Shape your characters by revealing their deepest, darkest secrets.
Silas House, Tell Their Secrets
Silas House writes a meandering essay on the centrality of character in the value of fiction. It could be summarized with this one line.
I just read Barbara Kingsolver’s new and glorious work, Flight Behavior, which could be a great example of this insight. The opening line is like a crowbar, tearing open the head of the protagonist, Dellarobia Turnbow, allowing us to see her deepest secrets like a dropped box of clock works:
A certain feeling comes from throwing a good life away, and it is one part rapture.
Dellarobia is, I believe, destined to be one of the great movies characters of all time, once someone options it and talks Amy Adams or Jennifer Lawrence into the role.
Saying anything at all about the book would be a spoiler because it is just so good in every particular. Read it.