TED Conversations

Cedric Mayen

Script writer, Editions Delcourt

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Do you have to be a good liar to be a good storyteller?

What is the main difference between a lie and a fictional story? aren't they quite the same thing? Are novel writers basically mass-liars? What are the basics of lying that you can also find in story-telling?
I'm writing a novel based on a character who lies to everyone about his life, a con-artist who decides after a shock to stop lying and starts to write a fictional book because he desperately needs to lie to feel alive, but he's stuck with writer-block syndrom.
If you can help me answering these questions it will help me a lot.
BTW I'm french so, I'm sorry if sometimes my english is bad.


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  • Sep 10 2013: What do you consider a lie? Effective art of all kinds is based on authenticity, the honest representation of one's experience of ideas, sensations and emotions. Fiction isn't a lie, it's a question about possibilities.

    Every idea is original, we cannot have an idea except through our own perceptual filters. Originality as you , I think, mean it is a reference to the ways in which the idea is treated, combined with other ideas, put through a process of consideration and evaluation, and drawn to a conclusion that is unique to that treatment. That happens all the time.
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      Sep 10 2013: What you say can be seen in René Magritte's most known painting "The treachery of Images":
      Here what he said about it:
      "The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture "This is a pipe," I'd have been lying"
      It's really interesting because even if he says there is no lie in this peculiar piece of work, the word treachery in the title still implies that you are being played.

      And for the second part, I agree with you, but still, you always want your ideas to be out of the box and to be the first one to exploit them at least

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