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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Does Your Fictional Character Have a Secret?

    A main ingredient that a fictional story must have is one of the characters―preferably the main character―should harbor a secret. The plot can gradually lead up to solving the mystery, but the author needs to show and not tell it bit by bit. The secret of a character builds intrigue and suspense, and a good way to culminate a story is to put the final pieces of the puzzle together at the end of the book.

    One secret that the main character could have is a drug habit he or she doesn’t want anyone to know about. In my book titled Deception, the main character Greg’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer has a cocaine problem that’s revealed early on to the reading audience but isn’t revealed to any of the other characters until her best friend found out about it toward the end of the story―her erratic behavior goes unchecked throughout its entirety and was totally out of character to the people who cared about her the most. Her greatest fear was being exposed and possibly losing everything that she worked so hard to achieve.

Alluring Woman

    Another way of weaving a secret into a plot is to drop gems to the readers as well as the characters in the tale, and the secret is revealed to everyone in the end. In my book Blind Fury, the protagonist Julian’s son Miles is murdered in a pickup game of basketball, and Julian spends the entire time trying to piece together the clues that led him to the killer(s) responsible.

    A healthy dose of drama can be sparked by a sordid secret such as a betrayal of some sort a la an infidelity or a murder mystery, and the very secret itself could be hidden until the climax―the main character learns that his dad isn’t his biological father, for example. These types of surprises help to captivate an author’s audience greatly, and once an author masters this skill, the readers will continue to buy one’s books for years to come.

Related Posts:

Five Ways Authors Can Perfect Their Craft in Writing 

Finding Author's Niche in Writing Stories 

Authors Must Find a Balance Between Writing and Marketing 

 The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing 

Failure as a Writer: Is It a Good or Bad Thing?

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