Friday, May 27, 2016

Male Protagonist vs. Female Protagonist

Okay, everyone, I've finished the rough draft of The Significant, I'm feeling brave and on top of the world, so I'm going to swim into some dangerous waters.

I'm going to talk about Male and Female Protagonists.

How is that dangerous? Well, I'm bound to upset a few people.

Deciding whether your protagonist is male or female dictates a lot about the tone of your book. I know, many will shrug and say that it does not change things all that much, but there are a lot of differences between men and woman that do change how they act.

So, let's discuss them a bit.

Male Protagonists

Okay, we're going to discuss the easy one first.

Male characters are infinitely easier to write than male characters (that might just be me, but most of my writer friends say they feel the same way).

I think the reason male characters are easier to write is because they are portrayed so often in media. I will not go on a super huge feminist rant, but everyone can agree that almost the entire world follows the patriarchy. It's ingrained in our cultures, which makes it very difficult to change.

Men in all cultures are portrayed differently, but most can agree to the following list of how a man should act:

  • Be strong
  • Be brave
  • Not let emotions rule
  • Be loyal 
  • Be dominant 

Now, setting aside real-world social implications of all of this (we're talking about fictional worlds that mimic real world), this is how most men are portrayed in stories. Most male protagonists won't cry in stories, and when they do, it's a very masculine, quiet cry where they try to contain it as much as possible.

Don't try to tell me it's not true. 

Men are told in most cultures that their feelings should be ignored and their emotions are weaknesses for them, and a man is always supposed to be strong. 

This is why it is so much easier to write male characters. Male characters do not get as involved emotionally in the conflict of the story, which means that their motivations for being there are generally to save someone, to be the hero, to be the loyal partner, whatever it is, their emotions are not their driving force, but their sense of masculinity.

That means that there are certain things that men just do not do, such as hug other guys unless they're really close, or tell others when they are upset about something.

This means that there are limited ways for your male protagonist to act in certain situations. Does that irritate you as a writer? Good. Change it.

Do not be afraid to push boundaries as a writer. You're part of the artistic community. It is your job to change these things.

I have tried to push boundaries with my characters whenever possible, but that does not mean I can make my male protagonists ruled by their emotions, because it does come down to what culture your male protagonist was raised in and where your story is set. Also, you do not want to push the boundaries so hard that your readers are left confused and irritated by your main character. These are all things you do need to keep in mind when building your male protagonists.

Okay, now onto the fun one...

Female Protagonists

I'm going to stick a big warning label on this. This might irritate, upset, or anger some of you and there will probably be cries of "feminazi" and all sorts of other names, but I want to discuss the horrid difficulty of writing female characters and ways to change your female characters to avoid some of these pitfalls of having a female character. **This does not only apply to main characters, but all characters that identify as female.**

Unfortunately, lately, the most popular female characters are mostly "Mary Sues." What is a Mary Sue? I used to know, but lately, it seems that the definition is changing. My understanding of a Mary Sue is this:

  • Ordinary girl, maybe kinda pretty, who has nothing particularly special about her, yet attracts a lot of attention (generally from those of the opposite sex).
  • Is inexplicably good at many things, or all the things that she needs to be to succeed in the story
  • Has a lot of people admire her for all her attributes
  • Acts shy and tries to act like there is nothing special about her. 

These are the traits that I understand to be a Mary Sue. Unfortunately, these are traits I see in series like Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent (hell, even 50 Shades of Grey, since that started as a Twilight fan fiction). These are very prevalent images, some act more Mary Sue than others, but they all fall into the same general category.

Now, is there anything wrong with a Mary Sue? I think it is a lazy way to create a character, but there are certainly people who are just like this, so if that is how you want your character to be, then there is nothing wrong with it.

When it comes to female characters, writers get nervous (just like minority and gay characters). There is a lot more anxiety about writing female characters because we want to make a realistic character, and we want to make her strong, but we do not want her to not be feminine, and the problem there lies with the concept of femininity.

I'm trying to write this carefully to keep it from sounding like a feminist rant because it's not a rant. It's just an exchange of information about the way female characters are portrayed and ways to change that for the better.

While there is a difference whether you are a male or a female author writing a female character, I'm just going to talk about the characters themselves.

