Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Fake Friends and Fallacious Facts

An open letter to writers everywhere.

I'd guess I'm living in a very insecure society. I keep reading about you writers who manufacture quotes, interviews, and content. Are you so insecure in your craft that you have to create fiction in your non-fiction works?

Or how about you writers of fiction? You're no better. After your fictitious characters have been created and wrapped inside the covers of your books, you keep on creating fictitious people who write reviews of your books. (No wonder the five star book I downloaded was so bad that I had to delete it from my Kindle.)

Where is your conscience?

What is wrong with you people? Do you have no conscience? What happened to honest writing, honest reviews, and well, honest people?

What's worse is that, in addition to pumping up your own fictitious reviews with five star ratings, you've gone out and trashed your contemporary's books.

People! Get a grip. Get a hug from a friend and get over your insecurity. Put the book out there and let the readers decide. Stop five star inflation.

And another thing, after you're finished with the fictitious characters in your book, don't create fictitious reviewers for your book. Do I have to tell you people this is dishonest? Is your moral compass so demagnetized that you can't find true north? If you must continue to write fiction, start another book. I promise you that if your first book is good, we'll buy your second book, regardless of what the reviewers on Amazon say.

The trouble with the fictitious reviews and reviewers you've created is that we don't know they're "pretend" and that you're still writing fiction. Of course, if your book is terrible even though your fake friends gave it five stars, word will get around. If you're no good, it doesn't matter what you say, people will know.

The Challenge

I challenge you to use all your energy and time to write the best book you can. If it's good, we'll buy it. Just make sure that your fiction stays between its covers. If it isn't any good, who knows, maybe you're not ready for prime time. Keep writing, you'll get better. Eventually you'll publish.

If you are writing non-fiction, then keep it that way. The reason why the libraries and book stores separate fiction from non-fiction is that, well, we like to know what's real and what's not. It's sort of a reader's preference. You might not understand this but believe me when I tell you, if you get these things mixed up, readers will stop reading your books and articles, regardless of your association with a big magazine or publishing house.

To the writers who have not yet been caught, I say: Stop it. Come clean. Write good copy. Make it interesting, absorbing, and factual. If you're good, there will be no need to manufacture interviews, facts, or reviews. You can be secure in knowing that people will read you because you write well.

“Come, we are men of action. Lies do not become us.” – Westly (The Princes Bride)

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