First off the rank this week is a guest post from Joe Bunting on Write It Sideways. In his post — Which Comes First: Conflict or Characterization? — he suggests writers should figure out all the conflict before you start on characterisation, because “if you have to be mean, why not do it to a stranger?”. I don’t really agree with his methodology (but I’m also terrible at plotting before I start writing), but it’s an interesting article, and has prompted some great discussion in the comments.
On the other hand, perhaps trying a different method would help me avoid the Barbie Jeep Method of First Drafts that Laura Stanfill wrote about this week. It all felt a bit too familiar when I read the line: “There’s a great sense of motion and accomplishment that, apparently, is missing when she tries a slower, more methodical approach.”
This week, of course, one of the biggest news stories was the death of Steve Jobs. I read a lot of quotes, blogs, and articles about him as a man and as a creative genius. I have to admit: I don’t own a single Apple product. I don’t have an iPhone, or an iPod, or iAnything, and it’s at least 15 years since I last touched a Mac. But, even with Apple affecting my life as little as it seems to, I’ve always felt a certain indefinable kinship with the company. (It doesn’t have to make sense. Leave me alone.) The tribute that I most empathised with was written by author Yuvi Zalkow, and finishes: “I don’t know shit about the man, but these things he envisioned open doors for our stories to be told.”
I had a good I-hear-ya-sister chuckle at Stephanie’s post on Momma Be Thy Name when she wrote: “After the twins arrived, I envisioned them sleeping together peacefully inside a pea pod, or a basket, or dressed in bumblebee costumes, surrounded by puffs of tulle and bathed in soft light. What we actually have are two babies who alternate between using each other as step stools and using each other as punching bags.” Go check out her post, Damn You, Anne Geddes.
Last but not least, I came across this blog via Bridget of Twinisms fame, and have fallen instantly and irrevocably in love with it. Stuff Boys Do is a great blog written by a Dad with three young sons. This week’s super-hilarious post is all about boys worrying about robbers. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was written about 4-year-old Big Brother.
“What if robbers wanted to take our piggy banks and all our toys but some of the toys were painted but some were not painted, would the robbers take only the painted toys or do they take toys that are not painted or only painted ones?”