If you click on the NaNoWriMo badge in the side bar on the right-hand side of my blog, you will be taken to my profile on the official NaNoWriMo website, where you can see what my novel is about, the genre, and a bunch of other random information about me. The wordcount is wrong. Since I usually write at mealtimes, I am writing first on paper, then typing it on the computer, then uploading for word count verification. As I don’t have the internet to upload to the site, I only update it when Mr. Perfect allows me to use his computer.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you will recognize the premise of this story a bit, as I mentioned it in a post I did in September of 2009. I took the original short piece I did for a senior year writing class, and lifted the main premise, main character, and her boyfriend and started over from scratch.
One of the major things that I’ve done is changed the names of some character types I thought of using. The names sounded to old, so I chose some newer ones. I am going to go on the social security administration’s website and check the popularity of the names I’ve chosen for the year they were born.
I also made their ethnicity more pronounced, as the story could have been about anyone. It gave the story so much structure! By making it definitive that the characters were African-American, and keep the high school environment the same, I ended up with middle class, Jack & Jill African Americans at an exclusive school which graduated successful professional people who come from families that are somewhat affluent. All of which made the main character’s main shortcoming and character flaw both more understandable and something the reader may feel sympathetic to and want to condone. She does things that are wrong, but for the story to work, you have to at least understand why she may feel pressured to do it, and you still have to want her to “win.”
What does any of this have to do with relationships, other than my relationship to my writing? My character’s main flaw is that she lies–a lot. I can’t give too much away, but let’s just say she has her reasons and she rationalizes the lies away very well. We all know people who lie, boasting about things they really don’t have, presenting their lives in a way that flatters them but is fictional, and getting themselves so caught up in their own lives they don’t know what the truth is anymore.
I can sympathize with wanting to be better, wanting your life to be better than it is, and wanting people to see you in a positive light. We all want our choices to be acceptable to others. We want people to like and respect us. We want to feel we belong in whatever circles we aspire to move in.
But can we really “fake it ’til we make it,” or are we just fooling ourselves? Keeping up appearances and trying to keep up with the Joneses while hiding who and what we really are will never get us to where we want to be. It comes to a point where you can’t be honest with yourself, let alone anyone else. I don’t know anyone who wants to be with a liar.
Relationships depend on mutual respect & trust. No one trusts a habitual liar, and no one respects someone who can only mimick others instead of embracing their true selves. It’s exhausting to check behind and corroborate everything someone says. You let people down when you can’t live up to the image you portrayed and the things you promised. The truth always comes out, and people will eventually get to decide whether they like who you really are or not.
If you constantly lie to yourself about where you are, you can navigate to where you want to go. Be honest with yourself and where you are, where you want to be, and what it will take to get you there.
So tell me, where do you want to be? What has kept you from getting there? What flaw of yours causes tension or conflict in your relationships?