Female characters, particularly when written in first person, are very centered on the inner thoughts of the character. Women will understand that the female brain is an extensive network of information that never stops and is quite emotional. Women are meant to be more emotionally attached to things otherwise, they would not care for the crying, pooping mess that is a baby, Emotion is part of the hard wiring for maternal instinct (men have emotional connections too, I'm not saying they don't).

For that reason, women spend a lot of time in their heads. (Just as a fun aside, here is a little video talking about the difference between men and women's brains, watch it after you read this post! A Tale of Two Brains)

In the interest of making realistic characters, writers will spend a lot of time in the female character's mind discussing how they feel about the situation they are faced with. While there is nothing wrong with doing this, it has a high risk of making your readers believe that your character is whining and an over-emotional mess. This is not often the case, but that is the way it is read because of the way women are understood in society.

How do you avoid this while still making your character a woman?

Do not spend so much time in your character's head. Make her emotions known through actions. For some reason, those seem to keep your reader at the proper distance to allow them to understand what your character is feeling without sitting in their head with them. This also can shorten the story and keep momentum going.

Something that seems to be a struggle for writers is making a strong female character. Everyone praises strong female characters, but there is a fine line that those characters are never supposed to cross, but everyone knows when they have crossed that fine line between strong and too strong.

There is no way to really guard against this line, other than to make female characters forces of nature--just like women. Rather than have their emotions of fear make them weak, make the emotion of fear make them stronger, make them angry. Yes, women get angry. And you should allow your female characters to be angry rather than let their fear make them incapable of handling the situation.

With fear, there are three (not two) responses--fight, flight, or freeze. A majority of the time, a strong female character will have the fight response. 

If you're walking that tightrope of a strong female character with a male love interest, here is my advice to you. 

Never make him less than her and never make her less than him. 

She can be strong and still have him protect her. Humans protect each other if they care for one another, so it's alright for a man to want to go into a dangerous situation first to protect the woman. Likewise, it's alright for a woman to get her her hands dirty to save the life of the man she loves. 

A strong woman is not more than the man she is with, but she should stand equal to him, getting his support when she needs it and giving her support when he needs it. She can stand on her own, and only lets a man into her life because she wants him there, not because she needs him. 

But she can also be a complete bad ass on her own!

Here is the thing that irritates me the most about female protagonists.

I'm not sure where it is stated that female protagonists have to have a love interest, but it seems to be rampant. I cannot say that my female characters do not have love interests, because they often do, but when it seems to be the driving force of female protagonists (example: Twilight), then it inadvertently states that women are defined by the men in their lives (just read Book 2 of Twilight).

That being said, there is nothing wrong with a romantic interest for your female protagonist. In fact, it can really help shape your character, but that should not be the only thing about your female character, nor should she be interested in changing or behaving a certain way for a man.

The way I see it, just because there is a female character, does not mean she has to have a male counterpart, nor does she have to be interested in the male character along side her in a majority of the book.

It is possible for a male and female character to be in the same space as a male character and not have it be a romantic attraction. An example from my own books is with Lily, the main character in Inside. There are a ton of men around her all the time--one of which she has a (returned) romantic interest in and one who is a crazy stalker-type. However, she also has her good friend Clark who she spends a majority of the book with that has no romantic interest in her at all, and another character who also has no romantic interest named Mark.

For fun, you can absolutely mix things up a bit when it comes to your female's romantic past and her love interest in the story.

As I will be pushing The Significant as much as possible now that it's in the editing stages, allow me to explain the complexity of the relationship of the main characters and their pasts--both characters are female.

Kailynn, the main character of The Significant, is a young, thin woman who works in a warehouse doing deliveries. She has had an interesting sexual past and used to be in a monogamous relationship with her childhood friend Raphael, but they have since turned it into a friends-with-benefits situation.

Isa, the other main character, is a very powerful and incredibly smart politician (leader of the whole planet, actually), who used to be in a relationship with a coworker that fell horribly to pieces, even though they still work together and clearly care deeply for one another.

But, instead, Isa and Kailynn are going to fall in love.

Mix things up as often as you feel comfortable doing. The best way to change the stereotypes is to slowly introduce non-typical traits into your characters, and do it skillfully enough that your readers will say: "I wish there were more characters like this."

