Balderdash: A Writer’s Guide to Making Stuff Up

balderdash definition_opt

 “Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I’m delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.”

 ~Baron Munchausen

 

This weekend I was reading some posts over at Catherine Caffeinated and found a particularly entertaining one on the subject of book reviews.

In it, she included this excerpt from an Amazon customer review of The Help by Kathryn Stockett:

 

“Where was the editor for this book? In the end notes the author confesses to playing with time. For instance, Shake ‘N Bake is mentioned but didn’t hit the shelves until 1965. A Bob Dylan song is referenced but wasn’t released until 1964. Okay, but why did they have to be included? They certainly weren’t plot points but is a writer allowed to just make stuff up?”

 

Hmm.

Well, it’s kind of in the job description.

 

fiction writing:

1.  any kind of writing that is not factual.

 

So um, what’s a writer to do?

I mean, how do you tame the pesky imaginations that long to smear the pages with historical inaccuracies?  How do you stop yourself from throwing your head back and laughing maniacally as you plot to twist facts and screw with the universe’s fancy logic and statistics?

Sounds daunting.  It’s enough work keeping a steady supply of coffee and ignoring the vacuum.

Besides, what about artistic license?

Check out what Picasso had to say on that subject:

 

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

~Pablo Picasso

 

Okay, upon first skim that quote kind of reads like a riddle.  I think he meant something along the lines of this:

 

Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.

~Khaled Hosseini

 

So breathe deeply dear writers.  You are not merely a liar making stuff up, you are dealing in GREAT TRUTHS.

And this is a safe place, where nonsense knows no boundaries.  Your knowledge and creativity are revered.

In fact in the spirit of the board game Balderdash, let’s lie create.  Below are a few words.  Use one, two or all three to create a FAKE fact or statistic.

Chocolate       Elephant        Season     

 

 Let your imaginations frolic in the comments!