Swooper or Basher? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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USPMAN
08-12-2004, 22:30
According to Kurt Vonnegut, writers are either Swoopers (write quickly and then edit heavily) or Bashers (write slowly and deliberately, finishing each sentence before moving on). Which method do you prefer?

tous
08-12-2004, 23:58
USPMAN, with all due respect to Mr. Vonnegut, I find that as you grow in the craft of writing you learn what is good and what is not and then tend to type the good stuff and not type the bad stuff.

That said, I work with writers who use the 'open a vein, bleed all over the page and clean it up later' approach and that seems to work for them. I also work with writers who will spend 20 minutes on an adjective and that seems to work for them.

For me, there is only one draft, some of it done quickly, some of it done deliberately and then a finished product so I suppose I am a Swasher ... or am I a Booper?;f ;f ;f

hillkillr
08-13-2004, 05:06
Swasher...me too, but I'd call it rushing with confidence. I usually write fast once I get an idea, but good ideas don't come often for me, weeks to years sometimes.

KennyC
08-13-2004, 05:30
Swooper (or Swasher sometimes :) ) it really depends. As I said in another thread, I'm a poet and sometimes poems come to me (yeah really...pop into my head) almost fully formed and I just write them down and with some minor fiddling they are done.

In other cases, I've worked for years on certain poems and they are still not right. That may be because they are just the wrong topic or I can't say well enough what I want to say or ???

In some cases I've had poems work where I deliberately set out to accomplish a certain feeling or idea or effect and craft the poem slowly and deliberately to do just that.

I've had both kinds published, but the ones that feel right are the ones the come to me from the muse fully formed.

KAC
BTW there's a great interview with Li-Young Lee (my favorite poet) in this month's Rattle magazine.

MrGlock21
08-13-2004, 18:51
;e I guess I'm ready for some booping & swashing this weekend. Sounds like fun.

MrsKitty
08-13-2004, 19:29
I am a swasher & booper combo ;P

I may spend hours, days, weeks, months even writing something in my head. Then I type it out FAST. I only want to get it down before I loose it. Then I spend many hours editing, re-editing and editing some more. Finally, I will put it away for several days, or longer if I can, then do a final edit. Let it sit one more day then read to see if I am still happy.

On the other hand, I sometimes nit-pick myself to death as I work. Each word can be a battle.

My style (and resulting speed) is determined by the enthuasism I have for the piece. If I really believe in what I am doing, I am more motivated and more likely to strive for perfection. If not, it is a chore for me to accomplish anything.

One thing I do regardless is not worry about spelling while I write. Nor grammer. I am sure you have noticed this reading my posts. When I want to say something, stopping to fix a misspelled word or the use of the wrong verb tense causes me to loose my train of thought. I usually cannot spot my mistakes on the screen either--I print it out and they will jump out at me. Anybody else have this problem?

tous
08-14-2004, 14:36
misskitty, I have that problem. I like to read something I can hold in my hand and makes notes on. I have never gotten comfortable reading text on a screen, but then, I'm so old my first book was on stone tablets.;P ;P ;P

Besides, my kitty likes to curl up and nap on whatever I'm reading and she can't nap on a monitor. ;f ;f ;f

One of the biggest problem I see amongst new writers is that they have great affection and enthusiasm for the fun parts and no affection or enthusiasm for the boring parts of their work. I can always tell a piece where the fun parts are written first and then the writer went back and sort of patched in the chunks in between. :cool:

I suggest a cosmic rule: all writers must have a napping kitty within 3 feet (.96 meter) of them at all times.~2 ~2 ~2

MrsKitty
08-14-2004, 17:19
oops

MrsKitty
08-14-2004, 17:25
Originally posted by tous
Besides, my kitty likes to curl up and nap on whatever I'm reading and she can't nap on a monitor. ;f ;f ;f


Kitty can nap on top of the monitor with the apporiate bed ;)

tous
08-16-2004, 06:19
Great kitties!
^5 ^5^5^5^5^5 ^5 ^5^5^5^5^5 ^5 ^5^5^5^5^5

clubsoda22
08-18-2004, 00:28
i swoop, then bash the living crap out of everything i just swooped.

farranger
08-18-2004, 22:29
I be a swoosher who don't edit too hevily, he he. Kyle

farranger
08-18-2004, 22:31
Is your cat a Russian Blue or a thai kitty? Kyle

MrsKitty
08-19-2004, 09:46
Originally posted by farranger
Is your cat a Russian Blue or a thai kitty? Kyle

She is an old alley cat I found actually!

No idea what she is. Found her when she was less than a week old. My vet talked me through handfeeding her and other adventures. Today I have a beautiful, moody cat ;f

Cali-Glock
08-19-2004, 10:00
Originally posted by misskitty5077
I am a swasher & booper combo ;P

I may spend hours, days, weeks, months even writing something in my head. Then I type it out FAST. I only want to get it down before I loose it. Then I spend many hours editing, re-editing and editing some more. Finally, I will put it away for several days, or longer if I can, then do a final edit. Let it sit one more day then read to see if I am still happy.


