There was a post on Medium on PS I LOVE YOU called, “The Silent Relationship Killer You Never See Coming” about how the silent relationship killer is basically routine and sameness.
The author, Barry Davret, compared relationships to a song that you love so intensely you listen to over and over again obsessively, but then suddenly, you are done with that song.
Couples, he says, set weekly and daily routines after that initial burst of frantic attraction and then? They get bored of having intercourse every Saturday, date night every Friday, laundry every Monday.
If they’re polite, they’ll still ask each other how their days went, but they won’t actually care about the answer because the answer is always the same.
“Look back on the last six months. Does it feel like it was one day lived 180 times?”
This has never happened to us. As you can tell from our random thoughts, we’re weird. We’re so weird especially when we’re alone. I will fall down laughing because of the things Shaun says.
We think that Barry has it right, but he also has it wrong.
Yes, people get dulled by routines and because of the comfort in routines, and that might be partially be because they've stopped doing things on their own. But it's also more about empathy and building walls around yourself so you don't get hurt. The person you're in a relationship with sees you warts and all? And that, my friends, can be a bit scary.
How does this relate to writing? Hold on! We’re getting there.
Our novels and characters also need to have tiny doses of the unexpected to keep people from being bored. We want to have each character have differences and not be the same. That sameness, that lack of diversity? It makes Johnny a dull boy. Insert quirks into your characters.
Even when you’re on the same walk that your person always takes you on, there’s going to be a nuance in the smells you sniff up on the side of the road. Rejoice in that nuance. Seek it out. Live in the moment. It’s a good way not to be bored.
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.
I just published a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?
Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.
But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor.
As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.
You can order it here. Please, please, preorder it.
So, um, please go buy it. I am being brave, but that means that despite all my reasons for doing this, I’m still terrified that nobody will buy it and I really, really love this book. A lot.
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
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 ...
Normally we talk about writing somehow, right? Because we're a writing podcast. But we aren't this week. This week, we're talking about fashion advice for men because Carrie saw a post on The Art of Manliness that was "101 Style Tips for Men." First off, let's just give a shout out that there's a website called The Art of Manliness. That is a brilliant name. Carrie's favorite tip was this one: 27. Always dress like you might decide to drop by a restaurant or nightclub with a dress code. Because you might. And even if you don’t, you might as well look like a guy who’s got plans. The Art of Manliness All the advice reminded us of those old 1980s, 1990s talk shows where the women would get their husbands make-overs in a super hetero-normative way and these guys would come out with this total, "Oh my gosh, I'm hot" saunter." Or else they'd try to hide. But it also makes us think about our fixation on fashion and appearance and buying things. If you look at that list it requires buying a lot of things. That requires money. And that's a little frustrating. How about "101 Feel Good Tips for Men" that are about being good people or something? How about if we spend a little more time our souls and our attitudes and our civics instead of worrying about never wearing graphic t-shirts? Oh, ...
In life and in story, you have these things called transitions. Places were things change. You go from one place to another, one scene to another, one chapter to another, one husband to another, one president to another. A really good transition is really just a bridge that helps the reader go logically from one section, scene, chapter to another without it being awkward like a bad date or making their brain hitch where they say things like “We were just in space and now we’re at Wal-Mart? What the heck?” Some people are amazing at transitions. Some people have awkward transitions. Some refuse to acknowledge there even is a transition. But in the writing world, you want them to be smooth and there are a bunch of transitional phrases and words that authors fall back on to help them do that like: A week later (or whenever)At the same timeAfterwardsFor two weeks/days/minutesMeanwhileAt nightThe next dayThe next nightFor a month, I cried into the phoneIn the morningWhen the sun roseWhen the sun setThe following Monday/night/morningMonths passedWeeks passedWhen we got back to the officeWhen they got back homeAs the neared the date site Then there are the phrases that show us a change in location: They boarded the trainDown the streetUp on the third floor of the officeOver by the water coolerBack in my living roomThe motorcycle was situatedShe ran fast through the dark alleyIn the hall of the hospitalOutside on my front lawn And so on. There are a lot more examples of both of these, but we just wanted to give you a quick look at them. Sometimes though, us writers tell our readers TOO much and it ends up sounding like script or stage directions. Those ...