The thing about changing stereotypes is that you cannot smack people in the fact with a bold new idea. You have to slowly introduce them to it and make them think it was their brilliant idea all along.

As a writer, you can do that.

That's what I've got to say about genders of protagonists. I know, it was a bit ranty, but I'm feeling brave after finishing The Significant.

Follow this blog, or my social media pages to stay up-to-date with this blog and the updates on the progress of The Significant, which I intend to release this summer! If you have a question about writing, publishing, or anything in general, feel free to post to my Facebook page, or tweet your question to me @kjamidon.

Don't forget to check out my own novels as well! Click the links below!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

White Space

I know, this has been a long time coming. I've talked about White Space in a lot of posts and what a powerful tool it is. 

White Space is all the empty space on the page when you are writing--everything that is not covered in words is White Space. 

The reason White Space is such a powerful tool is because it can really draw attention to certain sentences and phrases on a page. 

There are an infinite number of ways to use White Space, and its impact really depends on exactly what you are writing. 

The beautiful thing about fiction writing is that paragraph structure is very flexible and it is possible to have a paragraph of only one sentence. In fact, those often have the most impact. 

The White Space has no impact. Your eyes are not drawn to any particular section.
I would normally give some examples from The Significant, since that is my current WIP title, but there are better examples of the use of White Space in Inside (which you should absolutely read HERE!)

First of all, the use of White Space is best formatted when you are going to be working with the page size used for printing (I promise to put a formatting post up, but that won't be for a while). The reason why is because there are some sentences that only take up one line in manuscript (8.5" x 11") format, but then get swallowed up by the other words as the page shrinks down to printable size (standard is 6" x 9"). 

So, here are a few examples of the use of White Space in Inside, Part 1. 

This first example is where White Space is used to draw attention to a certain section, making it stand out and have more impact upon reading. 

There are two short little sentences in there that I wanted to make pop a little more when the reader was reading it. Imagine if they were all part of the same sentence. You would read right past them and continue on. 

White Space can be used as an extended period, making the reader pause and really take in the words on the page. 

The red circle is just meant to show the area where I wanted to draw attention. The green box outlines the white space. 

While it's a great tool to use when you want to accent something on the page, it an also be used to impact areas of the story where there is a change of pace. For example, when a character is having a nightmare and is being woken up by someone else. 

Example from Inside, Part 1:

The short exchanges of dialogue surrounded by the White Space accent the change in scenery within the chapter and give impact to the story, including the feeling of jumping awake from a nightmare and being a little disoriented. 

Just for accenting purposes
Another way to use White Space to accent a change of scenery is through a break in the chapter (shown below). A lot happens in a story, and if you want to skip a day or two within a chapter, it can be a real pain in the ass to try and explain away those days (saying something like: "after two days of the same routine, where they went to work and nothing happened, this happened). Tacking that onto a paragraph or shoving it between something really exciting to try and build up another exciting moment can be tough for your reader to keep up with. 

It's perfectly fine to just break apart different areas of your chapter and move on without adding an entirely new chapter in just to show passage of time, Your chapter endings are extremely powerful moments in your book, you should handle them carefully. A break within the chapter allows your reader to take a breath, see that there is more coming, and then continue on.

Simple chapter breathier in Inside, Part 1. 

Speaking of chapter endings...

I think that is where the most impact comes in a story. 

When you finish a chapter and there is a half-page of white staring back at you, it makes a statement, particularly if your last sentence of the chapter is well-executed. 

This can be difficult to execute some times just because of the length of the chapter and where the sentences fall on the page at the very end. You could have an amazing sentence wrapping up your chapter, but if it's one line above the bottom margin, it's not going to have as much impact as if it were at the middle of the page and your reader had all that white space below it to sit and ponder that last sentence 

However, if possible, it is an incredible tool. 

Here are two examples from Inside, Part 3.

The White Space at the end of a chapter is powerful. Use it to your advantage!!

Anyway, this was just a short post on White Space. 

If you have a question about writing, publishing, or anything in general, feel free to post to my Facebook page, or tweet your question to me @kjamidon.

Don't forget to check out my own novels as well! Click the links below!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Beautiful, Poetic Syllables to Enhance the Reading Experience AKA Description

Hello everyone! I'd like to do a short post on description. This is not going to be too detailed, because I think description has a lot to do with pacing your novel, so there will be a separate post on that, because pacing is an entirely different beast.

