Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lie To Me

I’ve been thinking a bit about my main character Danny this week. Mainly because it feels like ages since I paid him any proper attention and, like a neglected pet, he’s making himself known by ripping the couch cushions apart while I’m at work. Hmm, I’m not sure when that veered off into a weird analogy, but you know I don’t mean he literally rips the cushions apart. I understand that Danny’s not real, despite the number of prickly conversations we’ve been having lately.

Huh. Why can I imagine myself trying to explain that to a sympathetic psychologist in the future?

Anyway, Danny is an evasive one. Unfriendly, untrusting, and, as last week showed, unwilling to mingle at social gatherings. He's hard to pin down, and I think it’s because he’s full of lies.

There is the lie he tells his superior officer: It doesn't matter.
There is the lie he tells his friend: I’m good.  
There is the lie he tells the bully: I’m not scared of you.
And there is the lie he tells himself: I can make it home in time to save them.    
Tell me about your main character.
What secrets do they keep?
What lies do they tell?


  1. I quite like the mental image of your character tearing pillows apart :P

    But that lie to himself is so intriguing!

    My main character is a liar too, and her secret is ruining lives, including her own.

  2. My main character doesn’t want any of his secrets revealed, but I found this post really helpful in that I made up a list of each character and the lies they tell themselves and each other.

    Not only did it reveal a lot, but where there wasn’t a lie, I knew there was something yet to be discovered.

  3. Hmmm. My mc hates lies and secrets. Her family tells so many about their history and who she really is that she can't tell what's the truth and what isn't anymore. She decides to find out once and for all...then really wishes she hadn't.

  4. My MC is an undercover agent with so many hidden agendas she has to keep putting on her personas like layers of theatrical make-up.

    The big lie she tells herself is that revenge is the only thing that matters and she's too tough to care about anything else.

  5. So many lies here! Love it!

    @ Miss Cole, I think the lies we tell ourselves are the most powerful of all. Danny's are all there so he doesn't have to face the truth: that he has absolutely no power at all over his own life, never has and never will. Unless he takes it by force. Get him angry enough, and he will.

    @ MC, I think the lies we tell ourselves and each other are even more revealing than the truths. Subtext is my king!

  6. @ Marsha, sounds intriguing! I love peeling back the layers of lies and identity in a character, and seeing what's left underneath.

    @ Botanist, I love writing about professional liars! You can have so much fun with those characters, watching as they slowly blur the lines between identities. And your character's lie to herself sounds fascinating, and just the sort of thing that will come back and bite her when she least expects it.

  7. If Danny was a liar, would it not be the case that he's always accessible, loves attention? It's usually the way.

    My cahracter in my current WIP is a professional version of myself. I even through in some of my naughtiness.

  8. Hi Pauline! Danny's lies are to camouflage him, not to make him stand out. He uses them to deflect attention.

    It's interesting that your character in your WIP is a professional version of yourself. I can't even imagine a professional version of myself!



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