cemetery

It’s Not a Cemetery. It’s a Garden of Names.

Naming characters.
Should be easy.
Bob. Alice. Ted. And Alice.
Done.

Jon and Juliet discuss naming characters. Dos. Do nots. And they consider an interesting post by J Warren Piece, who covers such naming topics as:

A) Alliteration

B) The Plain w/the Bold

C) Syllabic Echo

D) Rolling off the Tongue

E) Ending Strong

F) Describing Essence of Character

G) Initials

https://jwarrenpiece.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/what-makes-a-great-character-name/

 

what_the_f

What the F?

A warning: We say several profane words. Including tabernacle!

Jon and Juliet talk about Benjamin K. Bergen’s book What the F? What Swearing Reveals about Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves.
In our Profanity or Amateurfanity? show we talked about some concepts from Mr. Bergen’s book. We expand upon that here.

And we highly recommend the book. Follow this link to Amazon.

whatswrong

What’s Always Wrong With Books (And Movies)?

She got off the phone with just a single goodbye.
The security guard put up a hell of a fight.
After being knocked out cold in each the last five chapters, the protagonist feels pretty good.

Juliet and Jon talk about those things that movies and books get wrong—spurred on by several choice examples from a recent Reddit discussion. Instead of falling in one of the usual traps, what can the writer to avoid the traps?

We read a few posts from this discussion on Reddit: What is always depicted wrong in movies?
By SadGruffman
Security guards.
I’m not just some mindless drone or hurdle you need to shoot in the back of the head without question of strangle then drag off camera.
I’m an underpaid lower class fuck and I’ll just give you my god damn radio at the first sign of trouble. In fact, you’ve never met a hostage so willing to participate in your shenanigans.

 

By RainyDayNinja
No one ever asks how to spell things.
Detective (on the phone): “We’ve ID’d the victim, and I need you to search her phone records. Her name is Brittney Mbeza Delacroix.”
Guy at computer: [types it in flawlessly] Got it.
By GingerbreadHouses
Mosts just hang up without saying “good-bye.”
“Ok, see you.”
“Byebye.”
“Bye”
“Bye”
“Love you.”
“Love you too, bye”
“B-bye”
“Bye”
Jon mentioned YA author, Sarah Dessen. Her book Saint Anything is a good example of some of her dialogue techniques.
ellipsis

Hi. I’m a writer. I have an ellipsis problem…

Sometimes a writer will repeat a comfortable device…
Again…
And again…
And again…
What is happening and why?

Juliet and Jon examine a trap that Jon recently fell into—the dreaded ellipsis. Why would that happen? And what to look out for when writing…

 

Book mentioned in the show (Amazon Links. Click and help support the show!):

Gone Girl

Saint Anything

The Great Gatsby (From Freebooks.com)

Luis-Ferdinand Céline’s Journey to the End of Night

to_outline

To Outline or Not to Outline

Almost as old as time itself is the question:
Should I outline my novel or just wing it?
Jon and Juliet suggest that the answer to this ancient mystery is: Yes!

Jon discusses his experience trying an outlining system described in Libby Hawker’s Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing. Amazon link.

Jon talks what worked, what didn’t, and where he is now. Juliet offers the editorial perspective having seen both authors who were heavy outliners and others who wrote by the seat of their pants.

comealive

Five Things to Make Your Characters Come ALIVE!

The other day, Jon saw an okay article about character building, which listed such things as:

1 Where does your character live?
2 Where is your character from?
3 How old is your character?
4 What is your character called?
etc.

These are fine to start. But what can add that extra spark?

Jon’s list is:

1. What are the intensifiers your character uses? And please know why. (Example: The guy at the hardware store says Super Duper. Not ironically.)

2. What is your character’s secret? (Example: Has a brother in a mental institution. Who the character took a lot of money from.)

3. What is your character’s three main t emotions? (Example: Fear. Panic. Exhaustion.)

4. What are two of their quirks? (Example: They have a whole deal for eating French Fries.)

5. What is your character’s sense of humor? Do they do puns? What about making fun of others? Something more than the usual scarcasm in so many novels.

slumgullion

Jonathan Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Juliet and Jon play a word game based on the fantastic internet writing resource that is Jonathan Green’s Dictionary of Slang.

Green’s Dictionary of Slang is the largest historical dictionary of English slang. Written by Jonathon Green over 17 years from 1993, it reached the printed page in 2010 in a three-volume set containing nearly 100,000 entries supported by over 400,000 citations from c. ad 1000 to the present day. The main focus of the dictionary is the coverage of over 500 years of slang from c. 1500 onwards.
The printed version of the dictionary received the Dartmouth Medal for outstanding works of reference from the American Library Association in 2012; fellow recipients include the Dictionary of American Regional English, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. It has been hailed by the American New York Times as ‘the pièce de résistance of English slang studies’ and by the British Sunday Times as ‘a stupendous achievement, in range, meticulous scholarship, and not least entertainment value’.

https://greensdictofslang.com/

Juliet mentions timeline of relationship words:
feedback

Our Feedback to the Feedback

We address a question and a comment from listeners.

1. From listener Christian—I’d be interested in hearing what you guys think of Heilein’s rules for writing (only 5, not 20). Not so much the first two, but the last three.
http://www.goodreads.com/…/421667-heinlein-s-rules-for…
Rule One: You Must Write
Rule Two: Finish What Your Start
Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order
Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market
Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold
― Robert A. Heinlein
2. Listner Ian, who isn’t a writer, offers some surprising perspective.
We also get onto a tangent along the way about the name of the podcast. One of Jon’s favorite Vladimir Nobokov novels is Despair. (Link Amazon.)

loom_is_done

Ten Years To Finish A Book

We talked about movies and TV.
We talked about how Jon finished his third novel.
We mentioned that it took ten years.
We talked about the difference rewriting makes.
We talked about the business of writing.
We talked about how late in the process major details are figured out.
We talked about what it takes to take a book from good to great.
We talked about metaphors for editing.