Let's dive into some techniques about description!

Several posts back, I did a post on Feature Sentences. Feature sentences were used to describe characters in that post, where the features/aspects of the character were described in motion. This was meant to keep your exposition from becoming clunky and forced so that you painted a picture for your reader.

Feature sentences can also be used to describe the scenery your character is in, therefore enhancing the picture for your reader without making your description stunted and choppy.

For example, if your character wakes up in a forest somewhere and it's extremely windy, the first-draft, or outline sentence(s) might be:

Renee woke up on the ground of the forest. She was cold. The wind was blowing. 

This should not be your final draft. The thing about description is that, to keep your reader's interest you need to make complex sentences. That's one of the defining things about fiction writing and it keeps the pace going in your book.

Therefore, you can use Feature Sentences to describe your scenery as well.

Example: Renee shivered as she blinked her eyes open. She could hear the groaning of the trees as they strained against the gales of wind that rushed between them. 

The scenery is in motion and completing actions. Renee is shivering (that automatically means she's cold), the trees are groaning from the wind--this helps establish where your character is and her situation while painting the picture for your readers.

So, that's one way to paint the picture for your readers, but what are some other things you can do to smooth out your description?

Complex sentences are key to making pretty description. What's a complex sentence? It's a sentence that has both an independent and dependent clause, with the dependent clause starting with a subordinating conjunction. 

It's alright! Come back!

Let's break down what that means. 

We will use this example: 

"Playing hard is all fun and games until someone loses an eye."

The independent clause can stand on its own as a sentence. "Playing hard is all fun and games" has all the components of a complete sentence and if read on its own, it doesn't sound strange. However, if you were to see this: "Until someone loses an eye" standing on it's own, you would be left wondering where the rest of the sentence is. Until someone loses an eye, what?

A clause that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence is a dependent clause--in this example: until someone loses an eye

A subordinating conjunction is the word that starts the dependent clause. It generally is a word like until or because--yep, sorry to tell you, all those people that told you you can't start a sentence with because were (mostly) right. 

Unless it's an inverted complex sentence, where the dependent clause is first. 

Until someone loses an eye, playing hard is all fun and games.

That is acceptable, because there is a independent clause to anchor the dependent clause. You have to think of the dependent clause as the clingy toddler sibling that is terrified of being left on its own because it depends entirely on the older sibling (the independent clause).  

Quick Tip!

When it is possible to have an dependent clause as its own sentence?


If it's a colloquialism, then it's totally fine to have an dependent clause on its own, because humans rarely follow all the rules of grammar when speaking.  

Now, complex sentences are a big part of pacing (I'll cover that later), but you do not want to use the same rhythm all the time because it can lull your reader and they won't pick up on big reveals or points you want them to pay the most attention to. 

Think of your description and paragraphs of exposition as the canter of a horse. It's a smooth rhythm that keeps you moving through the story. 

Image result for running horse gif

However, you want there to be action and excitement and other elements that keep the scenery interesting, right?

When there are important things that happen, or something you really want to draw your reader's attention to, then complex sentences are not always the best way to accomplish that. 

A short sentence surrounded by White Space (I promise, that post is coming soon) can help your reader focus on the most important parts of the scenery. If you have painted a picture for them with complex sentences and then you come out with a short, sharp sentence, you are likely to hook your reader. 

Example: A deafening explosion tore through the silence. 

Something big and dramatic like that should not be padded with pretty words. Short and to the point, just like the explosion. 

This is turning into a pacing post, so let's discuss some verbs. 

Using verbs to describe your character's states, or the area around them, is an incredible tool we have a writers. Let's return to Renee in the woods from above. 

Starter Sentences: Renee woke up on the ground of the forest. She was cold. The wind was blowing. 

You will recall that we ended up with this sentence: Renee shivered as she blinked her eyes open. She could hear the groaning of the trees as they strained against the gales of wind that rushed between them. 

This is along the lines of Feature Sentences. Rather than using the words Renee "was cold," if you say "shivered" your reader will understand almost immediately that she is shivering because she is cold, since that is what happens when a human is cold. 

However, the amazing thing about the English language is its versatility. 

