Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Verity - the abcedaria of a writer

Verity is a simple word. It means true. Sounds straight-forward but I can assure you that nothing is simple in the English language (or, most likely, in any other language).  I often counsel couples in my work as a psychotherapist and people rarely agree on the meanings of common-place words.  Verity is our work as writers is very important.
Hemingway on verity - "That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best --make it all up --but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way.”
Just like the notion of rhythm, we need to take our idea of what is verity in our work and go over every inch of it to see where we have gone off the truth track and on to deception. But, you scream, we make up ALL of it! No, you don't. You don't make up the truth of it. Every story has its own world with absolute reality in it. Even if you write fantasy or science fiction, your world has its verity. It is true to itself and you must make sure all of it is within that consistent truth.
Here is the Hemingway quote I was initially looking for-
"I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." A Moveable Feast, Hemingway
and here is Mr. Wilde on verity -
"The way of paradoxes is the way of truth. To test Reality we must see it on the tight-rope. When the Verities become acrobats we can judge them." Oscar Wilde

9 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great quotations and good point on truth and writing. :)

Manzanita said...

I like that.... "every story has it's own world."
Manzanita
Wanna buy a duck

Pk Hrezo said...

Very powerful. I love those quotes. Posts like these make me proud to be a writer.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I love quotations these are very good.

Yvonne.

Marjorie said...

Truth is so important. When I'm reading I need to feel that everything I'm reading is absolutely real. If I don't feel that it isn't a good book to me.

V.R. Leavitt said...

Gotta love anybody who references Hemingway. :-) Excellent post.

Julie said...

I absolutely love the Hemingway quote about one true sentence. For a while I had that as my wallpaper on my laptop, very motivating.

Wonderful post!

Eve said...

This is a great post Jan! It's true, there is truth in every story, and I love the quotes! Especially the Oscar Wilde...I love him..thanks for this..

Shannon Lawrence said...

Great information and quotes. I especially liked the Wilde quote. I didn't know what verity meant.

Good luck with the final days of the A to Z Challenge!