E29 – Interview With Jeff Elkins

Show Notes

In this episode, Miss Catherine M.H. and V.E. Griffith have a fantastic conversation with star author and podcaster, Rachael Herron, about her unique editing process.

Books
The Seven Miracles of Beatrix Holland by Rachael Herron (forthcoming, 2025)
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

Courses by Rachael Herron
90 Days to Done
90 Day Revision

Podcast by Rachael Herron
How Do You Write (available in any

Find Rachael at https://rachaelherron.com
Sign up for her newsletter at https://rachaelherron.com/write

The Revision Wizards are at https://www.revisionwizards.com
V.E. Griffith’s website: https://www.vegriffith.com
Miss Catherine M.H.’s website: https://www.scribes-pen.com

Transcript at: https://revisionwizards.com/?p=2352

Transcript

V.E. Griffith 00:00:00
Welcome to the Revision Wizards podcast. I’m Ve Griffith, and I’m joined by my podcast partner and co host, ms. Catherine MH.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:00:08
This is episode 29, and we’re talking to our returning guest, Jeff Elkins. Jeff is known as the Dialogue doctor. He’s a certified three story method editor, and he’s just released his new book on dialogue. The Dialogue Doctor Will See You Now: How to Write Dialogue and Characters Readers Will Love.

V.E. Griffith 00:00:26
We’re super excited to have him back, and we had a great time recording this episode. I found some great takeaways from my own writing, and I hope you do, too. And with that, here we go.

V.E. Griffith 00:00:26
So, we have a returning guest today. If you would please tell us your name and your pronouns.

Jeff Elkins 00:00:43
I am Jeff Elkins, and my pronouns are he, him, his.

V.E. Griffith 00:00:47
Great. Okay. So tell us what brings you here today?

Jeff Elkins 00:00:51
I am here well, A, because I love hanging out with you two. That’s the main reason.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:00:57
Good answer.

Jeff Elkins 00:01:00
B, because I want to tell everybody about my new fantastic book. Here’s the proof copy. The Dialogue Doctor Will See You Now: How to Write Dialogue and Characters Readers Will Love. It’s coming out.

V.E. Griffith 00:01:00
It is. You were kind enough to send it to us before you came on, and I actually read it, believe it or not.

Jeff Elkins 00:01:25
Oh, good. That’s good. Okay. Yeah. Sometimes I actually read it can be followed. Like I actually read it. And there’s things that we need to discuss about what you wrote. No, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading it.

V.E. Griffith 00:01:25
I did.

V.E. Griffith 00:01:40
No, this is actually the best craft book I’ve read in many years now.

Jeff Elkins 00:01:44
Thanks, man.

V.E. Griffith 00:01:47
I found it to be simple yet informative, concise all the things that I would want in a nonfiction craft book.

Jeff Elkins 00:01:56
That was the goal.

V.E. Griffith 00:01:57
Yeah, you did really well. Well, tell me, why did you write this? Aside from my pestering you?

Jeff Elkins 00:02:03
Yeah, aside from you telling me all the time I have to write a book. Actually, I think Sacha Black was the first one to yell at me about writing a book. But why did I write it? Sorry. It’s not that I don’t have an answer. How do I make that answer concise? As the Dialogue Doctor, the goal, not just for me but for the community in general, is to solve problems writers have to make writing easier and more successful for people. My goal is to come alongside authors and help them come up with tools that can empower them to take the story that’s in their imagination and get it in the reader’s imagination. That’s the ultimate goal. I have the podcast that goes once a week, and I have the newsletter, and we do master classes, but there’s just a limit to what those tools are going to reach people. So it’s like, well, we’ve built these tools because every chapter in the book I think of as, like, a set of tools that I’ve built with the Dialogue Doctor community. So we built these tools, so it’s like, let’s let’s figure out another way to get them out to writers that might need them. So that’s the purpose of the that’s what motivates the book for me as a community. We’ve built this stuff together. I’ve come up with these terms. I’ve come up with these metaphors, all in order to help writers write better dialogue. And so I want to get those into the hands of writers so that writers can use them and empower their storytelling. Those are really rambling. Weird answer.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:03:53
Good enough answer.

Jeff Elkins 00:03:54
Nothing concise about that answer at all. I did my best, guys. I think my hope is that the book gets to people who don’t listen to podcasts and don’t because I know the majority of the United States anyway, doesn’t listen to podcasts. So getting that book into their hands, I think, is going to be a good way to get these tools in front of them.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:04:17
Yeah, because when I was reading it, and I’ve only gotten about 20 pages in, by the way, I sat there and I giggled.

Jeff Elkins 00:04:25
It’s short, you’re like a fourth of the way through.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:04:26
It is, Yeah, I was reading it while I was sitting at the doctor’s office, so it was only about an hour of me reading. So not bad.

Jeff Elkins 00:04:33
Thanks.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:04:34
But I giggled at the section where you’re like, I’m dyslexic, and I was like, So am I. And that is why I’m reading this slowly.

Jeff Elkins 00:04:41
That’s why it took me a year to have to write it. No, not really. Yeah. The conciseness of it was actually really important to me. There’s a version of the book that is much, much longer because one of the editors that read it gave me great notes about, like, hey in the community on the podcast. And then in the master classes especially, we use a lot of master works. Like, we pull from works that have kind of stood the test of time. And so I’m constantly in the community when I talk about these tools. We reference those. In fact, when we create something, when we’re like, okay, we’re going to talk less about heroes, villains, and side characters and more about vehicles, engines, and anchors. When we change terminology like that, I’ll go pull a bunch of master works and read through them again just to make sure, is this real or is this something we’re just making up? And if I can’t find it in works that have been beloved by readers for long periods of time, we don’t let it stick around, right? Like, so it’s one of those we’ll use it for a little bit, but then it disappears. So there was a version of this book that had all those master works in it, and it was a giant monster, so I pulled them out intentionally because I want this to be accessible for everybody. I want people to be like, I have craft books on my shelf. Like, the Robert McKee Dialogue Book is brilliant and genius and 1000 pages, and it took me, like, a year to read it. I want people to be able to sit down at a doctor’s office and get two thirds of the way through this and be like, okay, there’s, like, three things I picked up from here that I can start doing with my dialogue tomorrow. That’s the goal of the book.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:06:27
Yeah. It was very easy for me to follow, which is something I really enjoy. It was broken up enough where, like, my Dyslexia, I could read through it easily. So that was really nice to not have just, like, text. When you look at a lot of craft books where it’s like, okay, I get it.

