I researched skills needed for undercover work, and the ability to lie was one of the things I saw. That is where this came from, but it’s not really integral to who he is. I would say he’s probably more of a manipulator (i.e. uses charm to get his way) than a liar. So I’m curious. Do you think toning it down would help?
As a former private investigator who did undercover work 🙂 I think it’s not so much the ability to LIE (the word alone has negative connotations) but to impersonate which, actually, requires empathy. It’s the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. That’s why I mentioned high school theatrics. The ability to play-act which, yes, to some extent is creating a lie. But the talent to play a role isn’t looked at as negatively as the ability to manipulate through a lie.
Are actors liars? Um, yeah, kinda sorta. But they know (or are supposed to know–judging by Hollywood, that might not always be the case) the difference between acting and lying.
Habitual liars, however, aren’t actors. They’re self-centered manipulators.
The outward actions might seem the same but the impetus and–in the case of how you structured the opening–is different. Rather than pissing off his family with his lies, he was the star of the school plays or–yes, we are–he won awards for his creative fiction and story-telling, and ability to get into character. Authors are paid liars. But not (we hope) in the dangerous sense of NPDs. Maybe he constructed fantasy worlds as a kid (lots of kids do).
OR his ability to construct fantasy worlds (Dungeons & Dragons or whatever) was misinterpreted by his parents as living a lie.
Hey, when I was five years old, I used to pin a belt to the back of my shorts and run around pretending I was a cat. So now you all know my deep dark secret. Yes, of course it was a lie. I’m not a cat. (Though my cats think I am…) But I’ve created and played with fantasy worlds since I was a kid. Which is what made me a a good PI and, I hope, gave me the ability to write fiction.
Anyone have other ideas?
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by Linnea Sinclair. Reason: finger fart