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Friday, April 12, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: K is for Keeping Secrets!

 

I think one of the hardest parts of being a writer is keeping your story's secrets. I love that "ah-ha!" moment when your imagination's light bulb flares up and bursts like a firework of awesome ideas. I usually run to my sister, blabbing ninety to nothing, trying to catch my breath, and squealing with excitement. This is the moment when I've figured out my brilliant twist in the story (aka the climax of the novel). And of course, I can never keep it to myself.

However, as a writer, I have to. Aside from Emily and sometimes my critique partner Cheyanne, I have to keep those "ah-ha!" moments under wraps. As we write our novels, we have to shut out those big twists and awesome secrets *until* it's time for the reader to know. If your love interest is actually a bad guy and that's your big reveal later on, you don't want your readers to see it coming from miles away. You don't want to hint too heavily that he's really a jerk. You want your readers to be as surprised as your MC. You don't want to reveal a villain's motives or the MC's BFF's deep dark secret too soon.

There are quite a few secrets in Chasing Forever Down. Some are hinted at early on, but many had to unfold as the story unfolded. That's what makes a story so exciting. So while it's a struggle, I have to keep secrets just that - secret. I do so by sharing them with my sister and indulging in the details behind the scenes.

How do you keep your novel's secrets without exploding?

3 comments:

  1. This is something I hadn't thought about before! I know I enjoy novels where I am surprised, but at the same time can find the clues if I reread the book, so that it feels probable on a gut level. Although in life sometimes there are no clues!

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  2. The best kept secrets are the ones the characters keep from you. I sometimes have an idea, a sense that something is up but they keep their mouths shut until I least expect it. Of course, I love those moments.

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  3. I know what you mean. When writing I often keep secrets from myself, too. LOL! I don't plan on the twist until it happens. See, a secret from myself.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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