And how does keeping secrets affect your characters?

Your secrets hurt your mental health. What’s the alternative? | Aeon Essays

A lot in here that can apply to us (as a person) and to story characters.

How many stories have you encountered where characters keep secrets from one another? How did it affect them and their relationships?

It also talks about guilt and shame: the differences between them, their effects on people, and ways to handle them.

The author pursued these studies of keeping secrets because he and his brother are products of a secret his parents decided to keep from them before the kids were even born: That each was the product of sperm donors. Different donors. So the usual childhood discussions of “who was the most like Dad” had a secret depth they weren’t even aware of.

If you’ve followed the Marvell Comics Universe stories about Thor and Loki, those are stories of keeping secrets, and what happened when they came out.

The movie Thor: Ragnarok is particularly about keeping secrets.  The secret of their banished sister Hela, the secret of how Asgard became so powerful. When the secrets came out, Asgard was destroyed!

The James Bond movies starring Daniel Craig regularly have secrets coming back to bite the characters. In fact, the entire plot of Skyfall is about M’s secret betrayal of an earlier Double-Oh agent to the Chinese, and how that eventually kills her and massively damages the agency.

So read the essay and think of how keeping secrets affects themes, plots, characters.


Another of my AWESOME stories is PUBLISHED!

Yes! In the latest Hawaii Fiction Writers group anthology, a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library chapters at Aina Haina Library and Kapolei Public Library:

Kissing Frogs and Other Quirky Fairy Tales

Thank you, editors extraordinaire Michael, Gail and Carol Catanzaritti (in memoriam).

While mine (“The Disrespectful Prince and The Frog”) is (as always) AWESOME, there are 25 other beautiful, funny, clever and nearly-awesome retellings of fairy tales along the lines of the old Fractured Fairy Tales cartoons.

So buy yourself a copy, buy your friends copies, buy your exes copies, buy your enemies copies, buy copies and donate them to your local school and prison libraries. And rejoice in great stories and in being an Official Goodness on the Face of the Earth™ for supporting our libraries!

The Yugo

A rich snooty asshole orders an Uber after escaping unharmed from a car crash. Only one that shows up is a rusty Yugo. Argues with driver but gets in.

Discovers that instead of driving him directly to destination, it drives slowly through every place his friends/peers/rivals gather so they see him. He hears their comments, laughter, derision.

When he tries to get out, door won’t open. Driver turns a demonic face toward him and says, “Sorry, you died in that crash. Welcome to Hell!”

The End

Advice to storytellers from me

Tell the story that needs to be told, in the way it needs to be told, to the length it needs to be told.

Don’t poison a story by insisting it must be an apple when it’s really an orange.

Don’t stunt a story by forcing it beyond its natural growth nor by forcing it to grow in a box too small.

“Genres” and “standard story lenghs” are publisher’s artefacts, not part of storytelling.

Breakthroughs don’t come through abiding by conventions and working in boxes.

Come listen to some scary stories!

10:30 AM, October 19, at the Kapolei Public Library, I and three other Hawaii Fiction Writers members will each be reading a story for the annual HFW Scary Stories Halloween reading. Followed by lunch at the Kapolei Assagio’s, server of extremely tasty Italian cuisine.

My story is about a man, a mouse, and the association of small things: Just A Little Scary.

For more information, see the event on the Hawaii State Library site.

So come and be scared, if you dare!

The Sign Said

by David W. Jones

© 2007 David W. Jones

The door slammed behind us, its motion stirring the fog that filled the cavernous space we’d stepped into. Empty echoes came back, distorted by time and odd shaped spaces hidden somewhere in the fog. The fog smelled of stale garbage and diesel fumes.

A step ago, on the other side of the door, the air had been clean and airconditioned, the mall filled with the reassuring sounds of people talking, its floor smooth and shiny new.

Now the floor under my sandals was rough, rocky with lumpy stones that clattered away as I shifted my left foot off a sharp rock.

The fog slowly started swirling around about twenty feet in front of me and my girlfriend, like something was coming toward us. A jerky sort of scraping sound came from the direction of the swirl – a dragging, halting step.

My girlfriend turned toward me and said, “Umm, Lauree, I told you -”

“I don’t want to hear it,” I snapped.

“You don’t have to be rude just cuz you’re hungry. Going this way was your idea.”

Before I could respond, a shopping mall janitor stepped out of the fog where the scraping steps had been. He didn’t look special – just another one of those old, slightly-creepy looking guys that I’m sure are bred somewhere like dogs to be janitors. He even had nicotine stains on his teeth when he opened his mouth, licked his lips, and smiled.

“You girls lost?”

I looked at my girlfriend, but she just glared back at me. She’s my best friend, but she can be really brain-dead sometimes, you know? So I looked back at him and said, “Yeah, somebody said this was a shortcut to the Gulp’n’Go Burgers on the other side of the mall. You know how we get there?”

The janitor slowly licked his lips, like he was tasting his lunch again. A really tasty, recent lunch. Then he lifted up a clipboard I hadn’t noticed before in his hand and marked something on it. I glanced around and saw that the fog had crept around us, right up to our backs. Then the janitor looked over our heads into the fog and spoke.

“Hey! Gotta shipment for Gulp’n’Go Burgers.” He looked us up and down. “Looks a little raw, it’ll need some processing.”

“WHAT?!!” my girlfriend screamed. I turned and stared at her. Then a thick, hairy – uh, no, furry! – hand reached from the fog behind her and clamped around the side of her head. The thick wrist turned a little, and her head was suddenly lying sideways on her shoulder. I saw her eyes swinging wildly around in panic as she started to fall. Another thick hand came from the fog and held her upright.

Then a hand clamped onto the side of my head. A hard twist, a sharp snapping sound, pain – then all I COULD feel was the rough scaly skin on the palm of the hand grinding the backs of my earrings into the skin behind my ears.

My girlfriend’s wild eyes suddenly fixed on mine. Then she said something. Even though she had no breath anymore, she and I had learned to read each others’ lips ages ago.

“I told you the sign said ‘Employees only’ – ” Then her eyes glazed over and closed. I guess cuz she had screamed she had less breath remaining than I did.

She was lucky.

A voice growled behind me, speaking in some snarly language. Shapes – things – came out of the thinning fog, and began carrying us toward what looked like industrial-size food processors.

Happy Hallowe’en!

This video game sounds like fun for us who like stories, storytelling and American history

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine review: Finding truths through myth and legend | PCWorld

Hear stories, tell your own, hear how your stories come back to you as retold by others. And experience how the American mythos formed and is reforming.

Fascinating and makes me want to subscribe to Steam to get it.

More games like this, please, Steam!