To take the most obvious first: I found myself thinking as I wrote, “These poor adults are never going to understand this; I must explain it to them twice more and then remind them again later in different terms.” Now this is something I never have to think when I write for younger readers. Children are used to making an effort to understand. They are asked for this effort every hour of every school day, and though they may not make the effort willingly, they at least expect it. In addition, nearly everyone between the ages of nine and fifteen is amazingly good at solving puzzles and following complicated plots - this being the happy results of many hours spent at computer games and watching television. I can rely on this. I can make my plots for them as complex as I please, and yet I know I never have to explain them more than once (or twice at the very most). And here I was, writing for people of fifteen and over, assuming that the people who read, say, Fire and Hemlock last year have now given up using their brains.
This is back-to-front to what one usually assumes, if one only looks on the surface, but I found it went much deeper than that. At first I thought it was my own assumption, based on personal experiences. Once when I was doing a signing, a mother came in with her nine-year-old son and berated me for making The Homeward Bounders so difficult. So I turned to the boy to ask him what he didn’t understand. “Oh, don’t listen to her,” he said. “I understood everything. It was just her that didn’t.” It was clear to both of us that his poor mother had given up using her brain when she read. Likewise, a schoolmaster who was supposed to be interviewing me for a magazine explained to me that he had tried to read Charmed Life and couldn’t understand a word, which meant, he said, that it was much too difficult for children. So he didn’t interview me. He was making the surface assumption that children need things easy. But since I have never come across a child that didn’t understand Charmed Life, it occurred to me that he was making the assumption about himself. But it was a hidden one, and when I came to write for adults, I realized that it was something all adults assumed. I grew tender of their brains and kept explaining.
This makes an absurd situation. Here we have books for children, which a host of adults dismiss as puerile, overeasy, and are no such thing; and there we have books for adults, who might be supposed to need something more advanced and difficult, which we have to write as if the readers were simpleminded. — Diana Wynne Jones, “Two Kinds of Writing?” (via delirious-bitter-gardens)
The last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired ten years ago today on May 20th, 2003
10 years without the show that forever changed my life.
God, I feel old.
This app teaches kids to code by letting them make their own games.
‘Worst’ File-Sharing Pirates Spend 300% More on Content Than ‘Honest’ Consumers | TorrentFreak -
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has just published a study into the state of online copyright infringement in the UK, with some very interesting conclusions. The researchers found that 10% of the country’s most prolific infringers are responsible for almost 80% of all infringements carried out online, but with a bonus. These plus an additional 10% of infringers spend 300% more than ‘honest’ consumers who don’t infringe copyright at all.
Holly Black's Tumblr: COVERFLIP: WHAT NOW? -
Remember Coverflip? I hope so, because it just happened. But if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click the link or Google it or just make something up in your head.
It got a lot of coverage. First in the United States, the article went slightly supernova on