Sunday, March 2, 2014

Writing Style

When it comes to writing, are you a “swooper” or a “basher?”
Let me quote Author Kurt Vonnegut’s definitions of each (as copied from page 137 of Timequake):
"Tellers of stories with ink on paper, not that they matter anymore, have been either swoopers or bashers. Swoopers write a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then they go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work. Bashers go one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before they go on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done."
Vonnegut considered himself a basher. 
When I first started writing, I was definitely a swooper. Yup. I pounded out a story as fast as my fingers could type—and then I reviewed, revised, reworked, and edited for months! 
With each novel I've drafted, my process has evolved and I'm trending closer to being a basher now. A first draft can take me months to grind out. I sometimes agonize over ONE PARAGRAPH all day. I make sure I like a chapter or scene before I move to the next one. It's a lot more painstaking, but my final draft is a lot more polished and I end up cutting less in the long run.
So, what category do you fall under–”swooper” or “basher?” What are the pros and cons of each?
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Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. She’s a lucid dreamer, meaning she can direct her dreams while they’re happening. When she’s awake, she pens stories from her dreams and shares them with her readers. Laura has many published titles including the Pride Series (New Pride, Shifting Pride, and Tsavo Pride), the Endure Series (Endure and Evoke), The Zodiac Collector, a novella Sunset Moon in the Lore anthology, and several shorts stories. When she’s not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond--Lucid Dreamer, and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.

If you’re interested in reading more about Laura or interacting with her on the web, check out the following links:

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  1. Swooper most definitely. I can't imagine writing any other way--though of course, that might change. (: I think for me, I need to get an idea out of my mind as quickly as I can otherwise it'll drive me insane. But of course, the drawbacks to being a swooper is that once the first draft is finished, it's a mess.

  2. There's definitely pros and cons to each style. Sometimes the story needs to be written fast so you can get it out of you. Having something to work with is the most important thing.