Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Going Postal, Part 1

Oh, ha ha, I just realized that today is my blogiversary and I can use this as an excuse to put up old posts under the guise of reminiscing when I really just don’t want to think up new posts! Awesome, right? Anyway, here’s the very first post I did, which I had to copy directly from my blog because apparently I don’t have a copy of it in Word. Man, I did not know what I was doing back then.

Day One [First posted 9/15/2010!]

I suppose I’m not quite sure what to say, perhaps because nothing I say hasn’t been said before. A thousand monkeys typing for a thousand years might reproduce the works of Shakespeare, but a single writer most definitely will. Not on purpose, not even consciously. But it does happen. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No. Not if the writer is good.

Back in high school, I was taught there were only five types of stories: man vs. man, man vs. himself (or woman versus herself…I’m a terrible sexist! and a bit lazy), man vs. society, man vs. the natural, and man vs. the supernatural. If I’ve forgotten one or more, forgive me. It doesn’t matter anyway as my point is that reducing stories to man vs. anything is a gross oversimplification. You can say The Scarlet Letter is a person versus society and miss the point entirely, because it isn’t about Hester bearing the punishment for adultery. It’s about Hester. It’s about morality. It’s about love. And it’s about a million other things.

There are other stories that are man/woman versus society. Are they The Scarlet Letter? No! Are they even in the same genre? Nope! Because the real story, the real writing, is in the details, not the one sentence summation. That’s the reason why John Steinbeck could write the story of Cain and Abel and have it come out a book completely different from the book of Genesis.

So, how was this for the first post? Maybe once I get some followers, it will be a bit more impressive. Maybe.

Well, I can answer that question now: it was dumb, but luckily no one saw it. I have no idea what even prompted this line of thought. And how weird that I actually used to post about books and writing. It’s almost like this used to be a writer’s blog or something.


  1. I don't think it was dumb! (You really should go back and see my first post.) I never heard of those five types of stories. That is really oversimplifying it. And not everything fits. What is Star Trek? It's not man versus the universe...

  2. I remember one English teacher telling us the same thing.

    Congrats on your blogiversary. I'd have to go back really far to find my first post.

  3. Don't forget Man Versus Soul Crushing Job.

  4. There are really only three types of story:
    man vs man
    man vs himself
    man vs nature
    The ones you have listed break down into those three.
    The new, fourth one being considered (but it still being debated) is man vs technology (because enough people now feel that technology can no longer be equated with nature or always taken as man vs himself).

  5. Oops, I don't have any copies of posts in Word. I'd better fix that in case someone decides to scrub out my blog...

    Good first post! It's interesting. Mine basically said: "Hello, I'm Nick".

  6. My first post is buried somewhere. The site is now defunct, so unless someone has an old screenshot, it's probably gone.

    I remember in band they told us that there were only 12 notes and 7 rhythms. Yet, all the diversity of music comes from that. We all start somewhere, eh?

  7. I don't have copies of my blog posts in Word either. But if my blog was to fall off the face of the earth, I don't feel like I'll have lost anything much. But neat idea to go back and see what you started with. I may just have to do that too. I hate to think what I wrote on that dim, distant day.

  8. Happy blogoversary! I don't know if I should dare revisit my first post. :)

  9. Congrats on the blogoversary. Did you invent a new word? I do believe there are only so many plots in storytelling but like you, the important stuff is in the characters.

    Susan Says

  10. My daughter would like to throw East of Eden at John Steinbeck. She seriously did not enjoy reading it this summer (it was assigned, of course). She kept yelling at the pages, "I get it; I get it! Cain and Abel. All right already!!!!!"


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