Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Secrets of Characters

Dealing with characters is much like dealing with real people.

Some characters are very open, unwinding their whole story in more detail than necessary after only a few questions. Other characters stumble through their tales in starts and stops and stutters, sometimes from shyness, sometimes from difficulty of expressing themselves or other similar problems.

Then there are the secret-keepers.

These characters have a story to tell, but for some reason are reluctant to share it, even to an author. (Or is it especially to an author?) And they often will employ every evasive technique in the book, even outright lying.

What hinders them isn’t so different than real people. Their experiences were difficult. They fear what might happen to themselves or others. And sometimes, I think, they like being cloaked in mystery and just want to tease the author.

But the thing about secret-keepers is that, though their stories are the hardest to obtain, they are often the ones most your while.

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