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.
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?
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.
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’.