Don’t we all wish sometimes we could just tell the truth instead of juggling tactfully around saying what the other one would like to hear? Let me give you a few examples.
Imagine, a hair salon, somewhere in a big city… the walls are covered with breathtaking hairstyles on equally breathtaking people, the hairstylist expects his next appointment.
A customer enters and points to one of the pictures on the wall, telling the hairdresser: “I want exactly that hairstyle here.”
Now, what does the hairstylist want to say? “Well, I’m afraid, that is a misunderstanding. See, this is a professional model, a really beautiful human being. Whereas you are a caprice of nature… barely to look at.”
What does the stylist say eventually? “Aaawww. What an excellent choice. That cut will frame your face wonderfully. I’m convinced it will look splendidly on you.”
Or, let’s have a look at another example:
Parents are invited to a parent’s conference day, and they’re meeting their kids’ teacher.
Imagine what the teacher would like to say: “Ah, yes. Your son Willy. A complete idiot. About as intelligent as six feet of dirt track… I’m surprised how this child finds the door in the morning to leave the house. My advice to you: set him free; start from scratch.”
What does he say? “Your son. He is intelligent but does have a few difficulties to focus and concentrate. There are practices and exercises to improve that. But I’m convinced the older he gets, the easier it will be for him…”
Or, how do you tell parents that their child is not the cutest on earth? Ask them for a picture. Then you study it for a few minutes and say: “Aha… hmm… you know…. are you sure that this is indeed the face?”
Of course, our society does not accept the naked truth. We all know words can hurt, and we don’t want to hurt people, nor do we want to be hurt. That’s when our ability to successfully veil our replies in conversations, create our answers in a way to compliment the other person, and hide what we really think.
At this point, I admit, it is a relief at times, to use my characters to speak what ‘they’ think, and of course, use them to write what I think. I rarely refer to a particular person or situation. But I permit my characters at times, to be as outspoken, open, bold, and sometimes rude, as I would never dare to be in public.
At times I wonder, if crime authors use their books to ‘kill people’ they don’t like in real life.
What would you permit your character to do what you cannot do or say in your real life? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious.