Category: Characters

Your characters don’t always tell the truth

Your characters don’t always tell the truth

In a narrative, we know that there are essential elements such as story, scenario, and characters. There can be main and secondary characters. But should we always trust what characters think and tell us? What are the situations in which your characters don’t always tell the truth?

Why do your characters not always tell the truth?

When a reader reads a novel, they tend to trust the protagonist and the main characters right away. They read about their feelings, emotions, thoughts, and follow their experiences and adventures, and everything seems to coincide with the truth.

But have you ever wondered if your characters should always tell the truth? Think of a character who purposely wants to hide a part of their past. Or someone who lies, not knowing they are really lying, unaware of what their reality is. Making it so that your characters, main or otherwise, can partly hide the truth can make the narrative more exciting and keep the reader glued to reading.

Why a character who does not tell the truth is interesting?

Among all types of characters, there are also kinetic and static. The former, the kinetic ones, are the characters who undergo evolution (either positively or negatively) during the story and thus undergo even radical behavioral transformation.

Static ones, on the other hand, are the characters who, while the story undergoes, no change and whose characteristics remain unchanged from beginning to end. Kinetic characters are an excellent example to use for characters who do not tell the truth.

One can think of telling the story of a character who lies because of a particular personal event that has so scarred them that they prefer to lie about the truth. Finally, tell their story, their change, and how they become a better character. That is why when characters lie, it can also be interesting from a psychological and human perspective.

The reader will appreciate the character’s growth and change for the better.

Some examples of characters that don’t always tell the truth

Think of the short story “Ten Little Indians” by Agatha Christie. Over the course of the narrative, the reader begins to realize that one of the main characters is necessarily lying and becomes increasingly curious about who among them is not telling the truth and is the culprit.

A writer’s skill when using a technique like this is in introducing the protagonists to the reader, talking in depth about who they are so that the reader can become attached to each of them. Then, the twist. Someone lies. But who? Why? About what? Lorenzo Ostuni’s book “The Cage” is another masterful example of this technique, though used in reverse.

The reader understands the situation from the very first pages. A lonely boy, locked in a cell illuminated by a dim, inconstant light, constantly turning on and off. He remembers nothing, perhaps his name; he does not know how he ended up there or who took him there.

He knows he wants to get out as soon as possible. And his wish is granted. A message warns him that there are other boys outside the cell, one of them is lying, and they have only 60 hours to escape and get to safety. Then the door opens, and the game begins.

“Don’t lies eventually lead to the truth? And don’t all my stories, true or false, tend toward the same conclusion? Don’t they all have the same meaning? So what does it matter whether they are true or false if, in both cases, they are significant of what I have been and what I am? Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.”

Albert Camus, The Fall

bibisco helps your character not to tell the truth

We are not saying that bibisco has magical lying software that can help you figure out what kind of lies your characters are hiding. But bibisco does come with innovative writing software, which is very useful for learning how to write a narrative and keep track of your characters. Specifically, with bibisco, you can build characters, track their thoughts and thus structure a lie that will surprise the reader while reading the story.

Characters Series: Your characters don’t always tell the truth- bibisco's Timeline - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco character sheet

Conclusions

The search for truth is something that has always intrigued anyone and makes a reader keep reading a story, all in one go. Although the reader generally tends to trust many of the characters they encounter in the course of a story, especially the main characters, they do not necessarily have to tell the truth.

On the contrary, this constitutes precisely that element of surprise that keeps the reader in suspense until the truth is discovered.