Jeff Elkins 00:06:46
It’s funny you say that. Yeah. Because you are looking at a Dyslexic mind at work. It’s like small paragraphs, lots of headers. Yeah.

V.E. Griffith 00:06:56
One of the features of it that I liked was that you take a single example piece of dialogue between two characters, you start it at six lines and you expand it using the concepts that you talk about and make it a really great fucking piece of dialogue.

Jeff Elkins 00:07:12
Oh, thanks, man. Yeah. By Billy, Marie, and Charlie example that moves from a restaurant to a subway back to a restaurant through the book. Yeah. You’re the first person to bring that up. That’s really funny. Thanks, man.

V.E. Griffith 00:07:31
I read this on an iPad. You sent it to us as a PDF and I was taking notes right on the page. And at one point in there, I wrote on that dialogue. This is fucking excellent. I really enjoyed it. I could only wish to do dialogue that good.

Jeff Elkins 00:07:47
That was the most fun part of the book for me to write was that with those little bitty scenes, I was like, all right, now we’re going to write another Billy Maria scene. And then at one point, I was writing I was like, you know what? I think they’re getting divorced in the middle of this conversation.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:08:04
It did definitely look like she wasn’t into him. Even through all those picnics.

Jeff Elkins 00:08:08
Yeah, through all the picnics. She’s not there. They have the same picnic over and over, like six or seven times. And poor Charlie. Poor Charlie just sitting there the whole time. No clue what’s going on.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:08:20
No, but I do like that you build on it slowly for those who just want to practice a section. And I don’t know if you leave it like that in the book, but in my version, there was a blank page and I was like, oh, cool. He left space for us to write in it.

Jeff Elkins 00:08:33
I do leave some space through the book. And usually it’s around the challenge questions at the end.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:08:39
Yes. Which I love that there’s a summary at the end of each chapter where it’s like, here’s all of your notes condensed so you can go back and check on it.

Jeff Elkins 00:08:48
I used to love so I was a big pre-becoming a writer. I was a big leadership reader. Do you all ever read Leadership, the self help leadership books? And I was obsessed with Good to Great and The Leadership Challenge and all those kind of books. And they all have that at the end of each chapter, they’re like, here’s the summary notes. And I can remember, like, when I used to have to read a ton of those books all the time. I’d, like, read the end of the chapter first, and I’d be like, Do I need to read this chapter? It was the best. And so that’s kind of what I was hoping for, like, hey, go read the summary notes. And if the summary notes interest you, you think you can go back and read the whole chapter. But the challenges are important to me, too. So at the end of each chapter, there’s, like, a challenge of a reading challenge, of, like, hey, when you’re reading, go look for this principle in these ways, or a writing challenge when you’re writing, go look for these principles in this way. Again, these are tools intended for people to read. And I really don’t like craft books that I think, like you all said a second ago, they’re like, look at how much I know that’s not helpful. So if it’s not practical, there were several things from the book that’s like, this isn’t practical. So I cut it out. I was like, that’s not going to help anybody. So that’s just me showing off. There’s several places in the book yeah, sorry. My head is still I’m struggling to have answers because my head is still laughing about Aaron, that you liked the Billy and Maria and Charlie conversation. That’s really funny. Part of what I was going for with those weird examples was to show how a lot of the clients I work with, it’s how their dialogue progresses. It starts very simple, and then by the time we get to the end, it’s pretty complex. So it’s a nice like, I was hoping that the reader could see themselves in that progression as they go through.

V.E. Griffith 00:10:45
Well, it does have the sense, to me, of this is what a zero draft looks like. And then as you do, dialogue passes. You can look at your dialogue, you can look at your character interactions and focus on this concept, add some stuff. Focus on that concept, add some stuff. And when you’re done, you get a really interesting grabbing piece of dialogue that works well.

Jeff Elkins 00:11:09
Yeah. And I think part of what I don’t talk about in the book maybe I do, I don’t think I do that I’m secretly pushing back on is this idea that writers are ever fully formed. When I was playing sports, it was very clear that there was always something else to learn about what we were doing. And that practice was absolutely necessary. That you weren’t going to get any good at anything if you weren’t practicing over and over again and practicing with the attitude of, like, not how do I maintain the current skills that I have, but how do I improve what I’m doing? I’m tempted to this all the time. I think a lot of times as authors, we lose sight of the fact that, in essence, this is just like a sport. It’s something that there’s always something to improve at. There’s always something we can be doing better. Even when we think we have a concept down, we actually don’t. There’s ways to improve on that thing. I’m learning things about dialogue all the time. I was just reading John Grisham. He’s got a book of short stories out, and I was reading them at the pool a couple of days ago when my kids were at swim team practice, and I learned something about how to transition a POV while I was reading. I was like, oh, he has a phone conversation between two characters, and you start the phone conversation with character A in character A is POV. And then through the phone conversation, POV doesn’t matter because they’re just talking to each other, and then when they hang up the phone, it’s character B hanging up the phone. And I was like, oh, that’s really freaking smart, and what a smart way to change POV. And so I’m learning all the time about what we can do differently, what I can do differently in my own work. So part of what I was hoping to push back on this book is like, hey, we’re never fully formed, right? There’s always things to learn. There’s always things to push ourselves on and figure out different ways to do to make ourselves better at our craft. Cool.

V.E. Griffith 00:13:17
What was the sort of genesis for your putting the work in and becoming the Dialogue Doctor?

Jeff Elkins 00:13:17
Why should I read this?

V.E. Griffith 00:13:17
Yeah, why are you the person to write this?

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:13:33
Where’d you get your doctorate?

