so scared anymore. You’d hide behind the stacks.”

Here’s the secret: I still get scared, but I have too much living to do to let that fear hold me back.

Say yes.

Say yes to things that make you a tiny bit afraid.

Say yes to things people don’t expect you to do or be or care about.

Say yes to making new friends and exploring new places.

Say yes to pushing yourself a little or a lot beyond your expectations.

Don’t let anyone else define you. Only you get to define you, okay?

So define yourself as someone who explores, who lives, who says yes.

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

Shaun Pretends Like He Knows What I’m Reading

You should never cease learning and refining your craft.

Every Thursday, my main squeeze, Shaun, takes over the blog so I can have a rest and so you can get to know him a little bit better. This is his offering. He’s a bit off about the recent books, but it’s all good. 🙂 He still gets to be my main squeeze.

An adorable Florida man who moved to Maine
An adorable Florida man who moved to Maine

Hey there! It is Thursday blogpost time again and this week I am not experiencing that groggy feeling of last week, so here goes. I believe it to be a fact that most authors also love to read, so today I thought that I would give you a glimpse into what Carrie is currently reading. She is a multi-book at a time kind of reader and mixes business and pleasure into her reading, although, as a writer, she is always learning whenever she reads. I chose the five most recent books that I have seen Carrie reading and here they are.

What Shaun Thinks Carrie Is Reading Right Now

  • SAVE THE CAT! The Last Book On Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need, by Blake Snyder.
  • SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need, by Jessica Brody.
  • PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION The Black Book of Scientific Ghost Hunting and How to Investigate Paranormal Phenomena, by Brian Sterling-Vete and Helen Renee Wuorio.
  • THE DAY SASQUATCH BECAME REAL FOR ME, by Steve Isdahl.
  • TOM BROWN’S Field Guide NATURE OBSERVATION and TRACKING, by Tom Brown Jr. and Brandt Morgan.

Quite the variety isn’t it?

I mean, really there are only two subject matters there, writing and the hunting of real and/or mythical beings, but both of them are very important to Carrie.

The first two books are strictly work related.

Carrie is of the mindset that you should never cease learning and refining your craft. There is always something new to learn, no matter how much of a veteran you are in your field and one of the easiest ways to gather new authoring intelligence is through reading other’s works!

The last three books are more leisurely reading content for Carrie, but believe it or not, they too are work related.

As a matter of point, everything that she reads can be considered to be work related due to the fact that she loves the intricacies of storytelling so very much that she can read for leisure and still look for new methods of writing and increasing reader interest.

Of course, the search for real or mythical beings is of interest to both of us and it also provides fodder for our new, live podcast, Loving the Strange, and as you can see, she has been delving into those topics quite heavily as of late.

I will say it again, reading is one of the most simple and fun ways to improve your knowledge of writing!

Other positive aspects of learning through reading, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, may be the generation of new book ideas or perhaps just an inkling that gets you out of a writing slump or provides you with that one little thing you were wracking your brain for to really make your book pop.

Lastly, reading is just plain great for your brain and has the added benefit of sometimes being wonderfully somniferous. 

I would also like to mention that the books that both Carrie and I have read in the last few years have been both traditionally and self-published with a high number of them being self-published.

As an author, Carrie believes that it is extremely important to support other authors.

This includes those authors who don’t have the benefit of being traditionally published and having all of the advertising attention that often comes with that.

Plus, the world of books gets vastly larger when you include the self-publishing realm and many of them are very good indeed! Carrie has ventured into the self-publishing world lately and has a number of awesome books that are available at her website, carriejonesbooks.blog.

So, make some time for yourself to read, have a great day and remember to always love your way through it.

Shaun

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

WEDGIES AND THREE BIG STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE GOOD STUFF

To be the best writer you can be, you need to spend time learning.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
WEDGIES AND THREE BIG STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE GOOD STUFF
/

In the random thoughts part of the podcast we talk about Big Foot, wedgies and how you can tell when predators are looking at you.

THREE BIG STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE GOOD STUFF

There’s a lot of people out there who say that if you write every day you’ll become a better writer and that’s true … sort of. You also need the basics.

If you write every day, but you don’t learn about writing every day then you don’t get to improve. You just write.

And that’s not good enough.

Learning how to write has to do with a few things. And the first step is to know what you want to write.

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE INTO

Writing an epic fantasy isn’t the same as writing ad copy and that’s not the same as writing poetry. Pick something. It doesn’t have to be your only style, but pick one way first.

LEARN THE TOOLS

Now here’s the fun part. The learning. How do you learn how to write?

  1. Enroll in courses.
  2. Read things like what you want to write.
  3. Watch blogs, listen to podcasts, and read books about craft.
  4. Talk to other writers who do what you do. They might have cool resources too.
  5. Hire a writing coach or editor who loves helping people and not just loves making money.

GO FOR THE GRAMMAR

Yeah. Yeah. We know. Periods aren’t sexy. Most people don’t get turned on by scene structure, but you should!

If your story is awesome, but there is no punctuation or grammar or even sentences?

You’re not going to be understandable to your potential readers. They are just going to stop reading.

Places to Check Get Your Sexy Grammar On

  1. Grammar Girl
  2. Merriam Webster Dictionary
  3. Strunk and White’s, The Elements of Style.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

To be the best writer you can be, you need to spend time learning.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Dogs don’t give other dogs wedgies. We aren’t dogs, we have to take the time to communicate.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

If you like what you read, please heart it below or share it, it means the world to this writer. x0- Carrie