Sparked by Words

Tell Me a Story

Every work of fiction requires of the reader a suspension of disbelief somewhere along the trajectory of the story. Otherwise it would not be fiction.

Like the Golden Gate, fiction bridges one realm to another. In this case, imagination to story, reality to lies.

To be successful at constructing the lies, first know what truths you are wrecking. Research, study, learn, then depart. Daydream a while. Nightdream too.

Stand outside in the dark and look up at the stars. Know they are not there, and not aligned to form shapes and signs. That’s all a part of manmade interpretation, begun eons ago to make sense of the unknown. To imbue mercy over savagery. To offer future from despair.

Even without letters, even without language, the first humans saw story in the heavens and danced it around the fire at night, telling the clan. Animals, danger, flight, love, children, hunger, death. Auweh!

Write. Write some truth. Write some lies.

How well you entice your readers despite your lies marks how talented a writer you are. Readers must forgive your fiction.

Write well, and they will savor your work and you will be asked to return.

To write more lies. To make sense of the unknown. That’s the nature of fiction.


Just a thought 36


Image prehistoric Native American pictograph, courtesy CCO Creative Commons





Comments on: "Tell Me a Story" (18)

  1. Telling lies was always a big no-no for me as a child. So much so, when asked to keep something to myself, I often wasn’t able to do it. Now, writing fiction, I find myself doing all I can to still tell the truth although it may be veiled with the tiniest of lies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, that is why I write–to make sense of the unknown. Nicely said, Shari.


  3. Jenna Barwin said:

    Excellent, Sharon! Lies that tell the truth. Indeed, story is a fiction bridge that allows us to live the imagined experience of others from the safety of our arm chairs.


  4. You expressed it so perfectly. Suspension of disbelief is the author’s greatest task.


  5. Well, no wonder I’m a non-fiction writer! I can’t write them but I don’t mind reading them 🙂


  6. I think if we want people to read our books we have to convince them that they are reading the truth despite knowing that it is a figment of the author’s imagination. It has to be authentic, be real and if necessary factually correct to keep the reader glued to the pages. A good author is not only a good liar but also a good con artist. The best compliment I heard was someone talking about how difficult the author’s life was. Why I asked only to be told “you’ve read the book you’ve seen what kind of life he lived.” “But that was fiction and then the argument started about whether it was or not. Finally she realised that the author had made his lies so realistic that she thought they were autobiographical. If only I could write that well – I think Sharon, you can.


  7. Shari, I’m enticed with your post, your passion for fiction, its beguiling lies, its revealing truths – a powerful post! This is one we can all relate to … always returning to fiction,trusting it to make sense of the unknown! Wishing you a lovely weekend. Xx


    • You’re an experienced and talented writer, Annika, and I can tell by the wonderful short stories and poems in your book, The Storyteller Speaks, how much you understand this parry of truth and lies to tell a great story.

      Liked by 1 person

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