Good Narrative Principles

Character Flash: The Not So Honest Liar


I admit I’m mathematically challenged. As a kid, I was always disappointed by the lame narratives wrapped around a verbal math problem. The alleged story was always crammed with booby traps masquerading as burning questions. I never heard enough about the grandmother riding on the train to visit her family. Who cares when her train will arrive? We still don’t know the most basic things about her.  Was she a good cook? A math whiz? A sharp shooter? Maybe that’s why it took me forever to figure out the game my advisor at the bank was playing when I asked if he sold T-Bills. Naturally, his answer was neither yes or no. Instead, he uncorked a twenty-minute monologue, rendering me numb. He had this uncanny ability to present falsehoods as facts. Like, did you know, in the event of a bank failure, the FDIC can take up to ninety years to pay me back? True? Not true? You tell me.

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