Jeff Elkins 00:13:34
Where did I get my doctorate? I got my doctorate from the street of hard knocks. No. The University of Hard Knocks, man. Imposter syndrome kicks in really hard when you ask somebody, Why should we listen to you? I don’t know. So I have had a very strange career trajectory before coming to writing. I’m not a person who’s, like, I wanted to write when I was three. Like, I was talking to Mark Leslie Lefebvre recently for the Dialogue Doctor podcast. He’s coming on mine, and he’s been writing stories since he was, like, 13 years old. And I super respect that. But I hated writing. It was the last thing as a Dyslexic kid, it was the last thing I ever wanted to do. So I say that to say, like, I do not have a formal English education. I don’t have a degree in English. My degree in college was in religion with a premed emphasis and a minor in music. So I didn’t get an English. In fact, the only course I ever did poorly in in school, because in my family, my father’s phrase was, I’d be like, hey, can I have if I get straight A’s, could I have an allowance like the other kids? And he’d be like, A is the expectation. So I never got lower than an A in any class except for freshman English, and I almost bombed. I think I got a D minus. I just barely got through it because just writing and I were not friends. And then after that, I went to seminary, so I didn’t get a master’s in English. I don’t actually have a doctorate, but I have had to code switch a lot. And a lot of my life has been spent in different populations of people learning to speak in ways that get me accepted and help me not stand out. I think that’s really where dialogue started for me, was understanding that, hey, people speak differently based on their emotional state, their comfort level, their level of vulnerability around who they’re with, and those states are affected by who they’re with or what role they’re in or all those kinds of things. So learning to working, doing social work type work in inner city Baltimore with the homeless and recovery communities, and then moving over to working with inner city youth, and then in that same night, meeting with a bunch of like, having a community meeting with a bunch of dual income no kids. We just purchased a million dollar row home in this neighborhood. How do we do neighborhood planning? Switching from those kind of meetings, I think, really started me to get into a place where I was like, oh, I hear voices a little bit differently. And it was in that time that I started writing fiction. And so character voices always come. We all have things that come naturally to us. Character voice came naturally to me, but then about nine years ago, almost nine years ago, it’s been like, eight and a half, I started working for a company that trains people in difficult conversations, and I lead the writing team. I helped kind of rebuild the writing team for that company. We systematized how they write so that we could produce simulations, training simulations faster. And we now call ourselves professional mimics, or we started too, when we started systematizing how we write. So we come into a room of experts in a wide variety of fields, and we talk to them about how these conversations work. Like, today, I was working with this afternoon, I was working with two therapists who specifically work with at risk children. And so learning like, okay, if you’re a therapist, how do you talk to at risk kids? What does that sound like? What do those children sound like when they’re talking to you? What is everybody’s dialogue, or what is everybody’s character voice? What shape does it take when it’s going well, what shape does it take when it’s going poorly? What shape does it take? So I got off the phone with him and immediately went into a different session with a bunch of suicide prevention crisis line callers where we’re talking about a completely different conversation with a completely different group of characters. And that’s what I’ve been doing with my day for nine years. So two and a half years ago, I was looking for some way to give back to the author community, and J. Thorn was the one that encouraged me and said, like, hey, take all this stuff, you know, about mimicking realistic dialogue and what you’re building right now for these simulations and start applying it to fiction. I was like, okay, so that’s really the impetus, is that I’m highly motivated by helping other people. It’s just part of my wiring. And so the dialogue doctor was started as a way to give back to the author community this stuff that I’ve learned about how people talk and how they engage and what happens when two people come in. And for me, it’s been a lifelong journey of being in a lot of different cultural circumstances and having to learn how to code switch in those circumstances, how to learn to talk one way to some people and talk. To another way to another people. How to understand how to read groups of people and watch them interact, learn what those different interactions mean, paying attention to body language so that I can best figure out what’s going on. To help people and then having to apply all of that professionally and actually nail it down to, like, hey, this is how you reproduce that in a script. It’s been a long journey. And I would say the dialogue doctor does in many ways, feel like an extension of that life choices I don’t know if I’d call it choices. Sometimes choices were made for me, but that life journey, and now it’s all in this book. I’m just kidding. It’s not all in the book, but there is good things in the book.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:20:05
Being dyslexic, for me, means I’m much more visual. So for me, world building is my thing. Do you think that being dyslexic, not wanting to read all the time, really helped you do pay attention to the way people spoke? Because you’re not being able to see it, but you’re hearing it more?

Jeff Elkins 00:20:24
That’s an interesting question. My dyslexia mainly took the form of writing. I used to write things as a mirror image all the way into high school. If I tried to write something with a pencil, it would often come out as a mirror image on the paper. Reading was a struggle for me, but my parents were amazing. I don’t want anybody to think poorly about my parents. I grew up in a very loving and caring household. They were kind of hard asses, though, so it was kind of like I would be like, it’s hard for me to read this book, and my mom would be like, well, just sit there longer, right? So I think anything dyslexia kind of forced me to push through difficult situations and kind of persevere through them, I would say. What really caused me to pay attention to people was being in way in over my head in circumstances that I knew nothing about. So, like, I can remember I was working at a church in downtown Baltimore. I was 23, maybe 24, and a teenager came into my office and was like, hey, my mom is ready to go to rehab for the first time. She hadn’t seen her mom in, like, a decade, and her mom walked in off the street from being homeless for ten years and was like, I need to go to rehab today. It’s like, oh, crap. Well, let’s go get her now. I didn’t know anything about the rehab system. I didn’t know how you get into rehab. I don’t know how that works. So we just put her in my car, and it’s just going from hospital to hospital, from program to program, being like, hey, how do we get into this program? How does it work? And they’d be like, well, you need a picture ID. And they look at her, be like, hey, do you have a picture ID? No, I sold that. It’s like, oh, crap. Okay, so now we got to figure out a different way to go and get you a picture ID. It’s like, how do we get a picture idea? Well, maybe Social Security. But being in over your head like that in kind of desperate circumstances or just rapidly evolving circumstances, I think forces you to start paying attention to people. And it was in those kind of that’s why I laugh about, like, I went to the university or Hard Knocks. It’s that being in that place where you’re like, okay, I have to find solutions for people quickly, and I have to get them out of people who don’t necessarily want to give them to me. That’s really where I started to pay attention. Like, I’m paying attention to how people talk. I’m paying attention to what they say. I’m paying attention to what they’re saying and not saying all those kinds of things. It doesn’t help that I’m incredibly naive. I don’t know if you two know that about me. I’m insanely naive. If you could tell me anything, and I will likely believe it. Like, Aaron, you could tell me that that hat is actually a real wizards hat. And I’d be like, oh, that’s cool.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:23:11
It is a real wizards hat. Thank you.

Jeff Elkins 00:23:13
Okay, great.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:23:14
A Gandalf styled hat. So clearly it’s a real wizards hat, not the Harry Potter.

Jeff Elkins 00:23:21
Yeah, Catherine, you could be like, yeah, no, I’m only 18. And I’d be like, oh, okay. That’s great, man. You’ve done a lot for 18 years. I think that so part of me being able to cope in a high stakes for other people world was paying attention to things and, like, being able to focus. Yeah.

V.E. Griffith 00:23:43
I wanted to take a step back for a second, and there is a little bit of vocabulary that we’re using that we haven’t explained. What is dialogue?

