Do nothing secretly; for Time sees and hears all things, and discloses all. –Sophocles

“Can you keep a secret?” my friend asked. She was smiling. I could tell it was good news.

“No,” I told her. 

She looked surprised, but I felt I owed her the truth. I am *terrible* at keeping happy secrets. Tragic secrets? I can keep those to myself with no problem. I don’t like to gossip. But stuff like surprise parties and secret engagements—keep that news away from me.

Once, I decided I would surprise my daughter with a trip to Disney World. I made my mother and husband swear they wouldn’t tell. I made the reservations and told myself to keep my trap shut for two months. 

I lasted less than twenty-four hours. I couldn’t help it! I was just so excited! 

And my friend with the secret? Even though I warned her, she told me, anyway. Luckily, she couldn’t keep a secret, either. Both of the times that I slipped up and mentioned her news (she was having a baby), the people I told had already heard—from her. 

All of this is to say that I have some exciting news to share…but I am forcing myself to keep quiet this time. Consider this your first hint! 


But I’m keeping the secret…for now. 

Secrets can also be powerful tools in the writer’s toolbox. I’ve previously shared the secrets of a prolific writer and the secret to getting great ideas. But, characters with secrets are characters with something to lose. If you’ve been struggling to bring a character to life, consider what information they might be holding back. 

And consider how hard it is for them to face the truth. Or to keep the news quiet. 

What secrets are your characters keeping? Build a character+ card on Bookflow and explore the answers.