Are Writers Seers Or Plain Old Liars?

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It’s strange really, but I do tend to write stories that has a poignantly close resemblance to reality. When I wrote ‘The Feet Of Darkness,’ I wasn’t setting out to save the world but just believed that love can truly work its magic on a vengeful heart. But how some events has played recently, got me thinking – some people would not respond, even if you heap a universe load of love on them.

Someone once called me a liar, in his words,

‘Writers believed they have a complete knowledge of the human psyche, how people behave, what they might do, how they might react, but writers are plain old liars.’

I asked him to expatiate but he scoffed and left me staring hard at his retreating back. I didn’t know what to make of his assertion and I didn’t bother to try. Two days later, I was having my lunch break when my friend wobbled to my side and snatched my sandwich, I was furious.

‘Hey,’ I yelled, ‘bring that back!’

Nope,’ he refused, daring me to charge after him, after weighing my options, I declined and watched open-mouthed as he gobbled it down, belched, and patted his stomach, then left.

When I got home, I wrote a very good story, based on my experience, I didn’t tell my friend that he was the source of my inspiration but his behaviour helped my creative quest. I simply conjure up a character that bore a close resemblance to him. Now, did I lie? No! Spice it up a bit? Oh, I sure did.

My upcoming novel, Cydonia, Rise Of The Fallen was written about four years ago. I just dumped it in my library when I couldn’t get a publisher. That’s all ancient history now, but the events in that book was played out in the Vatican a few months ago. And believe me, I was shocked. When People read ‘Cydonia,’ I’m sure there would be lots of comments about the story line and plot.

In my opinion, I don’t think writers are liars, we just write from deep within, our writings may be significant, or not, but we can’t seem to do any thing else. It’s my pleasure writing this post.

Thanks for reading.

Much love, always!

🙂 🙂

57 comments on “Are Writers Seers Or Plain Old Liars?

  1. Paul J. Stam says:

    We’re neither liars nor seers, we’re just writers. Some time we write what we see, other times we write what we imagine it could be. The only criteria be that it be plausible and entertaining. Plausible so the reader doesn’t think we are liars and entertaining so they will read it. – Happy writing and reading. – Aloha – pjs.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      My thought exactly, but people outside the writing profession often look at us with suspicion, might be because we expose secrets, even if it’s entertaining! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!
      🙂 🙂

  2. Alastair says:

    A writer is not a liar. A writer has an imagination. He was saying that everybody who wrote fiction is a liar. James Herbert, Stephen King, Jeffrey Archer .. okay but idea using that one, Arthur C Clarke, Greg Bear. Is Alan Dean Foster a liar because he wrote how a Sith Lord would react?

    The guy is a jerk. Maybe use him in a book falling off a building and screaming “you can’t do this, you lied!!

    • Seyi sandra says:

      When I write, I see the stories playing out and my fingers typing, sometimes I can’t help myself! But the guy clearly refused to accept the meaning of fiction and the true basis of literature! I’m planning on turning him to a villain, just for the fun of it. And I can’t wipe the smile of my face now, your suggestion actually got my pulse racing… I might actually do that!! He he heee…

  3. freddiejay says:

    Writers as liars, what a concept. No, we are not liars we write from our perspective. There’s a reason writing is an art ,we create a canvass of words the draws a picture, some use lots of red, while others use lots of blue but once it’s complete no one can deny that they are looking at art!

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Thanks for stopping by Freddie, I love your interpretation of writing as an art, involving different process of creativity. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, that was why I ignored the man in question. Do enjoy the rest of your day!
      Blessings. 🙂

  4. DaddyTrucker says:

    Writers are like artists our words and stories the art, our hands and utensils the brush and our minds the artist. We don’t write to make lies we write to entertain and inform. We all have imaginations and sometimes writers get to use the best parts of their emaginations and we let it show through our words!

    • Seyi sandra says:

      You’ve summed it up pretty well dear friend. We use our imaginations, pity my accuser failed to understand that basic concept! I appreciate your visit, do stop by again.
      Cheers. 🙂

  5. Chip Etier says:

    I think we are more dreamers who are willing to share our dreams.
    We are purveyors of fantasies. Many times, personal fantasies that we are willing to share.
    We walk the line with multiple personalities.
    I’ve created several characters that I’d love to know in real life.
    In fiction, anything goes!
    Interesting topic.
    Thought provoking blog.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Thanks, you’ve said it all! I think writers are prone to all sorts of criticism, and we should just take it in our strides! Thanks for your comment, I appreciate your visit!

