Monday, August 30, 2010

In Which I Make A Confession

I have something to confess to you. And you probably won't like it.

“Hank, before I move forward with this discussion, I should acknowledge that as a child I was an inveterate liar… As opposed to now, when I am a novelist.” - John Green

Yes, yes, you're all sick of John Green quotes.

But I think he has a point here. Novelists are liars.
Now, when I'm telling a flat-out lie, I usually don't do it very well, because it's usually very spur-of-the-moment and I don't have time to plan it out (which is why I like blogging- I get to take as much time as I want).

However, I will willingly admit that I bend the truth all the time. The thing is, I don't do it to hurt people or to get out of stuff. The only thing I lie about often is dialogue. I say things contrary to what really happened because the new version is better. It makes me and all of the other people sound less-awkward and more funny. I re-tell stories the way I would have written them if the scene was in a book or short story. I make them better. I'm editing real life, so to speak.
Which makes me much that we hear from hearsay is completely true? Some people (okay, everyone) forgets the way things really were, and some people like me change a few words or add a sentence here and there to make the entire interchange sound better. Not better for me. I'm not the one telling all of the jokes I never actually told. I change a bit of everyone. I am changing their characters.

Yes, I am a liar. And yes, I play God with everyone. You are all my characters. And while I don't control you, I control how people from other spheres (remember those?) perceive you. And I'm sorry. But I honestly do it to make you seem more awesome.

However, I don't (always) do it intentionally. Have you ever had a dream, and then laid in bed thinking about it and imagining what would have happened next if you'd stayed asleep, or how it would have been different if you had consciously been in complete control? I do, and when I imagine for long enough, I lose track of what I really dreamed, and what I wished I'd dreamed. It happens with real things as well. Fantasy intermingles with reality.

And I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this. So I'd wager that most of what you think happened wasn't quite as cool as it sounds, whether it's you who skewed it or someone else.

You are all my story. My dad and I joke that we mold reality by declaring things, except we kind of actually do. As far as the people from other spheres who don't directly know the people involved are concerned, what we say really did happen. And in their version of the universe, it's true.

We don't all live in the same universe. And we are all the gods who shape reality.

(Btw, I requested Cloaked in Red from the library. It says it's "on order." I assume you got an ARC in your book club?)

(Btw x2 I've started reading The Mists of Avalon. It's almost 900 pages. I've only read a few of them, but so far it's quite good.)

1 comment:

  1. I can lend you an ARC at the next meeting, another member of the club got one but didn't like it so she gave it to me.


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