5 Secrets about your Characters’ Secrets

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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