Jeff Elkins 00:23:54
Oh, good question. I like that question better than questions about me. Let’s ask those questions. I’m just kidding. You can ask whatever question you want. So dialogue is character interaction on the page. So I think a lot of times we make the mistake of thinking that dialogue is just the vocalization, just what’s in between the quotations. That’s not actually how we use the word. It’s a weird word because we think we know what it means, but nobody ever actually pauses to define it. So dialogue are two or more characters interacting in a scene, and that’s dialogue. So, like, right now, we are dialoguing even though you two aren’t speaking at the moment. Because I’m taking up all the airtime, because I just keep rambling out of anxiety, but because I keep rambling, but you are still part of the dialogue. Does that make sense? So dialogue, in essence, it combines dialogue tags, vocalizations and body language between characters, kind of incorporates that dialogue. There are some kind of caveats to that, like, well, if my character is alone and talking to a lamp, is that still dialogue? It is because the character is interacting with something in a more, like, global scope. Like, dialogue is the exchange of emotions, expectations, and ideas between two characters. So if you’re going to make your lamp into a character and you’re personifying it in some way that the person talking to it thinks they’re getting back a response, then that is dialogue.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:25:26
All that reminds me of is that Disney movie that most people forget, but it’s The Brave Little Toaster.

Jeff Elkins 00:25:32
That’s the saddest movie ever.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:25:34
It’s like and all I can think of is little lamp right now.

Jeff Elkins 00:25:36
Yeah. And when his light bulb breaks and he dies, that’s the worst.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:25:41
Or when they’re, like, cutting the cord in it and you’re like, this happening, most people forget that movie exists.

Jeff Elkins 00:25:48
Yeah. Out of trauma, we block it out. Yeah. Disney crushing child souls since 1985. That’s a tough one. Yeah. And I will say, sometimes it helps to understand dialogue. I’m just going to add this real quick to your question, Aaron. It helps to understand dialogue if we contrast it with what is not dialogue, which is exposition. So an exposition is like a catch all phrase I use to say, like, not characters interacting. But that includes summaries. So if you have summary paragraphs of, like, five years ago in this town, this thing happened and the town crier was sad, that would be summary because there’s no characters interacting there. It’s just the narrator kind of telling you what happened or descriptions of rooms, descriptions of people. The descriptions of people gets iffy because sometimes the description of a person, especially if you’re in first person POV, is kind of the beginning of dialogue because it is those two people interacting. But if you’re in third person, the description is not dialogue. Yeah. And then general reflections on the theme, a lot of times are encompassed in that. Yeah. So that’s all kind of exposition. In general. Dialogue has dialogue spacing, where, like, one character does one thing, and then you start a new paragraph when the new character does something else, whereas exposition tends to come in paragraph form. So there’s, like, thicker paragraphs of three to four sentences. If you’re just scanning a document with your eye, that’s how you tell the difference. Paragraphs are exposition things with dialogue spacing or dialogue.

V.E. Griffith 00:27:37
One of the sections that I really, really liked in the book and that was very helpful for me was talking about dialogue change in different kinds of scenes. What are the kinds of scenes that you’ve identified that can help somebody write more effective dialogue?

Jeff Elkins 00:27:51
Yeah. So that’s a great thanks for bringing that up. So there’s the three types of scenes based on sorry, I’m trying to think, do you want to talk about the different components of a scene, or do you want to talk about the types of scenes?

V.E. Griffith 00:28:04
Let’s start with the types of scenes.

Jeff Elkins 00:28:05
Okay. So there’s three types of scenes. There’s one on ones. There’s big cast scenes, and there’s chorus scenes, and they all kind of have different rules, which is why I lay them out in the book. So one on one scenes are two characters talking, two characters interacting, and they are super fun to write because you can get a lot of, like, speed in your dialogue out of them. Like, this is like the Aaron Sorkin master class, where it’s just like Josh Lyman and Rob Lowe walking down a hallway in the West Wing, firing off quick sentence, quick choppy sentences at each other, finishing each other’s thoughts. It’s Laura Li and Gilmore Girls with Rory. Just like the two of them in the kitchen, like, caught and going back and forth with one another. So that’s that one on one scene. We love it because it can build a lot of energy as the utterances get passed back and forth between the two characters. It’s great for tags because dialogue tags become for texture only because the paragraph spacing will take care of who’s talking. So the tags become for texture, and body language becomes about enhancing the emotion of the back and forth. So that’s the first kind. Then you have big cast scenes. As soon as you put a third person in there or a third interactor, that scene becomes more difficult to manage because now you got to identify who’s talking. So we got to start using dialogue tags in an artful way, and now we have to body language becomes a tool for identifying who’s talking, how they’re responding to. One another. And I will say the complexity, just the complexity of the energy in the scene gets more complicated because well, I was talking to a group of social workers recently about the difference between doing a one on one therapy session and a group therapy session. And they were like, if you have three people, you actually have a whole bunch of conversations happening because there’s you with person A and you with person B, and then person A with person B, and then you with the joint person A and person B. So three people in the room actually cause it’s four different interactions happening. And so it just becomes harder to as a writer, harder to pace. At the same time, the more characters creates a more textured, richer scene because we have more character voices working. So there’s kind of pros and cons to it, right? Like, it’s going to feel a little bit slower because you’re having to identify who’s speaking. You’re losing some of that energy that you get in the one on one, but you get more characters interacting, which gives you a richer feel for the scene. And the last one is a chorus scene, which happens around six or more characters. It doesn’t have to I usually say big cast scenes can be like three to eight because really, masterful dialogue writers like TJ. Klune is a modern day one, or Friedrich Bachmann is a modern day one. They can get eight characters in a scene and manage it just fine. I don’t recommend it for us mere mortals, but those, like, super mastercraft guys, they could pull it off. Or ladies or people. Sorry for using gendered language, but those chorus scenes are when you start taking characters in order to manage them better and grouping them into, like, the children or the mob or Billy and Maria, right, where they’re always grouped together so they can respond as a unit. Like, Natasha said, blah, blah, blah. And the rest of the Avengers gasped. Like, you can put all of the Avengers into that gasp so that we don’t have to be like, Natasha said, blah, blah, blah, and Hawkeye rolled his eyes and Captain America raised an eyebrow and Hulk said, no. So we can just put them all in a group. So when you have those bigger groups, putting them into that chorus can be helpful for managing. Once you get them into a chorus, really, the rules of the big cast scene apply. What we’re doing, too, is we’re helping the reader by not making them track everybody. So by grouping characters into a chorus, we’re like, okay, there’s this big group, and we’ll talk about the group as a group so that you don’t have to worry about how everybody in the group is responding. Every once in a while, you can pop a character out of the chorus and then put them back in. But this way the reader has because the thing is, we can only remember at a maximum seven things at a time. Which is why phone numbers are broken into three. Three and four is so that we can like because three and four are super easy to manage. Eight. And we’re like, I can’t remember eight numbers. It’s over. That’s done. So is that kind of like that’s why Social Security numbers are three, two and four? Because we remember three things really well, but, like, seven things. Same when your readers are reading, if you’ve got, like, five characters in a scene, they’re going to be like, okay, wait, who’s in this? What’s happening in this scene? You had seven individual characters in a scene. They’re like, what is going on? So this is like grouping them in groups helps readers kind of remember what’s happening in the scene and that’s decreasing the burden on the reader if we want them. Reading to the end of the book is a huge goal. So the chorus scene is just a trick to decrease the reader. Yeah. So those are the three kinds of scenes and I go into more detail in the book about them, but that’s the basic overview of how they work.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:34:02
Do you mind if I read a quote from your book? Because I really liked this section.

