Countless words have been written on how to write a story. What should you do, what should you not do? What are the correct ways to use punctuation? How do you develop characters? How do you move the plot along? How should you make your sentences powerful and memorable?
Stories are almost as old as mankind. Long before the written word stories were told. Mothers and fathers told them to their children. Minstrels sang them to kings, queens, and royal courts.
Before the printed word, story tellers followed the same rules we do today. They had to make the characters real, develop a plot, create a conflict and resolve it. “Yea” you say, “but what about punctuation?” A pause became a comma. A rising intonation became a question mark. A strong declarative sentence became an exclamation mark. A chance for the story teller to catch her breath (and the audience too), became a new paragraph or chapter.
So, it seems, that very little has changed. Except of course, for standardization. I would think that each story teller had their own individual way of emphasizing different aspects of the story. Perhaps even from time to time, depending on the audience. Today, it is not as easy to get different versions of the same story through the publishing process. Or is it?
“Wait a minute. The last time you told the story the dragon sparred the village. This time, you said the dragon burned the village to the ground. Which is it?”
Some listeners will choose and remember the version they like best and dismiss all others. Some will want to know which version is correct.
Perhaps the concept of “fake facts” is as old as stories told around a fire.
Ultimately, the choice is ours. Do we believe what we want to believe? Or do we search for the truth?