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What's your take on supposed true stories?

sunkuwan

And I don't mean the short stroke-type stories for specific kink audience or bragging rights.

No, I mean the epics from mainly 4chan.
Like The Liliad, Tasha's Brother and Storybro.

Liliad was sad and probably the most believable. Tasha's Brother is fun and may have started as a true story but later chapters read more like wish fulfillment.
Storybro adventures... had the most emotional impact for me. If the story was true (and the author said, it is mostly true, just some liberties with the flow of the events and the dialog because it happened over 10 years ago). The first story, the sleepover, was fun and engaging. The second story, road-trip, was a little darker but still with a somewhat happy end. The third story, (or rather the two parts of the ending) was gut-wrenching if this was really a true story. The whole saga has more than 500k words or so.

I never had such a reaction to a story like storybro and it got me into the binge-reading frenzy that I currently am doing since 2 years ago.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@sunkuwan

Probably, since I'd find a story about my life rather boring, I usually shrink away from stories tagged 'true'. Maybe it's a prejudice but I guess I have to live with this one. Personally, I don't read to see 'truth', I read to listen to someone's imagination.

sunkuwan

Those stories are in no way "boring" They could have a place here on SoL and wouldn't really stand out if they were not tagged "true".
I find that the true aspect of those stories invests you deeper into the characters. It isn't just a "story" it's supposed to be true and gets you more emotionally invested.

It certainly kickstarted my demand for reading stories, regardless if they are true or fiction.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sunkuwan

I find that the true aspect of those stories invests you deeper into the characters.


I find the opposite to be the case when a story posited as being true is deeply implausible and as such obviously fiction.

For example, this one http://storiesonline.net/s/76954/a-fresh-start-epilogue tagged ( Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, True Story, Time Travel, Historical, DoOver )

Clearly not a true story.

Or the 7 stories tagged as both true stories and paranormal.

garymrssn
Updated:

To me the word true means verifiably factual. However, in real life, politicians, supermarket tabloids and dishonest sales people use the word to preface lies and distortions. When I hear or read the word true in any context where verification is not possible I get the feeling I'm about to be screwed. I quit listening or reading. If an authors story description intrigues me enough I'll ignore almost all the tags except that one.

That's my squick and I'm sticking to it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

Many are falsely tagged as True, but a few are properly tagged. The only time I've used the True tag is for the account my father wrote of some of his experiences during WW2.

JohnBobMead

True is a story code that will make me avoid a story, no matter how good it may be, if I _know_ it is _not_ a true account. I stopped reading Peter H. Salus' Geordie & Weena stories when he suddenly started tagging them True; while very much reading like real world accounts, they _are_ works of fiction. This is a pity, as they are _very_ good, but no, they are _not_ True.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@garymrssn

To me the word true means verifiably factual.

Unfortunately, that's not how the tag is defined by most authors. While it sounds like 4chan at least starts out with true events, many authors apply the "true" tag as a story motif. Thus if the story is written from a perspective of "This really happened [to this fictional character]", they label it as "true".

Talking about squicks, that's why I've quit reading "true" stories on SOL, because it's almost impossible to find an actual "true" story here. Instead, most are pure wish-fulfillment.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@JohnBobMead

Peter H. Salus' Geordie & Weena stories


One of his recent stories had the main character doing 30 or so kilometres per hour (kph) on a narrow dirt road in a remote area. Clearly he hasn't driven those roads, because narrow dirt and gravel roads are common rural Australia, and the average speed along them is 80 to 100 kph with the local often going much higher than that on roads they know which are far from town where the cops are few and far between.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I've quit reading "true" stories on SOL, because it's almost impossible to find an actual "true" story here. Instead, most are pure wish-fulfillment.


http://storiesonline.net/s/13862/no-names-no-pack-drill

A true accounting, with some names hidden, of much of what my father did during his time in the Army during WW2

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
AmigaClone

@Ernest Bywater

Clearly he hasn't driven those roads, because narrow dirt and gravel roads are common rural Australia, and the average speed along them is 80 to 100 kph


Those roads must be kept up a lot better than some rural roads in Brazil that I've been on. Granted, I'm thinking of dirt (no gravel) roads that in some cases were only one lane wide, just after the rainy season.

The pictures in the article below are similar to some of the worse roads I've been on - although they might not have been as wide.

https://carroscomcamanzi.com.br/na-terra-enfrentando-a-lama/

red61544

"Let me tell you something that happened to me last week. No shit! This really happened!" When a conversation starts like that, I don't believe a word that is said after it!

sejintenej

@AmigaClone

Those roads must be kept up a lot better than some rural roads in Brazil that I've been on. Granted, I'm thinking of dirt (no gravel) roads that in some cases were only one lane wide, just after the rainy season.