Jeff Elkins 00:34:06
Yeah, go for it.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:34:07
Okay. So it’s think of your reading. Oh, God, if I can read. Think of your readers as audience members in a theater of your shared imagination. I really liked that. And then, of course, there’s a whole paragraph in between that. But then it was, Your scene is your stage. And I really like that because I’ve never heard of scene described that way. And to this day, I still can’t figure out what a scene is. So that was nice. Not that I still know what a scene is, but it was a very nice description to me.

Jeff Elkins 00:34:39
Yeah, it’s a hard thing to define because I think a lot of us think of scene as chapter. We’re like, oh, a scene is a chapter. But I think and that’s where when I started writing, I thought of a scene as a chapter. Because I would write I’d have, like, an hour and a half at night. And I’d write, like, okay, I write 3000 words. And I’d kind of come to the end of a chapter and I’d be like, all right, this is chapter five. I think if we think of chapters as just places, we’re breaking up the book to help the reader take a mental breath and decide whether they want to move on. I think a lot of times chapters will break in between scenes, especially if we want the reader to keep going. We’ll end a chapter in a place that helps the reader move. So when I coach writers now, I coach them like, hey, let’s write all the scenes. And then after we’ve written all the scenes, we can come back and talk about where your chapter breaks are. But let’s write the scenes first because we don’t want to equate those two things together. We don’t want to just assume. I find that if you equate your scenes to chapters, you end up with a weird, rhythmic thing that happens where you start each scene the same way, and then every chapter comes to, like, a closing. And the book can feel like a collection of short stories when you do that. So I think separating those two terms, once we separate those two terms, it’s like, okay, well, what is a scene? A scene is kind of like one emotional moment, is how I think about it. The smallest scene is the smallest emotional component of your emotional journey. So I think of scenes now as like, these are moments in the emotional journey. And then chapters are where I decide the reader can have a mental breath on the emotional journey. Does that help? I don’t know if that helps. That may just make things worse.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:36:41
I don’t know, honestly. I’m one of those people who’s, like, someone tries to explain a scene to me, and I’m like, that makes sense. But it also sounds like just a chapter. But that’s the scene.

Jeff Elkins 00:36:51
Yeah. I was working with one author who is writing a thriller, and toward the end of the book, they wanted this rapid fire pace where they were like, by the time the reader gets to this point, I don’t want them to put the book down. So we took the scenes they wrote. If you line up all the scenes, if you think of them as, like, a bar graph or a line graph where they’re all, like, lined up or just a line, you think of your scenes as a line? No graph. Do you think of your scenes as a line? We actually took the chapters and we moved them, like, 500 words the start and the end of the chapter, so that they were starting 500 words into a scene and then ending 500 words into the next scene. So the reader didn’t get a sense of completion at the end of a chapter and had to keep wanting to keep going in an attempt to create a frantic pace to keep moving. Yeah. So I think that’s why I separate the two is because all of these things and something I talk about in the book, probably a nauseam, is that all of these things are tools and there’s no right or wrong way to use them. The reason that we put definitions around things like scene and dialogue and exposition and big cast and chapters is because once you understand the tools, you have more mastery over your craft. So if you can understand, like, oh, this is what a chapter does, this is what a scene does, this is what a segment in a scene is. This is what an exchange in a segment is. This is what an utterance in an exchange is once you can start kind of visualizing all of those components, you can then start using them as weapons to craft what the reader is seeing in their imagination. And that’s the goal. Now, you don’t have to master all of those tools. You can just be really great at writing exchanges, and you can write a phenomenal book. It’s not like you have to I don’t want anybody to ever feel like, oh, you have to master all of this vocabulary to be able to write. You don’t need to know any of it. You can just go full gut. But for those of us that like, sometimes our guts are not to be trusted, having understanding what the tools do is helpful.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:39:12
Yeah. And I like, as a pantser, that you go very small and then you build on each section. So I’ve pants almost everything. Now I hate outlining, and I can look at stuff and be like, oh, well, okay, so I can do this here, and then if I build on this, so this is already done. Okay. And I can almost checklist it, it was kind of cool to look through it.

Jeff Elkins 00:39:35
Nice. That makes me happy. One of my goals as a coach, too, as a writing coach, is not to change how you write, but to take how you write and give you tools to improve it. So if you’re a pantser, I don’t want to change what you do because writing is hard enough. We don’t need to be like, I remember there was a season I don’t follow golf, but I think the illustration is good. There’s a season where Tiger Woods wasn’t necessarily great because he changed his golf swing to learn a better golf swing. And part of me was like, why would you do that? You’re already great. Why would you throw this thing away to learn something better? I’m sure there are reasons for it, but for most of us, writing is tough, and finding the time to do it is hard. And we don’t need to throw away what’s working. We need to learn some tools to improve how we’re doing things. So if you’re a plotter, you can use all of these tools as ways to plot. If you’re a pantser, you can use all of these tools as you pants or as editing tools, post pantsing. Like, they’re not use the tool when the tool works for you. But whatever you do, don’t change what motivates you to write. Don’t lose motivation trying to learn new tools. Because again, writing is hard enough. Don’t make it harder. Yeah.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:41:00
Great advice.

