Writers Helping Writers:
We all have secrets – you do and I do. And let’s face it, we work hard to not let them get out. But at the same time, when we get a whiff of another person’s secret, it sparks our curiously. We are natural information-gatherers and so usually want to know what it is.
Altruistically, we think maybe we can help, but we also know that if their struggle is one we have as well, sharing what we each know can benefit us both. There’s an empathy component, too. We know it can be hard to share a secret, especially if guilt or shame is involved, but letting it out provides a release because the burden of holding it no longer belongs to just one person.
At their heart, secrets hide insecurities and vulnerabilities, common ground to us all. None of us are experts at navigating everything life throws our way, after all. So even when the other’s internal challenges is something beyond our own experience, there’s comfort in knowing everyone struggles, not just us.
Clearly there’s lots of psychology embedded in secrets, and so we can (and should!) put this to work in our story to draw readers in.