Tips for Writers: Always Tell the Truth, Even When You’re Lying

Mitch Teemley

'Vintage Words' by Thom Milkovic (
Photo by Thom Milkovic

Most of us are familiar with the Blind Men and the Elephant story. Its point is twofold:

  • No one has a complete picture, even if they were “there in person,” but…
  • Everyone knows what they think happened, and what it meant to them

This is true in both fiction and non-fiction.

True, journalists, as non-fiction writers, are supposed to render facts as objectively as they can. But honest, objective fact-finders know that even after interviewing eyewitnesses (“blind men”) their summary will inevitably fall short of “complete.” Hence, “rioting occurred” is more accurate than “the protest turned into a riot” (did everyone riot? Were there no objectors?). And “many wept” is more accurate than “there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience” (did no one roll their eyes and visit the loo?). There’s no such thing as a complete picture, and so, in essence, there’s no such…

View original post 165 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s