The Rilaly.com reader is someone who is moving from an “Always moving, always proving” lifestyle to a more contemplative life. They were so active and busy in a previous life that they might have missed the signposts that could’ve have helped them understand who they are better. These signposts say that you’ll never know who you are, or who you’re going to be, until you know where you’ve been. Rilaly.com contains signposts that suggest that we tell our stories as we hear and respond to the story of others. The others, in this equation, might be weird, strange, and just plain different, but the reader understands that we can learn something about ourselves by studying extremes.
Our goal @Rilaly.com is to seek an unvarnished truth. It might not be the truth we sought when the reader started reading the article, and it might not be the truth we sought when we started writing the article, but the truth is always lurking, waiting for us to uncover it. There is only one fundamental truth, some might argue. True, but we all have variable perspectives on that truth, there are artistic truths, and there are also those who question the fundamental truth of it all.
In our quest for truth, we seek non-fiction in our reading and writing, because as one prolific writer of fiction once famously lamented, “I can’t top non-fiction.” It might seem obvious to write that there’s more truth in non-fiction than fiction, but both disciplines require analysis from the author. Deep within the analysis of the scenarios in fiction lies subjectivity and a manipulation of truth. The author presents us with good guys and bad guys, the idyllic characters and the flawed. What do these characters do, and what do they think? Therein lie the elements of manipulation. The author wants their reader to cheer on the good guy and root against the bad guy. An individual who writes for a living learns word choices, and how a subtle adjective can be more powerful than a more obvious than a clear and concise characterization, because it leads the reader to believe they’ve arrived at a conclusion.
Non-fiction provides real-life characters and an historical record that can fact check the author’s analysis, and the best non-fiction doesn’t permit much analysis. There is always the perspective of the author and the other side, however, but quality authors try to present both sides in a more objective manner. Such requirements are mostly not made of fiction authors, unless they’re writing historical fiction, and even then greater latitude is given to the author. Even some of the now popular conflicted, idyllic characters of fiction carry a level of manipulation that can be tedious. Their conflicts are often deemed justifiable in the grand scheme by the author.
The conflicted characters in the twenty narrative non-fiction scenarios below believe they were right, and the ‘I’ character thinks they are right. We believe we’ve presented these stories in such a way that the questions the reader asks themselves throughout bear an unvarnished truth.
11) The Leans
19) Ellis Riddick
20) Nancy Sendate