Monday Motivation: 10 Secrets for Using Secrets in Fiction

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Writers Digest

Mar 4, 2024, 6:08:42 AMMar 4
In this issue, 10 secrets for using secrets in fiction are revealed; plus, much more!

Secrets for Using Secrets in Fiction

In the world of fiction, secrets serve as a literary device that propels the narrative forward, adding layers of intrigue and complexity to your storytelling. Whether it's a hidden past, a clandestine affair, or a long-buried family secret, the art of incorporating secrets into your fiction can elevate your writing beyond the expected. 


(Want to Write an Unputdownable Book?)


Read on to discover 10 ways you can incorporate secrets in your fiction to captivate readers and keep them eagerly turning the pages. Read more...

Write on the Sound


C.J. Box: Read Across Genres

"As crazy as it might sound, I meet a surprising number of fledgling authors who don't read very widely and can't really discuss books other than their own. I think one of the secrets of being a novelist who lasts is to read across genres and not be confined to fiction, nonfiction, or other specialty lanes. I've learned much more from deconstructing books that moved me than from any writing instructor or writers' group.

(2024 April PAD Challenge: Guidelines.)

"Also, embracing the real world and encountering people from every walk of life (and not just other academics or writers) will help ground the writing and the writer." Read more...

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Between Worlds

For this week's prompt, have a character get caught between worlds. These worlds could be literal planets, but it could also be different cliques or associations. For instance, a character may be caught between having arty friends who don't like sports and athletic friends who only like sports.

(Character Conflicts That Mirror a Larger Societal Conflict.)

This plot twist can create a couple layers of conflict. First, there may be an actual external conflict between the two different worlds. Second, there is likely an internal conflict within the character who is trying to negotiate both worlds and who may find good in both worlds (even as both worlds have friction).

Each world will probably try to convince your character that they're the better one and that the other world is substandard (or even outright bad). To take a popular John Hughes trope: The rich kids may look down on the poorer kids, who themselves look down on the rich kids. Of course, there are many more worlds that exist within any one world. Read more...

From Your Writer's Digest Editor:

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is a senior editor for Writer's Digest and former editor of the Writer's Market book series. He is also the author of Smash Poetry Journal and Solving the World's Problems. Find him on Twitter at @RobertLeeBrewer


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