Writers Have Secrets? Oh, my!

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

June 3 question – Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

While I don’t consider that as a writer I have secrets, I suppose there are some topics not well-known about me. For one…

I enjoy bittersweet endings probably more than I enjoy happily ever after (HEA) endings in romances. Why, I don’t know. A true oxymoron considering I currently write HEA romances.

Some great bittersweet ending movies that I love:

  • Out of Africa
  • Message in a Bottle
  • Somewhere in Time – though it did have a happy ending on the other side, getting there was heartbreaking
  • The Thorn Birds
  • Possession

To me, these are great tales of romance, the best of the bittersweet best.

Second, I have collections without realizing I was collecting.

Lighthouses – I have them in every room, except the kitchen. It all started with a crayon drawing my grandmother did of the Biloxi lighthouse when she came to visit me upon my birth. I have wooden shelf lighthouses, ceramic ones, a pillow, blankets, huge pictures on the wall, and more. One day, while looking at one of my posters, my life represented a lighthouse: I was a teacher, sending my light out to those needing it.

Diana’s collection of gem stone hearts

Heart-shaped stones – The first one I received from a boyfriend. One was a gift from my daughter, and the rest I purchased only because I couldn’t walk away from the stone as it spoke to me at that time.

Dragons & The Green Man – The Green Man pieces (I have four) were the result of my medieval studies. I loved the myth because it is a symbol of rebirth, a new cycle of growth and that was my life at the time.

Diana’s collection of dragons.

The dragons were born of my writing Grendel’s Mother. The minute I saw this picture at a renaissance faire, I saw it as Grendel’s mother chatting with the dragon who shares her cave. One-by-one, the other dragons in my collection came from other renaissance faires. With each one, the minute I started walking away, I was draw back to it. Interestingly, once the book was published, no new dinosaurs have drawn me to them, demanding I take them home.

As to other secrets, it’s my characters who hold them tight, having pushed those secrets into the basement of their souls. It takes work to get them talking, to where they trust me to reveal their secrets, the wounds that they’ve carried since childhood.

It’s where our real secrets reside, you know.

I just realized: My characters have more secrets than I do. Some might see this as weird. Not weird to me at all.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Check out the IWSG website here.


About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
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4 Responses to Writers Have Secrets? Oh, my!

  1. patgarcia says:

    Not weird at all that your characters have more secrets than you do. My characters only share their secrets to me when I promise not to tell them.
    Wishing you al the best and thanks for being a part of IWSG.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange


  2. nancygideon says:

    I share your love Of all things collected, mine being typewriters (not the full size!),Tarot decks, shot glasses from places I’ve visited, outrageous cook books like Porn Burger, and lighthouses (also not fullsize!), I confess to loathing couple movies without HEA ie LaLa Land (though I did LOVE Somewhere in Time which technically did have one!). I adore books with secrets, the darker the better!


  3. Diane Burton says:

    If our characters didn’t have secrets, they’d be boring. My mother-in-law started my nutcracker collection back in 1983. I lost count but it’s over 100. Hauling them out each Christmas is a chore, but the grandkids love helping put them out.


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