Contrary to all those times you’ve heard a writer confess at a reading that he writes fiction because he is a pathological liar, fiction writing is all about telling the truth — Paul Harding
To be honest, I’ve never heard a writer confess that he/she wrote fiction because he/she is a pathological liar. I don’t write fiction because I’m a pathological liar. I’m pathologically blunt. But I’m not a pathological liar.
I write fiction because in the written word, that is the kind of storytelling I am most comfortable with. I’m interested in creating characters and their lives. I’m interested in their worlds. I’m interested in telling truths that are not solely based on facts and figures. All facts and figures play a part of a story but they are not at the centre of the story. The characters are at the centre of the story.
Whose truth am I telling? The truth that belongs to my characters and no one else. I’m only a conduit. I suppose it sounds mysterious, otherworldly, even flighty. My friends will tell you that I am far from flighty. They just might be generous enough to tell you to run for your life if you ever suggest to me that I’m flighty. I would have to agree. Start running.
I’m just following my instincts. And I’m listening to my characters. At the end of the day, all I have are my instincts, my characters and my heart. I have to trust them. I do trust them.
That is not a lie.