1. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    What is the difference between a writer...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JetBlackGT, Apr 19, 2014.

    And a well compensated, big, fat liar?

    We tell little kids not to lie... but a good fiction writer makes their living writing complete fabrications! I am a TOTAL LIAR :) Maybe I should have spent more of my life practicing my fibbing.
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The difference is that a writer's audience knows the writer is "lying" - that is to say, selling fiction. A liar's audience assumes the liar is telling the truth.;)
     
  3. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I don't know whether I should believe you or not.
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Lies get you into trouble and or infamy.
    Fiction gets you moolah and or fame.

    Plus, all fiction has an essence of truth. There may not be creatures like Barbapapa ( children's book ) - but they uplift good truths like cooperating and helping one another.

    Although some lies like - No, honey those jeans don't make your butt look big - can save your life.
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    <nerdrant="Wreybies said">

    In primatology, The Lie is the holy grail of proving sentience in primates other than humans. Telling (or engaging in a behavior) that is meant as a lie is proof of a creature's understanding that another creature has its own bank of data, thoughts and motives. It proves Theory of Mind. Primatologists are always trying to show that apes are liars. :)

    </nerdrant>
     
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  6. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Liars intend to deceive. Unless the writer is trying to pass fiction off as nonfiction, it's not lying.
     
  7. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    We sure are. :) We even pay other people to lie to us!
     
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  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If apes are liars, are they writers, too? :p
     
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  9. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    If we gave a million apes a million typewriters... yes!
     
  10. blinkstun
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    blinkstun Member

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    Getting down from the trees was a bad move. Maybe we shouldn't have come out of the oceans in the first place.
     
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  11. Slade Lucas
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    Slade Lucas Member

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    Lying is pretending that something is true when it is not. There is no questioning that fiction is untrue and the reader should never be put undder that illusion.
     
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  12. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    If you are feeling guilty about lying in your writing, you should become a news commentator. They don't seem to have any qualms about lying and might teach you their secret.
     
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  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    True role-playing session exchange ...at a union conference, game designed to foster self-esteem in colleagues ...

    Player one: Do these jeans make my butt look big?
    Player two: No, your fat arse makes your butt look big.
     
  14. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    The difference is a writer aims to have a reader take something they know to be false and suspend their disbelief while a liar aims to have someone believe something they don't know to be false. Being called a writer involves being good at writing, people only call a liar a liar if they get caught.
     
  15. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    So having established the difference between works of fiction and works of falsehood...
     
  16. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    If I wrote you a story about a land where elves can visit our world using magical portals, you'd know I was lying why? Because there's an unwritten contract that says, "everything I put here is made up from my head unless I tell you otherwise." Even if it's straight up historical fiction, like a story set in Tudor England, it's still a lie for the most part. Why? Because although it's set in Tudor England (an actual documented historical time period), there's an unwritten contract between us that says, "I know that what I'm about to write did not really happen, so don't panic if my character is suddenly talking to Queen Elizabeth I and she expresses confidence that he or she (our main character) can do whatever needs doing for the sake of her kingdom."

    The liar that we repeatedly beg our children to not become are those who fabricate false claims with the intentions of misleading the listeners. Like say you told me to take your dog to the vet for annual check up, but I took him/her to the park instead for an hour. Then I told you that yeah, I took your dog to the vet. That would be a lie because I misled you. I made you believe I did exactly what you told me to do when I didn't.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Lying isn't even a sin under Christian doctrine, except a specific kind, bearing false witness. In other words, malicious lying to harm another person's reputation.

    Other kinds of lies must be judged according to the motivation behind the lie. Proverbs and metaphors are lies to some degree, yet holy texts are full of them.

    If you write fiction, may all your lies be entertaining and enlightening.
     
  18. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Sorta like how usury is ok if you do it to foreigners.
     
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  19. stanislav
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    stanislav Member

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    This is very interesting question. Answer should have it philosophical level primarily addressing the issue of "what the lie is" and on that note "what the truth is". If we are talking about literature, a real literature I mean, then the answer is simple - real literature is inventing a new peace of reality. Thence, there are no lies. If we are talking about cheap airport lit, then, well, I dont feel like I wanna talk about that...
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You're joking, right? Who even talks of usury nowadays when mainstream banks can legally charge interest rates in excess of 20%? And not only to "foreigners."
     
  21. ChickenFreak
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    The difference is that the writer isn't well compensated?
     
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  22. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    I was referencing the point you made about only a certain kind of lying being prohibited in the bible. The bible also only prohibits usury in certain circumstances.
     
  23. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    but the charger wire for my lappy won't reach up the tree ...
     
  24. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    And I doubt we have enough caves to write and draw our things. Laptops and usual paper are good inventions, no?
     
  25. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Absolutely, I don't think I could draw the view of Central Park from my MC's apartment on a cave wall!
     
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