Ep 96: Elements 10 – Plot. Laura Vincent talks to Pip Adam about her poems ‘ACTIVITIES’ and ‘Anecdotal happiness’

In the fourth episode in the Plot season of Elements, I talk to Laura Vincent, Ngāti Māhanga, about plot and narrative and what it is to write it.

There are four seasons in the Elements series. We’ll be talking about Plot until June. I realised now I used the word ‘Plot’ because I liked the way it sounded with ‘Place’. When I talk about plot what I mean is how a story works. I’m talking about things like narrative and structure but also, something more basic than that – ideas like, Why are some of the world *in* the story and why are some *not in* it? What makes a story ‘finished’? What does a story need to do to make us satisfied?

Laura Vincent

Laura chose two of her poems to talk about, you can read them here:

ACTIVITIES by Laura Vincent, The Friday Poem in The Spinoff https://thespinoff.co.nz/books/12-07-2019/the-friday-poem-activities-by-laura-vincent/

Anecdotal happiness by Laura Vincent, The Friday Poem in The Spinoff https://thespinoff.co.nz/books/10-01-2020/the-friday-poem-anecdotal-happiness-by-laura-vincent/

Some of the things we talk about are:

We talk about the work of Billy Wilder in particular his film Ace in the Hole: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043338/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_33

Laura blogs at Hungry and Frozen https://hungryandfrozen.com/ where you can also find Laura’s Patreon.

Other good places to find Laura are:

Twitter https://twitter.com/HungryandFrozen

Intragram https://www.instagram.com/hungryandfrozen/

TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@hungryandfrozen

Isochronic tones – you can listen to a selection of these here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrpFW99zAUaJT8cKmqeagkg/featured

Laura says: “This is the video I use the most for short bursts of Getting Work Done but I try to mix it up so my brain doesn’t get too used to any one sound. Also this one is weirdly such a bop once it gets going, like I would absolutely dance in the club to it.”


We start off talking about lists. I am very in love with this type of narrative structure. Could you take a story you know well and write it as a list of objects? Or a list of emotions? Or a list of people in the room? When you have this list, try to write something knew from it.

Thank you Copyright Licensing New Zealand for funding the Elements series.

Better off Read is available on iTunes and Spotify and most podcasting apps.

Better off Read is also available on PodBean where you can subscribe by clicking here

Or listen to it here:

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