  6. ledrakenoir says:

    “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer,
    it sings because it has a song”
    (Maya Angelou – american poet)… 🙂

    A good writer is one who invites his reader to think – it’s not about to agree or disagree, but to get people to think for themselves – their own thoughts, their own logic – if we get hit by what we read – then it isn’t the author’s “fault” but the author’s profits… 🙂

    • Seyi sandra says:

      I love Maya Angelou, a great poet! And I guess that was the right quote for this post. If a writer failed to pique the mind of his reader, it wasn’t a job well done. But most of us do, people think when they read a creative work (fiction or non fiction)
      I greatly appreciate your comment dear friend, do stop by again!
      Cheers. 🙂

  7. FCEtier says:

    Thought provoking topic and a fascinating blog.
    We writers are dreamers.
    We are dreamers who are willing to share our fantasies with the reader.
    In fiction, anything goes!
    I’ve created several characters that I’d love to know in real life.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Great comment, writers are ultimately readers, and believe me, I’ll cringe if I have to meet some of my characters. Some, I’ll definitely love to share a glass or two with! Others, I’ll love to keep at arm’s length!!Thanks for your visit.
      Blessings. 🙂

  8. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  9. WELLLL…There are a number of “journalists” who take unsubstatiated opinion or heresay and report it as fact. I openly admit I go for dramatic effect…so I’m not telling you which is “real” and which is not….unless I admit to something…like how to pronounce “mezuzah”. 🙂

    • Seyi sandra says:

      You’re right Jonathan! Journalism is a bit different from the literary writer whose main source of inspiration is deep within! Journalists are supposed to inform the public on ‘real’ events. Thanks for your comment and the Reblog, I appreciate it!
      Blessings. 🙂

  10. I write the same a blend of both…

  11. Reblogged this on ArrowGatepublishing and commented:
    Writers are miracles of the universe, creative beings who inspire, educate, and entertain! That’s how I see writers. 🙂

  12. A great and thought provoking post. I daresay the man you mentioned is a frustrated individual! Some people will never see anything good about life, because they are watching events with colored lenses. Thanks for sharing this Seyi!

  13. RoSy says:

    That “friend” has issues – mainly himself.
    Ok – I’ll be nice now 😉

  14. Manu Kurup says:

    Writers have often been at receiving end of people’s ire for many reasons. It is probably because there’s nothing that is impossible in this world and writers often resort to the impossible for their creations. The word ‘fiction’ is certainly an elusive one. Write on Seyi… 🙂

    • Seyi sandra says:

      You’re right Manu, I wonder why that is? Probably because we sometimes expose people’s fears or like you rightly said, bring the ‘impossible’ to light! Have a great week dear friend!

  15. Monika Bharti says:

    I think writers just share whats within them. their dreams, their beliefs , their imagination with a touch of reality and things they want others to see through their words. Writers are not liars 🙂

  16. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    This is fascinating, Seyisandra – astonishing. I am very intrigued by this book! I don’t know much of what has happened in the Vatican, except they took a while choosing a new Pope and then burnt some black smoke out of a chimney! but I know a lot goes in there. I’m glad you’ve now got a publisher – excellent. Congrats! 🙂

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Oh my dear, you don’t want to know the real intriguing tales in the Vatican! The book is not about choosing a new pope, but it’s definitely filled with twists and intrigues, and it’s not only based on the Vatican, it covers several countries. I don’t want to give a lot away yet but I’m sure you’ll love it! Thanks for stopping by and my love to your cool, handsome son!

  17. Novel writers are great, awesome

  18. StetotheJ says:

    Writers lie? Madness, anyone who watches how the news programmes and politicians distort facts should be up in arms around that. I find it insane that someone’s imagination or research can be termed a lie, I look forward to reading Cydonia.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      I’ll be glad if you do! It’s coming out around September, I don’t have the actual details yet, but my publisher seems excited. The guy clearly has it in for writers, but that’s his cup of tea, not mine. Have a great week ahead dear friend!

      • StetotheJ says:

        Excited publisher means they smell cash which means muchos copies sold and that will please us all. I am anticipatious in the extreme.

