Writing fraud.

Controversy 

Definition: An often public dispute marked by the expression of opposing views.

An argument. 

Drama 

Definition: A succession of events with the dramatic progression or emotional content typical of a play. 

As I mentioned in my post of two days ago, I read and researched a lot last summer about this new writing-world-art-form called blogging before I set up this one. 

One bit of advice that I kept running into—and one that just kept irritating the crap out of me, was—‘The more controversial your blog and your writing, the better.’ 

I consulted with a real live dictionary to see which direction they go with defining controversy—which then lead me to think of the word drama, because I see the two as (stopping to lean over and gag here) intertwined kissing cousins

It would appear the invisible “they” people want us to bombard humanity with even more pissing contest opportunities through blogging. 

Uh-huh. 

As if this world is going to run into a shortage of one more thing to bitch, holler, scream and beat on each other about. Isn’t that what those one-hour news shows along with the choosing-my-man-of-the-month, or I-can-eat-my-worm-faster-than-you-can reality shows on TV are supposed to help us with?

In the immortal words of Dr. Evil from the tremendously funny Austin Powers’ movies, I have to ask: 

“Will somebody please throw me a friggin’ bone here!” 

Is anybody else out there sick and tired of all the on-the-surface-is-all-that-anybody-cares-about-anymore train to cerebral hell? 

The phrase dumbed-down hasn’t made it into the dictionary yet, from what I can tell, but I believe it will have to before long because it seems to be such a burgeoning commodity for the human race. 

If you are only writing ‘stuff’ to start a fight, sling mud at some group you feel like picking on hoping to set off a viral chain reaction on the web, or just to please your MBA-degreed PR/Marketing people so they will write you a nice big check, you are, in my personal opinion, a fraud. 

Unless you are writing what rips out of the center of YOU, forget it. 

I’m damn picky about what I read, and if I think I’m reading some wanna-be-cute-and-clever, but-isn’t-cutting-it fraud, I stop reading. 

There are still actually people in this world who want to think—for real—about things that still go on below the surface. 

If you want to be a writer—give them something worthwhile to think about. 

Leave the faked controversy and drama to those folks on the reality shows. 

Yeah,  yeah, yeah—I know. They get paid a lot more than you do. 

I guess you have to decide which side of hell you want to stand on.

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9 thoughts on “Writing fraud.

  1. Might I suggest a book called Reality Hunger by David Shields? He has some wonderful talent in gathering together quotes that point out an underlying sense of how the field of memoir and knowledge and even how we perceive memory is both strangling and opening up fields of art. So far I’m engrossed in the idea and it keeps twisting my brain around. It has some interesting implications.

    Some of the quotes point out that memory is false and memoir and fiction are becoming more and more blurred, but people want that thick line in their lives between them. Often, the case is becoming very ambiguous. A couple of classes I took in college talked about how you have to step carefully when writing about life. If you make a story about something that happened, you have to try and make the reader understand that not every detail may be completely accurate or that you are telling the entire thing, because we’re all human, and not every memory is perfect.

    Personally, I understand the sadness and frustration of seeing writing that’s meant to be controversial or a painted over version of some other story that got people excited. Reality TV is the same way (the reason I don’t watch it). Urban Fantasy as a genre has gotten really predictable (how many more novels about women falling in love with werewolves AND vampires and having to choose between them will we be subjected to?), but it sells. Memoir and Creative non-fiction play with the boundaries and are constantly bouncing back and forth. All-in-all, it’s empty calories were the rest of us are looking for the meat, the inside-your-head-explosion, the leaping out of water into a completely new world sort of feeling that leaves you changed. I’m hoping some day to be a part of writers and inventors aiming to do just that.

    p.s. sorry this comment is so long.

    • No worries on the length. We managed to get a discussion going on my topic and I appreciate that. It served a purpose today then without causing some all out meltdown by someone who felt it was attacking them. There’s hope in that.

      Keep to your writing, Mark!

  2. I think it is the clash of American Culture…
    We want to different, but we want to fit in.

    Baby boomers line-up to become Harley-ridin’, Jimmy Buffet listenin’, non-conforming individualists – Just like all of our friends.

    They all want to be Thoreau as long as the pond has convenient shopping and a couple of nice restaurants and a Starbucks where they can meet all “loner” friends.

    Opps baby I am being controversial here.. But it seems that picking arguments and being contrary is the new style.

    I fluctuate – mostly I am a nice guy, but every now and then my evil twin takes over the controls. And, he is mean to the core.

    • Controversial is GREAT–as long as it is intelligent and done from an honest standpoint.

      But it appears there’s a bunch of human-types who seem rather clueless as to grasp such a concept. Thus, dumbed-down continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

      That’s my whole gripe, Frank. It’s the lack of common sense or ability to actually intellectualize oneself as compared to selling out for the immediate affect. Like I said–nothing new, but does that mean there can’t be a push to possibly advance the human perspective beyond it–just a titch?

      For sure—we are conflicted critters! HA

  3. Becky, I’d love to share this link below with you and your readers. I’m having live chats all day long for the next two weeks. I’ll take time off to eat, go potty, get groceries, feed the cat, go to the gym, etc., but I’ll be checking this site every chance I get.

    http://www.librarything.com/topic/109401

    Now, regarding your topic of “fraud” and similar types of writing, I’ve found myself avoiding getting into the fray of rules and regulations for what can and CANNOT be in a memoir. I’ve come to my own conclusions that pretty much follow how most memoirists write. I combine real life events into one story even though they didn’t happen at the same time, I write the truth as I see it, I change names if the truth might hurt someone, I research to make sure I’m right about certain events, and so on…But get this, if I accidentally make a serious error and get sued and land in jail….hey, that should get some press for my book; doncha think?

    • I hope people will check out the link, Betty. Glad to help if I can.

      I am confident you understood the intent of my blog today, Betty.

      In light of recent memoirs that have turned up to be complete frauds, however, I just can’t help but encourage people to be wise and cautious readers and not give so much credance to those who have deliberately duped folks for a buck. And that’s nothing new, but I thought we humans were supposed to be “smarter” than animals–ya’ know??!

      I have to be honest—I just do not read many memoirs because I know what I know about motivation . . .

      I want “real,” not contrived.

      Good luck to you.

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