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.
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:
- How you feel (use an “I” statement for this)
- The behavior that prompted that feeling
- Why it’s important/the background (i.e. what button did they push)
- 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.
- 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.
- 500 word maximum length. (The last round only got 250 words, so no boo-hoo’ing.)
- Entries are due by midnight on St. Patrick’s Day.
- Winners will be announced on April 1st.
- 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!