Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Our Blog Conversation Takes a Turn toward Truth. . .

Truth and Fiction This past Monday was the last full post about pop-ups and other charming and surprising books.

The last because, when there are no comments on a post, I change the topic :-)

However, just before I launch into the new topic for discussion, I’ll offer a link to a post on Publetariat that has a video with all kinds of pop-ups—a video with the creator of those pop-ups—a link to a tutorial on making pop-ups.

So, perhaps another day, we might, once again, talk about pop-ups and other charming things…

Even so, I feel strongly about the next topic offered for conversation here:

Does Fiction Always Have a Core of Truth?

There are many quotes by well-known writers that deal with truth and fiction; but, for now, I think I’ll offer just one:

“It’s in literature that true life can be found. It’s under the mask of fiction that you can tell the truth.”
~~~ Gao Xingjian

Next, I’ll aim those interested toward my archives for posts about fiction and truth

Plus, here’s something I said about it in my past post, Does Fiction Always Tell The Truth?

“’Truth’ can be a slippery topic—it can have ‘layers’—it can change over time…

“Then, there’s the word ‘fiction’—sometimes used to mean, ‘an untruth’; sometimes to mean, ‘an invented statement or narrative’.

“And, being ‘invented’ doesn’t automatically make something untrue…

“Do all fiction authors strive to have the truth ring out from their invented tales?

“Should they?”

And, the discussion linked to within that past post, Should Fiction Writers Tell the Truth?, by James Scott Bell, is definitely worth a read…

So, if you’d like to have this topic continue for awhile, just make a comment, long or short…

And, if you would rather discuss something else, mention it in a comment…

However, before you make any comments, you may want to consider the 9 quotes I included in that past post:

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”

Albert Camus

“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.”

Jessamyn West

“Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.”

Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

“There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.”

Doris Lessing, Under My Skin: Volume One of My Autobiography, to 1949

“That’s what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth.”

Tim O’Brien

“A good story is always more dazzling than a broken piece of truth.”

Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

“But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.”

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”

Khaled Hosseini

“If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.”

Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

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5 responses to “Our Blog Conversation Takes a Turn toward Truth. . .

  1. juliecroundblog April 19, 2018 at 6:46 am

    If I didn’t put truth in my books I’d have nothing to write about. Of course one adapts the truth to fit a story but who hasn’t used a remembered place or situation, or even a character in their fiction? I believe even if an author writes fantasy they still use attitudes remembered from real life. My readers often ask if a character in my novels is really me and there are bits of me and my experiences in every book. Truth and imagination are blended in fiction, just as they are in drama.
    I’m told my books read like a ‘soap.’ and take that as a compliment, not a criticism.


  2. Alexander M Zoltai April 19, 2018 at 9:46 am

    :-) Well, good for you, Julie—my life has very often seemed like a “soap”; so, there ya go…

    Thanks for the comment and for keeping this part of our conversation going…


  3. Jane Watson April 23, 2018 at 7:40 am

    I believe that fiction does always have a core of truth – But what does ‘core of truth’ mean? For me ‘truth’ in this sense means an authentic voice, and an emotional centre whose logic rings true. I don’t think the truth we are talking about here is the same as ‘it actually happened in reality’….A Hobbit did not take the ring to Mordor at any time we can remember in real life, but the whole story resonates with an emotional, mythological and spiritual Truth – which is why we read it.

    Many writers I believe start with the grain of some small fact which they fictionalise into some larger world of even greater truth.


  4. Alexander M Zoltai April 23, 2018 at 7:43 am

    I concur with all you say, Jane; and, thank you for saying it :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Our Blog Conversation Stays Focused on Truth in Fiction | Notes from An Alien

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