The article is about people who enjoy off road driving - it is a competitive sport over here.

When it was first built the Amazonas Highway used to be washed out in places during the wet season but that is not the only place.
We lost contact with our branch in Tamale (Northern Ghana) for about eight months when the tarmaced roads were washed out. Near Accra university I couldn't get to work one day because one road was under six feet of water and the other had a section cut perhaps fifteen feet deep.

I almost agree with CW who wrote

To me the word true means verifiably factual

. "Almost" because any opinion (it was a warm day) depends on personal opinion which may differ to that of another party

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@AmigaClone


Those roads must be kept up a lot better than some rural roads in Brazil


They are a lot better than that - unless it's been raining heavily for a couple of weeks. This is a picture of a typical road near the area he's talking about:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BourkeWilcanniaHWY.jpg

They're usually about three cars wide so semi-trailer trucks can pass each other, and are graded with some earth compacted to make them harder. Depending on where and how often they're used the area beside the road can be cleared for quite a bit or quite little, fencing beside many roads are optional extras.

As i find more pics I'll post links here.

This shows a typical rural road that's been surfaced with stone and bitumen at the edge of town in an area with better rainfall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hebel_QLD.JPG

and a less used forest type area:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomfield_Track

some more from some of the regions he mentions:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OnBoreTrack.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GRRoad_WA.JPG

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

I don't know the reason behind some of those "true" tags in fantastical stories. Maybe the author stated that part of the story or character was based on real life or something. But that should be another tag altogether.

back to the "believable" true stories. Let's talk about coming of age stories (without do-over)
Would you enjoy the story more if some of the great coa stories would have been labeled "true" stories?
Like Ryan Sylander's "Looking through the lens", Don Lockwood's "Dance of a lifetime" or Penguintopia's "A well lived life"?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

I personally tend to avoid stories with the "true" tag. Now I will consider a story based on a "Real event or person". I have made exceptions like for the one story posted by Ernest which was based on a real person and his real life experiences. It was explained in the story description as to what the story was based on, which helped in the decision of whether to read it or not.

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


One of his recent stories had the main character doing 30 or so kilometres per hour (kph) on a narrow dirt road in a remote area. Clearly he hasn't driven those roads, because narrow dirt and gravel roads are common rural Australia, and the average speed along them is 80 to 100 kph


Hmmm,

I remember an argument I had with my father in the early eighties about dirt or gravel roads in northern Scandinavia north of the polar circle. He said these roads are so bad you can't drive faster than 30 or 40 km/h. I conceded that driving at 50 or 60 km/h on those roads would be a bad idea but going up to 80 or higher will make driving comfortable again. He called driving on those roads with such high speed utterly reckless.

Some months later on a tour through northern Finland he tried my suggestion and found I was right.

So the author may have used such roads but probably only short stretches between better roads, not long distances in remote areas.

If the main character was unfamiliar with such road conditions (like my father) he would probably drive so slow. The author might even know that locals would drive much faster.

HM.

docholladay

@helmut_meukel

Locals usually always drive faster on any road in their region except for the ones where speed traps are usually in place. They have the advantage of knowing and understanding the road conditions and performance capabilities. Something non-locals lack is the knowledge of local conditions so they tend to drive much more cautiously.

helmut_meukel

@docholladay

Locals usually always drive faster on any road in their region except for the ones where speed traps are usually in place. They have the advantage of knowing and understanding the road conditions and performance capabilities.


That's a given. On such roads (in german I would call them 'Waschbrettpiste') nobody would drive with 50 or 60 km/h, because they look and feel like a gigantic washboard. But at 80 or higher it's a quite comfortable drive.

HM.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@helmut_meukel

That's a given. On such roads (in german I would call them 'Waschbrettpiste') nobody would drive with 50 or 60 km/h, because they look and feel like a gigantic washboard. But at 80 or higher it's a quite comfortable drive.


Funny part is there are also roads where the locals will go slower. The danger is obvious to them so they drive according to the road and the various conditions, created by weather conditions among other factors. The key is knowledge and understanding which non-locals do not have.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

A true accounting, with some names hidden, of much of what my father did during his time in the Army during WW2

Sorry, I didn't mean to cast aspersions on either your father or your story, and I'm sure there are a few authentic 'true' stories, but I've read so many clearly Mary Sue/wish-fulfillment stories labeled as true, that I simply no longer trust the 'truthfulness' of the tag.

