1. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    "bad writing"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AASmith, Aug 26, 2015.

    Have you guys heard of something called "bad writing"? I learned about it in a writing class I took as part of my BA degree, so it wasn't a class for writers, more so just an elective that I needed to take.

    Anyways, bad writing is where you basically just write to get your ideas out / the frame of your story done. It can be a full story but its bad, so it might say something like "then Jessica walked to the park and sat down. Then peter came along." It tells the story very basically but the idea is to get the frame work done and then when you go back to edit it, that is when you spend time to focus on you will turn it into a gem.

    Do you do this when writing? do you find it helpful or is it double work?

    I started do this with a current story I am writing and it helps in terms of getting all my ideas down so I can progress through it quickly but I am wondering if I am creating more work for myself. This came of the idea of forcing myself to write everyday, to become more disciplined in my writing thus, whether I can formulate great paragraphs or not, i still write.
     
  2. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Well, sort of...I do believe that good writing is revision, revision, revision, and I tend to start each new writing session by revising what I had written the last time. For one thing, this gets my mindset placed in the story where I left off, and I like taking a fresh look at wording. However, I am really writing when I am writing which means I am thoughtful about phrasing, word choices, sentence structure, etc. the first time through. For one thing I like to feel good about what I'm doing as I'm doing it, and I wouldn't feel good about "bad writing" just to get the story out. Too much work to correct later--would prefer to just do bullet points or an outline. Although as I said I'm a huge believer in revision, I want to be tweaking and refining in rewriting, not trying to mill fine furniture from rough-hewn logs. So, kinda depends on what your parameters are for this "bad writing" concept. I recently posted a thread about my urge to race to the end of my novel because I know how it will conclude, but don't have the climax on paper yet (see "Racing to the End" in Plot forum).
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  3. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I will right well if I can, if I know exactly how I want to phrase something I will do that. I write bad in those fill in areas, that was my intention anyways but now it seems like I got stuck in a habit of rushing. I think I need to slow down a bit for sure!
     
  4. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    There is something to the old saying "Haste makes waste." Not sure that you are saving time in the long run by going too fast. Writing what others would pay to read is, after all, an art. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  5. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    I actually like this idea. I will try it. Maybe it's exactly what I need to get me out of my funk.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well that's kinda the idea behind Nanowrimo, right? Write 50k words no matter the quality. The idea of it is to get a rough draft done. It's also the same idea as those who say write everything first and then edit it later, because you can't polish what isn't there and so much could change by the time you've got a full draft that it's not worth editing/polishing until it's done. Idea being that you could spend a few hours or days perfecting a scene/chapter, just to find at the end of the draft that that scene or chapter isn't needed for the story and the whole thing gets cut. People think of that as wasted time/effort.

    It's kinda up to you how you wanna work. If you say it's been helping you, then why not continue that way? It might be double the work but if it means you finish a draft, that's still more than most wannabe writers could claim.

    Personally I edit as I go along. I find the idea of typing out whatever no matter the quality doesn't work for me, because I find it too burdensome to go back to edit. If I know the draft I have is of more or less good quality, then I am happy to go back and edit it. But if I know I have 80,000 words of utter garbage... I'm sorry, I just really don't wanna do it. It's boring to read and my head's constantly going, "Another 75,000 words to go :dead: " and then I just give up.

    The drawback of this approach is, if you're too much of a perfectionist, you end up never finishing because you're always going back trying to perfect what you already have. (another argument for why you should write the whole thing out without editing first time round) To counter this, I simply limit myself to one scene at a time. I never go back further than one scene :ninja:
     
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  7. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    Those darn quotes started me on this path lol! A write once said something about not believing in writers block because he writes whether its good or bad. I wish I remember who said it. I got to thinking that and said "hmm maybe I will try that" lol.
     
  8. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    Yes it has been helping me in terms of getting the story set and creating great dialogue and developing my characters. I am much better when editing than I am writing the first draft. For instance I wrote this children's book and I tried to perfect it as much as possible the first time around which is easy because its less than 1000 words. Then I edited it and so much of it changed wording wise and it became a much much better story. Now im just letting it sit so that I can forget about it a bit so that when I look back on it to edit it again it will feel new to me and hopefully not sound so "perfect."

    I think i will find a good balance. I will challenge myself to really think about it and write well but I will bad write when I need to.
     
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  9. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    On one extreme, you figure out what story you are telling and then figure out how to tell it. You put minimal effort into the writing of the first draft. It serves no purpose other than to store your thoughts so you do not have to remember them all. All that matters is that when you read it, you know what you meant.

    On the other extreme, you tell a story in order to figure out what story you are telling. You write the first draft as if someone is reading over your shoulder. It serves the same purpose as the final draft. It matters that whatever you write, you would be happy to present it to the public.

    Being a perfectionist, I used to tend toward the second extreme. When I realized these extremes even exist, I realized my perfectionism was holding me back. So I forced myself to swing all the way to the first extreme. To combat my perfectionism, I deliberately write in a very rough, colloquial diction in vague terms and without capital letters (and missing a lot of punctuation) just to remind myself not to care how well the first draft is written. And the first draft is chock-full of parenthetical notes to myself like "figure out the details of this later" or "at least that's the gist of what he says". The first extreme is certainly more productive (and less torturous) than the second extreme.

    However, I now realize that going through the effort to articulate a thought to someone else actually clarifies the thought in my own mind. The fact is that we do not just speak in words; we think in words. When I take the time to write an explanation of a problem I am having (especially on Q&A sites like Stack Overflow), I usually solve my own problem.

    Maybe the most productive method is somewhere between the two extremes. A systematic approach where you use words to paint a very clear picture of what you imagine for someone else to read, but without wasting time on stylistic banalities like using beats to make dialogue more readable or choosing words carefully to make descriptions more colorful.
     

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