Secret Changes

I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...right

Creating characters with emotional power I am finding requires the indirect method. The character needs context. Empathy can be aroused for a character whose partner has been hospitalized. If they are flawed that is all the better, and better still if they are worthy of sympathy. I don’t mean pity, but a true feeling of compassion for the place they find their life suddenly thrown into. I think this basic building block is fundamental to fiction construction. Excessive sentimentality is cloying. Purposeful use of complexity pays its way when in the unfolding layers of a scene we have that sudden flash, the insight, that seeing into reality that we’ve never quite understood before. If you haven’t noticed I themed my blog titles and there is always the word change in the blog postings. Long fiction rewards when we are allowed behind the curtain. Sometimes real people hide from their own painful truths, resist looking at what they are, what they’ve done. I am never more alive than when I all at once see that the curtain has gone up and I am no longer hiding from anyone about anything…. At least for the moment, but then  secrets are as stubborn as change…

“Sammy, how old are you?”

“Between you and me, it is not so much a
secret, but for Noel you must never tell, I am just 31. And you?”

Highway Home

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