I believe artists use the truth but they bend it to tell a story that is possibly a lie until it becomes a truth in the audience’s mind.

People find their truth in stories. Alan Moore said – “Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.” In V for Vendetta he created a world that mirrored our own, only much more extreme. London is under a curfew, certain books and pieces of music are prohibited and everywhere is being watched, much like George Orwell’s 1984. It allowed the audience to understand the terrifying truth about what could happen under dictatorship.

Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, the novel which is now an award-winning TV series, which portrays a cruel world of patriarchy. She deconstructed our world and pulled out fictions and possibilities of what could be so that we understood the reality of prejudice and pain. Similarly, Bertolt Brecht did this with almost all his plays and perhaps most potently with The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui which reflected Nazi Germany and Hitler’s rise to power. This play demonstrated how lies can spread and how, even when we are not directly involved, we can play a role in the problem. The truth in these pieces isn’t necessarily in the words or the worlds but it’s stitched into the soul of the story. A consumer is then able to absorb the information without bias.

The truth is the most important part, it may not be literal, but the heart of it must be true. In business, this example can be followed. There is no need for lavish embellishments because if we state the simple truth clearly and with an honest heart we gain trust. This route means that consumers return and they remember.

Group of happy young people

Great writers use stories to tell the truth, whereas great businesses can use the truth to make great stories; of success and loyalty. As a business, you are not creating a story, you are the story - and your faces are the characters who keep it lively, thriving and attractive. The characters we love are the ones with heart, the good ones, the heroes, the ones who we feel are on our side.

To sell products we can use wonderful stories, creatively told, to show the reality and heart of any business and any brand. We use the same tools as the prime truth-tellers such as Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie and we draw from their startling examples to tell honest messages for businesses. Truth, accessibility and resonance are at the heart of everything we hope to achieve with our writing at flex. We are inspired by our great writing heroes and we can, proudly and unashamedly, take the elements that have made their tales so universally successful and use them to inform our own writing for clients across all industries.

#brandandculture #literature #storytelling #trust #truth

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