Monday, March 22, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-Lying

I'm glad you all think my life is a walking comic strip. I wish all of those things were true. In reality, my life is pretty uneventful. But you know you've told a pretty good lie when even your sister and best friend can't guess which one is true. I think that has more to do with the randomness of my stories than my talent in lying. But, considering I write fiction, which is all a pack of lies :), I'm glad that you all had a hard time guessing. It got me thinking, actually, what makes a good "lie"?

1. The best lies are based on some truth. The first story about standing up at the beginning of Twilight and shushing the audience actually happened, but I didn't do it. My sister witnessed another lady do this. Now, this is so not me. I'm very non-confrontational. So at the end of the story I added the part about having a smile on my face to make it more true to character (the real lady that did this was not smiling). So number one was a lie.

2. The more details you have in a lie, the more believable. In the second story about the Edward Sparkly Barbie, I had myself looking at a magazine, I had the specific conversation I had with the boys in front of me. I even had myself thinking that they had read the Twilight books. This story was true in that I did buy my daughter the Edward doll for her birthday, but everything that followed me putting Edward in the cart was my fear of what was going to happen once I got to the register, not what actually did.

3. Adding emotions into a lie make it seem more real. I am terrified of heights. Heights really do bring me to my knees in frozen panic. But, I never went to a suspension bridge with a boy in college.

4. Good lies throw in something unexpected. I think number four about using smashed Junior Mints to wrap a present is so ridiculous that you think it just might be true. But, you have to know that I would never waste my precious Junior Mints to wrap a gift. Come on, now. :)

5. Staying true to character is key in fiction writing. Throughout my blog, I've made it clear that I love Junior Mints. So you all know how obsessed I am with them. If you're new to my blog, the fact that I had two stories that included Junior Mints, probably made it obvious as well. So number five, me begging the store clerk to sell me some, rings true because it sounds like something I would do. But alas, I didn't. I'm generally prepared in advance for Junior Mint cravings, so a crisis like this can be avoided. On the phone this morning, my bff Candi pointed out that she guessed this number was true because it is going to happen in the future. It was a prediction of what's to come. I guess, in an emergency, it could be true. :) But it hasn't happened yet.

6. The truth! For those of you who guessed the Super Man virtual reality video was true, you were right. That lady told me she couldn't see down my shirt!! Who's the liar now?? Why did I believe her lie? Because, hello, girl code. :) Good fiction plays on human nature--characters reacting emotionally in predictable ways. That's why I believed her lie. Because why wouldn't she tell me? When characters don't act predictably, tension is brought into the story.

7. Okay, so obviously seven is a lie, I haven't based a character on the mage, robe-wearing Gary. But, man, do I love him. He makes me laugh every time. If you haven't seen that episode (Spongebob invading his friends' dreams) you totally should.


Well, that is my unhelpful advice about lying. Seeing as how a lot of you are writers, I'm sure you're all experts at lying, I mean, writing fiction.

16 comments:

  1. You sure have a lot of advice about lying! Whereas, I just reference my dad (hippie who can't remember anything so he makes it up)

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  2. Hmm, that was rather helpful. I'm disappointed:P

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  3. I think that is quite helpful! And obviously, you're an accomplished liar if you fooled those so close to you. ;)

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  4. I can't believe that was the truth. So not funny! I left you an award on my blog.

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  5. very good ways to tell a good lie.

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  6. Yay! I guessed right! *pats self on back* This makes my reasoning for choosing the right one all the more funny. Yes, that would happen to either/both of us.

    That's how we roll. ;)

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  7. I agree that emotion makes any lie more believable - even in fiction.

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  8. Aw, I guessed the wrong one. But that just goes to show what a good...storyteller you are:)

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  9. I am waiting for the day that you try to get some poor store owner to re-open their store for you.

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  10. I think that's the best answer post to this meme I've seen! And I may have to print it out.... you know, for my fiction. :)

    (and that lady should know she totally is doing no one any favors on a lie like that!!)

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  11. You are such a great liar, but can you lie in person? And how am I ever going to know if you are lying or telling the truth? This really messes up our unfriendship.

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  12. I was totally fooled!

    I love how you added little comments on how to make a good lie. I may have to practice. =)

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  13. I absolutely loved how you turned this around to a great lesson in writing. I've realized myself every work of fiction has an element of truth in it, be it the characters, settings or even storyline. (Hugs)Indigo

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  14. Oh, you are good! It sounds like you fooled us all. :-)

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  15. These tips will come in handy as I prepare to create 6 lies about myself. In fact, Tuesday is my blog day and I'm behind. But I may post on Wed. anyway as everyone knows the Tuesday commitment was a big lie.

    And how could I miss that? Of course you would never waste a Junior Mint. How could I have overlocked such an important fact? I blame it all on the flu I've had. Mushy thinking.

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  16. Nice lesson. Like most of your Unhelpfuls, it was exactly the opposite.

    I'm amused that the truth was about someone else's lie.

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