I’m about 30,000 words into the novel now, so I’ve hit that point. The one where I have an assload of balls in the air, and more waiting in the wings to be introduced, and finding the right way to sort them all is like arranging flowers in a hurricane. If my goddamn characters would just sit down and shut up for five minutes together, maybe I could get it sorted, but nooooo. They’re all, “Gah! My life’s in danger over here, woman! Sort this shit out. Then you can go back to fucking with that. Oh, hell, now there’s sharks. Why the fuck are there sharks?”
Anyway, right in the middle of this is when my brain decides to present me with a great idea that might make the story more awesome, but will of course involve rewriting everything from scratch. Because that’s just how it rolls.
Have I mentioned that my brain doesn’t like it when I’m happy?
I’ll be spending the day sorting out these various messes and trying to decide if I’m going to burn almost a third of a novel as a sacrifice to the muse.* In the meantime, here’s a nice challenge to take your minds off whatever you should be doing this morning. It was inspired by a group of crows that watched me run this morning. Seven of them, to be precise. “Seven for a secret never to be told.”
Everyone’s got secrets. Some of them try to be told, but some nest quiet and dark deep down inside. Secrets can define a person, especially the ones that never get told.
Your characters have secrets. I bet some of them are even vital to the plot. Some will be found out, of course, because that’s part of the drama of fiction: revealing that which is hidden. Every murder mystery ever written is based on this revelation. And some will never find their way into the story, because not everything does.
Today’s challenge? Write about one secret that a character of yours has. Just one. But it’s the one that makes them who they are. Maybe someone found out about it and that scarred them for life. Or freed them from its power. Maybe no one will ever find out. Maybe that secret will share their grave. But what is it? They know. Time to go ask them.
*The horrible maladjusted bitch.