1. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    Is this too duplicitous?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by bsbvermont, Jul 26, 2012.

    What are your thoughts on writing a short story that starts off with "The story is true and I don’t know how it will end. It is not a pastoral love story, but rather a stark admission. Perhaps it will not be as polished and pretty as you might like it, but it can only be told in the raw." as a hook, when in fact it is pure fiction? I feel a little deceitful here, but it came out so much more interesting to be told this way. Thoughts?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ever read The Andromeda Strain? Crichton prefaces it claiming it's a true story.
     
  3. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    Well that answers my question then...if Crichton can get away with it and sell scores of books, I guess I'm in good company. Thanks Cogito!
     
  4. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Starting out a prologue or chapter this way would be fine. The fiction is supposed to be in the chapters.

    The preface is supposed to be real-world. Crichton may get away with claiming his fiction is true, and Dan Brown his "facts", but I am among the readers who lower their regard for authors who try this deceit.
     
  5. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    It protests too much. Let the reader wonder if it really happened or not.
     
  6. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    A ha Thumpa...maybe cutting it down to "This story is not a pastoral love story, but rather a stark admission. Perhaps it will not be as polished and pretty as you might like it, but it can only be told in the raw. I can't say how it ends."

    I think I like this better...and that way I don't feel overly duplicitous...Thanks for the feedback.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Go ahead and use that hook. All you're really saying is that your narrator believes it's true, right? And, of course, all narrators believe their story is true, unless you're writing metafiction and the narrator knows he's a fictional character.
     
  8. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief spends the first page and a half talking about how much he wishes this weren't true and breaks the fourth wall occassionally.
     
  9. ThievingSix
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    ThievingSix Member

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    I'm going to sound like a Dan Brown fan boy, but believe me I'm not. He too states that his "facts" are true. It would seem that exaggerating the truth sells 80 million copies. Calling it the Da Vinci Code probably helped.
     
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nothing deceitful about it, loads of fiction is written in a confessional style. Just keep writing and don't even consider things like "deceit". All fiction is deceit, and readers are perfectly ok with that :)
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's fiction, which, by definition, means it is not real. Your reader will not pick up a novel and feel cheated that it wasn't real! The point of fiction is to create the illusion of reality - that's what the reader wants!
     
  12. fwc577
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    fwc577 Member

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    The opening of the novel I'm working on is

    It was my six month anniversary with Kyle, my boyfriend. It was also the day my best friend Rebekah dropped a bombshell on me, “Lu, I’m dating your brother.” I didn’t know it at the time but it was also the day I was going to die.
    “Are you alright with that?” Bekah's eyes were normally so bright but I could tell she desperatly wanted my approval.
    I suppose they made a cute couple.
    ...

    This is the only time in the novel when my main character essentially speaks at the reader. The rest of the novel is in first person and she doesn't break the fourth wall ever again and this is the only time she reveals future plot information. The reason for this is to hook the reader. When opening a novel nothing is off limits. The goal is to hook the reader.

    Books a paranormal romance and No, she doesn't get turned into a vampire or a ghost lol. Two weeks and y'all can critique chapter one in the fiction section :p
     

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