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.
Ozan Varol is so right about the school system and creativity.
Society and business are the same way. Neither wants creativity (making something new). They want “innovation” (smoothing the edges of what already exists).
So go be creative this year!
Just in case you’re wondering, real writing pays attention to reality. And no one’s 100% man or 100% woman.
In fiction, we remember the deaths that make us sad — ScienceDaily
Meaningful deaths (death of someone that redeemed themselves or sacrificed themselves for someone else).
Happy deaths (The hero finally kills the evil villain).
Varies by genre, but across all genres, people tend to remember meaningful deaths more than others.
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.
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!
… and a “good guy” in your story …
please stop writing clichés.
Write real people instead.