Solve Unamusement: Stretching the Truth

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The Dudel Journal

Stretching the Truth

Roleplaying and other forms of collaborative writing all require its participants to play along with each others styles and manners by which they create. There is only a small problem with this and it is when does "truth" become "fiction" when one states a positive and another a negative from the same perspective. This is a good when trying to learn, have fun or "write by flight" but it can cause trouble among the group.

When one writer has something drastic or absurd happen* it can cause a catastrophic event among the rest. If others are not willing to play along with the sudden twist or alteration there quickly causes problems. Adversely when others do "play along" you start to break the line of truth. The truth of the story; its legitimacy, flow and general mood.


  • The ability for a story to stay focused and on point.
  • The believability to that the story has to its readers.
  • The constant flow and easy to follow continuity of a story.
  • No magic, lasers or anything not currently present in our reality.
  • Can be found in science fiction and fantasy but is usually coined "Light Sci-Fi/Fantasy" and has little to no magic lasers etc and is "pushing" the line of truth.
  • A stories general all around existence, if grounded in our reality.
  • Requires similar minded individuals to keep truth at a constant.

Truth is something of a term I have "invented" for what I mean as I am unsure an actual word or phrase for what starts to happen. If a story is already on the border of the surreal then the truth is already slowly being lost and this was the point of the piece to begin with but a majority of writing, especially that of the collaborative nature, does not.

So far things sound well and good, right? Not exactly. Truth is needed to keep a reader in the story based on the reality of the world as he or she views it. This can be difficult as not everyone always sees, hears or tastes the same thing upon a similar situation. Some of us are even lacking the ability to use on of our senses so there becomes a true problem quickly.

Truth Problems

  • Predictability of plot
  • Lacking deep or well thought out plot
  • Story is safe and appeals to a more general type of audience rather then a niche.
  • A story with constant truth has no conflict or drive within it.
  • Boredom for reader.
  • Over use of truth leads to a lack as the reality becomes to Utopian and perfect.

While the truth of a story should be kept in mind and generally brought point it is good to drop the truth in favor of something more fun or interesting. This comes in matters where in stories something almost random happens and, at times, it can leave the reader a little out of the story. Abrupt change from truth to not causes an immediate removal of oneself from the world presented to you. This means that there must be balance.

So we must find truth in the stories we write while allowing it to also falter to the side without dropping it completely. This balancing act is, in itself, amusing to those who truly write a story with intent to amuse the rest of us.

*See Derailing Fiction for details.


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