Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oh What A Tangled Web...

I got a book deal!

Okay, I didn’t. I lied.

How terrible. Why would I lie?

Well, to get a reaction of course.

Oh, come on. We all lie every now and then. Whether it’s a little white lie, a lie of omission, or just an untruth so we don’t hurt someone’s feelings, we all do it. And why?

To get a reaction.

It could be a positive or negative reaction, but it’s something.
I had a writing teacher tell me once that if I got stuck in a story, have the character lie.

It works.

Meg Cabot even wrote an entire YA book about a character that lied. A lot. It’s called Pants on Fire. As in liar, liar pants on fire, and it’s really quite good.

So we lie. And when we lie things happen. Seriously, I’m not lying. Things happen.

For one thing, the characters character is brought into question. Are they reliable? Will this change the way the reader understands the story because the character is unreliable? I would say yes.

The lies could also make the character more interesting because you never know what they will say next or where the lie will lead them. Trust me; these crazy characters can really take you by surprise. I’m not lying, they can.

Then of course there is the whole idea that now the character has to get himself/herself out of the lie. Maybe. Either way the story might go in a whole new direction.
And how about the fact that the lie can come back and bite them in the butt! It could happen. Maybe. I’m not lying. Really. Do you doubt me?

Now, as I tell my children, and my parents told me, it’s not right to lie, but with fiction, it’s a whole different game. So go ahead, give it a try, and lie. I won’t tell.

Seriously, I’m not lying, I won’t tell.

But please, don’t tell my mom, she doesn’t know I’m a fiction liar and I don’t want her to know.
Seriously, I’m not lying.

Until next time—



Gretchen Schneider said...

You Lie! :-)
I promise not to tell...but how do you know if I'm lying or not...

Good point about lies being used as plot devices. I've seen this often, and, though lies annoy me, I never put the book down when it happens in the story. It works.

Others need to remember not to use it all the time, though. Otherwise they can get predictable.

Vicki said...

Great post. It's true about the lying, even though I am so not a proponent of lying, we all do it from time to time.

Having our characters do it, is a great idea. :)

Pat said...

I always say that I had to write fiction. Without it I'd just be another liar. LOL

And that's the truth. Pltthhh (Okay, so how DOES one write an Edith Ann raspberry?)

Judith Leger said...

Love the blog! You pointed out some excellent facts of lying to move a story forward! Thanks for posting.

Hugs and many blessings,


Houston A.W. Knight said...

ROTFLOL! Great blog! Yes, I have a story that I've written and my heroine lies - it does make things interesting.


Debra St. John said...

Great post, June, no lie there! What an interesting way of looking at things. I've been stuck in my mss lately, maybe it's time for the heroine to lie....hmnnnnn?!?!?

Simone Elkeles said...

that's a great idea, June! My character Amy does lie, but she always gets caught.

Now for me...I'm sure I tell my share of white lies...especially when it comes to the tooth fairy.

Margot Justes said...

What a great concept, I'll have to try it-see if it moves my story forward.

Renee Knowles said...

LOL! You are so right, you know. And I wouldn't lie... :)



June said...

Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments! I guess I really hit home with this one. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who is lying, um, I mean creating this way!!


Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi June-

Great post!

(Nancy-who is always a day late and a dollar short.)

Kitty Keswick said...

"But please, don’t tell my mom, she doesn’t know I’m a fiction liar and I don’t want her to know.
Seriously, I’m not lying"

That's great. I love it! Should we start a support group for authors??? I'll start it off...
I'm Kitty Keswick and I'm a fiction liar , too. LOL.
Good luck on your release.