On Slate’s podcast The Gist, Matthew Dicks discusses the “four lies of telling true stories”, which he defines as:
- lies of omission – leaving out irrelevant detail
- lies of assumption – invent specifics to make the story more powerful
- lies of compression – slowing down or expanding time
- lies of progression – switching the order of events
Commenting on this piece, Scott Berkun notes that “there is no purely true story” but warns against telling stories which “satisfy our narrative bias”:
Messy and confusing stories that stay with us despite their lack of resolution, or clear heroes and villains, might be more important to us than the satisfying ones. We’re not well equipped to deal with ambivalence, ambiguity and existentialism despite how deeply effected we are by events in our lives that causes these feelings. Shouldn’t this be what our best storytellers help us explore?
Scott concludes his piece by warning, “Next time you hear a great story, ask yourself if it’s more than just the narrative machine in your brain that’s satisfied.”