So we were cleaning out my father-in-law’s storage locker today, and look what we found:
Goo goo ga ga!
No, behind the googly-eyed frog figures and turtle collectibles!
My Father-in-law is AWESOME!
He called it his Apocalypse sword. Tucked away into his storage locker was this fantastic piece of hardware that I immediately fell in love with.
I said, “Dad! What is this???”
My wife was there, and she said, “Yeah, he’s always had that hanging in his office. When I was a girl I’d go up to it and touch it, and he’d say, ‘Watch our! It’s sharp!'”
Where did that come from? This unassuming, gentle man whom I had grown to know and love over the past six years secretly had a demon-slaying length of steel meant for chopping and diving all these many years?!?
It made me think of my writing and how easy it is to write a character who, on the surface, seems very flat, predictable, and uninteresting, then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, you learn something about them that is completely unexpected.
Not, “oh, the mailman is a serial murderer”, unexpected, maybe, but maybe the mailman has a secret that is shameful and maybe a bit scary that he tries to keep from getting out.
Maybe he likes to send love letters to a celebrity! Or an up-and-coming author who just published his first ebook!
Anyway, I’m going to make sure that the next story I write has a character with a secret that may not change the course of the story, but is interesting enough for everyone to think about that character in a new light.
Writer friends, give it a try!
oh yeah, this bad boy’s coming home with me!