Tuesday top 4 : Character Crafting and secrets

I’m really sorry this week’s top 4 is late but here it is, bursting with passion, conflict and life altering choices to be made. 🙂


I chose to write this top 4 around one motivation you can give to a character in response to today’s assignment in writing 101. One of the most powerful motivation for a character is to keep a secret, whether this secret is the pretext of the novel or just a tool the character is using to achieve his goal. Secrets are interesting because it raises many internal conflict and usually forces your character to make choices


supermanSecret identity: Your character hides who or what he really is. That’s a powerful tool for conflict crafting and building up tension in your story. It’s likely your main character will have to make sacrifices to protect his secret Identity. And your story tension will raise.

The perfect example ? Super heroes : Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Arrow…

You’ve got Tris also from Divergent.

The secret identity discussed on wikipedia


Mr-Rochester-Jane-Eyre-2011-michael-fassbender-25910700-1920-1040Secret past : Your character hides facts of his past. Unhappy childhood or troubled family matters, things done in the past acting like a boomerang in his life and messes up his plans. Your story will benefit from the conflict and how the characters deals with it, then gets out of trouble.

Examples : The count of Monte Christo, Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester.

There you’ll find a list of characters with secret pasts.


jeaninmatthewsSecret agenda : Your character is acting a certain way but his goal is different than what he pretends. It is one of the greatest tool for a gripping plot twist.
Examples : Game of thrones, Snape in Harry Potter, Jeanine Matthews in Divergent


scarlettSecret love : Your character secretly loves someone, or has a secret relationship or a secret extra-marital affair. The involvement of the love feeling in a secret generally causes a clash of realities. The daily life of your character and the idealized closeted life he has created about love. Mix it with a pinch of forbidden love, you’ve got an explosive story between your hands.
Examples : Scarlett O’Hara’s marriage falls apart when Rhett Buttler finds out she still fancies Ashley Wilkes, Samwise Gamegie’s love for Rosie,

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