Growing up we all remember a schoolmate, neighborhood pal, or perhaps even a parent of teacher exclaiming, “Liar liar – pants on fire!” Because lying is a bad thing, right? Because liars are dreadful people, certainly not the sort of individuals we’d ever want to grow up and become. And probably because liar and fire rhyme so nicely together.
Over the past decade, my life has been consumed in a quest to create the most entertaining saga possible. Like all authors my goal was to create a fascinating and enchanting plotline composed of characters my readers would find both intriguing and relatable. My mission seemed reasonable, even commendable, as society upholds the art of creative writing, and I believe I have succeeded as Everything Zing is receiving positive reviews. However, I must face a fact – my britches are burning!
None of my characters are real; none are even based on actual people. None of the events actually took place, even though exact dates are used. From cover to cover my novel is a complete fabrication and fiction at her finest… 100% pure lies.
Think back to your favorite stories – the most beloved tales, the ones you know in your mind couldn’t really exist, and yet in your heart wish and almost believe could somehow be true. According to this argument, those writers are also the world’s greatest liars, and therefore, their trousers must certainly be in flames.
But escaping the truth of reality is the reason we dive into a novel – to lose ourselves in another world for a while – so we can return with a new perspective and a bit more clarity about the life we currently live. We trust writers to do precisely that – to create galaxies and kingdoms and “once upon a times” that mesmerize us – even though we know they’re lying to us. Our favorite fantasies are indeed only fantasies, but it sure is fun to pretend, especially when a novel delivers an element of truth and revelation, even a simple reminder that good is still good and bad is still bad.
Certainly there are times when the truth is stranger than fiction, and there are definitely occasions when the kindest act is not to tell the truth (that dress does look hideous and does make you look obese). Can you imagine a world where every truth that swept across our minds became public knowledge? Thanks to films like Liar Liar and The Invention of Lying we have an entertaining glimpse at such a scenario. I think we’d all agree that we’re better off without complete truth.
Lastly, let’s not forget that writing and reading is entertainment and fun, so don’t take this discussion too seriously. After all, this essay is about a writer poking fun at himself, his craft, and his goal to become one of the world’s greatest writers – which as we all now know equals greatest liars. In fact, there may be no truth to this entire piece. Perhaps the lie is in the lie… and there really is an Imagine Nation with a
called Zing. Perhaps this narrative has simply been another work of fantastic
fiction. Capital City
Grant Stone is the author of Everything Zing – the Imagine Nation’s ultimate saga.