From our twitter account:
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The simile examples came from this site.
Juliet and Jon talk about some recent research into Gender Verbs.
What they are. What they aren’t. How to have some fun with them.
From the Variance Explained blog, David Robinson examined Gender and verbs across 100,000 stories.
We riffed on the following graph from David’s blog:
Juliet and Jon fire up the time machine, (or is it the nostalgia machine?) and each read from one of their favorite books from their childhood.
Our selections couldn’t have been more different.
For Juliet, it’s from ‘Old Man Kangaroo’ from Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.
He was grey and he was woolly, and his pride was inordinate: he danced on a sandbank in the middle of Australia, and he went to the Big God Nqong.
He went to Nqong at ten before dinnertime, saying. ‘Make me different from all other animals; make me popular and wonderfully run after by five this afternoon.
Up jumped Nqong from his bath in the salt-pan and shouted, “Yes, I will!”
Nqong called Dingo—Yellow-Dog Dingo—always hungry, dusty in the sunshine, and showed him Kangaroo. Nqong said, “Dingo! Wake up, Dingo! Do you see that gentleman dancing on an ashpit? He wants to be popular and very truly run after. Dingo, make him so!”
Up jumped Dingo—Yellow-Dog Dingo—and said, “What, that cat-rabbit?”
Off ran Dingo—Yellow-Dog Dingo—always hungry, grinning like a coal scuttle,—ran after Kangaroo.
Off went the proud Kangaroo on his four little legs like a bunny.
This, O Beloved of mine, ends the first part of the tale!
He ran through the desert; he ran through the mountains; he ran through the salt-pans; he ran through the reed-beds; he ran through the blue gums; he ran through the spinifex; he ran till his front legs ached.
He had to!
Still ran Dingo—Yellow-Dog Dingo—always hungry, grinning like a rat-trap, never getting nearer, never getting farther,—ran after Kangaroo.
He had to!
Some of the books mentioned in this show (Amazon Links):
Nine Chains to the Moon by Buckminster Fuller.
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Loglines are usually associated with TV and movies but as an ever-resourceful writer, but they can be quite useful for novelists.
Juliet and Jon define, dissect, and discuss loglines. Jon shares one that he’s working on and with for a current writing project.
David Macinnis Gill is an associate professor of English education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, specializing in young adult literature. We talk about his very useful blog post about loglines:
Check out one of David Macinnis Gill’s books at Amazon. Soul Enchilada.
Juliet mentioned one of her favorite books, Earnest Hemmingway’s at Amazon A Moveable Feast.
Should be easy.
Bob. Alice. Ted. And Alice.
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:
B) The Plain w/the Bold
C) Syllabic Echo
D) Rolling off the Tongue
E) Ending Strong
F) Describing Essence of Character
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.
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?
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.
You know, EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!
When you need to shout, scream, yell, and LOUDTALK!
How many should you have in your novel? 100? 200? 400? How about 649?
Jon shares an uneasy moment while editing the novel he’s working on, Loom, when he began to think, Hey how many exclamation points have I used here?
Juliet and Jon discuss how many exclamations are too many through the lens of several others novels. They discuss when to use them and when they can be edited out.
Novels mentioned in the show:
Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl
Andy Weir’s The Martian
Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Examples in the Podcast from Jon Armstrong’s upcoming (and when he says upcoming, he means years from now):
“Ken!” I cried. “Shut up! Can you hear me? Ken? Please listen.”
“Ken,” I cried. “Shut up. Can you hear me, Ken? Please listen.”
“Stop it! Shut up!” Shouting made pain explode through me.
“Stop it. Shut up.” Shouting made pain explode through me.
“Stop it. Shut up!” Shouting made pain explode through me.
Writing teachers everywhere say, “Write what you know.”
Forget if it’s good advice—What do I even know?
In this show, the Js (writer Jon Armstrong and editor Juliet Ulman) talk about some examples of novels where maybe… just maybe the author didn’t know what he was writing about. How do we know what we know? And do we know anything?
In the show, Jon expressed concern about Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son. (Amazon link)
A tweet from Paul Gilmartin was mentioned. (He is the host of The Mental Health Happy Hour):
Thinking u understand clinical depression b/c u experienced situational sadness is like thinking u know Italy b/c u went to the Olive Garden
— Paul R. Gilmartin (@mentalpod) October 31, 2015