Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Lying Makes A Great Tale

This post was posted about a year ago on The Writers Vineyard where every month, I post something. I decided to repost this here, and maybe elaborate on it a bit. As writers will agree, we are fantastic liars.

Now, the idea for this post came about when I heard the story about my very young nephew (he was nearly two at the time), and his outrageous and unblinking lying abilities. He flat-out LIED when asked about a particular toy, claiming it had been "STOLEN." He then went into immaculate detail about HOW it was stolen, and WHO had stolen it, and so on and so forth. Just think, when he learns to read and write what sort of tales he'll come up with...

So, anyone can tell you a tale. We all have the capacity to embellish on the truth from the moment, as kids (and my nephew is a prime example), your mother asks you in that commanding tone: "Who did this?" and you reply by orbiting your eyes skyward with an, "Uhmmm, well...". And for some, like my nephew, they start very early in life. From that moment on, with a little work, a lot of practice and a lot less sky-gazing, you become a Storyteller.

Okay, most people will call it lying -- plain and simple, bold face, flat out lying.

I like to call it spinning a tale. A convincing tale (ever notice most liars always have an excuse... :) Ah-hem...).  After all, creating a story is joining up a bunch of fibs, throwing it into an imaginary world or setting and having amazing things happen in that world. I mean, come on!

Most people can write a story. Most people know how to write. Most people can join up letters and come up with something coherent that resembles a story. But how many people can lie through their teeth with such talent that you think what they told you is the honest to goodness truth? Not many. The mark of a good book/story is the mark of an exceptionally good liar. I'd hate to be next to them when they do break something and we get asked what happened.

For the moment, I am just a fledgling liar, but there's still hope for me. During the day when I masquerade as a graphic artist, I can think of a number of medicore tales I can tell to my clients -- usually the ones that are a royal pain in the aft. (Okay, if any of my clients read this post, I am so dead!) But conscience is a bitch and guilt even worse (perhaps this is why I'm a fledgling liar). I think I'll just stick to lying when I put on my writer's mask, where I can pour out all those wild tales and put them into words to create a story. And I can lie through my teeth without my conscience bothering me one bit. After all, it makes a great tale, right?


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