Why Characters Have to Lie

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MM Wittle

Third day of National Revison Month.

Second short story.

In this story, a narrator tells the story of Ben and Madeline. While it is a lovely story, it is not the story the writer wanted to write. In order to get to the real story, there are two things that HAVE to happen. First, the Point of View needs to shift from third person limited to first person. It’s nice to be able to move from Madeline to Ben’s brain; however, the story isn’t really about Ben and his mind.

Second, Madeline has to lie to the reader. Her character right now is not being completely truthful. She lies to herself about what she sees, but the narrator does not tell us she is lying. This makes for a difficult story because it isn’t the real story and the reader may feel anger at the narrator for not being honest. She needs to be completely truthful meaning what is her own truth. To alert the reader to her lies will be her husband’s job.

Sometimes characters have to lie in order to tell the whole truth. With Madeline, she needs to remain true to herself, which will include lying. We all lie and we do it for different reasons. Why should the characters we create be any different?

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