As writers, we spend a lot of time working on fictional deception. That guy, the one who looks like such a good guy? Yeah, he’s a ratfink. Or maybe that woman seems like a mean old hag, but underneath she’s got a heart of gold.
That item, lying there on the floor? It didn’t just fall over. It was dropped and that’s an important clue.
The torn love letter you are convinced is the key to the mystery? No, it’s just a tale of woe.
But as hard as creating fictional deception can be, I think it’s a lot easier than real life.
- That trip you thought was going to take ten minutes? Try an hour.
- Thought it was going to take you an hour to pick up your kids after school? Try two and a half.
- That road they said was going to be closed for two weeks? It’s been months and counting.
- The bridge repairs from that fire? Yeah, zero timetable on that one (or maybe that’s not deception).
- That dress that look absolutely gorgeous in the dressing room? Get it home and WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
- The shade of lipstick that seemed to work perfectly when you tested it in the store? Nuh-uh.
I could go on. But lately I’ve been thinking life is more about navigating the deception that is rampant in the world than anything else. No wonder we’re all exhausted. As soon as we think we know what’s going on, Life and the Universe pull the rug out and give a big ol’ laugh as we land on our, um, patooties.
And maybe that’s what makes fictional deception so much easier to create. After all, when it gets too crazy, we can always write a soothing peaceful scene where everything goes right. Just to calm our nerves.
Even if that scene winds up on the cutting room floor.
Fellow Mysteristas, what’s your latest example of real-life deception?