Monday, November 19, 2012
The Power of Secrets
We humans are curious creatures, and downright nosy at times. What motorist doesn’t rubberneck when passing an accident on the Expressway? Anything out of the ordinary sparks our interest, and secrets concern relationships, deeds, and habits involving the dark side. A character does something immoral, illegal or embarrassing and tells no one. Then someone finds out. When Character A threatens to reveal Character B’s secret, B may decide to kill A to keep him quiet.
In my opinion, the best secrets involve a character’s past. Past histories intrigue us, which is an excellent reason not to give out too much backstory about your characters. Dole out these juicy tidbits as needed. Rev up the reader’s need to find out a character’s secret. What has he done that’s so terrible, he’ll do anything to keep it hidden, even going so far as to murder?
Secrets abound in my romantic suspense, DANGEROUS RELATIONS, which came out recently with Uncial Press. Ardin Wesley has returned to her hometown when her cousin Suziette is murdered. Suziette’s widower, Brett, asks Ardin to help him adopt Suziette’s love child. Though attracted to Brett, Ardin discovers she wants to adopt the little girl herself. She’s suffered from an abusive marriage, and believes adopting the child is her only chance to have a family. But neither can adopt little Lionie until they learn the identity of her natural father. More deaths occur as Ardin and Brett uncover layer after layer of secrets, including Suziette’s list of lovers and more than she ever wanted to know about her ex-husband.
What are some of the secrets your characters have tried to hide? Leave a comment and tell me.