tell us something uncomfortable about ourselves. Take cliché in writing: it must come very near the top of my most-hated list, yet my daydreams ooze it like sap. Despite my best efforts, triteness drips steadily into my fiction. Feeds it? Sweetens it? Perhaps we ought to stop castigating ourselves, hoarding and refining the rawness instead. Our flaws are frequently the stuff which makes us interesting; writing is no different. I’m beginning to suspect that what my critics first pounce on is exactly what constitutes – or will eventually constitute – my voice.