BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Muse, News and Views

The writer’s most natural style…Kurt Vonnegut Quotes for Writers (and people who like quotes)

LanguageThe writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child. English was Conrad’s third language, and much that seems piquant in his use of English was no doubt colored by his first language, which was Polish. And lucky indeed is the writer who has grown up in Ireland, for the English spoken there is so amusing and musical. I myself grew up in Indianapolis, where common speech sounds like a band saw cutting galvanized tin, and employs a vocabulary as unornamental as a monkey wrench.

In some of the more remote hollows of Appalachia, children still grow up hearing songs and locutions of Elizabethan times. Yes, and many Americans grow up hearing a language other than English, or an English dialect a majority of Americans cannot understand.

All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful. No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life. If it happens to not be standard English, and if it shows itself when your write standard English, the result is usually delightful, like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue. Kurt Vonnegut

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4 comments on “The writer’s most natural style…Kurt Vonnegut Quotes for Writers (and people who like quotes)

  1. Mira Prabhu
    May 24, 2015

    Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    As Kurt Vonnegut says, “The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child…
    All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful. No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life. If it happens to not be standard English, and if it shows itself when your write standard English, the result is usually delightful, like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue.”

    As I write and re-write my own second novel, beta-readers point out that I am using an Elizabethan phrase here or there…what they may not realize is that I picked up those phrases in childhood, in post-colonial India…and they are authentic to me. Thank you Kurt Vonnegut, and Bridget Whelan, for reminding me that authenticity is more vital to good writing than “being right” in the critical eyes of the mainstream.

    • bridget whelan
      May 24, 2015

      So glad you found Kurt Vonnegut’s thoughts on the writer’s voice every bit as valid and thought provoking as I did…fascinated that Elizabethan phrases are a natural element in the way you express yourself, freely and without self-conscious construction. They are part of your mother tongue….

  2. Cynthia Reyes
    May 25, 2015

    Great observation, Bridget. Thanks for this.

  3. theowllady
    May 28, 2015

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

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This entry was posted on May 24, 2015 by in Quotes and tagged , , , .
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