Jeff Elkins 00:41:02
Well, and I say that as somebody who’s like I’ve written twelve novels. I understand it’s tough. I remember in my third or fourth novel, I actually was studying, I got obsessed with how acts work like an act of a story. And so I was studying seven and nine act plays and what each act does. And I remember I was trying to fit my story into I think it was a seven act play, because I read like, oh, Shakespeare did it in this play. And I was like, oh, I want to do that too. So I was trying to figure out how to get this urban fantasy so silly. When I say it an urban fantasy detective novel, I’m like, how do I put in a seven act format? And it froze me for, like, two months. And I remember finally being like, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? Why am I making this harder than it is? And, like, the seven act structure is fantastic. It’s wonderful to learn. It was a good tool for me to have my tool belt, but the second it stopped me from writing, I should have been like, all right, put that tool down. Let’s pick up a different tool. But I think we do that as writers all the time. We make things harder for ourselves, and we don’t need to do that. It’s hard enough. And with this book, I definitely don’t want to do that. I don’t want to make this harder for anybody.

V.E. Griffith 00:42:24
Yeah, I really liked as I read, I thought, oh, this is a tool I can use. Oh, this is a tool that’s going to be harder for me to use, but I can mix and match to my own needs. One of the ones I’m more of a plotter, and one of the ones that I really liked was your explanation that we’re going on an emotional journey, and the scenes are a vehicle for that. And so if I look at each scene as, where do I start the emotional journey? Where do I end the emotional journey? And I can look at my entire book basically as a graph, which appeals to my analytical, scientific training. And if you start high and go low, you’ve got a sad book. If you start low and go high, you’ve got a happy book. And if you start high and go low, three quarters of the book and then go way up, you’ve got a thriller.

Jeff Elkins 00:43:13
I love it. I just got to give credit where credits do. I totally learned that from Kurt Vonnegut. I didn’t take that. He has a great lecture on YouTube called The Shape of Story. Now he’s using it very differently than I use it. He’s using The Shape of Story to talk about he wanted to say he was doing. My understanding from what I’ve read is that he was doing a thesis on trying to get accepted into a school for anthropology. And his belief was that each culture likes stories of certain shapes, and they didn’t buy it. But I watched his shape of story lecture, and I was like, oh, man. He is talking about the emotional journey the reader goes on when they look at that shape. And it really unlocked some doors for me when I was working with other authors when I was, like, coaching other authors to write, and we’re caught in the plot forest, and we’re like, oh, my gosh. Hero’s journey or heroine’s journey? And is this lining up with the story grid and what’s my story grid number score? And we’re doing all these things. And I remember at some point I had to step back and be like, hey, this is just an emotional journey, and we can conceptualize it visually. Like you were saying, Catherine, to say, here’s what it looks like. Here’s what we’re taking the reader on. And if the dial if the journey is just such a scattered, like, up and down, up and down, up and down, up and down, the question is, like, does a reader want to go on that journey? Does that look like a fun ride? So it’s like, let’s give the reader a fun ride that they want to go on. And it opened up, I think, for me and a lot of the authors I coach, it kind of freed us from the plot forest and helping us to understand, oh, plot. These different plot structures and these different genre conventions are just tools to help us create emotional journeys the reader expects. But that’s all they are. There’s tools to help us create emotional journeys the reader expects. And so if we can line up with the reader expectations and surprise them, right? Because that’s the hard thing, you want to give them what they expect and delightfully surprise them. But in order to do that, we have to be able to take a step back, either after the writing or in the writing, and say, like, what is this journey that they’re on? What’s happening here? Is this sad all the time? If it’s sad all the time, are readers going to show up for this? Even though maybe we put some happy moments in there somewhere, it’ll make the sad moments sadder. But so it’s that kind of understanding the shape of your story in order to better plot, in order to use plotting as a tool better.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:46:17
And that’s when you know something bad is going to happen is all of a sudden a happy moment is happening in the book, and you’re like, the author’s going to murder somebody.

Jeff Elkins 00:46:22
The author is going to kill somebody. I guess it depends on the author, right? Sometimes the happy moment just leads to more happy moments if you’re writing. What do they call that now? Uplit. That’s the new term I learned recently, uplifting literature.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:46:40
Yeah, I read a lot of graphic novels, and in the comments, there’s always like, this is such a happy chapter. Who’s going to die next one? And then there’ll be, like, all bets on which character is going to die or have something bad happen to them.

Jeff Elkins 00:46:56
Which character is going to be murdered next?

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:46:58
Yeah. And if we get, like, three in a row that’s really happy, we’re all like, what’s happening? Something real bad is going to happen.

Jeff Elkins 00:47:05
That’s hysterical.

V.E. Griffith 00:47:07
Well, the last thing I wanted to cover is the concept. That is not new to me because I myself am a Dialogger, but I found to be your explanation to be very helpful. Vehicles, engines, anchors, and hazards.

Jeff Elkins 00:47:22
Yeah. How do you want to cover it, man? Do you want to get an overview? I don’t know. It’s a weird topic. Or do you want an example from a story? Like, how do we what’s the best way to cover it, do you think? I don’t give an example from a story in the book, I don’t think.

V.E. Griffith 00:47:39
No, you don’t, but just the thumbnail. Where would I go with those? As I’m thinking about how to organize my story or how to organize my character cast.

