Saturday, July 10, 2010

What are your lies?


We tell ourselves lies about who we are all the time. Every day. When I was about ten I tried singing with my sisters for my father. He laughed and said I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Ever since then, I’ve believed that I am the worst singer in the world and dread having someone hear me sing in church as I stand next to them.

So maybe I can’t sing. (I think Dad was right.) But what if that lie had prevented me from becoming the next ------ (name your favorite singer here—I don’t want to date myself too much)? What if that lie had changed my future permanently and I could have excelled in an area that I should have?

In our writing, we need to give our characters a lie to believe about themselves so that they will have something to overcome throughout the book.

My main character in my WIP believes no one will ever love her and stay with her since both her parents abandoned her in her youth. That’s a lie. We know someone could love her forever but her believing the lie affects her choices and options.

I need to add here that Satan loves the lies we tell ourselves. Oh yeah—I tell myself all the time that maybe I really do stink at writing and will never ever write a book worthy of someone reading. Oh he loves that especially since I add a Christian element to my work and the days I get really frustrated, he is jumping for joy.

Our lies can control our lives if we let them. And that’s the challenge here.

So what lie does your main character believe about himself? More importantly, what lie do you believe about yourself and how are you overcoming it?

37 comments:

Diane said...

Good reflective post! I love to see people have a lightbulb moment where they see the lie exposed! Freedom!!! :O)

Shirl said...

Well! That's certainly one to think about! I believe lots of lies about myself :(

Amy DeTrempe said...

Great post and one that I will be thinking about. My character is easy (they are always easier than real life). She believes the hero will reject her if he learns who she really is, the part of her she hid from him to become what she thought he wanted. For me, I think a lot of it is about my writing. But, doesn't Satan tackle the things we are most passionate about, or what we feel is really calling us.

Karen Lange said...

Wow, this is thought provoking! My main character - will have to think on that one as she is only in the beginning stages.

My own lies - I allow Satan to tell me that I won't be what God has called me to be, and that I won't overcome in certain areas of my life. But I will, for it is just a bunch of lies!

Blessings,
Karen :)

kathy taylor said...

Every day I fight the same lie. The challenge is acting as though it is a lie instead of passively accepting it. Brave topic, Terri T.!

Julie Musil said...

You've hit the nail on the head. I think each of us writers must think we don't have what it takes. I guess it's just up to us to barge past those lies.

I'm plotting my next book right now, and you've given me something to chew on for my character. Thanks!

Saumya said...

Wow, this post really got me thinking. My main character believes that time and comfort are all you need to keep a relationship going. I certainly believe a lot of my lies!

Nehha N Josshi said...

Thought provoking!

May be I am trying not to believe in lies anymore:)

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

You just reminded me of one of my favorite movies: "lies my father told me"
I think I've spent a great deal of my adult life "unveiling lies" I'd believed as a child :-))

Doris

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Wonderful post! It really made me think. I had very few people telling me positive things as I grew up. I have a feeling that may be part of my lack of confidence now. Thank you, Terri. It was a good reminder to use positive self-talk....

Have a wonderful weekend.

Rose Mary said...

Great post, Terri! My main character, heartbroken after being jilted, believes that she doesn't need anyone in her life to love her~that she can do everything on her own.

Lin Floyd said...

so true, reminds me of my post about little voices...lies that we hear then belief and perpetuate in our lives...everyone does it-people of all ages.

BECKY said...

Very intriguing post! At the moment, I truly cannot think of any lies I tell myself. I have my doubts from time to time, like we all do...but lies...Hmmm...I don't think so. And as far as a character in my book....well, that doesn't apply to me, because I AM THE CHARACTER in my book! LOL It's a memoir!! :D

Jessica Nelson said...

Ooh, very good Terri. I try not to believe any lies about myself. *grin*
As for my characters...my heroine is like yours. My hero, I'm not sure what he believes. Maybe that he'll never amount to anything. Or that he doesn't deserve love. Good question!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Virginia Kate believes she is "see through" and no one "sees her" for who she really is and only sees what they want to see, or is it the other way around and she is seeing skewered!

Melissa believes she is fat and unattractive and therefore doesn't deserve friends and trust. She sees herself as afraid instead of brave.

Petey won't look into mirrors because bad things lurk there, but really it's just a metaphor for how she doesn't want to see the reality before her.


ANd me? I think maybe I'm an bits and pieces of those things above, even if they aren't reality.

