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JOAN BARTH ON: TRUTH

December 20, 2010

How much truth is there in your writing? Does it include burping, farting, pooping or only smoothed over events? Does it say your hero felt like killing his girlfriend or only depict the romantic episodes in their lives? Does it show the chef burning the entrée or presenting a fine dish?

When you write you must include it all. When you edit, you can delete what is unnecessary. An author shouldn’t whitewash her work. It is incumbent that an author includes it all. The reader must decide what is important to them.

The reader may not care that there were three beers in the refrigerator or that the horse had one lame leg, but the author deemed that information necessary to the story.

As you write, you may determine that you want to present a style that readers will want. Do you write for them or for you? How truthful are you?

 

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