Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dialogue Part 14 Writing Inner Dialogue of Person Being Lied To

Part 14
Writing Inner Dialogue of Person Being Lied To
Jacqueline Lichtenberg

All the Previous Parts of the Dialogue series Indexed :


In particular, remember Part 5 on writing the Liar's Dialogue


And be sure you have read A SPOONFUL OF MAGIC by Irene Radford. 
The whole novel's plot turns on spouses, liars all.  The main characters divorce over lies told.

This is a series where Magic is Real, where only certain people (usually families but not always) have different specific talents for certain things, where Imps (and presumably other mythical creatures) are real and can be used by Black Magic users, and where humans can be turned Evil by the sheer impact of discovering they have "Power."

None of that is anything I can match to my personal vision of Reality -- but I just absolutely love this novel, and have enjoyed Irene Radford titles without exception.  The craftsmanship is exemplary, the conceptualization broad and daring, and the thematic issues spot-on for these times.

So with this great example of how to use the BIG LIE in a story of families raising children to withstand the temptations of magical power that their associates can not match, consider how to write the dialogue between the Liar and the Character who is fooled by the lie, who believes the Big Lie because the person saying it passes muster.

You love someone, you believe them.  Does that make that person truthful?

We live in the era of Fake News - and fake Facebook posts - and a totally fictional  view of reality masquerading as true (even science - but fake science has always been the trusted source for a firm minority, with UFO non-fiction ruling the roost since the 1950's.)

So the sense of betrayal when an intimate family member is revealed to be a Liar is the fabric of grand fiction.  Irene Radford has put her finger on a main issue being researched by (real) science.  How much, how often, and why do we lie?  Do we all do it?  If you say you never lie, are you a liar?

And beyond that, what makes a lie a white lie?  At what age do we learn to twist words to cast illusions?  Does this practice do us harm on any level?  Are there certain people we never lie to? 

If someone lies to you and you believe them, does that make you a victim?

Here is an article from some months ago - that may not still be available:


Here are some salient quotes:

What's more, a study published in the journal Psychological Science noted that your chances of detecting a lie is about 50/50. However, this isn't because you don't actually think someone is lying. While your initial reaction might be to call out a fibber, the study found that your conscious brain overrides the unconscious part that can spot a liar, which is why most of us are likely doubt our initial instinct when we think we're being lied to. Meyer calls this a "truth bias."

"Research suggests that Americans are especially predisposed to a 'truth bias' when dealing with other Americans," Meyer told Fraud magazine. "In general, they presume good faith on the part of others, and they believe that people are innocent until proven guilty. When someone answers the phone and says, 'I was just going to call you. You read my mind,' many of us give the benefit of doubt, even if we're not entirely convinced."

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Here is the reason people insist on an actual, in person, meeting to settle an issue, to interview for a job, or just communicate over an emotional issue.  People learn, probably from the age where they learn to recognize their mother's face, to dicipher micro-expressions and decide if they "trust" this person (even if a person is a Liar, you might trust them to sift information to favor your agenda.


Meyer explained that most people have a "tell" that lets others know when they're lying, and the most common tells are called micro expressions. A deviation from normal behavior, micro expressions can be anything from unusual facial expressions and overly formal language to how you hold a backpack, she told Fraud. People who are skilled in reading micro expressions can determine whether or not someone is lying with 95 percent accuracy.

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In her TED Talk summary, Meyer gives some tips for how to identify some micro expressions, and some of these tells are the opposite of what you might expect.


On his blog, Dr. Joseph Mercola, author and physician, provides additional non-verbal cues from Susan Carnicero, a former CIA agent and author of Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception, that can help you detect when someone is lying. These tips include unusual pauses in conversation, grooming gestures (like fidgeting or playing with their clothes), and hand-to-face movements (touching their face or hair). In the TV show Shades Of Blues, Lt. Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta) is able to determine Det. Harlee Santos (Jennifer Lopez) is lying because her tell is pushing her hair behind her ear when she's being deceitful.

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And here, in that article is the PLOT CLUE you need to move your plot with dialogue.  The Big Lie and the Little Lie and the White Lie all indicate the point where you use Dialogue to merge Plot (what happens) with Story (what the even means).  Apply this list to your dialogue and see if it improves your technique.

According to Awareness Act, Meyer explained that people lie in order to avoid being punished or to avoid embarrassment; to protect another person from being punished; to exercise powers over others by controlling them; to protect themselves from the threat of physical or emotional harm; to obtain a reward that’s not otherwise easily attainable; to get out of an awkward social situation; to create a positive impression and win the admiration of others; to maintain privacy; and to gain advantage over another person or situation.
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Read this article and chase down the references, especially the Ted Talks.  Puzzle out how to apply the White Lie to Romance.  Don't forget Aliens might be like Vulcans and tell the bald truth (mostly), or they might have no biological reason to shade the truth -- or they might never use words to convey the truth.  Maybe they don't even have the concept "Truth."

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

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