Monday, December 29, 2008

NON-fiction means it's NOT made up

If you want to write your life's story, then write your life's story. If your life's story is too boring to be written, then don't write your life's story.

This doesn't mean you can't write anything. It means that, when you write whatever it is you write -- which is not you actual life's story -- you have to call it "fiction." Because that's what it is. This is not a hard concept to grasp.

So, some guy made up a heart-warming story about how he and his wife met, so they could win a Valentine's Day contest. Oprah jumped on it (she seems to have a knack for these things - I'm sure you remember the James Frey debacle), and the guy ended up with a book-and-movie-to-follow deal.

He forgot to tell everybody the whole thing was FAKE.

In the article, the guy is quoted saying, "I wanted to bring happiness to people. I brought hope to a lot of people. My motivation was to make good in this world."

Good for you, dude. We all want to "bring happiness to people." (Okay, fine, maybe not all of us. But I'm sure some of you do.) You don't have to LIE to us to do that.

I'm sure your story is very pretty. I'd like to read it. But I'll have much more happiness brought to me if I know what I'm reading - if I read it and then find out it was all a BIG, FAT LIE, then I'm not going to be too "happiness." I'm not going to be full of hope, I'm going to be full of angriness for being lied to and duped. You don't "make good in this world" by deceiving people.

And, dude, when you're caught in your lie? Just admit it, and apologize. Don't try to feed us this "I just wanted to make people happy" crap. Your tale of triumph over adversity stops being inspirational when you lie about the level of adversity you overcame. Your tale of true love conquering all also suffers the same fate when you make up the circumstances your true love allegedly conquered. Nobody's saying you can't write that story -- write it, but don't sell it as a true story just to get it sold.

The lying gets to me. Am I being overly sensitive? What's wrong with calling fiction "fiction"?

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