Monday, December 1, 2014

Advice For Writers #13: How To Lie

Now, I'm not trying to teach you how to lie. Whoops! That was a lie. 

Anyway, Penelope Grace is here. I'm going to tell you what excuses you can tell to your family when you are trying to hide the fact that you are writing like a maniac/insane person. Quite honestly, I'm going to tell you that if my family knew I was participating in NaNoWriMo and writing 100K+ words in a single month, they would send me to an institution. Or therapy, at least. Or rehab.

Either way, it is icky. 

But let's admit it; sometimes we lie to our friends and family about our writing habits. We also lie to them about whether or not we imagine how to kill someone. What? You don't remember killing off your characters? I did that to at least ten characters. Dead, dead, dead, dead everywhere.

Or maybe we need to lie because our writing is our alter ego. Something like Clark Kent to Superman. Bruce Wayne, Batman. Diana Prince, Wonder Woman. (So many DC references!) 

Or maybe we need to lie, because there is a part of us that compels us to lie. 

But whatever it is, I've put together some of the easiest tactics to use when being cornered. 

1. Giving excuses, i.e."I'm doing my homework/work. Don't bother me."

Now, this is perhaps the most popular excuse. The only problem is when the asker (or the interrogator) asks for more specifics. That is where you really have to step it up. I would try to stick as close to the truth as possible. 

For student writers: Say you are writing something like Historical Fiction. So you are looking up steam engine in the Industrial Times. Just say you are studying history. 

It is possible for students to also use the "English" writing assignment excuse. Although, try not to write all the time, because that is going to be frustrating to the asker. I mean seriously? How long does it take to finish an English assignment or essay? (Thirty minutes, for me. Fifteen, if I'm timed). 

2. Deflection

Basically, you switch the subject. As fast as you can without the asker noticing it. Try not to appear panicked or nervous.

The problem with this one is that eventually you will have to come up with the answer if the asker gets too curious.

(I'm rather skilled at this one, believe me).

3. Half-truths

Ahh... My all-time favorite ones. This one is really good. You don't use the complete truth. You just use part of it and omit the rest. 

Say the asker is asking what are you doing. You would say something like... "I'm looking up some tiny details in history and slacking off by reading Tumblr blogs." (What? We all procrastinate by surfing the Internet for useless information. Usually). 

Consider This Your Warning

For the entire month, I kept the entire charade a secret by employing two tactics (not half-truths). I'm going to say that it gets really annoying to keep everything together and keep all the lies straight. 

So sometimes, it is just better to tell the truth. Which I am. Maybe... next year, though. This year... Consider it experimentation. 

Happy Writing!

-Penelope Grace

Final note: I hope most of you don't have to lie, because speaking the truth and telling it is much better than telling lies all the time. (Yes, part of this lying exercise is to train myself and enlighten myself for parts of a book. Which book? Not telling you).

I applaud any one of you (including myself) who uses these tactics in their books. Because lying is useful sometimes. 

P.S. I'm so screwed. Because this is just... Crossing a lot of lines. Isn't that right, Alex?
Eh. it's just lying...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment! We treasure every comment like its....well treasure. =)