  19. Taikakivi says:

    Ernest Hemingway tells Martha Gellhorn: “Let me tell you something else about writers. The best ones are all liars.”

    • Seyi sandra says:

      He he hee! That’s probably where that guy got the inclination to call me a liar! Ernest must be writing that in a fictional plot, I find it hard to believe he would think writers are liars. Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Lady Lovely says:

    Well said my friend. I completely agree with you. We are not liars, we just write the truth and make it feel more real. If it’s fictional, then we know how to grasp feelings deep down and make them come to life. I’m glad these stories spark your creative passion….lie on girl, lie on!

    • Seyi sandra says:

      He he heeee! Can’t stop laughing! The guy is delusional, can’t even argue with him. There would always be something that would ‘spark up’ that creative passion, as you rightly put it! Thanks for stopping by dear friend.

  21. Lori D says:

    Seyi, I have come to learn that writers are very good observers. We pay very close attention to body language, tones of voice and attitude, in order to be able to write rich characters. At least I do, as my stories are character driven. Some writers I know who are exceptional at scene description are the ones good at observing the scenery around them. Just my thoughts. Good luck with Cydonia, and congratulations.

  22. seanbidd says:

    Hey, another book!! Some silly thoughts below…

    Strange breed, writers. Never been able to find two the same that could write the same story at least once, without bleeding on one another. Perspective has a lot to play with… The first half of his statement is reaching for the clouds, writing his own story of knowledge in broad brush strokes wide enough to paint that body of water between Great Britain, and France.

    Not even the professionals know everything about the human psyche, as it is always evolving and confronting states of variable change. None of us are static. I prefer to use educated guess work (experience, known situations, anything that crosses the paths within our minds), it’s a job, but someone has to take it on while writing. A character can only think for themselves so far before they laugh.

    The tail of his statement fails to wag much either. If they were given a hypothetical situation which they’ve never experienced before, then by their own self admission, any answer they give is a lie. If a writer really wants to crunch the numbers on any particular act/do, react/situation/moment, they research.

    But as all the person above sees is the words on the page, then combines it in their own head cloud of experiences/knowledge/guesswork and doesn’t fit their perspective, doesn’t mean the writer has it wrong. They forget, individuals will act/do, react/situation/moment differently. They forget individuals from varying cultures, and backgrounds, will act/do, react/situation/moment differently.

    Have a good week, Sandra…

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Thank you dear friend. This is a great post on its own and the way you’ve described writers, the characters they create is simply superb, I can’t add anything to it. Thank you is all I can say Sean, and if I do need to refer or use your comment, I’ll refer back to you as the source. God bless you richly.
      Blessings. 🙂

  23. I believe writers are people with great, big imaginations. People with lively and colorful dreams and haunting nightmares. We’re creative and therefore see the world and events within it differently from other people. We don’t lie. We create! 😀

    • Seyi sandra says:

      You’re right Vashti. I guess it’s the ability to create that’s confounding several people, and I assume jealousy is also playing a big role here! 🙂

  24. Writers are not liars, never. We just have superb imagination, active and much more agile that the ordinary person and if this sounds rather pompous then so be it, Seyi 🙂

  25. toad (chris jensen) says:

    What a unique question? My immediate thought would be we are both, now I don’t really call what I do as writing.

  26. Bad writers are liars. They write poorly about things they have no experience with — being old, being a woman, losing a child, or something else thrown in for dramatic effect that rings false.

    Good writers are honest. They write about what they’ve experienced and observed in life, through fiction, in a way that rings true with the reader, because it is true emotionally.

    Great writers can take a piece of experience — being sick, for example — and expound on it to give a taste of something they haven’t experienced — such as being old. The smart ones don’t go beyond what they understand, and leave the rest to the reader’s imagination.

    • Seyi sandra says:

      Thank you Rick for your comment and visit, I truly appreciate it! Being a writer is writing from the heart and like you rightly said, great writers take a piece of experience and expound on it. But I beg to differ on one point, you don’t have to experience something before you can write about it. What about a writer who wrote a novel based on a serial killer – is the said writer going to kill in order to give his fictional plot credibility? I think it depends on what you’re writing on. Once you have the inspiration, just ride on!

  27. Whoa! If that guy is your “friend,” I don’t think you need enemies!! : P

    I think you’re a beautiful person who writes the truth she finds in her heart. Keep up the good work. : )

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