My family throve on secrets. There was a divorce in the family in the early 1920's. Nobody divorced then. I have cousins that I don't know. I might even have aunts and uncles that I don't know. My mother's half-sister was an opera singer, but we don't have any record of her.
Folks talk about having character bios. To me, they're very important. But a little mystery might help, too. I can have a bio and family tree up to a point and then, my character can start looking. I can explain away behavior that might not be consistent with the family she grew up with, not knowing she carries baggage and DNA from a totally separate group. Life can be fun!
Secrets about health drive me mad. Some of these secrets can kill a family member if they don't know that something like diabetes runs in the family. There they are with the symptoms and thinking, it can't be _____ or ____. There's no family history.
Miss Marple would have a field day with secrets. I'm not a mystery writer myself, but I do enjoy them. And I can add a little mystery to my own stories to keep them fresh and alive. Nothing like a good dose of incest in a family, hidden for decades. *shivers*
I went to my Skyline meeting on Saturday and we talked about characters and how to keep them from being two-dimensional. We talked about bios and characters studies and using all kinds of 'tools' from other writers/presenters.
Found an absolutely awesome one here. I'm printing them all out and will share them with my writing buddies. Hope you enjoy them, too. (This is an educational/teachers site, but I find it helpful.)
This one is totally focused towards character development. These are some of the basic questions we have to ask our Muse, but some of the questions towards the bottom delve deeper.
I like this one more. Definitely more introspective questions. Anything I can do to learn more about my character is great. However, I like her to surprise me, now and again.
As for the meeting: we had a great time. My MS was critiqued and I felt good about it. There were suggestions, but overall, I was told to keep writing. I take that as a compliment (if I don't delve too far. giggle giggle)
I had critiqued an MS and the member was there so I shared my thoughts with her. That's when we got into the discussion about character development.
All in all, a good two hours spent in total writing mode. Picked my enthusiasm up by the bootstraps. I left the meeting feeling exhilarated. I still do.
Life is exhilarating.