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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: '... wouldn't a good story exploit the "Dark side' of empathy as well? '

    I don't think so, because a good story puts me exclusively at the 'receiving' end of it, and my part in it is only passive. Let aside the interactive 'storytelling' of modern video games, but even there the story is predetermined and just the 'way through' altered by my inputs.

    I could not use the 'dark side' of my empathy to manipulate any character within a story, which disables the author to exploit this my ability for his/hers storytelling.

    Yet the usual empathy actually is a necessity for any story to be received. Otherwise no emotions, no curiosity could be created and maintained If a reader or listener wasn't able to 'identify' with it. Thats why we do not consider 'telephone books' to be great literature ... :o)

    I think my personal 'dark side' wouldn't even be exploited if you managed to make me sympathize with your 'bad guys' in your story and to team up with them against all the good ones, as again, I would only have a passive part in it and therefore no need to activate my own abilities.

    And even though you would have managed to make me realize, that my very character is more evil than I realized before, as you opened hidden doors to the true core of my foulness, in this my realization, empathy is by definition no part of it, as it was self-awareness only.

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