Ground rules for your fiction are great. They improve suspension of disbelief by bringing in consistency. works for math :P

Ground rules for your fiction are great. They improve suspension of disbelief by bringing in consistency.

works for math :P


I’ve been trying to read the Self-demonstrating Finnegan’s Wake page out loud and I’m laughing. It’s fun to say aloud and tumble over the wordplay.


It took Joyce 17 years to write it. It only looks easy. It follows all the rules of English and breaks none – but it seems to do so.


That said, it’s “too much” for me – and Joyce was a rarity.

I just bring it up as an “opposite”. Then again – it’s not opposite. What’s it doing? Making it as difficult as possible to guess what’s coming next. So, it IS consistent.

Still, I can admire it and not advocate for it.


In any case, you bring up a fantastic point about consistency. Ground rules from which content can evolve in a more or less predicable or at least logical fashion.


In imaging, “ground truth” would be similar to “figure out your physics”. It’s a consistent, empirical baseline (literally in this case) to work from.


In my own “figuring out how things work” thing, I call it one’s ontology. I think of one’s ontology – a hierarchy or list or system of concepts – as the physics that drives one’s interpretation of reality.


So, a religious person may have a complicated ontology which links everything to their deities. A physicist may link it all to gears and levers. A neuroscientist to neurons, etc.

None of these ontologies speak to a “truth truth” but they speak of THEIR truth, and we each have our own.

I think a lot of communication conflict is due to conflicting ontologies with all of the assumptions that go with.

But that’s my fiction I’m working with.


Oh I understand. But in my ontology, all non-fiction can be construed as fiction, particularly the sciences as they are designed to be modified, rendering perhaps the ‘gists’ mostly correct but the specifics a fiction.

3.14 is a fiction but it’s a useful fiction. That sort of thing.

So, that’s my approach. I understand you want to keep them in separate parts of the library, which is logical.


I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way on this one. It’s a fascinating thing.

I like the breakdown for if you think about it, you can call anything that’s written “nonsense” or “fiction” but it’s a lot more difficult to determine if it’s truth.

So, this puts skepticism at the forefront of knowledge. I like it.


That’s a tricky question. Schools, children’s shows and kid’s movies tend to oversell a prescribed format:

Little weak knocked by big strong.
Big strong is overcome by little weak, who is now stronger than big strong.

One rant I’ve heard from my nephew (first in 5th grade through about 7th grade) and by other kids I’ve dealt with through the years around that same age range is this:

Why does the hero HAVE to always win? Why can’t they just get crushed by the villain and that’s the end?

Kids get tired of overly simplistic morality tales sometimes.



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