When people hear the word "shiver" they will automatically assume it's due to cold. That is why it is best not to say "shivered due to the cold," because it's an automatic understanding that shivering is because the character is cold. But there are other reasons to shiver, such as fear or antici--

That is when you want to say the reason for the character's shivering. However, to say that they're shivering in fear rather than that they were scared, adds depth to your description and elicits an understanding of the level of fear in the character. 

Having objects (like trees) groan or bow (both verbs) also helps strengthen your description as it paints a prettier picture. 

Another reason to use verbs other than "was" is because it's prettier and it engages people more int he story-telling aspect of fiction. It allows your book to compete better with the other fiction novels out there and gives you a more professional edge.

Before I wrap up this post, I want to briefly discuss the use of multi-syllabic words. I have a very simple rule about the type of language I use in my books. If I don't know the word, and I never use it in my day-to-day conversations, then I don't use it in my books. If you use words that you don't know how to use but they look good and you think they will make you look smarter or your character smarter, then do not use them. It is very easy to use words you don't know incorrectly, which serves the opposite effect. 

Also, if you want to use a big word and you use the thesaurus to find it, it will look out of place among the rest of your writing. There is nothing wrong with simple words. In fact, it helps you in some cases where your reader doesn't have to wonder what the hell that word means. 

If you are desperate to use large, multi-syllabic words, be sure to do your research on how they work in sentences to be sure you use them correctly, but also be sure that the words aren't so obscure your reader is left scratching their head. 

Follow this blog, or my social media pages to stay up-to-date with this blog posts. If you have a question about writing, publishing, or anything in general, feel free to post to my Facebook page, or tweet your question to me @kjamidon.

Don't forget to check out my own novels as well! Click the links below!

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Myth About Writer's Block

Even though I'm hoping for a long weekend of writing, I want to discuss writer's block today.

I am a firm believer that writer's block among those who write for a hobby is a myth.

I know there are a lot of writers who disagree with me, but allow me to explain.

Writer's block is when you do not know what to write. It's when you sit there and stare at the screen and can't decide what to put down on paper.

Writers block is not when you don't have the inspiration or the motivation and therefore you avoid your computer or notebook because you can't stand sitting there and agonizing over the fact that you can't put the words down.

Writer's block as defined by the auspicious and knowledgeable Google is "the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing."

By this definition, everyone who says "I would write a book if I could think of something to write" has writer's block. The ones who have started to put words down on paper and then stop because they don't have a story in place have writer's block. The writers who are sitting down at their desk and agonizing over the fact that they have to get to point C, which they really want to get to, but they have to go through point A and B first, they do not have writer's block.

They are stuck in a Writing Rut.

If you have been writing for a while on your novel and you get to the point where, for some reason, you're really struggling to get the words going, but you have an idea of where you want to go, then you are just stuck in a rut. You do not have writer's block. Stop using that term.

If you are three pages in and you haven't touched it for six months because you don't know what the conflict of your story is, you started putting words down a little too early (seriously, have a bare structure of plot before you put words down, it's helpful).

So, what do you do when you're stuck in a writing rut?

Opt for a change in scenery. That is a good place to start. If you normally write at home, go write in a local coffee shop that doesn't have as much activity. If it's a pretty day outside, take your notebook and just sit outside and let your body soak up the Vitamin D you have been depriving yourself of as you lock yourself in your office to write. If you have no privacy and you need it, take a drive out to the country and sit in your car in write. Changing the location of where you are can breathe fresh air into your story and allows your brain to work through some of the kinks in the story.

Sometimes, it's as simple as changing the music you are listening to. When I write, I have a playlist of songs that I listen to that help me get into the mindset, or help me evoke the emotions I want to portray in the book. Depending on what part of the book I'm writing, I un-check or remove certain songs that don't match up with the mood of the scene.

But there are times when those songs don't work as I hope they should, and I spend hours going through my music and trying new songs to try and get in the book again. This has helped me push through some awkward spots in my books. I never question why some songs work for some books, so I'll try all sorts of genres.

By the way, if you're looking for some amazing music to write to that will make you feel epic and like you're in a movie: Two Steps from Hell.

Google it. Listen to it. You're welcome.

