The Truth, The Lie, and The Story Inbetween

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” —George Orwell

Welcome to the modern age, or maybe just my cynical view of it on a cloudy afternoon. It seems that all we have around us these days are lies. For goodness’ sake, even little pieces of Frosted Mini Wheats lie to us, saying they can make our kids do better in school. There seems to be, in fact, a general consensus that we can’t handle the truth. Heck, we’re so jaded that a poor guy runs his car into a tree or fire hydrant, and we’ve got him convicted of driving under the influence, having a mistress, and probably selling secrets to the Russians.

Enters the writer, to tell a tale, the intentional lie. We go so far nowadays as to put disclaimers that if anything or anyone in the story resembles reality the reader should chalk it up to coincidence (not irony, coincidence). The stories are fictitious, nothing but lies we proclaim with the very heading. We writers should fit right in, shouldn’t we?

For all the lies we tell, fibs we might call them, our writing has power and impact only in proportion to the truth we can surreptitiously weave in the midst of a fanciful story. The place may be as remote as unexplored space, but the fears of being alone speak to many an honest soul. The situation may be as far-fetched as zombies who resemble Karl Marx, but an earnest desire to be an individual rings true. The heroine may be as unlikely as misguided fairy, but that need to make a difference hits home.

So go on, tell me some lies. Just make them good ones.

14 comments Posted 2009-11-30 Author: THX 0477


  • g²LaPianistaIrlandesa

    Ah, see, now I disagree with that a bit. To me, lies are told to intentionally decieve someone, but for the most parts stories are conjurings of the imagination meant to entertain, provoke some thought, or at the very least pass a bit of time. I completely understand what you’re saying, though.

    As a side note, nice one for bringing in uselessness’s old zombie Marxists.

  • Sam Ervin

    Cynical, certainly, but as G2 pointed out, a bit misguided… lies and tales, while of a similar nature, have vastly different intents in their execution.

  • Horrorfan13

    I try to stay an optimist in these pessimistic times, but I see what you are saying. It does seem like the world is encased in lied, but I tend to agree with my esteemed fellow writers. Yes, stories are lies, but like you mentioned, truth is in there somewhere. So I would prefer to think of stories as elaborate ways to tell the truth.

  • Ridcully Calvert

    I read somewhere that authors are nothing more than proffesional liars. I also think so, so I like the tone of this little moral tale.

    I promise I’ll lie as best I can :-D

  • Raegan Dauterive

    I like fiction because you can start with a grain of truth and then just lie your butt off. Also, so… Mini Wheats don’t make you do better in school? =O

  • THX 0477

    To clarify the Mini Wheat statement, yes, they lie. The ad claims about helping you focus are based on a study where, if you read the fine print, the comparison is between kids who ate Mini Wheats and kids who had nothing for breakfast. So, yes, eating something helps more than being nutritionally deprived and half-starved for most of your day. Shocking finding, I know. I think they’re follow up study is going to be if eating Mini Wheats makes you happier than being beaten every day.

  • C. Alexander

    There are facts, but they matter little. Opinion rules the airwaves these days, and the terrifying pounding of incessant advertising does not cease. Stories don’t stand up until there’s a comment section below with ThatGuy27 posting, “First!”

  • blusparrow (LoA)

    well… someone had a rough day. and I will admit the crash thing, was a big let down… and it brings up the fact that we want to believe its true.. all the good is true. mini weats.. they have to be healthy, they just have too because we want to eat them. its all rediculous, but human nature.

  • Marli

    We have to blame someone and my money is on the media. Why? because they are the best at frenzy. They can make a story up out of a crack in the wall. If it is my house +no story. If it is Angelina and Brads house= Is the house insured? The house fell on top of them. The children were trying to dig a hole to China and cracked the wall. Jennifer rammed her car at the wall. The house has to be demolished because of the huge hole. e.t.c. Titbit = sensationalisation=confabulation. If world war 6 broke out Tiger would be safe=new headlines.

  • scratch'n'scrawl

    That last line reminds me of an old joke about what the hooker said to Pinocchio when she was sitting…ummm….errr…over the top of him. (DAMMIT, there’s no way to mark comments as mature!)

  • Jesse Blake

    In terms of alcoholic mixed drinks, I live my life with three shots of hard truth, with enough pineapple lie juice to make it tasty.

  • emily.ruth

    I agree with the first few comments here, as well as with the text of the post. I have to say, in my opinion stories and tales are a way to tell a truth that no one in reality is willing to face. A truth that runs deep but may be difficult to look at. This makes the writer one of the few brave enough to see it, and courageous enough to tell the rest of the world the truth that they see – in a format that will be easier for them to look at – because they can tell themselves it is not true – and easier to understand. In the later case, they just might see what the writer saw, and I think the “lie” of the tale is excused by the enlightenment of just one other person who reads it.

    Great topic. =)

  • Abby (LoA)

    I’m english – what are miniwheats? r they like shreddies? sorry o.O

  • The Note Writer

    Depends on what “Shreddies” are.
    Frosted Mini Wheats is a cereal made out of shredded wheat and frosted.