Day 24 #NaNoWriMo: Gossip, a Writer’s Tool

Think of your secrets and your friends’ secrets. In one of his books on writing, John Gardner wrote that all writers are gossips. I think it’s true. Though I try to restrain myself because it’s important to be a good secret keeper, I still feel the burn, the desire to share. I think this burn is part of the creative process; in fact, it’s essential to the creative process.

If it’s truly a great story, I can’t stop thinking about it and I want to tell someone. There is a giddy pleasure in sharing a real, juicy story and seeing the extraordinary reaction it incites. At my core, I’m a storyteller. It’s a huge adrenalin rush when we share something awful or something wonderful.

One of the beautiful things about being a novelist is that you can put these juicy secrets into your fiction and nobody will know. Think of the secrets you hold inside you. Is there one that could find its way into your book?

So, now, think of a piece of gossip your character is holding inside. Have her hold it inside and see how that affects her. Or have her share it and see what happens. There is great tension in a secret. Use it.

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