Can you really recognize a liar?

We all like to think we can spot a lie from ten paces. But can we really? How many times has someone fooled you?

Ernest Hemingway quote - A writer of Fiction...

Why am I asking about liars? Because knowing how to spot one, is helpful in writing. If we know how people recognize when someone is lying we can use those signs for a villain. The body language of a liar is great fodder for a story.

Add body language of a liar to round out your antagonist.

 So if you bullshit meter needs fine turning then check out this article on this subject…

10 Easy Ways to Recognize Liars by 

Here is the show don’t tell, tips I gleaned about liars.

  • Fails to make eye contact. Looks at the floor, ceiling or hands. Or, make eye contact with an unblinking stare.
  • Avoids using contractions.  “I did not…” instead of “I didn’t…”
  • Answers question with a question to stall for time.
  •  They fidget sometimes excessively with ear, nose, or pockets, purses or play with keys etc.
  • Turn away from the speaker, blink rapidly, smile falters. Cross their arms which is a sign of being “closed” to the subject.
  • Runaway talker. They might embellish their story to make it more believable.
  • Gets angry. Becomes defensive. Tries to divert attention on to another person.
  • Changes the subject to avoid answering a question.
  • Eyes are the big tip-off. Right-handed people will look up and to the left if trying to remember. If trying to make something up, they look to the right.
  • They may blink rapidly or rub eyes.
  • Sweating,  blushing, trembling and difficulty swallowing may indicate a lie.
  • Don’t miss the micro-expressions. A fleeting smile, a furrowed brow, etc. Although quick, these can tell you a lot.

Knowing the signs of a liar is great fodder for a writer.

What do you think? See anything to help with your writing?

Do you have any tips about the body language of a liar? Or truth teller?

How do you describe a lying snake of a villain?










Want to be a good writer? Learn from a great one.

Like Ernest Hemingway

This morning as I stumbled along reading posts I found the Positivity Blog, Simple Tips and Habits That Work in Real Life.  What a great concept for a blog. Everyone is looking for things that really work every day.

This particular post was Ernest Hemingway’s Top 9 Words of Wisdom 

Now you may not be a writer, or maybe you are already a successful writer but this article is for everyone. I believe these nine words of wisdom which Mr. Hemingway applied to his life and his writing could benefit us all.

Here is what I gleaned from the post:

  1. Listen more.
    • Be present. How many times have we heard that lately? Seems everyone is attempting to slow down and smell the roses. Some of my best lines came from a conversation I overheard in a restaurant.
  2. Trust yourself.
    • This is very hard for me. But at some point, as a writer, I must trust my writing and the readers. Did I mention this is not easy?
  3. Eyes on the prize.
    • Again, not easy. I have a tendency to get distracted. Busy does not mean moving in the right direction. Multi-tasking is not a talent. Keep writing.
  4. Make writing a habit.
    • Nike once had a motto, Just Do It. Seems I need to adopt this for my writing. What about you?
  5. Attitude is everything.
    • Fake it till you make it. Failure is okay as long as I don’t quit. Get back on the horse that threw me. All right, all right that’s enough platitudes.
  6. When the times are tough, the tough get going.
    • Sorry, had to do one more bit of bullshit, LOL.  But in all honesty, writing is hard so sometimes I have to slough through the hard days.
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    • I think we all struggle with this concept. But when I think about it will anyone really remember that I left the sink full of dirty dishes last night?
  8. Turn my imagination loose.
    • If I can’t suspend disbelief, how can I expect my readers to? Hmm, food for thought. Gotta mull this one around a little more.
  9. Understand rather than judge.
    • Whoa, that’s deep. Accepting and understanding not only what I feel and think but also the feelings of others. Kinda brings us full circle to #1 (Listen.)

Reading this post tells me that not only was Ernest Hemingway a great writer he was a wise man.

What do you think?

Could this apply to everyday life?

Talk to me – I love reading your comments.

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and

Please stop by and say “hey!”  I’ll leave a light on. 

Need to Find Inspiration?

Summer time and the living is easy.

Time to write and time to read.

If you need inspiration? I’ve got a couple of ideas.

First sign up for some writing prompts.

You’ll find everything from one word, multiple words, to pictures. Some will arrive in you inbox daily, weekly or quarterly.

You can choose to link up with other bloggers using the prompt or you can –

Polish and enter your masterpiece in a contest.

Here are a few I found.

Do you have a favorite writing prompt that inspires you?

How about contests or call for submissions? Any you think I’d like to hear about?

Let me and the other writers know in the comments section. Much obliged.

Remember to pass this on to your Facebook and Twitter pals.
If you’re not already, please follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!