I was asked what my favourite quote was last weekend and it didn't even take me 2 seconds to think before I was blurting it out.
I'm going to ad lib it, since I'm not sure if I have the words exactly right:
'When a man says "I lie" does he lie, or does he speak the truth? If he speaks the truth, he lies, and if he lies, he speaks the truth.'
In a former post, I mentioned that I generally don't write in first person. One reason is because I don't like being so 'intimate' with my characters (since usually they are quite dark) but the other primary reason I don't write in first person goes back to my somewhat *obsessive* nature.
I have a detached writing style (let's call it my *voice* since it's something I've worked at intentionally) and when I do jump into character's heads, it's usually because they are observing someone/something other than themselves.
Perhaps having a background in animation is a part of this, but I love the challenge of showing how/why a character is reacting a certain way only through their dialogue and body language, yet always filtering this information through the mindset of another character. I do this because I think we lie to ourselves more than we realize and often those closest to us have a better understanding of how we truly are through observing our actions and reactions.
We are usually unaware of our own hypocrisies... so the only way a writer can show such complex things is through the eyes of another character.
When a character says, 'I lie', often that character is unclear whether he is actually telling the truth or telling a lie. This subtlety is something I think would be quite impossible to convey to a reader in first person.
What do you think? Are there types of stories you've started, then had to re-write when you discover the limits of that particular POV?