Dirty Fighting Contest – Round 2

Techie Tuesday’s Triberr post has been bumped to Thursday due to some severe technical difficulties at work. They kept me overtime by many, MANY hours.

It’s one tired Jenny hanging with you today on More Cowbell, let me tell you.

We’re ONE WEEK away from Valentine’s Day, and I’ve got some news for all of you that are hanging out in Love Muffin Land. It’s not all hearts and flowers for everyone on Feb 14th.

I know, I know…shocking.

Mug available from Zazzle.com

Valentine’s Day is the Dirtiest Fighting day of the year. We’re warding some of this off by crowning Margie Lawson as our Valentine’s Day “Cowbell Queen.” (She’ll be talking about love RIGHT HERE next week! SQUEEEE!!)

Still, I feel we must pay homage to those of you who are already feeling the tension of your significant other  expecting wa-a-a-ay more than you think you’re capable of. For those of you who DETEST Valentine’s Day, or who just love to write about those who do, I’m announcing Round 2 of our Dirty Fighting Contest.

What IS Dirty Fighting?

There are approximately 23 Techniques that are guaranteed to bring your sparring relationship partner to their knees with frustration and/or despair. Go ahead and click that link to see all 23 techniques. We’ll wait… *whistling*

Consider that post your cheat sheet next week when the contest officially kicks off. (I figured I better let my newbies start brushing up NOW so the older members of the More Cowbell Posse don’t wipe the floor with y’all.)

It’s usually much quicker to explain to someone how to fight clean than how to fight dirty. Dirty Fighting takes some dysfunctional family dynamics and years of practice to master.

Characteristics of “Clean” Fighting:

  • Take responsibility for your own stuff. Also known as “cleaning up your own side of the street.” I know it sucks when you’re mad and you clean up your side while the other person leaves their big cow patties steaming, but lead by example on this one. It helps when someone steps up to be the bigger person.
  • Leave the other person an “out with dignity.” This is most often achieved by understanding that there might be facts you don’t know.
  • “I” statements are always going to work better when you’re pissed off than “you” statements. And don’t be trying to cheat with crap like, “I understand that you’re a selfish bastard.”
  • Talk about the behavior in those “I” statements, not any personality disorders you think they should address.
  • Stick to the point. Don’t go throw in the kitchen sink of laments spanning back over months of why they’re a (fill in the blank).
  • Deliberately pushing buttons is REALLY dirty. The weak underbelly is to be avoided, even if you’re thinking your partner is lower than a yellow-bellied toad for siding with your mother-in-law over you.

Here is a clean fight summed up in 4 easy steps:

  1. How you feel (use an “I” statement for this)
  2. The behavior that prompted that feeling
  3. Why it’s important/the background (i.e. what button did they push)
  4. What would you want them to do differently next time

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Go try it. It’s really hard to do when you’re mad.

Why would I be talking to you about this on a Techie Tuesday?

Understanding the difference between clean and dirty fighting will give you a TON of mileage in your writing. Great books are filled with conflict. And great characters (who learn important lessons).

If you need plausible arguments and dialog, Dirty Fighting Techniques will help you achieve this. These techniques can be applied with a friend, family member or a significant other…it doesn’t really matter.

Every single one of the 23 Dirty Fighting Techniques is guaranteed to make the other person see red. If you’re writing fiction, that anger and tension is a REALLY good thing.

Contest Summary

  • Entry deadline for Dirty Fighting Contest – Round 2 is St. Patrick’s Day. I figure Valentine’s Day is when many lovebirds start fighting and St. Paddy’s Day at closing time is when all the drunk people finish fighting. Those two holiday’s are the perfect bookends to our contest!
  • Tiffany Lawson Inman, Naked Editor, is going to be our contest judge. Here’s a link to her latest guest post in the blogosphere as well as her last post from Writers In The Storm.
  • Not only will Tiffany help me pick the winning entries, she has offered editing advice to the top three entries to ratchet up their tension.  1st Place entry gets a full edit here on More Cowbell, 2nd and 3rd place get fabulous Naked Editor suggestions.

Entry rules:

  1. 500 word maximum length. (The last round only got 250 words, so no boo-hoo’ing.)
  2. Entries are due by midnight on St. Patrick’s Day.
  3. Winners will be announced on April 1st.
  4. Prizes are the aforementioned edit by Naked Editor and some serious bragging rights. MORE prizes will be announced in the kick-off post in the next few weeks.

Do you remember the last Dirty Fighting contest? Is fighting something you’ve got mastered, or is it on the list of things that makes you hyperventilate? Tell the truth, do you fight dirty or clean?? Have any of you changed your ways since the last time we discussed this? Enquiring minds always want to know at More Cowbell!

Jenny

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About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! My passion is finding those qualities that are unique in every person and every piece of fiction. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com). Write on!
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22 Responses to Dirty Fighting Contest – Round 2

  1. ooh, a contest! Sounds like fun.
    Button pushing. When I was a younger lass (ok, four years ago and not so much younger) I was a dirty, dirty fighter.
    This included: name calling, mocking, bringing up the past and using statements that included “always” and “never” to hammer home the insult.
    Like, “you are always a jerk” or “you never say nice things.”
    In the last two years, I noticed I get much, much further with a valid argument. And if it is something that just annoys me (like my boyfriend forgetting to fill the reservoir on the coffee maker) I do it myself and keep quiet.
    Great post, Jenny! :)

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      It is great fun, Darlene. Did you go back and look at the entries from the first contest? We had SO much fun. :-)

      And it’s really, really, REALLY hard not to dirty fight. Good on you for trying!!

  2. Squeeee….love a good contest and this one ROCKS! So much fun!
    So I have yet to “write” any fighting scenes – scary!!
    I tend to fight clean until I am pushed too far and then, watch out, I see red and fly past dirty and head straight to nasty! I hit below the belt, mock, swear, and bring up all things nasty. It’s not pretty. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often at all….because in the end, not only do I hurt the person I am fighting with but I hurt and disrespect myself. Good thing I tend to burn out quickly moving from nasty to a blubbering, crying idiot.
    Hmmmm…should be fun translating that to paper. I look forward to giving it a go! I’m printing off your cheat sheet for my bulletin board!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Nat, you’ll enjoy this contest because it doesn’t matter if the scene you submit is tied to any story. You can do a flash fiction 2 page scene and send that. No one but me (and Tiffany) will read it, unless you make the finals, and that’s an exciting thing anyway. :-)

  3. Ohmyheck! I get to use all those fancy techniques for good and not evil? Awesome! Of course, if I used these in real life I’d be divorced. Again. Best to save them for paper, no? Hmmm, who should I have fight dirty? I need to get on this.

  4. Love your dirty fighting :D

  5. LOL ! Jenny – you are too funny!

    I am loving the idea that folks will be finishing off their
    fights with a brew on St. Patties day. Cheers! Don’t worry folks, I’ll be
    clear headed and sober when I crack my editing pen over your scenes.

    I hope to see sweat flying, knuckles poppin’ and
    some MIGHTY fine dirty fighting techniques. Bring it!

  6. A dirty fighting contest at More Cowbell? OMG, that’s priceless. :) I can’t wait to read the entries.

  7. tomwisk says:

    Oh boy. I’ll give it a shot. The only thing that worries me is the voices in my head will start using your technique and really make going out a problem with telling them to shut up and all. Last time they started up I had to shush them while waiting in the checkout line at Stop & Shop. They’ve only last month stopped staring at me.

  8. Brilliant idea. Sadly, I’m going to struggle because I usually just throw things, maybe I could just send you some broken pieces?

    I used to know someone who went to church sales, charity sales, and any other sale she could find, just to buy cheap crockery. It was kind of fun, but I used to have to patch up the walls afterwards!

    Cheers

  9. Uh oh, are we talking Cowbell fighting? Well hit me over the head Jenny. Cause I’m not sure if I’m following you. Are these real fights? Or fights we make up? I wasn’t around for the last contest, so I’m a little lost. Nothing new here. lol But I do like a good fight. And I certainly know how to push buttons. Why, who me? Oh yes me. I’m gonna half to roll up my sleeves. This sounds serious. :)

  10. Sherry Isaac says:

    I ran in a corner and hit during the first contest. Have gathered my MoJo. Um, do I submit here, in a comment?

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