Telling the truth is one of the hardest skills for a writer to master.
Truth is especially important in fiction where the world is
made in the image of its creator, yet shines a light on who we are in
our failings and triumphs. Make-up all the scenarios and characters you
want, but if they aren't based in truth, if they don't pass muster for
believability based on what the reader knows as truth, then what have we
added, but noise?
Fiction, good fiction, mirrors our goodness,
our evilness, our trying to get things right, our screwing everything
up. It can serve as a compass or an admonishment, but in order to lay
claim to acknowledging what we are, the truth must be present.
The truth. The hard truth. The real truth. The plain truth.
even when it's painful. Yet, not the kind of truth you think of when
cattiness sharpens its claws or when someone accepts no fault when they just told the truth, when in fact they meant to twist the dagger in a beating heart.
I mean the kind of truth that matters. The kind of truth that expands who we are or can become.
one particular story, I'm having trouble with the truth. I find I
censor myself in my writing as I get ever closer to telling the truth
because of the hurt I know it will cause, or may cause, or should cause
if some see themselves.
Censoring then leads to being unsure of
what to put in truth's place which then leads me to a frustrated painful
constipation of words; to not tell the truth, to fill in the space with
something close but not quite, brings me to a standoff between peace
Knowing the truth is the easy part; writing the truth takes a defiant constitution against opposition.
I hesitate to proceed, I strain against recording the truth, because it's my constitution that will have to withstand the defiance, and I'm not entirely ready to bear that burden.
know, yet not to write the truth, grieves me. In my hesitant
frustration, I tell myself, "Screw the art of telling, it's the
complicated art of living while encumbered that wins this day, while
adding a depth to the next." (rationalize, much?)
And this day.
writing legacy may mean something only to me, this agony may mean
something only to me, but even if I just left one sentence behind, I
demand the truth be present.
I owe the reader that much.