Fun With Truth and Lies

by Nancy Casey

Everything you write on the top half of your page today will be the truth, and everything that you write on the bottom half will be falsehood. Made up stuff. Lies. Although some lies can hurt people, you can also tell lies just for fun. Some people call that “fiction.”

First, the page setup: A line at the top where you will put a title later, and a line across the middle of the page that will divide the truth (top) from the lies (bottom.) You can mark off some space for illustration, too.

Begin writing a list of what’s right there with you in the present tense, obvious things that you or another person could take in with their senses. What’s in the room? What’s out the window? Check out what’s behind you, above you and below. Write down what’s there.

For each item, include as many details as will fit on one line. When you get to the end of the line, move on to something new. Keep going until you’ve filled the top half of the page.

Start the bottom half of the page by choosing an item you wrote about on the top half. Write something false about it, an untruth, what anybody paying attention might call a lie. It doesn’t have to be believable, it just has to be untrue.

You can make tiny changes, like altering the color of something. Or your lies can be wide and vigorous, like a family of extraterrestrials on a picnic dropping by to juggle your houseplants.

When you finish one lie, pluck a new detail from the top part of the page and tell another. And another. Until the bottom part of the page is full, too.

Maybe your list of lies will morph into a story. And maybe it won’t.

When the page is full, go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. Think up a title.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on it too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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