The Secret

What do you do when a big secret just happens to come to light and you aren't even thinking of your story? How do you keep that secret from exploding to a full-on reveal?

This happened to me just recently in my wip - Imogene: Innocense Lost. I discovered a secret, not about Imogene who the story is supposed to be about, but about her mother who is on the quest to save Imogene. The secret has blown up in my head and I'm very anxious to get it written but I can't. Once the secret comes out, the dynamic of the story changes drastically. It will no longer be about saving Imogene but saving Sarah Beth and the story is about finding Imogene first and foremost.

The biggest problem is that not even Sarah Beth knows the secret yet and I'm afraid once I put the secret on paper (or on the computer in the story somewhere - writing scenes as they come to me this go round since this is not like anything else I've ever written) that the story takes on a completely different meaning. I need to get Imogene's story written before entangling her mother's story and therefore, the secret will have to just keep niggling me until it's finally right to write it. The secret actually reveals a good bit about Sarah Beth that I didn't know before (my characters were still a bit two dimensional as the story really hasn't taken hold in my head and gotten to the point that I can just write from beginning to end). Maybe if I do a character chart for Sarah Beth, the secret can be put there for now and when it's time to work it in, it will be fine.

I just don't know what to do with this secret and this style of story now since I'm exploring new waters for me. If you've had a secret just pop up in your writing and have kept it a secret until just the right moment, please drop me a line and let me know how you handled it. See you all in the postings - E ;)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery
"The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), a humorous romance ebook
"The Tulip Kiss", a paranormal romance ebook
"Bride-and-Seek", a paranormal romance ebook
E's blog
E's website


widdershins said...

It'd probably be a good idea to open up a new document, write the whole thing down, then 'save and close' the document, and forget about it until you need it.

If you don't write it down somewhere the fine details will fade and it'll lose the immediacy that is keeping it banging at the forefront of your skull right now.

NancyCL said...

This is soooooo exciting! I can tell you're bursting to write this "secret" so just sit down and do it like the comment above says. I find that if I have a great idea I have to write down snippets of it before I forget it. I've found notes that I've written years ago and will someday use for a story. In the meantime, I can sense your enthusiasm to do this, so get to it!

Kathleen Moulton said...

Elysabeth, I love it when a story takes a surprise turn!

I like what the comments above said. So many times I have had an amazing idea pop in my head out of nowhere and if I don't write it down it does fade.

This is one book I'm going to get my hands on when it's published. And I'm writing it down so I don't forget!


Unknown said...

How exciting! I agree with everyone here. Write on a separate doc. Who knows, it may even b e a sequel??

I'm having trouble knowing where to end my WIP. I think I have two books??

Karen Cioffi said...

I agree with Widdershins - it's too easy to forget if not saved somewhere.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Oh, why not allude to it and then write a sequel? (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Excited about the new edition (expanded! updated! even more helpful for writers!) of The Frugal Book Promoter, now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right (

Magdalena Ball said...

Secrets are great. It sounds like a gift. You need to hint at it in bits and pieces that your readers will remember when the big reveal time comes. Lots of little clues but don't give too much away - need to keep the shock value. Good luck with it!

Anne Duguid Knol said...

I loved learning the secret of your secret. Like everyone else, I find it so exciting. I agree that we do forget things and details fade, but I feel your passion for this secret is so strong that it will stay with you and reemerge at the right time when needed.

Angela said...

I agree with Magdalena. Drop little teasers here and there so that when you finally expose the secret, it will have the right impact. Sounds like a great story.

Unknown said...


I was thinking about a sequel too!

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