I will tell you, though - this is something, Terri, I hope you will begin to think --- I no longer think I am a "bad writer" - I can see I have gifts - it took others, many others sadly, to finally convince me that I can write . . . and so I give that gift to myself, tell myself I can write and I will write and nothing (or near-nothing, as I don't want hubris to strike me!) will stop me. Write because you love it, because it gives you joy, and let rest work itself out as it will.

Analisa said...

For me the lie I most often hear is Who do you think you are? Who are you to write a book? Who are you to get hired for this job? On and on it goes. But it always seems to start as who do you think you are.

I mostly push the thoughts away. I know it's who God says I am. In God's eyes I am his beloved. So I can do anything I set my heart to and God will help me acheive it.

Sassy Granny ... said...

Until I look in the mirror, I actually believe I'm 32 in my mind's eye. Those darn mirrors!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, thanks Terri. I appreciate this. I preach it to others, but need it for myself!

I too often believe I write too slowly to live long enough to publish a book, and that I'm a lazy slob. There, I exposed my lies. Now they're in the light, and must die! Mwahahahaaaaa!!! Satan is a LOSER.

Deb Shucka said...

I love this! A new way to think about writing about transformation and change, and to think about what lies really are, and to think about personal healing. Thank you for the inspiration and insight.

Lydia Kang said...

What a great way to think of it. Telling yourself a lie, or is it giving yourself hope, even if it's false hope? My characters have this, and like you say it's what keeps them going. If we and our MC's don't have something to believe it, then why wake up every day, right?
Great post!

sarah said...

I know all about lies...I believed them for years...funny how a lie sounds so much like the truth but it never feels the same...

Jill Domschot aka Arabella said...

One lie I've believed in is that being a loser is a kind of genetic defect that shadows families--something I was just born with. I know that sounds really silly, but it's not at all. It's a kind of pervasive cursing that people place on themselves and their children. I don't really believe it anymore, or at least not enough to keep me from following after my dreams and, someday, succeeding by the grace of God. It helps to remember that God is the author of blessings, rather than curses.

Kara said...

Wow, this is a wonderful post. Lies can be so destructive, and a great way to set up conflict with your characters.
The lies I believe about myself I usually voice to my husband or family and they help me to cast them off:)

Carmen said...

A very thought provoking post! If I believed all the lies floating around in my head, I'd be visiting a psychiatrist weekly! ;) Thank goodness the Holy Spirit is ever present and helping me fight them off!

You're right though; a story is definitely more interesting when the character has a lie they're believing about themselves. I guess it makes them more human. Have a good week, Terri! :)

Lynda Young said...

My main character keeps everyone at a distance because she expects everyone to hurt her.

Great post :)

Kenda said...

New follow here, came over from Karen's place, Write Now! Great post, giving me a new perspective on my MC...Glad to meet you :-)

Just Be Real said...

Excellent post Terri. All the lies I have believed about myself have resulted in low self esteem and a dislike for myself. Thank you for sharing! Blessings.

K9friend said...

Hi Terri! Wanted to pop over and thank you for entering the Six Word Story contest. Your blog looks great, so I signed up to follow!

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

colbymarshall said...

There are things I doubt I can do...but I keep working on it so I can prove myself wrong ;-)

Sally said...

My hero believes people will think he is like his father if he dosen't go to great lengths to be different.
I'm not a very good cook. My father once told me I couldn't boil water. (At that time I honestly couldn't.) Now, my husband and son totally disagree.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Terri, My main character believes that he can never live upto his parents' expectations. He suffers from an inferiority complex.
Like you I have been told that I can never carry a tune, that has put me off singing forever.

patti said...

Oh, I love this blog.

My character, Wang Kai, believes that fate, not God, controls her destiny.

Hmmm. What lie do I believe? The usual Satan-fueled enemy, self-pity, doubt, discouragement!!!

Patti

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

The temporary lie I sometimes buy into is that "this is as good as it's going to get for me on this side of eternity." Sometimes I live less when God intends for me to live so much more.

Well, you might not be able to sing, but you sure can write.

peace~elaine

WritingNut said...

This is a very thought provoking post, and so true.

You're very right about lies controlling our lives--we need to prevent that from happening by being true to ourselves.

Cassandra Frear said...

Now this is a fresh way to think of it! And it makes good sense.

Thanks for your kind comment on my guest post last Wednesday at Wendy's blog.

Janet Johnson said...

My character believes he's a failure. Utter and complete.

I do like this way of looking at it. It makes the character's inner troubles clear.

Jolene said...

I'm not good enough.

And think about how much that stops us from doing.