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Truth vs Fiction

December 29, 2012

When I speak of “Truth vs Fiction” in this post, I’m not referring to a true story vs a fictional story.  I’m not even referring to writing, in a direct sense.  I refer to what people want to hear.  In feedback.  In stories.  In their lives.

I want to hear the truth.  I want feedback to be brutally honest.  I want my screenplays to touch on some truth(s).

But, I realize there are different types of people.

I want the truth in large part due to my upbringing.  I suppose you could say I experienced a shortage of truth in my youth, so I yearn for it in adulthood.  Because I want the truth, I provide others with the truth.  It goes back to that old adage “treat others how you wish to be treated.”  However, not everyone wants the truth, which makes that adage ironic.  To people who merely want pleasant fiction, my honesty is not pleasant to them.  Simultaneously, adoring feedback which is akin to an ego boost is not what I seek.  It might make someone feel good for a fleeting moment, but how is over-pleasantness ever supposed to help anyone improve?

As a screenplay writer, I’m in the business of honing a craft.  If you can’t help me with productive, honest feedback, then you are useless to me in the pursuit of mastering my craft.  Simultaneously, if you, as a screenwriter, only want me to pat you on the back for putting words on a piece of paper, then we have two problems – 1) I’m not the person for that job and 2) You’re not treating screenwriting profesionally.

No amount of happy ego-boosting will make you a better screenwriter.  In order to improve, honesty is necessary.  One must be open to giving and recieving honesty.  If not, then improvements will be difficult to come by.

So, I guess this boils down to one conclusion… the real vs the fake.  I don’t want the fake, so give me the real.  Give me the truth; you can keep your fiction.  I promise to do the same.

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4 Comments
  1. kanundra permalink

    I agree, honest is best. I try and not sugar coat anything, but I understand the fundamentals of telling the truth in a way as not to be mean. 🙂 Writing is re-writing and we do what we must to get there.

  2. Your comments on my script has been most helpful. It means a great deal to me that you take the time to give me feedback. 🙂

  3. Have* been. Auto-correct can truly be irritating.

  4. You’re welcome. Shall we call it auto-incorrect?

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