Jeff Elkins 00:47:51
Yeah. So the point of calling characters vehicles, injuries and Ankles and hazards is just to give you more vocabulary to weigh you down and make writing difficult. I’m just kidding. The point of doing it yeah, it makes sense that’s what we do with craft books is we just make it harder. The point of giving that new terminology I was working with writers and coaching writers, and we came across this problem was like, okay, I’m trying to explain. I know I’ve got this emotional journey. I know I’ve got these scenes that are these emotional moments, and I want these scenes to work toward the character’s growth. I want the character changing. I want the character to be different at the end of the book than the character is at the beginning of the book. What do I have to do in these scenes to make that happen? And we’d look at like, well, this is the hero. But I’d be like, well, talk to me about how that’s the hero. They’re like, well, they’re the good guy based on societal expectations, but they actually do all these kind of crappy things. And I guess they’re not actually the hero, but they call them the hero. And then this is the villain. But they have reasonings, and by, like, chapter seven, you understand the reasonings of the villain, and so they’re not the villain. And we’d have these big, complex conversations about, like, who’s the villain, who’s the hero. Is this a side character? If they show up four times, at what point do they stop being a side character? Or they’re actually like, this is just a character. So we’re struggling to do all these terms. And the whole time, I’m like, none of this is helping us talk about character growth. Like, none of this is helping us talk about how the character is different at the beginning of the end of the story. So we took a step back, and it’s like, all right, if the character that the reader is following is the character on the emotional journey, we’re going to call that the vehicle the reader. Because we know from how people talk about books and how we write books that you latch onto characters and you kind of live the story through their eyes. So it’s like, all right, that character is the vehicle that we’re traveling the story with. And then we also know that there are certain characters that come alongside the vehicle. We see this in every story that we love that help the vehicle understand their potential and give the vehicle example of what it looks like to be great, right? And so it’s like, well, that’s the character that makes character growth go. So we’re going to call that character the engine. Then there’s also characters in every story that pull the vehicle down. And whenever the vehicle is around that character, they’re the worst version of themselves. We’re going to call that character the anchor because they’re, like, weighing the vehicle down. And then it was like, all right, well, so now we have all these weird characters that just show up every once in a while. They’re usually really big voices. Like, there’s something that makes them pop or stand out, and they force the vehicle character to move. They force the vehicle character to make decisions, and we’re going to call those hazards because the character has to swerve around them. So now that we have different languages for characters, we can be like, okay, if we’re talking about character growth in this scene, I need the vehicle character to have a win. I need the reader to feel positive about what’s going on, and I need the vehicle character to show what’s happening. Well, we better get an engine in that scene to encourage that character toward positive moment, or at least in the scene before you need an engine so that the character can then act out on what the engine encouraged. Right? Or like, I want the reader to fail. I want the character to fail here. I want the reader to feel that the character is failing, and I want the reader to give into temptation. Great, so we got to put an anchor in there to get that reader to give into temptation, right? So understanding how the characters interact with each other, knowing that a scene is character interaction, like, dialogue should be the major component of your scene. So the scene is primarily these two characters interacting. Once we know the role those characters play for our lead characters, we can start, like, being strategic about that interaction. Now, for pantsers, I’ll say they tend to use this language differently. When I work with pantsers, what will happen is they’re reading through what they’ve written and they’re like, man, this isn’t going anywhere. We’re just circling, right? Like, nothing’s changing. We’re just circling. And usually the problem is either your anchor is missing or your engine is missing. If you’re just negatively circling, your lead character spending way too much time with the anchor, if you start to feel a pause, they’re like, man, there’s nothing bad happening. Like, there’s no poor decisions being made. Your character is spending way too much time with their engine. Put an anchor in there. Or if your character is just waffling like, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I’m going to do, you need to throw a Hazard in there to really make them move. Hazards also work great for panthers when they’re like, okay, I’ve got this scene, I think the example I use because I’ve seen the authors I work with, I’ve seen them do it like four or five times. My two characters are in the back of an Uber or a taxi, and they’re having a very important conversation. And I cannot get rid of the conversation because the conversation is important. Things come out of the conversation that have to be said. If I summarize those things, the reader is going to skip the conversation. They’re just going to pass by it. So I have to have this conversation in the back of this Uber or cab, but it’s so dull. You got a third person there. You got somebody driving the cab or driving the Uber. Let’s have some fun. Make that voice huge. Make it something that the reader has to swerve around. Make the person in the front seat super chatty, and they want to get involved. Make the person in the front seat super nosy with lots of questions, right? Like, the classic movie example of this that always comes to mind recently is Deadpool, where he gets in a taxicab and he’s got to go somewhere, and he’s got this sidekick who is very curious and curious to the point of unbelievably curious, right. Which makes a great Hazard character, is you take one personality trait, you take it to the point where that personality trait is completely unbelievable. So that’s kind of how Deadpool’s taxicab driver works. So every time you need Deadpool to have a moment of reflection where he thinks about what he’s going to go do or talks to somebody about his coming actions, put him in that cab with that Hazard character. He’s got to swerve around and make decisions about what’s going on in the story because the Hazard character is going to incessantly ask him questions. So it’s that like using that Hazard character to develop that in a story. Again, these are just tools. The terms are just tools to help you think about your characters differently, to help you dig into the plot in a little bit different way.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:55:01
I hadn’t gotten to that section of the book yet, but that was a great explanation.

Jeff Elkins 00:55:06
Thanks a lot. I’ve talked about this a lot for the last two and a half years. This is something that I that’s what’s funny about writing the book, is like, I feel like those in the Dialogger community are going to be like, yeah, all right, Jeff, because we talk about this all the time. So I do feel like but I’m excited for the book because I am excited that it’s going to get into the hands of people that don’t have the time or space to be a part of the community.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:55:33
It’s also for someone who has chatted with you about some of this stuff, it’s nice to have it as a reminder to be like, oh, I don’t need to send Jeff this message. I can pick up the book and look through, and if I still don’t get it, then I’m pretty dumb, but I’ll send him a message.

Jeff Elkins 00:55:49
No, not dumb. And I would say my dream for this book is that it’s a book that sits on your shelf and that every year you pull it out and you just kind of look through it and you’re like, oh, that’s a new tool that I’m not using that I can learn. And that you just keep coming back to it. That’s my hope for the book.

V.E. Griffith 00:56:07
All right, so what did we miss that you think is important to cover?

Jeff Elkins 00:56:11
What did you miss that I think is important to cover? From the book?

V.E. Griffith 00:56:16
From the book? From dialogue? From the tools you’re offering.

Miss Catherine M.H. 00:56:19
From your life?