Another option, if it is just one scene that is tripping you up, go ahead and move past it. It could be that you don't entirely know how the scene beyond is going to turn out and you want to lead up to it properly. You can always go back and fill in a scene, or even a chapter. If it helps you start putting words down on paper again, you should do it! (Hell, I skipped over two whole chapters of The Significant).

Do some things that are different to get you out of the rut. You do not have writer's block. You know what you're doing and where you're going. Go be a writing monster!

Happy Writing everyone!

Follow this blog, or my social media pages to stay up-to-date with this blog posts. If you have a question about writing, publishing, or anything in general, feel free to post to my Facebook page, or tweet your question to me @kjamidon.

Don't forget to check out my own novels as well! Click the links below!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Don't Have Time to Write!

The most common thing heard from the mouths of aspiring writers.

"I don't have time to write!"

I feel your pain, I don't have time to write, either! Most of the time...

The fact is, life gets in the way. It gets in the way whether you're a full-time writer or someone juggling jobs and hoping to get 30 minutes of peace and quiet to write down to paragraphs. It gets in the way whether you are single living on your own, or if you have a partner and children.

This is just a little motivational post about not having time to write because you still have to act like a functioning member of society.

There is no rule that you're not a writer if you don't write every day. I think of the movie Sister Act 2 when I wonder about being a writer.

There are a lot of people who say that you will find a way to make time for the things you really want to do (like writing) and that is true. But there seems to be this feeling in writers that if you are not writing, then you're not a writer, or that you should stop being a writer. 

That is completely false. 

Here is my philosophy on this. 

If you do not put down words on paper for a day, three days, a week, but you think about writing and where you want the story to go, and how much you wish you were writing when you're locked in your tasks at work or with your family, then that is enough for those days. 

If you put down one sentence, but don't have the energy to continue, that's just fine! That's still an accomplishment, because many who toy with the idea of writing a book seriously do not even get one sentence down on paper. 

There are, of course, some parts of novels that you don't want to write but you have to push through it to get to the part you do want to write, and you need to discipline yourself to get past that, but you should not force yourself to complete a goal every day if you are struggling through it. Then, writing becomes a chore, just another part of work, and it does not fulfill you like it should. Because, let's face it, there is something absolutely torturous about writing a book, and if it's not fulfilling in some way, why put ourselves through that pain?

So, if real life is getting in the way, for instance, you are working double shifts in very demanding jobs and you cannot put down any words for a week, that is okay. 

You are doing just fine! 

Many people do not appreciate the focus, intensity, and energy needed to write a story. That's why writers always get a scoffing laugh from so many people--particularly if they're self-published, newly-published, or just trying to make it in this cutthroat industry. 

But you do know the intensity of writing. Therefore, if you can't write because you can't focus, don't feel like you're not a real writer, or that you should give up writing because you have no time. You will get there. There is no rule about what constitutes a writer other than what the wise Whoopi Goldberg quoted above. 

I think when people who want to write cannot find time to write, it feels like a defeat of some sort, but you will find time, even if it's not every day. Try and be a little kind to yourself and realize that you are not made a writer by how many words you put down on paper, what genre you write in, how many copies you sell, or whether or not you win awards or write something that will be academically discussed in colleges one day. 

You are a writer based on your passion for writing, for telling stories, for exploring worlds that no one else can dream of. 

Anyway, I know that this is a motivational post and I have been trying to stick to the technical stuff, but I feel like it's important to tell everyone that there is no measure of success and perfection is an illusion that you will never reach, in writing or in any facet of your life. 

Don't give up on writing because you only have fifteen minutes a day to put down a paragraph. As your story develops, those fifteen minutes will allow you to write even faster and put more down. You will get to the end of the book, I promise. 

At some point, I will write a post about all the fun things we hear from non-writers about writing and as a fun post that all the writers can collectively roll their eyes at, but for now, I'm just going to leave this post here with the single reminder that you are a writer, and you are doing just fine!

Follow this blog, or my social media pages to stay up-to-date with this blog posts. If you have a question about writing, publishing, or anything in general, feel free to post to my Facebook page, or tweet your question to me @kjamidon.

Don't forget to check out my own novels as well! Click the links below!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Sorry everyone! No update today!

I'm pushing really hard on finishing The Significant so I can release it, and I have not had time to work on the blog. I'll try and post something on Friday, though!