Posts Tagged ‘raising questions’

The Power of Secrets

Is your story riding a powerful concept, occupied by empathetic characters, solidly written–and falling a bit flat? One aspect of the novel that may be missing is buried truths. Especially half-buried ones. The ones we know are there but can’t see the answers to.

People love a mystery. Even if you’re writing fantasy or literary fiction, readers are hooked by unanswered questions. Why is the old man so bitter? What is the significance of the the scar on her neck? Why is the stranger so driven to help? What does the protagonist actually feel for her sister’s fiance? The secret can be profound or rather common, but it provides a hook. You generate a bit of excitement by making people guess. They like to guess. Why? I don’t know. It’s hardwired. Why is it fun for kids to find hidden Easter eggs? A stupid game, and perenially popular. Read More…