That wonderful quote is from The Simpsons. Unless you live in a cave, I don’t need to tell you what that is. (If you live in a cave, you must tell us how you found the blog… or even accessed the Internet!) I thought the line was appropriate to us, as writers, and to myself as an added extra, as an actor.

Now, I don’t know about other writers, but I have an awful habit of writing my friends into my fiction. A lot. Literally only last week I wrote a novella called Stepping Forward filled with some things a friend of mine may or may not want me to show anyone else. Ever. He has the first, and possibly last, reading privileges for this book; if he’s not happy with what I’ve said, then it goes into the archives of useless first drafts and remains a secret. As fiction, it’s already a lie. Despite the many truths in it, it’s a lie. For one thing, it’s set on August 25th 2010, June 21st 2011 and November 14th 2011… unless I’ve been asleep for a year and half, that’s the future. Therefore: lies.

I think it’s something we all have to accept, if we write fiction: we’re going to be lying for pretty much the rest of our lives. We could even be revealing secrets friends told us. Of course, at this point we have to allow our friends to actually read what we’ve written. Sure it’d be rude not to!

This is all food for thought, of course. If you’re subtle enough in your writing, your friends might not even realise that they’ve been massively incorporated into the creation of your fiction. Or, you know, they might not be bothered reading it. That’s always a possibility.

Now, it’s not just friends secrets that get put into books; Dan Brown likes to pretend he reveals the  secrets of the world in his many lies; I like to tell people stuff about myself. Usually it’s not something too dramatic, but it’s stuff I couldn’t say directly to someone. Once again, I’d request they read the fiction, the lies. Fiction’s fun that way; there’s no telling what’s true and what’s not, so when they turn around and say “You nutter”, they might just be referring to something you made up. (I am awaiting this exact phrase when the novella has been read).

As to that acting reference… well, like writers of fiction, actors lie for a living. Children lie, too. Everyone does. Lying is an important part of our society. Much of our culture is made up of lies. We enjoy them too much to try rid the world of them. Honestly is good, sure, but it doesn’t entertain as much as lies do. Lies are the canvas of fiction through which we thread our secrets, our hopes and our dreams; a million and one thousand things going through our minds all at once, crashing about, creating a mad world of fiction that can be set in any time and place we can imagine, defying every law of physics if we want, warping the very idea of a constant reality. Lies are sweet, delicious chaos.

So, this has been me bluffing my way through a blog post. I’ll be trying to be a little more coherent on my own blog soon, while also maintaining my policy of secrets and lies. I hope this has been at least mildly entertaining. If not, please complain. I love complaints.

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