Tuesday, April 22, 2014

T is for Truth

'I'm not interested in facts, but truths.'
Maya Angelou 

What is the difference?

The majority of works we call timeless classics stand the test of time because they deal with truth. Each generation understand the basic 'Romeo and Juliet' story, loving someone enough that you are willing to sacrifice everything; family, approval of others, even your life is a concept we are willing to embrace. It is a storyline that has tapped into a timeless truth about love.

I write educational resources and you quickly find that works that are used year after year in schools are picked because they are open to interpretation. A class of thirty pupils can all have their own opinion on the work. 

Now I'm not saying that I'm able to write a timeless classic - but here is my checklist for those who do?

What elements of your work are timeless?
Would readers be able to identify with the themes in thirty years from now?
Is there any details which make it dated?
What is the theme of your work?


  1. Thanks for your visit to mine earlier. Good to connect through the A-Z.
    Best wishes,

  2. All four are valuable questions! The first two may well be how to define a literature masterpiece? :)

  3. Yet more challenging concepts for writers to consider. I am amazed (and grateful) that we get ANY books.

  4. Thankfully, I'm following you, because I find it difficult to describe my writing. Even something as simple as 'theme' can baffle me! Knowing that a theme should express a universal message does not help my uncertainty! I think my novel covers several themes of deception, fear and family. I could add more. I need to be selective?
    Each author would like to write a classic. Mine would not be amongst those since the mention of today's technology would be so outdated in thirty years.
    The 'END' part of the novel may be of some interest since it's supposed to be set thirty years into the future, but... LOL!
    This is a great post that really made me think about my writing. Thank you.

  5. Indeed wrting a timeless book will be the dream of every writer!

  6. I always thought timeless book where those that tons of people read and recommended. Of course, there's always a reason why such books do so well, but I feel like there are a lot of books out there dealing with themes people can understand now, ten years later, and did ten years previously. Only some though will last, but I think part of that is the message and the other part is a really good marketing plan.

  7. Timelessness is a really tricky one - I sometimes wonder what our world would make of some of the 'classics' if they were released now - Jane Austen might be in the chick lit genre and probably appearing in shows like Loose Women giving frank advice about relationships :)
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

  8. How do educational materials handle technology in writings?

    I primarily write YA and run into this issue all the time. If at all possible I avoid uses of specifics like Facebook or Twitter or Apple, but I still have mentions of teens using tablets and laptops or instant messaging. It's hard to ignore completely because that's how teens communicate today.

  9. Hi,
    First, thank you for visiting my blog and secondly, I love your article on truth, and your quote from one of my favorite writers Maya Angelou. I sincerely hope you get your publishing contract, if you haven't got it yet.

    Pat Garcia

  10. This is a very interesting subject. I was an English major at University. We had a creative writing class, but this idea was never brought up, even though our teacher, John Barth, was one of the most famous fiction writers in the United States at that time. I am going to think about what you have said, and the example you gave, very seriously, as I have spent my life reading. However I have never thought about why I always return to certain books, rereading them over and over. Thanks! jean

  11. I think the dated part is the trickiest. I so try to steer away from anything computer oriented. Although in classics we don't seem to mind if the small things are dated if the underlying element of the story overall is timeless. And who the heck could have predicted 1984 being so true to life now, the only thing off is the year.
    History Sleuth's Writings - Blogging A-Z

  12. Shakespeare made all the good plots, and some bad ones too. I feel that I'm just remixing .

  13. You give some great tips and help to with writing and you are right about truth. So well written

  14. Truth in fiction is something I think about a lot. I love how you've spoken about Romeo and Juliet - definitely a truthful ending. SO not Hollywood!
    I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!
    Linda@ http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/