Jeff Elkins 00:56:20
No, from my life. Well, let’s not talk about that. What did we miss that I think it’s important to cover? I will say I think this is the most boring section of the book, but I actually think it’s the most important is the breakdown between segments, exchanges, and utterances. It is the dullest part of the book because I’m like, hey, in a scene, you have segments. And those segments are like components of they’re part of a conversation. Like a single topic or a single emotional moment is your segment, and a scene is made up of segments. Understanding segments is so important because understanding segments is how you know where to put exposition. It’s how you know how to craft an emotional moment for a reader. If you can’t catch where the segments are, you end up having a whole ton of dialogue. Like, authors I work with, I find there’s a stage where they start overcompensating, and so they’ll have, like they’ll come they’ll start working with me or one of the other Dialogue Doctor coaches, and they’ll have this stage where it’s like they’re not writing any dialogue. It’s all summary. It’s all, like, big chunks of paragraphs. And so we’ll be like, hey, take this summary and make it into a scene. You’ve summarized something here. Make that a scene. And so then they’ll start writing scenes, and it feels more like a screenplay because they’re just, like, talk, talk a little body language, which is better, by the way, than all exposition. All dialogue beats all exposition every day. But the key is to be a master at using both of them. And understanding where segments lie is the key to understanding, like, okay, this is a moment where I need to bring a paragraph in to give the reader a mental breath before we move into the next part of dialogue. And then understanding exchanges, which an exchanges all the characters in the scene. Well, the exchanges characters in the scene participating until another character repeats. So if you have A and B, it’s really easy because you have AB A, B, AB, A, B, those are all exchanges. AB is an exchange. If you have A, B and C, it might be like ABC AB A. So, like, a new exchange has started because A spoke again c, a new exchange has started B-C-B new exchanges started because B spoke again C. And it’s important to understand, like, here’s how those exchanges are happening. Because knowing how many exchanges you have can help you pace your own writer voice. So, like, part of your own voice as a writer, this isn’t something I talk about in the book. Part of your own voice as a writer is how many exchanges do you have before you take a break. That’s part of your voice. Part of your voice as a writer is like, how do characters in these big cast scenes interact with one another in these exchanges? When I’m writing a big cast scene, is it just two characters going at each other? Because I think of a lot of the great Sci-Fi writers are really good at like two characters in a chorus. But a lot of the comedy writers are like four characters per exchange, right? Because they want to get as many personalities in there at a time. So you’ll get these big scenes in comedy writing, I’m thinking of like, what’s his name? He wrote High Fidelity and Funny Girl. Nick Hornby, maybe. He’s a great comedy writer, right? He wrote about a boy. His scenes oftentimes will have like four or five people talking per exchange because he’s really great at keeping character utterances short, letting them quip at each other. He’ll have, like, AB a b. ABCD. ABCD. BACD. Right. And he gets those side characters just throwing those not prime characters, just throwing in little quips. So I think part of understanding the tools of how dialogue is structured on the page helps us to understand our own voice and it helps us to analyze what other authors are doing, right? So it’s that kind of being able to break down how other authors are working, especially as we’re learning and wanting to emulate authors we love. Yeah. So I would say that section, although it is the dullest section of the book, I think it is the most important.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:01:13
I found it enjoyable, but that’s also because I only got through that section just recently.

Jeff Elkins 01:01:18
Okay, great.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:01:20
I really liked that you would be like, here’s some information, but then I’m going to build on it. And now that you know this, cool. Now I can build on this piece, and now we’re going to build on that. So by the time you’re done with that section, you’re like, cool, I understood all of that instead of just throwing it at me.

Jeff Elkins 01:01:36
Yeah, we obsess over things like dialogue tags and body language, but I really think understanding your exchanges is more important. I think understanding that getting dialogue tags right is important, because if you don’t have any, you’re filling in way too much body language, and the piece just feels weighty and slow, or you’re losing characters completely, and if you have too many, the work starts to feel weird. And this isn’t how we think. So it is important to be artful with dialogue tags, but also part of understanding how to use dialogue tags and how to paste them is being able to see the exchanges on a page. I mean, it will look at a page and be like, here are the exchanges. Now I can play with dialogue in this exchange. I’m playing with dialogue tags in this way. In this exchange, I’m playing with dialogue tags in this way. So these two exchanges feel different. Does that make sense? It’s all about analyzing our own patterns and being strategic about when we use them and when we break them.

V.E. Griffith 01:02:47
That makes sense. That’s an excellent explanation, and I think it’s right. That is an important part of the book that I can see how somebody would gloss over easily, because it is not the most exciting read, but it’s an important read, and it’s something that we should pay attention to.

Jeff Elkins 01:03:04
Yeah, don’t gloss over it, because I use those terms throughout the rest of the book. So if you gloss over it, you’ll get lost.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:03:09
Go read the summary.

Jeff Elkins 01:03:11
Yeah, that’s true. You can read the summary and get it.

V.E. Griffith 01:03:14
Okay, well, where can we find you on the Internet?

Jeff Elkins 01:03:17
Dialoguedoctor.com. You can get everything there. The podcast is there, the places to listen to it. The free newsletter is there. You can sign up there. You can buy the book there. I don’t know when this is going to air, but we have a new Master class coming August 5. Where we’re going to?

V.E. Griffith 01:03:34
That’s in the past.

Jeff Elkins 01:03:35
Okay, that’s in the past, so never mind. That’s not happening. We had a master class. August 5. It was amazing. Best thing ever. But all of our Master classes are there. Like, you can sign up for them there. Yeah. Dialoguedoctor.com is where everything happens.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:03:53
That is awesome.

V.E. Griffith 01:03:55
All right, well, thank you very much for taking the time to join us. We really appreciate it, and we will.

Jeff Elkins 01:04:00
Thanks for having me. All you’re both the best, and we.

V.E. Griffith 01:04:03
Will see everybody next time.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:04:04
Yes. Stay magical. Thank you so much for joining us. For today’s episode, you can find every episode on your favorite podcast player and on YouTube. For transcripts, please visit our website at revisionwizards.com. They go live the same day as our episodes.

V.E. Griffith 01:04:21
If you’d like to reach out to us separately, you can find me, VeGriffith.com, and Miss Catherine Mh scribes-pen.com.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:04:29
Stay magical.

V.E. Griffith 01:04:33
We’re super excited to have him back. We had a great touring time.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:04:40
McDonald’s what if I said no to it?

Jeff Elkins 01:04:49
Makes for a short podcast.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:04:54
Well, no. I don’t know. I’ve never clicked. The other option of is it okay if it’s recording?

Jeff Elkins 01:05:01
Yeah. The meeting goes on without you.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:05:08
Okay. Good to know.

Jeff Elkins 01:05:10
Leave all of this in, please.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:05:17
This is how we roll dialogue. Yeah. Sorry.

V.E. Griffith 01:05:30
Well, we’re going to start doing personal updates alternating with the episode, so maybe we’ll put it in one of those.

Jeff Elkins 01:05:36
That’s awesome.

Miss Catherine M.H. 01:05:40
I’m also going to be over here doodling. But don’t mind me. It’s just because I can’t sit still right now. So if you see me looking down, I’m doodling. I forgot my little toy.

Jeff Elkins 01:05:51
I play with Legos and my hat. Yeah, but I’ve been told I’m only allowed to play with one Lego because otherwise you can hear the clicking during the interview. So I just sit here and turn a Lego. That’s how I roll. I had a fidget cube, but it also clicked, and people were like, what are you clicking? Nothing. Is clicking everything? Everything’s fine.

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