ROTFL

It depends on what I am writing and other factors; but I do both. Mostly I am a swooper; though sometimes I will do so on a macro scale: ie: write out a paragraph quickly and then re-edit for quite a while, then re-read the whole document; edit the whole document; move on to the next paragraph, stop -edit that paragraph; re-read the whole document.. and the cycle moves on.

Other times, I may spend a LONG time on each sentence as I write it, delete it, write half of it, search for the right words to communicate what I really want to say, etc.

My wife is doing some editing/consulting for a first time novelist. She says he has some talent but he is apparently a half swooper, he throws some pretty good stream of consciousness content down, but apparently does not re-read/self edit his own work. What a nightmare - Due to his writing style/( or lack of) the project is a whole lot more work than my wife anticipated. The kid is green. BUT the good news is that he is learning a lot based on my wife's editing, and she says he is changing how he writes, and his submissions are getting better.

JPhule
08-21-2004, 23:13
Pardon me but Kurt Vonnegut can kiss my arse. I'm not impressed with him and refuse to worship him like we are all supposed to.

He is also wrong here.

I have never met anyone who fits into either of those catagories.

I work quickly AND deliberatly. When you have a larger vocabulary (I'm not trying to brag on myself) and a fairly good grasp of the english language as a whole, you can write both deliberatly and swiftly. Most people I know have enough of both to strike that balance.

True, I make grammatical, spelling and puncuation errors all the time, but correcting those are generally the extent of my revisions.

I know what I want to say when I put 'pen to paper', or more commonly, 'fingertips to keys'.

But, like others have said: Sometimes my ideas are a long time coming.


Edited to Add: Ayn Rand can kiss it too. I don't know why I just thought of her, but it needed to be said.

USPMAN
08-22-2004, 21:02
I think the best way lies somewhere in the middle. The best writting seems to be written quickly, edited extensively, shelved, opened again in a year, and edited again before publishing.

And as for Mr. Vonnegut, he certainly chose some rather homosexual names for writing styles. ;g

MrMurphy
08-24-2004, 21:18
I guess I'm a swoopenbasher..... I "see" the story in my head movie style, points of view and dialog in my head, and just describe it as I go. So I write fast when I do write, and edit little. It generally doesn't need much.

Glennbo
08-25-2004, 01:42
I swoop horror stories to magazines and they bash 'em right back at me.

bedlambelle
08-25-2004, 22:09
[QUOTE]Originally posted by JPhule
[B]Pardon me but Kurt Vonnegut can kiss my arse. I'm not impressed with him and refuse to worship him like we are all supposed to.

Amen
Vonnegut is a liberal coward

raindog
08-26-2004, 11:14
I'm a swooper but I sure take my slow-ass time about swooping. =)

MrGlock21
08-26-2004, 15:44
Vonnegut is a liberal coward [/B][/QUOTE]

The majority of writers are liberal, all over the world. Especially in Europe, bleeding liberal, zombic liberal.
...one of the reasons I left Glockland and immigrated to Texas.

Timber Wolf
08-28-2004, 16:19
Originally posted by MrGlock21
Vonnegut is a liberal coward

The majority of writers are liberal, all over the world. Especially in Europe, bleeding liberal, zombic liberal.

....
[/B][/QUOTE]
Exactly why I appreciate a writing forum here. I never was comfortable hanging out with most becasue they are such a liberal bunch.

agtman
08-30-2004, 16:30
"Ayn Rand can kiss it too."


Not sure whether your beef is political or not, but you can sure do a lot worse than Rand when studying the prose styles of various writers (fiction or nonfiction).

"Swoopers" vs. "Bashers" - these labels really sweep too broadly to serve as accurate categories for individual writers.

Vonnegut's nonsense aside, I've always found wisdom in Hemingway's apothegm:

"All first drafts are *****." :)

Remember: good writing comes from re-writing. ;)

Eins36
09-01-2004, 01:26
Both. Depending on whether I know what I want to say or want to say something and don't know what.

Not sure if I agree with E.B. White, writer (1899-1985), who wrote
"The best writing is rewriting."

glockess56
09-16-2004, 00:20
I don't know about your terminology or who is write or wrong. Whatever works for the writer is right. Whatever helps one write at his/her best is the right thing to do. I like to write out my story, article, whatever longhand. Then I type it and revise it. Then I revise and revise until I'm satisfied it is my best (to a writer, what is his/her best?) We need this forum to help us, not to argue with each other on terminology or what writer is best. We need each others' encouragement, because we get enough rejections in the other world. We need to give each other encouragement, tips for publication, methods we find that work with our writing and the self-discipline to do it. :soap: ;+ ;+

JPhule
09-16-2004, 00:41
Originally posted by glockess56
I don't know about your terminology or who is write or wrong. Whatever works for the writer is right. Whatever helps one write at his/her best is the right thing to do. I like to write out my story, article, whatever longhand. Then I type it and revise it. Then I revise and revise until I'm satisfied it is my best (to a writer, what is his/her best?) We need this forum to help us, not to argue with each other on terminology or what writer is best. We need each others' encouragement, because we get enough rejections in the other world. We need to give each other encouragement, tips for publication, methods we find that work with our writing and the self-discipline to do it. :soap: ;+ ;+


Nope. I'm pretty sure I'm right about vonnegut and his stupid ideas.