This week’s provocative question deals with exaggerations, embellishments, and lies.
“How do you feel about people who always seem to exaggerate when relating a story? Do you equate embellishment with lying? As a blogger, when, if ever, is stretching the truth, other than when writing fiction, permissible?”
I think this is a question that has no bearing on writers because you are trying to draw a sharp line between “hard data” and “fiction.”
There is no such line. A myth is a story stretched out and exaggerated. Unless you are writing instruction — like a manual or the results of a scientific study — there’s no line nor ought there be one. Many “fictional books” are essentially true, but to make the story more readable, timelines are compressed and multiple characters are combined into one character.
That’s not lying.
That’s writing. That’s telling a story. That’s creativity. That’s what we are all about. It’s what we do. That’s why there’s no clear line between a “docu-drama” and “realistic fiction.” Why story-telling is an art and not a science.
I’ve written manuals and scientific studies. I did it for money. Those documents are fact-based and of necessity must be, but everything else is a story.
Blogging is what I do for fun. You are welcome to call it whatever you want, as long as I get to write in whatever form I choose. Once you start to define creativity, you effectively make it NOT fun anymore.
By the way … If you have a friend who exaggerates stories in which you were involved? You are welcome to interrupt him or her and add your piece of the adventure. Nobody ever said you have to sit passively by and just listen.
We have a president who lies. He says things are true that are not true and these things are supposedly based on facts. THAT is lying. But then again, I’m not the one standing in front of the American people promising to make it great again because I don’t know when it stopped being great.