Friday, April 22, 2011

Secrets, secrets, secrets. Who do you tell?


They can be jumbo or microscopic, juicy or ho-hum. Maybe dirty or as squeaky clean as your two front teeth on the ride home from the dentist. No matter what kind of secrets we build into our stories, there's a decision that comes with each one.

Who do we tell?

Some writers let the characters and the reader find out together. Others give some characters a hint, and still others tell the reader everything but won't drop the characters even the smallest bone. In many cases, there will be a mix. Secrets are divvied out like free pens at a career fair. One for you, one for you, one for that guy over there. Everybody knows something, but no one knows everything. Your reader bites his/her nails as the MC talks to her brother's killer, and HOLY HOT DOG, don't turn your back!!!! Secrets lend to tension. Knowledge does too. Add a bit of well-placed suspicion (another 'S'), and you've got a best seller, baby! :)

How do you use secrets in your writing? Generous or stingy? And how awesome is that moment when it all comes together?

The Deathly Hallows, Part 1 Blu-Ray giveaway ends on Sunday, so enter here.

And, oh yeah. Today is EARTH DAY! Send a WWF e-card to someone awesome! Here's mine to you (thank you, WWF website for unknowingly sharing this image). And thank you, my darlings, for visiting the Cheetah!



Siv Maria said...

Awsome post, checking out earth day link :)

Siv Maria said...

Hey, no link?

Paula Martin said...

Great post! Secrets can add to the suspense. In my novel, Fragrance of Violets, the reader knows the secret that the hero is, of necessity, keeping to himself, but wonders how the heroine is going to react when SHE finds out about that secret!

M.J. Fifield said...

Secrets are a fantastic writing tool and I love to use them. I try not to use them too often. Want to avoid that over saturation thing.

Joanne said...

I am a great keeper of secrets.. maybe thats why it's so hard for me to write about them...but I am surrounded by people who CANNOT keep a secret t0 save their lives! :O) Great S post Blessings, Joanne

Marie Rearden said...

Siv, link was in the last paragraph of the post. Not the image. Sorry! -Marie