What is your character’s deepest, darkest secret? What is it that s/he doesn’t want anyone to know?
When you write a novel or revise a novel, YOU must know these things.
5 Ways to Use Secrets to Develop Characters
- Using the Secret as a Plot Twist
When we find out that Luke Skywalker’s father is Darth Vader–the revelation twists the plot in a different direction. Make sure that the secret is truly hidden in the story as it develps, even as you prepare your readers for the revelation.
- Source of Conflict–Making Sure the Secret Stays Secret
A secret must stay secret! Which creates a great source of conflict that can be mined in your plot.
- Tangible Secrets
Make the secret tangible by giving it a physical presence. It is a diary, a stack of letters, a photograph, a magazine clipping, a favorite toy, a particular piece of clothing–something that you can describe with the senses.
- The Secret Revealed: Big Scene or Climax Scene
A powerful use of secrets is to reveal them as part of the climax scene, often giving an extra twist of meaning to the ultimate clash between the protagonist and antagonist.
- What is YOUR secret?
Often the most moving secrets are ones that come from a writer’s life. What are your secrets? Can you give one of them to your character?
Read more of 15 Days to a Stronger Character.
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