Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Two Cows' Guide to Creative Writing

I'm sure you've heard of the Two Cows' Guide to Economics and World Politics before. If not, they basically explain complex political and economic systems by assuming you have two cows and telling you what happens next. I thought I'd try the same for creative writing.
Most of these apply to novels, but there are a couple towards the end for short story writers and poets. All cows are equal in this post. (But some are more ... oh come on, you know what's coming.)

1st draft: You don't have any cows. You settle for two piles of BS.

1st readthrough: You have two cows. Upon closer inspection, one is actually a bull. The other is a corpse.

Beta-reading/CPs: You have two cows. You show them to friends, who write treatises on how you can milk cows better. Now you want two bunnies instead.
Why? Why not?
Rewriting: You have two bunnies. With extensive use of paint, stilts, and carrots for bribery, you turn them into two cows.

Main characters: You have two cows. You torture them and squish them and talk to them.

Character development: You have two cows. You subvert tropes by painting stripes on one. The other cow evolves into a bunny.

Character deaths: You have two cows. One makes too much milk and is too happy. You kill it.
Accidental foreshadowing: You have two cows. One dies. You remember a day three months ago when it barked. You tell other people that it barked a prophesy of doom.

Line editing: You have two cows. You clean every inch of their hide. While you are cleaning their ears, you discover they are actually bunnies. (Now rewrite the damn thing.)

Querying: You have two cows. You take them to market and accidentally put them with the bunnies. While you wait for buyers, you make more cows.

Dead genres: You have two cows. There are too many cows for sale. People tell you to sell bunnies instead.

Poetry: You have two cows. One's eyes look like the other cow's eyes and maybe stars. Stars are always good.
Word vomit: You have two cows, or so you think. In reality, you have been up until 2 AM these past days and the cows appear to be random paint blotches of black and white.

Blogging: You have two cows. You don't want to feed them, so you call up other cow owners and talk about how to feed cows. You gain lots of cow owner friends, but you still haven't sold your cows.

The actual writing life: You have two cows. You don't want to feed them, so you write a post about two cows and try to be funny.

Twitter-sized takeout:
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  1. That last one! Very accurate. ;) As well as the one for dead genres. . .

    I haven't heard of the guide your referring to, but this was still funny. :) It does rather annoy me when people shoot down an idea because it's from a "dead" genre. I'd say something like, "Watch me resurrect it." *rolls eyes* People and the mainstream.

    Also, I like the twitter pic about poetry. :D


    I mean, blogging cows are definitely something I'm familiar with (but you wouldn't know anything about that, hem hem). I think dead genres, the first readthrough, and the main characters are my favorites but they are ALL hilarious and accurate.

    This was a good way to start my morning.


    (The original Two Cows guide is like my favorite thing, so.)

    I feel like I've gone through the "first readthrough" one TOO MANY TIMES with OtMS, oh my goodness. And that bunny gif? Adorable but also *gold*. Okay, so every single thing in this post is heartbreakingly accurate (#poetrylife) and also reminds me that I should go make cows that don't look like Jackson Pollock paintings. AND THE BUNNIES. I feel like I also make a lot of bunnies. Oops.

    (In response to the poetry tweet you embedded, I will quote a thing I saw someone say on Facebook: "No, you don't understand. Things ARE other things.")

  4. THIS IS HILARIOUS. I have no idea about the original two cow thing because I'm just...I don't even know. I have no idea. BUT THIS WAS JUST SO FUNNY. Yes to the last one. Why feed the cows. I refuse to feed the cows. I'm pretty sure my cows aren't cows but, or something. BUT I PRETEND THEY'RE COWS.
    I don't know what I'm saying.
    I'll shut up.


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