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In his book, Telling Writing, Ken Macrorie advises writers to speak truthfully, to avoid artificial language, to avoid trying to sound or write like people they are not:
This is the first requirement for good writing: truth; not the truth (whoever knows surely what that is?), but some kind of truth--a connection between the things written about, the words used in the writing, and the author's experience in a world she knows well--whether in fact or dream or imagination.
Part of growing up is learning to tell lies, big and little, sophisticated and crude, conscious and unconscious. The good writer differs from the bad one in constantly trying to shake the habit. She holds herself to the highest standard of truth telling. Often she emulates children, who tell the truth so easily, partly because they do not sense how truth will shock their elders.
To assist writers with finding their voices, Macrorie offers "shotgunning" exercises in which he advises writers to write non-stop for 15-20 minutes on anything that comes to mind, or about a subject chosen in advance. Continue reading Blog Post #6: Finding Your Voice