Nov 22, 2014

A Fun Writing Lesson - Deepening Your Character

by Cindy R. Williams

"You must stay drunk on writing so that reality cannot destroy you.  --Ray Bradberry
'riting is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia --I.L. Doctorow

These two quotes have nothing to do with what this post is about other than as a writer, I think they are fun.

In my last ANWA Chapter meeting, Joyce Horstmann, had us fill in a "Deepen Your Character" sheet. Many of us have done numerous character lists in order to flesh out our characters. This list had two questions that I hadn't seen before; What is a "Known secret?" and what is an "Unknown secret?"

Hummmmm . . . interesting. I loved these two questions!

In my case, my dragon's known secret is that he is remarkable because he is the youngest dragon to earn his "Winders Warrant" which is akin to a human getting his drivers license. He is also great ancient dragon magic, something that is no longer common in dragons. This is not generally known, but I do make sure the reader knows this.

The unknown secret is one that I cannot share here. Not that it is racy or anything-- since I choose to write wholesome things--but if I share it, it will be like telling you the end of the movie and ruining it all.

There was a beauty to these two questions.They are not simple. I found that by being asked to think about the answers helped me clarify the entire plot of my book.

Give it a try.

What is your character's known secret?

What is your character's unknown secret?


  1. I enjoyed the quotes and I love those questions! Thank you for sharing this insight. You are remarkable. hugs~

  2. Oh, interesting questions! I'll have to look at this for a few of my characters. Thanks for passing it along.

  3. Intriguing thought process the known and unknown


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