Understudy 34

November 14th, 2013, 7:49 am

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Reply TheCatMolloy, November 14th, 2013, 9:13 am

It's actually pretty cloudy today, these pictures were taken a couple of days ago when it was bright out (but still ball-shrivellingly cold). In the end I opened the door for Aleister and he looked at me like I'd betrayed him.

Anyway, we got a little poem out of it, so it's all good.

Today, Cosmo the Quote Bunny is quoting Lord Byron


I think one of my favourite things about writing poems is that they're relatively short. The language is assembled quite meticulously, but you don't have to keep going for as many words as you do in prose.

Here's a passage from Kurt Vonnegut's 'Timequake':

"Tellers of stories with ink on paper, not that they matter any more, 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."

I think most writers do a little of both, but I've always leaned more towards the 'basher' side of things. Even in writing blog posts my most frequently-pressed key is 'backspace'. It leads to a nice terse style, but it would be exhausting to keep up for the length of a novel.

Vonnegut himself was a basher, and managed to write long-form by skewing off on tangents every couple of pages. I love Vonnegut's prose, but his novels are full of digressions and diatribes and Kilgore Trout stories. It all comes together in the end for the most part, but sometimes you can see where he finishes up an idea and has to segue through a couple of tangentially-related concepts to get back to the main narrative.

Anyway, I find short stories or poems much more conducive to the 'basher' approach. Twenty minutes' indecision over an adjective doesn't seem quite so silly when you're not shooting for fifty thousand words.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don't do NaNoWriMo.

Reply Advertisement, September 24th, 2017, 1:52 am

Reply NtKPaige, November 14th, 2013, 5:26 pm

NaNo. NO. NOOOOO! I have to confess to being more of a basher than a swooper, but a basher that keeps coming back and doing hard edits swooper style, which is probably the worst combo for a Nano writer. That's my excuse anyway. That and I write best under pressure. . .

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Reply GabrielsThoughts, November 14th, 2013, 1:50 pm

@TheCatMolloy An excellent poem, thank you. Did you come up with it yourself?

I, of course, reject your reality on the grounds that poets are (more frequently than not) amateur writers. Thus allowing them freedom from the punishments to scroll. Creative license will not be denied, It's not something one buries under a river in Egypt or hides with a lie.

When I read poetry, I am often reminded of Shel Silverstein. Mostly because his poetry was required reading in third grade and I've read at least three of his books. The following is but a sample of his work...

"My dad gave me a dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes-- I guess he didn't know
Three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And 'cause he couldn't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes
And four is more than three!

And then I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

Then I went and showed my dad,
and he got red in the cheeks
He closed his eyes and shook his head--
Too proud of me to speak!"

As you can see through the example of that poor boy in Silverstein's cautionary tale, a child who was no doubt a student of Dale Carnegie and Ben Franklin, did not assemble his words as meticulously or diligently as one would expect of an economist, accountant, or financial planner.

In fact, if I didn't know better, one might think the poem was written by Juan Bobo. So, obviously, precision and attention to detail are not a requirement for one to communicate through poetics. In my humble opinion, you appear to have confused poetry for politics. Where in the latter an argument can be valid but incorrect.

Another way of putting it would be to say just because something is ugly doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. However, using your argument, ugly equals bad. therefore poetry only exists when it's pretty. Or worse, poetry only exists when it's good. For me that's not a very good argument, even if it is your opinion. Sorry. As per usual, I guess we'll have to disagree on this one.

I disagree with the categorization of people, which is why I have no desire to be a psychologist. However, I believe counseling is a necessary evil if society is to advance.

Reply TheCatMolloy, November 14th, 2013, 2:38 pm

...what?

I like that you're disagreeing, but you're not disagreeing with anything I actually said.

I like the Shel Silverstein poem though.

Reply Saskyou, November 14th, 2013, 2:55 pm

OOoooh yes The life of a basher writer is quite exciting. I've been writing my book for about 3 years now, and I only need to start writing, for it to be done!
Much joy!
And also quite brilliantly depressing...
Especially when you realize that you are actually a shitty writer, and you need a lot of practice before you can get into that wonderful idea you've been working on for years, to get an actually enjoyable piece. So you start another story! Oh, I only need to plan out the world still, then the story itself, then the characters, then I just need to start writing it.
Yeah...

Now that you say, by the way, I also realized that I love Youtube comments for the exact same reason!
You have to consider that 500 character limit, while you need to keep your comment understandable. A real challenge in theological and scientific arguments, but a real bliss when you make a great comment. Almost like art!

And I know that I should write in past tense, but I just... just... F you, Google, F you...

Edit:
@GabrielsThoughts I just read your comment...
Are you sure you replied to the right place?

Reply DrakeFeatherwing, November 14th, 2013, 4:58 pm

NaNo @TheCatMolloy Heh. For me, NaNo is the thrill of trying to write 50,000 words, and the swooper tends to shine during that. One of the things you get for writing those 50k words is a chance to publish it, which is when the basher in me starts to sneak out for its nightly prowl... So Vonnegut wields a double-edged sword to me... (I never took them up on their publishing offer though... XD)

Reply GabrielsThoughts, November 14th, 2013, 8:35 pm

Order of operations See picture

post comment.

Make statement, ask question.

follow first two carnegie rules as follows...

1. Do not condemn, criticize, complain, or otherwise confront others with the truth unless you are prepared to face the consequences.

2. Show genuine concern and appreciation for the accomplishments and opinions of others.

Quote The Cat Malloy

""I think one of my favourite things about writing poems is that they're relatively short. The language is assembled quite meticulously, but you don't have to keep going for as many words as you do in prose.""

My response:
I, of course, reject your reality on the grounds that poets are (more frequently than not) amateur writers. Thus allowing them freedom from the punishments to scroll. Creative license will not be denied, It's not something one buries under a river in Egypt or hides with a lie.

I Provide example using Shel Silverstein through Juan Bobo and then elaborate some more.

Simplifying an argument against poetry being "language assembled meticulously" for those momentarily in a state of low elaboration by stuffing it in a nutshell is tricky.

Reads about Kurt Vonnegut's Swoopers and Bashers.

Rushed Response:
I disagree with the categorization of people, which is why I have no desire to be a psychologist. However, I believe counseling is a necessary evil if society is to advance.

You'll note the final statement ties into earlier extrapolation of data where I argued that the Gar was overgeneralizing or categorizing poetry as being "language meticulously assembled" by denying anything not meticulously assembled as something other than poetry. Politics is indeed something other than Poetry that has more in common with that line of thinking.

Psychology, in particular diagnosis, is a study in the somewhat inaccurate categorization people. Categorization, in my opinion, is dangerous because it leads to the death of creativity. I prefer to believe that poetry has a broad definition that includes everyone and excludes almost no one.

We live in a wonderful technological age where anyone can have their work, independent or otherwise, published for any price and with any level of quality they choose. The trick to making money is not making things. And, excluding individuals based on preconceived ideals isn't going to open the marketplace to you. It just makes you another gatekeeper protecting a castle wall that needs no protection.

Reply DrakeFeatherwing, November 15th, 2013, 4:07 am

@GabrielsThoughts I'm pretty sure it wasn't, but if it was directed to me, sailed right over my kitty-lovin' noggin. If not, disregard this little bit o' babblin'.

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