October 15, 2010

Story vs. History

I was listening to Peter Kreeft's "podcast" (in quotes, because technically it's not him podcasting but posting lectures that can be accessed freely) about Imagination while on my walk this morning. Peter Kreeft has become a moprning companion of late. He and I have been talking about story ideas and fundamentals of storytelling and philosophy of fiction. Of course, it's a one way conversation, and he has no idea that he's a part of it.

But he is.

I highly recommend listening to his lectures. They are brilliant and insightful. And he talks about Lewis and Tolkien a lot.

But as I was listening today, I had a thought. It didn't have a lot to do with what he was saying, but I was struck by a thought.

Story is false, but can contain much truth; history is true, but can be interpreted falsely.

There's all sorts of implications that can then be made. History is jaded by our own personal perceptions. Story has power.

And I got to thinking about all these ideas . . . big, philosophical ideas . . . about Art and Truth and Life and Other Big Concepts that I capitalize to make them even more Grand!

And then, I had another thought that brought me back down to earth. With all those concepts and implications and philosophical ideas (which are Good, and deserve thought), there is one Big Durn Ol' Trinity of Truth in Writing:

1. Just write.
2. Do your best.
3. Be honest.

Follow those guidelines, and you're on your way to meaningful fiction . . . or meaningful nonfiction . . .

Just some thoughts. Not sure what they're worth, but there they are.

~ Ben

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