In your situation, Ernest, given the aversion to false 'true' stories, would be to relist the story without the tag, but mention in the story description that it's based on your father's life. I think that would get the story a wider reception. But then again, I doubt you've got to worry about people avoiding your stories because of one extra tag!

I wish Lazeez would clarify the tag (not that anyone ever reads tag explanations, anyway) so it clearly states whether it's EITHER "true" stories or 'True Confessions' type fictional stories.

Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

I almost agree with CW who wrote

To me the word true means verifiably factual

Sorry, but that t'wern't me. I was responding to garymrssn, who made that assertion.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

They are a lot better than that - unless it's been raining heavily for a couple of weeks. This is a picture of a typical road near the area he's talking about:

Those are the pictures writers of post-apocalyptic stories need to keep handy. Rather than roving motorcycle gangs roaring up abandoned highways, that's more likely what anyone would be facing—either that or roads so congested with ruined, rusting heaps, that the roads are entirely impassible.

I've driven on many Caribbean Islands, and while the roads aren't quite that bad, they're narrow, with drivers moving fast, and conditions often change on a dime!

Crumbly Writer

@sunkuwan

back to the "believable" true stories. Let's talk about coming of age stories (without do-over)
Would you enjoy the story more if some of the great coa stories would have been labeled "true" stories?
Like Ryan Sylander's "Looking through the lens", Don Lockwood's "Dance of a lifetime" or Penguintopia's "A well lived life"?

I think it's generally understood that ALL fiction is based, to a large degree, on either an author's personal experiences, or those he's familiar with. However, those are often interwoven in ways which make the story seem true, while nothing can be specifically tied to any single person (i.e. characters are more often composites of many different people).

As such, it's silly to label such stories as "true". If needed, like I suggested to Ernest, I'd add a line to the story description about where the story came from and leave it at that. Again, the SOL 'True' tag is more reminiscent of the old Penthouse Magazine articles, which were most often written by professional gay men, who had to perspective to write better porn than the horny guys lurking in their basements (no offense to horny men in their basements, but you get the point), it's simply a "writing style", not an accurate/honest tag about whether it's fiction or non-fiction.

Replies:   Joe Long
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Locals usually always drive faster on any road in their region except for the ones where speed traps are usually in place. They have the advantage of knowing and understanding the road conditions and performance capabilities. Something non-locals lack is the knowledge of local conditions so they tend to drive much more cautiously.

Just like driving faster over 'bad roads' makes the ride more stable, accelerating around a curve typically improves the traction and handling, actually making the curves safer at higher speeds. The locals, knowing this, will typically bank much harder, but non-locals deserve tickets for ignoring the local conditions, since they don't know what to expect. (Of course, part of the key is knowing which side of the curve the local speed trap is set up at!)

Ernest Bywater

@helmut_meukel

If the main character was unfamiliar with such road conditions (like my father) he would probably drive so slow. The author might even know that locals would drive much faster.


In the stories the main character is supposed to be from very rural Queensland and spends a lot of his time in such areas. Thus the MC should know how to handle the, but the author may not, based on what I can find out about him.

red61544

Some desperate prosecutor who is facing a reelection campaign may grab at one of these supposedly "true" stories and prosecute the author for abuse of a minor. We have a lot of stories which claim to be true that deal with sex between an adult and a minor.

Jim S

The only True Story tag that I've ever seen that was credible was when Daghda Jim's daughter hacked into his account to notify readership of his death. Not saying there isn't another one out there but, like garymrssn, I equate true with verifiably factual.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Jim S

The only True Story tag that I've ever seen that was credible was when Daghda Jim's daughter hacked into his account to notify readership of his death. Not saying there isn't another one out there but, like garymrssn, I equate true with verifiably factual.

Does that mean you flatly reject the many history books with dialogue (what's become known as 'dramatic history')?

Replies:   Jim S
Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

I think it's generally understood that ALL fiction is based, to a large degree, on either an author's personal experiences, or those he's familiar with. However, those are often interwoven in ways which make the story seem true, while nothing can be specifically tied to any single person (i.e. characters are more often composites of many different people).


Almost everything in the first third of my book actually happened at one time or another, but as you say, I've rearranged events and merged some characters.

As I got further in and more experienced in the writing events faded away to almost all fictional, occasionally inspired by a true anecdote.

Jim S

@Crumbly Writer

Does that mean you flatly reject the many history books with dialogue (what's become known as 'dramatic history')?


i was referring to stories at SOL. I'm not aware of any of that category appearing here. If so, I'd eat 'em up. I love history. Assuming, of course, that they're readable.

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