Help needed…

Help needed…

or… how do I make my self interesting without getting in trouble?

I read all these cool threads and comments by folks in these forums, and I get an incredible urge to jump in and post. I’ve been urged by folks to “just do it”, and it sounds like good fun. I’ll tell you all about the funny thing I saw today, or the incredibly bad luck I had, or just how cruel my family could be.

But I am repressed, and it ain’t all my fault.

See, I do really know how to tell a good story, or so I’ve been told. My difficulty seems to be in keeping the story strictly factual. Personally, I think a good story has to have a bit of exaggeration – saying something like “There must have been HUNDREDS of people in the street!” instead of “there were approximately 97 people” brings a measure of excitement to a tale, you know?

“Hey!” you say, “This is the internet! Exaggerate all you want! We’ll be the judge if our BS meters go all haywire!” Thanks in advance, Doper folks, but there is another dilemma…

My partner has taken to lurking here. And my partner is a Virgo. And a Technical Writer. Exaggerations must be avoided, or at least properly labeled as exaggerations. Even if she never said anything, I’d hear her voice saying “That’s not how it went…” every time I type.

What’s a girl to do? Any ideas? And, anybody out there willing to admit that maybe not quite every word of their posts is quite strictly factual?

(Please don’t suggest a change in my relationship – I’d much rather be seen as a boring fuddy-duddy than even contemplate that…)

Thanks in advance -


Be honest. I know it’s tempting to exaggerate for the sake of a good story – I’ve done it a few times – but one of the reasons people come here is for the honesty. We have to lie and be lied to so much during our day-to-day lives that it’s a welcome change to visit a place where we can assume that most people are telling the truth.

And what’s to gain from lying? This is a message board. No matter how much of a board celebrity you become, you will still be the same person in real life. Sit back and enjoy the ride – you have nothing to prove to us.

First off make an interesting yet descriptive title. What’s a girl to do? Help Me.
I think people have interesting stories to tell, that they don’t think are interesting. Stay out of the negative area’s like the Pit, and be positive about what you do have to say. People will want to avoid you if all you have is negative posts. Remember that a couple negative posts against you means little, because anything you say will offend someone. Glory in the telling of the story, because it will be apparent that your enjoying it. Using eclectic words doesn’t hurt, like strumpet, harlot, or tart instead of hooker. Skirt the bog down points of a story and be verbose in descriptions of the interesting parts. Thank people for helping, and always ask nicely in the first place. You manage the ask nicely part already. Add interjections during your thread to keep it going on topic. The nice way is to mention something that will draw the posters back to the original intent. Don’t harp on people that say something stupid and slightly offensive. All people say something stupid occasionally. You won’t lose credibility telling a tall tale, so long as it’s clear that’s what you intended to do. You can be interesting and truthful at the same time.

Best of luck.

Not everyone can be the Dave Barry level of funny that some writers here are. Don’t let that stop you from posting anything you think would be relevant or entertaining. Half the time my posts just make ME laugh, and that’s good enough for me. We all contribute something here; if your posts aren’t all brilliant, it doesn’t make you less valuable a poster. I also think it’s something of an artform to decide how much detail to put in a story - I’m more of a “just the facts, ma’am” kinda girl, and my sister takes 10 minutes to tell me she’s feeling good today.

The trick is to post early and earnestly in embarrassing situations. Or be tricked into it by a friend. Think of it as like when the teacher asks a question that you don’t know, and your classmate pipes up, “Oh fetchund knows the answer!”

There is an example of such here, in which I’m only trying to help. :smiley:

Be yourself, be sincere, and don’t be self-conscious. How to do those things comes with practice (aka I dont know or cant think more in detail now sorry).

Don’t worry about stepping in it and getting laughed at. Someone else will step in it soon enough to take the spotlight off you.

I’m pretty sure that there are some members who look for something to step in.

The sad(?) truth is that most people are not funny all the time, or even most of the time. So don’t worry, practice.

Just be creative in the way you describe things, then you can really embellish your stories without actually exaggerating.

Ooo, I feel your pain. My sister posts here, and she doesn’t know that I lurk (and have recently joined, hurrah!) She has written some saucy things that she’s never told me before, and it was kind of fun for me to know stuff about her that she maybe wouldn’t volunteer and just to have a little secret, you know? Hi sis!
The problem is, I’m terrified that my secret will be revealed by what I post. Like the OP, I am repressed! This is the internet but knowing that someone might bust you is… limiting.
I keep writing posts and replies and then deleting them. Wonder if I’ll actually post this one? I’m feeling bold.

Er - Thanks! Good to know you have my back… I think.

Raspberry, NOT Rhubarb, how do you KNOW she is telling the solid truth in her stories? Not just an itty-bitty bit stretched? I know about the deleting the posts thing - I’ve pretty much just given up on posting anything but helpful info.

Folks, thanks for your help, but even I can’t maintain an interst in my posts, so goodnight!

Just make it clear that your stories contain exaggerations and may not be 100% truthful. Add a disclaimer at the beginning of your stories. Let people enjoy them as shaggy dog stories or tall tales.

We had a whole thread on 1920’s Style Death Rays which started with exaggerations and went on to bald-faced lies. We made it obvious we were lying, and made them entertaining lies.